Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
Already tainted as one of the biggest box-office disasters in cinema history, John Carter looks set to go down in negative notoriety rather than with the acclaim and applause many expected at Disney when the project was first announced. A large scale action science-fiction epic, the film is a big screen mishmash adaptation of several of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Barsoom novels, which were first written in 1912 and stand as some of the first works of interplanetary science fiction ever written. The film, which is directed by Andrew Stanton, stars newcomer Taylor Kitsch as the eponymous Carter, a civil war veteran from Virginia who, while prospecting out west, finds himself inexplicably transported to Mars, where he becomes embroiled in a second civil war between the planet’s inhabitants, who call their world Barsoom. The film co-stars Lynn Collins as the beautiful princess Dejah Thoris, Ciaran Hinds and Dominic West as the two rival jeddak kings in whose lengthy battle Carter gets caught, and Willem Dafoe and Samantha Morton in motion-capture as two of the multi-armed Tharks, who help and hinder Carter in his quest with equal measure. Read more…
- MARK McKENZIE for The Greatest Miracle
- LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
- DARIO MARIANELLI for Jane Eyre
- JOHN WILLIAMS for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
- JOHN WILLIAMS for War Horse
Of all the scores to make an impression on me in 2011, none did so with more power and beauty than Mark McKenzie’s THE GREATEST MIRACLE. Although the film itself is by all accounts horrible – a poorly animated Mexican film about life and Catholicism – the under-valued McKenzie’s music soars, imbued with a sense of spirituality, peace and beauty that was unmatched in the year. Running him a close second were the two scores from veteran John Williams – THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN and WAR HORSE – the latter of which won him the IFMCA Award for Score of the Year. They are filled with everything that is great about Williams’ music, with memorable themes, sparkling orchestrations, and the sense of fun and emotional strength that has made him the most popular and successful film composer of our time. French newcomer Ludovic Bource gave the superb silent film THE ARTIST a sense of time and place through his wonderfully loving homages to the Golden Age of the art, and won an Oscar for his troubles, while the delicate and heartfelt violin performances in Dario Marianelli’s JANE EYRE enraptured me from the moment I heard them almost a year ago, and remain amongst the best that 2011 has to offer.