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Posts Tagged ‘John Williams’

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM – John Williams

September 11, 2014 2 comments

indianajonesandthetempleofdoomTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Even after thirty years, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom remains one of the most iconic and beloved action films of the 1980s. A darker, scarier prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steven Spielberg’s film has Harrison Ford returning as the archaeologist-adventurer Indiana Jones, crossing paths with Chinese jewel smugglers in Shanghai in 1934. After his deal with the Triads goes wrong, Indy flees on a plane with his diminutive sidekick Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) and nightclub singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw), only to crash over the Himalayas, washing up in a remote Indian village. Before long, Indy is embroiled in yet another adventure, this time involving missing children, ancient mystical stones said to have magic powers, and a terrifying cult that worships the Hindu goddess Kali. The film was a massive commercial success, ending up the third highest grossing film of 1984 with an adjusted-for-inflation gross of almost $436 million, and received two Academy Award nominations, including one for its score by John Williams. Read more…

THE BOOK THIEF – John Williams

November 16, 2013 2 comments

bookthiefOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Book Thief, based on the popular novel by Markus Zusak, is a World War II drama set in Germany about the power of the written word. Young Sophie Nélisse stars as the lead character, Liesel, who is sent to live with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson), just as the specter of war looms over the country and Nazism begins to take hold. Through her innocent eyes Liesel begins to witness the first months of what would be eventually become the Holocaust, but through the compassion of her new parents, their imparted love of books and literature, and her friendship with of a young Jewish man named Max, she finds a way to deal with the atrocities that are starting to take place in her community. The film is directed by Brian Percival, best known for his work on the critically acclaimed TV series Downton Abbey, and has a score by the legendary John Williams. Read more…

LINCOLN – John Williams

October 23, 2012 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the annals of American political history, virtually no-one is as universally admired, revered and respected as Abraham Lincoln. Born into relative poverty in Kentucky in 1809, Lincoln rose from being a simple country lawyer to being elected the 16th President of the United States in 1860. During the course of his presidency Lincoln essentially re-defined the United States as we know it today, successfully defeating the Confederacy in the four-year Civil War, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation that essentially ended slavery in the country, and delivering the Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous political speeches of all time. He was re-elected in 1864 but, as we all know, was assassinated by actor John Wilkes Booth while watching a play in a Washington DC theatre in April 1865, before he could fully establish his second term. There have been many films over the years featuring Lincoln as a central figure, but director Steven Spielberg’s film – simply titled “Lincoln” – is a straightforward biopic of the man’s life and achievements. The film stars Daniel Day Lewis in the eponymous role, and features a stellar supporting cast including Sally Field as Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd, Tommy Lee Jones as republican leader Thaddeus Stevens, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lincoln’s son Robert, David Strathairn as secretary of state William Seward, and Jackie Earle Haley, James Spader, John Hawkes, Jared Harris and Hal Holbrook in smaller roles. Read more…

WAR HORSE – John Williams

January 11, 2012 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A variation on the classic Black Beauty tale about of the life of a heroic horse, filtered through the cinematic lens of director John Ford, War Horse is director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the well-regarded novel by Michael Morpurgo about the adventures of a horse named Joey during World War I. The action moves from rural Devon, where young Joey is raised as a plow horse by Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) to work on his father’s farm, to the battlefields of central Europe after he is sold to the British Army upon the outbreak of war and is adopted by a kindly cavalry officer as his personal mount. Moving from adventure to adventure, Joey makes his way through the mire of The Great War, serving on both sides of the conflict – and all the while young Albert, now himself serving in the trenches, never gives up hope of being reunited with his equine friend. The film co-stars Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch, and of course has a score by the venerable John Williams, his second score of 2011 after several years away from the podium. Read more…

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN – John Williams

October 23, 2011 5 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I think you have to be Belgian, or at least a Francophone, to fully appreciate all the subtleties and nuances of Tintin. Created by the Belgian artist and author Georges Rémi under his pen name Hergé, the character first appeared in print in 1929 and went on to appear in 23 adventure novels spanning a 46-year period up until 1975, followed by the posthumous publication of a final story in 1986, three years after Hergé’s death. Not only that, the stories have been adapted for radio, theatre, and a popular 1960s animated television show with its famous voiceover proclaiming that you are watching “Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin!” Despite all that, and for reasons I have never fully understood I was never a fan of the franchise – unlike Hollywood giant Steven Spielberg, who is not a Francophone, but who is adapting the story for its first major big screen adventure using state of the art-motion capture technology. Read more…

HOME ALONE – John Williams

January 11, 2011 4 comments

homealoneMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Writer-producer John Hughes, best known for his 80’s teen movies “16 Candles”, “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” conceived a new twist on the holidays when he took on “Home Alone”. The story opens with the McAllister family preparing for a Christmas vacation in Paris, France. As the family is packing, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) gets into a scuffle with his older brother Buzz and is sent to his room on the third floor. As the out of control family rushes to depart the next morning, Kevin is somehow overlooked and left “Home Alone.” When Kevin awakes and finds himself alone he makes the best of it, as any kid would, by having fun, eating pizza, making a mess and jumping up and down on his parents’ bed. The real fun begins however when Kevin discovers two burglars, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) planning to rob his house on Christmas Eve and devises all sorts of booby traps and outrageous schemes to defend his house at all costs. The film stretched credulity from the start, but through its slap-stick humor, Christmas sentimentality and Culkin’s endearing screen persona, it won the hearts of the public and became a huge commercial success. The film made Culkin an instant star, spawned a sequel and to this day remains an enduring holiday favorite. Read more…

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL – John Williams

May 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Play the Raiders March to any film music fan – hell, anyone who went to the cinema in the last 20 years or so – and the same imagery will pop into their mind: Harrison Ford, unkempt, unshaven, battered leather jacket, battered fedora hat, whip in one hand, gun in the other, a languorous grin on his face, preparing to dispatch some insidious bad guy standing in his way from rightfully claiming one of the world’s lost archeological artifacts. Such is the power and durability of John Williams’ classic themes that there are inextricably linked with their subject matter, from the sinister cello chords of Jaws to the breathless joy of E.T., to the effortless heroism of Star Wars. There’s no wonder Williams remains one of the most well-respected and well-loved film composers of all time, and why his music remains a pop culture touchstone for millions. Read more…

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