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Archive for December, 2011

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

December 27, 2011 39 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There’s a lot of discussion going on in film music circles these days about the direction the art is taking, and a lot of it stems from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s Oscar win for their score for The Social Network last year. Amongst many mainstream film critics, Reznor and Ross’s ambient drones are seen as ushering a newer, better way of scoring films, one that moves away from the “schmaltzy emotional manipulation” written by the likes of John Williams and James Horner, and instead embraces a cold, clinical musical style that is more akin to sound effects than traditional film music. In his review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Variety film critic Justin Chang said the score “blends dread with driving momentum, establishing a richly unsettling mood with recurring dissonances, eerie wind chimes and pulsating reverb effects”. In his simultaneously-published review of War Horse, he criticized the film for “a cloying strain of bucolic whimsy driven by John Williams’ pushy score”, so you see what we’re up against. Read more…

THE DARKEST HOUR – Tyler Bates

December 21, 2011 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

As a general rule, and if I can help it, I don’t engage in hyperbole on Movie Music UK. A recurring cliché is that predominantly web-based reviewers are prone to proclaim every new thing “Best Something Ever” or “Worst Something Ever”, with no real sense of the history of whatever they are reviewing, and it’s a difficult stigma to overcome. Having said that, and with those points in mind, you will understand what it means why I say that Tyler Bates’ score for The Darkest Hour is one of the worst film scores I have ever heard. The last time I wrote something along these lines was when I reviewed Geoff Zanelli’s awful effort for the film Gamer in 2009. In my review of it I posted a picture of a polar bear with a migraine to illustrate how it made me feel; as such, here is a similarly illustrative visual representation of how I felt after listening to The Darkest Hour: Read more…

OVERBOARD – Alan Silvestri

December 19, 2011 1 comment

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Director Gary Marshall, who was well known for his comedic success on TV with shows like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, hired writer Leslie Dixon to write a new romantic comedy, Overboard. This outrageous story concerns a wealthy and pretentious married couple, Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) and Grant Stayton III (Edward Herrmann) and Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell) a local redneck carpenter. Joanna is a bitch of a woman who, after stiffing Dean for carpentry work, happens to fall overboard. She wakes up with amnesia and so begins a comic and outrageous story. Grant takes the opportunity to deny knowing her and seizes his long desired chance to escape a horrific marriage. Meanwhile Dean falsely claims to be her husband – seeking her household care of his four kids as recompense for his unpaid job. Well, be careful what you ask for! As the plot develops Joanna and Dean begin to fall in love, Joanna’s mother closes in on a search for her daughter, and the return of Joanna’s memory looms. To say the plot was silly and contrived is an understatement! Nevertheless the chemistry between Hawn and Russell worked and it suffices to say that Americans just love a romantic comedy. As such the film went on to become a big commercial success. Read more…

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY – Alberto Iglesias

December 13, 2011 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A slow burning thriller based on the classic espionage novel by John le Carré, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a film about corruption at the highest level of the British spy game. Influenced in part by the real-life exploits of the British-Soviet double agent Kim Philby and set in Britain in the mid 1970s, the film stars Gary Oldman as George Smiley, a taciturn, but brilliant secret agent who becomes embroiled in a labyrinthine plot of bluff and double-bluff when he discovers that there is a mole leaking classified information to the Soviets, and that the mole might well be one of the highest ranking agents in MI5, Britain’s elite intelligence agency. This is not the secret world of James Bond however: these spies are thinkers and manipulators rather than men of action, with a strategic mind more akin to chess than swordplay and gunfights, and much of the film develops via hushed conversations in darkened corridors and furtive rifling through filing cabinets. The film features an all star cast including Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Simon McBurney and Ciaran Hinds, and is directed by Swede Tomas Alfredsson, making his English-language debut following his spectacular success with the original Swedish version of Let The Right One In. Read more…

BREAKING DAWN, PART I – Carter Burwell

December 8, 2011 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The fourth of the projected five Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn Part I is the first of a two-part series concluding the cinematic saga based on Stephanie Meyer’s massively popular horror-romance novels. Teen heartthrobs Robert Pattinson, Kristin Stewart and Taylor Lautner return as Edward, Bella and Jacob, the three protagonists in the never-ending love triangle between a vampire, a werewolf and the human object of their desires. The story revolves around Edward and Bella’s marriage and her subsequent pregnancy with a half-human half-vampire baby; not only does she have to contend with the implications of this hybrid, but Jacob’s werewolf clan – mortal enemies of the Cullen vampires – are planning to kill Bella and her unborn child before it becomes a threat to them. The film is directed by Bill Condon, and features the usual supporting cast – Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellen Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone – as well as Michael Sheen as the leader of the enigmatic vampire clan, the Volturi. Read more…

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