Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The film music of 2013.

Okay, I think I've put this off long enough.

My favorite scores of 2013:

(Marco Beltrami - Sony Classical)
Beltrami gets to the heart of Carrie's plight almost as well as Pino Donaggio did once upon a time.

(Alan Silvestri - Sony Classical)
The lively score for the animated feature sparkles with the Silvestri sound of old.

(Roque Banos - La La Land)
A bit too heavy on stingers, but a very beautiful and exciting horror score.

(Brian Tyler - Hollywood)
Tyler enters the Marvel fold with, perhaps, the best score ever written for an Iron Man movie.

(John Ottman - WaterTower)
Ottman provided a lush, lively score for the uneven but entertaining adventure.

(Hans Zimmer - Disney/Intrada)
Zimmer's tribute to Morricone is but one pleasure provided by the unfairly-maligned flop.

(Fernando Velazquez - Quartet)
Velazquez wrote a marvelously spooky score for the ludicrous horror film.

(Brian Tyler - unreleased...sort of)
Tyler got to let his hair down for this driving score to the twisty caper.

(Ramin Djawadi - WaterTower)
Djawadi's varied score for the robots vs. monsters epic may well be one of his best.

(Pino Donaggio - Quartet)
The films of Brian De Palma seem to bring out the best in the composer and this was no exception.

(Thomas Newman - Disney)
The bittersweet biopic benefited greatly from Newman's suitably lovely music.

(Brian Tyler - Disney/Intrada)
Appropriately thundering music for the enjoyable follow-up.

(Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders - Red River)
Engaging score for the zombie romantic comedy with strong (and pleasant) echoes of Rolfe Kent.

More good scores:

American Hustle (Danny Elfman), Epic (Danny Elfman), Escape Plan (Alex Heffes), Frozen (Christophe Beck), The Last Stand (Mowg), Monsters University (Randy Newman), R.I.P.D. (Christophe Beck), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Theodore Shapiro), Star Trek Into Darkness (Michael Giacchino), 2 Guns (Clinton Shorter), White House Down (Thomas Wander & Harald Kloser), The Wolverine (Marco Beltrami) and World War Z (Marco Beltrami)

Special mention: Michael Giacchino's Toy Story of Terror!, a delightful effort that sparkled with the skill of his feature work and greatly enlivened the amusing TV special.

Some great unreleased scores:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 - Mark Mothersbaugh
Homefront - Mark Isham
We're the Millers - Theodore Shapiro and Ludwig Goransson

My favorite new CDs of 2013:

Black Beauty (Danny Elfman - La La Land) - This adaptation of the book received one of Elfman's loveliest scores, highlighted by a heartbreaking main theme.

Black Widow/The Star Chamber/The Driver (Michael Small - Kritzerland) - A fascinating primer for those unfamiliar with Small's work.

Cahill, United States Marshal (Elmer Bernstein - Intrada) - Perhaps the most obscure of Bernstein's scores for the Duke, but no less exciting for it.

Crazy People (Cliff Eidelman - Quartet) - A delightful comedy score from the too-infrequently-employed Eidelman, with a wealth of melodic goodness.

Dressed to Kill (Pino Donaggio - Intrada) - From a rapturous main theme to lush romance and urgent suspense, this is one of Donaggio's finest.

Gladiator (Jerry Goldsmith - Intrada) - One of the lesser appreciated rejected scores of Goldsmith's career, with a touching love theme and blood-pumping fight music.

Rising Sun (Toru Takemitsu - Kritzerland) - A most atypical (but captivating) noir score, with special emphasis on woodwinds and Ondes martenot.

The Salamander (Jerry Goldsmith - Prometheus) - Given the film's obscurity, this is like a brand-new Goldsmith score, with a powerful main theme leading the charge.

Those Calloways (Max Steiner - Intrada...or BYU) - One of Steiner's last scores was a musical buffet, greatly enriching the forgotten Disney drama.

Willard (Shirley Walker - La La Land) - One of the more underrated horror remakes of recent memory received one of Walker's best scores; by turns peculiar, touching and ferocious.

New CDs I still haven't gotten because a credit card can only be stretched so far:

Canadian Bacon (Elmer & Peter Bernstein - Quartet)
Flight of the Intruder (Basil Poledouris - Intrada)
Hocus Pocus (John Debney - Intrada)
Once Upon a Time - Season 2 (Mark Isham - Intrada)
Police Academy (Robert Folk - La La Land)
The Relic (John Debney - La La Land)
Rosewood (John Williams - La La Land)
Salem's Lot (Harry Sukman - Intrada)
The Thanksgiving Promise (Bruce Broughton - Intrada)

Seven scores I'm sure I'd have loved had I cared enough to see the films*:

The Book Thief (John Williams)
47 Ronin (Ilan Eshkeri)
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Atli Orvarsson)
Oldboy (Roque Banos)
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Andrew Lockington)
Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Mike Patton)

* - Okay. This is a little disingenuous, as I own the soundtracks to Mama and Evil Dead, even though I didn't see the films. Seriously though, you couldn't pay me enough to see Mama.



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