Posts Tagged ‘John Debney’

LAIR – John Debney

June 15, 2014 2 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Lair is a role-playing video game where the player assumes the role of a dragon-riding knight named Rohn Partridge. The player is given a variety of tasks to perform including; defending a certain realm, destroying certain objects, eliminating enemies or creatures, and other mission-based objectives. After each stage of the game, the player has an opportunity to earn gold, silver, or bronze medals, depending on their performance during the level. A rare platinum medal is also available, although unlike the other three medals its requirements are secret. Earning medals assists the player in unlocking combos and behind-the-scenes videos. lair takes place in a world threatened by numerous emerging volcanoes that are destroying the planet’s ecosystem. Two cultures contest; the Mokai, whose lands are arid and depleted of resources, and the Asylians, who live in one of the last remaining verdant areas. Desperate to survive, the Mokai attack and try to seize the granaries of the Asylians. The spiritual leader of the Asylians, called the Diviner, condemns the Mokai as pagans and savages. Thus war begins and the game revolves around the pursuits of Rohn Partridge, an Asylian Sky Guard. His allegiance wavers after the Diviner orders the assassination of the Mokai peace envoy Atta-kai, and he becomes a renegade when his attack on a Mokai ‘armory’ reveals instead a temple housing women and children. He thus assumes the mantle of a warrior for justice as he navigates the conflict and attempts to bring about a lasting peace. Read more…

JOBS – John Debney

September 12, 2013 1 comment

jobsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Steve Jobs, who died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 56, has been called by some the greatest American inventor since Thomas Edison. As the head of the Apple corporation, Jobs and his team of genius engineers gave the world not only the Apple Macintosh computer, which helped kick start the personal computer, but by the early 2000s has begun the personal entertainment revolution through his series of “I” devices, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, as well as the various retail outlets designed to facilitate the peripheral software and hardware for use on his devices. It’s safe to say that over the last decade or so Jobs and Apple – alongside the likes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin – literally changed the way the entire world connects with each other and stores its information; it will be interesting to see how future generations view their contribution to humanity, and whether they are seen as equals with other such communication pioneers as Johannes Gutenberg, William Caxton, Guglielmo Marconi, John Logie Baird and Alexander Graham Bell. Read more…

A SYMPHONY OF HOPE: THE HAITI PROJECT – Christopher Lennertz et al.

October 2, 2011 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

On January 12, 2010, the city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti was effectively flattened when it was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Within a matter of seconds over 50,000 people had been killed, and over a million people left homeless. Diseases such as cholera blighted the survivors and thwarted relief efforts, and since then the humanitarian crisis in the country has reached staggering proportions, with over 250,000 residences destroyed and basic services and infrastructure left in ruins. Reacting to the global call for help, film composer Christopher Lennertz was inspired to act. Calling upon his fellow composers and other members of the Los Angeles film music community of musicians and engineers, Lennertz teamed up with the charity Hands Together to create A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project, a musical fundraising project intended to help the people of Haiti. Read more…

A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Last Saturday, March 26th, I had the honor attending the recording sessions for “A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project” at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, CA. The brainchild of composer Christopher Lennertz, the Symphony is musical fundraising project designed to help the people of Haiti in their desperate time of need.

A year after the terrible earthquake which destroyed the lives of thousands of Haitians, it was clear to Lennertz that the need for assistance was greater than ever. In response Lennertz came up with the idea of the “Symphony of Hope”, and invited 25 leading film composers to collaborate with him on a project to benefit the Haiti Earthquake Relief fund. Read more…

IRON MAN 2 – John Debney

October 22, 2010 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The sequel to the phenomenally successful super hero movie from 2008, Iron Man 2 sees Robert Downey Jr. returning to don the futuristic red and gold suit as Tony Stark, the multi-billionaire industrialist who saves the world in his spare time as his metallic alter ego. This time around his nemesis is megalomaniacal Russian juggernaut Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), seeking revenge for the death of his scientist father, who helped design the original Iron Man technology. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film also stars Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark’s loyal assistant Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as Stark’s friend Colonel “Rhodey” Rhodes, and Scarlett Johansson as the sexy undercover agent Nastaha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow. Read more…


July 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A family sci-fi adventure, Aliens in the Attic follows in the footsteps of films like Jumanji and Zathura in pitting a group of resourceful children against a group of fantastical creatures invading their home. Carter Jenkins, Austin Butler, Ashley Boettcher and Ashley Tisdale from the High School Musical series star as a quartet of kids who discover that their summer home has become infested with knee-high aliens who want to take over the world. The film is directed by John Schultz and has a fun, if a little derivative, score by John Debney.

Written for a full and lavish symphony orchestra, Aliens in the Attic spends quite a bit of time channeling both Danny Elfman and Bernard Herrmann, mainly through its liberal use of a theremin to depict the alien invaders. Read more…


June 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A devastating drama exploring the subjugation of women in modern day Iran, The Stoning of Soraya M. is a tragic look at how women are mistreated under the stifling confines of Islamic Sharia law. Jim Caviezel stars as Freidoune Sahebjam, a journalist travelling through a remote part of Iran, when his car breaks down near a small village. While looking for help, Sahebjam is approached by a local woman named Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo), who tells him the story of her niece, Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), who was stoned to death by her husband, who wanted nothing more than an easy way out of his marriage.

While not based specifically on any one story, it’s easy to see parallels between Cyrus Nowrasteh’s film and real-life cases such as that of Du’a Khalil Aswad, who was stoned to death in Iraq for supposed adultery in 2007. Read more…

HOTEL FOR DOGS – John Debney

January 16, 2009 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Hotel for Dogs is a kid’s comedy adventure based on the novel by Lois Duncan, directed by Thor Freudenthal, and which stars Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin as orphan siblings who, despite the misgivings of their foster parents and their patient social worker (Don Cheadle), start a home for abandoned dogs in a run-down hotel – hilarity, as they say, ensues.

