Howlin' Wolf Records: "Tales Of An Ancient Empire" - Tony Riparetti

Tales Of An Ancient Empire [Limited 500]
Available: Now
Released By: Howlin' Wolf Records
Composer: Tony Riparetti

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE is the sequel to Albert Pyun's directorial debut THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, and stars Kevin Sorbo, Whitney Able, Victoria Maurette, and Lee Horsley. The score for TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE leads you on a musical journey in classic Tony Riparetti style and flair, fusing modern techno, percussion, Spanish guitars, and chanting with classical orchestrations.


Our 11th release from Howlin' Wolf Records ""Tales Of An Ancient Empire" with friend and great composer Tony Riparetti, which our label has released two others "Mean Guns" and "Cyborg: Director's Cut from him.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Six Strings with... George Kam


I think that George is going to have a strong career, cause he share a good deal of passion in his work and it is important to see his projects get done. I am glad I was able to chat with this up and coming composer, as I had said he is a talent waiting to be heard.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]


-How did you get started in the field of music and how did that lead you to composing?
George Kam: Well, it’s a family thing I’d say. My father played the guitar in a band in the 70’s; he told me that my grandfather, whom I never met, as he died a long time ago, played the violin. I was amazed the first time I saw an electric guitar back in my early school days. I convinced my father to buy me a guitar as his was stolen a long time ago. He taught me the basic chords. I practiced often and was affected by the shred movement of the 80’s music I listened to. I used hip hop making software to write songs on my computer with my guitar. I started to write riffs and my ideas. I also watched a lot of great movies that had superb soundtracks and as the years passed I tried to make guitar music and had my adventures as a guitar player. 

All this time though I was worshiping soundtrack music and wanted to write something similar. One day a friend of mine brought me some midi plug-ins for the software I was using on my computer. It was time for me to embrace this new idea of song writing. In the beginning it was difficult to understand how to orchestrate - the guitar method is a lot easier because the harmony is controlled by 2 main organs, guitar and bass, and the beat by a rhythm section, the drums .But in order to make something that looked like a symphony or a soundtrack theme was very difficult. The orchestra has many instruments and you must find a way to harmonize your melody. So I started by using guitar ideas and riffs and transforming them into soundtrack music. It’s like they somehow found their lost identity. That helped me a lot to understand how to compose. It also developed those forgotten guitar riffs to something very unique and special. I have so many more options in writing this kind of music and many crazy ideas to fill in.

-If you work with other composers or music artists, whom do you work with and what is the best part of your contributions?
George Kam: Well I did a lot of projects with guitar music in cooperation with friend guitarists. I also helped fellow musicians and friends with mixing details and a few musical ideas. But my soundtrack concept is a solo project, not due to my dislike of cooperation, the right 2 or 3 brains can work better than 1, but up until now nobody has offered to contribute to this project. So I work alone on my home workstation usually at strange hours, due to my everyday schedule.


-Who inspires you musically and whom do you listen to [composers or music]?
George Kam: Heavy metal was definitely a big chapter in my live and guitar players such as, Marty Friedman, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert, to name but few. I watch a lot of films and happen to be a retro fan of music and a fan of great composers such as Basil Poledouris, Alan Silvestri, John Williams, and Danny Elfman. I was shocked when I first carefully listened to Conan the Barbarian or the Predator theme. Star wars was immense. Wow was like I want to do that one day.

-How do you find your inspiration to make your music, what are your goals and challenges you might be facing?
George Kam: The inspiration might come from a guitar jam or sometimes I hear music in my head and try to actualize it. During this process a lot of information is lost, because in hearing many harmonies in your head is somewhat confusing. My goals are to make music be heard outside my head create something that will make up my day. There are many technical challenges. Sometimes my computer stops and restarts and I pray to God that I remembered to save the project. Some other times It depends on the kind of day you are having and your psychology. (Example) being sad helps me make emotional music. But it's important to have privacy while doing this and clear thoughts in your head.

-When recording a piece of music, how do you know when a piece is done... how do or would celebrate and what do you find yourself producing most [epic, horror, period, etc.]?
George Kam: I have only had that great feeling of success a few times so far. It’s important I believe to have continuity to your music and it's hard because you might spend 13 hours just for one track. I usually finish my tracks in a day because I think there is something special going on by not giving up. It is difficult to indulge myself and I have high standards after hearing high standard music. I train myself by doing this and looking forward to have many challenges and opportunities to master different levels of composition. As far as the genre is concerned I happen to like "dark" melodies and exotic scale movement inside the tracks. I believe horror and epic is my field so far.


-Walk us throughout a typical day or not so typical?
George Kam: Usually my day consists of a few activities. I wake up making my breakfast and get in some morning exercise. During the day I work in my studio producing ideas and writing small examples. I sometimes do private guitar lessons to children. In the afternoon I hang out with my girlfriend. At the end of the day i go to bed and watch movies until I fall asleep.

-Bonus: You can ask me a question or tell us something you would like us to know about you or anything you want?
George Kam: would like you to know that I am self-taught musician. I also want to thank you for giving me this interview and wish the best for you and the magazine. It was a pleasure doing this; hope to talk to you again in the future.

Bio:  George Kam was born on October 29th, 1987 and raised in Athens. George grew up listening to a lot of traditional Greek music and rock/jazz classics. During his early teens he became interested in learning the guitar.
In 2007 he graduated from Greece Collage O.E.E.K in the field of Computer technology and Networks. After finishing his military obligations he started writing soundtrack and movie scores in order to expand his music library. He is currently participating in the exceptional music group of Greek singer Theodosia Tsatsou, as a guitar player. George is now introducing Mini-Jingle.com, a motivating musical idea, in order to help him connect with people who are interested to his music. Feel free to contact George for any project or info. Stay tuned for more news!


