Friday, July 21, 2017

Music makers elevate movies

The fusion of music and movies has always been a good fit and led to exciting results. Look no further than three new releases showcasing music makers' role in enhancing films both in front and behind the camera.

Title: Hickok (Cinedigm)
You might like if you enjoy: Classic Westerns, HBO series "Westworld," Kris Kristofferson, Trace Adkins
Tell me more: While Westerns no longer arrive in movie theaters on a regular basis, don't underestimate how much an artful and intelligent tale set in the 19th century can evoke its power on modern-day viewers. The newly-released Hickok provides stylish nods to some of the genre's most beloved classics but stands tall on its own thanks to a well-written script based on an episode in the life of "Wild Bill" Hickok, excellent performances everywhere (including Luke Hemsworth in the title role, as well as country music greats Trace Adkins and Kris Kristofferson), a stirring score courtesy of Andrew Joslyn and  director Timothy Woodward Jr.'s ability to get affecting cliche-free performances amidst the dramatic backdrop of the Old West. Information:

Artist: Prince
Title: Purple Rain Deluxe - Expanded Edition (NPG Records / Warner Bros. Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Prince
Tell me more: Released as both a "Deluxe" 2 CD version and a "Deluxe - Expanded Edition" featuring three CDs and a DVD, the re-release of Prince's masterwork Purple Rain recently captured the #1 on the Top Soundtrack Albums Chart and the top spot on the Top Vinyl Albums Chart, as well as returned to the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200 too. More than three decades after the release of the film and the accompanying soundtrack, "Purple Rain" continues to cast its magic via dynamic recordings blending rock, soul, funk and pop (both newly-released versions are anchored by the official 2015 Paisley Park Remaster of the original tapes from the soundtrack). Of the most interest to hardcore fans of the late artist (Prince died in April 2016) is a CD full of rarities and a slew of previously-unreleased tracks, and a DVD featuring a concert with Prince and the Revolution captured in Syracuse, NY on March 30, 1985. That concert features restored audio and video from the original production master tape, and offers a real glimpse into Prince as a groundbreaking performer at the beginning of his career. Information:

Title: Spider-Man: Homecoming (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
You might like if you enjoy: Composers John Williams, Danny Elfman, Michael Giacchino
Tell me more: Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino has provided memorable scores for a number of well-known films, and his riveting music for the blockbluster  Spider-Man: Homecoming can be added to his growing list of achievements. For those who have seen the latest "Spider-Man" flick, they know how wonderfully the music works in support of the on-screen action. But the soundtrack also plays well as a pure listen; the dramatic "The World Is Changing" and "Monumental Meltdown,"  playful-to-tense "Drag Racing / An Old Van Rundown" and symphonic "No Vault of His Own" showcase Giacchino's masterful touch and ability to create music that challenges and entices. Information:

Robert Kinsler

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