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September - October 2020
10/28/20 Filmtracks endorses Joe Biden for American president
In his later years, comedian George Carlin intellectually postulated that humanity is beyond salvage (1996, 2007), but he took solace in the belief that the planet would eventually shake us off like a bad case of fleas. Looking at America in 2020, it's difficult not to agree.

Americans have Donald Trump as their president because a large portion of the country approves of white male property rights, minority rule, and authoritarian protectionism. People of all political sways share and retweet the garbage and propaganda they see on social media without critically thinking, hastening society's decline.

It is tempting to endorse Trump for president in 2020, because if you truly believe in the merits of the inevitable failure of the United States, then he accelerates that future. After all, Americans do love conflict and entropy, and as the fearful half of their society acquiesces to hate, let the more progressive portions coalesce and secede.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will not solve the country's incurable divisions, but they will allow America the time to breathe, ponder, and better prepare for the outcome of its demographic warfare. If the American experiment is destined to end by its own, ill-educated hands, then the demise Carlin predicted may as well be thoughtful and orderly.

Filmtracks endorses Biden for president because of a possibly misguided flicker of hope that younger, secular, and diverse generations will be elevated to guide the country to this better place. But don't expect that to happen until Americans on all sides learn how to ignore the manipulative algorithms of social media and shake their fear of unavoidable cultural shifts.

So vote, Americans! That is, if Trump allows you to.

-- Christian Clemmensen, Filmtracks owner and editor
10/21/20 Stargate   (David Arnold)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're ready for a triumphant return to the romantic, epic scores of Hollywood's Golden Age, a breakthrough effort from an upstart David Arnold that laid the foundation for his future success.
Avoid it... if you demand consistent quality from all corners of this score, its second half remaining a step behind the similarly rendered score for Independence Day and Arnold's other subsequent orchestral work.
10/14/20 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle   (Henry Jackman/Various)
All New Review
Buy it... if formulaic, workmanlike adventure/fantasy music for orchestra and choir suffices for the occasion, this entry taking more than a little inspiration from Alan Silvestri.
Avoid it... if you demand catchy themes and convincing depth to the fantasy element, for Henry Jackman and his team offer significant narrative development but little memorable appeal.
10/8/20 Jack the Bear   (James Horner)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you already have James Horner scores like Unlawful Entry and Once Around on your shelves, because Jack the Bear resides comfortably as a subdued cross between the two.
Avoid it... if you expect all your softly dramatic scores from Horner to pull at the heart strings, because the low volume and lack of spirit in this score fail to accomplish that task.
10/1/20 Saving Private Ryan   (John Williams)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you are a true John Williams collector, for Saving Private Ryan is among the maestro's less engaging and repetitive stand-alone listening experiences.
Avoid it... if you expect more than faint hints of the dramatic weight of the music for Schindler's List or the dynamic, resonating appeal of Williams' other famous scores for Steven Spielberg's films.
9/24/20 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King   (Howard Shore)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2007 or 2018 complete sets if you seek one of the best scores of the digital age of film music in a DVD-quality presentation that will, if you are properly equipped, stun both you and the people living down the street.
Avoid it... on the 2007 or 2018 complete sets if you do not use a surround sound system for your regular listening enjoyment and would prefer, in terms of content, the 72-minute 2003 album of highlights from the score.
9/19/20 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers   (Howard Shore)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2006 or 2018 complete sets if you seek one of the best scores of the digital age of film music in a DVD-quality presentation that will, if you are properly equipped, stun both you and the people living down the street.
Avoid it... on the 2006 or 2018 complete sets if you do not use a surround sound system for your regular listening enjoyment and would prefer, in terms of content, the 73-minute 2002 album of highlights from the score.
9/14/20 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring   (Howard Shore)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2005 or 2018 complete sets if you seek one of the best scores of the digital age of film music in a DVD-quality presentation that will, if you are properly equipped, stun both you and the people living down the street.
Avoid it... on the 2005 or 2018 complete sets if you do not use a surround sound system for your regular listening enjoyment and would prefer, in terms of content, the 70-minute 2001 album of highlights from the score.
9/7/20 The Thin Red Line   (Hans Zimmer/Various)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you appreciated the restrained and brooding atmosphere of the music as you heard it in the film, for The Thin Red Line is not a score to effectively approach without context.
Avoid it... if you expect any of the score's meandering themes to combine with the Melanesian songs featured in the film to form a clear and compelling narrative beyond the work's blunted demeanor.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Page created 9/7/20 (and not updated structurally since).
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