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COP OUT – Harold Faltermeyer

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Nostalgia for the 1980s is all the rage these days. As someone who actually grew up in the 1980s I often find myself forgetting that it all happened almost 30 years ago, and that I remember all the new-nostalgia crazes and trends the first time around. In film music circles, the 1980s is remembered with both fondness and incredulity in equal measure, the latter due primarily to the popularity and success of a number of synth-pop composers. Harold Faltermeyer was one of those; over a six-year stretch he wrote music for box office smash after box office smash, with the likes of Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Fletch and Tango & Cash. His music remains incredibly divisive, and he has as many detractors as fans who laud his creative synth programming and (at the time) cutting edge electronics. In many ways he was the Hans Zimmer of his day, and he can legitimately be considered the source of Zimmer’s über-heroic anthemic style, which originated from Faltermeyer’s collaborations with Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Don Simpson. However, for a multitude of reasons, his music fell out of fashion, and as a result he hadn’t scored an American feature film since Kuffs in 1992 – until now. Read more…

THE GHOST WRITER – Alexandre Desplat

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s impossible to talk about The Ghost Writer without talking about Roman Polanski. The director of The Ghost Writer and other such excellent films as Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, The Ninth Gate and The Pianist was arrested in Switzerland on 25-year old sexual abuse charges during post-production on this film, and has since become a divisive figure. Whether the scandal and scuttlebutt surrounding Polanski will affect The Ghost Writer’s reception remains to be seen, but the Pole has always been an excellent cinematic mind, and his films continue to impress. As a result of his incarceration, many of the film’s ‘finishing touches’ had to be made without him, including the recording of Alexandre Desplat’s original score for the film; thankfully, despite however you may feel about Polanski and his transgressions, Desplat’s score is yet another strong one. Read more…

THE WOLFMAN – Danny Elfman

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The story of the creation of the score for The Wolfman is a long and arduous one. Danny Elfman was attached to the project pretty much from its inception, and wrote a fully orchestral, Gothic horror score at the request of the film’s director, Joe Johnston. Originally scheduled to be released in November 2008, the film suffered numerous problems in post production, and was pushed back and back in the calendar; eventually, so much re-editing was done that Elfman’s score no longer fit the timings of the movie, meaning that much of it had to be re-written. However, a scheduling conflict with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland meant that Elfman could not undertake any re-writes, and with time running out the original score was rejected. Austrian composer Paul Haslinger was brought in to replace Elfman, but following its recording his primarily electronic score was deemed ‘wrong’ for the picture, and Elfman’s original score was restored. However, Elfman himself was still unable to re-work his music to fit the new film, so several other composers and orchestrators – including Conrad Pope and Edward Shearmur – were brought in to re-track the music, write additional cues, and basically finish off the project before its February 2010 release. It’s a mess of quite horrific proportions, and one can only hope that debacles like these are avoided in the future. Read more…

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF – Christophe Beck

February 12, 2010 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Greek mythology has proven to be a fertile breeding ground for Hollywood films for decades. From the gods of Mount Olympus – Zeus and Poseidon, Aphrodite and Apollo – to human figures such as Jason, Odysseus, Achilles and Perseus in stories such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, these names are engrained into western culture and civilization, and provide classical inspiration for storytellers across the world. When you take these myths and combine them with a very modern variation on the Harry Potter world you end up with Percy Jackson & the Olympians, a series of novels by author Rick Riordan, whose first effort, “The Lightning Thief”, has now been turned into a major motion picture. Read more…

LO – Scott Glasgow

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

“One of the band jestingly summoned him to join them, and lo, he appeared, as if by a descent from heaven”. This quote from E.M. Butler’s “The Myth of the Magus” highlights the clever wordplay evident in the title of Travis Betz’s film Lo, a very unusual comedy-horror about the lengths to which people will go for love. The film stars Ward Roberts as Justin, a young man in love with a beautiful girl called April (Sarah Lassaez), who has had the misfortune to have been abducted by demons. Intent on rescuing his paramour, Justin finds an ancient book left behind by April, and uses it to summon a demon named Lo (Jeremiah Birkett), who is bound to obey whoever calls him. Lo, however, is a tricky little bugger, and intends to make Justin his dinner. So begins a battle of wits between the two, one intent on saving the soul of his love, the other just looking for his next meal… Read more…

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