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5. LOTR: The Two Towers (2018)
Filmtracks On Cue

On Cue for March, 2006:

3/31/06 - Music for a Darkened Theatre: Volume II: (Danny Elfman) --Expanded Review-- "The early 1990's arguably represent the pinnacle of composer Danny Elfman's achievements in film music. In the shadows of Batman, the rocker turned composer cranked out scores that have either earned him millions (Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas) or have continued to earn the quiet respect of film music critics across the board (Black Beauty and Sommersby). The first "Music for a Darkened Theatre" compilation was released in 1990 just as Elfman fans were experiencing the zeal of discovering a fantastic new talent in the genre, and the single album contained tracks from his earliest days through Darkman, Nightbreed, and Dick Tracy. By late 1996, Elfman had matured into a A-class composer in Hollywood and had already begun his transition from his gothic, symphonic efforts to the more electronic and percussive sorts that better reflected his pre-orchestral scoring days. Just as Mars Attacks! was hitting the theatres..." ***** Read the entire review.

3/28/06 - Nightbreed: (Danny Elfman) --Expanded Review-- "Based on his novella titled "Cabal," horror writer Clive Barker teamed with horror director David Cronenberg to make Nightbreed, though the film's mortal mistake is the fact that Barker was directing his adaptation of his script and Cronenberg was in a lifeless acting role in front of the camera. To try to describe the plot of Nightbreed would do injustice to the metaphysical division in the film between the living and the undead, though it should suffice to say that Nightbreed is a significantly less gory and slightly more romantic variation on Barker's Hellraiser ideas that were translated to screen just a few years earlier. While the plot and acting of Nightbreed was certainly not destined to win any awards, the visual effects and make-up were, as usual, top notch... with monsters of all sorts existing in the nether regions between Hell and the land of the living. The music for Barker's universe was clearly defined with great success by Christopher Young for Hellraiser, though Danny Elfman's take on the Barker universe..." *** Read the entire review.

3/25/06 - Darkman: (Danny Elfman) --Expanded Review-- "Long before composer Danny Elfman would team with director Sam Raimi for the highly successful first two Spider-Man films, there came the very early Raimi film Darkman, the start of the director/producer's fascination with comic book heroes. After the massive success of Batman in 1989 --for both the fate of comic book characters on the big screen and for Elfman in that genre-- a significant number of other adaptations began to flow into theatres throughout the 1990's. Interestingly, Darkman was one of the few not to be based on a historical character. Instead of adapting an existing character, Raimi and a host of writers concocted the story of Dr. Peyton Westlake, a talented scientist experimenting with synthetic skin who is left for dead (and badly mangled) after hitmen destroy his lab. In the process, Westlake's nerves are altered by doctors and he achieves both superhuman strength and uncontrollable rage. Obsessed with the destruction of his enemies, as well as the lost love of his girlfriend, the Darkman goes about his revenge..." ** Read the entire review.

3/22/06 - Filmtracks has been forced to cancel its current Cue Clue Contest because its sponsor has gone out of business. While the Family Recordings label was chosen as the recipient of the publicity for this contest, the contest was arranged for Craig Armstrong and that label by Studio Distribution, a New York distributor for mainly electronic/dance music labels. Studio Distribution, which distributed and publicized the release of Armstrong's recent "Film Works" album, closed its doors on March 1st, leaving many contracts with labels and stores in limbo. With these larger logistical problems looming, the trustees for Studio Distribution have failed to pay on their advertising agreement at Filmtracks, and have also failed to provide the means of compensating Filmtracks so that we can mutually meet the needs of the Cue Clue Contest. The signing representative on the contract between Studio Distribution and Filmtracks has been laid off, and all attempts by Filmtracks to rectify the situation have been frustrated. Thus, it is with great sadness that the January/February Filmtracks Cue Clue Contest has been cancelled. The statistics and identities of the clips have been posted on the Cool Stuff page. Filmtracks will endeavor to partner with only established sponsors (such as Universal and Sony in past contests) for future Cue Clue Contests, as to avoid unfortunate circumstances such as this one.

3/19/06 - Mission: Impossible: (Danny Elfman) --Expanded Review-- "In the film that confirmed Tom Cruise as an international action star, director Brian De Palma revises the classic Mission: Impossible television series and produces a hit on screen that would spawn two sequels. In the world of techno-gadgets, the computer has revolutionized the world of espionage, and the 1990's were the time to take advantage of that excitement in De Palma fashion; the lives of super-agents and double-agents benefit well from De Palma's sense of style-over-story, though despite the film's spectacular visual elements, the somewhat incomprehensible story caused many movie-goers to scratch their heads. The labyrinth of character relations, sub-plots, and technological ideas do thankfully yield in the end to sensational chase sequences that saves the film. The emphasis on style over plot is one that would seemingly have translated easily into the musical underscore for the film, but it didn't. Originally writing and recording a score..." ** Read the entire review.

