The latest release from Intrada is an expanded, two-disc edition of the score for Steven Spielberg's blockbuster 2005 remake of H.G. Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS. The music was composed by, of course, John Williams (one of four scores he recorded that year, along with Revenge of the Sith and the Oscar-nominated Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich), and Disc One features the full 79-minute score with Disc Two featuring the original 2005 CD sequencing -- including Morgan Freeman's opening and closing narration -- and 15 minutes of alternates.
Varese Sarabande has announced two new two-disc Deluxe Edition expanded scores as their latest CD Club releases -- John Powell's Oscar-nominated score for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, with the full score plus bonus tracks including demo cues; and John Carpenter's 1995 remake of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, starring Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley with a score composed by (of course) Carpenter himself and Dave Davies, featuring the full film score on Disc One and the original 1995 CD sequencing plus bonus cues on Disc Two.
On November 20, Varese plans to release the score for Netflix's critically acclaimed new docudrama THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7. The film is the second to be directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and reunites him with composer Daniel Pemberton, following Steve Jobs and Molly's Game. (The film is already considered to be a major Oscar contender, but in this year of films released only on streaming or in drive-ins, it's hard to know what will be a contender. Tenet could get nominated just for actually showing up in theaters).
The latest release from Music Box pairs two scores by Oscar nominee and European film music legend Philippe Sarde - UN TAXI MAUVE, and an expanded version of J'AI EPOUSE UNE OMBRE (released in the U.S. as I Married a Shadow), the 1983 version of Cornell Woolrich's classic I Married a Dead Man, which has also been filmed as the noir No Man of Her Own with Barbara Stanwyck and the romcom Mrs. Winterbourne with Ricki Lake and Brendan Fraser.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
The Karate Kid Part II - Bill Conti - La-La Land
Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street - Alexander Taylor - Notefornote
Un Taxi Mauve/J'ai Epouse une Ombre - Philippe Sare - Music Box
Village of the Damned: The Deluxe Edition - John Carpenter, Dave Davies - Varese Sarabande CD Club
War of the Worlds - John Williams - Intrada Special Collection
Whitman - Bernard Herrmann - Naxos
IN THEATERS TODAY
The War with Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and Uma Thurman (apparently not a sequel either to Dirty Grandpa or Mad Dog and Glory, despite its cast), with a score by Aaron Zigman, is set to open today in cities where theaters are allowed to be open.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood - Harry Manfredini, Fred Mollin - La-La Land
Graveyard Shift - Anthony Marinelli, Brian Banks - La-La Land
How to Train Your Dragon: The Deluxe Edition - John Powell - Varese Sarabande CD Club
The Boys: Season One - Christopher Lennertz - La-La Land
The Boys: Season Two - Christopher Lennertz - La-La Land
Devs - Geoff Barrow, Ben Salibury - Invada (import)
Rawhead Rex - Colin Towns - Silva
World Soundtrack Awards Tribute to the Film Composer - various - Silva
Open 24 Hours - Holly Amber Church - Notefornote
Tenet - Ludwig Goransson - WaterTower
Interstellar: Expanded Edition - Hans Zimmer - WaterTower
No Time to Die - Hans Zimmer - Decca
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Daniel Pemberton - Varese Sarabande
Film Music 1976-2020 - Brian Eno - Astralwerks
Angelica - Zbigniew Preisner - Caldera
The Chosen - Ennio Morricone - Beat
The Don Davis Collection, Vol. 1 - Don Davis - Dragon's Domain
Howard Blake: Ghost Stories - Howard Blake - Dragon's Domain
Lloyd - Conrad Pope - Dragon's Domain
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
October 9 - Camille Saint-Saens born (1835)
October 9 - Bebo Valdes born (1918)
October 9 - Rod Temperton born (1949)
October 9 - Barry Gray begins recording his score for Thunderbirds Are Go (1966)
October 9 - Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for A Man Called Horse (1969)
October 9 - Steve Jablonsky born (1970)
October 9 - Sean Lennon born (1975)
October 9 - Bill Conti begins recording his score for The Fourth War (1989)
October 9 - Cliff Eidelman begins recording his score for Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
October 10 - Giovanni Fusco born (1906)
October 10 - John Green born (1908)
October 10 - Marco Antonio Guimaraes born (1948)
October 10 - David Raksin begins recording his score for Whirlpool (1949)
October 10 - Midge Ure born (1953)
October 10 - Giant opens in New York (1956)