The Day I Saw Your Heart [2012] - Nathan Johnson

The Day I Saw Your Heart
Music By: Nathan Johnson
Available: Now
Released By: MILAN RECORDS

Families are complicated… Especially when Eli, the father, who's about to be 60, is expecting a baby with his new wife. Upon hearing this news, his two grown daughters, Dom, who is trying to adopt, and Justine, who flits from one boyfriend to the next, are shocked. To get closer to Justine, whom he has never gotten along with, Eli has the bright idea of making friends with all of her exes... without her knowledge. But when Justine falls in love again and Eli is about to ruin everything, this family is on the verge of falling apart. Will they all be able to make peace before it's too late?

Nathan Johnson composed the music to this delightful comedy. His score remarkably underlines the quirky and hilarious situation Eli and his daughters find themselves in. Soundtrack album also includes tunes by Faux Fix, Regina Spektor, Nina Simone & Hal Mooney, FEADZ and Cat Stevens.

5/5 What can I say other than this is got some great songs and a terrific canvas of a score!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

For Greater Glory: True Story Of Cristiada [2012] - James Horner

For Greater Glory: True Story Of Cristiada
Available: October 2, 2012
Released By: Varese Sarabande
Composer: James Horner

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

What price would you pay for freedom? In the exhilarating action epic FOR GREATER GLORY an impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as the film's adventure unfolds against the long-hidden, true story of the 1920s Cristero War — the daring people’s revolt that rocked 20th Century North America.

Academy Award® nominee Andy Garcia headlines an acclaimed cast as General Gorostieta, the retired military man who at first thinks he has nothing personal at stake as he and his wife (Golden Globe nominee Eva Longoria) watch Mexico fall into a violent civil war.   The stellar multinational cast includes the legendary Peter O’Toole, rapidly rising star Oscar Isaac (Drive), recording star and actor Ruben Blades (Safe House), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Super 8), Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight Rises), Bruce McGill (Lincoln), Santiago Cabrera (Heroes, Che), Oscar®-nominated Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full Of Grace) and Eduardo Verástegui (Bella).

5/5 Good things come from this score, I always love James Horner's work... though this has many familiar themes. Still Very Good!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

For A Good Time Call [2012] - John Swihart

For A Good Time Call
Available: Now
Released By: Lakeshore Records
Composer: John Swihart

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

Love and friendship are on the line in For a Good Time, Call…, directed by Jamie Travis from an original screenplay by Katie Anne Naylon & Ms. Miller. The contemporary comedy world-premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, lifting audiences to their feet and lifting their spirits. Two young women come up short on the funds needed to live in New York City. Lauren Powell (played by Ms. Miller), a reserved overachiever, is suddenly on her own. Katie Steele (Ms. Graynor), an irrepressible free spirit, is about to forfeit a dream residence unless she finds an apartment-mate. Without options, Lauren reluctantly moves in with Katie. With nothing in common, she and Katie barely speak – until Lauren discovers that Katie is working as a phone-sex operator. This is, Lauren reasons, a good business opportunity; together, they will buy a land line and start up their own answering service. Katie is – it would seem – already in her element, and Lauren catches on quick; it’s not long before the blushing subsides and the candid chatting becomes second nature to her. But as their business partnership takes off, Lauren and Katie’s new-found friendship finds unexpected challenges that may leave them both, as they say, hanging on the telephone.

5/5 This was fun, weird and all of the above!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

High School [2012] - The Newton Brothers

High School
Available: Now
Released By: MovieScore Media
Composer: The Newton Brothers

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

A rare breed in MovieScore Media’s catalogue, pop and rock-influenced scores – as opposed to the classical sounding orchestral soundtracks we usually release – definitely deserves a place here as long as they are interesting and of high quality. High School is one of those! We are proud to present the entertaining, youthful and infectious score from the high school comedy starring Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis and Colin Hanks that had a limited theatrical release in June and is now coming out on DVD and bluray.

5/5 I tried not to like this one, thinking it would be typical style for this type of film... it really is good with a mellow funk and more.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Bless Me, Ultima [2012] - Mark Kilian

Bless Me, Ultima
Available: September 25, 2012
Released By: Lakeshore Records
Composer: Mark Kilian

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

1972 novel Bless Me, Ultima was author Anaya’s debut release and helped to earn him the recognition as the ‘godfather of Chicano literature.’  The film, which is set in New Mexico in the 1940s, is a powerful coming-of-age novel that follows the 6-year old Antonio Marez and a curandera (folk healer) named Ultima.

“Bless Me, Ultima is a spiritual story and the filmmakers wanted me to make that the basis of what the music should be doing emotionally,” said Kilian. “But they wanted the flavor to incorporate Native American, Mexican, Spanish, African, religious, tribal, classical and spiritual sentiments, all wrapped up in a blanket of child-like innocence and wonder.” 

5/5 Great texture and ethic feel!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Triple [Score] Tuesday!!

30th Anniversary: Blade Runner [2012]
Available: Now
Released By: BuySoundtrax Records
Composer: Edgar Rothermich

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

BuySoundtrax Records seeks to rectify that, with this new recording faithfully recreating the original music from the film, which proved a difficult task.  Vangelis’ score was composed entirely by performing on keyboards and recording it directly, so no written transcriptions exist. Edgar Rothermich was charged with reverse engineering the score – listening to the original music and a 1982 album mock-up and transcribing it by ear.  He also had to recreate the sound of 1982 synthesizers and decipher if noise heard was due to recording on tape or stylistic choices by the composer.

“Blade Runner is the most difficult kind of score to deconstruct,” said BSX producer Ford A. Thaxton.  “Symphonic music can usually be determined because the instrumental palette is known.  But the 1970s-era electronic technology and the improvisational style in which Vangelis created the score made it especially difficult.  But we feel Edgar’s made a very close replication of what the score sounded like in the film.  He’s true to the sound the original but he’s brought it into today’s world.”