The score for Hotel for Dogs is by John Debney, whose choice in films since picking up his Oscar nomination for The Passion of the Christ has been surprising, to say the least. Hotel for Dogs is the latest in a long line of children’s comedies which would seem to be better suited to less talented composers than Debney Read more…

SWING VOTE – John Debney

August 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A timely film in Barack Obama’s election year, Swing Vote is a conceptually preposterous but light and breezy comedy directed by Joshua Michael Stern starring Kevin Costner as a good natured blue collar guy who, following an unexpected turn of events, finds himself holding the single deciding vote in the US presidential election, and subsequently being courted by both candidates – incumbent Kelsey Grammar, and challenger Dennis Hopper. The film features a stellar supporting cast (Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez) and a whole host of real life politicos as themselves, notably Arianna Huffington, Larry King, Bill Maher and Chris Matthews. Read more…

MEET DAVE – John Debney

July 11, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A desperately unfunny sci-fi comedy, Meet Dave is the latest box office disaster from Eddie Murphy, who seems to have squandered all the goodwill he received for his performance in Dreamgirls in just three short years. Directed by Brian Robbins, Meet Dave stars Murphy as the captain of a crew of miniature aliens, who operate a spaceship that looks like a human (also Murphy), and who have come to Earth to find a way to save their dying planet. However, things start to go wrong for the captain and his crew when, somewhat inexplicably, the spaceship falls in love with an Earth woman named Gina (Elizabeth Banks). Read more…


June 22, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

A kinder, tamer follow-up to the semi-controversial comedy “Bruce Almighty”, Tom Shadyac’s “Evan Almighty” takes one of the small supporting characters from the original film (played by Steve Carell) and turns him into the lead character. Morgan Freeman once again returns to play God, and the supporting cast includes John Goodman, Wanda Sykes and Lauren Graham. The film contains an even heavier spiritual element than the first, with God instructing Senator Evan Baxter to build an ark, for purposes that shall remain a secret.

John Debney scored “Bruce Almighty”, and turned in a fairly typical comedy effort that unfortunately failed to reflect much of the religious side of the film Read more…

ZATHURA – John Debney

November 11, 2005 Leave a comment

zathuraOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Celebrated children’s author Chris Van Allsburg must have a thing about board games. Having already unleashed Jumanji on the world back in 1995, and after the festive diversions of The Polar Express last year, he now returns to his genre of choice with Zathura, another juvenile adventure about a deadly game which proves all too real for its players. Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutchinson and Tim Robbins, Zathura tells the story of two brothers who discover a space-adventure board game in the basement of their house. However, once they start playing the game, the boys suddenly find themselves in mortal peril: their house has hurtled through space and is now in orbit around Saturn; they find themselves bombarded with meteors; and, worst of all, they are being threatened by a race of nasty lizard-like aliens called Zorgons. Their only way home is to finish the game – providing they stay alive long enough to do so… Read more…


November 4, 2005 Leave a comment

chickenlittleOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It pains me to write this, but the quality of Disney’s annual animated features seem to be decreasing in quality with each passing year. It’s a truly depressing thought to realise that having gone from such legendary fare as Pinocchio, Snow White and Bambi, to modern classics such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, we are now reduced to watching twaddle like last year’s Home on the Range, and this year’s lacklustre effort, Chicken Little.

The story is a simplistic fable variation on “the boy who cried wolf”, aimed firmly at kids, with little in the way of the subtle subversiveness which makes this kind of fare palatable for adults. Young Chicken Little (Zach Braff) causes a mass panic in his small hometown of Oakey Oaks when he claims that “the sky is falling” (it turns out to be an acorn), and is scorned as a dumb kid, and treated as a social pariah. Read more…

DREAMER – John Debney

October 21, 2005 Leave a comment

dreamerOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Pitched as “Seabiscuit for kids”, Dreamer is one of those ambiguous films which has the subtitle ‘inspired by a true story’, meaning that in all likelihood 90% of what happened on-screen never took place in real life. Irrespective of all this, the film is a kind-hearted story about the Crane family: race horse trainer Ben (Kurt Russell), his wife Lily (Elisabeth Shue), and their precocious daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning from War of the Worlds, who is now so well-respected she gets second billing at age 11). Despite a few tensions between Ben and his estranged father (Kris Kristofferson), life down on the stud farm in Kentucky is generally happy and sunny – until, unexpectedly, Ben’s prize thoroughbred filly Soñador, breaks a leg during a big race. The horse’s greedy and manipulative owner, Mr Palmer (David Morse), callously fires Ben and orders the horse destroyed. Determined not to see a loved animal put down, and with an idea of using the horse as stud material, Ben gets Palmer’s reluctant agreement to take the stricken animal into his care. As Ben nurses Soñador back to health, Cale becomes deeply attached to the horse, and begins to wonder whether her days on the track are finished after all… Read more…

DUMA – John Debney and George Acogny

September 30, 2005 Leave a comment

dumaOriginal Review by Peter Simons

A return to director Carroll Ballard’s favorite subject, Duma is based on the semi-autobiographical book by Carol and Xan Hopcraft, and tells the story of young South African boy Xan (Alexander Michaletos), who adopts an orphaned cheetah and becomes its best friend. This simple, uncomplicated plot is virtually a retelling of Ballard’s previous directorial effort Fly Away Home – albeit with big cats rather than geese – as Xan sets out on a quest to release the big cat back in to the wild, struggles with the sudden loss of his father, and adapts to other difficulties with adolescence and growing up. Read more…


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