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 Post subject: October 2007
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:43 pm
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Location: Northern California
10/2/07

My take on TROY circa 2007.

Wolfgang Petersen ups the gore, makes his sword and spear battles feel more like what they probably were. Bloody. There's a little more character and certainly more skin, as they say. The 2004 original had terrific characters with some depth. They get more to say now but things aren't quite as lean, either. I'll stick with the tighter tale. Nice to get a few more words out of Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund), however. He's still under-used but that's a minor quibble.

But damn! Wolfgang??? What's up with the music??? He states in his new DVD intro that this extended version matches his original vision. Music-wise, I think he may just be nuttier than a fruitcake.

I never flipped over Yared's score. I'm in the Horner camp. (Achilles tune rules.) However, Petersen apparently had a darker vision, so when Horner gets flamboyant, things are trimmed. Achilles theme is still there, in hints, in lugubrious quotes, in splashes. But in two places where it really felt right before, Petersen has taken it apart: when Achilles trains his cousin Patroclus and when he takes the beach with some fifty men.

Ironically, Horner's other primary theme (a love theme) has also been mostly removed. As a result, whatever architecture Horner managed before has been pretty much destroyed. To make things even crummier, along with a patchwork of rejected Yared music, Petersen lifts music from other film scores, including Elfman's PLANET OF THE APES and Poledouris' STARSHIP TROOPERS.

It's TROY with a temp score!

I had high hopes for this "director's cut". I fell for the initial movie, hook line and sinker. And Horner was one of the stars! There's insult here when a director uses music in such a cheap, cut-and-paste manner, as if it were merely generic wallpaper.

The director's cut of TROY. For months I was pumped. Now I've watched it. What a missed opportunity.

10/5/07

If you're waiting for your copy of THE MONSTER SQUAD to arrive, hang in there. We're kind of hanging ourselves! It's doing well, with almost half of the entire 3000 pressing run claimed already. Admittedly, I saw the handwriting on the wall. It's been an oft-requested title by Broughton fans for years and your response to our early pre-order listing was strong. Still, there are limits to just how much work I can squeeze out of Jeff and George back in the mail room. Gads! I'm even wrapping a few boxes myself! (And, yes, the hamsters are working around the clock, too.) So please hang in there. A thousand orders have already been processed and we'll be chipping away at more all weekend. Who knows? We might be caught up just in time for our October 16th release - which is pretty darn cool, too.

10/10/07

Not really on a soapbox here, but a negative observation just the same. I'm playing a pair of horror scores right now. It's part of my job. But come on! Where's the music?

It's not hard to recall some really good ones. Once we had Herrmann and Goldsmith giving us PSYCHO and OMEN and MEPHISTO WALTZ and ALIEN and whatnot. Strings sliced, ice cold melodies prevailed, terrifying choral chants lingered, intense brass blared up the wazoo. You name it, those musicians scared us with it. Sometimes new ideas popped up, courtesy John Carpenter, some others. They stripped the musical assault down to simple melodies, but the scares remained. Even the likes of Salter and Skinner added character to all those Universal monsters and critters from the 1940's. We had decades of good scary music happening all the way up until... well, now.

I'm trying to get through WRONG TURN 2 at the moment but it's hard. Sure, I get the visceral approach McCreary's after. But there's nothing musically horrifying going on for me here. Loud vehicles without mufflers will do the same thing.

RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL uses more orchestral players but there's still nothing I can hang my hat on. Sheer dissonance and aural assaults don't enhance anything for me. They just make the movie noisier. Maybe that's the intent, but I'm losing interest in both the genre and the music that goes with it lately. Horror scores used to be pretty incredible.

Not anymore.

10/12/07

Come here this next Tuesday and find our latest Special Collection up for grabs. Well, up for sale, anyway. It's a pretty cool one, too. It's the world CD premiere for an LP I played endlessly when it came out in the early 1980's. Now I can play the CD endlessly!

To be honest, I was playing it a lot several weeks ago when we were preparing it so I'm gonna take a break from it for a while!

However, next week, it can be yours to play endlessly. Enjoy!

10/17/07

People will want to know. That's what Geena Davis said to Jeff Goldblum in THE FLY.

Some people are asking us what's left on MONSIGNOR, only 24 hours after it was released. So Geena's right. People like to know. Anyway, here's what I can see from looking in our warehouse. It's a hit! (Maybe not by the standards that major labels use, but by ours at least.)

I've always felt this score to be a major turning point for John Williams. After his string of super-charged scores for Spielberg and Lucas, along came this lavish-looking drama with nary a spaceship or flying critter in sight. So Williams introduced several ideas that became later trademarks.

Here we get our first real taste of the somber, expressive string writing he ultimately used in his serious Oliver Stone projects. Williams also gives us his first really massive piece for chorus, with cathedral organ no less. "Appolini's Decision" gives us a hint of the stark action style he later cultivated, too.

What music! This one's a great reminder that John Williams really does bring both the "golden age" and the "silver age" together!

10/23/07

News that you like to spread. It's got nothing to do with movie music except that it involves our store manager. But it's more exciting than any ol' soundtrack.

Jeff's finally tied the knot. Well, almost. In a couple of weeks he'll finally marry Stacey, whom he's been romancing for some time. They're great together.

Speaking of changes, we're adding another hamster to our staff in the mail room. My extended family's just getting bigger around here. And I'm getting older. The former's fine but I wish I could stop the latter!

10/24/07

What's in store ahead.

With so many plays in motion lately, I thought it'd be nice to invite you into our huddle. On the release front we've got several cool CDs coming up over the next six weeks or so. There are at least four that I can recall, possibly one more I've forgotten about. (Gads, old age really is creeping in!) Anyway, one thing's for sure: keep extra room on your plates for Thanksgiving dinner. We've got an unusually special meal roasting in the oven for that week!

But we're up to a lot more things, too - stuff for our label, stuff for our store. Expect things both predictable (sound samples on everything we offer, more information to help guide you on your choices) and innovative, including a complete tour of our label, full of pictorial and aural histories culled from more than twenty years of recording projects. We've got piles of exclusive pictures, video images, anecdotes from composers and more that we'd love to share with you!

It's all part of our 2008 game plan. But new CDs, of course, will remain the headliners. And to that end, we've got some goodies ahead for you to "score" with!

10/26/07

A great place to be this coming Tuesday is right here. We've got another Special Collection CD to offer you and we think it's an exciting one. Coming from one of our favorite composers, it's also one of his biggest projects! An original LP in the eighties offered a mere glimpse of his massive 77-minute score. We've restored the entire work, mastered directly from the pristine studio session elements. And for those so interested - yes, we've included the end credit song! The sonics on this CD are impressive.

And so's the music! Watch for the official posting Monday evening!


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