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Archive for October, 2009

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL/I CAN SEE YOU – Jeff Grace

October 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Review by Jonathan Broxton

A chilling horror movie from writer/director Ti West, The House of the Devil stars Jocelin Donahue as Samantha, a teenage college student who takes on babysitting jobs to earn a bit of extra cash. When she is hired by the Ulman family (Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov) on the night of a lunar eclipse, Samantha’s part time job quickly becomes a living nightmare after she learns that she is to be the victim of a satanic ritual. The music for The House of the Devil is by up-and-coming composer Jeff Grace, who scored West’s previous films Trigger Man and The Roost, both of which were also released on the MovieScore Media label.

Much like the film itself, Grace’s score is a nostalgic throwback to the early-80s heyday of the ‘teenager in peril’ horror genre, albeit with a very classy, classical feel. Read more…

ASTRO BOY – John Ottman

October 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An animated action adventure based on the classic 1950s Japanese cartoon series, which was itself loosely based on the Pinocchio story, Astro Boy tells the story of a robot child who is created by a genius scientist named Dr. Tenma after Tenma’s son is killed in an industrial accident. However, having been rejected by his family, Astro embarks on a planetary voyage of discovery, and uses his incredible powers to become a world famous super-hero when an alien race threatens Earth. Alongside an impressive voice cast that includes Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Charlize Theron, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland and Nathan Lane, director David Bowers sought out composer John Ottman to write the film’s original score. Read more…

THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT – Stephen Trask

October 23, 2009 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Another film cashing in on the currently de rigeur vampire craze, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is directed by Paul Weitz and stars Chris Massoglia as a young boy named Darren, who meets a mysterious man named Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) at a travelling freak show, who is revealed to be a vampire. After his best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson) is bitten by Crepsley’s poisonous spider, Darren makes a deal with Crepsley: if he saves his friend’s life, he will leave his hometown and join the Cirque du Freak as an apprentice vampire.

The music for The Vampire’s Assistant is by young American composer Stephen Trask, whose prior experience includes working on films such as Dreamgirls, In Good Company and The Station Agent, but who has never tackled a score of this size and scope before. Read more…

AMELIA – Gabriel Yared

October 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Amelia Earhart was one of the pioneers of modern aviation, a best-selling author, and a revolutionary feminist who enjoyed enormous celebrity during her life, and whose tragic death in 1937 remains shrouded in mystery. From her humble beginnings in rural Kansas in 1897, she rose to become one of the pre-eminent women of her generation; she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932, was a member of the engineering faculty at Purdue University in Indiana, and was in the middle of an attempt to circumnavigate the globe when she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. Director Mira Nair’s film of her life – Amelia – stars Hilary Swank as Earhart and Richard Gere as her agent and husband George Putnam, features Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston in supporting roles, and boasts a rich, sweeping score by French/Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared. Read more…

POPE JOAN (DIE PÄPSTIN) – Marcel Barsotti

October 23, 2009 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite all its successes in other creative arts, German cinema has never made much of a splash on the international scene. Likewise, German film music never reaches much beyond its boundaries to the world stage, despite the efforts of composers like Niki Reiser, Klaus Doldinger, Stefan Zacharias, or its two most famous exports, Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt. I haven’t reviewed the score for a German film since Der Untergang in 2004, but I’m very pleased to add Pope Joan by Marcel Barsotti to the (sadly) short list of German soundtracks covered here. Read more…

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE – Carter Burwell

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Review by Jonathan Broxton

A children’s fantasy based on author Maurice Sendak’s well-loved, but long-considered un-filmable novel from 1963, Where the Wild Things Are is a fable about a disobedient young boy named Max who, after an argument with his mother, creates his own fantasy world inhabited by giant, ferocious creatures who crown him king. Directed by Spike Jonze, the creator of such imaginative films as Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, the film has a superb voice cast (James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker) supporting child actor Max Records, and features original music by composer Carter Burwell and songwriter Karen Orzolek, better known as Karen O alongside her band, The Kids. Read more…

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN – Brian Tyler

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Taking its cue from 70s revenge movies like Charles Bronson’s Death Wish series, Law Abiding Citizen is the story of Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) an everyday joe whose life is turned upside down when his family is murdered in a home invasion. However, when district attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) plea bargains a deal to set the killers free, Clyde decides to take matters into his own hands and dispense his own kind of justice. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray, and features a new score from the absurdly busy Brian Tyler, his sixth score of 2009 following features like Dragonball Evolution, Fast & Furious and The Final Destination. Read more…

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