|August 2000 Film Music CD Reviews||Film Music Editor: Ian
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger
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Sally Hemmings An American Scandal
Original Soundtrack for the CBS mini series
PROMETHEUS PCD 149 [68:49]
At almost seventy minutes, there is plenty of music on offer here from this made for TV miniseries. Its just a pity then that much of it sounds so similar.
The main theme is introduced in I was Born Sally Hemmings with female voice setting things up before inevitably strings take precedence. While its structurally unsurprisingly, it manages to hit all of the expected emotional highs and lows that these kind of scores are required to. The other key motif of the score is first heard in Haunted Paris/Consummation, a quietly effective piano led, melancholy piece that provides some of the more auspicious moments to be found on the CD.
As this is a story set in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the score is strongly influenced and often incorporates the classical musical styles of that era. Journey to Paris for instance is typical period drawing room fare, while At Versailles brings to mind the pomp and circumstance of the wealthy and the powerful.
The two major themes are recalled in a number of tracks in many different guises, such as Birth of the First Child, Love Letters and Falling in Love to name only a few (the latter very, very romantic, pulling out all of the stops with flute, oboe and much tinkling piano and soaring strings).
Brass fanfares also feature, as in The French Revolution and Returning Home, while folksy fiddle playing is heard in Homecoming Celebration and Crittas Tale allowing for a fairly broad, if somewhat predicable musical palette. But ultimately this is a romantic work and the majority of the cues reflect the central love story tinged with looming tragedy.
Apart from taking inspiration from classical works, two actual pieces are used at key moments in the score; Beethovens Piano #8 "Pathétique" adagio cantabile in Tom Hemmings Leaves and Corellis Concerti Grossi for String Orchestra, Opus 6 on Sally Must be Sold
Probably the best way to describe Joel McNeelys work on Sally Hemmings is overly familiar if perfectly serviceable. Many tracks (there are twenty eight in total) get lost amidst so much similar music and one cannot help feeling that a lot of it is excess to requirements outside of the miniseries itself.
To listen to the entire score in one sitting is a little wearing to be honest, as there simply isnt anything here we havent heard many times before. Of course, this criticism can be levelled at many, many other modern soundtracks.
When you actually stop to consider it, how on earth do composers ever manage to rise above the obvious limitations and restrictions imposed upon them and produce works of art in their own right!? The truth is that it doesnt happen very often. More often than not, as is the case here, the most you can expect is a very professional, sturdy job of work
GNP Crescendo GNPD 8065 [58:58]
Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin have given up on the Godzilla franchise after their one, badly received attempt to Americanise the saga, and are instead currently bidding to become respectable, Oscar-worth film-makers with The Patriot (see my review of the John Williams soundtrack album). Happily Godzilla, having got lost between the moon and New York city, is now back in his old stomping ground: the full colour centre of this CD booklet showing Mr. G squaring-up for three falls, a knockout or a submission with another even more ferocious looking man-in-a-rubber-suit monster amid a traditional cardboard cut-out model of a Japanese city. Of course the title Godzilla 2000: Millennium is both tautological and oxymornical, Toho apparently having rather less idea when the third millennium begins than did Clarke and Kubrick over 30 years ago. Still, nit-picking aside, it's nice to have Godzilla back where he belongs, especially when his musical accompaniment is as accomplished as this.
The score is by Takayuki Hattori, a relatively new film composer, having just five credits on the Internet Movie Database, including one for the 1994 film, Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, which if the IMB is correct was Mr Hattori's feature debut score. The album contains 36 tracks, and flows so well that it is nowhere near as fragmented as that number might suggest. However, there are two short tracks of sound effects included in the body of the score which might have been better placed at the end of the disc. Meanwhile a third track of sound effects is placed between the end title and a bonus track, a fine new recording of Akira Ifukube's original Godzilla Theme. It's the inclusion of bonuses like these, together with the colour booklet and informative notes by David Hirsch, which mark GNP Crescendo out as a company which actually cares about its CD releases. So, top marks for presentation, and likewise top marks for superb sound and a generous playing length.
