BATTLE OF NERETVA/THE NAKED AND THE DEAD – Bernard Herrmann

October 20, 2014 Leave a comment

battleofneretvaMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

BATTLE OF NERETVA

Battle of Neretva is based on actual historical events and was made to celebrate the victory of Yugoslav partisans over the Nazis. In the beginning of 1943 Hitler issued a personal order for his generals to commence operation “Weiss”, which was designed to root out and destroy Yugoslav partisan units. Pushed by far more powerful enemy, the partisans reeled under the attack incurring many casualties, 4500 wounded and a typhus outbreak. As they retreated, they found themselves surrounded in Neretva valley. Only one bridge remained, with heavy enemy forces waiting on the other side, set to massacre the remaining fighters and fleeing non-combatants. Marshall Tito ordered the partisans to destroy the bridge apparently trapping his forces. The move surprised the Germans who responded by transferring their forces to the other side, predicting that Partisans would attempt the suicidal break through. But, during only one night, the partisans managed to build a provisional bridge near the destroyed one and cross to the other side, tricking the enemy. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film but failed to win. Read more…

THE JUDGE – Thomas Newman

October 18, 2014 Leave a comment

thejudgeOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Judge is a family drama film directed by David Dobkin, who previously helmed such popular movies as Wedding Crashers and Fred Claus, and starring Robert Downey Jr. as Hank Palmer, a hotshot defense attorney living the high life in the big city, who returns to his sleepy Indiana hometown following the death of his mother. However, further problems await Hank when his estranged and distant father Joseph (Robert Duvall) – the town’s long-serving judge – is unexpectedly arrested, suspected of murder. Suddenly forced to become his own father’s lawyer, Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his fractured family, while rekindling his relationship with an old flame. The film has a stellar supporting cast including Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, and Vincent d’Onofrio, and has an original score by Thomas Newman, who excels at writing music for this type of film. Read more…

POLICE ACADEMY – Robert Folk

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

policeacademyTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Major cities in the United States were dangerous places in 1984. Murders, drive-by shootings and gang violence was rampant, and drug pushers, hookers and pimps harassed the good people of the cities on every street corner. In response to this urban decay, the leadership of the Police Department opened their doors to anyone who wanted to become an officer of the law, even if they had previously been turned away – with hilarious results! This unlikely scenario is the backdrop to one of the most popular and enduring comedies of the 1980s, director Hugh Wilson’s Police Academy, which followed the adventures of a group of misfits as they try to navigate their way through basic training. The characters are now familiar – Steve Guttenberg’s cocksure, wisecracking Mahoney; Bubba Smith’s imposing but loveable Hightower; David Graf’s dumb, trigger-happy Tackleberry; Michael Winslow’s motor-mouthed human beatbox Jones; Marion Ramsey’s timid and mousey Hooks; GW Bailey’s short-fused, ill-tempered Lieutenant Harris; and George Gaynes’s barely competent Commandant Lassard; as well as a sex kitten role for a young Kim Cattrall – and the film was so successful that it spawned an astonishing six sequels, each one progressively worse and less successful than its predecessor – in fact, by the time Police Academy 5 rolled around in 1988, even Steve Guttenberg refused to appear! Read more…

THE EQUALIZER – Harry Gregson-Williams

October 14, 2014 Leave a comment

equalizerOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

A gritty big-screen reboot of the popular Edward Woodward TV series from the 1980s, The Equalizer stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a mysterious loner with a hidden past, who works in a Home Depot-like hardware store by day, and spends his evenings reading classic literature alone in a 24 hour diner. At the diner McCall befriends Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a teenage prostitute who longs to get out of the lifestyle, and who connects with McCall over the book The Old Man and the Sea. One day, after Teri is attacked and badly beaten by her pimp, McCall takes matters into his own hands and tries to bargain for her freedom with the gangsters who own her; unfortunately, things do not go as planned, and before long McCall is locking horns with members of the Russian mafia, and their dangerous leader, Teddy (Marton Csokas). The film is a dark, violent, but surprisingly engaging tale of vengeance and retribution; it is directed by Antoine Fuqua, and has an original score by Harry Gregson-Williams. Read more…

SHE-DEMONS/THE ASTOUNDING SHE-MONSTER – Nicholas Carras/Guenther Kauer

October 13, 2014 Leave a comment

shedemonsMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

SHE-DEMONS

She Demons offers a classic science fiction B film, and that is being generous! Fred Maklin, Jerrie Turner and two others are pleasure boating when a storm shipwrecks them on an uncharted island. Their radio is damaged and cannot transmit, only receive. They soon discover that the island is scheduled to be used by the US navy for bombing practice. Of course things get worse when they also come upon strange human footprints. As the party explores the island, they soon discover that it is inhabited by deformed female humanoids; by products of horrific experiments perpetrated by a party of Nazis, who are led of course by the mad scientist Colonel Osler. We are informed that he has been extracting a rare glandular substance from the girls to inject into his wife Mona, who has suffered terrible facial disfigurement, so as to restore her beauty. This of course now makes perfect sense! In any event the film was a bust and received no critical acclaim. Read more…

SID MEIER’S CIVILIZATION: BEYOND EARTH – Geoff Knorr, Griffin Cohen, Michael Curran and Grant Kirkhope

October 11, 2014 2 comments

civilizationbeyondearthGAME ZONE REVIEW

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is the latest installment in Sid Meier’s extremely popular Civilization video game series, in which players build a civilization from the ground up, taking turns to try to positively affect their civilization’s cultural, intellectual, and technical sophistication by conducting research, building infrastructure, and in some cases waging war against neighbors. In Beyond Earth – as the title suggests – game play takes place in the future, and in outer space. This is the 20th official entry into the Civilization series since it debuted in 1991 on the Super Nintendo, which has been consistently praised for its innovation, graphical design ideas, and music. Read more…

DESTINATION MOON – Leith Stevens

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

destinationmoonMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer George Pal sought to start the decade of the 1950s with a well-made outer space drama. He adapted “Rocket Ship Galileo”, a novel by Robert Heinlein, for his project and installed Irving Pichel to direct. The story reveals humanity’s first effort to fly a spaceship to the Moon. Dr. Charles Cargraves and space exploration enthusiast General Thayer solicit aircraft executive Jim Barnes to join them in a collective effort to build Earth’s first nuclear powered spacecraft. Politics, public hysteria and regulations threaten to shutdown the project but are circumvented by a decision to pre-empt impending interference by launching early. They successfully launch and begin the epic trek, but are forced to make emergency repairs mid flight that includes a dramatic rescue of an un-tethered crewman. As they initiate lunar descent, miscalculation causes them to consume too much fuel during the landing. System check calculations indicate that they now have insufficient fuel reserves to successfully blast off and achieve lunar orbit with the full crew. They make desperate efforts to lighten the ship yet come up short by 110 pounds; meaning one of the crew must remain. With their launch window closing and crew anxiety building, they resolve to not only jettison the ship’s radio equipment, there-by losing contact with Earth, but also their sole remaining space suit. With time almost out the Luna safely blasts off from the Moon with all aboard and completes its epic voyage by returning to Earth. The film was a modest commercial success and earned two Academy Award nominations, winning one for Visual Effects. Read more…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 558 other followers