La-La Land has announced their currently planned schedule of releases for this month.
This week the label is releasing an expanded two-disc 25th anniversary edition of James Horner's score for CASPER, the lavish live-action 1995 film version of the beloved cartoon character, directed by Brad Silberling and starring Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty and Eric Idle; and Larry Groupe's score for the war docudrama THE OUTPOST (previously announced as a July release).
On August 25 they plan to release Devin Burrows' score for the 2020 horror film THE WRETCHED, as well as two soundtracks for small-screen animated superhero stories inspired by DC Comics, TEEN TITANS GO! VS. TEEN TITANS (music by Jason Lazarus) and YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS (by Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis).
Intrada has announced an entirely unexpected upcoming soundtrack CD, release date unspecified, featuring a never-before-released score by one of film music's most beloved and respected composers. For more information go to this Message Board thread.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Casper - James Horner - La-La Land
Oferenda a la tormenta - Fernando Velazquez - Quartet
The Order - Pino Donaggio - Quartet
The Outpost - Larry Groupe - La-La Land
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (re-release) - Joel McNeely - Varese Sarabande
The Last Dalai Lama? - Philip Glass, Tenzin Choegyal - Orange Mountain
The Last of Us Part II - Gustavo Santaolalla, Mac Quayle - Sony (import)
Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans - Jason Lazarus - La-La Land
The Wretched - Darin Burrows - La-La Land
Young Justice: Outsiders - Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis - La-La Land
Outlander: Season 5 - Bear McCreary - Sony
Hackers - Simon Boswell, songs - Varese Sarabande
Open 24 Hours - Holly Amber Church - Notefornote
Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street - Alexander Taylor - Notefornote
Alan Howarth Live at Hollywood Theater - Alan Howarth, John Carpenter - Buysoundtrax
All Against All - Kristian Sensini - Kronos
Der Bestatter - Raphael Benjamin Meyer - Alhambra
Gina and Chantal - Joris Hermy - Kronos
Lady Beware - Craig Safan - Dragon's Domain
Man at the Top - Roy Budd - Caldera
One Potato, Two Potato - Gerald Fried - Caldera
The Peter Bernstein Collection vol. 1 - Peter Bernstein - Dragon's Domain
Scacco Alla Regina - Piero Piccioni - Cinevox
Sins of Jezebel - Bert Shefter - Kronos
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
August 7 - Alfred Newman begins recording his adaptations of Jerome Kern songs for Centennial Summer (1945)
August 7 - David Raksin begins recording his score for The Man with a Cloak (1951)
August 7 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score for Her Twelve Men (1953)
August 7 - Gerald Fried records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Trek” (1967)
August 7 - Walter Scharf records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Assassin” (1967)
August 7 - Joseph Kosma died (1969)
August 7 - Jerry Fielding begins recording his score to The Mechanic (1972)
August 7 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for All I Want for Christmas (1991)
August 7 - Roy Budd died (1993)
August 7 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Deep Rising (1997)
August 7 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Scorpion, Part II” (1997)
August 8 - Victor Young born (1900)
August 8 - Benny Carter born (1907)
August 8 - Arthur Morton born (1908)
August 8 - Axel Stordahl born (1913)
August 8 - Pete King born (1914)
August 8 - Basil Kirchin born (1927)
August 8 - Nathan Wang born (1956)
August 8 - Stefano Mainetti born (1957)
August 8 - Louis Levy died (1957)
August 8 - Fred Steiner records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Space Primevals" (1967)
August 8 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Capricorn One (1977)
August 9 - Recording sessions begin for Hugo Friedhofer’s score for Seven Cities of Gold (1955)
August 9 - Alexander Courage records his score for the Lost in Space episode "Wild Adventure" (1966)
August 9 - Leith Stevens records his score for the Lost in Space episode "Blast Off into Space" (1966)
August 9 - George Duning's score for the Star Trek episode "And the Children Shall Lead" is recorded (1968)
August 9 - Dmitri Shostakovich died (1975)
August 9 - Patrick Williams begins recording his score for Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1978)
August 9 - Andre Hossein died (1983)
August 9 - Peter Matz died (2002)
August 9 - David Raksin died (2004)
August 9 - Tony Mottola died (2004)
August 10 - Brian Easdale born (1909)
August 10 - Mischa Bakaleinikoff died (1960)