Music From The Batman Trilogy [2012]
Available: October 2, 2012
Released By: Silva Screen Music
Composer: London Music Works

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

Masterfully performed by the London Music Works and City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra this unique compilation brings together the best score cues from Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

According to AllMusic.com, for Batman Begins, the Oscar-winning composers have “crafted an atmosphere that relies less on the dynamics of Danny Elfman and more on the rain-soaked soundscapes of Brian Eno and Blade Runner-era Vangelis.”

In the music for The Dark Knight, Zimmer and Newton Howard individual styles are distinct - Zimmer merges percussion and electronics whilst Newton Howard combines lush orchestral passages with solo piano sections.


Super Themes [2Cd] [2012]
Available: October 16, 2012
Released By: Silva Screen Music
Composer: London Music Works

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

SUPER THEMES gathers over 50 years of film and TV themes that accompanied adventures of the Super Heroes - men of steel, caped crusaders, web-slingers and many more.

From Neal Hefti’s hooky 1966 Batman theme all the way to Hans Zimmer’s contemporary sound for 2012 The Dark Knight Rises, the compilation underlines the caliber of composers (John Williams, Danny Elfman) involved and the everlasting quality of the themes.

3/5 As I do enjoy the idea of  the compilations, I do enjoy the original versions the best... though these do allow you have descent version.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Battlestar Galactica [2Cd] Vol III (2012) - Stu Phillips

Battlestar Galactica [2Cd] Vol III [2012]
Available: Now
Released By: Intrada
Composer: Stu Phillips

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 210
When last we encountered the valiant crew of the Battlestar Galactica, they were plumbing the mysterious depths of space in search of the birthplace of humanity and battling through perils of snow and ice to defeat a terrible Cylon superweapon—all to the exhilarating and evocative music of maestro Stu Phillips. Epic tales and sweeping scores of this kind stood proudly at the heart of creator Glen A. Larson’s vision for the interstellar saga that was Battlestar Galactica. The demands of producing a lavishly budgeted weekly series, however, required that such multi-episode arcs not stand alone, and so Larson and his team were obliged to rapidly script and shoot a secondary slate of episodes that would be relatively self-contained and come with a more modest price tag, making the most of existing sets and costumes.

This third volume of music from Battlestar Galactica is dedicated to those single-episode tales that received new music (many episodes were tracked with existing music), as well as a bonus score from the short-lived spinoff Galactica 1980. Featured on this CD are the episodes "The Long Patrol," "The Lost Warrior," "The Magnificent Warriors," "The Young Lords," "Murder on the Rising Star," "Take the Celestra," "The Hand of God," and "The Return of Starbuck."

5/5, twice 5/5 Only terrific memories come from listening to this, it sounds great! Outstanding!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Trouble With The Curve [2012] - Marco Beltrami

Trouble With The Curve
Available: October 16, 2012
Released By: Varese Sarabande
Composer: Marco Beltrami

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

Clint Eastwood returns to the screen for the first time since 2008 (Gran Torino) as an aging Atlanta Braves baseball scout named Gus who sets out to discover if he still has value as a scout and as a dad.  Gus’ daughter Nicky (Amy Adams) reluctantly agrees to come along to help him on a final recruiting trip to scout a new top prospect, Bo Gentry (Joe Massingill).  Along the way, Gus reconnects with Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a scout for a rival team who has been friends with Gus since Gus scouted him when Johnny was a baseball player.  But Johnny also has an interest in Nicky, which Gus does not approve of.

4/5 It's sounds great and there are some wonderful tracks!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Six Strings with... Guy Maddin [Director]

Some cool things has shown up on this site over the years, but nothing as cool as this... the great director Guy Maddin stops by for a chat about his career and latest film "Keyhole". A special thanks to Jason Staczek [composer] and Jenny @ Monterey Media for all their extra care and help... couldn't have done it without their help!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]


- From your first project to now, have you felt you have come full circle or is something more you feel the need to say?

Guy Maddin: Great question, I've been thinking of closing the circle ever since I conceived the movie Keyhole. My very first film, a short called The Dead Father, was an attempt to recreate the deliciously strange sensations given to me by persistently recurring dreams that my father had not died after all, that he had instead simply deserted our family for a better one, a family that, in most of the almost-nightly dreams, lived in Minneapolis. The dreams were a real treat, because I got to see and hear my dad again and again, daily, if only for a few minutes while he came home to retrieve a forgotten shaving kit, sport jacket or glass eye. And during those few minutes I had to try and convince him to stay with us, his original family. Not once did he stay, every night he abandoned us again. But the dreams stayed with me after waking almost till noon every day, the feelings of recent encounter, and I kept having these dreams, oddly, for decades. Finally, after about thirty years, my father had gradually mutated into a variety of animals in my dreams. He finally boarded an airplane as a wolf and left us once and for all -- that was just about five years ago. Then I read Homer's Odyssey and realized that was the ultimate deadbeat dad story, that Odysseus had left a wife and son behind for nineteen years before he started to make his return trip, or odyssey, home, and even that trip could be easily seen as one dreamt by the missing man's son. Telemachus can be seen to be willing his father home again, or dreaming it. With Keyhole, I decided to make a genre film -- I'd always wanted to mash up ghosts and gangsters in a picture. And I wanted to make a movie about the home each of us loved the most (whether we're still in it or not), and about the feelings each nook and cranny of that home, remembered or inhabited, can impart to its loving denizen. I decided to make Keyhole a loose spooky gangsters adaptation of The Odyssey by way of remaking my very first movie and closing the books on the strange account of my eternally returning dad. I threw in a bunch of other family business that haunts me to this day and voila -- Keyhole, an abstract and often impenetrable dream of house and home; atmospheres all melancholic and horny; unbearably sad and goofy for me, and trippily evocative (I hope) for everyone else.


