Newest Major Reviews:.This Month's Most Popular Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
. 1. Transformers: Last Knight
2. Cars 3
3. The Mummy
4. Wonder Woman
5. POTC: Dead Men Tell No Tales
. . 1. Star Wars: Force Awakens
2. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
3. Titanic
4. Avatar
5. Nineteen Eighty-Four
6. Gladiator
7. Star Wars: A New Hope
8. Animal Farm
9. LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
10. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
. . 1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Fantastic Beasts/Find Them
3. Willow
4. The Ghost and the Darkness
5. An American Tail
Filmtracks On Cue


On Cue for December, 2011:





12/31/11Mimic: (Marco Beltrami) - All New Review
Buy it... on the rare 2011 expanded album if you seek excellent treatment (including improved sound quality) of one of Marco Beltrami's most accessible horror efforts.
Avoid it... if even ten minutes of the composer's more alluring lyricism in this genre cannot sustain your interest beyond the somewhat standard but well executed stingers, dissonant challenges, and varied percussive usage in this dynamically organic recording.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/30/11Drive: (Cliff Martinez) - All New Review
Buy it... if you have a proven track record of success with the sound design that Cliff Martinez provides for films, for his output for Drive, aside from a few more pleasantly tonal passages, is extremely typical to his limited range.
Avoid it... if you have difficulty forming emotional connections with anonymously droning, ambient, electronic scores meant to intentionally emphasize vague ethos and distorted realities.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


12/29/11The Iron Lady: (Thomas Newman) - All New Review
Buy it... if you can accept a collection of somewhat unrelated but at least characteristic representations of Thomas Newman's early 1990's mannerisms in a clinically uninvolved package.
Avoid it... if you demand warmth and lyricism where little was possible, Newman's approach viable and occasionally stirring but failing to engage you emotionally in a meaningful, cohesive narrative.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


12/28/11Something Wicked This Way Comes: (Georges Delerue/James Horner) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on Intrada Records' 2009 release of James Horner's competent replacement score if you desire the adequately whimsical, often unconventional choral and symphonic blend heard in the film.
Avoid it... on that album if you seek the better primary theme for the boys in the film, in which case Georges Delerue's rejected score will more effectively appeal to your romantic sensibilities (though only the composer's 1989 re-recording of 12 minutes from this work is recommended).
Rating:VARIED   Read the entire review


12/27/11Regarding Henry: (Georges Delerue/Hans Zimmer) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you never tire of dozing off to Georges Delerue's restrained but beautiful orchestral lyricism or Hans Zimmer's predictably innocuous, harmoniously consistent light jazz and drama style of the early 1990's.
Avoid it... on the Zimmer album if the composer's intriguingly unique application of vocals, erhu-like violin, muted trumpet, and acoustic double bass may threaten the otherwise conservatively smooth atmosphere of its synthetic, contemporary tone for you.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/25/11Scrooged: (Danny Elfman) - All New Review
Buy it... if you seek the origination point for many of the holiday and suspense techniques explored with far greater notoriety by Danny Elfman in Batman Returns and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Avoid it... if you have long awaited an official release of this very short score and expect to hear more original music that compares favorably to the five minutes of outstanding, previously released highlights for full orchestra and choir.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


12/23/11Die Hard: (Michael Kamen) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you are a diehard fan of the movie and seek one of its collectible albums in order to hear the music that Michael Kamen originally intended for the film before the recording was butchered in the final editing process.
Avoid it... if you expect the few moments of memorable, original material you recall from this soundtrack in context to compensate for an otherwise mundane composition and extremely unsatisfying sound quality.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


12/22/11The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular: (Basil Poledouris) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have an affinity for Basil Poledouris' music for Conan the Barbarian and its sequel, for this live-action spin-off show allowed the composer to produce a refreshing and viable extension of the same general sound.
Avoid it... in its original form if you have no interest in the entertainingly booming dialogue track and seek far superior sound quality, in which case the 2011 re-recording is a fantastic alternative.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/21/11Conan the Destroyer: (Basil Poledouris) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're extremely devoted to Basil Poledouris' music for Conan the Barbarian and are willing to overlook poor performance execution and recording quality on the original album for an expansion of the same sound.
Avoid it... in its original form and instead seek the 2011 re-recording of the complete score if you hold Conan the Barbarian with such high regard that you can't tolerate hearing inadequate players mangle parts of its lesser sequel.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


12/20/11King Arthur: (Hans Zimmer/Various) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if your elevated testosterone levels demand hearing the new age vocal elements of Gladiator and the masculine force of Crimson Tide elevated to their most bloated, melodramatic heights.
Avoid it... if you are instead waiting for Hans Zimmer to write a complex and original large-scale action score to transcend his familiar chord progressions and extremely basic structures that blow you over with symphonic and synthetic force.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/18/11Trading Places: (Elmer Bernstein) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you are an extreme enthusiast of both this film and Elmer Bernstein's quality comedy output of the early 1980's.
Avoid it... if you expect the mostly adapted music to play well outside of context, for the soundtrack on album serves only to make a person wish to view the film again.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


