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November/December 2015
12/27/15 Ladyhawke   (Andrew Powell)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you still have big hair and can't get enough of that sickeningly upbeat, early-80's Alan Parsons Project keyboard and guitar sound, in this case paired with often meek orchestral consolation to the topic of this film.
Avoid it... on any album if you were as horrified by the inappropriateness of the score in the film as 98% of the public, for the expanded presentations on successive products for Ladyhawke only extend the agony further.
12/13/15 Outbreak   (James Newton Howard)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you consistently enjoy James Newton Howard's diverse percussion work and more muscular action material, both of which presented well on the 2015 expanded set of music from this film.
Avoid it... on the original 1995 album at all costs, because much of the memorable action material that compensates for the score's weak thematic stance is missing from that short commercial release.
12/5/15 A.I. Artificial Intelligence   (John Williams)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're intrigued by a score so emotionally conflicted that it is almost too bittersweet to love but too lovely to ignore, in which case the full 2015 set is an undeniable attraction for your intellectual consideration.
Avoid it... if you were offended by the bleak outlook on humanity exhibited in the film's harrowingly illogical plot, for John Williams accentuates the contrast between love and despair with melodrama that nearly crushes the score with its own weight.
11/29/15 Spy   (Theodore Shapiro)
All New Review
Buy it... for its entertaining play on the vintage James Bond title song and select individual moments in its competent but not particularly memorable Theodore Shapiro score.
Avoid it... if you expect Shapiro to really let rip with a full-fledged Bond parody score, his romance and action sequences rather tepid and favoring a more generic thriller genre ambience.
11/15/15 Chain Reaction   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're interested in exploring a slightly more romantic, optimistic, and instrumentally varied take Jerry Goldsmith's concurrently written and otherwise similar Executive Decision.
Avoid it... if any strictly procedural variation on merely average Goldsmith action material fails to compete with the composer's rich library of successful scores in the genre, a 2015 expanded product for this score a laborious experience.
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