HIRED TO KILL, was released in 1990. The films plot was a little thin but as with many such movies in the 1990’s it was not about the story but about the action or indeed how much action they could cram into a 90 minute or so time slot. The music by Jerry Grant is in my opinion a real gem and I so glad that it has now finally been released by Movie Score Media. In many ways the style employed by the composer is a fusion of the styles of Roy Budd and has to it hints of Jerry Goldsmith. It is a symphonic and synthetic mix of a soundtrack, but the use of these elements works so well throughout, the composer employing, strings, brass, guitar, woods and percussive elements to purvey a tense but action filled mood and atmosphere. Listening to the soundtrack is a delight, I kept hearing the Budd style or the sound often employed by Budd throughout HIRED TO KILL, it is a relentless and theme filled work that is highly exhilarating and enjoyable, its an example of what film music used to be like, (not a drone in sight or earshot).
Grant manages to remain thematic even within the action cues and also purveys moments of melancholy and poignancy. Grant began his career as a session musician and often worked on Motown recordings, his main musical focus was initially jazz, rock and funk, but he has contributed several vibrant and original sounding soundtracks to movies such as. NINJA ACADEMY, THE SECRET WORLD OF ALEX MACK and THE NAKED TRUTH, he also worked on various TV shows, QUANTUM JUMP, THE A TEAM, HUNTER and more recently BONKERS and DARK WING DUCK. Often Grant’s music being superior to the productions he wrote for. HIRED TO KILL is a soundtrack that you as a self-respecting film music collector should own, it is a score that you will listen to and think why was this not released before now, thanks Movie Score Media Again.
LONG SHOT is a romantic comedy that was released recently (2019). Directed by Johnathan Levine, the film stars Seth Rogan who is a journalist that reunites with his former baby-sitter Charlize Theron who just happens to be the U.S. Secretary of State, the musical score is the work of two composers, Marco Beltrami who for this project teams up with Miles Hankins, who is a composer that maybe we are not too familiar, but it is true to say that Hankins has worked on numerous movie scores in Hollywood, but has not received a major credit on screen as he has provided either additional music or worked in some way on the scores other than main composer. His credits include A QUIET PLACE, Marvel’s FANTASTIC FOUR and received a nomination for a sports Emmy for his work on the documentary BEING SERENA. The score for LONG SHOT is unlike many of Beltrami’s other film scores, but I suppose I am categorizing the composer unfairly because I know that many when hearing Beltrami’s name think of horror films such as SCREAM, THE FACULTY and HELLBOY to mention just a few. LONG SHOT is a great soundtrack, it has to it a varied and wonderfully diverse collection of themes that range from action fuelled to light and even romantically laced. There to is a wonderful comedic aura to the score, but what I impressed by was the sheer diversity of the music, one minute we are listening to a luxurious sounding track filled with plush strings as in BUENOS AIRES which reminded me somewhat of the style of Alfred Newman’s love theme from AIRPORT. Then we are treated to the simple but effective FRED’S THEME which is introduced to us in a short but very sweet cue on the album via piano. Guitar and strings. Then we have, track number 4, HOSTAGE SAVED THE MOTHER-FXXXXXX, which is a stirring and highly patriotic sounding piece filled with bravado and a rich abundance of fanfares etc. The majority of the work is somewhat low key, but nevertheless works well within the movie and is an entertaining listen away from the images it was intended to support. Sensitively scored by both Beltrami and Hankins LONG SHOT I have to say was a pleasant surprise for me and is a soundtrack I have re-visited a few times now since my initial listen. Check this one out I am sure you will be pressing the play button again and again.