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FILM SCORE FRIDAY 3/22/02

By Scott Bettencourt

CRAIG ARMSTRONG will be scoring Philip Noyce's remake of Graham Greene's The Quiet American, starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser.

DAVID ARNOLD will reunite with World Is Not Enough director Michael Apted for the Jennifer Lopez drama Enough, as well as scoring the new Bond film, which has been given the faux-Fleming title Die Another Day.

Despite talk that John Williams was interested in the gig, MYCHAEL DANNA has been signed to score Ang Lee's feature The Hulk. I would assume that with two Spielberg films imminent as well as a new Star Wars and a new Harry Potter, Williams has enough on his plate, especially for a man who was talking about retiring just a few years ago. Danna will also score Denzel Washington's directorial debut, the untitled "Antoine Fisher Story."

As rumored, DANNY ELFMAN will indeed reunite with Family Man director Brett Ratner for Red Dragon, the Hannibal Lecter prequel (and remake of Manhunter). Whatever one thinks of Ratner's abilities (and few would argue he's the second coming of Ridley Scott or Jonathan Demme), he has assembled an extraordinary cast--besides the inevitable Anthony Hopkins, there's Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, Mary-Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman, in the roles played in Manhunter by William Petersen, Tom Noonan, Joan Allen, Dennis Farina, Kim Griest and Stephen Lang, respectively.

RICHARD GIBBS will score the feature version of I Spy (his third score for director Betty Thomas), with Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy playing the Culp and Crosby roles. If only they could have found some funny actors.

JOHN OTTMAN will reunite with director Bryan Singer for X-Men 2 (aka X2).

RACHEL PORTMAN will score Nicholas Nickelby for director Doug McGrath, whose Emma won her the Oscar.

JOHN POWELL is replacing Carter Burwell on the feature remake of The Bourne Identity. No word on if Burwell had written any music before leaving the project.

As if there weren't enough superhero movies being made, Daredevil will reach the screen with a GRAEME REVELL score, for director Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch!), featuring Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell (no actor has done more movies that have been seen by fewer people), Michael Clarke Duncan and Jon Favreau


IN STORES THIS WEEK

Dragonfly - John Debney - Varese Sarabande
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - John Williams - MCA Records (75:34 of music, including three previously unreleased cues)
Green Dragon - Jeff & Mychael Danna - Varese Sarabande


IN THEATERS TODAY

Blade II - Music by Marco Beltrami - Score Album due in late August
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial - Music by John Williams - see above for album info
Sorority Boys - Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Stolen Summer - Music by Danny Lux


THE G STANDS FOR GOING GOING GONE

The following GNP Crescendo CDs are now out of print:

The 4th Floor (Brian Tyler)
Hellraiser II: Hellbound/Highpoint (Christopher Young)
Outland/Capricorn One (Jerry Goldsmith)
Victor/Victoria (Henry Mancini)

And Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth (Randy Miller) will be out of print shortly.


AT LONG LAST, HE'S A RESPECTED CLASSICAL COMPOSER

Bernard Herrmann's "Souvenirs de Voyage" will soon be receiving its first public performance in France, along with concert works by Nino Rota and John Williams. For more info, go to this link.


WELL, WE ALL LIKE THEIR FILM SCORES

Regarding Michael Ware's review of the latest Godzilla soundtrack:

From: "Gorham, Jim M." <Jim.Gorham@itgtech.com>

Your comment applying to the line...A young woman is involved in Weasel News Channel (I meant Fox News Channel, sorry!)...is completely inappropriate.   If you have a political view or "Politically Correct" view, please keep it to yourself and do not include it in your reviews.

As an avid music and film score aficionado I feel "politics" has no place here and I'm offended you put it there. If you have a problem with Fox News, take it up with them. I'm sure Bill O'Reilly would like to trade political banter with you. Just leave it out of here. Comments like that cheapen the whole thing.

This seems a strange complaint to me. I would assume that a News Channel would either present the news with no political bias whatsoever, or else present a variety of points of view from all across the political spectrum. Do you mean to imply that Fox News doesn't do this?


LOOKING FOR FILM MUSIC IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

At Slate.com this week, critic Andy Baer surveys the five nominees for Best Original Score, and -- surprise -- he doesn't think any of them deserve to be nominated. His preferred choices include Waking Life, Mulholland Drive, Amelie, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Anniversary Party, demonstrating as always the prejudice that film critics have against composers who regularly score films for a living.

Meanwhile, film music's most lauded whipping boy, John Williams, gets more teasing from two top-notch online humor magazines. The Onion's list of improvements made to the new E.T. include:

Revised John Williams score swells 40 percent more majestically.
And a recent Modern Humorist column, comparing nominees' prepared speeches to the speeches they will actually give, includes this entry on Williams:
NOMINEE:
John Williams, Best Score for "A.I." and "Harry Potter"

PREPARED REMARKS:
"Thank you for honoring me once again."

WHAT HE WILL ACTUALLY SAY IF HE WINS:
[Walks on stage. Opens mouth. Emits pleasing C-Major chord. Wins four more Oscars.]

