The bond between man and dog can be a very special one. It’s a deep bond that is based on mutual respect and in many cases, love. In the new family-friendly drama Max, we are shown how one dog survives and overcomes insurmountable odds and must adjust in an environment he knows nothing about. Acclaimed film composer Trevor Rabin (Armageddon, Remember the Titans) delivers a powerful score for a movie that really doesn’t need much more assistance. Mr. Rabin’s contribution to this picture is sensational and it only adds to its already profound impact. The score he has provided is rich and chockfull of memorable cues.
Wallace and Gromit is an international phenomenon that has been around for well over three decades now. During that time, the British claymation franchise has had a number of spinoffs. One such spinoff is Shaun the Sheep, a charming television series that centers on Shaun, a sheep who gets into random adventures on the Mossy Bottom Farm, a a large patch of land in the northern part of England. He then spends each episode avoiding detection from The Farmer. A feature film was inevitable and this summer sees the release of Shaun the Sheep Movie, a farm-grown picture of epic proportions. The film’s soundtrack is equally epic, featuring a robust score from Ilan Eshkeri (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake).
In 1985, one of film history’s greatest and most enduring working relationships began. Not only has the partnership between these two artists inspired some of the best cinema has to offer but it has brought about some of the most exiting and tender music known to man. I’m speaking of course about Danny Elfman and Tim Burton, a musician/film composer and film director respectively who have been delivering hit after hit for three decades. People in New York were recently treated to a number of live performances of Mr. Elfman’s scores as they were played for many a pleased audience in the Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.
In the last twenty years, the computer-animated film genre has grown exponentially. Toy Story started things off nicely in 1995 and since then, the movie business has benefited from a bevy of charming tales and brilliant art. The latest computer-animated adventure Minions is taking the world by storm and not only is it a cute film but it features a rather fun soundtrack that, like the film itself, is perfect for both children and adults. Hans Zimmer-student Heitor Pereira is responsible for the film’s score and there are also a couple of popular songs that comprise the vibrant album.
22 years ago, Jurassic Park forever changed the way audiences saw movies. It was a monumental film and a crowning achievement due mostly to its groundbreaking visual effects and universal sense of wonder and fun. It was a sci-fi adventure film through and through and was one of visual effects powerhouse Industrial Light and Magic’s (ILM) absolute best films. Jurassic Park broke box office records and spawned three sequels, the most recent of which is Jurassic World and its soundtrack, the focus of this review. Michael Giacchino took John Williams’ original formula and added his own style to the proceedings, making for not only a fitting tribute to Mr. Williams’ sound but introduced a new style which combined both old and new. The results are a fresh score that balances action and childlike wonder, something Williams did and continues to do time and time again, especially with his many collaborations with director Steven Spielberg.
In 1982, the horror film genre was given a fresh and original entry in its then already impressive list of pictures. Under the production of Steven Spielberg and the direction of horror genre pioneer Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), a new film and type of fright was created. That film of course is Poltergeist, the insanely creepy and heart-pumping horror/thriller that inspired many an audience to watch scary movies with the lights turned on. The film was a huge success at the time, spawning two sequels, a TV series spinoff and for purposes of this review, a lackluster reboot and subsequent soundtrack album. Both the film and score aren’t exactly works of art but they accomplish the goals they were originally made to do: to entertain.
Prior to 2012, the art form known as “a cappella” wasn’t featured in movies too often. Singing without the aid of instrumental accompaniment is tough and in many instances, quite beautiful. The offbeat comedy Pitch Perfect took a cappella and shone a bright light on it, making it really quite popular. The film was a smash hit, catapulting young actresses Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow into superstardom. A sequel was inevitable and more songs were covered and audiences were in for not only a musical treat but a humorous adventure as well.