- Using many of the same people from actors to composers do you feel a certain closeness to them or do you find they know better on how you work as a director?

Guy Maddin: It's a little different for each returning collaborator. My editor John Gurdebeke and I know each other eerily, para-normally, even though we rarely, almost NEVER, see each other. I think of him all the time, though. When shooting my stuff I like to throw him cuts. While looking through my camera I can guess what he might do with a shot that moves in a certain direction, where he might jump cut, what he might insert. Months later he throws me back an assembly, or even a fine cut, and lots of my guesses are in there, confirmed, but then he throws me tons of surprises too. We communicate through my rushes and his edits, often with months between the shooting and cutting, but the communication seems most lively, most immediate, even though it's slower than anything since the mail coach went out. Isabella Rossellini likes to be surprised by me, and so I try my best -- she's an incredible sport and, I've discovered, a truly gifted comedienne. And I love working with composer Jason Staczek. He's the most versatile and gifted composer I've ever met, and a super-gracious collaborator. He's strong, makes a really good case for pieces I'm not so sure about, and keeps working toward serving the movie best. He's also hilarious.


- When you start a project what is your inspirations… which comes first the idea or the title, same at the end of the projects. How involved are you in the selling the idea?

Guy Maddin: Usually the theme of the movie comes first -- say, I'll want to make an amnesia melodrama to illustrate the number of ways we use forgetfulness to leverage love and self-forgiveness, or some such crap. That's how I made my feature, Archangel. Sometimes the setting or the world of the movie comes first, as in Careful, simply because I wanted to make a movie set in the mountains, papier maché mountains. Best of all is when the title comes first, as in Sissy-Boy Slap Party, which was suggested to me by my old friend Caelum Vatnsdal. It was a game he played as a child, apparently the movie ended up looking exactly like his boyhood diversion. After I heard that title, the movie could only be one thing. That just doesn't happen enough!


- Strangest thing you put into any of your films, that even made you think… what the hell was I thinking and why?

Guy Maddin: Perhaps the semi-transparent "ghost fellatio" I had Louis Negin perform on not one but six phalli in my film Glorious. I'd never shot anything pornographic before, and had never wanted to, but it became necessary to the story. And I had abandoned my fantasy that the Will Hayes Production Code was still in effect. Glorious, btw, is available as a bonus on the Keyhole BluRay. British composer Richard Ayres did the crazy score -- he's nuttier than Carl Stallings on bath salts, and like Jason a genius.


- I believe this latest film “Keyhole” is the first time you have had a score released by composer Jason Staczek, can we expect more releases of your films. If you had to choose to what would you release first… or is a collection more fitting to your body of work.

Guy Maddin: I love John McCulloch's score for Careful, I wish that could come out. In 2011 there was a new soundtrack written for my first feature Tales from the Gimli Hospital. This gorgeous soundscape created by a collective of Icelandic musicians, including super-ethereal twin sisters Kristín Anna & Gyða Valtysdottír, and Seattle-based Foley artists Aono Jikken Ensemble. Winnipeg-based composer Matthew Patton worked on little corners of the score too. The whole thing is incredible, so haunting and strange -- it really transformed the movie into something I could never have expected. It was like watching a movie made by someone else. I actually enjoyed one of my own movies! I wish that recording could come out commercially.


- For films what do you like or dislike, do you feel it’s becoming more special effects/CGI over storyline and finally… what is next?

Guy Maddin: I like to be bowled over by a movie, whether it's by massive special effects or by the charming lack of them. I loved loved loved Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and I spent the entire time watching it pretending that Luis Buñuel and I had a bag of popcorn between us. In my mind, the immortal Spanish surrealist loved it too! But I also love anything -- ANYTHING!!!! -- with Bela Lugosi in it! Give me White Zombie, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Invisible Ghost, Plan 9 -- any of the Ed Woods! -- and I'll be happy, very happy.


Information/Bio: Frequently referred to as “the Canadian David Lynch,” Winnipeg-born filmmaker Guy Maddin’s surreal, dreamlike works are often cited for their striking visuals and obscure sensibilities. Maddin’s father was a prominent hockey coach and manager, and his mother the proprietor of a local beauty shop, and both of his parents’ careers had a profound effect on the young filmmaker. Whether watching the teams practice at Winnipeg Arena or playing with his friends at his mother’s salon, Maddin’s unique take on everyday eccentricities was fueled by numerous unforgettable childhood experiences. Two of these, in particular, were a piggyback ride from Bing Crosby and the advancement of a common cold into an intense neurological disorder that resulted in strange physical sensations; these experiences gave the imaginative youngster an acute and unique view of the world. Childhood memories and stories passed on by his parents have frequently found their way into Maddin’s unique films as well, with the tale of how his grandmother accidentally poked out his father’s eye memorably recreated in his first feature, Tales From the Gimli Hospital. As for his education, Maddin received a degree in economics from the University of Winnipeg, and his following years were spent as a bank teller and a house painter. His film education came not with any formal training at a trade school, but with endless weekends of watching films with close friends John Paizs and Steve Snyder. Soon realizing that Paizs was making films and Snyder was teaching production at the University of Manitoba, Maddin eventually decided that he needed to put his own knowledge to work and step behind the camera.

