“Joy” Soundtrack Is A Surprisingly Entertaining Collection Of Songs

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

Actress Jennifer Lawrence’s new starring vehicle Joy has made quite the noise since its release late last month.  It was nominated for two Golden Globes, one of which–BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY—was a win for Lawrence. It was also nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award for BEST COMEDY while Lawrence was nominated for BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY.  Lawrence has also been nominated for an Oscar in the BEST ACTRESS category.  Audiences will find out Sunday, February 28th if she brings home yet another big win.  While they wait to see if Lawrence can win yet another major acting award they can now enjoy the movie’s soundtrack for themselves.  Music From The Motion Picture Joy was released in stores just last week via ABKCO Records.  And it is just as applause-worthy as the movie, in which Lawrence stars as the woman that created the Miracle Mop and in turn a business empire.  The central reason for that is the list of songs and performers that make up the body of the soundtrack.  It isn’t just another forgettable run-of-the-mill compilation that throws out a bunch of Top 40 songs for the sake of marketing current charting acts.  Rather it takes audiences back in time with songs that fit the era in which the movie’s story is set.  It crosses those songs and couples them with original tunes crafted specially for Joy.  Even Lawrence and cast mate Edgar Ramirez get to stretch their proverbial wings and put their own vocal chops on display throughout the course of the disc.  Between those performances, the songs specific to the movie, and the classic original songs featured in the compilation, all twenty-one songs featured in this recording make it a surprisingly enjoyable soundtrack that is worth at least one listen.

Music From The Motion Picture Joy is 2016’s first truly surprisingly enjoyable soundtrack.  That is thanks in large part to the mix of material that is presented over the course of the compilation’s twenty songs.  It doesn’t just present a bunch of songs from the latest Top 40 pop and rock acts for the sake of marketing their big singles alongside the movie.  Rather it mixes original classics alongside songs crafted specifically for the movie and songs performed by Jennifer Lawrence and co-star Edgar Ramirez.  The classic songs that are featured throughout the soundtrack’s body are not necessarily standards.  And in some cases they are likely known only by very specific audience groups.  But they are still entertaining in their own right.  The Salzburg Bach Choir’s performance of Notre Pere Opus 14 and that of ‘In The Bleak Mid Winter’ by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge prove that argument.  The same can be said of Cream’s classic ‘Feel Free’, The Rolling Stones’ ‘Stray Cat Blues,’ and Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘I Want To Be Happy’ just to name a few other classics included here.  Whether through those songs or any of the other classics included in the body of this soundtrack, the whole of said songs makes for plenty of enjoyment for audiences in itself.  The classic songs featured as part of Joy’s soundtrack are doubly important to its overall presentation.  They are important primarily in that they aren’t just a bunch of popular top 40 hits thrown together to market said songs and acts.  They also don’t require audiences to have seen the movie to have any appreciation for them.  Audiences can simply appreciate them for the great works that they are.  Speaking of having seen the movie in accordance with the soundtrack, there is a small handful of compositions included in the soundtrack that was specific to the movie, which are just as important to the soundtrack as the more popular and well-known compositions. They are collectively yet another reason that audiences will want to hear this collection of songs.

The mainstream and semi-mainstream songs that are featured as part of Joy’s soundtrack are in their own right plenty of reason for audiences to pick up this collection of songs. They are just one part of what makes it an interesting collection of songs. There is a small handful of scene-specific compositions included in the soundtrack’s body, too. Considering that the soundtrack is composed of twenty one total tracks, six scene-specific songs really is not that many songs in the grand scheme of things.  And even with said songs being linked to specific scenes from the movie, the songs themselves are actually enjoyable.  ‘Joy Romantic Theme’ shows that clearly.  The song, crafted by David Campbell, harkens back to the days of George and Ira Gershwin with its gentle, flowing string arrangements.  Considering that, it’s too bad that it only runs a total of one minute and eight seconds.  ‘Mop Drawing’ is another example of how enjoyable the instrumental, scene-specific songs prove to be. This is one of those songs that audiences will enjoy even if they have not yet seen Joy. That is because of the urgency in the song’s tempo and its sound. Knowing at least the movie’s backstory one can deduce from that urgency what is going on here. ‘Joy Theme’ is one more example of how the soundtrack’s instrumental compositions are just as important to its whole as the more well-known pieces that have been included. The slow, gentle strains of the piano in the West Dylan Thordson composed piece generate an emotionally powerful impact for audiences. The combination of that composition and the others crafted specifically for Joy shows in whole why they are collectively just as important to this soundtrack as the more well-known pieces included in the soundtrack’s body. They are still not the soundtrack’s only remaining elements that make it an interesting listen. The pieces performed by Lawrence (yes, Lawrence actually gets to put her vocal chops on display) and cast mate Edgar Ramirez round out its most notable elements.

