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Review update and modern classics rankings
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• Posted by: Christian Clemmensen   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Sunday, February 21, 2010, at 10:01 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Reviews of modern classics on the way (Christian Clemmensen)

The survey of "modern classics," as defined by Filmtracks visitors' cumulative internal search engine totals, has now concluded. I originally intended to review 35 to 40 such titles, but given that these projects always seem to take longer than anticipated, the final total of scores was 54. Next are a dozen reviews of noteworthy new scores from 2009, a few of which will be nominated in this year's Filmtracks awards in March. After that, there is no set schedule for coverage. Expanded surveys of the works of Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Patrick Doyle, and Christopher Young are still in the works, though several existing reviews require the addition of recent album releases. Also expect to see coverage of 2010 scores in a more timely manner.

As promised due to propular demand last year are the rankings of how the "modern classics" existed in Filmtracks' logs (dating back to early 1997). The first list contains the 47 entries that yielded 54 reviews (the difference is accounted for by sequels) and the second list contains 49 entries that I decided not to cover for one of several reasons. The notes next to the 49 unreviewed scores are my informal reasons for rejecting them; it's possible that the album availability notation for several of them isn't precisely accurate (or it may be outdated). Most of those entries have complicated score situations for obvious reasons. The titles on the two lists intermingled in the original totals, the top entries searched for 12,000+ times while the bottom ones were at 2,000 searches as of August, 2009.

The 54 scores reviewed:

1. Rocky (Bill Conti) - first three reviewed
2. Back to the Future (Alan Silvestri) - all three reviewed
3. The Terminator (Brad Fiedel) - sequels already reviewed
4. The Mission (Ennio Morricone)
5. The Piano (Michael Nyman)
6. The Godfather (Nino Rota/Carmine Coppola) - all three reviewed
7. 300 (Tyler Bates)
8. Requiem for a Dream (Clint Mansell)
9. Amelie (Yann Tiersen)
10. We Were Soldiers (Nick Glennie-Smith)
11. Bram Stoker's Dracula (Wojciech Kilar)
12. Blade Runner (Vangelis)
13. Love Actually (Craig Armstrong)
14. Gettysburg (Randy Edelman)
15. Bad Boys (Mark Mancina/Nick Glennie-Smith)
16. Romeo and Juliet (Craig Armstrong/Nellie Hooper)
17. Out of Africa (John Barry) - original and re-recording reviewed
18. Donnie Darko (Michael Andrews)
19. Seven (Howard Shore)
20. Solaris (Cliff Martinez)
21. Crash (Mark Isham/Howard Shore) - two films, 2004 Isham reviewed
22. Psycho (Bernard Herrmann/Danny Elfman) - 1998 adaptation reviewed
23. Excalibur (Trevor Jones)
24. Spirited Away (Joe Hasaishi)
25. The Crow (Graeme Revell) - first score reviewed only
26. Desperado (Los Lobos)
27. Saw (Charlie Clouser) - first score reviewed only
28. Stardust (Ilan Eshkeri)
29. Behind Enemy Lines (Don Davis)
30. Remember the Titans (Trevor Rabin/John Debney) - both scores reviewed
31. Broken Arrow (Hans Zimmer)
32. Scent of a Woman (Thomas Newman)
33. Queen of the Damned (Richard Gibbs)
34. Basic (Klaus Badelt)
35. Chariots of Fire (Vangelis)
36. Monster (BT)
37. The Mask (Randy Edelman)
38. The Core (Christopher Young)
39. The Silence of the Lambs (Howard Shore)
40. Somewhere in Time (John Barry) - original recording reviewed only
41. Two Weeks Notice (John Powell)
42. The Polar Express (Alan Silvestri)
43. Ocean's Eleven (David Holmes)
44. The Truman Show (Burkhard Dallwitz)
45. Austin Powers (George S. Clinton) - dual album covering two films
46. The Natural (Randy Newman)
47. The Fly (Howard Shore/Christopher Young) - both reviewed

