Archive

Archive for November, 2007

ENCHANTED – Alan Menken

November 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It occurred to me recently that Disney animated movies are entering a second period of decline. The first Golden Age lasted roughly 20 years from 1937 to 1959, and encompassed classics such as Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. After a lean period through the sixties, seventies and early eighties, the second Golden Age (Silver Age?) began with The Little Mermaid in 1989, and continued on through Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame – and it is probably no coincidence that this was also the time when Alan Menken was the King of the Mouse House’s musical department. Recently, though, their output has been lackluster at best; it’s highly unlikely that The Emperor’s New Groove or Chicken Little will be mentioned in the same breath as their esteemed predecessors. Again, and ignoring the horrible misfire that was Home on the Range, it’s also likely to be no coincidence that Alan Menken has largely been absent from their most recent efforts. Read more…

THE MIST – Mark Isham

November 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

I’m a fan of director Frank Darabont. I like his steady direction, and I like the way he gives the characters in his films time to breathe. His adaptation of the Stephen King story “The Shawshank Redemption” is one of the most beloved films of all time, frequently being mentioned in the same breath as “Casablanca”. Darabont turned to King again for his next film, “The Green Mile”, a moving drama with some good characters. Yet another Stephen King story is the basis for Darabont’s latest film, “The Mist”. Unlike the first two King stories, “The Mist” is not an uplifting drama, but rather a straight-ahead horror story. I knew that the film would have to be different in tone than the first two King adaptations Darabont directed… but this? “The Mist” is absolutely bonkers. Read more…

STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING – Adam Gorgoni

November 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas: “Do you think people will still be reading your work in 100 years?” “I wonder whether people will still be reading in 100 years.”

That statement represents the heart of “Starting Out in the Evening”, one of the saddest and most reflective films of 2007. It is being promoted as a must-see piece of Oscar bait (Frank Langella’s performance is getting some attention), it is being promoted as a May-December love story, it is being promoted as an interesting human drama. However, it is not really being promoted as what it is, which is a quiet meditation on writers and the world of literature. There is a sad irony that would suggest that the reason the film is being promoted this way has something to do with the fact that most people simply aren’t interested in literature anymore. Read more…

BEOWULF – Alan Silvestri

November 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The story of Beowulf is a classic of English literature, and the oldest single surviving work of Anglo-Saxon heroic poetry, having been written roughly in the year 900 by an unknown author. It deals with a noble Scandinavian warrior, the Beowulf of the title, who ventures from his homeland to come to the aid of Danish King Hroðgar, whose kingdom is being threatened by repeated attacks from an evil beast named Grendel. This film version of the classic tale has been brought to the screen by director Robert Zemeckis, using the same rotoscoped motion capture technique he used on The Polar Express. The cast of actors providing the movements include Ray Winstone as Beowulf, Crispin Glover as Grendel, Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother, Anthony Hopkins as King Hroðgar, and Robin Wright Penn as Queen Wealtheow. Read more…

MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM – Alexandre Desplat and Aaron Zigman

November 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most gratifying things in any industry is to have the respect of your peers; for Aaron Zigman, working on Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium must be one of the most gratifying projects of his career to date. French composer Alexandre Desplat was the composer first hired to work on this film (he was brought in very early in the project to compose some brief thematic material to be performed on-screen). However, when his scoring duties on Lust Caution and The Golden Compass clashed with post-production on this film, Desplat found himself unable to finish the task – so he specifically requested that Aaron Zigman be brought in to work with his themes, and flesh them out into a final score. The finished product is truly magical – a perfect amalgam of the two composer’s styles, which stands as one of the most enjoyable and excellent fantasy scores of 2007. Read more…

FRED CLAUS – Christophe Beck

November 9, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Why are Christmas films always so dark and gloomy? Every year, I find myself asking this same question. Christmas is supposedly a time of cheer and goodwill and warmth and so on, but ever since Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol”, we’ve had holiday stories centered around very unpleasant people who only find redemption and happiness during the final moments. “Fred Claus” is another one of these dour Christmas tales, and one of the least effective ones I have ever seen. The movie is 45% gloom, 45% saccharine Hallmark material, and 10% worldly wisecracking. Not only is this a most unsuccessful mix of ingredients, there’s simply no humor to be found. Read more…

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN – Carter Burwell

November 9, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

I hesitate to write about “No Country for Old Men”, because I fear my words can’t do it justice. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a motion picture. It is a film that is frightening and breathtaking, crafted with enormous levels of skill by two very gifted filmmakers, Joel and Ethan Coen. The Coen Brothers have been making very good and sometimes great films for a couple of decades now, and in the past few years some began to wonder if they had lost their touch. “Intolerable Cruelty” and “The Ladykillers” seemed to be missing the magic that the Coens brought to their films. “No Country for Old Men” brings them back to the front of the battlefield with a mighty vengeance. This is the best movie I’ve seen in a long time, kids. Read more…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 561 other followers