Goldsmith (film composer)

"It knows only that it needs, Commander. But, like so many of us… it does not know what."

EDIT: This album was updated on July 2, 2012 in order to take advantage of the better quality sources provided for the material from Star Trek: The Motion Picture because of the new La-La Land set, and that of Star Trek: First Contact, courtesy of the new GNP Crescendo release, and a new edit of "Let's Get Out of Here" from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier inspired by mortimusmonk that combines elements from the film tracks as well as the album track. I was satisfied with the original assembly, and so there was no significant changes other than the use of remastered material, which in some cases required new edits and in others changed the transitions slightly. The main entry has been updated to reflect the changes.


My interest in film music is tied very closely to Jerry Goldsmith's involvement with the Star Trek series. I've said on many occasions that if Star Trek: The Motion Picture had been a better film, I may have been less inclined to be entranced by its music score. The film music I found interesting in my childhood became a full-blown passion in my adolescence, one which has persisted to this day.

And yet, with all of the personal involvement I have with Goldsmith's Star Trek music, I never felt that I got any of mixes I had made of his contribution to the franchise exactly right. Red Alert was a voluminous two-disc set that was overlong and unfocused, while Battle Stations, my attempt at making a more concise album, always seemed a bit sloppy to me. I wanted to return to this after I revised Silver Screen Star Trek, but two things stopped me: the dire sound of any unreleased music from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and the lack of any material beyond the original album of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Recently, however, this has changed; La-La-Land addressed the latter issue with their comprehensive edition of the score whilst a fan did a superb job cleaning up the recording sessions from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which allowed me to re-evaluate both the tone and structure of the new album.

While there are similarities, the new disc has a more introspective spin than the previous two. With some techniques I taught myself while working on my Lord of the Rings compilation (which I have completed; the liner notes are extremely in-depth and will be posted once I've finished them), I labored to keep my touch more subtle than previously possible, concentrating less on building suites and more on crafting a satisfying whole with compelling transitions. "Battle Stations" no longer really worked as a title as it was too aggressive for this more lyrical take on the material. Instead, I named it after "A Busy Man," a cue from Star Trek V that appears as track 11 on this album and could as easily be used to describe the extremely prolific Goldsmith himself.


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Goldsmith (film composer)

Geekitude

It's very bizarre to realize that you're in a sort of "minority" that can be offended by uninformed writing.

I don't have cable, so I don't usually see shows on their first-run, and I almost never watch sitcoms. It was in this manner in which I was able to successfully avoid exposure to the series Big Bang Theory. I'd heard of it, seen promos for it and was pretty sure that despite its supposed casting of geeks as protagonists, it was basically just Revenge of the Nerds on T.V., just without the jocks.

This weekend, while over at a friends' house, I saw two episodes. They were exactly what I expected: round after round of "let's laugh at the geek obsessions!" (baseball and football fans evidence the exact same behavior, albeit with much less interesting and thought-provoking topics; watch ESPN and mentally replace the sports statistics with information about the TARDIS. Pretty familiar, ain't it?) It wasn't until two characters got into a serious argument about the relative merits of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, however, that there was the sort of "huh" moment. The scene can be viewed here.

If you watch the video, you probably know where this is going.

From Allan Asherman's The Star Trek Compendium:

About the only things people seem to agree on about Star Trek: The Motion Picture are that it was expensive to produce, is visually attractive, and has a fine musical score.

Right. That musical score provided the theme that Gene Roddenberry specifically requested be used for The Next Generation. The score that set the standard thereafter for the musical depiction of Starfleet and Klingons for the franchise as a whole. The score from the composer who was asked back to the franchise for four more features and a television series theme. To refer to the music as a "failure," even as part of a passing joke, just makes no sense.

However, the problem with the show comes quite clear toward the end of the clip, where one of these guys suggests that Star Trek IV was "unarguably" the best of the original series films. Star Trek IV was the most popular of the original series films because the comedy element gave it great crossover appeal to the mainstream.

NO ACTUAL GEEK WOULD EVER ARGUE THAT THE VOYAGE HOME WAS BETTER THAN WRATH OF KHAN.

Trust me. I know this.