The more well-known songs that make up most of Joy’s soundtrack and its scene-specific instrumentals collectively give audiences plenty of reason to hear the compilation in whole. While both are important in their own right they are not all that should be noted of the soundtrack. Jennifer Lawrence and co-star Edgar Ramirez actually get to stretch their artistic wings in this movie, getting the chance to actually perform their own numbers. The songs in question are not necessarily their own. Lawrence and Ramirez tackle the classic tune ‘Something Stupid’ in quite the surprisingly enjoyable duet while Ramirez also takes on Antonion Carlos Jobim’s ‘Aguas De Marzo’ (March Water) and famed composer Randy Newman’s ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come.’ This song is a far cry from anything that audiences have come to know from Newman. It’s far more grown-up and almost Dr. John-esque for lack of better wording. He is joined in this song by The Pedrito Martinez Group. The combination of all involved leads to a song that will have any listener on his or her feet in no time.  Regardless of which song one picks, it can be said that the combination of all three songs makes for even more enjoyment for listeners. It rounds out the elements that make Music From The Motion Picture Joy such an interesting and overall enjoyable collection of songs. Each element is in its own right important to the soundtrack’s overall presentation. All things considered Music From The Motion Picture Joy shows in the end to be a surprisingly enjoyable new soundtrack that is worth at least one listen.

Music From The Motion Picture Joy is one of 2016’s early surprises in terms of movie soundtracks. That is thanks to its mix of music. It presents more than just one type of music over the course of its twenty-one songs. There are some familiar songs included in the record’s body. They are songs not just tossed in for the sake of being there. They are specific to the era in which the story took place. They also play a specific role in the movie thanks to their placement. The choral pieces that were incorporated into the record are just as important to the record as are the scene-specific instrumentals included in the record. The same can be said of lead stars Jennifer Lawrence and Edgar Ramirez’s outings. Even their performances make for their own share of interest. Together with each of the other noted elements, the whole of Joy’s soundtrack proves to make the record in whole one of the year’s early surprises. It is a record that is worth at least one listen if not more. Music From The Motion Picture Joy is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via ABKCO Records’ online store now at http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/release/316/. More information on this and other titles from ABKCO Records is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.abkco.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abkco

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ABKCO Records To Release “Joy” Soundtrack In Stores This Week

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

20th Century Fox’s new movie Joy has only been in theaters a little more than a week and already much has been said of the movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games, American Hustle). It has been received a Golden Globe nomination for the year’s Best Motion Picture. And Lawrence has received a Golden Globe nomination in the category of “BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY.” Now the soundtrack to Joy is being released in stores and online.

ABKCO Records will release Joy’s soundtrack in stores Friday, January 8th. It was previously released digitally on December 18th. Music from some of music’s greatest names is featured in this collection. Those names include the likes of: The Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, The Ronettes, Bee Gees, Cream, and a number of others. The complete track listing for Joy’s soundtrack is noted below.

 

Music From the Motion Picture JOY track listing:

1)   “I Feel Free” – Cream

2)   “Joy Romantic Theme” (score)

3)   “Aguas de Marzo” – Edgar Ramirez

4)   “The Sidewinder” – Lee Morgan

5)   “I Want to Be Happy” – Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb and His Orchestra

6)   “In the Bleak Mid-Winter – Thomas Bullard, Choir of King’s College, Benjamin Bayl, and Stephen Cleobury

7)   “Notre Pere, Op. 14” – Salzburg Bach Choir/Alois Glasser

8)   “Mama Told Me Not to Come” – Edgar Ramirez, Ray de la Paz & The Peditro Martinez Band

9)   “Something Stupid” – Jennifer Lawrence & Edgar Ramirez

10)                  “To Love Somebody” – Bee Gees

11)                  “I Am in Love” (score)

12)                  “Mop Drawing” (score)

13)                  “Racing in the Street” (score

14)                   “Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes

15)                  “Stray Cat Blues” – The Rolling Stones

16)                  “Texas” (score)

17)                  “Markham” (score)

18)                  “A House With Love In It” – Nat King Cole

19)                  “Joy Theme” (score)

20)                  “I Feel Free” – Brittany Howard

21)                  “I Feel Free” (Bonus Track) – Brittany Howard

More information on this and other titles available from ABKCO Records is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.abkco.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abkco

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Olive Films To Release Cagney, Marx Brothers Classics May 6th

Courtesy: Olive Films

Courtesy: Olive Films

Olive Films has announced that it will release two Hollywood classics on DVD and Blu-ray next month.

