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Archive for December, 2007

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX – James Hannigan

December 31, 2007 Leave a comment

GAME ZONE REVIEW

Original Review by Joseph W. Bat

Is it really any surprise that one of the most successful book series and now film series has made its entry into the video game domain? Of course we are talking about Harry Potter. Author JK Rowling never thought her book would be as successful as it is or make its way onto the big screen and she probably didn’t think it would be a video game either, but since every film there has seen a video game adaptation. Since the first video game, composer Jeremy Soule had written award winning music till Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was arguably the best music he had written for the video games. This time around, composer James Hannigan has written the music for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. For a very good reason, the music here has been receiving more attention than previous efforts – read on to find out. Read more…

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM – Brian Tyler

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s interesting how the careers of Brian Tyler and the late Jerry Goldsmith have dovetailed: Tyler replaced Goldsmith on Timeline in 2003, and is scoring the fourth Rambo movie in a series which Goldsmith made his own. On Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, Tyler is not only following in the footsteps of Goldsmith, but also James Horner, Elliot Goldenthal and Alan Silvestri, each of whom left an indelible musical mark on their respective entries into the franchises. What’s most impressive about this score is how Tyler has managed to pay homage to all the composers who preceded him by incorporating some of their compositional stylistics into his own music, while still retaining a great deal of his own voice throughout the score. Read more…

THE BUCKET LIST – Marc Shaiman

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been a while since the world had an original score by Marc Shaiman since he went off to write Hairspray and subsequently become the new darling of Broadway, but when Rob Reiner comes calling, Shaiman usually responds – and so we have The Bucket List, the latest cinematic collaboration between the two. The film stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two old men – both diagnosed with terminal illnesses – who make ‘the bucket list’, outlining the things they want to achieve before they shuffle off the mortal coil and kick the bucket. And so, the film follows their various misadventures as the pair escape from their cancer ward and subsequently tick off all the items on their list by going skydiving, driving stunt cars, traveling the world, and living their lives to the fullest before time runs out on them. Read more…

THE ORPHANAGE (EL ORFANATO) – Fernando Velázquez

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A hugely effective mystery/horror/thriller from Spain, El Orfanato is the latest film from Iberia to take the art houses by storm, off the back of the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. The film, which is directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and stars Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo and Roger Príncep, tells the story of a woman named Laura, who brings her family back to her childhood home, where she opens an orphanage for handicapped children. Once there, Laura discovers that the new environment awakens her young son’s imagination – but before long, the fantasy games he plays with an invisible friend turn into something much more frightening. Desperate to save her family from the increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house, Laura turns to a group of parapsychologists for help in unraveling the mystery that has taken over the orphanage – but finds something more terrifying than she could have imagined. Read more…

THE GREAT DEBATERS – James Newton Howard and Peter Golub

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Denzel Washington’s second feature film as director, The Great Debaters is a worthy and noble film based on the true story of an all-black college debating team fighting for recognition and equality. Washington himself stars as Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas in 1935 who inspired his students to form the school’s first debate team, which went on to challenge the elite, wealthy and all-white Harvard team in the national championship. Films like these challenged institutional racism in the 1950s and 1960s, but are still just as powerful today: it’s also probably no coincidence that Washington seems to be channeling both Sidney Poitier and Brock Peters on the score album’s CD cover. Read more…

THERE WILL BE BLOOD – Jonny Greenwood

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most critically acclaimed motion pictures of 2007, director Paul Thomas Anderson’s dramatic character study There Will Be Blood is based on the 1927 novel “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair, and charts the beginnings of the California oil industry. Daniel Day Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, a single-minded and opportunistic businessman who, through a combination of bullying, charm, and actual genuine hard work, sets himself up as an oil baron. However, despite his financial and business success, Plainview remains a man with little else in his life, and his ruthless actions make him numerous enemies. Things come to a head when Plainview locks horns with the god-fearing Sunday family, whose land Plainview covets, and whose eldest son Eli (Paul Dano) proves to be more than a match for Plainview’s intimidating ways. The film, which also stars Ciarán Hinds, Kevin J. O’Connor and Dillon Freasier, had been the recipient of a huge amount of critical praise, and looks sure to be a major player at the 2007 Academy Awards. Read more…

THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP – James Newton Howard

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A delightful little fantasy with a Celtic lilt, The Water Horse is a children’s family film directed by Jay Russell. Set in Scotland, it follows the adventures of a little boy named Angus MacMorrow (Alex Etel), who befriends a rather unusual animal: an amphibious ‘water horse’, which causes much mischief and mayhem in the MacMorrow household, but also eventually becomes the source of a much-discussed legend – the Loch Ness monster. The film stars Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, Brian Cox and David Morrissey in the adult roles, and features a pleasant score from James Newton Howard. Read more…

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