My Favorite Halloween Movie: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

by     Posted 21 days ago

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[Since Halloween is this week, Adam, Perri, and I decided to write a bit about the films we watch annually to celebrate the holiday.  Click here for Adam's pick.]

My memory is a bit hazy, but I’m pretty sure The Nightmare Before Christmas was the first stop-motion animated film I ever saw.  I was used to 2D animation and had never seen the work of Ray Harryhausen and his ilk.  Then my parents took me to see the film, and Jack Skellington’s sentiments regarding Christmas Town could have easily applied to my feelings about Henry Selick‘s masterpiece.  The movie that may not be scary, but it embodies the best aspects of a child’s holiday traditions.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to Score David Fincher’s GONE GIRL; Danny Elfman Set for FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

by     Posted 302 days ago

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A couple of intriguing composer announcements have been made today.  First up, Trent Reznor has confirmed on Twitter that he and Atticus Ross will compose the score for director David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation Gone Girl.  This will mark the third collaboration between Reznor/Ross and Fincher, and the two previously won an Oscar for their The Social Network score.  Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck as a man whose wife disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, only to have all roads point to him as her killer.  Rosamund Pike plays the wife, and the highly anticipated pic is scheduled for release on October 3rd.

Additionally, Film Music Reporter (via The Playlist) reports that Danny Elfman will score director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s steamy adaptation of Fifty Shades of GreyDakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan lead the sexually charged drama, and it’ll be interesting to see what Elfman puts together.  The film opens February 15, 2015.

THE AVENGERS and BREAKING BAD Lead 39th Annual Saturn Awards

by     Posted 1 year, 145 days ago

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For those who are upset that genre films are never recognized at the Oscars beyond sound and VFX categories, the Saturn Awards are for you.  The Saturns recognize accomplishment in sci-fi, fantasy, action, and horror for movies and TV shows that rarely receive any consideration from the Oscars and Emmys, although there is some crossover.  For example, among the TV nominees, Breaking Bad led with “Best Presentation on Television”, Best Actor for Bryan Cranston (tying with Kevin Bacon for The Following), and Best Supporting Actor for Jonathan Banks.  Over on the movie side, The Avengers netted four wins including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director (Joss Whedon), Best Supporting Actor (Clark Gregg), and Best Visual Effects.  Among the other genre categories, Life of Pi won Best Fantasy Film, The Cabin in the Woods took home Best Horror/Thriller, and Skyfall earned Best Action/Adventure film.  Like any awards presentation, there’s bound to be debate about the winners, but it’s great that at least one long-running awards ceremony recognized Jonathan Banks and Clark Gregg.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners.  In the days ahead, we’ll have plenty of interviews with actors and filmmakers who attended the event.

Danny Elfman to Score Gus Van Sant’s PROMISED LAND and Sacha Gervasi’s HITCHCOCK, Both of Which May Debut Early to Qualify for 2012 Oscars

by     Posted 2 years, 67 days ago

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Let’s take a look at a year in the life of composer Danny Elfman: he’s already crafted scores for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, plus another for Men In Black 3He has David O. Russell’s upcoming Silver Linings Playbook, plus Fox’s animated pic Epic and a reunion with Sam Raimi for Oz The Great and PowerfulSo, what the hell, let’s add two more on the list!  Reports have Elfman attached to compose the scores for director Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land as well as Sacha Gervasi’s biopic, Hitchcock Hit the jump for more on both projects.

James Newton Howard Replaces Danny Elfman as Composer on THE HUNGER GAMES

by     Posted 2 years, 349 days ago

Composer Danny Elfman has had to drop out of scoring Gary Ross’ highly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games. Variety reports that Elfman is unable to fulfill his commitment on the project due to scheduling conflicts (Men in Black III and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows), and James Newton Howard has stepped in as his replacement. Back in June it was announced that Elfman would be collaborating on the project with producer T. Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart) on what would be an ambitious multi-album undertaking that included not only music and songs for the film, but a collection of songs influenced by the film from new and established artists.

Though Elfman is departing, Burnett remains onboard and Variety says the transition will be seamless and will have no effect on post-production. Music plays a crucial role in The Hunger Games, with two highly important songs. I’m curious as to whether they had started work on those yet or if Howard will begin from scratch. Howard is an okay choice (his work includes Defiance, Michael Clayton, and The Dark Knight), but I was really looking forward to seeing what Elfman had in store. The Hunger Games opens March 23rd.