Olive Films will release Jimmy Cagney’s 1943 film Johnny Come Lately and The Marx Brothers’ 1949 film Love Happy on May 6th. Cagney stars as ex-newspaperman Tom Richards opposite Grace George’s Vinnie McLeod in Johnny Come Lately. After McLeod–who is himself the editor of a failing newspaper–saves Richards from serving a jail sentence for vagrancy, the pair teams up to expose political corruption in a small town. Richards and McLeod have to face their evil rival, corrupt newspaper owner Big Boss Dougherty (Edward McNamara) as they attempt to uncover all of the corruption going on in the town. The role was the first for Cagney since his Academy Award ® winning role the previous year in the beloved film Yankee Doodle Dandy. Cagney won the Oscar for Best Actor thanks to the movie.

Marjorie Main (Ma and P Kettle), Marjorie Lord (Make Room For Daddy), and Hattie McDaniel (Gone With The Wind) serve as supporting cast in Johnny Come Lately. William K. Howard directed and composer Leigh Harline (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio) handled the movie’s score. Harline would go on to receive an Oscar ® nomination for this movie’s score. Johnny Come Lately will be available on DVD and Blu-ray May6th for SRP of $24.95(DVD) and $29.95 (Blu-ray).

Also on May 6th, Olive Films will release the Marx Brothers’ classic film Love Happy on DVD and Blu-ray. This movie was the last for the famed brothers. Harpo leads his brothers in this movie in which he plays a Robin Hood type of character.   He is trying to help a group of struggling actors that are trying to open a new musical without any financial backing. When he accidentally takes some smuggled diamonds in a shoplifting heist, Harpo and his friends come face to face with Madame Egelichi (Ilona Massey). Unbeknownst to them, Madame Egelichi has tracked her smuggled diamonds back to the theater where the acting troupe is trying to put on its musical. She hatches a plan to be the sole financial backer for the theater and for the musical so that she can get her diamonds back. The result is plenty of laughs for audiences. Harpo’s brothers Groucho and Chico are along for the ride in Love Happy as are fellow co-stars Vera-Ellen, Raymond Burr, and Marilyn Monroe.

Love Actually will be available in stores and online May 6th on DVD and Blu-ray. It will retail for $24.95 (DVD) and $29.95 (Blu-ray). More information on these and other releases from Olive Films is available online at http://www.olivefilms.com, http://www.facebook.com/olivefilms, and http://twitter.com/olivefilms. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anchor Bay Announces Home Release Date, Details For ‘At Middleton’

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment will release its new romantic comedy At Middleton this Spring.

At Middleton will be released on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, April 1st.  It features an all-star cast headed by Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, Up in the Air) and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven, City Island).  It also stars Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), Spencer Lofranco (Jamesy Boy), Peter Riegert (Dads), and Tom Skerritt (Picket Fences).  The story follows George (Andy Garcia) and Edith (Vera Farmiga) as they meet while joining their children on a tour of the campus of Middleton College.  The pair meet thanks to a divide between themselves and their children.  Their meeting leads to a reminiscing of their own college years.  That reminiscing leads to personal revelations for both figures.

At Middleton has been praised by both audiences and critics alike.  New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger wrote of the movie, that it is “delicate and restrained” and “a surprise of a film.”  Rex Reed writes for The New York Observer.  He wrote of Farmiga’s performance that it was her “best role since she tamed George Clooney in Up in the Air.  Kudos have come in from other major media outlets including: NPR, The Huffington Post and many others; each one as complimentary as the last.

Audiences are treated to a number of bonus features in the home release of At Middleton.  There is an audio commentary with director/co-writer Adam Rogers, producer/co-Glenn German, and producer/actor Andy Garcia.  Also included as bonuses are: a gag reel and bonus music track of ‘There Was A Day.’  Andy Garcia wrote the song’s lyrics and sang the song and partnered with Arturo Sandoval to write the song’s music.  Sandoval arranged the song.

