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Walk with a zombie In Winston-Salem, Sony releases summer soundtracks

by Mark Burger

This Saturday, the Carmike 10 Theatre (3640 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem) will host a special ParaNorman Charity Zombie Walk from 9 am to 11 am.

Children are welcome to dress up (or down) as zombies, ghouls, ghosts, zombie-hunters or ghostbusters for a  “paranormal pageant.” The creepier and crazier, the better — but, please, no prop weapons.

Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of new school items for Old Town Elementary and Prince Ibraham Elementary schools in Winston-Salem. With the new school year soon upon us, every item helps. Donors will receive a ticket for a chance to win official Para- Norman gear and collectibles including zombie toothbrushes, zombie slippers and official T-shirts, as well as free movie passes and gift certificates from local merchants and sponsors.

There will be trophies for the best costumes, as well as games, giveaways, prizes, sponsor displays and tables, photographs and videos being taken, and undoubtedly a surprise or two. Members of the Winston-Salem Paranormal Society as scheduled to attend, as are teachers from both schools. Kids will receive activity sheets, mini-posters and coupons from local sponsors.

In addition to Carmike 10, other sponsors include Office Depot, Papa John’s Pizza, Staley’s Grill & Ale, Hair Bomb Salon, Ssalefish Comics & Toys, Hair Bomb Salon, Family Video, Pig Pickins, Crown Trophy, Rim Tyme Custom Wheels and Tires, and Focus Features (the studio distributing ParaNorman). It promises to be a good time for all ages, and it’s also for a good cause.

ParaNorman, which opens August 17, is an animated comedy about a young boy named Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit- McPhee of Let Me In fame) who has an uncanny ability to communicate with the dead — which comes in handy when his bucolic home town of Blithe Hollow is threatened by a centuries-old curse. Needless to say, it’s Norman who’s got to save the day.

The film boasts a star-studded lineup of vocal talent including John Goodman, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jodelle Ferland and Oscar nominees Casey Affleck and Anna Kendrick. The film is directed by Sam Fell (The Tale of Despereaux, Flushed Away) and firsttimer Chris Butler (who also penned the screenplay), and is rated PG.

For more information, call the theater at 336.922.5493.

It being August, the summer movie season is fast fading. There have been hits. There have been misses. Money was spent and money was made, and for all the studios who will decry the high cost of making movies and then tout their gigantic grosses in the next breath, I think it’s safe to say that Hollywood will survive. (Not that it was much in doubt.)

Sony Music has recently released a number of soundtrack CDs from some of the season’s most highly anticipated releases, some of which fared better than others.

One that didn’t fare too well was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, based on the popular Seth Grahame-Smith novel that evidently wasn’t popular enough to translate into box-office success.

The film’s original score is by Henry Jackman, who worked with Mike Oldfield, Elton John and Seal before entering film work with his mentor, Hans Zimmer. On his own, Jackman’s scores include Kick-Ass (2010), X-Men: First Class (2011), Puss in Boots (2011) and this year’s Man on a Ledge.

Far more successful was The Amazing Spider-Man, which some people thought was better than Sam Raimi’s original while others (like me) didn’t. Nevertheless, the film had the desired effect for parent studio Sony by becoming one of the year’s biggest hits — so much so that a sequel is due on May 2, 2014. (It’s always a good idea to nail down a release date before even approving a script; it shows the studio really cares about taking the proper time to ensure quality….)

There’s no disputing the eminence of the film’s composer, however: Two-time Oscar winner James Horner, who picked up his pair of golden statues for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“My Heart Will Go On”) from James Cameron’s Titanic (1997). He also received nominations for Aliens (1986), Field of Dreams (1989), Apollo 13 and Braveheart (both 1995), A Beautiful Mind (2001), House of Sand and Fog (2003), Avatar (2009), and a Best Song nomination in 1986 for “Somewhere Out There” from the animated feature An American Tail.

Finally, Sony Music has released the soundtrack for Woody Allen’s latest all-star comedy To Rome With Love, featuring classical selections by Puccini and Verdi as well as more contemporary songs as “Arrivederci Roma” and “Where Your Lover Has Gone.” To Rome With Love hasn’t received the accolades that Allen’s last film, Midnight in Paris (2011), did – but it’s nevertheless proving to be yet another financial success for the indefatigable Allen.

For more information about these and other new Sony Music new releases, check out the official website: www. sonymusic.com/.

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