October 10 - Valentine McCallum born (1963)
October 10 - Andrea Morricone born (1964)
October 10 - Hugo Montenegro begins recording his score for Hurry Sundown (1966)
October 10 - Hawaii opens in New York (1966)
October 10 - Walter Scharf records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Ransom” (1966)
October 10 - Michael Giacchino born (1967)
October 10 - Vince DiCola begins orchestral recording sessions for his Rocky IV score (1985)
October 10 - William Goldstein records his scores for the Twilight Zone episodes “The Card” and “Time and Teresa Golowitz” (1986)
October 10 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Remember Me” (1990)
October 11 - Art Blakey born (1919)
October 11 - Laura opens in New York (1944)
October 11 - Buddy Bregman begins recording his score for The Delicate Delinquent (1957)
October 11 - Alexander Hacke born (1965)
October 11 - Michel Legrand begins recording his score for The Happy Ending (1968)
October 11 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score for The Moneychangers (1976)
October 11 - Neal Hefti died (2008)
October 12 - Ralph Vaughan Williams born (1872)
October 12 - Joseph Kosma born (1905)
October 12 - Franz Waxman begins recording his score to The Silver Chalice (1954)
October 12 - Chris Botti born (1962)
October 12 - John Williams records his score for the Lost in Space episode "My Friend, Mr. Nobody" (1965)
October 12 - Gil Melle begins recording his score for The Andromeda Strain (1970)
October 12 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Schisms” (1992)
October 13 - Lee Konitz born (1927)
October 13 - Berto Pisano born (1928)
October 13 - Paul Simon born (1941)
October 13 - Recording sessions begin for Miklos Rozsa’s score to Woman of the Town (1943)
October 13 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to Knights of the Round Table (1953)
October 13 - Maurice Jarre records his score for The Last Tycoon (1976)
October 13 - Lud Gluskin died (1989)
October 13 - David Newman begins recording his score for Jingle All the Way (1996)
October 13 - Dave Pollecutt died (2001)
October 13 - Raoul Kraushaar died (2001)
October 14 - Bill Justis born (1926)
October 14 - Thomas Dolby born (1958)
October 14 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score for Two Loves (1961)
October 14 - Richard Markowitz’s score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Glowing Corpse” is recorded (1965)
October 14 - Benh Zeitlin born (1982)
October 14 - Leonard Bernstein died (1990)
October 14 - Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for Predator 2 (1990)
October 14 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Cardassians” (1993)
October 14 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
October 15 - Dag Wiren born (1905)
October 15 - Haim Saban born (1944)
October 15 - Fumio Hayasaka died (1955)
October 15 - Simon Boswell born (1956)
October 15 - Bronislau Kaper begins recording his score to Home From the Hill (1959)
October 15 - Franz Reizenstein died (1968)
October 15 - Kevin Kliesch born (1970)
October 15 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score to THX- 1138 (1970)
October 15 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score for Jacqueline Susann’s Once Is Not Enough (1974)
October 15 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Lonely Among Us" (1987)
October 15 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Pathfinder” (1999)
October 15 - Igo Kantor died (2019)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
CAPONE - El-P (Jaime Meline)
"As it stands, the Capone played by the notably able-bodied Hardy spends a whole movie tilting at windmills we know will vanish after a jump cut while his family and the authorities pump him for information about a secret cache of money we know will never materialize. The score by El-P from Run The Jewels (his first) at least gives the proceedings some seasoning, but we hardly hear it until the last third of the movie."
Vince Mancini, Uproxx
"The off-kilter mood is amplified by a trance-like synth score from Jaime Meline, the alternative hip-hop artist who records as El-P. That doesn't bolster Trank's story sense, however, which is too muddled -- perhaps intentionally so, but to its own detriment -- to sustain much involvement."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY - Graham Reynolds, Dan Teicher
"Taken as a celebration, however, both of the woman herself and the food to which she has dedicated her life, 'Nothing Fancy' is cinematic comfort food of the first order -- further perked up by Paul Mailman and Andrei Zakow citrus-bright lensing and lush, string-based musical contributions from Graham Reynolds and Dan Teicher. On the downside, it may forever ruin lesser faux-Mexican junk food for previously undiscriminating viewers: Just try eating a plate of nuclear orange nachos afterwards without feeling Kennedy’s withering glare at your back."