New Details on T-Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman’s Soundtracks for THE HUNGER GAMES

by     Posted 3 years, 108 days ago

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New details have emerged on Danny Elfman and T-Bone Burnett’s collaboration on the score and soundtrack for The Hunger Games.  The two are working together not only on the instrumentation for the movie, but will oversee a collection of songs used in the film and “influenced” by the film from new and established artists.  Why we can’t confirm that Lenny Kravitz (who plays Cinna in the film) will have a song on the album, I’m going to say “Yes, he will” and then brag about how I called this easily predictable outcome whenever the track listing is announced.

But I don’t know which album it will be on.  Universal Republic will be releasing multiple albums and multiple genres.  According to THR, the themes of the novel–freedom, rebellion, survival, family—will influence the music as will the various locales visited in the post-apocalyptic and impoverished world the characters inhabit.  I’m curious to see how Burnett and Elfman will handle the two most important songs from the novel: the song from Katniss’ father and Rue’s song.  Hit the jump for the film’s synopsis.  The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.

Danny Elfman to Score Sam Raimi’s OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL; In Talks for THE HUNGER GAMES [UPDATED]

by     Posted 3 years, 152 days ago

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It looks like composer Danny Elfman may finally be reteaming with director Sam Raimi. After being collaborators for a number of years, the two had a bit of a falling out over the score for Spider-Man 2. Now, it appears that things have been smoothed over as Elfman recently revealed (Film Music Reporter via The Playlist) that he’s going to be scoring Raimi’s Wizard of Oz prequel Oz The Great and Powerful. The film stars James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Zach Braff. Oz The Great and Powerful hits theaters March 8th, 2013.

In addition to Oz, Eflman also said that he’s in talks to score Gary Ross’ highly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games. While no deal is closed just yet, Elfman is eying the assignment. Based on the bestselling book series, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. The Hunger Games will be released on March 23rd, 2012.

[Update: Movies.com confirms that Elfman is indeed scoring The Hunger Games alongside singer/songwriter/producer T. Bone Burnett, who won an Oscar for his work on Crazy Heart]

Aaron Sorkin Writing Harry Houdini Musical Biopic Starring Hugh Jackman

by     Posted 4 years, 17 days ago

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In lieu of the midterm elections today, it’s only fitting that we bring you this bit of news regarding The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin.  Hot off the success of The Social Network screenwriter/playwright Sorkin is now working on a Broadway musical based upon the life of Harry Houdini.  The project has been in the works for a while, with composer Danny Elfman at the helm of the music.  Back in 2008 Elfman told us that he was working on his 5th or 6th song at the time, but that it’s a long process.  EW’s PopWatch reports that Hugh Jackman will star as the famed escape artist, with lyricist Glenn Slater (stage version of The Little Mermaid) and Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, Henry IV) also attached to the project.

Elfman described the project back in 2008 as a bit manic, sad, and a little dark.  He tells EW that Sorkin is “writing away, and we all have high hopes that Aaron’s going to come through and do some good stuff”. Sorkin himself is no stranger to the stage, as he graduated college with a degree in Musical Theater and went on to write a little play called A Few Good Men, as well as 2007’s The Farnsworth Invention. For more on the project, including when it’s expected to hit Broadway, hit the jump.

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS Going “4D” at El Capitan Theater; Danny Elfman to Perform

by     Posted 4 years, 38 days ago

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Disney has made a yearly tradition out of releasing The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D around Halloween.  This year, they’ll not only be re-releasing the film in 3D, but Hero Complex reports that Nightmare is going “4D” at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood.  That means 3D plus special effects like wind and fog in the theater itself.  I’ll be particularly impressed if someone rips off their own skull and throws it into the audience.

Hero Complex also reports that composer Danny Elfman is scheduled to perform at 7pm before the October 22nd showing.  He’ll be performing material from the upcoming Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box.  Tickets to the El Capitan can be purchased at the box office (6838 Hollywood Blvd), online, or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6.