I get that the series is attempting to appeal to a mainstream audience, but seriously — geeks finally get to be the protagonists on a television sitcom, but they can't even get a Trekkie on the writing staff to correct obvious mistakes? Isn't that kind of like having a medical drama without a doctor to consult with?
Bishop & Hudson (Aliens) (by mimisoliel)

Muzak

I had ordered a couple of items before the strike that came during. It was nice to get a bit of music every once and a while to lighten the mood a bit from time to time. There have also been some very interesting rumblings on the boards of late as to what will be coming soon from Intrada… if it is what many think it is, there will be some more words about it in the not-too-distant future.


    Zaporozhtzi!!!

  • I was introduced to Franz Waxman's score when it was first released by Ryko in the 90s. It was something of a blind buy, but it came highly recommended by people on the FSM board whose opinions I trusted. That album was so colorful and exciting that it quickly became a favorite. I then rented the movie and was shocked to hear the difference between what is heard in the film and what was on the record; they're completely different recordings, and the album had a significantly reduced orchestra.

    The album is still a favorite (particularly the Kritzerland remaster), but the score itself has been the subject of a new recording from Tadlow Music that reconstructs the original Leonid Raab film orchestrations. James Fitzpatrick and his crew even included the faux Cossack folk songs written by Waxman and lyricist Mack David for the film, which are very prominently featured in the movie and are a welcome edition (thankfully placed at the end so as not to effect the dramatic flow of the score).

    As with their superb recording of Miklós Rózsa's El Cid, the Tadlow edition does not replace the composer-conducted original album, but instead presents a very different musical experience that makes an excellent companion piece to the more concise LP configurations. Waxman's score is engaging from beginning to end, and the performance is spirited as all hell. The film version of "The Ride To Dubno" is a splendid rendition of this iconic piece of film music.

    If this music doesn't make you want to pick up a huge spear and kill a whole bunch of Polish people while yelling out "Zaporozhtzi!!!" there's something seriously wrong with you, and you should seek immediate professional psychotherapy.


  • What daring! What outrageousness! What insolence! What arrogance!… I salute you.

  • Speaking of Tadlow, in addition to having announced that they are going to be recording a companion piece to their superb rendition of Basil Poledouris' Conan the Barbarian with a disc that will contain both Conan the Destroyer as well as The Adventures of Conan: Sword and Sorcery Spectacular. It has also been confirmed that Intrada Records is going to be restoring and releasing the complete original soundtrack recordings of Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer. This is stunning news, meaning that two versions will be available not only of several or even most of the cues, but all of them.

    The promise of improved sound quality on the original Conan scores will be enough for me to revisit my Let Me Tell You of the Days of High Adventure compilation, although I consider this to be one of my best mixes, and so will be making no changes other than using the remastered tracks for better sonics (particularly the Conan the Destroyer main title, the only source of which was a bootleg with terrible sound that I cleaned up as best as possible). I might experiment a bit more if I decide to make a companion piece utilizing the Tadlow recordings; if the Conan follow-up disc is as interesting and exciting an alternative to the original tracks as their recording of Conan the Barbarian is (and I have no doubt that it will be; their recording of Maurice Jarre's Lawrence of Arabia set a new bar for re-recordings of film music by rendering moot all previous recordings of the score, replicating the original film performance with none of the sonic pitfalls).


  • Quartet Gems

  • The enterprising new Spanish label Quartet Records has released two wonderful CDs, Jerry Goldsmith's Studs Lonigan and Patrick Doyle's Killing Me Softly.

    Studs Lonigan is in a similar vein as his work on Chinatown, but with a more introspective overall tone. I've been finding a lot of early Goldsmith scores such as this one, City of Fear and Cain's Hundred or even The Brotherhood of the Bell to be chock full of the composer's familiar devices, but often achieved with different means as the instrumental combinations. The composer had to work with budgetary restrictions in his early career and on television, and so he often had to come up with muscular sounds without the full forces of an orchestra. It was a very innovative time in his career, and that's really saying something.

    Meanwhile, Doyle's Killing Me Softly finally gets a soundtrack release. The composer's previous thriller score was the bombastic, old fashioned Dead Again, a personal favorite, but here he pays homage to the film noir scores of John Barry. This is a classy affair, erotic yet dignified. In fact, I was a little surprised at how sensual the music was, as I tend to associate Doyle with more flowing themes and visceral action (the relatively overt sexuality of Much Ado About Nothing wasn't really reflected in the composer's very sunny score). I really hope that he starts doing more scores of this type than the Media Ventures styled action scores he's produced recently for Thor and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (a movie which I really enjoyed, by the way; more on that later) because this was great fun.