Guy Lodge, Variety
THE HIGH NOTE - Amie Doherty
"While 'The High Note' may not be the song of the summer, there’s plenty to enjoy in addition to Ross’ performance. Ganatra and her cinematographer Jason McCormick set an almost romantic tone for recording sessions that explain why the experience is everything Maggie wants. When she looks longingly at the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles or the portraits of legendary artists in its halls, we get a sense that she wants to be a part of that history, too. Listen closely enough and you can hear the difference in Amie Doherty’s pop songs and ballads between songs that might have been popular a few years ago, and what’s popular now as Maggie tries to direct Grace and David to their new sounds."
Monica Castillo, RogerEbert.com
JOAN OF ARC - Christophe
"Much less easy to parse, in terms of intentionality and of classification, is the film’s proximity to the musical genre. An early scene features a suite of songs -- sung theatrically by French indie-pop group Kid Wise’s Augustin Charnet -- that play over a series of stoical tableaux shots of Prudhumme’s armor-clad Joan, looking pensively into the camera. Dumont briefly seems to be up to something rather brilliant here, reconfiguring the musical tropes of his Joan of Arc saga as a means to manifest the 'voices' that the Joan of historical record claimed she heard in her head. But that interpretation gets ever more foggy as the filmmaker goes on to present various musical-esque scenes, but in fractured and recontexualized forms. The most jarring example of this is a lengthy, wordless interlude that features a battalion of soldiers on horseback moving in elaborate patterns, dance-like, a sequence which Dumont shoots in a way that recalls Busby Berkley musicals, with shots from above of the choreographed horses."
Sam C. Mac, Slant Magazine
"Tonally, the film alternates between lethargically long takes in which characters deliver unwieldy strings of dialogue and an uneasy brand of comedy that wrenches reluctant chuckles from its audience like teeth. Strange farcical beats mark an excessively, self-reflexively serious historical drama -- such as a minutes-long opening sequence set to a Christophe song, which zooms in progressively closer to young Joan’s unsmiling face. Christophe’s soundtrack gives the film an anachronistically modern acoustic soundscape, like if Sufjan Stevens wrote historically conscious narrative songs about the Hundred Years’ War. At one point one of the clergymen even lip-syncs an entire song. In moments like these, 'Jeanne' straddles an awkward spectrum, too comical to be considered a serious drama, yet with more severe moments that outweigh its humor."
Carolyn Tsai, The Playlist
"The closest we get to the war itself, and the film’s most elaborately choreographed setpiece, is an aerial-shot display of horseback soldiers circulating in languid formation to a steady, doleful drumbeat. It’s a scene with a clearer musical-cinema sensibility than any of those built around the film’s morose original song score: this time a staid blend of chanson and new-wave pop by veteran French singer-songwriter Christophe, who performs one of them on screen in an especially glum cameo. ('Amid the crazed screams of eternal suffering/Prayers will be like the silence before the flood of suffering,' runs a choice lyric that won’t be giving Sondheim any sleepless nights.) Others aren’t visibly sung but not-diegetically imposed on scenes, as in one stately, stifling montage of Joan in a series of scowling battle poses -- a device that initially seems an apt musical representation of the guiding voices she claims to have in her head, until less specific applications of the same technique rather spoil the effect."
Guy Lodge, Variety
"To make things more crazy, the entire film is peppered with lip-synched musical numbers composed by French rocker Christophe, who was famous in the 1970s for his melodic high-pitched ballads. The kitschy collection of songs is meant to narrate the action -- 'I've known the suffering of being the lord of the battle' and 'She will go to hell' are some examples of the show-stopping lyrics -- as we watch Joan get taken prisoner and head toward her impending doom."
Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
THE LOVEBIRDS - Michael Andrews
"How much do you need to know about the conspiracy? Not much if you've seen 'Game Night,' which was less tortuously plotted but had a similar feel, down to the shocking bursts of violence, panicky overlapping dialogue, and hilariously solemn techno-thriller score (by Cliff Martinez in 'Game Night' and Michael Andrews here). Or for that matter, any of the modestly budgeted noir-comedies that followed in the wake of Martin Scorsese's little-seen but ultimately influential 'After Hours' -- a proud tradition that includes classics like 'Something Wild' (a touchstone for Showalter's 2014 knockabout romantic comedy 'They Came Together')."
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF - Uno Helmersson
"But Ree only proves that equation at the tail end of a movie that often feels as though it’s skirting the issue. Intimate and involving as it can be, 'The Painter and the Thief' increasingly leaves the impression that Kysilkova and Nordland are holding something back; that Uno Helmersson’s shimmering and mysterious score is full of secrets. Ree’s film never feels like just a story of friendship -- you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
THE VAST OF NIGHT - Erick Alexander, Jared Bulmer
"Complemented by the eerie work of sound designers Johnny Marshall and David Rosenblad and music by Erick Alexander and Jared Bulmer, “The Vast of Night” sells its mystery as a package deal, firing on all sight-and-sound cylinders to immerse its viewers in its story."
Monica Castillo, The Wrap
"But then there’s that nighttime hush, that woozy sense of unreality and plausibility that comes with late-night weariness and isolation. The near-empty desert setting means there are few distractions from the rapt stillness of an audience listening to a story unfold. As the story’s informants tell Everett and Fay what’s going on, Patterson weaponizes his cinematography and sound design against the audience’s disbelief, dropping out the visuals entirely and leaving viewers in darkness, or fading out his urgent score to make the conversations seem even quieter. The whole film hangs on the hushed tension of a couple of strong storytellers telling Everett and Fay what they know, while even the walls and the radio station’s mics seem to be straining to hear the details. At times, the film seems to be whispering its secrets directly into the audience’s ear."
Tasha Robinson, Polygon
"Viewers who prefer a more aggressive kind of showboating are also in luck. After that 10-minute close-up, the very next shot is a five-minute-long roller coaster that starts on Fay lighting a cigarette outside her office, swoops inches above the ground across half the town to the high school, cuts through the parking lot, the gym, and the basketball game in progress, leaps through a window, glides through the other half of the town, picks up Everett lighting a cigarette outside the radio station, and ends on the phone on his desk as it begins ringing. And yet the sensation evoked is nothing like the 'Wow! They pulled it off!' feeling most stunt shots of this sort aim for. The camera moves at an uncanny speed, faster than a human, slower than a car, and the score -- noir horns over a driving rhythm, briefly drowned out by the sound of the basketball game -- makes the whole thing even more ominous. There are simpler ways to transition between one location and another, just like there are more complicated ways to edit a scene of a woman working a switchboard, but in both cases, Patterson makes a pretty strong case that he’s chosen the best way. 'The Vast of Night' is full of those kinds of big swings and unusual choices, executed with panache and impressive confidence. It’s an electric train set barreling through the night at full throttle."
Matthew Dessem, Slate.com
"Instead, the film (which Patterson funded by shooting game-time promos for his hometown NBA team, the OKC Thunder) has a let’s-put-on-a show energy. (Even Jared Bulmer and Erick Alexander’s score starts off as rustic handclaps with an occasional guitar strum before expanding into bold cello strokes.) The audience can sense the cast and crew’s verve to not just complete the picture, but pull it off with style. Once Miguel I. Littin-Menz’s camera rests on the incredibly talented McCormick ('Some Kind of Hate') at her switchboard, finally letting the audience soak in her horn-rimmed glasses and intelligent eyes, she launches into a 10-minute single-take scene where she takes calls, plugs in wires, gets connected and disconnected, and begins to suspect that something isn’t right in sleepy Cayuga."
Amy Nicholson, Variety
WE ARE FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME - J.R. Kaufman
"Though the blockbuster success of 'Hamilton' fractured the group for a while, it reunited in 2019 for a run of Off-Broadway and later Broadway performances celebrating its 15th anniversary. The high-profile event gives 'We Are Freestyle Love Supreme' its focus, and occasionally leads to some self-aggrandizing as well. The film’s overly dramatic score sometimes makes the run seem like a once-in-a-lifetime reunion of a major American rock band, not the return of a relatively niche improv troupe that’s been semi-active the entire time. Still, the group’s palpable love for one another and the sheer virtuosity of what they’re able to do onstage keeps things breezily watchable. What the documentary lacks in narrative structure, it makes up for in enthusiasm."
