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 There are 460 Reviews Done 


46 pages: 1 2 3 ... 44 45 46 

John Williams - Terminal, The
Surprising and Welcome
By: PeteC
Date: 4 Aug 2016
Rating:

We are accustomed to hearing John Williams score films that are action packed or very emotional, so when hear something like this score, we can't help but be delighted. Like the film, the music takes us into a place that is new to us but the presentation makes it welcome. This is a welcome score.


Miklos Rozsa - Quo Vadis (1951)
A beautiful re-recording from Miklós Rózsa's Quo Vadis
By: ZeframCochrane
Date: 27 Jun 2016

The musical score by Miklós Rózsa is notable for its attention to historical authenticity. Rózsa incorporated a number of fragments of ancient Greek melodies into his own choral-orchestral score. New recordings were made by Rózsa with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1977) and by Nic Raine, conducting the City of Prague Philharmonic (2012)

This newly recorded 2 CD Collector’s Edition of the complete score features previously unreleased music (including the complete 7-minute “Burning of Rome” sequence and several cues that were dropped from the film), newly recorded in stunning and dynamic digital sound. From Nero’s songs to arena hymns, from powerful Roman marches and fanfares to a gorgeous love theme, from colorful music at the Roman Bacchanale to fiery music for the burning of Rome, from the exultant “Main Title” to the ecstatic “Finale” .Over 136 minutes of classic and glorious Rózsa, carefully reconstructed from the original studio scores by Leigh Phillips and excitingly performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Nic Raine. Bonus tracks include the premiere complete stereo recording of Rózsa’s Quo Vadis Suite.Quo Vadis is another superb reconstruction CD release.I like it.Sounds absolutely wonderful.


1 of 1 found this review helpful

Thomas Wander & Harald Kloser - Independence Day: Resurgence
Jon Broxton's review on MovieMusic
By: Dutchbat
Date: 24 Jun 2016
Rating:

The early reviews of Independence Day: Resurgence have not been kind but, then again, they weren’t especially great back in 1996 either. The original Independence Day is not a good film, by any stretch of the imagination. The dialogue is clunky, the acting is hammy, and some of the plot holes are big enough to pilot a spacecraft through, but what it did have was spectacle, heart, and buckets of good, old fashioned fun. The spectacle was provided via the astonishing visual effects, groundbreaking for the time, and the fun was inherent in the devil-may-care camaraderie between the lead actors, but the heart was entirely as a result of David Arnold’s score. Arnold wrote the best score of his career to date, and one of the best scores of the entire decade, for Independence Day, adding a level of energy, excitement, emotional release, and flag-waving patriotism that has not been replicated since. Emmerich and Arnold parted ways after their ‘professional disagreement’ on The Patriot in 2000 and have not worked together since; Emmerich’s composers of choice since then have been the Austrian-born composer/producer/writer Harald Kloser, and his countryman Thomas Wander, whose scores have entirely failed to emulate anything Arnold ever wrote. Such is the case again with Independence Day: Resurgence.

I always try to be fair in reviews, and only judge scores based on what they are, not what they are not, but the score for Independence Day: Resurgence is so disappointing it’s difficult not to make comparisons. Wander and Kloser have always been, for me, surface-level composers, technically competent enough to get the job done, but who never provide anything more satisfying than that in terms of thematic content, emotional nuance, or compositional excellence. They use a big orchestra, a choir, electronics, and all the bells and whistles that most composers have at their disposal these days, but their scores are instantly forgettable. I’m sitting here, right now, trying to recall a single note of The Day After Tomorrow, or 10,000 BC, or 2012, or White House Down, and I genuinely can’t do it. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that Independence Day: Resurgence will be exactly the same.

The score’s main theme is clearly modeled on Arnold’s theme from the original, featuring the same bright trumpet performances, Americana-inspired snare tattoos, and solemn-yet-stirring string accompaniment. It gets its first performance in “Great Speech,” and later appears prominently in cues such as “Fear,” “Welcome to the Moon,” “It’s Getting Real,” “Worth Fighting For,” and “Humanity’s Last Stand,” before receiving its final statement during the conclusive “Independence Day Resurgence Finale”. There’s nothing especially wrong with the theme; it ticks all the right emotional boxes, has a similar sense of broad boldness as Arnold’s theme, and even allows for some subtle variations involving lighter, prancing strings and woodwinds. The problem is that it’s just so unremarkable; I don’t like the word ‘generic’ because it’s over-used and often doesn’t fit the context when it’s describing something, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it. It sounds like a dozen other noble-patriotic themes from a dozen other films, without anything distinctive to make it stand out from the crowd.

