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We’ve got three new CDs from La-La Land Records heading your way!

First up is the next edition in La-La Land’s Expanded Archival Collection, lets all return to Gotham for this two disc remastered and expanded presentation of Danny Elfman’s magnificent score to the 1992 Warner Bros. motion picture blockbuster Batman Returns, starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito, and directed by Tim Burton. Composer Danny Elfman (Batman, Mars Attacks, Wanted, Alice in Wonderland) revisits his iconic theme and expertly weaves it into a sumptuous musical experience, bringing to life the film’s breathtaking action and rich emotional and psychological underpinnings. Produced by Neil S. Bulk, Dan Goldwasser and MV Gerhard and mastered by James Nelson from Shawn Murphy’s first generation three-track digital mixes, this limited edition release features more than 30 minutes of previously unreleased music, including alternate cues. The in-depth, exclusive liner notes are by John Takis and the art direction is by David C. Fein. This release is limited to only 3,500 copies, so get them while you can.

Next up is the world premiere release of acclaimed composer James Horner’s (Aliens, Glory, Titanic, Avatar) score to the 1995 Paramount Pictures feature film Jade, starring David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino and Chazz Palminteri, directed by William Friedkin. Previously unavailable in any format, this release of Horner’s erotically charged, Asian-tinged score finally takes its place in his soundtrack canon of notable 1990’s works. 1995 proved to be an especially successful year for Horner, having released scores to such films as Casper, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Jumanji and Balto. This release of Jade now fills the hole in one of his most important years as a composer! Produced for La-La Land Records by Dan Goldwasser and mastered by Mike Matessino from ½ inch Paramount vault materials, this release contains bonus tracks that include Loreena McKennitt’s “The Mystic’s Dream” and the classical piece “Le Sacre du Printemps,” both of which are featured in the film’s score. Exclusive, in-depth liner notes by Daniel Schweiger feature comments from the film’s director, William Friedkin. Art direction is by Mark Banning.

Finally we have another premiere release from composer John Morris’ (Blazing Saddles, Clue, Young Frankenstein) sumptuous orchestral score to the 1986 Orion Pictures feature flim, Haunted Honeymoon, starring Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner and Dom DeLuise, and directed/co-written by Gene Wilder. Produced by Ford A. Thaxton and digitally edited and mastered by James Nelson, this release finally makes available one of John Morris’ most technically spectacular and evocative scores, that’s brilliantly performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Limited to 1,200 copies, this release features exclusive, in-depth liner notes are by film music writer Jeff Bond.

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“Toy Story 3”
a review by Darby O’Gill

First they were lost, then they were stolen, and now forgotten; but thankfully for us, Pixar has not forgotten their roots. Back in 1995, Pixar released their first feature length film, Toy Story, and to say it was a game changer would be somewhat of an understatement. In the last 15 years, Pixar has racked-up 249 various awards out of 487 nominations. But, in the end they’ve proven one thing more than anything else, and that is that even an animated cartoon can make you care enough to cry. I’m not kidding. The amount of sniffs and snorts around me in the last fifteen minutes of this movie was almost deafening. Pixar’s sense of story has always set them apart, but their true sense of artistry and artistic vision complete the package in a way that others can only dream of. I went to a private art school, and was there when the first Toy Story came out. While I was there, I was completely surrounded by art and creative people, and there was this sense of breaking boundaries every day, a feeling that you would think I’d still feel in Hollywood; but sadly it’s not the same. I realized that when I was watching Toy Story 3. Each Pixar movie always opens with a short, and they have always made me think of art school, but “Day & Night,” the new short attached to Toy Story 3, really made me realize that I don’t have that creativity around me any more. It also helped to transport me back to that way of thinking I had back when the first Toy Story came out so many years ago. Thanks for indulging me, and playing my therapist for a moment, but maybe we should get to the review.

In Toy Story 3, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the rest of the gang, are back and facing possible retirement. With Andy getting ready to leave home for college, the toys are faced with the fate of life in the attic, or even the possibility of being trashed! The one thing I always do love about the Toy Story movies is their ability to give their storylines these great double entendres that speak to children and adults alike. Much like the other two movies, after a misunderstanding, the toys have to find their way home, and try not to be seen in the process. You know, when you say it like that, you can’t help but realize that all three movies are basically the same in structure. But, that’s what makes Pixar so great! They can take brand new storylines, using the same structure, and yet you feel like you’re seeing something you’ve never seen before. Toy Story 3 is full of those wonderful moments that remind you of being a kid. Hands down my favorite moment is the barrel of monkeys atomic blast, pure genius. The one thing I think Toy Story 3 proves, is that when a movie is made for the right reasons, they can truly work, and still make the studio more than enough money. Pixar doesn’t just make a sequel to cash-in on the last film’s success. That’s something I wish the Shrek franchise would have realized, because the first movie was unbelievably creative, and could have easily have had the same success with their sequels as the Toy Story franchise if they had. You can clearly tell that if the story wasn’t worth telling in Toy Story 3, they wouldn’t have made the movie. I really enjoyed this, the possibly last story in the Toy Story saga, but I’m sure if we see them again, it will be for all the right reasons.

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