3/16/06 - Mars Attacks!: (Danny Elfman) --Expanded Review-- "It's hard to really figure out if Tim Burton was trying to make a film better or worse than Mars Attacks!, for in either case, the picture would have succeeded better. Never receiving a glowing response from critics and blown off in the end by viewers, Burton's tribute to the schlocky B-minus films of Ed Wood and others in the 1950's sci-fi genre (as well as being inspired by a series of old Topps bubble gum cards) tried just a little too hard to actually be good... to be above its own material. And therein lies the main reason for the film's downfall: the combination of a spectacular cast, magnificent special effects, overdone gore, and a refusal by Burton to allow the film to take flight with its parody lines cause Mars Attacks! to be nothing more than a bizarre spectacle. It's intriguing, but completely defocused and lacking in genuine character development that is still necessary for even films like this to make you care...." ** Read the entire review.

3/13/06 - Nine Months: (Hans Zimmer) --Expanded Review-- "Would anybody really have paid attention to Nine Months in the summer of 1995 (when theatres were full of many outstanding films that season) if its heartthrob star, Hugh Grant, wasn't caught in a car with a Hollywood hooker of dubious gender? In the process of experiencing thousands of young and middle-aged women standing in streets with big sandwich-board signs saying "I would have done it for free, Hugh!," the movie turned out to be a moderate success at the box office. Director Chris Columbus adapted Nine Months himself from the French screenplay "Neuf Mois" and attempted to once again use individually hilarious scenes to float his newest film the same way both Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire had captured immense audience interest. The problem with Nine Months, however, was that Columbus attempted to combine the slapstick comedy common in his films with a dramatic look at issues involving pregnancy. The stellar supporting cast stole the show..." *** Read the entire review.

3/10/06 - Deep Blue: (George Fenton) --Updated Review-- "At the start of the 2000's, the BBC television series The Blue Planet took the world by storm, featuring IMAX-sized visuals of the oceans' wonders and selling in great numbers once available. Richard Attenborough's narration and George Fenton's score for The Blue Planet, along with the wondrous vistas, made that film the success it was. For the 2004 expansion of the The Blue Planet concept, a major documentary feature film from BBC Worldwide and Greenlight Media entitled Deep Blue was made as a normal cinema counterpart for the television series. The film has slowly been debuting across the globe and Miramax has reportedly acquired Deep Blue for North American release in early 2005. It is a $5 million production which used twenty specialized camera teams, shooting more than 7,000 hours of footage at over 200 locations around the world and descending as far as 5,000 meters in the most powerful submersible craft available. Sporadically used narration by Sir Michael Gambon replaces Attenborough's voice..." ***** Read the entire review.

3/5/06 - Gustavo Santaolalla has won the Academy Award for "Best Score" at the 2006 Oscar ceremonies for Brokeback Mountain. This is the Argentinean musician/producer's first nomination and win. Also nominated for 2005 were Alberto Iglesias for The Constant Gardner, Dario Marianelli for Pride & Prejudice, and John Williams for both Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich. Williams now maintains 45 nominations with only 5 wins. Itzhak Perlman performed all of the scores' themes live on stage, while composer Bill Conti served as the orchestra pit conductor for the 18th time. Share your thoughts on Santaolalla's Oscar win at the ScoreBoard Forum...

3/4/06 - Henry V: (Patrick Doyle) --Expanded Review-- "Through both luck and talent, Patrick Doyle shed his acting career in 1989 and became a full-time composer. The vehicle for this transition was Henry V, a project that proved to be equally important for Kenneth Branagh and the subsequent revival of the works of Shakespeare on the big screen in he 1990's. While in retrospect, the Henry V score exposes some of the simplicities that will be evident in any composer's first major recording for film, it also exists as early evidence of Doyle's vast potential in the composing field. Based on the "Non nobis Domine" theme, the score would culminate in the choral rendition of that theme, led by Doyle in the film himself, and immediately launching the novice composer to his first awards recognition. The score may not be as interesting in complexity of layers or instrumentation that film score collectors would hear from Doyle in the decades thereafter, but Henry V still commands respect today from both his fans and more casual collectors of film music. It remains as one of Doyle's better execution of brass..." **** Read the entire review.

3/1/06 - Shipwrecked: (Patrick Doyle) --Expanded Review-- "It's not often that a composer storms the mainstream of moviegoers' attention with the gusto of Patrick Doyle; in 1989, his score for Henry V was a pleasant surprise from out of nowhere, and immediate fans of the composer would look to Shipwrecked about a year later, Doyle's second feature film work, for a continuation of that quality. The project was produced in Norway under the name of O.V. Falck-Ytter's original book, Haakon Haakonsen, and hit the theatres there in 1990. Disney purchased the film for distribution in America, where it debuted in March of 1991 without much fanfare. Despite the misconception that this children's film was an animated venture, the film was the unfortunate live-action offering alongside Beauty and the Beast at the time, and it's no wonder why Shipwrecked (the American name for the film) slipped by unnoticed. Despite receiving warm reviews from critics, Shipwrecked has even been neglected fifteen years later in the larger DVD realm..." *** Read the entire review.

Page created 4/1/06, updated 4/2/06. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publishing). Copyright © 2006, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved. "Real Audio" logo and .ra are Copyright © 1996, Real Audio ( "Academy Awards" and the Oscar statue are ® AMPAS, 1996.