Not reviewed:

1. Kill Bill (NO SCORE)
3. Dirty Dancing (MINIMAL SCORE)
4. Pulp Fiction (NO SCORE)
5. City of Angels (Gabriel Yared) - opted not to review bootleg
6. Old School (Theodore Shapiro) - no score album
7. American Pie (David Lawrence) - no score album
8. Save the Last Dance (Mark Isham) - no score album
9. Sister Act (Marc Shaiman) - no score album
10. Equilibrium (Klaus Badelt) - opted not to review bootleg
11. Resident Evil (Marco Beltrami) - opted not to review bootleg
12. Collateral (James Newton Howard)
13. Highlander (Michael Kamen) - opted not to review bootleg
14. A Walk to Remember (Mervyn Warren)
15. Platoon (Georges Delerue) - deferred to future round
16. Lost (Michael Giacchino) - skipped TV scores in this round
17. Grease (NO SCORE)
18. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Ennio Morricone) - too old
19. The Pianist (Wojciech Kilar) - no score album
20. The Magnificent Seven (Elmer Bernstein) - too old
21. Fight Club (NO SCORE)
22. Closer (2004) (NO SCORE)
23. Gangs of New York (Howard Shore/Elmer Bernstein) - deferred to future round
24. The Beach (Angelo Badalamenti) - deferred to future round
25. Fear (Carter Burwell)
26. Pretty Woman (James Newton Howard) - opted not to review bootleg
27. 50 First Dates (Teddy Castellucci) - no score album
28. Taxi Driver (Bernard Herrmann) - deferred to future round
29. White Chicks (Teddy Castellucci) - no score album
30. The Girl Next Door (Paul Haslinger) - no score album
31. True Romance (Hans Zimmer) - deferred to future round
32. 8 Mile (NO SCORE)
33. Rain Man (Hans Zimmer) - opted not to review bootleg
34. 28 Days Later (John Murphy)
35. Vanilla Sky (Nancy Wilson)
36. 2001 (Alex North) - too old
37. Coyote Ugly (Trevor Rabin) - no score album
38. Fast and the Furious (BT/David Arnold) - multiple films, no initial score albums
39. Just Married (Christophe Beck)
40. Snatch (John Murphy) - no score album
41. 10 Things I Hate About You (Richard Gibbs) - no score album
42. Catwoman (Klaus Badelt) - deferred to future round
43. Ben Hur (Miklos Rozsa) - too old
44. Days of Thunder (Hans Zimmer) - deferred to future round
45. Bring It On (Christophe Beck) - no score album
46. Shall We Dance (John Altman/Gabriel Yared) - no score album
47. Lawrence of Arabia (Maurice Jarre) - too old
48. The Jackal (Carter Burwell) - no score album
49. Lost in Translation (Kevin Shields) - no score album

The only titles on the above list that I intended to review but ultimately delayed until another time were Rain Man (for which the bootleg situation has never been satisfactory), Catwoman (same reason as Rain Man, though lossless versions do exist for this one), and The Beach (which is totally out of print; Badalamenti wrote one of his typical, lush themes of beauty for this score but the rest is electronic garbage). No score written prior to 1970 was reviewed. Too few people read the reviews of Golden and Silver Age scores to make them worth the reviewing time.

I suspect that as many as fifteen of these temporarily rejected titles will eventually be covered at the site, especially as official albums for them become available.

In a month will come an update on Filmtracks' server upgrade process and financial situation. Readers have donated $250 to the site so far in Feburary, which is a fantastic head start on the cost of those upgrades. Many thanks especially to the two Filmtracks veterans who donated $100 each!


Updates in this Thread:     Expand >>
  • Reviews of modern classics on the way  (13008 views)
       Christian Clemmensen - Sunday, September 27, 2009, at 2:11 p.m.
    •      Review update and modern classics rankings  (13362 views)    We're Here
         Christian Clemmensen - Sunday, February 21, 2010, at 10:01 a.m.

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