And the music? It's a complex, terrifically well constructed mix of traditional monster movie music, both Western and Japanese. There is an underpinning of electronics, but these are sensitively used and at least until the end, kept to a minimum. The whole package is bound together by an epic, portentous new theme for our monstrous anti-hero, while around this there is considerable variety. The main title is perhaps surprisingly subtle and atmospheric, lending a real weight of orchestral seriousness to the project, while much of the action and suspense writing which follows has a Barry (Thunderbirds, Space 1999) Grey meets Hammer Horror sensibility. One standout is 'The Encounter With the Mysterious Object', which develops the main theme into a stirring march. Elsewhere, 'Giant UFO Approaching' imaginatively sets brass and strings against a complex pattern of sampled drums. The final tracks command a real sense of pulp comic-book tragedy, with 'The Millennium Kingdom' playing the drama for everything it's worth, the electronic choirs finally going OTT, even hinting at Miklós Rózsa's Ben-Hur in passing! (Ben-Hur is subtitled A Tale of The Christ, and easy though it is to forget, the 'Millennium' only has significance in terms of Christ.) The pseudo-religious theme continues through track titles such as 'Astonishing Resurrection', with the end title being dubbed 'Godzilla - Dread God'. This begins with what sound like real, rather than sampled voices, and music akin to Renaissance Church polyphony, surrendering to a final stirring yet doom-laden rendition of the new Godzilla theme.
Takayuki Hattori has crafted a big, emotional, deliberately old-fashioned and sometimes kitsch score which is immensely entertaining. It won't be to every taste, but if you like your monster movie music bold and brash yet packed with melody this is the album for you. It would be most interesting to hear what Takayuki Hattori could do with a real epic. Something rather special, I imagine.
Gary S. Dalkin
Collection: The Best of Star Trek Vol 2.
GNP Crescendo GNPD 8061 [58:44]
Its pretty much impossible to critically respond to the famous (perhaps even infamous) Star Trek theme by Alexander Courage. It has become indelibly etched upon our consciousness. But the brief reprise that opens this second volume of cues from the vast Trek universe actually reveals it to be a rather dated piece. And if the truth is told, although I dearly love the original series, I never was particularly fond of it.
Still, putting that aside, I have always remembered the incidental music far more fondly. It managed to be as distinctive as the series itself and perfectly augmented the dramatic intrigue and excitement that would reliably unfold each week. Here we are treated to suites from three classic episodes, The Corbomite Maneuver, Balance of Terror and What are Little Girls Made of, all written by series regular Fred Steiner.
If one were going to be at all critical, you might say that despite the fact that we have three distinct episodes represented, the music for each is somewhat similar. Of course this is understandable (and perhaps even warranted) as we are dealing with a continuing saga. The music from both The Corbomite Maneuver and Balance of Terror is very much the darkly atmospheric, at times slightly Herrmannesuqe music that any Trek fan will instantly recognise. However, What are Little Girls Made of is the more varied of the three, with a quieter passage to begin with before a notable dramatic action motif is heard, one that served the series superbly on many occasions throughout its long run. In all three suites there is plenty to enjoy and admire and Fred Steiners name should be recorded as a crucial factor in the overall strength of the original Trek. His music always added weight and tension to the proceedings. This section concludes with a bizarre lounge version of the series main theme and though it may appeal to die-hard fans, it really only has curiosity value at best.
Dennis McCarthys Theme from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (version used in series four), is for me the weakest of all the various spin-off themes. Its an adequate brass led, rather stately piece that creates little sense of anticipation. Thankfully his suite from the Deep Space Nine episode Way of the Warrior is a little more worthwhile, with action cues such as Yo! and Worf II having a brooding quality that is welcome, utilising plenty of brass and percussion. However, the somewhat self-indulgent rendition of Fever (from the episode His Way) sung by series regular Nana Visitor, is only for those who either deeply admire the actress or the song itself.
Jerry Goldsmiths main theme from Star Trek: Voyager is of a much higher calibre. This is a hopeful, noble melody that is far more introspective than his more famous theme from both Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
David Bells score for the Voyager episode Bride of Chaotica is a pastiche of the kind of music used in matinee space serials such as Flash Gordon and the composer certainly captures perfectly the required flavour. My only concern would be that while this is a clever gimmick, ultimately it struggles to transcend that very fact. We can admire the technical accomplishment and possibly even be amused by the references, but finally we are only left with the music itself. Fortunately it is reasonably creative and as long as you are not adverse to the obviously dated style, its fairly enjoyable.
