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 January, 2012:





1/31/12 In the Line of Fire  (Ennio Morricone) - All New Review
Buy it... for the ten minutes of the pretty, woodwind-performed theme of romance sprinkled throughout this otherwise challenging listening experience.
Avoid it... if Ennio Morricone's distinctly retro approach to handling the suspense of this story, with awkward 1970's techniques and instrumentation throughout, sounds strangely dysfunctional to you in this Digital Age context.


1/30/12 Darkness Falls  (Brian Tyler) - All New Review
Buy it... if you have always been impressed with Brian Tyler's ability to overachieve with immense ruckus in the horror genre, in which case Darkness Falls is a well respected and dynamic launching point.
Avoid it... if you quickly lose interest in Tyler's dramatic, lyrical themes of a brooding variety when they are surrounded by orchestral brutality of the most immense order.


1/29/12 Four Newly Expanded Reviews Debut
Recently revised versions of the following reviews are now available:


1/28/12 Four Newly Expanded Reviews Debut
Recently revised versions of the following reviews are now available:


1/27/12 Toy Story 3  (Randy Newman) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have always appreciated the hyperactive action romps and funny regional references that Randy Newman provided for the first two films in this franchise, a combined technique that dominates the third entry as well.
Avoid it... if, conversely, you've been bothered by Newman's total inability to assign the concept some memorable thematic attribution in his scores, because Toy Story 3 is, despite its predictable affability, another disappointingly anonymous work.


1/26/12 The Family Stone  (Michael Giacchino) - All New Review
Buy it... if inoffensive, conservative holiday drama and a dash of occasional prancing comedy soothe your spirit without risking boredom.
Avoid it... if you figure you're going to hear vivacious enthusiasm from Michael Giacchino for this topic, a personality mostly absent from the composition and drained completely by a muted, lifeless recording.


1/25/12 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy  (Alberto Iglesias) - All New Review
Buy it... if you have embraced Alberto Iglesias' previous and often understated scores for topics of drama and intrigue, for this entry's extremely restrained atmosphere requires patience to appreciate on its hour-long album.
Avoid it... if you lament the fact that Iglesias did not adequately extend the intelligently layered noir-like personality of his melody for the primary character into the remainder of the otherwise dull score.


1/24/12 Batman Forever  (Elliot Goldenthal) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're open-minded about the wildly flashy direction that the franchise took with this film and generally appreciate Elliot Goldenthal's extremely intelligent capabilities, even if he badly overplays the comical aspect of this concept in the process.
Avoid it... if you expect Goldenthal to have taken the franchise as seriously as Danny Elfman had, because Batman Forever is an occasionally insufferable carnival ride of wildly inconsistent musical personalities at war.


1/23/12 Arthur Christmas  (Harry Gregson-Williams) - All New Review
Buy it... if heart-warming orchestral fantasy music for the holidays raises your spirits all year, because Harry Gregson-Williams' last minute replacement score contains a steady stream of engaging action and awe-inspired beauty.
Avoid it... if you consider many rousing children's scores to be blandly tonal sonic wallpaper, in which case this well executed music may not contain enough unique thematic structures or other characteristics to distinguish itself.


1/22/12 The Resident  (John Ottman) - All New Review
Buy it... if you have a high tolerance for challengingly manipulated and unpleasant exhibitions of sound design in your film music, especially if they utilize noises so awkwardly weird at times that they give you the giggles.
Avoid it... if you have no wish to embrace arguably John Ottman's worst career score to this point, an unfortunately lifeless accompaniment to the extreme sexual depravity that may have kept this movie out of American cinemas.


1/21/12 Wolfen  (James Horner) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you are curious about the origins of James Horner's most familiar structures and techniques, many of which evident in Wolfen and culminating in an interesting (if not marginally entertaining) listening experience.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear much of anything original on the long-standing bootleg that contains both Wolfen and Deadly Blessing, the latter overshadowing some decent pastoral writing with harrowing and painfully obvious references to Jerry Goldsmith's The Omen.


1/20/12 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home  (Leonard Rosenman) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you are completing your set of "Star Trek" feature film scores and you can forgive the hopelessly upbeat tone, thematic incoherency, and badly dated elements of Leonard Rosenman's wayward and stubborn entry.
Avoid it... if the word lame isn't what you want to think of when hearing the albums for the otherwise respectable collection of creative and robust film scores for this franchise.


1/19/12 Man to Man  (Patrick Doyle) - All New Review
Buy it... if you consistently appreciate Patrick Doyle's fully orchestral drama mode, his predictably optimistic tone and instrumental techniques providing respect and glory to this tale of intellectual exploration.
Avoid it... if you have difficulty embracing the enthusiastic tone of Doyle's melodramatic lyricism and bright fanfares, especially with the surprising absence of much native African influence in this work.


1/18/12 The Bourne Supremacy  (John Powell) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek a more focused and sophisticated version of John Powell's music for The Bourne Identity, with fewer erratic and obnoxious synthetic sequences distracting from the narrative flow.
Avoid it... if you appreciate the raw, slashing action tone of the preceding score in the franchise and find the hints of warmer character development in the sequel's music to distract from the mood that you seek from Powell's otherwise harsh ostinato motifs.


1/17/12 In Time  (Craig Armstrong) - All New Review
Buy it... if you are an established enthusiast of Craig Armstrong's standard methodology, in which case you'll likely appreciate the compelling adaptation of his style into the science fiction genre.
Avoid it... despite the fact that his sound is perfectly suited for this concept if you expect him to make meaningful use of his lyrical tendencies to develop an airtight narrative arc when one was truly justified.


