All posts under James Horner

9 Favorite FSM CDs

fsm

*+-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 Lukas Kendall had access to one of the richest veins of Silver and Golden Age film music. FSM had its share of heavy-hitters—the Newman’s, Goldsmith’s, Williams’s, Barry’s, Morricone’s, North’s, Waxman’s, Herrmann’s, Bernstein’s, and basically the…

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9 Favorite Film Music Moments of 2012

John Carter

*+-For this month’s “9 on the 9th” post, I wanted to focus on the smaller moments from this past year, those momentary thrills that can only be experienced by hearing film music in context of the film. While we all enjoy listening to film music on its own, I believe you have to hear it in its original context to truly understand the intent behind the music. This list does not necessarily represent the “best” scores of the year—I’ll give my take on that in a few weeks—and the scores…

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9 Favorite Film Scores of James Horner

Searching for Bobby Fischer

*+-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 account in any discussion of his music, at least from my end. And while I will be the first to jump down his throat for any overused, annoying “Hornerisms,” Horner is a superb dramatist whose…

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Readers Poll – Top 10 Film Scores of 2010

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*+-Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in this year’s readers survey. Over 200 people voted and over 1,600 votes were cast. While I expected certain scores to appear, it was interesting to watch the list form and morph over the voting period. Out of the 201 scores listed, 161 of them received at least one vote. While this list certainly doesn’t match mine (nor should it), there are a couple of overlaps, several scores that didn’t quite make my cut, and a couple that weren’t anywhere close. This…

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“Houston, We Have a Problem!”

Apollo 13

*+-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 the TV with my family (we weren’t the type to do that anyway); I just remember the accomplishment. That’s also my earliest memory of being fascinated by space, something that continues to this day. I…

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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 local hustler (Laurence Fishburne) in Washington Square Park, and the opposing views of his parents (Joe Mantegna and Joan Allen). This heartwarming and emotionally riveting film moves on the beautiful strains of James Horner’s lovely score. Horner’s…

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CD Review: The Karate Kid (2010)

The Karate Kid

*+-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 particularly looking forward to listening to James Horner‘s new score, especially after the massive disappointment of AVATAR. But I’m here to report that Horner’s KARATE KID is a pleasant surprise. The score begins on an…

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CD Review: Avatar

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 fans love to bash Horner. I have great affection for many of Horner’s scores–in particular APOLLO 13, FIELD OF DREAMS, and SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER. But no score in recent memory has been so eagerly…

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CD Review: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

khan_l

*+-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. So I paid very little attention to the fanfare surrounding STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. I was a big fan of the original STAR TREK series in the 1970’s but, like most people,…

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KHAAAAN!!

wrathofkahn3

*+-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 is, if I get my copy by then. This release has caused a big order baglog at Screen Archives Entertainment (the exclusive online retailers of the CD), and not just from film score fans. Their booth at…

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