Movie Wave Home
Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer

Composed by

* 1/2

Album running time

Performed by
led by
conducted by


Engeineered by
Music Editor
Produced by

Released by
Serial number
VOL. 23

Artwork copyright (c) 1993 Intermedia Film Distribution; review copyright (c) 2005 James Southall



Dull and disappointing effort from Silvestri


Just a few short years ago, releases of film music were rarer than hens' teeth.  Scores for major films, or scores for minor films which were written by major composers, were often released, with occasional releases of classic scores from the past, usually in the form of straight reissues of old vinyl albums.  To those who have only recently joined the field, this must seem to be somewhat extraordinary, because today it seems that just about anything gets released, both new and old.  The recently-announced deal struck with the AFM meaning that Hollywood-recorded scores will no longer be subject to reuse fees if sales volumes of the album are low will surely mean that the number of releases will become higher still.  This won't affect releases of older scores since it isn't retrospective, but quite frankly so many older scores are now being released that the market is surely already saturated.  The speed with which many of the limited editions sells out indicates that perhaps it isn't saturated, but there are so many albums coming out at the moment, it's simply impossible, both logistically and financially, to keep up with them all, leaving many collectors (I'm sure) frustrated that they are faced with having to buy an album pretty much as soon as it's announced in order to avoid it being unavailable by the time they're actually ready to make the purchase, or quite probably missing out on it altogether.

It seems that it's now every week or so that a new limited edition of an older score is announced.  Ironically, these are usually greeted by days or sometimes even weeks of speculation before the release, as people try to guess what they are, and everybody says they want expanded editions of Spartacus and Alien, and when the titles finally do get released there is a general reaction of "oh."  Attracting attention for the right reasons (ie because of the music, as opposed to the number of copies available or other similar reasons) was Intrada's release of Judgment Night by Alan Silvestri, as part of their Special Collection.  I find this to be quite ironic because it's easily the least interesting score they've released as part of that series (at least, of the ones I've heard) and so it's strange indeed that it seemed to generate more excitement amongst the film music community than their other releases.

Despite only being a few years old, Judgment Night is already a long-forgotten film.  A dark thriller starring Emilio Estevez and Denis Leary, it was the second film of three that Silvestri scored for director Stephen Hopkins, coming after Predator 2 and before Blown Away.  It sometimes resembles the composer's work on Predator 2 - the action music, at least, with Silvestri again scoring the city as if it were a jungle, with loads of percussion, and this is pretty effective stuff (though not so effective as that other score).  Unfortunately, despite being nominally an action score, there is really barely any action music, only a handful of tracks on the very, very long album.  When the music takes off it's great - and the ironic thing is that if the score had been released at the time of the film, the album would probably only have been half an hour long and would have played far better in that format.

In this format, breaking up the few minutes of action music are many minutes of extremely tedious suspense music.  It's all terribly effective stuff and I would imagine it works wonders in the film, but it's not musical enough to be of any interest on a CD.  So many of the cues go by without much of anything happening, it is a big disappointment.  This is especially disappointing given the usual quality of Silvestri's output and indeed, the impeccable standards Intrada have set with their own recent releases.  I'm sure that devout fans of the composer will enjoy it, but for others, the sheer length of the album and lack of much dynamic material is enough for me to urge caution.


  1. Freeway Confrontation (2:07)
  2. New Passenger (4:33)
  3. Execution (5:22)
  4. Train Yard (2:13)
  5. Some 'Splainin' to Do (5:17)
  6. Bat Woman (2:14)
  7. Ladder Crossing (9:43)
  8. Ray's Deal (3:24)
  9. Ray Eats It (2:03)
  10. Hello Ladies (1:23)
  11. Make a Stand (3:32)
  12. Mike Shoots Sykes (5:20)
  13. All I Got is You (5:30)
  14. Stalk and Talk (4:40)
  15. Final Fight (3:34)
  16. It's Over (1:04)
  17. Frank Takes the Wheel (4:02)
  18. I Tried (2:36)
  19. Judgment Night Theme (3:09)