The same goes for a great deal of the score’s tension and suspense sequences, which dominate the majority of the album’s middle section. String sustains, electronic tones, brass dissonances, and occasional groaning and whooshing sound effects typify cues like the opening “Traveling Through Space” and subsequent efforts such as “How Did They Get the Lights On,” “Inside the African Ship,” “The Only Family I Got,” “It’s a Trap,” and “The Queen Is Leaving,” among others. A couple of cues do feature some touches in the orchestration which make you sit up and take notice, like the unusual processed harp accents in “It’s Getting Real,” or the metallic sound effects in “The Sphere,” but these moments are few and far between. Clever touches in the orchestration, done purely at the whim of the composer to amuse him or herself, are things that can really elevate a score for me, and as such the comparative lack of ambition shown by Wander and Kloser in this regard is typical of the score as a whole.

Only occasionally do Wander and Kloser make any attempt at real, exciting action music. “More Stimulation” emerges into a dense action cue full of relentless string ideas, rampaging brass hits, and an action variation of the main theme at the end goes some way to developing a thematic core. Later, “The Friendly Spaceship” eventually emerges from its grating opening into a sequence for strident cello chords, aggressive and threatening, surrounded by some cool spacey ambiences that are well conceived. Towards the end of the score, “Bus Chase” harnesses the orchestra in its largest and most powerful statements, complete with choral chanting, trilling brass triplets, and even an unexpected allusion to Arnold’s 1998 Godzilla theme, although this is likely to be temp-track bleed-through. As good as these cues are, they are very much the exception rather than the rule, rendering far too much of the score inert and in need of an injection of adrenaline.

In “What Goes Up” Wander and Kloser introduce what appears to be a leitmotif for the alien invaders, a repetitive throbbing idea clearly modeled on James Newton Howard’s score for Signs, and which features some contemporary electronic textures, moments of cool interplay within the string section, and some all-too-brief woodwind ideas. This same motif appears later in “Flying Inside,” although its effectiveness here is undermined by the predictability of the suspense scoring elsewhere in the cue. There doesn’t appear to be a prominent theme for the film’s core romantic relationships – the closest it comes to having one is the quite pretty cello theme at the end of “Fear” – and its absence is keenly felt; the lack of this type of emotional content leaves the score feeling somewhat one-note, interested only in the action sequences and the heroic bombast, with no real human element to make the fight worth fighting.

Unfortunately, the score’s piece de resistance is also the thing which cements it’s final judgment: the inclusion of David Arnold’s full Independence Day theme into “We Are Rich,” and the score’s finale, “ID4 Reprise.” The outstanding quality of Arnold’s music throws Wander and Kloser’s score into sharp relief, underlines its shortcomings, and reminds the listener just how inferior this version is when compared to Arnold’s original. Compare the couple of themes in this score to the rich thematic depth of Arnold’s score. Compare the orchestrations here to the intricate and interesting arrangements that Nicholas Dodd brought to bear. Nothing in Independence Day: Resurgence comes close to the vivid intensity of action cues like “Firestorm” or “Base Attack,” or the tear-jerking heroism of “The President’s Speech,” and it’s a damning indictment when the best thing about this score is the music for its predecessor.

Taken on its own terms, parts of Independence Day: Resurgence are enjoyable enough. Some of the action music is compelling, and the main theme enjoys a few moments where it rises to the fore and spreads its valiant wings. Unfortunately, for far too much of its running time, the score is forgettable, predictable, and – shockingly, for a film of this nature – quite dull. Twenty years from now I highly doubt that Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser’s score will be enjoying expanded collectible CD releases, or will be performed live-to-picture in front of an enthusiastic orchestra, the way David Arnold’s was earlier this year. Again, I fully acknowledge that it was highly unlikely that any score would come close to surpassing the original 1996 masterpiece, and to judge it on those terms may be a little unfair, but for it to be this inferior is disappointing in the extreme.

1 of 1 found this review helpful

Leslie Bricusse - Scrooge
Not quite what you expect ...
By: Dragonel
Date: 22 Jun 2016
Rating:

The 1970 musical movie Scrooge, with music by Leslie Bricusse starred Albert Finney. As the soundtrack was never available on CD (rumors of legal issues) it was re-recorded in 2011 with the cast as listed on the album cover.

Like a "cover" of a famous record, these tracks remind me how good the original music was but never have quite the same sparkle.

1 of 1 found this review helpful

Clannad - Themes (Clannad)
Good Chillout Album
By: slartibafast
Date: 1 Jun 2016
Rating:

Clannad are an Irish Family with 2 Sisters of Moira Brennan and her most Famous Sister Enya (Real name Eithne Ni Bhraonain) who asked Enya to join Family Group after she studied Classical Music in Donegal and she Joined them for a short while but found it too Stifling she then went off on her own and got Commission from Sir David Putnam for the "Frog Prince" then the BBC asked her to do "The Celts. While with Family helped Write "Harrys Game" which was a Big success in the UK. Clannad then worte Music/Songs for TV "Robin of Sherwood" in the 80's. This album is good selection of Tunes they did over this whole period and is good to just Chillout too and let the Music carry you away


Ennio Morricone - Holocaust 2000
Sesso In Confessionale (Morricone)
By: markinboone
Date: 30 Mar 2016
Rating:

Sesso In Confessionale (1974, Sex in Confessional) is an Italian documentary film with a theologian, a psychologist, a sex therapist, and a journalist who discuss human sexuality. The Morricone score is described in Wikipedia as (Spanish autotranslated to English) "experimental . . . without any romantic melody, something that creates a harrowing environment." Indeed, Seq. 4 predominantly features a woman laughing over a percussive piano, trilling flutes, dissonant strings, grounded by an organ. Seq. 1 opens with jazz beat on the drums and becomes a sort of dialog between a cello and violin with other instrumental voices overheard in the background. Seq. 6 is an adagio with sustained tension in muted strings, piano, and drumset. Seq. 8 features strings with a solo violin mixed so it moves around the audio space. A harpsichord makes an appearance in Seq. 10 which has a driving rhythm. Seq. 11 opens with unintelligible muttering and whispers which give over to tremelo strings, a sudden forzando of the piano that ends abruptly returning to the muttering voices.


Bernhard Philipp Eder - Daydreamer
Where to purchase the soundtrack ;-)
By: bpewien
Date: 28 Mar 2016
Rating:

As I'm the composer of this music (which was nominated for Best Score at the Maverick Movie Awards 2015), it would be more than a bit biased to write a review in my own favor ;-)

But if you like this music and also would like to purchase the soundtrack (which would support me as well), please feel free to go

HERE

to get the complete soundtrack (as represented here on SST), the original sheet music (conducting score) and the shortfilm itself either as stream or download, including behind the scenes footage (also from the recording session)

Thank you very much,
best,
Bernhard

aka bpewien

3 of 3 found this review helpful

John Williams - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The best Collection
By: neo0078
Date: 16 Mar 2016
Rating:

Excelent Sound track!! I Love it

0 of 2 found this review helpful

Sheryl Crow, Rascal Flatts, Randy Newman - Cars
One cool vocal track, and then nothing special
By: LadyInque
Date: 25 Feb 2016
Rating:

Since my three-year-old has had me watch this movie about five times in the past two weeks, and listen to the soundtrack at least three, here comes my review. The movie itself is just okay. The visuals are dazzling at times, but the story is predictable and often dull. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the score.

I’ll be reviewing the album as presented here on SST, which is incomplete; many of the vocal tracks have not been added to the library. This is probably the right call. You can check out the missing tracks at Amazon. Some of them are oldies, used diegetically within the movie. Two others, “Our Town” and “Find Yourself,” seem to have been written for the movie, but I find them slow and sometimes preachy.

The two vocal tracks that remain are “Real Gone” and a cover of “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts. The latter is fun, if not remarkably different from the original by Tom Cochrane. “Real Gone,” on the other hand, was written for the movie by Sheryl Crow, and it rocks. I can see why it’s requested so often. It doesn’t hurt that this song opens the film, and plays under the most exciting, entertaining part of it.

The score is by Randy Newman, who has also written for Disney movies like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. What I found initially striking about these tracks is how short they are. It doesn’t seem like it would give the composer a lot of room to work. The movie plays up the contrast between the high-speed world of car racing and interstates, and the more leisurely pace of forgotten Route 66 America. So the score tracks tend to represent one side or the other.

The best racing track is probably “Opening Race,” which begins with a fanfare, but brings in different music styles, like an ’80s rock pastiche, to represent some of the different cars in the race. “The Piston Cup” does something similar, but not as well. “The Big Race” is the longest score track. So if you liked “Opening Race,” here’s more of it, with some of the nostalgia stuff thrown in to represent Doc’s return to racing. (Oh, don’t look like that; it’s hardly a spoiler.)

The nostalgia tracks in the middle are, to me, less interesting, and they underscore the more boring parts of the film. “Bessie” is a short, working-man’s blues. “Goodbye” is sad and wistful. Seriously, there are no surprises with these tracks. They get the job done, and they’re easy to listen to, and that’s about it.

Request: “Real Gone,” “Bessie,” “Opening Race.”


Howard Ashman Alan Menken - Little Shop Of Horrors
Suppertime is the best track!
By: Taxihunter
Date: 27 Jan 2016
Rating:

LadyInque wrote a wonderful review above. I would not waste any more keystrokes trying to convince anyone about the perfection of this musical.

My only beef: Suppertime is the perfect track to remind the viewer/listener exactly what the film is. A haunting melody with the most sublimely evil lyrics:

"Come on, come on,
Think about all those offers
Come on, come on,
Your future with Audrey
Come on, come on,
Ain't no time to turn squeamish
Come on, I swear on all my spores,
When he's gone the world will be yours..."

This is what the whole musical was about, and this song, while truly nightmarish, is what we are really watching in Little Shop of HORRORS: a horror film with great music & lyrics.

RIP Howard Ashman. You were a lyrical genius.


1 of 1 found this review helpful

46 pages: 1 2 3 ... 44 45 46 


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