The DVD presentation of At Middleton will be available Tuesday April 1st for SRP of $22.98 and on Blu-ray for SRP of $26.98.  More information on this and other releases from Anchor Bay is available online at http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com and http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Starz Announces Release Date For The White Queen Home Release

Courtesy:  Starz Entertainment

Courtesy: Starz Entertainment

Starz Entertainment has officially announced the release date for the home release of its hit mini-series, The White Queen.  The ten-episode mini-series will be released Tuesday, February 4th.  The story re-tells the infamous “War of the Roses” from the standpoint of the women involved in the feud.  Those women were Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville.  They were part of the feud between the House of York and the House of Lancaster that took place in 1464.  The feud in question was centered on who was the rightful King of England.  After Edward IV is crowned king and falls in love with Lancastrian commoner Elizabeth Woodville, a conflict arises between her and her rivals, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville.  Each one will do whatever it takes to gain the power of the crown.

The White Queen will be released on DVD and Blu-ray/UV combo pack on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014, just in time for Valentines Day.  Both sets will come with plenty of bonus features.  The features in question are listed below.

Bonus Features:

  • The Making Of THE WHITE QUEEN
  • Series Overview
  • Book To Series
  • The History Behind THE WHITE QUEEN
  • THE WHITE QUEEN: Set Tour
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • The King
  • The Heir Apparent
  • Woman In A Man’s World
  • Conjuring Up The Queen/Magic
  • Dressing The Queen/Wardrobe

 

MSRP for the DVD and Blu-ray/UV sets are $49.98 and $59.98 respectively.  More information on these and other releases from Starz Entertainment is available online at http://www.starz.com, http://www.facebook.com/Starz, and http://twitter.com/starz_channel.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Win “Life of Pi” On BD/DVD/Vudu Combo Pack

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Life of Pi is one of the biggest movies from 2012.  Now it has finally been released to multiple formats.  Thanks to 20th Century Fox and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the Phil’s Picks blog has three copies of the movie to give away on Blu-ray/DVD/Vudu combo pack. 

Next Monday – Wednesday, I’ll be giving away one copy each day on the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  But I’m not just going to do any drawing.  Those of you who have already “Liked” my FB page have to recruit more people to “Like” it in order to win.  It will start Monday, March 18th.   Here’s how it’ll go down.  The first person to get just five (5) people to “Like” my page each day will win that day’s copy of “Life of Pi” on Blu-ray/DVD/Vudu.  The people that you get to “Like” my page have to post to my timeline noting that you got them to “Like” my page.  That way I can count each person’s recruits under your name.  Make sense?  Let me know if it doesn’t and I’ll try to explain it in simpler terms.  I’ll announce the winner of each copy each afternoon at 4pm.  Again, that’s the first person Monday – Wednesday to get 5 people to “Like” my page.  And it doesn’t start until Monday.  So that means that you need to get out there and spread the word about the Phil’s Picks FB page if you really want to win!  I’m going to run the contest for these copies of “Hitchcock” the same way the following week

And if you’re not one of the people to enter, you can pick up your copy in store or online now.  It can be ordered online at http://www.foxconnect.com.

To keep up with all the latest sports and entertainment news and the latest giveaways, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, as well as giveaways at the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anne Hathaway Talks Oscars In New Issue Of Us Weekly

Courtesy:  Us Weekly Magazine

Courtesy: Us Weekly Magazine

Anne Hathaway has been all over the news ever since Oscar night.  It’s largely been for her much talked about awards night attire.  But Us Weekly has a new feature focusing not only on her dress, but also on her acceptance speech.  In a brand new interview with Us Weekly, Hathaway showed a more vulnerable side, admitting that comments about her previous acceptance speeches had upset her.  “It does get to me,” the 30 year-old actress noted.  “But you have to remember in life that there’s a positive to every negative and a negative to every positive.”  A source close to Hathaway added in the article that “She was very aware that she had been the butt of everyone’s jokes.”  The result was that Hathaway practiced her Oscar speech very hard so she would be more likeable. 

In discussing the now infamous Oscar dress, the same source close to Hathaway noted that she actually had four dresses in the running, including one by Valentino, who had also designed the dress for her 2012 wedding to Adam Shulman.  The entire article is available online now at http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/anne-hathaway-practiced-her-oscar-speech-a-lot-to-be-more-likable-2013262#ixzz2M18a9xrI.  To get even more celebrity news from Us Weekly, just go online to http://www.facebook.com/UsWeekly or http://www.UsMagazine.com

To get the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.