I would include their bit about Randy Newman as well, but the overt politics of the Newman parody would be guaranteed to offend some of our readers.


ONE RING TO BAKE THEM ALL, DUDE

From: "John Walsh" <johnswalsh65@hotmail.com>

I have an old copy of the Bo Hanson Lord of the Rings and have loved it for years. The very things I like about it will send the Williamsoids fleeing from it--it's moody, certainly not action-specific. To clue you in on what it's like, it was given to me by a Deadhead DJ who had a psychedelic music radio program. And it's as far from the Rosenman as you can imagine. Good music to get high to. I guess.

A TEN FOOT POLL

From: "Pulliam, Ron, <RPULLIAM@co.alameda.ca.us>

My favorite TV composer is Christopher L. Stone.

I don't guess he's big enough to have been included in the laundry list????

No insult toward Mr. Stone was intended. I merely listed all the TV composers I could think of off the top of my head, not counting sitcom composers who have so little to work with. I did intentionally omit Shirley Walker, only because I thought she might easily overpower the competition. I would have voted for her, anyway.


OPEN YOUR EARS

From: Brad Taylor: JBT9955@aol.com

The song ["If I Didn't Have You"] has a good chance of finally winning [Randy] Newman the Oscar he's deserved for so long, both because everyone thinks he should win one and because the competition is so weak. After all, does anyone want the terrifying phrase "the Oscar winning movie Vanilla Sky" to ever be spoken aloud?

No one wants to hear that except the Academy members who would like nothing more than to give an Oscar to a Beatle! If anything, they're more starstruck than we are.

Point well taken. The Academy seems to love giving Oscars to music legends like Dylan and Springsteen. However, the Academy has already rewarded the Beatles all at once -- Let It Be won the 1970 Oscar for Best Original Song Score. Quite fishily, it seems to me, since the movie is essentially a concert documentary and thus the songs weren't actually written for the film.


NOT ENOUGH MOVIES ABOUT THIEVES WERE RELEASED LAST YEAR

From: "Greg Bryant" <gbryant@isoc.net>

4. BEST UNRELEASED SCORE

Heist, by Theodore Shapiro

It's good to know that I'm not the only person on earth to have noticed this score. It's also good to know that I'm not the only person on earth who went looking for this score after seeing the movie only to be greatly disappointed that there was no release. A promo perhaps, someone???

I'd had hopes that Warner Bros. would at least release an Oscar promo of this score, as they did with so many of last year's movies (especially the invaluable though maddeningly sequenced two-disc A.I. promo) but they didn't, possibly because the film, though distributed by Warners, was produced by another company, Franchise.

And am I wrong, or is Heist's main theme extremely similar to a Goldsmith piece, possibly L.A. Confidential?


BASIL + PAUL + FLESH + BLOOD

I just wanted to thank Prometheus for releasing the new CD of one of my all-time favorite scores, Basil Poledouris' glorious Flesh + Blood. I know there have been complaints about the sound quality of the extra cues, but they only really suffer in comparison with the wonderful sound of the previously released pieces.

The only drawback to the CD is the sequencing. I can understand how the difference in sound quality might make a chronological sequencing disconcerting, but the placement of the extra cues emphasizes the fact that they are just that -- extra cues.

The original Varese F+B CD was superbly sequenced, balancing action and non-action music in a way that made the forty minute running time seem to fly by. It's great to have the new cues, but this isn't a score like LOGAN'S RUN (and no, Lukas doesn't pay me to extra to keep plugging it) where the extra cues make it feel like a completely different and greater score.

Flesh + Blood is Verhoeven's most underrated movie, and richly deserving of a letterboxed DVD release. The Jennifer Jason Leigh nudity alone should guarantee sales, though alas it does include one of Verhoeven's trademarked violent rape scenes. He's one of my favorite directors, but his predilection for rape scenes is troubling to say the least. I can think of at least four in his films, not including the implied rape from Hollow Man. Actually, five if you count the garden-hose-enema torture scene from Soldier of Orange.

I read a fascinating book on Verhoeven (I can't remember the author's name, but I can't imagine Verhoven's been the subject of too many books so it shouldn't be hard to track down) which said that part of the inspriation for F+B was The Wild Bunch. Verhoeven was fascinated by the potential of the William Holden/Robert Ryan relationship, between the leader of the gang and the ex-comrade who's helping track them down, and tried to explore that with the Rutger Hauer and Jack Thompson characters. Unfortunately, the studio insisted on emphasizing the romance instead, ending up with a film with fascinating (and presumably intentional) parallels to the Patricia Hearst story.

One disconcerting fact emerges from the Verheven bio: he didn't intend Showgirls to be a comedy. Oh well.

Anyway, great score, great composer, great CD, highly recommended. Though it's not the ten-course musical feast Conan the Barbarian is, I think the F+B score actually works better in its movie than CTB does. By the way, I hope these hip abbreviations will catch on, like T2 and ID4.


THE MISSING LINK

If you'd like to see the cover(s) for the Attack of the Clones soundtrack, click here.

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