Encouraged by his participation in a local cable access show in addition to the films that Snyder had produced while in film school, Maddin put light to celluloid for his darkly comic freshman effort, The Dead Father. Soon developing his own style in regards to camera movement and lighting aesthetics, Maddin was quickly on his way to filming his first feature, Tales from the Gimli Hospital. An expressionistic voyage that found two hospitalized patients embarking on a bizarre competition and which took viewers into “a Gimli we no longer know,” Maddin’s surreal and humorous freshman effort gained the burgeoning filmmaker international attention, and the film continually played as a midnight feature in the theaters of New York in the years following its release. Reluctant to abandon short films for features as many filmmakers do, Maddin subsequently averaged one short per year while preparing his next feature, Archangel (1990). Once again filmed in stark black-and-white and taking on the crackling texture of a film released at the turn of the century, the film held true to Gimli’s promise, and fans certainly couldn’t accuse Maddin of a sophomore slump. Dipping his toes into color for his third feature, Careful, Maddin’s departure from black-and-white showed a filmmaker as adept at creating lush, over-saturated images as he was at re-creating the desaturated images of an age long past.

In 1995 Maddin was honored as the youngest ever recipient of the Telluride Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement award, an event which ultimately marked the beginning of one of the most creatively stifled periods in the young director’s career. Maddin had collaborated with writer George Toles to pen what was to have been his fourth feature, entitled The Dykemaster’s Daughter, the withdrawal of a major financier would ultimately result in the project reaching a standstill during pre-production. The disappointment resulted in a five-year hiatus from features, and Maddin spent his downtime refining his skills with a series of acclaimed shorts. Though he would emerge in 1997 with Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, the fourth feature from Maddin ultimately proved somewhat compromised and unsatisfying to all involved despite its admirable stylistic flourishes. Even though the film itself would prove something of a disappointment, Maddin’s developing relationship with numerous Manitoba-based filmmakers began to find the generally neglected regions’ filmmakers receiving some long overdue recognition. In 2000, Maddin was commissioned to make a promotional short film for the Toronto Film Festival, and the resulting The Heart of the World not only stole the honor of being proclaimed one of the best films of the festival, but was also included on many critic’s top ten lists for the year.

Maddin’s fifth feature, a filmed version of a Royal Winnipeg Ballet production of Dracula entitled Dracula, Pages From a Virgin’s Diary (2001), proved that the renowned experimental filmmaker had lost none of his remarkably unique vision in his period of soul searching. Following an experimental autobiographical art exhibit entitled Cowards Bend the Knee, in which viewers could only witness the film through strategically placed peepholes in a museum wall, Maddin was back at work for his sixth feature, The Saddest Music in the World (2003). A dramatic musical fantasy revolving around a worldwide competition to create the eponymous composition, the film retained all of the typical Maddin surrealism of his best works, including a stunning turn by Isabella Rosselini as a brewery baroness with beer-filled prosthetic legs.

For a Full list of his work [CLICK HERE]

The Sweeney [2012] - Lorne Balfe

The Sweeney [2012]
Available: September 18, 2012
Released By: Rhino Records
Composer: Lorne Balfe

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

Balfe’s film and TV projects include the British made film, Ironclad, the TV anthology Five (directed by Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore, Patty Jenkins, and Penelope Spheeris) and the Ron Howard-produced Imagin8ion (directed by Bryce Howard).  His work can also be heard in the video games Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed Revelations (featuring main theme, cutscenes & multiplayer music by Balfe) and Skylanders: Giants (co-composed with Hans Zimmer).  Balfe’s upcoming projects include Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed III, the thriller The Frozen Ground (starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack) and Not Another Happy Ending (starring Karen Gillian).

Based on the hit 1970s UK TV series, The Sweeney follows legendary Detective Inspector Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and his loyal partner George Carter (Ben Drew aka “Plan B”) -- old school crime fighters enforcing the law in a modern underworld.

5/5 Riveting and pulsating score... Bravo!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

No Impact Man - Documentary [2012] - Bobby Johnston

No Impact Man - Documentary
Available: Now
Released By: Lakeshore Records
Composer: Bobby Johnston

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

Author Colin Beavan, in research for his next book, began the No Impact Project in November 2006. A newly self-proclaimed environmentalist who could no long avoid pointing the finger at himself, Colin leaves behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption...no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. 

What began as one man’s environmental experiment quickly becomes an experiment in how much one woman is willing to sacrifice for her husband’s dreams. Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein’s film provides both a front row seat into the experiment that became a national fascination and media sensation, and a behind the scenes look at the marital challenges that result from Colin’s and Michelle’s radical lifestyle change.

Johnston’s approach to composing utilizes organic and acoustic instruments, which he often plays himself.  This concept matched perfectly with the Beavan’s journey as documented in this film  Johnston described, “When [directors] Laura [Gabbert] and Justin [Schein] were in my studio we began to notice that many of the instruments seemed to match the low impact spirit of the film. There are bottles, metal scrap pieces, found and repaired items. Very few of my instruments were bought new. Many are beat-up, cheapies; some were donated by friends who never used them.”

4/5 Subtle tones for this documentary... very happy!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Green Lantern: The Animated Series [Wishlist: Filled]

Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Available: Now
Released By: La-La Land Records
Composer: Frederik Wiedmann

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]


La-La Land Records and WB Animation presents the original soundtrack to the hit DC Animated Television Series, GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, currently airing on Cartoon Network. Composer Frederick Wiedmann fashions an action-packed score that propels the Green Lantern to new heights and perfectly enhances all the acclaimed show's superheroic thrills! Packed with more than 70 minutes of original music from some of the show's greatest first season moments, this is a must have for animation fans everywhere! Produced by Frederik Widemann and MV Gerhard and mastered by James Nelson, this thrilling compilation CD includes liner notes featuring comments from the composer and the show's producer, Giancarlo Volpe.

5/5 Great Score, Great Composer... I am thrilled this score made it to my desk, it is rousing piece to a animated show, that I think is better than the film... and this filled my personal wishlist of scores that I wanted.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Ninja Captain Alex: Genre Favorites Blogfest

So here is the chance for me too share four of my favorite things in a world wide event from Alex Cavanaugh 7th Blogfest named "Genre Favorites Blogfest, September 17, 2012". Rules are simple "List your favorite genre of: Movie, Music, Books and a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories!