August 10 - Ennio Morricone begins recording his score for So Fine (1981)
August 10 - Isaac Hayes died (2008)
August 11 - Ron Grainer born (1922)
August 11 - Raymond Leppard born (1927)
August 11 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for The Light Touch (1951)
August 11 - Joe Jackson born (1954)
August 11 - Richard Shores begins recording his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Eccentrics” (1966)
August 11 - Bill Conti begins recording his score for Five Days from Home (1977)
August 11 - Toby Chu born (1977)
August 11 - Don Davis begins recording his score for The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
August 12 - David Lee born (1926)
August 12 - David Munrow born (1942)
August 12 - Victor Young begins recording his score for The Accused (1948)
August 12 - Mark Knopfler born (1949)
August 12 - Pat Metheny born (1954)
August 12 - Peter Peter born (1960)
August 12 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to The Traveling Executioner (1970)
August 12 - Hugo Montenegro records his only Mission: Impossible episode score, for “The Rebel” (1970)
August 12 - Marty Paich died (1995)
August 12 - Zacarias M. de la Riva born (1972)
August 13 - John Ireland born (1879)
August 13 - Dennis Farnon born (1923)
August 13 - John Cacavas born (1930)
August 13 - Richard Shores records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Big Blackmail” (1968)
August 13 - Gerald Fried writes his final Mission: Impossible score, for “The Code” (1969)
August 13 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Warlock (1988)
August 13 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
August 13 - John Ottman begins recording his score to Gothika (2003)
August 13 - Roque Banos records his score for Oldboy (2013)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
EARTHQUAKE BIRD - Atticus Ross
"It turns out her truth is a lot darker than we might have anticipated; Lucy thinks that Death is following her, and she might just have a point. It seems she didn’t go to Japan to find herself, but rather to flee who he she was, and her first encounters with Teiji are so involving because he’s able to see her for who she is without being able to grasp what made her that way. Watching Vikander try to keep him at a comfortable remove -- and deny Lucy from confronting her own demons -- is the movie’s greatest pleasure, especially when the person she was and the person she fought to become are entwined together in a lengthy monologue that Vikander delivers in flawless (but obviously foreign) Japanese. In the rare moments when 'Earthquake Bird' trembles with purpose, everything about it becomes easier to appreciate (e.g. Chung Chung-hoon’s lush cinematography, and Atticus Ross’ ominously propulsive score)."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"On a craft level, the pic is a polished package. Mostly working within a crisp, dark, autumnal color palette that suits the noir-ish mood, Westmoreland and his Korean cinematographer, regular Park-chan Wook collaborator Chung Chung-hoon, methodically work through a checklist of Japanese tourist sights, from Mount Fuji and Tokyo Tower to bullet trains, kimonos and karaoke bars. Oscar-winner Atticus Ross also provides a suitably moody score, creepy and subtle one minute, urgent and percussive the next."
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter
FORD V FERRARI - Marco Beltrami
"But when 'Ford v Ferrari' eventually settles into a striking recreation of the 24-hour race, Mangold’s expert filmmaking really takes charge: With Marco Beltrami’s score injecting a jazzy energy to the proceedings, the cars zip and twirl and clash ad infinitum -- sometimes even erupting into flames -- as the competition dwindles, and nothing involving the broader drama at hand can keep up. Bale, wide-eyed and on the verge of psychotic rage behind the wheel, doesn’t need to say much beyond the occasional 'Giddyap!' in closeup as the movie zips from one frantic angle to the next."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"Working with cinematographer Phedon Papamichael and editors Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland, Mangold puts on a master class in filmmaking. He puts the audience in Miles’ seat as our hero goes for the checkered flag at Daytona and eventually crosses the Atlantic the biggest race of his career. The film is breathtakingly edited to keep even the least interested auto racing fan riveted to the proceedings. This is also where longtime Mangold contributor composer Marco Beltrami slightly underwhelms. For a film that has so much score it’s often forgettable and the movie’s tension is instead driven by everything else seen or heard on screen (the sound design is fantastic)."
Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist
"With gorgeous cinematography by Phedon Papamichael, a score by Marco Beltrami and a kick-ass sound design team, we are swept up in the world of racing very fast cars, and in the minds of people crazy enough to get behind the wheel. So much of the joy of this movie is simply watching Miles’ son (an excellent Noah Jupe) watch his father race. His wife, played by Caitriona Balfe, doesn’t have much to do but is probably the one wife in a movie like this that isn’t discouraging her husband from doing the one thing he most loves to do."
Sasha Stone, The Wrap
THE GOOD LIAR - Carter Burwell
"And yet, it’s Mirren who’s ultimately asked to carry this movie across the finish line, and she does so with oodles of her signature elan. It’s a rare actor who can split the difference between an airport thriller and a historical reckoning -- who’s able to conflate the silly with the serious in a way that completely erases the difference -- but Mirren is more than up to the challenge. The final stretches of Condon’s film are so ludicrous that you almost feel swindled for caring about the movie until that point, but Mirren grounds one plot twist after another with the gravity of her conviction (and a little help from Carter Burwell’s lilting, uneasy, 'Mr. Holmes'-esque score). 'The Good Liar' may not have much to say about redemption, entrapment, or the fibs that can hold a friendship together, but the past is only so important to a wicked little thriller that delights in the moment at hand."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"Carter Burwell’s insistent score constantly primes us for something Big and Ominous, while cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler ('A Wrinkle in Time') approaches even sunny settings in portentously dark fashion. You won’t find any spoilers here that aren’t already in the title, but suffice to say there are no great surprises in a movie that should be throwing them out around every corner."
Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap
"'The Good Liar' is clearly going for something along the lines of Hitchcock, Highsmith or le Carré, but never delivers the shivers of ambiguity and tightening noose of suspense one associates with those names. Part of the problem is that the film telegraphs, rather than foreshadows, its tale’s creepiness and dysfunction, from the overly deliberate dialogue to Carter Burwell’s apt but unsurprising score. For a thriller about dirty secrets and hidden agendas, there’s little stealth to the storytelling, or the style; everything is laid out, nothing teased or coaxed or dangled. The result is watchable but not much fun -- a 'smart' movie for viewers who don’t want to do any work."
Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter
HARRIET - Terence Blanchard
"Despite the enervating, unexceptional narrative and its bland construction, Erivo’s performance is luminescent; just by her eyes alone she can emote the deepest of emotions, so it’s a true shame the movie can’t even come close to matching her. She and Tubman deserve better. There are some admirable elements, the stunning backdrop of John Toll’s cinematography and Terence Blanchard’s elegant score. But were it not for them and the startling conviction of Erivo’s affecting performance, 'Harriet' could easily be mistaken for the afterschool special TV movie version of Tubman’s life."
Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist
"The woman is unstoppable. This Harriet jumps off bridges to elude captors, brandishes pistols to threaten assailants, wades through deep waters to lead fugitives, and defies patriarchal authority to refuse to abandon those still shackled by the “monster of slavery,” and all the while Terence Blanchard’s unrelenting score plays in the background. And her superpower? The ability to divine the future through dreamlike premonitions that come to her in spells, forewarnings that Tubman believes are sent by God to guide her work and show her the way. It may not be a physical trait on par with Captain America’s agility or Doctor Strange’s levitating prowess, but then again, 'Harriet' doesn’t require special effects to convey its champion’s near-mythic potency in confronting the evil of her day."
Steve Davis, The Austin Chronicle
"'Harriet' doesn’t attempt to reinvent the biopic, relying instead on a poignant turn by rising screen talent Cynthia Erivo ('Widows') as its soulful centerpiece, against the gorgeous backdrop of John Toll’s cinematography and Terence Blanchard’s euphoric score. As a sentimental tribute, it hardly transcends expectations -- but Erivo’s performance injects a palpable urgency to the material that makes up for missed time."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"Backed up by a bombastic score that never lets a scene go by unaccompanied by blaring cues, 'Harriet' is backboned by a hoary good-versus-evil rivalry. Joe Alwyn ('The Favourite') provides a hissable, cardboard-cut-out villain as the son of Harriet’s old plantation owner. The fugitive scenes are briskly handled, though, even if Harriet could use a few more of them. The film is at its best when it’s waist-deep in creeks and hostile wilderness, tallying this remarkable woman’s bravery in whizzing bullets and barking dogs."