WB Announces the Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box; 16 CD Limited Edition That You Must See!

by     Posted 4 years, 49 days ago

If you’re a fan of Danny Elfman’s collaborations with Tim Burton, get ready to drop five hundred dollars.  That’s because Warner Bros. has just announced an amazing 16 CD limited-edition box set that celebrates their 25 years of doing music together.  Here’s some of the incredible highlights:

  • Seven hours of previously unreleased music including such rarities as additional masters, cut songs, song and score demos, work tapes, orchestra-only song mixes, and foreign-language songs.
  • Danse Macabre: 25 Years of Danny Elfman and Tim Burton: A meticulously researched, lavishly illustrated 250+ page fine linen-wrapped hardbound book
  • An hour-long exclusive, newly filmed DVD featuring an extended conversation between Burton and Elfman as they reflect on their quarter-century collaboration
  • As a collectible created exclusively for this treasure box of music, a distinctive Skeleton Key USB Flash Drive has been designed—inspired by the art of Tim Burton. A pull of the key unlocks a USB drive loaded with MP3s of the entire contents of this Limited-Edition Music Box. From Pee-wee’s Big Adventure through Alice In Wonderland, it’s all there, including all the bonus tracks, demos, work tapes, and other rarities.

Hit the jump for more:

ALICE IN WONDERLAND Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 4 years, 167 days ago

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It was reported in the trades this week that Tim Burton’s 3-D, live action Alice in Wonderland crossed the one billion dollar mark at the international box office. That’s a serious quantity of dollars, euros, rubles and yen spent on less than two hours of escapism during the middle of a global economic crisis, but at least this escapism has quality in spades (or is it red hearts?). A sort-of sequel to Disney’s animated film and mash-up of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Alice in Wonderland spins the fantastical tale of an older, if not wiser, Alice plunging back down the rabbit hole into an underworld that’s now a delightful combination of Carroll’s inventive imagination and Burton’s delectable visual style.  More after the jump:

The Tim Burton Secret Formula of Spirals, Daddy Issues, and Recycled Danny Elfman Scores

by     Posted 4 years, 260 days ago

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The following College Humor video parodying the style of Tim Burton’s movies has been online for a few days now, but I can’t get it out of my head, especially after seeing his latest film, Alice in Wonderland, earlier this week (look for my review of the film tonight; the film is also the topic of the latest episode in our new podcast “Running Dialogue”, which should also be up sometime tonight).  I like most of Burton’s filmography up through Big Fish (which is one of my all-time favorite movies).  But the director’s work has increasingly become unintentional self-parody, which leads to this eviscerating parody CH did on the director and his not-so-secret formula.  It’s pretty damn funny (especially when Danny Elfman lays out his “new” score for Burton’s next movie).

Check it out after the jump.  Alice in Wonderland hits theaters in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D tomorrow, March 5th.

Danny Elfman Exclusive Interview ALICE IN WONDERLAND – Talks WOLFMAN, Composing, More

by     Posted 4 years, 261 days ago

Danny_Elfman_image (4).jpgIf you’ve seen a few Tim Burton movies, you’ve definitely heard the music of Danny Elfman.  That’s because with the exception of just a few titles, Danny Elfman has been the one composing the music.  Here’s some of the films they’ve done together: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow, Mars Attacks, Batman, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and would could forget Beetle Juice!

Anyway, with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland opening this weekend,  I had the chance to sit down with this great composer to talk about his latest score.  Of course we also talked about how his collaboration with Burton really works, how he picks what projects he works on (he’s done over 70 movies!), what really happened on Wolfman,  how he writes music, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of Danny Elfman’s, I promise you’ll love this interview.  As always, you can either read the transcript or listen to the audio of the interview after the jump.

Finally, a small scoop from our interview.  While Gus Van Sant’s latest project is listed as untitled on IMDb, Elfman called it Restless when he was talking about it. Perhaps that’s the final title?  Hit the jump for the interview:

A Fistful of News – 10 Extra Stories for Your Viewing Pleasure

by     Posted 5 years, 9 days ago

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We want to bring you more news every day, but unfortunately our robot army of writers who never need to sleep, to eat, or to love, is still under development (currently all they do is sleep, eat, and love).  In the meantime, we’re going to be making “A Fistful of News” a regular feature you’ll see every other day where we bring you some additional news stories we found but didn’t have time to write.  Until the Robot Army is ready to proceed (which is unlikely as we cut corners and ordered them from Belize, a country not known for quality robotics).

After the jump you’ll find ten quick news items including what’s next for Up director Peter Docter even though it’s not Monsters, Inc. 2, Guillermo del Toro’s monster cameo in The Hobbit, and Jeff Bridges’ behind-the-scenes photography on the set of Iron Man.

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