1/16/12 The Incredibles  (Michael Giacchino) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek a well-conceived, refreshing resurrection of big band jazz and orchestral action from 1960's capers that intelligently matures as the score progresses.
Avoid it... if the music for vintage, snazzy spy thrillers or early James Bond films produces only headaches for you, in which case the beefier version of that sound adapted here might give you a migraine.


1/15/12 Tower Heist  (Christophe Beck) - All New Review
Buy it... if Christophe Beck's snazzy main theme caught your attention in the film and you would be content with five or six engaging performances of that slightly retro, funky identity on album.
Avoid it... if you place high hopes in the mass of the underscore surrounding the main theme, most of which sounds familiar to Beck's previous applications of contemporary suspense and enthusiastic comedy in an orchestral setting.


1/14/12 The Aviator  (Howard Shore) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you desire an occasionally triumphant but usually solemn and ultimately defeated score that closely resembles the turbulent mental issues of Howard Hughes.
Avoid it... if you are expecting the melodic fluidity and grandiose bravado of The Lord of the Rings, an influence of high-class 1930's and 1940's romance, or an album with the full selection of classical pieces tracked into the film.


1/13/12 Finding Neverland  (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you are whisked into a dreamland by the bright, repetitive rhythms, consistently fluffy innocence, and major-key melodic grace of Rachel Portman, James Horner, and Stephen Warbeck's equivalent dramatic fantasy modes.
Avoid it... if you are among the crowd who cannot long tolerate the ceaselessly positive, prancing attitude of the music described above, especially considering the relatively few dramatic interludes of genuine weight to break that mood in this score.


1/12/12 Anonymous  (Thomas Wanker/Harald Kloser) - All New Review
Buy it... if the prior film music of Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker has somehow managed to appeal to you in its often respectfully understated forms, because the composers do offer their conservative techniques in a palatable package here.
Avoid it... if you expect the orchestral, choral, and solo cello expressions of this score's several themes to ever congeal into a convincing narrative, the composers' tendency to aimlessly meander once again evident.


1/11/12 Immortals  (Trevor Morris) - All New Review
Buy it... if nothing cranks up your testosterone levels like a beefy variation on the modern Hans Zimmer action sound, for Trevor Morris works surprisingly well within those boundaries to infuse some basic intelligence into an otherwise derivative formula.
Avoid it... if you were bothered by the lack of a clear narrative arc in the film's script, a failure reflected in totality by the absence of satisfying thematic attributions and storytelling capability in Morris' appropriately stylish music.


1/10/12 Happy Feet Two  (John Powell) - All New Review
Buy it... if you desire either the highly varied selection of songs from the film or five to ten minutes of engaging John Powell score material to add to your favorite passages from his contribution to the previous film.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear Powell do anything significant with the existing franchise themes (outside of the obvious, varied choral usage) or conjure a distinct new set of identities for the sequel.


1/9/12 The Pink Panther  (Christophe Beck) - All New Review
Buy it... if you have fond memories of Henry Mancini's iconic theme for this franchise and desire an effortless extension of that idea into the 2000's reboot of the concept.
Avoid it... if you are looking for the Beyonce Knowles songs from the film or are a Mancini loyalist to such a degree that some contemporary adaptations of his theme could be offensive.


1/8/12 Over the Hedge  (Rupert Gregson-Williams/Ben Folds) - All New Review
Buy it... if you're a Ben Folds enthusiast and thus seek his five characteristic songs (three of which original) for the comedic, feel-good passages in the film.
Avoid it... if you expect more than just typical, functional, and forgettable orchestral underscore from Rupert Gregson-Williams, yet another voice for generic animation music from Hans Zimmer's film score production house.


1/7/12 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow  (Edward Shearmur) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you can immerse yourself in shamelessly high-flying, patriotic orchestral adventure scores no matter their general simplicity or relentless level of bombast and tempo.
Avoid it... if that genre's music becomes tedious and repetitive for you when it is clearly derived from other superhero scores, especially ones as obvious as those by John Williams and James Horner.


1/6/12 Alexander  (Vangelis) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek to hear Vangelis' wildly popular music for 1492: Conquest of Paradise developed to an even more mature, symphonically magnificent level of grandiose and monumental harmony.
Avoid it... if the rhythmically repetitive and thematically simplistic nature of Vangelis' music cannot be compensated for you by the sheer power of the overwhelming immensity with which it is expressed.


1/5/12 War of the Worlds  (John Williams) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you appreciate John Williams' propulsive rhythmic figures of this era and his high standards of complexity no matter the level of atonality or dissonance prevalent at nearly every moment of this score.
Avoid it... if you prefer your Williams scores to be easily digestible and feature strong, pleasant lines of thematic cohesion and an obvious concert arrangement.


1/4/12 Jerry Goldsmith: Suites and Themes  (Compilations) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you desire one of the most robust and crystal clear concert performances of Jerry Goldsmith music, conducted by the composer himself, ever to exist on album.
Avoid it... only if you are disappointed by the lack of representation for some of the composer's strongest works of the 1980's on this otherwise solid presentation.


1/3/12 High Road to China  (John Barry) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you are an unreserved enthusiast of John Barry's lush and occasionally soaring romance themes and rhythmic action motifs, no matter their relatively stagnant foundations.
Avoid it... if you expect an ounce of originality from Barry in this score, for what you receive is a clear cross between Raise the Titanic and Out of Africa.


1/2/12 Wind  (Basil Poledouris) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you appreciate Basil Poledouris' uniquely creative merging of synthesizers and orchestra to capture the essence of the ocean, especially in this score's closest sibling, Free Willy.
Avoid it... if the ambient sounds of wind and sails in a largely new-age score with only a handful of orchestral cues doesn't carry over your interest from Poledouris' muscular, epic alternatives.







Page created 1/8/12, updated 1/9/12. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publications). Copyright © 2012, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved.