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January - August 2020
8/30/20 U.S. Marshals   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only on the 2020 expanded presentation to appreciate the highlights of Jerry Goldsmith's consistently driven action and suspense rhythms for piano, snare, and electronics.
Avoid it... if you have little patience for the composer's predictable and pedestrian tendencies in this genre during the 1990's, this work highly derivative in motif and lacking distinctive personality.
8/23/20 Darkman   (Danny Elfman)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you just can't get enough tortured tragedy out of Danny Elfman's music for Batman and wouldn't mind a re-hash of its suspense motifs and action mode in a lesser-quality rendition.
Avoid it... if you appreciate Elfman's early action brooding but seek an interesting variation on that style, for Darkman really struggles to establish its own identity in this period of the composer's career.
8/8/20 Iron Will   (Joel McNeely)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if wholesome children's adventure music for dynamic orchestral tonality is a predictable winner for you, Joel McNeely offering several strong themes and a compelling narrative in this score.
Avoid it... if temp track emulation severely bothers you in every instance, for John Williams and Bruce Broughton are extremely (and sometimes obnoxiously) clear inspirations for nearly every facet of this work.
7/31/20 Star Trek   (Michael Giacchino)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have forgiven Michael Giacchino for boldly going to a style of striking action and simplistically obvious main theme that totally refreshed the musical style of the franchise.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear any satisfying semblance of fantasy or the heart of tradition in Giacchino's first "Star Trek" score or if you desire an album release that represents the choral mixes you hear in the film.
7/24/20 Minority Report   (John Williams)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have no qualms about John Williams looking for inspiration in the noir scores of yesteryear for a futuristic thriller, even if that technique yields music less interesting than it could have been.
Avoid it... especially on the longer album option if you purchase Williams' scores simply for their typical harmonic resonance, because Minority Report is short on thematic appeal and long on dissonant suspense.
1/19/20 Bram Stoker's Dracula   (Wojciech Kilar)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if blatantly morbid melodrama of the highest order, complete with excessively pounding percussive rhythms, brooding bass strings, and bloated choral chanting, is the quickest path to the darker corners of your heart.
Avoid it... if the grandest gothic tone and genuinely Eastern European style of the mythical vampire genre doesn't impress you unless all of its components are assembled in a tightly cohesive and functional whole.
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