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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Score Season #48
by Richard Jack Smith

Below are more soundtrack poems of recent and archival releases.

The Black Prince (George Kallis, 2017) ** An intelligent, sparkling talent has appeared on the horizon: George Kallis. He’s the composer behind Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, The Last Warrior and Cliffs of Freedom which received glowing reviews from yours truly. However, for every triumph there’s the inevitable misstep, an occasion where not all elements align properly. As a key example, The Black Prince lacks the momentous declarative voice found in Kallis’ other projects. 

A poem:

This one you can safely cull.

Its impact was rather dull.

Even Lara Croft

Would not approve of music so soft.

 

So The Black Prince

Simply made me wince.

Sugar sweet to a fault

I had to call a halt.

 

I bear no great malice

Towards George Kallis.

The best can falter

As a tornado passes through Gibraltar.

GoldenEye (Eric Serra, 1995) ** Time to rhyme:

Eric Serra mocks

John Barry's building blocks.

Forgetting the song by Tina Turner

Guess he’s a slow learner.

 

A disco frenzy, haphazard beat

where enemies and allies meet.

This leads to much dithering

Like his confidence was withering.

 

Before the gruel,

“The GoldenEye Overture” was cool.

Emotion from “The Severnaya Suite”

didn’t feel like a cheat.

 

Not as bad as it gets

I have known safer bets,

Yet GoldenEye was below par

And lost that all important star.

Mister Moses (John Barry, 1965) *

Barely a whisper.

Awaken dear Casper.

Lost in the bush

amidst impending crush.

 

I share scant predilection

for music lacking direction.

Perhaps it was the cheque

which inspired such drek.

 

Whatever the cause

a slight bruise.

The line between craft and pride

Music must choose a side.

 

Mister Moses was a canard

Insulting one on the promenade.

Where's the theme swelling?

Such details make it telling.

 

A tiny drum roll might send it to perdition.

Mr. Barry, where's the magical, golden edition.

It was light and pleasant

Ever so hesitant.

 

Nothing to Lose (Robert Folk, 1997) **

Left somewhat queasy

as Nothing to Lose felt so easy.

When allowed to coast

Music ripe for the roast.

 

Undemanding, casual and diverting

to refrain from anything disconcerting.

Wavelength holds little variety

That being the least impropriety.

 

The film I love without question

Of which the score barely made a suggestion.

It was cut clean.

The effect rather green.

 

Please check out Robert Folk

A talent with imagination to stoke.

Nothing to Lose might not pass

Yet Trapped in Paradise made better brass.

 

Free from the illicit,

it was worth a visit.

Joy the film still makes

Despite music slamming the brakes.

The Passion of the Christ (John Debney, 2004) ****

Tell the porter

We won't be carrying extra water.

Where seconds made grace,

Twenty more minutes shattered the pace.

 

Original album was fine

knowing where to draw the line.

Emotional focus ended up blurred

Any consistency slurred.

 

Music lost the throttle

like a drunk with the broken bottle.

It was tempting to say three

As a rating certainly.

 

Yet the good stuff held firm

for a second term.

Much could be knit and picked

Yet integrity might end up nicked.

 

So the number four

will be the final score.

Good things come from faith

and not playing it safe.

Skyfall (Thomas Newman, 2012) ***

This James Bond imitation

was hit by the obvious limitation:

Thomas Newman was miscast, out of touch

Yet I enjoyed his score very much.

 

Skyfall was one of only two

Oscar nominated James Bond films... why so few?

Embracing what's current

Spy material only 10% percent.

 

"Quartermaster" could be trimmed

because my enthusiasm dimmed.

Skyfall was hardly A View to a Kill

nor Octopussy, what a thrill!

 

Even "Adrenaline" failed to match

Music befitting an escape hatch.

It was dry and ominous

For the most part... anonymous.

 

Whether in struggle or poverty

One must strive for quality.

Some moments were grand

Others simply irritating and bland.

Swashbuckler (John Addison, 1976) ****

Beyond the law

Take a trip with Robert Shaw.

Sounds like a vacation

more than an evacuation.

 

By the brush of an elephant's tusk

Music lifts the heart at dusk.

An adventure I'll be repeating

Goodness knows the great ones are depleting.

 

Unlike actorly beard

it was safely reared.

Of the greatest and the redeemless

One felt seamless.

 

Swashbuckler made the hoop

in one fell swoop.

Only a taskmaster

could avoid such disaster.

 

Perhaps a riddle

might snap the fiddle.

The final word was loot

Jewels and merriment to boot.

Torpedo Bay (Carlo Rustichelli, 1963) ***

As a tidal wave

Natural forces against the brave.

Torpedo Bay marched long and heavy

To enjoy, we must guarantee the levy.

 

Carlo Rustichelli was that rare eagle

Uncompromising as a beagle.

He could strike you in the gut

Or leave you feeling cut.

 

Fortune favours frugality

Especially when destined for immortality.

Perfect? By no means

Always a desire to replace jeans.

 

Defying wall to wall

And the need to reinstall.

Torpedo Bay made it feel

Romantic and somehow… unreal.

 

More of a tribute

To listeners and those who contribute.

I was elated

because Torpedo Bay wasn’t overrated.

 

When Strangers Meet (Carlo Savina, 1964) ***

Music this openly bright, deep and sad

Cannot be considered bad.

Carlo Savina like an old pro

Put on quite a show!

 

Tuned to that swing time beat

Melodies and rhythm, quite a feat.

I could sense something surreal

A tempting surrender, the timeless ordeal.

 

Of church and sin

Manners adopted by your kin.

Music to express emotion

Regardless of relative motion.

 

Pale alley cat shuffle

The score doesn’t muffle.

A gesture like humanly breath

To offset untimely death.

 

Resurrect the closest fear

As the strike echoes near.

The flute a token of malice

Or merely a godlike chalice?

 

SCORE OF THE MOMENT

The Little Minister (Max Steiner, 1934) ***** Poem for a hidden gem:

Tracking down a great score

From the year nineteen thirty-four.

As difficult as mining for gold.

Warmth in shelter from the cold.

 

Lost, found and then a sigh

What comes from desert high?

Verily the mountain was climbed

And the record timed.

 

Then again Max Steiner

Proved no ordinary miner.

He dug and extracted truth

Not all emotion could be uncouth.

 

A calming spring in the soul

That was the goal.

The work which a lifetime inherits

Deepening knowledge, priceless merits.

 

Heart meltingly gorgeous

A symbol for the courageous.

The Little Minister overcame toil

Making steps so royal.

 

In love I felt

Like the winner of a black belt.

For those melancholy hordes,

Steiner promised enlightened chords


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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