So I thought why not cover things in this year of "2012" instead of some of my life altering memories and less scaring you all on what might fascinate my brain. 

So my choices for the 2012:


MOVIE [ACTION-ADVENTURE]: The Avengers... I find it difficult to see films anymore that do not just throw me into a state of forgetting I am in a theater. I find that I was completely taken away into the world where Joss Whedon is king and his servants went by the name of Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawk-eye, Black Widow, Nick Fury and Captain America. I might be alone on this one, but some of you must agree?


MUSIC [OLD SCHOOL-MODERN TWIST]: Rob Zombie [2012] Mondo Sex Head... I don't like regular music anymore there is really nothing grabbing my attention, but I don't look for music anymore. I just have so much now, this release from Rob Zombie just is remixed versions of old stuff... maybe that is why I like it.


BOOKS [COMIC]: Smallville - Season 11 [Comic Book Series]... Smallville [tv series] ended on a high note for me, it brought what you wanted to see to life. It also made it so you wanted to know more, someone had the right idea to bring it to life in a comic book form... a continuation of the story that so needed it... yes I am a nerd and a fan.


MUSIC [SCORE MUSIC]: Intrada's "The Shadow" [2Cd] Expanded score... I loved this film in the nineties and the score was and still one of my favorites today. When I found out that this was coming out, I knew I needed it in my collection.
 
I think I have a very simple set of things, maybe you all agree with my choices... it's wonderful that we have things we love and that is why we are here. Thank you for stopping by and for Alex for making magic again. 

-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Six Strings with... Jason Staczek


Okay this was done awhile go, I have been excited to share this interview with Jason... for several reasons and the first is obvious. Jason is very cool guy and one great talent. Second he has worked with some great people and those people will be coming in next weeks "Six Strings with..." Though you will have to wait for that until next Friday, but first check out the review for "KEYHOLE" score that Jason has done. I wanted to thank him for doing this for us at the Howlin' Wolf, once again great person...
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

- How did you get started in the field of music and how did that lead you to composing?
I started playing the piano in 3rd grade. As I recall, I always liked making stuff up better than practicing what I was supposed to be learning. That didn’t get me very far. So I took kind of a long way around. I started playing keyboards in rock bands in 7th grade and kept at it, eventually finding my way to the Hammond B-3 organ. At a certain point I finally realized that live performance is a tough way to make a go at music. You have to leave the house! So I started writing more, took a class in film scoring (http://www.pnwfilmmusic.com/) and applied for a job as staff composer at the now defunct Film Company in Seattle. Miraculously, I was hired! In that position I was able to work on scores for films by Lynn Shelton, Brian Short, William Weiss and Guy Maddin. I kept going from there, and have been lucky to continue working with Guy and with new directors, like SJ Chiro. 


- Please tell us your latest score release “KEYHOLE” with your inspiration, getting involved, best parts of being involved, interesting stories you can share and how much musical freedom did you have?
Keyhole is my third feature with Guy Maddin. I started working on the project late summer 2010, just after it was shot, but still unedited. Based on the script and some stills from the shoot, I wrote a piece called “Shaft” which ended up being used as the opening and closing music for the film.

While the film was being edited, I met three people who I somehow knew had to be involved in the creation of the music for the film. The first was Martin Kuuskmann (www.martinkuuskmann.com), an Estonian bassoon virtuoso and an extremely charming and charismatic personality. We met at a chamber music house concert and we agreed on the spot to work together on something.

The second was Ela Lamblin, a musician and musical instrument inventor (www.lelavision.com) who also happens to live on this tiny island I call home, Vashon. Ela had recently invented a room-sized glass and aluminum percussion instrument that had a very unique sound. I knew immediately that I wanted to use it for Keyhole. When Guy saw photos of the instrument, he christened it the “Shrimp Platter”, a name it retains to this day.

The third person was soprano Elizabeth Ripley. We met when she invited me to play the Hammond organ for her production of a live Halloween old-time-radio-style show. Elizabeth is an absolutely unique human being (she has something like thirty pets at home!) and is game for anything. I knew she would make a great addition to Martin and Ela.

When I proposed bassoon, Shrimp Platter and soprano voice to Guy for the score, he encouraged me to proceed. I would consider that to be absolute freedom! I started writing to the partially edited picture and things seemed to stick!

The combination of freedom and the experience of working with Martin, Ela and Elizabeth made for a very unique and rewarding experience. Ela and I have continued to work together, and I hope to do more with Martin and Elizabeth, too.

- If you work with other composers or music artists, whom do you work with and what is the best part of your contributions?
(please see last question)


- Who inspires you musically and whom do you listen to [composers or music]?
I’m very inspired by Richard Thompson. There’s so much joy, freedom, sadness, pleasure and pain in his writing and playing. I can feel the weight of all of musical history when I listen to him play.

I tend to be pretty scattered about listening. I’ll go on binges in different directions all the time. But looking through my MOG and Spotify history, I see Tom Zé, Amon Tobin, Dr. John, Fiona Apple, The Billy Nayer Show, Tin Hat Trio, Roberta Flack and the Wu-Tang Clan.

- Do you feel that music downloading is hurting the industry or your thoughts that artists should release their work on a personal website and include all the download rates and a very limited Cd release?
I think David Lowery’s recent blog post (CLICK HERE) gets close to the heart of things.

- Out of all your released work, which gives you the best feeling of accomplishment and why?
I’m very fond of the score for Guy Maddin’s “Brand Upon The Brain”. I was able to immerse myself in the film’s world when I wrote it, and was then lucky enough to be able to travel around the world conducting live performances of it. It’s settled deep into my soul, and I think of the characters on that island as being just as real as you and I.