  • A Real Soldier Here Is Like a Falcon Among Sparrows

  • My hunger for the music of Bernard Herrmann brought me to the superb Marco Polo/Naxos recording of the score. Herrmann collaborated with Fox music department head Alfred Newman on the film due to an exceedingly tight post-production schedule brought about by delays in the shoot. Newman brings the transcendental religious touch that he brought to The Robe and brings a vibrancy to his source cues. Herrmann often responds to the movie as though it were film noir, which is fitting because even though it is a costume drama, the film does have many noir elements, most prominently the presence of a femme fatale in the form of Bella Darvi's Nefer. The collaboration may have been surprising given Herrmann's irascible manner, but it was highly fruitful, and both composers produced some very beautiful music for this film.

    In a wonderful cross-pollination, Varèse Sarabande was preparing the complete score for remaster from newly-found stereo sources for a grand two-disc set while Twilight Time managed to get a beautiful high definition transfer of the film from Twentieth Century-Fox for a Blu-ray disc, which they were then able to include an isolated score track.

    The remastering on the score makes it sound absolutely fantastic. Both composers use each other's thematic material, so while nobody familiar with their individual styles are going to mistake one for the other, they flow smoothly from one to the other. The music is as good an excuse to watch the film as any, which, while far from being any sort of "lost classic" is nevertheless a solid bit of melodrama with gorgeous production values. The Blu-ray captures the original CinemaScope image, with all of its inherent grain and distortion, but there is nevertheless a grandeur to the appearance of this stately film that was, after all, meant to be shown on the largest screen imaginable.
Hitchcock (filmmaker)

Onion Dues

The following is a statement by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for release 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011:

Washington, D.C. – Members of CWA and IBEW at Verizon Communications will return to work on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at which time the contract will be back in force for an indefinite period.

We have reached agreement with Verizon on how bargaining will proceed and how it will be restructured. The major issues remain to be discussed, but overall, issues now are focused and narrowed.

We appreciate the unity of our members and the support of so many in the greater community. Now we will focus on bargaining fairly and moving forward.

CWA and IBEW represent 45,000 workers at Verizon covered by this contract from Virginia to New England.

So… the strike is over. We will return to work on Tuesday under an extension of the 2008 contract whilst contract negotiations continue. I wanted to return to work (never, never, never believe that a strike an act of lazy people; picketing is much more strenuous than a regular day of work), but I wanted to have a decent contract first. We shall see how effective this move is in the resulting contract. On the other hand, according to the news passed on from my Chief Steward, the company took many its demands off of the table so they could concentrate on the core issues.

Nevertheless, this does take some immediate pressure off of me. How this is going to effect my long-term job security is another question.
I've always loved Sergio Leone's Westerns, but the traditional Western hadn't really resonated with me in the way that other genres might have. I loved the music, but the movies themselves didn't strike the same chord within me that they did to audiences of eras past. Maybe it's because I'm becoming what I consider to be an old fart, but I've been appreciating Westerns a lot more than I used to.

There is one name that is as associated with Westerns as Alfred Hitchcock is to suspense pictures, and that is John Ford. His name comes up as a major influence on Leone, Akira Kurosawa and even Orson Welles, who claims he screened Stagecoach forty times for the various members of the crew of Citizen Kane, saying that when it came to filmmaking, "John Ford was my teacher, Stagecoach my textbook." Orson #&%@ing Welles said that.

Somehow, in my entire life, I had managed to never see a John Ford film. Some of this is attributable to the presence of John Wayne, whom, like Sylvester Stallone, I often find to be an abrasive presence in a film. I don't know if I exactly have warmed to him — I attempted to watch Chisum recently and he got on my nerves as he did in The Green Berets — but I have to admit that when he was in a role that played to his strengths, he could command the screen like few other actors.

So I decided I would acquaint myself with John Ford. I started with two of his most prominent films, Stagecoach and The Searchers, both of which are out on Blu-ray. And the experience made it clear to me why this man is one of the most influential filmmakers in history. John Ford is a genius of cinema. The Searchers is indeed a great film, and Wayne is fantastic in it, playing a character who isn't "good" or "bad" so much as he is "driven."


But it was Stagecoach that truly blew me away. This film immediately became an all-time favorite, and I don't say that lightly. Even though I viewed it at home all alone, watching this movie for the first time was one of those cinema experiences I will treasure forever.