Caroline Siede, The Onion AV Club
THE WRONG MISSY - Mateo Messina
"Tyler Spindel, a Happy Madison veteran, directs 'The Wrong Missy' with all of the worst tendencies of the Sandler shingle style. It’s a series of claustrophobically unfunny scenes that drag on and on, interspersed with establishing shots and music cues that look and sound like they were licensed from a stock library. The closest it gets to being mildly amusing is in an attempted threesome in which Tim and Missy get stoned out of their minds on cannabis-infused toothpaste and keep accidentally knocking the third party off the bed. But the rest is palm trees, hotel décor, and misanthropic improv, filled out to exactly 90 minutes (a contractual obligation, one presumes) by a long corporate talent show sequence in which one can’t be sure whether they’re supposed to be embarrassed for the characters or for the cast and crew."
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club
YOURSELF AND YOURS - Dalpalan
"Yet such insights fall lightly in 'Yourself and Yours,' which sets the tone with Dalpalan’s jaunty score in the opening credits and never darkens, even with Youngsoo’s mother on death’s door. As Minjung (and/or her doppelgangers), Lee You-young is so charming and self-possessed around her suitors that a withering cut-down ('I’ve never seen a truly impressive man') lands like a kiss. And when the liquor starts to flow, any lingering negative feelings dissipate in the buzz, like a bar confrontation that stumbles drunkenly into a male bonding session."
Scott Tobias, Variety
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Hannibal: Season Three, Volume 2 (Reitzell), Serenity (Wallfisch), Old Boyfriends (Shire), Sunset Song (Waltzing), Sugar (Styne), Music Out of the Moon (Revel), The House That Dripped Blood (Dress), Perfume Set to Music (Revel), Here We Go Again Rubinot (Powell), Music for Peace of Mind (Revel), Grizzly (Ragland), Presenting Karen Akers (Akers), Q - The Winged Serpent (Ragland), Rest Stop (McCreary), Free Solo (Beltrami/Roberts), Thi Mai - Rumbo a Vietnam (Velazquez), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Giacchino), Il Gatto (Morricone), Flatliners (Barr), Missing Link (Burwell), The Front Runner (Simonsen), Citizen Kane (Herrmann), Captive State (Simonsen), Violin Concerto/Piano Concerto (Elfman), Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (Sawhney), Follies [2018 cast] (Sondheim), Widows (Zimmer), Gravikords Whirlies & Pyrophones (various), Mortal Engines (Holkenborg), Big Science (Anderson), King of Thieves (Wallfisch), Blizzard (McKenzie), Chouans! (Delerue), Ofrenda a la tormenta (Velazquez), The Baby (Fried), One Two Two (Morricone), The Moon in the Gutter (Yared), The Quinn Martin Collection Vol. 3: The Streets of San Francisco (Williams), Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Tyler), All That Money Can Buy (Herrmann), The Magnificent Ambersons (Herrmann), Archer/Warning Shot (Goldsmith), Harry & Son (Mancini), The Other Side of the Wind (Legrand), First Lady Suite (LaChiusa)
Read: Democracy, by Joan Didion
Seen: As our readers (especially the Hans Zimmer devotees) probably already know, both No Time to Die and Dune have had their theatrical releases pushed to 2021, to April 2 and October 1 respectively (and presumably the No Time to Die CD will be delayed yet again). Cineworld has announced that they will be closing Regal theaters in the U.S. and the UK, while AMC Theaters are open or re-opening in most states of the U.S. There are other major feature film releases still officially scheduled for late 2020, but it is not known yet which if any of those will be postponed as well.
Watched: The Prisoner ("A. B. and C."); Stage Fright ; Party Down ("Constance Carmell Wedding"); Steamboat Bill, Jr. ; House of Cards ("Chapter 66"); Wild in the Streets; Queer as Folk ("Smells Like Codependence")