Jerry Goldsmiths Theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation (Season 2) was, as already mentioned, originally written for the first spin-off feature film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In some ways I think this piece has suffered from over familiarity. While it worked quite well in the film, once I was asked to listen to it week in week out to open The Next Generation series, I have to admit I began to get a little tired of it. Also I have always winced at the editing on the series version, as I feel the piece as originally conceived by Goldsmith for The Motion Picture flows far better. Once the producers decided to use a truncated version it became rather less effective.
After this, Dennis McCathy delivers a suite from the Next Generation series finale All Good Things. Actually I feel rather disappointed that the under used and under appreciated Ron Jones, who scored several notable Next Generation episodes, was not chosen as the series main composer rather than McCarthy. Jones music was in my opinion far more inventive and distinctive. However the powers that be favoured McCarthys safer, more traditional scoring, of which this suite is a good representation. Certainly the music here strongly conjures in the mind the essence of Star Trek: The Next Generation and as I consider it to be a very fine series indeed, that obviously cannot be a bad thing!
For fans of Trek this is a must. But for those who have thus far resisted the allure of Kirk, Picard, Janeway and the rest of the gang, this is a solidly entertaining musical introduction :
COLLECTION True Grit: Music from the Classic Films of John Wayne
Paul Bateman conducting the City of Prague Philharmonic
Silva SSD 1037 [64:27] [Note this is an established release, issued in 1994]
I usually am wary of compilation-score albums that are drawn from the films of a single actors work, but this one caught my attention with its wide-ranging content spanning an array of film music styles. For all his many stolid and repetitious screen roles, Wayne also contributed no small number of significant performances during his long career many of which must have, in one way or another, helped inspire some darned fine music.
And, like a good John Wayne Western, lets cut right to the chase: This CD is worth purchasing simply to have the suite of themes from Jerry Goldsmiths In Harms Way. Composed in 1965, when Goldsmith was on the verge of what, arguably, was his most creative period, this score features a riveting, horn-driven theme for Waynes character, The Rock. Militaristic yet strongly melodic, the theme is a minor gem from the composers early career and is superior, I think, to his far-better known Patton theme from a few years later. The segment also includes the films main title sequence (First Victory), which director Otto Preminger placed at the end of the film over dramatic special-effects footage of a storm at sea. For it, Goldsmith drops his already well-established thematic material to present, instead, starkly austere music depicting the bleakness of war. Paul Batemans take on this final cue with the City of Prague Philharmonic is slower and more deliberate than Goldsmiths original version, but thats a small caveat. (Goldsmith fans also should appreciate this trivia note: The composer appears in one of the films scenes -- conducting a small Navy band.)
"True Grit ... John Wayne" opens with music from four classic Wayne films directed by John Ford, who loved to use traditional folk melodies in his films. To see how effectively this can be done, pick up the video of Stagecoach and watch the opening 2 minutes -- a masterpiece of economical storytelling in which Ford cuts quickly between various set-up scenes punctuated by Richard Hagemans equally fast-cutting themes that include standards Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie and I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair. Both Fords and Hagemans styles are passé today, but they were fresh and dynamic in 1939 and much of that freshness is captured by Bateman in a 10-part Narrative for Orchestra that takes the listener along on the perilous stagecoach journey into Apache territory. Ten years later, Wayne gave a performance that ranks among my own sentimental favorites, in Fords She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Leaving the Fort offers a rousing version of that films title song, also incorporating the popular cavalry march Gary Owen. Matched with Fords visuals, this is muscular music that becomes part of the film, and Batemans handling here brings it nicely alive.
Also well handled is a 7-minute suite from Max Steiners The Searchers -- even though Ford reportedly disliked the score, suggesting it sounded more appropriate for Cossacks than Indians. (He offered virtually identical criticism of Alex Norths music to Cheyenne Autumn.) In truth, Steiners music is gently insightful in its delineation of Waynes complex Ethan Edwards character, and even his drum motifs for the Indians are more stirring than stereotyped. The Quiet Man, with Victor Youngs impressive takes on various Irish themes, rounds out the Ford films, although he also directed the brilliant Civil War segment in How the West Was Won, which featured Wayne as the crusty Gen. William Sherman and is represented on this recording by Alfred Newmans rousing main title music.