Phil De Semlyen, Time Out New York
"Again, we don’t see much detail of these stunning feats, which earned Tubman the moniker 'Moses' - furious slave owners assumed they were hunting a man. At one point we get an action-flick style montage, which feels odd, as does the often overly obvious, swelling musical score."
Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press
"'Harriet' has many of the recognizable signs of an old-school biopic: epic speeches, crowd-pleasing moments, a soaring orchestral score and an unassailable hero. Because it is so rooted in the cinematic language of the past, the film feels like a relic, even though John Toll’s cinematography has a crisp digital look. It’s a visual style not often used for historical dramas, and in the case of 'Harriet,' it ends up making the film look more like a made-for-TV movie. There are a few Steadicam shots and CGI-enhanced skies or landscapes that cheapen the movie’s aesthetic, which already look amateurish by distant camera placement and flat compositions. The audience is set away from the characters, as if we were in a classroom watching a documentary on a rainy day. The ham-fisted dialogue does little to elevate the material beyond an easily digestible good vs. evil narrative. Terence Blanchard’s score often hijacks scenes’ emotions by wringing every possible note of sentimentality. In no way is 'Harriet' a subtle movie."
Monica Castillo, The Wrap
"Only barely does Harriet incorporate other notable abolitionists, showing but never quite identifying Frederick Douglass (Tory Kittles) and John Brown (Nigel Reed). Maybe that makes sense: This is Tubman’s story, not a comprehensive overview of the movement. But the film expresses implicit doubt that said story can stand on its own, overrelying on Terence Blanchard’s score to dictate emotional cues and cutting away to a parallel storyline involving Gideon, who the movie uses as an all-purpose representation of slavery’s evils and a sounding board at which Harriet can direct her declarations about the importance of freedom. Her conflict with the slaver provides 'Harriet' with its most easily, righteously badass moments; it’s certainly satisfying to see her turn Gideon’s gun back on him. But it’s a problem that the film only really shows us who she is -- her strength and resilience -- when she’s facing off against him. A better version of 'Harriet' might have kept the focus squarely locked on the real-life hero at its center, instead of defining her through the relationship with the man who once owned her."
Roxana Hadadi, The Onion AV Club
"As a heroine, Harriet Tubman is long overdue on the big screen, and 'Harriet' is a conscientiously uplifting, devoted, rock-solid version of her story. Yet when it comes to putting the audience in touch with what’s extraordinary about Harriet Tubman -- not just illustrating what she did but letting us connect with that quest, and with her, on a moment-to-moment level -- 'Harriet' is a conventional and rather prosaic piece of filmmaking. I don’t tend to complain much when movies feature inspirational musical scores, but the score of 'Harriet,' written by the jazz composer Terence Blanchard, has a surprisingly standard Jerry Goldsmith-meets-Aaron-Copland blandness that keeps getting in the way of what we’re watching. There are too many scenes where the music is asked to do the movie’s work for it: to create a rush of emotion, when the scenes, as written, should be doing that on their own. At one point, Lemmons uses Nina Simone’s 'Sinnerman' to accompany a slave-escape montage, which gives the film a momentary charge but just makes you think: This isn’t a subject that’s really right for a montage."
Owen Gleiberman, Variety*
"Lemmons, who first turned heads with her 2004 [sic] indie debut, the poetic Southern Gothic 'Eve's Bayou,' doesn't exactly tread lightly here. That tendency is evident from the very first widescreen frame, as Terence Blanchard's lush score swells into soaring uplift mode over a rain-soaked field, aggressively signaling emotional cues before we've encountered a single character. The use of music is often heavy-handed, one exception being the thrill of hearing Nina Simone's 'Sinnerman' over a montage of daring Underground Railroad rescues…From then on through much of its two-hour running time, 'Harriet' becomes a chase movie, with action sequences driven by Blanchard's propulsive score and John Toll's agile camera. There are brief emotional markers on the journey, especially early on, as Minty says farewell to her mother in the field by singing a traditional spiritual, embraces her father (the great Clarke Peters, underused) and receives guidance from the local Reverend (charismatic veteran Vondie Curtis Hall), whose church serves as a waystation for fugitive slaves. But despite Erivo's tenacity in the role, the drama feels more stately and impressive than urgent and affecting."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
HONEY BOY - Alex Somers
"At its best, 'Honey Boy' provides lovely snapshots of small moments from Otis’ youth, set to Alex Somers’ evocative score. Otis drifts from the bright lights of various sets to the drab interiors of a grimy hotel room, trapped between two hostile worlds and searching for stability in both. As the movie wanders from its character’s quest for catharsis, it manages to provoke genuine pathos for the internal nature of that battle."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"As a glorified form of drama therapy, 'Honey Boy' is fascinating: Through every scene between Jupe and LaBeouf -- portraying his father as a kind of ne’er-do-well Matthew McConaughey character -- we’re getting to see the writer-actor work through his feelings about his troubled childhood, eventually stumbling into a kind of empathy-through-portrayal for the sometimes cruel and pathetic man. Or maybe it’s all just a masquerade; this is a film that acknowledges, rather constantly, how much LaBeouf blurs the line between his personal and professional life, making it impossible for those close to him to know when he’s acting. But if you set aside all that meta baggage, including the uncomfortable realization that both Jupe and Hedges could be on the same destructive path their costar went down, this is actually a fairly conventional indie drama, cursed with a generic ambient soundtrack, jittery-formulaic camerawork, and a useless subplot about a prostitute young Shia, err, 'Otis' befriends at the motel where he and his father live during the shooting season. I did, however, quite enjoy Hedges’ unfussy, very spot-on imitation of LaBeouf, first showcased in an opening scene that finds him bellowing a signature 'No no no no' on the set of what’s essentially a 'Transformers' sequel."
A.A. Dowd, The Onion AV Club
I LOST MY BODY - Dan Levy
"Along with a Foley-heavy soundscape that lends authenticity to the hand’s adventure, the entire film is enveloped in a musical blanket knitted from the astral notes of Dan Levy’s atmospheric score. His electronic harmonies encapsulate what one imagines floating in the immensity of the universe might sound like. It’s grand in an outer-space scope, but emotionally rousing, so much that when paired with pivotal sequences it could prompt tears."
Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap
"From there, Clapin ambidextrously cuts between these two different timelines, as 'I Lost My Body' develops into a bittersweet two-hander about one man’s life and what he’s lost along the way. Naoufel isn’t the most engaging of protagonists, but his hand does a lot of the heavy lifting, and the stalker-ish behavior that leads him closer to Gabriele is watered down by the achingly wistful undertow that carries this story along. Naoufel has been conditioned to feel as if his life is out of his hands, and so he follows the currents even when they lead him where he isn’t wanted. Dan Levy’s phenomenal score helps sweep you right along with him, as it thrums with plaintive beauty from start to finish, alternating between spectral ambience and percussive discord like two melodies racing to find each other before the music stops."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"'I Lost My Body' is the story of a severed hand. Yes, like something out of a black-and-white B-movie you saw late at night on network TV, 'I Lost My Body' opens with a severed hand pushing its way out of a medical refrigerator, finding a way to rip open the bag that holds it, and then beginning a long journey across the Parisian night. Don’t worry -- this is not an animated movie in which the hand sings and dances. It just crawls, like a variation on Thing from 'The Addams Family.' But it has undeniable, and almost inspirational purpose. The hand will face all kinds of threats across the city, from an amazing scene with rats under a subway train to speeding traffic, but it never gives up its drive. We don’t know what that drive is. We just know it’s headed somewhere. These scenes are wonderful, almost entirely free of dialogue, buoyed by a great score by Dan Levy. I could have watched that hand for hours."
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"'I Lost My Body' also features an absolutely stellar score from Dan Levy, best known for his band, The Dø."
Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist
"Eased ever deeper by Dan Levy’s mesmerizing score (a stellar solo effort by one-half of indie electro-pop duo The Dø), audiences gradually discover that Naoufel is a Moroccan orphan whose parents died in a car crash, and who moved to Paris, where he worked as a lowly pizza delivery boy until such time as he met Gabrielle (Victoire Du Bois), a hipster Gen Z librarian who gives his life purpose. Crippled by shyness -- but not yet handicapped by it -- he follows Gabrielle to her uncle’s carpentry studio, spontaneously asking for work as an apprentice."
