Soundtrack Reviews

May 14, 2015 | By

FilmMusicReviews_square_picJust uploaded is a pair of soundtrack reviews for period-styled films featuring very striking and memorable scores – Rob Simonsen’s ethereal Age of Adaline (Lakeshore Records), and Jeff Beal’s epic score for The Dovekeepers (Varese Sarabande), spanning 2 packed CDs.

Simonsen’s take on the cursed / never aging genre is really, really good – I don’t know how many specifics were requested by the director or whether it was a classic case of great inspiration, but it’s easily one of my favourite scores of the year.

In Dovekeepers, Beal’s use of period-styled instruments takes an epic tale set in Masada and distills the drama into something much more intimate. Composing under the shadow of Jerry Goldsmith, who scored the beloved 1981 mini-series,  isn’t easy, but Dovekeepers sounds like a more intimate version of characters under siege atop a mountain fortress while the Romans taunt, tease, and wait out the Jewish inhabitants. The TV mini-series seems to have gotten mixed reviews, but it’s nice to see Quebec-born Yves Simoneau still directing. (Now if only his taut 1986 thriller Pourvoir intime would get a release. You know, another clever Canadian film that’s been completely abandoned by whomever owns it in its home and native land.)

Coming shortly are reviews of Yasuharu Hasebe’s Massacre Gun (1967) from Arrow Films, and Black Tight Killers (1966), his feature film debut.

Also coming are reviews of Ray Harryhausen’s film of H.G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon (1964) via a sparkling Blu-ray special edition from Twilight Time + a related film, Byron Haskin’s flawed version of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1958), courtesy of an old budget-priced VHS tape.

The above reviews were put on pause this past weekend whilst I upgraded a 2009 iMac with RAM and a new hard drive so it could function as an editing machine. Those who are PC users will undoubtedly think, ‘Okay, so what?’ but those who have iMacs may think ‘You did what?!?’ given the swapping maneuver mandated cracking open the computer, which wasn’t an easy endeavor.

I’ve posted details of the ‘operation’ at Big Head Amusements as it relates more to filmmaking than film writing, but do check it out for a process that could be described as challenging, or just plain insane. Like, I had to go to Canadian Tire’s auto department and buy a giant suction cup.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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