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Posts Tagged ‘James Horner’

IN COUNTRY – James Horner

April 16, 2013 1 comment

incountryMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

For years Director Norman Jewison had eschewed making a film about the Vietnam War. Yet with over a decade passing since the fall of Saigon in 1975 he felt the time was at last right to address the war. As such, he chose to adapt Bobbie Ann Mason’s celebrated novel “In Country” for the screen. He did not wish to comment on the politics of the war, instead choosing to embark on a more intimate exploration of the lives of the men who fought bravely and honorable for their country. For his film he chose to explore the aftermath of the war on four men who fought it, as well as their families. The story reveals teenager Samantha Hughes (Emily Lloyd) who yearns to fill the void left by her father’s (Dwayne) death in Vietnam, or “In Country” as veterans describe. She also seeks to better understand her uncle Emmett and his friends Tom, Earl and Pete. Each man has returned home scarred and damaged by their tour of duty and unable to discuss their war experiences. Ultimately Samantha’s unyielding quest to discover her father initiates a liberating catharsis when she and Emmett visit the Vietnam War memorial in Washington D.C. Regretfully the film was a box office disaster and also failed to evoke any critical acclaim. Read more…

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN – James Horner

July 9, 2012 10 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite it only being ten years since Sam Raimi brought the latest incarnation of Spider-Man to the silver screen with Tobey Maguire in 2002, Sony Pictures have given the world one of the dreaded “re-boots” of the story in The Amazing-Spider Man, intending to re-ignite interest in a franchise which has struggled to maintain popularity since the disappointing Spider-Man 3 in 2007. Sam Raimi is replaced in the director’s chair by the aptly-named Marc Webb; Tobey Maguire is replaced by Andrew Garfield; Kirsten Dunst as Mary-Jane Watson is replaced by Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey, and the entire supporting cast is changed too. The film is yet another origin story, explaining how the mild-mannered science buff Peter Parker is transformed into the Astonishing Arachnid Boy by way of a helpful spider bite, and sets about cleaning up New York City in the face of a super-villain, the Lizard. The truly amazing thing about The Amazing Spider-Man is that, contrary to all expectations, it’s better than Raimi’s Spider-Man on almost all levels: story, screenplay, acting, special effects, and even its score, which sees James Horner replacing Danny Elfman (and Christopher Young and all the uncredited ghost writers). Read more…

TESTAMENT – James Horner

April 26, 2011 2 comments

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Testament was adapted from a short story “The Last Testament” written by Carol Armen. Originally conceived as a TV movie, Paramount executives were so impressed with the final product that they instead chose to release it in theatres across the country. The story concerns itself with the aftermath of a cataclysmic nuclear war. Its intimate narrative is seen through the eyes of Carol Wetherley, a mother who lives in the northern California town of Hamlin outside of San Francisco. After her husband is lost with the destruction of San Francisco, she struggles with determination and dignity to ensure the safety and continuity of her family. Yet all seems for naught as one by one her neighbors and family begin to succumb to the horrific ravages of radiation poison. The film earned critical acclaim for its intimate portrayal and was a commercial success. Read more…

THE HOMECOMING: A CHRISTMAS STORY/RASCALS AND ROBBERS: THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN – Jerry Goldsmith/James Horner

April 4, 2011 3 comments

homecomingMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story is an iconic television movie that was adapted from an Earl Hamner Jr. story starred Patricia Neal and Richard Thomas in a traditional heart-warming story of a poor rural family’s Christmas. The story takes place on Christmas Eve in 1933 during the Great Depression with the children awaiting, with great anticipation, the miracle in the barn when at the stroke of midnight all off the animals speak. The family is also awaiting the homecoming of their beloved father who had to seek employment in the city and is returning home. A snowstorm places Mr. Walton’s return in peril and the family struggles to remain optimistic as the night wears on. But this is a happy tale and when he returns with a bag of gifts all is made right as the family celebrates the joy and warmth of Christmas. The film was made on a very modest budget, but it was an immediate hit, spawned The Waltons – a highly successful television series and remains an enduring classic holiday favorite. Read more…

JADE – James Horner

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Weintraub Entertainment purchased the script for Jade from the famous writer Joe Eszterhas, who had gained earlier acclaim and commercial success for sexual thrillers such as Jagged Edge and Basic Instinct. Paramount Studios eventually came to select William Friedkin (of The Exorcist and The French Connection fame) to direct. The film deals with a woman’s secret life and a classic love triangle consisting of psychologist Dr. Katrina Gavin (played by Linda Florentino), her husband Matt Gavin (played by Chazz Palminteri) and politically ambitious District Attorney David Corelli – her ex-boyfriend – played by David Caruso. Read more…

AVATAR – James Horner

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

James Cameron makes a habit of being groundbreaking. Whether he is creating a planet full of ferocious xenomorphs in Aliens, experimenting with liquid metal robots in Terminator II, or making a realistic recreation of a sinking boat in Titanic, the Canadian director has always been at the forefront of cutting edge cinematic technology, pushing the envelope of what is creatively and technologically possible on the screen. His latest film, Avatar, continues that trend; with an estimated budget of $320 million, it’s the most expensive film ever made, and looks set to become one of the biggest grossing films of all time too. Read more…

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS – James Horner

November 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, directed by Mark Herman from the novel by John Boyne, is a harrowing, yet life-affirming drama set in the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is the 9-year old son of the camp commandant (David Thewlis); not understanding where he is or why he is there, and bored with his life away from the city where he used to live, Bruno makes friends with a young boy named Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), who lives on the other side of a wire fence and wears ‘striped pyjamas’. The innocence of their friendship soon becomes strained, however – Shmuel is Jewish, and is of course scheduled to die in a gas chamber. Critics have lauded the film, both for its delicate handling of the difficult subject matter, and for its performances. Similarly, James Horner’s score has been pretty much roundly praised, especially during the emotionally overwhelming finale. Read more…

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