While I wish this CD offered more music from its title score, what we do have from True Grit is enjoyable. Apart from Waynes and Kim Darbys excellent performances, this 1969 film features what I consider perhaps the best of Elmer Bernsteins many outstanding Western scores as much for the delicacy with which he underlines the character of the young girl, Mattie Ross, as for the humor and strength with which he invests Waynes Oscar-winning role of Rooster Cogburn. By the time he was ready to release the films original soundtrack on LP, Bernstein had decided to take a different tack, re-recording its themes and cues in arrangements by swing/jazz orchestrator Artie Butler. No doubt this afforded a welcome break from his usual soundtrack-recording routine, but it also denied us the full-blooded glory of the real score. Bernstein partially rectified that in the mid-1980s when he recorded 21 minutes covering 9 cues for an LP that also offered music from The Commancheros. That recording with the Utah Symphony, available on CD from Varese Sarabande, may be more authoritative than this version, but Bateman and veteran arrangers Leo Shuken and Jack Hayes (both of whom have often worked with Bernstein) have produced a worthy complement to the composers version.
Two Dimitri Tiomkin scores are included in this collection. The Oscar-winning The High and the Mighty is a theme indelibly connected with Wayne, who whistled it throughout the film as he helped fly a stricken airliner. Bateman does a commendable job, also, with the overture from The Alamo which, like How the West Was Won, features a dead-on arrangement by Christopher Palmer. The Longest Day and The Cowboys round out this CDs offerings. The former is a simplistic albeit catchy march tune which Bateman handles adroitly, largely eschewing bombast for a surprising subtlety. The Cowboys is represented by the 9-minute overture popularized by its composer, John Williams, when he was with the Boston Pops. To the City of Prague Philharmonics credit, it handles Williams energetic French horn writing with a vigor that rivals the Pops.
And this final note: The liner notes -- compiled with the aid of The John Wayne Film Society in Sutton-in-Ashfield -- features a handful of nice stills and mini-posters from the actors films. I especially enjoyed the contrast between the gaunt, obsessed Ethan Edwards of The Searchers and the almost-wistfully smiling David Crockett of The Alamo.
Brideshead Revisited: The Television Scores of Geoffrey Burgon
SILVA SCREEN FILMCD 723 (58:35)
(Note this album was originally released in 1992 This version has been remastered in HDCD and Dolby Surround)
Crotchet Amazon UK
Having composed the music for some of the most prestigious television productions of the last twenty five years, Geoffrey Burgon here demonstrates his undeniable grasp of what is required to capture the spirit of such literary classics.
His music for Brideshead Revisited in 1981 is acknowledged as a major work and was hugely popular at the time (and indeed earned a gold disk for its original UK sales). Much of whats on offer here has the same very English modern classical feel with Burgon reworking several other scores into suites to represent his output from the late seventies up to the early nineties.
In fact his Brideshead suite is subtitled Variations, as all of the pieces are worked around his main theme, an elegant, almost regal melody for strings and woodwind with a nice oboe solo holding it all together. Julias Theme is also worth mentioning with its understated, emotional resonance that seems to speak of sadness and disquiet.
The music for 1979s Testament of Youth opens with a kind of dark march reflecting the on-set of war. Other cues like Intimations of War are more melodic, but even this becomes militaristic and demanding mid-way through. This sense of war time anxiety is nicely conveyed, even during pieces that initially suggest a reprieve from the conflict.
Bleak House from 1985 features a slightly bitter-sweet main theme with an effective solo cornet carrying the signature line. A number of other pieces are very evocative of Victorian London where the Dickens story is set, although at times the music does meander a little. Even so, Burgon is a good enough composer to still make it all seem worthwhile. One particularly appealing track is Dedlock Vs Boythorn with horn and trumpet vying with each other in an up tempo semi-comic romp, almost like a parody of the hunt.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (again from 1979) has a rather dour, affecting opening theme that nicely sets the tone for John Le Carres story of espionage and betrayal. The only other piece from the series featured, Nunc Dimittis (Closing Music) was very popular when the series was first broadcast (becoming a hit single no less). Here it has been adapted for soprano Lesley Garret (it was originally written for boy treble).