Peter Debruge, Variety
KNIVES OUT - Nathan Johnson
"Or maybe they’re even more closely related than we thought. As the movie stops to clear its throat and reset the board every 20 minutes or so, 'Knives Out' keeps you guessing. Hot off the best 'Star Wars' movie ever made and seemingly just entering his creative stride, Johnson has devised a murder-mystery that’s eager to defy your expectations, but unwilling to betray your trust. The film may be more smart than stylish (sharp home décor and that jangly, ticklishly fun Nathan Johnson score notwithstanding), and it may opt for a reasonable outcome over an overwhelmingly shocking one, but 'Knives Out' doesn’t let the element of surprise ruin a good story. From its opening moments to its all-timer of a final shot, the film’s greatest pleasures are character-driven, and those pleasures even manage to survive a hectic second act that spends most of its energy laying down track for the third."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"But critics evidently love 'Knives Out' and audiences might just go along with it, especially over the holidays. It looks the part. The actors are terrific fun, and Nathan Johnson’s score has a way of creeping to the edge of bombast and pulling back into something plaintive and mysterious. The Cuban actress Ana de Armas has a beautiful, clear face that keeps you in suspense -- you don’t want it to be clouded by disillusionment. My favorite moment in the film is a throwaway: Monsieur Blanc with headphones, eyes closed, singing along to … What the hell? Is that Sondheim’s 'Losing My Mind,' from 'Follies'? If I didn’t know better, I’d think Johnson was poking fun at Adam Driver’s risible 'Being Alive' epiphany in 'Marriage Story.' It also suggests a bunch of teenagers at an acting camp -- the best level on which to appreciate 'Knives Out.'"
David Edelstein, New York
"Along with Crank's set, which is like a cabinet of wonders you want more time to explore, Jenny Eagan's costumes reveal a lot about the characters. Steve Yedlin's camera snakes around the old house with an all-seeing eye, and the lush orchestral score by the director's cousin and frequent collaborator, Nathan Johnson, provides the perfect complement for a film that does an expert job of juggling gripping, humorous and suspenseful moods. The knack for dizzying trickery that was built into the very title of Johnson's 2012 feature, 'Looper,' seems here to have found its ideal form."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
LIGHT FROM LIGHT - Adam Granduciel, Jon Natchez
"'Light from Light' sticks to a subdued aesthetic throughout the characters’ emotional journey. When Sheila and Richard trek up the Smokey Mountains to the crash site where his wife died, cinematographer Greta Zozula finds her darkest shades of grey and forest green, swallowing the characters in a somber state of sadness. Yet, in a sunny moment not long after, there’s a warm glow of hope and healing unmistakable on both the actors’ faces and the scene itself. The melodic acoustic score from Adam Granduciel and Jon Natchez complements the movie’s gentle approach to grief and love like a comfortable sweater on a rainy autumn day, striking the right chords at just the right times."
Monica Castillo, RogerEbert.com
"One jarring note is the insistently precious score by Adam Granduciel and Jon Natchez, which feels like such an indie-film cliché it threatens to undermine Harrill’s intentions. And the script could have used another pass to flesh things out at least a little further. But what’s most special about these characters is that there’s nothing special about them -- other than, of course, their thoughtfully rendered and relatable humanity."
Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap
"This might sound hokey, and it occasionally is, but Harrill doesn’t underline his characters’ breakthroughs, either through music (the minimal electric guitar score by War on Drugs members Adam Granduciel and Jon Natchez is used more for interstitial texture than scene punctuation) or camera movements. Harrill’s direction is clean and economical -- witness the way the camera watches in one static take as Shelia, Owen, and Lucy shuffle out of the house in balletic synchronicity -- and his observation keen. There’s something intuitively relatable, for instance, about the understated scene in which Shelia texts her friend about investigation equipment while at her day job and then self-consciously answers 'Hello?' when he immediately rings her back, as though not expecting a call. It’s because of this finely detailed naturalism that Harrill is able to pull off the spontaneous miracle that concludes the film -- again, shades of Dreyer -- without it coming across as hokum. Only in focusing so thoroughly on the normal does 'Light from Light' stumble upon the paranormal."
