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Filmtracks On Cue

On Cue for June, 2004:

6/30/04 - Fierce Creatures: (Jerry Goldsmith) --Expanded Review-- "When it was announced that a pseudo-sequel to the modern legend A Fish Called Wanda would be made by the exact same starring and supporting cast, the peasants of the world rejoiced. John Cleese's writing talents are among the best in the world, and both critical and fan response to the first film were overwhelming. With A Fish Called Wanda gaining more cult status with each passing year, Cleese created Fierce Creatures, a film that presents the original actors in nearly identical roles with equally bizarre character flaws. Unfortunately, Cleese's story wasn't as sharp as that of the original, and the sequel slipped into relative obscurity while the original continues to impress. The composer of the original film's score, John Du Prez, had been associated with Cleese since the Monty Python days, and had a knack for scoring dumb, if not cultish comedy films. Du Prez had provided a perfect musical fit for the first film, with snazzy urban rhythms yielding occasionally to cello solos for short scenes of drama and remorse...." *** Read the entire review.

6/27/04 - Species: (Christopher Young) --Expanded Review-- "Among alien horror stories set on Earth, Species is a little more campy in its sexuality and plentiful in the area of loose ends, and the story's popularity would lead to a sequel. Assisting actress Natasha Henstridge in her journey to cult film fame, Species was a college town kind of film. That made it perfect, of course, for composer Christopher Young, who has made a living in the horror genre from college to the mainstream. When thinking of a mental sound that summarizes Young's stereotypical horror compositions, Species is very consistent with that sound. Its combination of chilling beauty and stark, striking horror cues shows Young at his most romantic in the horror genre and continues to establish him as an artist who can switch between tonal harmony and dissonant chaos in a moment's notice. For Species, you have two twists on an otherwise normal horror outing for Young: first, the element of outer space adds the necessity for some wondrous cues of scientific discovery..." *** Read the entire review.

6/22/04 - Once Upon a Forest: (James Horner) --Expanded Review-- "At the height of his compositions for children's films, James Horner's Once Upon a Forest came right on the heals of We're Back: A Dinosaurs Story and hit audiences just before The Pagemaster. While many Horner collectors consider The Land Before Time to be the composer's greatest (and, ironically, earliest) children's film score, Horner peaked in his output for the genre in 1993, and by 1995, he would finish with the genre all together. Critics of Horner's collective mass of music for the genre often state that all of these scores are re-hashes and re-arrangements of each other, and, truth be told, the only way to evaluate them is to compare them to one another. That said, Once Upon a Forest is among the better of them. The Fox and Hanna-Barbera production followed the dying trend of combining talking animals with traditional animation, a method of packing kids into theatres that started ten years earlier and was giving way to better technologies...." **** Read the entire review.

6/12/04 - Fly Away Home: (Mark Isham) --All New Review-- "Every once in a while, you get a combination of director, cinematographer, and composer that works so splendidly that the resulting beauty on screen captivates audiences of all ages. Fly Away Home is one such example, with the 1996 film offering the rewarding tale of a girl who has lost her mother and regains her vitality by adopting a flock of geese at her estranged father's large property. With the geese refusing to migrate properly (because of course, the little girl doesn't get up and fly south herself), the girl and her father use an ultralight plane to teach the young birds how to fly and begin their migration. It's a semi-true tale that culminates in the exhilarating journey through a flight at the end of the film that is saturated with wholesome sentimentality (in the days before American homeland security would chase them out of the air). It's an ultimate feel-good story, and composer Mark Isham plays his role in extending the fuzzy feelings through his score...." ***** Read the entire review.

6/6/04 - Two Brothers: (Stephen Warbeck) --All New Review-- "In the style of a documentary drama/adventure, director and producer Jean-Jacques Annaud extends his approach from his similar film, The Bear, into an even more engaging, dialogue-filled tale for Two Brothers. Annaud, who seems to handle animal films with intense passion, utilizes two live tigers in the film --not being tempted to resort to Hollywood trickery and CGI effects for the animals-- and merges their personal tale with a normal compliment of human actors. The story is as touching as something you'd see National Geographic produce for the Discovery Channel or Hallmark productions (early rumors that National Geographic would produce or distribute Two Brothers were false; Universal is giving it a wide release). Two tiger brothers are born in the 1920's Far East, separated by humans for several years and forced into unnatural positions as pets and circus performers before, inevitably, the two reunite when the humans force them to fight. Despite that frightening reunion, the PG-rated film is aimed at families..." **** Read the entire review.

Page created 7/18/04, updated 7/22/04. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publishing). Copyright © 2004, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved. "Real Audio" logo and .ra are Copyright © 1996, Real Audio ( "Academy Awards" and the Oscar statue are ® AMPAS, 1996.