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Archive for October, 2007

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD – Carter Burwell

October 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

2007 has seemed like a bit of a dismal year at the movies for most of it’s duration, but during the final stretch, masterpieces continue to trickle in. One of the latest is director Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”, a non-linear crime story. If the name Sidney Lumet sounds familiar, it should… he’s been directing high-quality dramatic films for some fifty years now, a remarkable feat. If you’re any kind of movie fan, surely you’ve seen some of his work… “Twelve Angry Men”, “Serpico”, “Dog Day Afternoon” and “Network” are among his achievements. However, his career was generally considered to be coming to a quiet close by many critics, as Lumet turned out decent but generally middling efforts like “Find Me Guilty”. The Academy Awards gave Lumet the Lifetime Achievement Award, speeches were made, and everyone moved on. Read more…

30 DAYS OF NIGHT – Brian Reitzell

October 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An angry, vicious beast of a horror film, 30 Days of Night is a vampire movie with a difference. Based on the popular graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, and directed by David Slade, the film stars Josh Hartnett, Melissa George and Mark Boone Junior as inhabitants of a small Alaskan fishing town who, each year, must endure ‘thirty days of night’ when the sun dips below the Arctic horizon and doesn’t re-appear for a month. Usually, life goes on as normal – but during this particular period of perpetual twilight, things go horribly wrong when the town is attacked by a gang of shrieking, brutal vampires led by the mysterious Stranger (Ben Foster) and the ghastly Marlow (Danny Huston), who seem intent on turning a once-peaceful community into a blood-soaked human buffet with an orgy of death and violence. Read more…

THE COMEBACKS – Christopher Lennertz

October 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A comedy that spoofs the inspirational sports movies like Rudy and Miracle, The Comebacks tells the story of an out-of-luck coach named Lambeau Fields (David Koechner), who takes a rag-tag bunch of college misfits and drives them towards the football championships – and, in the process, discovers that he is a winner after all by redeeming himself, and saving his relationship with his family and friends. The film is directed by Tom Brady (no, not the New England Patriots quarterback – although that would have been funny!) and co-stars Carl Weathers, Melora Hardin and Matthew Lawrence. Read more…

GONE BABY GONE – Harry Gregson-Williams

October 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the beginning, around the time of Good Will Hunting, Ben Affleck was seen to be one of the brightest young stars in Hollywood. He put in a scintillating supporting performance in that film, won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay with his childhood friend Matt Damon, and looked to be well on his way to becoming one of the young leading lights of the film industry. However, while the box office takings remained high, the critical acclaim for Affleck quickly vanished: his unfortunate performances in movies like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Daredevil and Gigli made people forget just what a talented individual he really is. It’s interesting that, with Gone Baby Gone, he’s gone some way to getting some of that acclaim back. Read more…

O JERUSALEM – Stephen Endelman

October 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An ambitious, expansive drama about the creation of the modern Israeli nation in 1948, O Jerusalem attempts to condense decades of political turmoil, ethnic tension and social upheaval into a workable feature movie by using it as a backdrop for an allegorical tale of two American friends – one Jewish, one Arab – whose lives are forever altered by the political ramifications of the time. Directed by Elie Chouraqui and starring JJ Field, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ian Holm as Ben Gurion, and Tovah Feldshuh as Golda Meir, the film somewhat surprisingly slipped below the cinematic radar, despite its talented cast and important subject matter. Read more…

RESERVATION ROAD – Mark Isham

October 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One thing I’ve never been fond of is Mark Isham’s synth writing. Give him an orchestra, and I’m putty in his hands; let him loose with electronics – like they did on scores like Blade and Timecop and Crash – and I generally loose interest pretty quickly. Such was the case with Reservation Road, the latest film from Irish director Terry George. Based on the book of the same title by John Burnham Schwartz, the film deals with the aftermath of a tragic car accident on the titular highway, in which two fathers – Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo – are forced to deal with the death of a 10-year-old boy. The film also stars Oscar winning actresses Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino. Read more…

THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE – Johan Søderqvist and Gustavo Santaolalla

October 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been a popular pastime, of late, amongst film music aficionados, to engage in the new sport of Santaolalla-bashing. Ever since the Argentinean won back-to-back Best Score Oscars, for Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and Babel in 2006, fans of the traditional orchestral score have been up in arms, decrying his popularity and success as both inexplicable and downright appalling. I have to admit, my voice has often joined those criticizing Santaolalla’s scoring techniques. So, let me step back for a moment, and consider things with a more level head. He is an excellent guitarist, of that there is no doubt, bringing a level of delicacy and intimacy to his performances which is quite lovely. He can write a decent enough tune, and he does have enough basic dramatic sense to understand what his films need, and how to provide it. Read more…

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