Reign Over Me/Kent

April 29, 2007

Released by Columbia Pictures in April 2007 in the US with a 20 million dollar budget, Reign Over Me stars Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle and Donald Sutherland. The story revolves around two former college roomates, one who has lost his family and more in the horrible 9/11 tragedy and the other who appears to have it all but really doesn’t. It was written and directed by Mike Binder, produced by Jack Binder and Mike and he also has a supporting role in the film, along with Molly Binder making some of this a family affair of sorts. This is one of those sometimes happy, sometimes tear jerking, sometimes comedic, and sometimes tragic type of film that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire picture. The first weekend of its release returned 13 million so it looks like it will be a successful picture money wise.

Rolfe Kent, who you may know and enjoy from his films Sideways and About Schmidt wrote the solemn, quirky, light jazzy score. This is the original motion soundtrack recording so there is no Pearl Jam song or any of several other that appear in the film. “Charlies Theme” is a nice original softer jazz beginning with the piano introduction and buildup for the saxophone of Dan Higgins, raspy tightly miked to record every note perfectly. I remember some of Dan’s fine work for John Williams on his Catch Me If You Can album. I was impressed then and I still am. “Remar’s Theme” is more of the same type of jazz combo material with the addition of an accordian for one short riff. “Alan And Charlie” is more of that light jazz improvization style except this time it shifts from sax to clarinet with the steady harmony of the piano. This is the type of music that you will hear in a piano lounge, pleasant to listen to but fairly generic. It is never allowed to fully develop into something that could be more noteworthy. “Learning What Has Happened to Charlie” is soft piano theme surrounded by guitars as it develops the motif. It is quite thought provoking but it is all too brief and not what one would call a memorable theme one would whistle walking down the street. The theme is repeated in the last track “A Lonely Life” amongst a electronic percussion background. “Alan’s Parents” has more of that sound that your accustomed to hearing from Rolfe with the calypso beat and quirky percussion. “Alan Recognizes…/Breakfast Alone With The Family” is a good track with some cool percussion, banjo like plucking and simple piano playing followed by the piano giving us another melody/motif with guitar and percussion.

This entire score is essentially acoustic from a 7 piece combo which includes Kent performing piano, guitars & vocals. It is extremely low key written to blend into the background of the film. It is there and present but your not really aware of its presence. It is truly landscape well written soundtrack material that rolls back and forth between comedy and tragedy. If you enjoy the film and are a music lover you will enjoy this soundtrack immensely, keeping in mind that there are no songs from the film. This information is referenced on the CD but bears repeating. This CD is also an excellent one to have on in the background while you are reading, relaxing or studying. Nothing even close to being over the top in anyway. If you are more interested in i-tunes, particularly light jazz, the tracks “Charlie’s Theme”, “Remar’s Theme”, and “Alan and Charlie” would be good choices. The recording and mixing are good, in fact the sax recording is well above average.

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