Carson Lund, Slant Magazine
"Harrill holds back just as much as his script reveals. But aided by the crisp observations of Greta Zozula’s camera, the hushed ambient moods of Adam Granduciel and Jon Natchez’s score, and most of all, by the pain, regret and closed-off vulnerability etched into Ireland’s face, he hints at the numbing sadness of Shelia’s life. She seems no more at peace than the sorrowfully burdened Richard, or the lingering spirit of his dead wife, whether the latter exists in ghost form or not."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
OUT STEALING HORSES - Kaspar Kaae
"It appears as though he’s living the life of a despondent old man, but Trond uses the movie’s voiceover narration to tell us otherwise. 'If you were to hear how my life went,' he says over the opening twangs of Kaspar Kaee’s spare but wholly brilliant score, 'you would hear my life went well. I was lucky.' Well, we’re about to hear how his life went -- formative swaths of it, anyway -- and there’s room to draw other conclusions."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"Yet even as it dawdles a little over its cat’s-cradle structure, 'Out Stealing Horses' has a poignant understanding of time’s unreliable, tensile quality: What happened distant decades ago can, with a snap of the mind, feel newly, disturbingly raw. Moland and editors Jens Christian Fodstad and Nicolaj Monberg create dreamy, tissue-fine transitions between past and present -- sometimes accelerating into nightmarish, dissociated montage, amped up by the nervous, bratsch-heavy quiver of Kaspar Kaae’s striking score."
Guy Lodge, Variety
"One of the pleasures of this extremely sensual film is the way it elicits physical sensations in the viewer through expressive camerawork, cutting and sound effects. Dramatic moments are signaled by a low rumbling like an avalanche arriving. While the ever-changing spectacle of nature filmed by cinematographer Rasmus Videbaek enchants the eye, it is intensified by Klaus Kaae’s sweetly original score."
Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
THE REPORT - David Wingo
"Burns is best known for his screenplays for 'The Informant!,' 'Contagion' and 'Side Effects,' all directed by Steven Soderbergh, one of 'The Report'''s producers. Soderbergh's influence is palpable in the way Burns approaches the prismatic storytelling, editing, the use of color-coded lighting to create temporal cues and even in the way David Wingo's slippery, electronic-infused score sutures the material together. And yet this second directorial effort from Burns (his debut was 2006's 'Pu-239') has its own unique sensibility, an austerity and an intelligence that isn't interested in easy, partisan point scoring or pandering to viewers' prejudices. It's not an easy watch, but it is in its way a very vital and rewarding one."
Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
*I will always respect Owen Gleiberman for (I believe) coming up with the brilliant nickname for one of my favorite directors, Brian DePalma -- "the Masturbator of Suspense" -- but his review of Blanchard's Harriet score I think sums up the difference between film music fans and mainstream film critics. For a fan, a score that sounded like Jerry-Goldsmith-meets-Aaron-Copland would not be "standard" or "bland" but "awesome."
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: The Hitchhiker: Vol. 1 (Rubini), Star Trek: Insurrection (Goldsmith), Chappaqua Suite (Coleman), A Dangerous Method (Shore), Something Wild: Music for Film (Feldman), Thelma (Flottum), Company [2006 cast] (Sondheim), Westworld: Season 2 (Djawadi), The Seagull (Pasatieri), The Road to Hong Kong/Say One for Me (Farnon/Newman), Wah-Wah (Doyle), Death of a Nation (McCarthy), Zipi y Zapi y la isla del Capitan (Velazquez), Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan (Djawadi), Gente di rispetto (Morricone), James Horner: The Classics (Horner), Ad Astra (Richter, Balfe), The Unreleased Themes for Hellraiser (Coil), Enterprise (McCarthy), Drokk (Barrow/Salisbury), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Giacchino), The Fourth Man (Dikker), Above and Beyond (Friedhofer), The Accountant (Isham), Ace in the Hole (Friedhofer), Across 110th Street (Johnson), Action Jackson (various), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Waxman), The Adventures of Mark Twain (Steiner), After Hours (Shore), Agnes of God (Delerue), Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Popol Vuh)
Read: Murder at the Savoy, by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
Seen: Cinemas in France re-opened on June 22 and are appparently still open. Lucky French. Stay safe, mon freres.
Watched: Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, Hannibal ("Digestivo"), The Love Nest , The Terror ("Terror Camp Clear"), Harry and Walter Go to New York, Law & Order ("Everybody's Favorite Bagman"), The Greene Murder Case, Hannibal ("The Great Red Dragon")