Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Thursday, November 15, 2007


A new gangster saga has just hit cinema screens, featuring Denzel Washington as a drug dealer and Russell Crowe as his nemesis. The film sees the latter working yet again for director Ridley Scott on this '70s set story.
The music is scored by Marc Streitenfeld, a new name to me, and this really seems to be his big composing break, following his music editing chores on a number of of Scott/Zimmer projects. Costa Communications kindly sent me a sampler of his score for the film, with the packaging saying that a full score album would be following on the Varese Sarabande label, although I have yet to see the title announced on their website.
Streitenfeld's score isn't particularly reminiscent of the period, but in his theme for "Frank Lucas" (the Washington character) he does give a considerable nod towards the kind of scoring often associated with Ennio Morricone's music for gangster-related films, his theme having the same kind of bouncy rhythm and trumpet lead. Much of the rest of the music on this 22-minute sampler moves along nicely enough, sometimes caperesque, sometimes very purposefully, with "Chinchilla Coat" closing proceedings with an initially funky, piano-lead variation on the "Frank Lucas" theme. It's an interesting enough effort to lead one to hope that a full score album will indeed surface at some point.

The After Dark Horrorfest 2007 is currently running in over 300 cinemas across the States, showing eight scary movies, including two that feature original scores by Czech composer Elia Cmiral who, after his breakthrough score for Ronin, unfortunately seems to have become very much typecast in the horror genre.
Costa Communications were again kind enough to send me a couple of discs featuring his scores for The Deaths of Ian Stone and Tooth & Nail. Both are not currently available commercially, but I did listen to an interview with the composer on, in which he indicated that one of them at least would be available on the lakeshore label.
The shorter of the scores, The Deaths of Ian Stone, is the more orchestral of the two, although electronics do make their presence felt in the more menacing action moments. Overall, the score is mostly suspenseful, with menacing crescendos here and there, but does become more animated as it continues, to provide quite an action-packed ending.
The post-apocalyptic tale Tooth & Nail is much more electronic, although it runs along similar lines - a mixture of otherwordly mystery and suspense, with some menacing action, often featuring industrial percussion sounds.
You've still got a couple of days to catch these two films, with the Festival ending on November 18th.


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