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Archive for April, 2007

THE INVISIBLE – Marco Beltrami

April 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Let’s just take a moment to be frank and honest here. I’m having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to start this review. I’ve got a few things to say about “The Invisible”, but I’m not really sure how to start saying them, or how to string them together in a particularly interesting way. I suppose the first thing that my mind is pondering is what led David S. Goyer to direct this film. For those of you who haven’t heard of the man, he’s been involved as a writer, director, and/or producer on such films as “Batman Begins”, the “Blade Trilogy”, “Ghost Rider”, “The Crow: City of Angels”, “Dark City”, and he’s currently writing “The Dark Knight” and “The Flash”. He’s an action movie/superhero guy. What on earth possessed him to make a moody teenage ghost story like “The Invisible”? *the critic paused, and decided to abandon that train of thought*. Read more…

NEXT – Mark Isham

April 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

For all the great scores Mark Isham has written in his career – and he has written some great scores – the one thing he’s never really been very good at is action/adventure and science fiction. It’s not for the lack of trying. Prior to sitting down to write this review, I revisited some of Isham’s earlier efforts in the genre to try to get a flavor for his action style, and much to my surprise I found that he doesn’t really have one. His 1994 effort Timecop is probably the best of the bunch, containing some actually quite hard-hitting brass action moments, but as far as scores like Blade and The Net are concerned the one overarching sensation one gets from the score is that of “listlessness”. The scores don’t really do anything memorable, never retain any prominent stylistics, and certainly don’t make you sit up and wish Isham would be hired for the next major action movie. Next, unfortunately, is more of the same. Read more…

FRACTURE – Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna

April 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

They don’t come along too often, but “Fracture” is the rare sort of film that has too much quality for it’s own good. You may be wondering what I mean. Well, let me put it this way. On one side, you’ve got decent little movies with decent little scripts aided by decent little performances that add up to a decent time at the movies. You get what you expect, and you are satisfied. Then there are movies that offer great performances, some fantastic dialogue, and a fascinating set-up… all backed up by a fairly mediocre story. You would think the latter would be the better option of the two; but in many cases, a lot of strong elements working towards a mediocre end is far more disappointing than simply seeing something that is mediocre all around. Read more…

HOT FUZZ – David Arnold

April 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

It has been said that the best way to criticize a movie is to make a better movie. If that is true, and I have an inclination to believe that it is, then director Edgar Wright is a pretty good film critic. Much like Quentin Tarantino, Wright seems to have a gift for paying homage to a film genre while simultaneously transcending it. Unlike Tarantino, Wright also gleefully bites the hand that feeds him, and surprisingly, his movies are all the better for it. In his 2004 feature, “Shaun of the Dead”, he made a rather funny zombie movie that had a good time exploiting the conventions of zombie movies, not to mention the conventions of British behavior. His latest film, “Hot Fuzz”, centers it’s attention on action movies, particularly buddy cop action movies, and even more particularly buddy cop action movies directed by Michael Bay. Read more…

VACANCY – Paul Haslinger

April 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

“Vacancy” is a nasty little B-movie that does precisely what is supposed to do. It introduces us to characters we care about, and then proceeds to put those characters through a series of extremely tense and horrific situations. It provides a suitably creepy villain, a few well-placed jolts, fairly smart protagonists, a thankfully short running time, and a satisfying ending. It’s not a great horror film by any means, but it’s not trying to be. It’s simply trying to be a generic horror film of quality, which it is.

The premise is rather simple. We are introduced to a married couple, played by likable movie stars Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale. We like them, but they don’t like each other much, and are about to file for a divorce. When their car starts having problems, they are forced to stop at one of those Read more…

YEAR OF THE DOG – Christophe Beck

April 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of those ‘indie comedy-dramas’ which come and go without much fanfare throughout the year, Year of the Dog starred Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, John C. Reilly and Peter Sarsgaard in a film about a lonely, but content office worker whose life is shattered by the sudden death of her little dog. Struggling to come to terms with her surprisingly bitter feelings about her pet’s death, she struggles from one failed romantic possibility to another – until, eventually, she finds new meaning in her life: the animal rights movement, and specifically her intention to save a pound full of incarcerated pooches. Read more…

DISTURBIA – Geoff Zanelli

April 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

“The Island”. “Mr. Brooks”. “Deja Vu”. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. “When a Stranger Calls”. “Poseidon”. “16 Blocks”. These are just a few of the incredibly limp thriller scores that leapt to mind when I heard that Geoff Zanelli was scoring “Disturbia”. You see, Zanelli is one of a large group of Hollywood composers who learned his craft under Mr. Hans Zimmer and the good folks at Zimmer’s company, Remote Control (formerly known as Media Ventures). Despite Zimmer’s remarkable talents, very few of his protégés have developed unique voices in any way whatsoever, and are often content to provide recycled versions of recycled versions of better film scores. Still, every score deserves to be judged on it’s own merits, and “Disturbia” has a little bit more than some of the aforementioned titles. Read more…

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