Finally, various cues from C.S. Lewis classic The Chronicles of Narnia (1988-1990) provide what are probably the best selections on the CD, opening with Aslans Theme, a majestic, serious minded piece. Other tracks like The Great Battle and The Storm at Sea are fine dramatic action music with fanfares for both horn and trumpet announcing the advent of struggle and combat. Elsewhere Mr. Tumnus Tune for flute and strings is a subtle, sorrowful melody which captures well the sense of reluctant betrayal that it signifies in the story itself. Also of note is Aslan Sacrificed which quotes from Bachs B Minor Mass and its as dark and brooding as you might expect.
All in all, probably worth adding to your collection.
Original Television Soundtrack
VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD 6141 [69:21]
Crotchet Amazon UK Amazon US
Regular visitors to this site will remember that Mark Hockley reviewed the video of the programme that was screened on BBC TV earlier this year [Len, link please].
The music did not come across on the video nearly as strongly as on this album which is a rare treat. As must be expected there is much material that evokes Arabia. Harvey is very successful in creating its authentic sound in music of vivid colour. All instruments complement each other with a fantastic sound of mystery, sadness and drama as well as evocations of exotic climes.
The opening Sultans Sharians Dream and Main Titles is an evocative exciting yet dreamy mix of drums voices, cymbals. Open Sesame! is thrilling and mysterious with great rhythmic drive. Kasims Fatal Mistake is music to run away from monsters and Bacbac Death of a Funny Man sounds like comic ballet music.
Overall this music appeals strongly and it is difficult to choose favourites. Sound is stunning.
CAM CSE 800-003 [28:54]
Amarcord (meaning I remember) dates from 1973 and it won an Academy Award as the best foreign film of that year. Its story is slight even inconsequential and its about the colourful characters that inhabit a small Italian seaside town during the fascist period. "A rich surface texture and a sense of exuberant melancholia" said the Illustrated London News critic. "Peaks of invention separated by raucous valleys of low comedy commented Sight and Sound. The booklet note says, " A young boy is conditioned by odd domestic realities and memories: school, church, the fascists, the "mysterious" parties in the luxurious hotel. Characters of the town: the saucy hairdresser, a crazy man called Giudizio, a puppet burnt in a popular rite. And that huge transatlantic ship full of lights that everyone looks at from afar, on small makeshift boats." The images I remember are of the evening strolls by the towns colourful inhabitants, strolls so loved by the Italians to show off their finery. A charming film.
Nino Rota wrote one of his strongest and most memorable themes for Amarcord. It is redolent of its period and is strongly sentimental and nostalgic. Through the score, this theme is subject to a series of delightful variations scored for varying small instrumental combinations or for solo accordion. A strutting, laconic variation, for instance, is entitled Gary Cooper! Another variation is romantic and ornately dreamy.
Rotas score portrays the more eccentric characters in the film and so is often grotesque and bizarre. There is swaggering pompous material that might be played by a self-important but none too talented town band, grotesque fairground music and crazy gallops with exotic music suggestive of the kasbah. There is some apposite source material, much of which is played in tea dance style: Stormy Weather, La Cucaracha and the well-known tune Siboney played in an attractive Spanish style and featuring a guitar solo.
Short but very sweet
Nino ROTA La Dolce Vita OST CAM CSE 800-009 [41:25]
Nino ROTA 8½ OST CAM 493091-2 [42:09]
Here are reissues of the soundtracks of two of the most important Italian films ever made, very major works by Frederico Fellini, perhaps Italy's most important director, featuring music by Italy's most important film composer, Nino Rota. Not that Rota was 'just' a film composer, but as increasing numbers of recordings of his concert music demonstrate, he was simply a major composer. Given the importance of these two films in world cinema history, I am going to begin with a grumble. Like it or not, La Dolce Vita and 8½, dating respectively from 1960 and 1963, being in Italian and made in black and white, will regardless of their classic status be unknown quantities to a many potential buyers. It's not my function to deliver a lesson in cinema history, but suffice to say that if you've never seen these movies, pester your local cinema until they give each a one day showing, and see them where they were meant to be seen, on the silver screen.