The film is credited as being that which raised the Western from B-grade programmer to adult entertainment. It is easy, even today, to see exactly how this was done. The movie is awash in what all of the Western tropes you can imagine, but Dudley Nichols and Ben Hecht's script enriches each one of them not by subverting them, as would be the case in later revisionist Westerns, but by deepening each one, giving each character their own set of motivations that are often in conflict with the other characters they are forced together with in the stagecoach.

Indeed, it is this focus on character that drew me immediately into the story. While this was definitely John Wayne's starmaking role, if there is an anchor to the movie, it is top-billed Claire Trevor's subdued performance as the forlorn Dallas. Thomas Mitchell won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Doc Boone, but the movie is first and foremost an ensemble piece, and George Bancroft, Louise Platt, John Carradine, Andy Devine, Donald Meek and Berton Churchill all bring something unique to the table. These are indeed standard Western character types, but the depth of the characterization and the interaction reveals that there is often more than meets the eye to most of them.

And then there is the famed chase sequence that is so exciting not because it is executed with such technical proficiency or because the legendary Yakima Canutt's stuntwork is breathtaking. Those only help, to be sure, but the reason why it works so well is because at that point in the film the viewer cares about almost everybody in that stagecoach. And that's the greatest filmmaking in the world.

The music, which also won an Academy Award in the "adaptation" category, consists primarily of reworkings of familiar American folk songs. I have to say that while there are moments that do seem somewhat dated, for the most part this is very effective not only dramatically, but in giving these characters and the events depicted in the film more of a folk-tale feel. The weirdness of Monument Valley is so perfect in combination that it gives the film an overarching mythic quality.

It is often dangerous to watch films labeled "classic," because there are often expectations built up by description that the movie itself can barely stand up to. While I could appreciate the craft — I could immediately spot how the styles of both Kurosawa and Welles was influenced by Ford's — this movie gripped me on an emotional level, exercising that magnetic appeal that great films have.

This is the Great American Western. Accept no substitutes.*
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* — Hookay… I'm going to address the racism issue with regards to Stagecoach.

While I do feel there is some inherent in The Searchers, part of the point of that film is to examine that racism and, perhaps, even force the audience to confront it within themselves. One of the reasons why the Duke is so good in this film — he considered it his finest role and named one of his sons after the character — is because there are moments when one can see the hatred in Ethan consume him, and with that the vengeful drive behind his and Martin's (Jeffrey Hunter, the original Captain Christopher Pike) ten-year odyssey is often questioned.

None of this self-consciousness exists in Stagecoach, where Geronimo's Indians are simply hordes of faceless "others" to be gleefully picked off. There is no question that this is blatantly racist, and it makes the viewer complicit by identifying entirely with white characters. The perspective has these "savages" as enemies, which was, of course, the prevailing mythology of 1939. The Apache uprisings did happen, and if you were a white person in a stagecoach at the time, you were a target. Ironically, John Ford was able to shoot in Monument Valley because of the great friendship he had struck with the Navajo tribe upon whose reservation in Utah those iconic rock formations existed.
Kambei (The Seven Samurai)

Stricken

The last contract negotiation was three years ago. I was very nervous that we would go on strike, but instead we worked through the negotiations and ended up with a rather decent contract. I was relatively certain that, while there would be some compromises, the current negotiations would go in a similar direction.

Obviously by now it is clear that this is not what happened. The proposal that Verizon presented to the unions essentially reduced our job to the level of the guy handbilling on the street who is dressed up as a taco, and their refusal to negotiate (they kept canceling sessions) forced both the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers into drastic action.

Unions are not perfect, but this is exactly why they are sometimes necessary.


Regarding those reports about how wireline business is bleeding; it ties into their insistence that the world will be on fiber within three years. This isn't just naïve, it's a manipulative attempt at obfuscating the fact that they're doing less and less upkeep on the current infrastructure in order to devalue it, and us. I am constantly dealing with failing equipment and cables, it effects us all and the support is just not there. I don't work in podunk nowhere, I work in Manhattan, undeniably one of the business capitals of the world. Worse, Verizon is attempting to downplay the fact that wireline is the infrastructure that 70% of existing service runs on.

This is not a struggling company, it makes money hand over fist. It has responsibilities to its customers as well as the employees upon which they depend. I will be on strike until a fair contract is negotiated with the Communication Workers of America.
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Chorus (Henry V)

The Return

It has been a while since I have posted. This has mostly been due to circumstance; I've had quite a few odds and ends floating about.


