Archive

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…

PATHFINFER: LEGEND OF THE GHOST WARRIOR – Jonathan Elias

April 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In a similar way as David Shire scoring Zodiac earlier in the year, Jonathan Elias’s hiring to score the medieval action adventure Pathfinder: Legend of the Ghost Warrior marks the return of a film music composer to the box office after a gap of almost 15 years. For those who don’t remember, Elias is a classically trained composer and conductor who first broke into the mainstream through the advertising arena. His company, Elias Associates, established itself as one of the pioneers of advertising music by applying film scoring techniques to the industry, and before long Elias had secured lucrative contracts for himself with several global brands. Read more…

PERFECT STRANGER – Antônio Pinto

April 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There’s a disappointing musical trend developing in the world of the modern Hollywood thriller: nobody’s willing to write memorable music any more. It’s possibly another holdover from television scoring, where music’s sole purpose seems simply to be to fill the dead air time between the dialogue and the songs, but to have this kind of lack of vision or technique bleeding through to film scoring is unsatisfactory indeed. A case in point is Perfect Stranger, written by Brazilian composer Antônio Pinto. Pinto, having already contributed music to Collateral in 2004 and Lord of War in 2005, has shown an irritating lack of innovation in his music, which continues here – it’s a score which, for all intents and purposes, is just “there”, never really adding any extra dimension to the film, never really doing anything musically interesting, and not making for an especially interesting listening experience. Read more…

BLACK BOOK (ZWARTBOEK) – Anne Dudley

April 6, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Director Paul Verhoeven’s first Dutch-language film since 1983 – and arguably his most critically acclaimed since then too – Black Book, aka Zwartboek, is a World War 2 drama starring Carice Van Houten as Rachel, a Jewish woman in German-occupied Netherlands, who infiltrates the regional SS office on behalf of the Dutch Resistance. Working undercover in the office of the Commandant, Ludwig Muntze (Sebastian Koch), and reporting back to her allies on the activities of the Nazis, Rachel soon finds herself questioning her loyalties when she unexpectedly falls in love with the man on whom she is spying – and who, she knows, is likely to eventually meet his death at the hands of her comrades. Read more…

FIREHOUSE DOG – Jeff Cardoni

April 6, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An inoffensive family comedy, Firehouse Dog is about a Hollywood celebrity dog named Rexx – think Rin Tin Tin or Lassie crossed with Paris Hilton (actually, don’t…) who goes missing off the set of his latest film and ends up in a run-down suburban fire station in danger of closure due to the generally lackadaisical nature of the firemen within it. However, the arrival of the new canine in the firehouse has a surprisingly positive effect – Rexx has a surprising talent for locating people trapped in burning buildings, and before long becomes a valued member of the fire crew… until Hollywood comes calling wanting its star back, that is. Read more…

THE REAPING – John Frizzell

April 6, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Those biblical plagues certainly were a bitch. Boils, locusts, frogs, rivers of blood, death, disease, and pestilence. One thing you can certainly say about Moses and the Old Testament is that they didn’t go for the soft option when dishing out the wrath of God upon their enemies. These biblical plagues feature heavily in the new horror movie The Reaping, starting Hilary Swank and directed by Stephen Hopkins. Swank plays Katherine Winter, a former Christian missionary who specializes in debunking religious phenomena. When her investigations lead her to a small town in Louisiana, she makes a startling discovery: the town seems to be suffering from a new manifestation of the biblical plagues. Worse still is her discovery of the apparent source of the plagues: a ten year old girl named Lauren McConnell (Anna Sophia Robb). The film, which also stars David Morrissey, Stephen Rea and Idris Elba, appropriately opened during the Passover period, but to lukewarm reviews, which derided the film as clichéd and predictable. Read more…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 452 other followers