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9 Favorite FSM CDs

With the release of Jerry Fielding’s THE WILD BUNCH last month, it’s the end of the line for the Film Score Monthly label. With a roster of 250 releases since 1996, FSM filled a very important void in the soundtrack business. With its primary concentration on the MGM library (which later incorporated other studios), producer… More

Searching for Bobby Fischer

9 Favorite Film Scores of James Horner

I’m usually negatively vocal about the works of James Horner—in person and in print. I’ve criticized his uncredited borrowing from Prokofiev, as well as his over-reliance on certain motifs. Rumors to the contrary, I do not hate Horner’s music. Horner has a distinctive voice, but his flaws as a composer need to be taken into… More

Apollo 13

“Houston, We Have a Problem!”

My first memory of news from the outside world is the death of Judy Garland on June 22, 1969. Let me tell you, Dorothy’s death rocked my little seven-year-old world. Less than a month later, my second “real life” memory came from something even more astonishing–man landed on the moon. I don’t remember sitting around… More

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Can anyone make watching chess exciting? If you’re writer/director Steven Zaillian you can. In SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER, chess is the backdrop for this moving story of a young chess wiz (Max Pomeranc) who is caught between the rigidity of rules from his renowned coach (Ben Kingsley), the sheer joy of the game from a… More

The Karate Kid

CD Review: The Karate Kid (2010)

No offense to Jaden Smith, but for me Ralph Macchio will always be THE KARATE KID. And I doubt Jackie Chan can hold a candle to Pat Morita. I vaguely remember the 1984 original as a pleasant diversion, but it’s lost in the haze in which most mid-80s films reside in my brain. So I wasn’t… More


CD Review: Avatar

James Horner is not a hack. You don’t work your way up to the top level of film composers without talent. And Horner has immense talent. Perhaps that is why he is often the target of vehement attacks by film score fans. Perhaps it is his notorious practice of self-borrowing. Whatever the reason(s), film score… More


CD Review: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

In June of 1982, I’d just finished my second year of my undergrad degree and was looking forward to a summer of increased drinking and very little, if any, clarinet practicing. For me, the summer movie buzz revolved around this new Steven Spielberg movie having to do with some extra-terrestrial and yummy peanut butter candy…. More



I’ve been reading Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION trilogy lately with the few STAR TREK scores I own as my musical background. One that is missing is Film Score Monthly’s recent release of the complete, expanded edition of James Horner‘s score for STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. I plan on reviewing the CD next week. That… More