I’m also really pleased with the music that Ian Moore and I did for a new documentary by director Kieran Turner called Jobriath AD (CLICK HERE) or http://www.jobriaththemovie.com/). It’s the tragic and little-known story of the first openly gay rock star. Ian and I were able to do a bunch of period early-70’s glam rock cues.


- Walk us throughout a typical day or not so typical?
Up early, coffee, in the studio to practice for a couple hours. I’ll take a break for breakfast with the family. Depending on what’s going on, I may work with my partner Ian Moore on music for commercial clients through our production company Madrona Music (www.madronamusic.net). That’ll usually mean recording and revising and tweaking with occasional interruptions for a conference call where the client will remind us they want something that sounds both vintage and modern. If I’m working on a film, I may be looking at the same ninety seconds of footage all day, trying to figure out how to utter something that makes sense and helps tell the story. In the evening, I might be playing Hammond B-3 organ with Lindsay Fuller (www.lindsayfuller.com) or for a show like this recent tribute to Levon Helm (CLICK HERE).

Then it starts all over again!

- BONUS: You can ask me a question or tell us something you would like us to know about you or anything you want?
I love this quote from film composer Mason Daring:
"Someone once asked me whether or not I often felt offended by the compromise that was inherent in composing music for film. I quickly passed from amazement through anger to pure puzzlement: where to start?

I have never regarded a moving picture as an impediment to writing music. Simply put, without it, I don't have idea one. Moreover, not only do I regard film as a catalyst for creativity, it also affords me the opportunity to spend time with fascinating people - and it puts food on the table. Don't look now, but for the last few hundred years, music composition has been pretty much the servant of patronage. From Bach's day to the present, composers have been dependent on the whim of royalty, the church, or government largesse. Grants and teaching are the general avenues to composition.

And yet there are a few of us who are spared this route, who actually get paid to write music - provided we're willing to appreciate film, can intuit the relationship between sight and sound, and wish to spend time with a variety of gifted, dedicated people. It's a wonderful job, but somebody has to do it.

"On top of which, we get to go to the movies."

composer Mason Daring (liner notes "It's What We Do" 1995)

Finally, Keyhole is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray (CLICK HERE). Distributed in the US by Monterey Media (www.montereymedia.com).

The Keyhole soundtrack is also available (CLICK HERE), distributed by Milan Records (www.milanrecords.com).

Disney's: Last Flight Of Noah's Ark [2012] - Maurice Jarre

Last Flight Of Noah's Ark [2012]
Available: Now
Released By: Intrada
Composer: Maurice Jarre

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

World premiere of richly melodic Maurice Jarre soundtrack for Charles Jarrott family adventure, presented by Walt Disney Pictures, starring Elliott Gould, Genevieve Bujold, Ricky Schroder. Gould flies WWII aircraft with Bujold, kids, animals on board, then crashes on island inhabited by pair of Japanese soldiers confident war is still in progress. Setting allows Jarre to write for large orchestra with expanded brass section including two baritone horns, euphonium (small tuba.) Koto, samisen, shakuhachi plus nine percussionists help create fascinating template for magnum opus TV mini-series score to SHOGUN.

5/5 It's classic... it's Disney, it's Jarre and it's Intrada... you cannot go wrong. Awesome!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

The Velvet Vampire [1971]

The Velvet Vampire [1971] [R]
Considered to be a cult horror classic, follow THE VELVET VAMPIRE  as sleepy-eyed nice guy Lee Ritter and his vapid but pretty wife, Susan, accept the invitation of mysterious vixen Diane LeFanu (Celeste Yarnall) to visit her secluded desert estate. Tensions arise when the couple, unaware that Diane is really a centuries-old vampire, become objects of the pale skinned temptress' seductions.


4/5 What can I Say... you like vixens... how about vampires?
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Arbitrage [2012] - Cliff Martinez

Arbitrage [2012]
Available: September 11, 2012
Released By: Milan Records
Composer: Cliff Martinez / Songs by Björk, You Say Party!, Robi Botos, and Billie Holiday

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

Arbitrage, the feature directorial debut of writer Nicholas Jarecki, is a taut and alluring suspense thriller about love, loyalty, and high finance. When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) on the eve of his 60th birthday, he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Struggling to conceal his duplicity from loyal wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and brilliant daughter and heir-apparent Brooke (Brit Marling), Miller's also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Côte (Laetitia Casta).  

5/5 this is a nice dramatic score that keeps you holding on until the very end, then spices it up with a few songs that will bring it home.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse



HOW DOES THE WORLD END? LET US COUNT THE WAYS…
WASTELANDS: STORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE, EDITED BY JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS
San Francisco: Night Shade Books, c2008, ISBN 9781597801058, $15.95
For those who can’t get enough of the end-of-the-world scenarios, your anthology has arrived! A frightening mix of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction genres conspired to birth this gruesome collection of tales that explore all of the aspects of Armageddon. Filled with short stories created by some of the best writers in all three genres, you are guaranteed well-constructed tales of annihilation and global destruction. The contributors include George R.R. Martin, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Cory Doctorow, Elizabeth Bear, John Langan and more.
See what post-apocalyptic world is created when author Paolo Bacigalupi explores his memory of a feral dog living in a toxic waste dump in “The People of Sand and Slag.” Discover what misery awaits those who cannot reproduce normally due to mutation in James Van Pelt’s “The Last of the O-Forms.” Ponder what it would mean if the only survivors at the end of the world are a clique of network administrators trapped in their operations centers in Cory Doctorow’s “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth.”
This has to be one of the more inventive collections of end-of-times literature out there. It is a fun (if not unsettling) anthology that is under-appreciated; you will find it hard to put down. But you can still find this gem in bookstores…And if you hurry, you can finish it before December 21, 2012…
I give this a hearty five tentacles out of five.
-KC Redding-Gonzalez

Tad: The Lost Explorer (Las Aventuras de Tadeo Jones)

Tad: The Lost Explorer (Las Aventuras de Tadeo Jones)
Available: Now
Released By: MovieScore Media
Composer: Zacarías M. de la Riva

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

“It is very well made and is nothing short of foreign productions with many more resources. One of the highlights is the score by Zacarías M. de la Riva.” (No Sólo Cine). Celebrating the great influence of such action film scoring heroes as John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Alan Silvestri, Spanish composer Zacarías M. de la Riva (Hierro, Imago Mortis) has written a truly entertaining and swashbuckling orchestral score for this feature film debut of Tadeo Jones – the animated adventurer who enjoyed great success already in two short movies also scored by de la Riva.