    Camera Non-obscura

  • The biggest news is that Sandy and I have gotten a new camera. The limitations of what we were using on The Early Mixes dictated this move. After searching through many different models, we settled on the Sony PMW-EX1, which is excellent in low-light conditions and offers the camera operator very user-friendly options, including personalized presets and control over every element of the imaging chain. More importantly, the 1920 x 1080 native 24p image is beautifully film-like in appearance.



    This is a professional grade camera, which means that while it is easy to use, the instruction manual doesn't actually tell you what any of the features do, they just tell you where to find them and what options you have. For this reason, Sandy and I are taking the camera out to work with it in different situations in order to learn in a hands-on environment what everything on the camera does. We took it yesterday to the Little Neck Bay by Fort Totten to get more familiar with it.


  • "If you wanna know what kind of life a person had, just look at their hands."

  • I finally caught up to Dolores Claiborne, which I found completely engrossing.

    Stephen King's inspiration for the title character meeting Kathy Bates during the production of Misery; and Bates inhabits the role so completely that one easily forgets about her (formidable) filmography. This is a banner performance, hardbitten, unsentimental but endlessly engaging. Part of the reason why I don't really pay much attention to awards broadcasts is apparent in this case; Bates should have at least been nominated for Best Actress in all of them and makes a strong case that she should have won most of them. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays her daughter, and the expert portrayal of the broken relationship between the two makes the film completely compelling.

    The screenplay by Tony Gilroy and Taylor Hackford's direction adapt King's purposefully rambling narrative into a film which tells stories occurring both in the past and present, each offering the other context. As more is revealed, the characters become more detailed and faceted. The end of the film demonstrates a great maturity; there are no easy answers here, but life goes on.

    This is a film about stoic people, and the Danny Elfman's music is often tasked with helping to illustrate what may be going on under the surface for a character who can not allow themselves to show their true feelings. The score blends seamlessly into the performances and environment, an excellent counterpoint to the film. There is also one scene that would be creepy if it had no music, but Elfman takes a disturbing moment and makes it emotionally wrenching as well. This is without a doubt one of Elfman's absolutely finest scores.



  • Erkenbrand's Folly

  • With work on The Early Mixes concluded, I have returned again to my Lord of the Rings mix (I remember when I thought this was complicated). I have everything down with one exception: disc one is running five seconds too long and it's very tight, making it difficult to whittle further. Once I eliminate that five seconds, I will have completed this set.

    Just in time, too, because at long last the Extended Versions were released on Blu-ray. They look fantastic (there have been some quibbling about some of the color timing on Fellowship, but it's a very minor alteration and according to New Line, intentional), apparently a distinct improvement over the previous editions. The films themselves are presented on two platters each that are identical to the Extended Edition DVDs but in 1080p and DTS-MA 6.1. All of the previously issued special features are present, including the Easter Eggs. If I have a disappointment, it's that each film is accompanied by three DVDs of supplements that correspond to the two discs that came with the Extended Edition DVDs and the documentaries that came with the seamless branching reissue. This material could all have been placed on a single Blu-ray disc. It doesn't take up that much space on the shelf, however, thanks to some very attractive packaging.



  • Musical Eclairs

  • Kritzerland Records released a double bill of The Pride and Passion and Kings Go Forth by George Anthiel and Elmer Bernstein respectively. I was happy to upgrade my LP of Kings Go Forth, but The Pride and the Passion was a real pleasant surprise for me. I'm not too familiar with Antheil's work, and apparently his concert hall material was way out there, but this is a very well-done traditional score with some nice Spanish flavoring.


  • Similarly, while Sol Kaplan's score for The House On Telegraph Hill is a crackerjack bit of tension, Leigh Harline's Ten North Hollywood, its companion piece on the Fox twofer from Intrada is nothing but pure melody from beginning to end. And it sounds crystal clear in crisp mono sound. It's only twenty minutes long, but worth the price of the disc.


  • La-La-Land Records has just put out an expanded and remastered edition of Jerry Goldsmith's very last Western, the 1994 Bad Girls. I had never seen this film nor heard the accompanying soundtrack album, but I'd heard good things about it, and I'm often finding much to appreciate in the recent cornucopia of Goldsmith music (particularly his television work). This score turned out to be great fun, with Goldsmith returning to the milieu of Wild Rovers and Breakheart Pass but definitely maintaining his 90s (ponytail-era) musical identity.


