Latest reviews of new albums:
Star Wars on tv

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm they must have been dreaming of all the big-screen adventures they could entice Star Wars fans to go and see, and sure enough the third Skywalker trilogy quickly went into production. They only managed two other movies though before deciding (rather bizarrely) that the market was saturated, and they could use it instead to attract subscribers to their new streaming service by producing weekly tv shows instead.

Black Adam

There have been a few composers in the past where my opinion has changed over time – usually only up or down by a notch or two – rarely has one been so completely transformed in my estimation as Lorne Balfe. I hadn’t used to be able to latch onto his music, for whatever reason, and in the depths of time (maybe 2017) I was accustomed when I wrote about it to give it a bit of a roasting. But one day (I think it was when I heard His Dark Materials) it was like a switch was flicked and suddenly I just got it – whether it was his music that changed or me I don’t know (I’ve revisited some of his older work and found myself more sympathetic towards it – none more so than Mission: Impossible, with the words I wrote about that one in particular seeming to be about a completely different album than the one I can hear now).

Amsterdam

David O. Russell’s first film since 2015, Amsterdam seems to be continuing the post-Covid trend of films which are not part of a big franchise ending up being seen as box office failures. I don’t know – the expectation has been so firmly set by all the studios that all movies will be released onto streaming shortly after their cinema release, it’s not a great surprise that it’s really only the teenagers who can’t face waiting to watch Bananaman or whoever find some deux ex machina to defeat the seemingly-undefeatable enemy who are going to the cinema any more.

Werewolf by Night

A welcome change of pace for the all-consuming Marvel Cinematic Universe, Werewolf by Night is a standalone short film released on Disney+ for Halloween. It’s apparently set in the modern day, but is directed in a stylised way to evoke monster movies of the 1950s with theatrical acting (especially from Harriet Sansom Harris), it’s shot in black-and-white – the standard nod-and-wink Marvel dialogue prevents you from really believing you’re there, but it’s nicely done.

The Lost King

Richard III is not just notable for inspiring a great piece of Cockney rhyming slang, he was also (I suppose) worthy of note as the last of the Plantagenet line of English monarchs before being slaughtered by Henry VII who started us off with the Tudors. In 2012, his remains were found underneath a car park in Leicester. Now, I have to say I’ve been on my back in a car park in Leicester on more than one occasion and nobody has ever made a film about finding me, but I suppose I won’t get too bitter about that. The Lost King documents the search for his remains and includes ghostly visions of the king himself appearing to the searcher.

Rudy

While famed for his science fiction music, his horror music, his action music – well, basically all his music – there’s no doubt that the sort of film Jerry Goldsmith most enjoyed scoring was none of the above. Particularly later in his career, he loved doing films about people – and having the chance in […]

Summer round-up, part two

I should note that my definition of “summer” is somewhat flexible, and its boundaries are sufficient to include all the film scores I mention herewith. I draw special attention to the fact that all the composers whose works are discussed are British – not my intention when I set out writing this, so perhaps it […]

One Day

Rachel Portman doesn’t get the credit she deserves – and I mean from me. I was (for reasons unknown even to myself) looking back on my reviews of her music – the few I have written, anyway – and particularly the older ones I was continually just saying it was all pleasant and interchangeable. Indeed, […]

Pinocchio

These Disney “live action” remakes continue apace, with Pinocchio getting reviews that are – even by the standards of these things – truly dire. I have to say, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. Is Pinocchio supposed to look like a “live action” object? Or is he supposed to be an animated character somehow […]

Summer round-up, part one

I’ve not written many reviews of the big summer scores (if there are “big summer scores” any more) so here’s a round-up of my brief views on some of them. It feels like he’s had a new score out every week or so, but actually only two of them here are albums featuring music by […]

Somebody noticed that yesterday’s post about The Rings of Power did not include a star rating. Most of the time when it appears that I have forgotten something, it’s because I’ve forgotten something, but this was deliberate. It just feels a bit too arbitrary. It always has, really, but I’ve done it anyway because it’s […]

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Like a load of other people, I watched the first couple of episodes of The Rings of Power yesterday. I didn’t know what to expect, going in – and I enjoyed it, a lot. We all know how much the thing has cost and there’s no way it will “make money” (whatever that means to […]

You may – or may not – have noticed that posts here have become a lot less frequent of late. There are numerous reasons for this, ranging from a general shrinking in my enthusiasm for new film music through to a continued loss of enthusiasm for writing about it following last year’s rather less-than-warm feedback […]

Jurassic World: Dominion

Composed by Michael Giacchino Concluding the Chris Pratt trilogy, Jurassic World: Dominion also concludes the entire Jurassic saga if the PR is to be believed. I know this is crazy but I just can’t help but predict that we’ll be back here in a few years. This time round, some ill-advised corporate greed ends up […]

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Composed by Danny Elfman My problem with Doctor Strange as a character in a film is that because he can seemingly do just about anything at any time, I struggle really to see how you can eke much drama out of him. His second outing with his name on the poster attempts to solve this […]


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