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November - December 2020
12/27/20 100 Rifles   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you delight in Jerry Goldsmith's darkly dissonant and richly textured Western action mode that tests you with its often harsh and brutal tone.
Avoid it... if you'd prefer to be entertained by romantic Western stereotypes without feeling the need to study any of Goldsmith's multi-cultural intricacies in this case.
12/20/20 Stargate SG-1   (Joel Goldsmith/Richard Band/Various)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2001 GNP Crescendo album if you desire a satisfyingly comprehensive selection of original music from the first season of the show.
Avoid it... on either the 1997 or 2017 albums, the former a repetitive rearrangement of material from David Arnold's original film score and the latter a sparsely rendered shell of what this concept's music once was.
12/12/20 Filmtracks announces its 2019 award nominees and winners
Filmtracks celebrates the best film music of 2019 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 2019 are:
Godzilla: King of the Monsters  (Bear McCreary)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World  (John Powell)
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil  (Geoff Zanelli/Various)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker  (John Williams)
Traumfabrik  (Philipp Noll)
Visit the 2019 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.
12/4/20 Masquerade Hotel   (Naoki Sato)
All New Review
Buy it... if you appreciate the immensity of Naoki Sato's more engaging works, the composer staying true to form with his overtly melodramatic mannerisms for this glitzy, overstated murder mystery.
Avoid it... if you lack patience for Sato's resoundingly wet, reverb-friendly mixes and his tendency to needlessly repeat the same phrasing and orchestrations without adequate variation within his works.
11/28/20 Cliffs of Freedom   (George Kallis)
All New Review
Buy it... if you appreciate ambitious scores for historical ethnic epics, George Kallis providing a wealth of symphonic force, thematic development, and exotic flavor for this doomed film.
Avoid it... if you become frustrated by scores that introduce so many themes that several of the best don't receive adequate development for you, this entry offering a wealth of riches almost too complicated for its own good.
11/22/20 Traumfabrik   (Philipp Noll)
All New Review
Buy it... if heartwarming romance scores with touching themes highlighted by piano and choir are your ticket to happiness, this work an impressive breakthrough for young German composer Philipp Noll.
Avoid it... if you loathe unpredictable interludes of over-the-top parody music, for this film required a unique collection of source-like score cues to represent the movies being produced on screen.
11/15/20 A Hidden Life   (James Newton Howard)
All New Review
Buy it... for the gorgeous, lyrical, and intimate romanticism of James Newton Howard's main theme for this otherwise understated but still accomplished score.
Avoid it... if the melodic portions of The Village and Defiance failed to capture your heart, for A Hidden Life matches their highlights, albeit briefly.
11/7/20 Terminator: Dark Fate   (Tom Holkenborg)
All New Review
Buy it... if you have a high tolerance for the flailing redundancy of this franchise and its music, Tom Holkenborg basically sufficing but not always excelling at resurrecting the concept's most famous thematic identities.
Avoid it... if you still await a composer who can provide the heartbreaking main theme for Sarah Connor with proper, authentic dramatism in the face of tired "slash, slur, and clang" techniques for each successive terminator foe.
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