  • Perhaps the best illustration of how much I enjoyed the Bad Girls is the immediate effect of having listened to it: I ended up getting on a Western score kick. This is when the advantages of having a large iPod is that you can have a lot of music on it that you don't necessarily listen to all of the time, but it's there for when you want it. I was extremely pleased to rediscover a gem of a Western score, Lee Holdridge's beautiful and evocative score for Old Gringo. I like Holdridge's work in general, but this score seems to have particularly inspired the composer, and it features some of his most arresting cues.

  • La-La-Land has also released a comprehensive three-disc set of the various different musical incarnations of The Golden Child. Overkill, you ask? Maybe, but I found it downright fascinating. The first disc features the score that John Barry had written for a longer version of the film. The second disc contains the replacement score Michel Colombier composed after the film tested badly with Barry's score. The third disc contains several alternate versions of score cues Barry was preparing for his soundtrack album and all of the songs that appeared on the "Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture" soundtrack album that actually came out with the film.

    Now, John Barry's score wasn't rejected outright. Two cues still appear in the film, his vaudeville take on a dream sequence and "Wisdom of the Ages," the love theme which is heard as Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis) the love interest discusses Eddie Murphy's character with her mentor (Victor Wong) and appeared on the song album. It's very clear that the filmmakers liked Barry's score very much, it just wasn't working.

    I've heard Barry's score now and I think I understand what the problem was. He approached the film as a straight adventure movie, and the score he wrote is very much in the vein of his James Bond and other adventure scores, such as the 1976 King Kong or High Road To China. It's prime Barry, chock full of great themes, including an amiable theme for Murphy's character "The Best Man In the World" usually heard on saxophone (also a song by Ann and Nancy Wilson that also appeared on the original LP), a beautiful love theme, a wonderful "questing" motif for the magic bird, a globe-trotting scope and dark villain themes. So what's wrong with it?

    Eddie Murphy.

    The score that Barry composed took the danger very seriously. The presence of dark mystical forces are represented by a low male choir. The evil Sardo Numba (Charles Dance) is characterized with harsh brass passages. Listening to this score, one would have no idea that the film was supposed to be a comedy first and an adventure second..Contrast this to Michel Colombier's score, who created a synth-rock-orchestra blend for the version of the film that eventually got released. His main theme for Eddie Murphy's character is the jaunty "The Chosen One," a raucous, bass-driven (shades of "Axel F") piece featuring blazing horns and synths, and permeates the score.

    What this boils down to is that Barry's score puts Murphy into a very perilous situation in which he is way out of his depth, while Colombier's score emphasizes how slick and quick-witted the character is. The pop idiom of the score also somewhat trivializes the danger that the villains represent, leveling the playing field somewhat and making it (somewhat) more believable that Murphy could defeat them. Barry didn't make the choices he did in a vacuum, he created the score that the filmmakers originally wanted. It wasn't until they stepped back and showed the film to an audience that they realized that it was the wrong decision.

    For myself, as a lifelong John Barry fan, I found this score to be chock full of great moments. The C&C (complete and chronological) presentation does drag a bit; the bonus tracks demonstrate that Barry was clearly planning a more concise account of the music for the soundtrack album when his score had to be (mostly) dropped. Nevertheless, it is great to finally get to hear this unheard score from one of my favorites.

    That said, I also really enjoy Michel Colombier's score as well. It's 100% 80s fun with a little bit of exotica thrown in for good measure. It's nothing like Barry's score, which makes it easier to take on its own merits. It's a good companion piece to John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's Big Trouble In Little China and Danny Elfman's Midnight Run.



  • Feline

  • It's been almost five months since I adopted Varinia and the novelty of having her has yet to wear off. There was a moment a few months ago that I realized that this was no longer the cat that I had adopted, but genuinely my cat. It was when I was walking by my chaise, which she was lying on, and she reached out and stopped me with her paws, giving me a mew that was unmistakably "stop and pet me." Our only major disagreement is about Daylight Savings Time.


    It's not just me. I went away one weekend and my mother came to feed her, and she later regaled me with gushing stories about how sweet and friendly Varinia was. The nicest complement that I think that she received was from a friend of mine with whom I often would play Scrabble. He hadn't been to the apartment since I got Varinia until last week. It turns out that he had been avoiding coming over because he had a bad experience with a cat when he was younger and has been afraid of them since. He loves Varinia, though; she charmed the pants off of him.

    Everyone loves my girl.