Latest reviews of new albums:
Terminator Genisys
  • Composed by Lorne Balfe
  • Skydance-Paramount / 2015 / 71m

A geriatric cyborg comes from the future and attempts to change the course of history by making sure that Phil Collins never takes over lead vocals for the English rock group Genisis.  Unfortunately the early days of dementia are taking hold and he simply cannot spell the band’s name correctly.  Terminator Genisys offers a worryingly plausible plot which will no doubt leave many audience members very nervous indeed.

Pas de Deux
  • Composed by James Horner
  • Mercury Classics / 2015 / 56m (Horner work 28m)

James Horner’s first concert work for over three decades, Pas de Deux is his concerto for violin, cello and orchestra, commissioned by and written for the Norwegian siblings Mari and Hakon Samuelsen.  It premièred in Liverpool in 2014 with Mari (violin) and Hakon (cello) accompanied by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko and the same group then went into the studio to record it for this album, which also features music by Pärt, Sollima and Einaudi.

The Perfect Storm
  • Composed by James Horner
  • Sony Classical / 2000 / 79m

Loosely based on events of 1991 when a fishing trawler was lost in the Atlantic during freak weather conditions, The Perfect Storm starred George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg and was a big box office success on its release in 2000.  Wolfgang Petersen’s second boat movie, it may not have been as good as his first, but at least it was better than his third and it’s actually a pretty watchable film despite being somewhat ludicrous, particularly in the entirely fictionalised later moments of the doomed voyage.

James Horner Review Odyssey

Like many others, I was affected by James Horner’s death and touched by the various tributes paid by his friends, colleagues, collaborators and fans. There is little I can do in the way of tribute other than write about his music – and it strikes me that the body of work he developed over his 35-year film music career is one of the most impressive that anyone’s ever built up and one that’s particularly worthy of writing about.

James Horner 1953-2015: “There is no goodbye… only love”

James Horner passed away yesterday at the age of 61.  Long time readers of this website will know that I considered him not just one of the great film composers of his generation, but of any… one of the true titans of his field.  After that great group of unbelievable creativity and talent rose up together in film music in the 1950s and 60s – Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Ennio Morricone, John Barry, John Williams, others – I think James Horner is the only comparable talent we’ve seen emerge.

Jurassic World

Composed by Michael Giacchino Back Lot Music / 2015 / 77m What could possibly go wrong with a dinosaur-based theme park?  I know something went wrong before, but definitely everything will be OK this time.  And that has come to pass, with Jurassic World a sedate documentary about an ordinary day at said park, with absolutely nothing […]

LUV

Composed by Nuno Malo Lakeshore Records / 2015 / 49m Sheldon Candis’s 2012 crime drama LUV stars rapper Common as… well, the Wikipedia plot synopsis is so good I need to share it verbatim.  “Uncle Vincent (Common) has recently returned home after eight years in prison determined to straighten out his life by opening a high-end crab shack.” […]

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef

Composed by Bernard Herrmann Kritzerland / 2015 / 55m With the surge in popularity of television in the early 1950s, movie studios had to do something to keep people going to the cinema and so they fell over themselves to introduce ever wider pictures on the big screen.  Twentieth Century Fox’s version was CinemaScope and debuted in […]

The Age of Adaline

Composed by Rob Simonsen Lakeshore Records / 2015 / 58m After suffering a car accident at the age of 29, Adaline Bowman’s life changes.  But her age doesn’t.  She’s stuck at 29 forever.  People come and go; she stays.  

The Longest Ride

Composed by Mark Isham Milan Records / 2015 / 52m Adapted from the novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride tells the intertwined love stories of a young couple today, and old man they meet and his own love story from the 1940s.  It’s actually the tenth adaptation of a Sparks novel (he isn’t even fifty yet) to […]

Magic

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith La-La Land Records / 2015 / 43m A well-reviewed psychological thriller, Richard Attenborough’s 1978 movie Magic was written by William Goldman based on his novel.  It starred the great Anthony Hopkins as a mild-mannered ventriloquist, Corky, with a foul-mouthed dummy called Fats representing the flip-side of his dual personality; Ann-Margaret played his love interest, […]

Tomorrowland

Composed by Michael Giacchino Walt Disney Records / 2015 / 74m George Clooney plays a once wide-eyed boy full of hope, now died-in-the-wool cynic in Tomorrowland, Disney’s science fiction movie apparently intended to evoke the old Walt Disney optimism from the era of his utopian dreams of the perfect tomorrow, the 1964 New York City World’s Fair, […]

Texas Rising

Composed by John Debney and Bruce Broughton MCA Nashville / 2015 / 75m An eight-part miniseries on the History Channel, Texas Rising stars Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser and Ray Liotta amongst many others and covers the events of the Texas Revolution of the 1830s which saw the people of the Mexican province rise against their government and […]

Poltergeist

Composed by Marc Streitenfeld Sony Classical / 2015 / 44m Another week, another horror remake, this time of Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg’s 1982 Poltergeist which scared me rigid when I sneakily watched it when I was a few years old, and made me laugh when I watched it a couple of decades later.  The remake is directed […]

Supernova Vol. 1: Through the Portal

Composed by Olivier Derivière Primal Games / 2015 / 25m A MOBA (“multiplayer online battle arena” in case you didn’t know – but I’m sure you did), Supernova is a game that sees players battling wits against each other, controlling waves of humans or aliens and battling to ensure their race isn’t wiped out.  Publisher Bandai Namco […]