The point of my grumble is that for such classic yet relatively unseen films these two soundtracks are hopelessly documented. We get a short cast & credits listing, and one very short paragraph outline of what each film is about, repeated in five languages, and then quite pointlessly partially repeated again on the back of the insert and again on the back cover of the jewelcase. There is not one word about Nino Rota, about his approach to scoring the films, or about the presentation on the music on the CDs. We do however get a quite surreally pointless list of the countries each film has been distributed in. Making this all especially irritating is that these woefully inadequate booklets carry the heading "CAM's Soundtrack Encyclopedia"!
Some word on the presentation of the music on CD would be particularly valuable, because both discs carry the Dolby Surround logo. With no information provided I can only guess at what has been done. The discs certainly don't sound like they are in surround sound. The films were made in mono, and at the very best it is doubtful that the original music tracks were recorded in anything more than stereo. I am guessing, from the age of the recordings, and from the fact that they come from Italian movies, where multi-channel sound was not generally in use in the early 60's, that these are mono recordings processed with a three-dimensional digital reverb in an attempt to create a greater sense of spaciousness. To my ears the music sounds much more focused and coherent when I switch my amplifier to mono, and for the age of the recordings the sound is then good, though not exceptional.
Notes on Rota's actual use of music would be valuable too, simply because with these Fellini films he did not take a direct approach, but utilised everything from jazz and ragtime idoms, to interpolations of sometimes idiosyncratic arrangements of popular standards and classics. Quite simply, one might like to know what is going on during the hilarious arrangement of 'Jingle Bells' in La Dolce Vita. These are effectively patchwork scores, Rota's own wistful, sometimes swinging and infinitely catchy music blending with takes on 'Stormy Weather and 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby' (La Dolce Vita) or Rossini's overture from 'The Barber of Seville', and Wagner's 'The Ride of the Valkyrie', (8½), years before Kubrick and Coppola got their hands on them for the ultraviolence of A Clockwork Orange and Apocalypse Now.
Given that La Dolce Vita is a prophetic portrait of well-healed nihilistic youth in Rome circa 1959, it is hardly surprising that Anthony Minghella seems to have been inspired by Rota's mix of swinging jazz and pre-existing musics when it came to deciding upon a musical direction for The Talented Mr. Ripley. Doubly unsurprising when one remembers that the first screen version of Patrica Highsmith's novel, Plein Soleil, was released in the same year as La Dolce Vita. So, if you enjoyed the blend of music was soundtracked Minghella's film, you may well appreciate both these releases, spanning as they do, Renaissance to rock. Likewise, if you want souvenirs of a pair of cinema classics these are well worth seeking out. Be warned though, great scores as these are, and melodic as the music is, the cues are very much integral to the films, such that to the uninitiated the eccentric flavourings and changes of style may make very little sense. Very '60's, very cool, very Italian, not a little strange.
La Dolce Vita
Aldo Di MARCO
CAM 496836-2 [39:03]
Occasionally we get scores for some pretty odd films to review on this site but this one takes the biscuit! How anybody can make or enjoy a comedy about being found HIV positive is beyond my comprehension. But the booklet notes read, " Im positive: in other words, how to discover to have AIDS and live happily. After picking up his wifes test results, the husband discovers she is HIV positive. But then his test results are HIV positive too as well as his gay brother-in-law and also their freeloader friend. Who started it and where did it come from? After a few initial stray moments [I wonder what they were?], they all decide to face this new "reality" that units them and discover that the important thing in order to be happy is to be always true to oneself, following ones own nature." The mind boggles!
This is clearly a farce with, by the look of the stills, trousers dropping at every opportunity.
Di Marcos score is a frentic mix of many styles that can be usefully categorized as easy listening. Commendably it starts off with a few bars of menacing music in the style of John Williamss Jaws presumably as a warning of the dire consequences of getting AIDS.
This soon segues into 1960s/70s pop style material that is laced with some more mock horror synth music. Then there is a kaleidoscopic mix of source material from what appear to be earlier film soundtracks with music that is mostly Latin. There are Cha Cha Chas, one of which has the extraordinary title of I am not Fred Astaire, Tangos, Mexican and Caribbean (complete with steel drums) pieces, proud Spanish rhythms, really exotic Latin numbers -- some that are catchy some that are slinky. There is a cue that is a take off of Morricones Westerns scores. There is even some nice relaxed romantic music for guitar.
A mixed bag for a film that would seem to have to work hard to win against its tawdry theme
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