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March/April 2017
4/30/17 The Haunted Mansion   (Mark Mancina)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2016 Intrada set if you have fond memories of the Disney attraction's morbidly alluring music, Mark Mancina faithfully extending the gothic sound of the rides into the cinematic adaptation.
Avoid it... on Disney's insufficient 20-minute promotional score album from the time of the film's release, Mancina's impressively melodic, well-orchestrated work deserving far better than any short summary.
4/23/17 Hellboy   (Marco Beltrami)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you desire one of Marco Beltrami's most rounded and entertaining career achievements, extending his orchestral and choral talents to both majestic and carnival-like ends in an alternately quirky and awesome superhero score.
Avoid it... on the original 2004 album at all costs unless you desire badly incomplete film score presentations and obnoxious clicking sounds; seek only the outstanding 2016 expansion if you have any interest in this music.
4/16/17 The Omen   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you seek the source of the majority of horror soundtrack cliches utilized by countless composers after 1976, because The Omen is an extremely intelligent, groundbreaking, and brutal work of art.
Avoid it... if you try not to be challenged by your film music experiences on album, especially in such an oppressive and mean-spirited manner as this.
4/9/17 Star Trek Beyond   (Michael Giacchino)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have awaited Michael Giacchino's addition of the sadly missing romantic element into his "Star Trek" scores, joined in this third entry by a few nostalgic glances backward to the scores of Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner.
Avoid it... if you require strong new thematic identities in your "Star Trek" scores, the majority of new ideas by Giacchino for this score a mixture of elusive, unnecessary, derivative, and ineffective.
4/2/17 Rambo: First Blood Part II   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the definitive 2016 Intrada album if you're driven by Jerry Goldsmith's relentless action of the 1980's, with outstanding adaptations of his themes from First Blood serving as highlights of the sequel score.
Avoid it... if you have been previously annoyed by Goldsmith's mid-80's scores that feature extremely harsh tones in the prominent mix of grating synthetic rhythms.
3/26/17 Filmtracks announces its 2016 award nominees and winners
Filmtracks celebrates the best film music of 2016 with its annual nominees and winners in the categories of "Top Film Scores," "Top Composers," and "Top Film Cues." The nominees for "Top Film Scores" in 2016 are:
Alice Through the Looking Glass  (Danny Elfman)
Assassination Classroom: Graduation  (Naoki Sato)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  (James Newton Howard)
The Jungle Book  (John Debney)
Tale of a Lake (Järven Tarina)  (Panu Aaltio)
Visit the 2016 Awards section to view the winners (and other categories). For more information about these awards or to view the results from previous years, browse the Filmtracks Awards index page.
3/17/17 Assassination Classroom: Graduation   (Naoki Sato)
All New Review
Buy it... if you appreciate the schizophrenic nature of Naoki Sato's pop-culture scores, this one supplying twenty minutes of extremely attractive melodic grace amongst its rocking action.
Avoid it... if you have been particularly unimpressed with Sato's ability to jam hard rock, sensitive piano, orchestral action, and ambient electronic suspense into the same score, this one requiring some patience to appreciate in its whole.
3/11/17 Pete's Dragon   (Daniel Hart)
All New Review
Buy it... if there is no such thing as too heavy a dose of schmaltz in your children's adventure scores, Daniel Hart infusing a satisfyingly emotional narrative to his occasionally overblown score.
Avoid it... if you reject the mere premise of this remake, because nothing of the affable 1977 soundtrack survives in this impressively executed but potentially shallow, workmanlike effort.
3/2/17 Tale of a Lake   (Panu Aaltio)
All New Review
Buy it... if you can't miss one of the most accomplished nature documentary film scores in the history of the genre, a sonic delight that easily transcends Panu Aaltio's prior work in the franchise.
Avoid it... if you have little tolerance for the necessary leaps in tone and style required from cue to cue in this genre, because although Aaltio masterfully weaves his themes through these changing scenes, you still have to accept the occasionally jarring transitions.
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