12/17/11The Great Train Robbery: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you appreciate Jerry Goldsmith music at its most exuberant and boisterously enthusiastic, in this case comedic due to its airy atmosphere and light waltz rhythms.
Avoid it... if you find Goldsmith's breezy, overly-positive comedy music to be remotely trite, because The Great Train Robbery reminds significantly of the composer's campy fluff from the 1960's.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


12/15/11The Artist: (Ludovic Bource) - All New Review
Buy it... if you remain loyal to the emotionally extroverted and optimistically romantic tone of early Golden Age film music, a genre resurrected with impressive attention to detail for this silent film.
Avoid it... if there is too fine a line between tribute and parody for a score like this to succeed for ears that are too accustomed to the subtlety and weight of more recent orchestral techniques for film scores.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/14/11Kingdom of Heaven: (Harry Gregson-Williams) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you desire an intelligent and respectfully restrained powerhouse of a musical representation of religious history, complete with pensive choral techniques of immense beauty.
Avoid it... if you prefer your Ridley Scott historical epics to feature music with heavy electronic embellishments and obvious, overwrought melodic expressions akin to Hans Zimmer's Gladiator.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/13/11Batman Begins: (Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you have endless excuses for the viability of Hans Zimmer's simplistic ostinato approach that caused similar brooding atmosphere and masculine propulsion to become the norm for blockbuster scores after their perceived success in this entry.
Avoid it... if you expect a truly Gothic sound for Gotham, a complex variation of melody for Wayne's duality, or any of the heroic stature of Danny Elfman's original classic, all elements unnecessarily avoided by Zimmer for his own convenience.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


12/12/11Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: (John Williams) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you, like most film music collectors, marvel at the ingenuity with which John Williams explores each of his mind-bogglingly complex ideas for individual concepts within his fantasy scores.
Avoid it... if you are a strong believer in issues relating to the thematic continuity of any franchise, for the maestro largely tackled this score as though it were a series of self-contained vignettes with surprisingly little regard for his previous identities.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/11/11The Phantom of the Opera: (Andrew Lloyd Webber) - Expanded Review
Buy it... on the "special edition" album only to appreciate a few minutes of interesting new score material by Andrew Lloyd Webber for this otherwise butchered adaptation.
Avoid it... if you have any love whatsoever for the original, famed 1986 cast recording and don't wish to hear this magnificent composition inexplicably and excruciatingly crucified by questionable alterations and absolutely hideous vocals.
Rating:*   Read the entire review


12/10/11The Village: (James Newton Howard) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you succumb to the intoxicating effect of elegant solo violin performances in flowing rhythmic and enchantingly melodic duties, aided here by similarly whimsical piano and woodwind beauty to create authentic period character and subtle suspense.
Avoid it... if the score's fifteen minutes of undeniably lovely passages cannot sustain a listening experience interrupted by several horror cues of terrifying orchestral blasts on an album with poor mastering of volume levels.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/8/11Moneyball: (Mychael Danna) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you seek the source songs heard in the film and its trailers, because Mychael Danna's original score tepidly concentrates on the cold statistical suspense of the concept in disappointingly minimal fashion.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear Danna deliver any emotional warmth or inspirational whimsy to address the family or baseball elements in the plot, a strange underperformance for an otherwise typical character story from within the sports genre.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


12/6/11Humanoids from the Deep: (James Horner) - All New Review
Buy it... on the 2001 album pairing this score with Battle Beyond the Stars, for its sparse, mundane, and derivative suspense really doesn't merit its own album.
Avoid it... if you have no need to hear James Horner shamelessly emulate Jerry Goldsmith in yet another of his early scores for B-rate films, though the similarities here are not quite as obnoxious.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


12/5/11Battle Beyond the Stars: (James Horner) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you want to know where it all essentially started for James Horner, not to mention the fact that Battle Beyond the Stars is an impressively engaging score by any standard.
Avoid it... if enduring the inspiration for Horner's eventual self-regurgitation is as disturbing to you as hearing the composer blatantly pull material from Jerry Goldsmith's Star Trek: The Motion Picture for this score.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


12/2/11A Dangerous Method: (Howard Shore/Richard Wagner) - All New Review
Buy it... if you accept the necessity of Howard Shore's adaptation of Richard Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll" into a position that dominates his stark and gloomy original material for the score.
Avoid it... if you have never cared for that portion of the Wagner opera and desire more than just a few minutes of Shore's own, ominously powerful main theme for the hysteria of the main female character.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


12/1/11Gorky Park: (James Horner) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you groove to James Horner's style of drums, guitar, and synthetic rhythms in Commando and could tolerate an earlier, more dissonant and brutally raw variation on that distinctive sound.
Avoid it... if extended performances of the alluring orchestral love theme in this work are your primary target, for they occupy only a quarter of the score's running time.
Rating:***   Read the entire review







Page created 12/11/11, updated 12/12/11. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publications). Copyright © 2011, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved.