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July/August 2018
8/31/18 Alien Nation   (Jerry Goldsmith/Curt Sobel)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you either demand every incarnation of Jerry Goldsmith's classic theme from The Russia House or were among the minority to appreciate the composer's equally synthetic futuristic detective score for Runaway.
Avoid it... if you seek otherwise interesting and distinctive music from Goldsmith or replacement Curt Sobel in either of their badly dated, underachieving scores for this forgettable film.
8/19/18 The Missouri Breaks   (John Williams)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you are trying to complete a John Williams film score collection and are fully prepared for perhaps his most eccentric and dysfunctional genre-bending effort.
Avoid it... if the idea of 1970's pop rhythms and instrumentation in conjunction with comical Western honky-tonk elements seems like a recipe for disaster to you; this score has always struggled to appeal because of its bizarre personality.
8/2/18 Titanic   (James Horner)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you somehow missed the engrossing phenomenon when it debuted in 1997 and you have an open mind about what is commonly considered (and ridiculed) as the most famous and romantic film score of the digital era.
Avoid it... if even the price of $0.01 for the first Titanic album on the used-CD market cannot entice you to explore the James Horner new-age triumph that resulted in the best-selling film score album in history.
7/15/18 Ed Wood   (Howard Shore)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you are familiar with the film and seek an outstanding companion piece to the Ed Wood experience, in which case Howard Shore's music (along with dialogue from the film) will be equally entertaining.
Avoid it... if you're investigating the score blindly, because even enthusiasts of B-rate 1950's sci-fi and horror schlock may find this throwback score too challenging in its often grating authenticity for casual enjoyment.
7/9/18 The Blue Planet (TV)   (George Fenton)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you seek the impressive symphonic score that inspired George Fenton's glorious music for the subsequent nature productions Deep Blue and Planet Earth.
Avoid it... if the lighter, acoustic side of The Blue Planet, far more prevalent here than in those subsequent works, fragments the listening experience too badly to justify the purchase of material that was improved upon for Deep Blue anyway.
7/1/18 Beauty and the Beast (1991)   (Alan Menken/Howard Ashman)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the definitive 2018 expanded set if you want only the best that the animated musical genre has to offer, for Beauty and the Beast is arguably the top such film of all time.
Avoid it... on the 1991 or 2001 albums if you seek a decently mastered or satisfyingly complete presentation of Alan Menken's melodically rich score for the film.
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