 5/5  it is furiously fun... it has such a strong adventure vibe that on it's own generates a feel of some of the great adventure films... though separates itself to be a fresh telling.
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Rubicon [2012] - Peter Nashel

Rubicon [2012]
Available: Now
Released By: Lakeshore Records
Composer: Peter Nashel

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

Inspired by the suspenseful and high-stakes political whodunits of the 1970s -- from The Parallax View to All The President's Men -- Rubicon is a modern-day conspiracy thriller that taps into the collective paranoia of a post-9/11 era. Set at the New York City-based American Policy Institute (API), a federal intelligence agency, Rubicon follows Will Travers, a beleaguered and brilliant API analyst who, after being faced with a shocking tragedy, begins to uncover clues that could point to a complex and sinister conspiracy.

5/5 Television scores are sometimes better than movie scores, they have more time to flush out more pieces due to there is more to work with... this is a great moving dramatic score. Nice Work!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Strange Invaders [2012] - John Addison

Strange Invaders [2012]
Available: Now
Released By: Intrada
Composer: - John Addison

For More Details: [CLICK HERE]

World premiere release of fanciful John Addison soundtrack for Michael Laughlin fun sci-fi tale with Paul LeMat, Nancy Allen, Louise Fletcher, June Lockhart. Fast pace inspires Addison to write energetic music, quasi-50's roots inspires him to deliver it with dramatic flourish. Addison anchors score with dynamic outer space march, then builds layers of suspense, excitement. Touches of small town Americana add scope, alien motifs keep everything other worldly. When film ends, Addison brings score to dynamic close. Oh, the joy of composers who finish what they start! CD made possible through courtesy of MGM plus efforts of BYU film music archives, where complete session elements survive. Analog to digital transfers of 1/4" 7 1/2 ips two-track stereo tapes owned by composer plus stereo cassette safeties (of opening cue) allowed us to assemble complete score, including music truncated in finished film.

5/5 Intrada is on fire this summer, their releases are great choices and sometimes hidden classics... this release is no different. Excellent!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

The Apparition [2012] - Tomandandy

The Apparition [2012]
Available: Now
Released By: Varese Sarabande
Composer: Tomandandy

For More Details:  [CLICK HERE]

When frightening events start to occur in their home, young couple Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) discover they are being haunted by a presence that was accidentally conjured during a university parapsychology experiment. The horrifying apparition feeds on their fear and torments them no matter where they try to run. Their last hope is an expert in the supernatural (Tom Felton), but even with his help they may already be too late to save themselves from this terrifying force… and death.

5/5... it's very enjoyable horror paced romp!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

Wolf Dog Tales [Animated Film]

Wolf Dog Tales is an animated film with ancient stories of what we can learn from animals. I was inspired to make this film after my Dachshund companion of 20 1/2 years, Paco Sosa, passed away.

Each tale in this film is something that Paco taught me when we were together, and that I later learned had direct links to Native American beliefs of animal wisdoms dating back thousands of years.

Everyone who has worked on Wolf Dog Tales has poured their hearts into the making of this film. I hope that you will find it both entertaining and inspiring.

Bernadine Santistevan is a great friend to the Howlin' Wolf family... we love and support her in any way we possibly can and for this we will get the word out... the message heard!
-Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]

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FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE REMAKE

Friday the 13th The Remake is a bland unnecessary film full of forgettable deaths and lackluster scares but with good cinematography.  If you want to get technical it is a remake of Friday the 13th parts 1, 2, and 3.  They show the mom getting killed at the beginning just like part 1.  Jason is human, wears a bag over his head for awhile and runs just like part 2.  And he gets the hockey mask just like part 3.  Oh, and horny teenagers get killed just like part ALL OF THEM!  Here's the problem. Nobody wants to see a slasher flick about your mom killing teens.  People want to see Jason with the hockey mask and that doesn't happen till part 3.  So what is the solution?  Answer.  You make a really bad movie that doesn't make any sense because you want to make a new Friday film that is different and yet pays homage to the original to show your "street cred", yo!

The Remake starts off with two local community actors (A young girl playing a counselor and an older woman playing Mrs. Vorhees) rehearsing a scene from the original Friday film. Its black and white and they are performing in the rain for dramatic effect I assume. From the bushes a third actor in boy Jason make-up is seen watching.  The mom goes on and on about the counselors screwing and letting her poor boy drowned in the yada, yada, yada. You heard all that before. The acting is bad.  Really bad.  Like you know this can't be part of the film bad.  You expect at any moment that you will hear the director call "cut" and everyone goes back to being themselves with a laugh or two. Instead the girl takes her machete and cuts off the mom's head.  As the blood spurts you realize that THIS IS THE FILM!  Couldn't they get better actors for that scene?  It feels like they just shot that scene as an after thought and couldn't get enough money to make it good.  Maybe they hadn't watched the original Friday film (like everybody else) until after they made the movie. Whoops.


Click here if you want to know more and stuff.....

INTERVIEW WITH LUKE GOSS [ACTOR]