Posts Tagged ‘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…

2012 Academy Award nominations

January 10, 2013 2 comments

oscarstatueThe nominations for the 2012 Oscars have been announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and in the Best Original Score category the nominees represent a broad cross-section of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. The nominees are:

  • MYCHAEL DANNA for Life of Pi
  • DARIO MARIANELLI for Anna Karenina
  • THOMAS NEWMAN for Skyfall
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for Lincoln

This is the first Oscar nomination for Canadian composer Mychael Danna, who also picked up Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for his wonderful score for Life of Pi, in my opinion the front runner to pick up the award. John Williams cements his position as the most critically acclaimed living film composer with his 48th Oscar nomination for his score for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. The other three composers – Alexandre Desplat, Dario Marianelli and Thomas Newman –all have multiple prior nominations, with Marianelli having previously won for Atonement in 2007.

The most unexpected nomination is that of Thomas Newman for the James Bond film Skyfall, which becomes only the second Bond score to be so nominated (after Marvin Hamlisch’s The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977) – astonishingly, none of John Barry’s iconic Bond scores or songs were ever nominated.

Some front running films whose scores were overlooked by the Academy include THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY by Howard Shore, THE IMPOSSIBLE by Fernando Velazquez, THE MASTER by Jonny Greenwood, THE SESSIONS by Marco Beltrami, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK by Danny Elfman, ZERO DARK THIRTY by Alexandre Desplat, and CLOUD ATLAS by Tom Tykwer, Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek, which was shut out of the Oscar nominations entirely. Similarly, fan-favorites such as THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by James Horner, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES by Hans Zimmer, JOHN CARTER by Michael Giacchino and RISE OF THE GUARDIANS by Alexandre Desplat failed to impress the Academy’s music branch this year. Read more…

Golden Globe Nominees

December 13, 2012 2 comments

goldenglobestatueThe nominations for the 2012 Golden Globes have been announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and in the all-important Best Original Score category the HFPA have returned a list of nominees that, for once, actually represents five of the ten best scores written this year! The nominees are:

  • MYCHAEL DANNA for Life of Pi
  • DARIO MARIANELLI for Anna Karenina
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for Lincoln

These are the first major film music award nominations for both Mychael Danna and the Cloud Atlas Pale 3 team, although Danna has been nominated for both a Grammy and and Emmy. This is the 6th nomination for Desplat, who won the award in 2006 for The Painted Veil, and the second nomination for Marianelli, who won both the Golden Globe and Oscar in 2007 for Atonement. Desplat is also a 4-time Oscar and 5-time BAFTA nominee. John Williams, of course, has six billion prior nominations.

In the Best Original Song category, the HFPA have cast the net far and wide, choosing nominees that range from 80s rock and modern day country music to legendary Broadway maestros. The nominees are:

  • ADELE ATKINS and PAUL EPWORTH for “Skyfall” from Skyfall
  • JON BON JOVI for “Not Running Anymore” from Stand-Up Guys
  • MONTY POWELL and KEITH URBAN for “For You” from Act of Valor
  • TAYLOR SWIFT, JOHN PAUL WHITE, JOY WILLIAMS and T-BONE BURNETT for “Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games

Overall Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln leads the way with 7 nominations in total, with Argo and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained picking up 5 nominations, and Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty getting four each.

The Golden Globes are presented on January 13th, 2013.

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…


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…


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