THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS – Alexandre Desplat

August 30, 2016 1 comment

thelightbetweenoceansOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Light Between Oceans is a romantic drama set in Australia in the 1920s. Based on the novel by M. L. Stedman and directed by Derek Cianfrance, it stars Michael Fassbender as Tom Sherborne, a veteran of World War I, now working as a lighthouse keeper off the western coast of the country with his wife, Isabel (Alicia Vikander). One day, Tom rescues a baby girl, who he finds washed up in a rowboat on the rocks near his home; assuming she is the only survivor of a shipwreck, Tom and Isabel decide to informally adopt the baby – whom they name Lucy – as their own. However, years later, when they return to the Australian mainland for a brief time, the once-happy family discovers that their decision to keep Lucy on that fateful day may result in terrible repercussions for all. The film also stars Rachel Weisz and Bryan Brown, and has been the recipient of a great deal of critical acclaim in the period leading up to its release. Read more…

IS PARIS BURNING? [PARIS BRÛLE-T-IL?] – Maurice Jarre

August 29, 2016 Leave a comment

isparisburningMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Is Paris Burning? is based on the bestselling novel Paris brûle-t-il? by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. Producer Paul Graetz liked the novel and secured film rights as he felt the story had to be brought to the big screen. For his passion project he hired a remarkable team to write the screenplay, which included Gore Vidal, Francis Ford Coppola, Claude Brulé, Jean Aurenche, and Pierre Bost. Graetz then brought in respected director René Clément to manage the project, and they assembled a stellar cast for the ages, which included Alain Delon as Jacques Chaba-Delmas, Jean-Paul Belmondo as Morandat/Pierrelot, Charles Boyer as Monod, Gert Fröbe as Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz, Leslie Caron as Francoise Labe, Orson Wells as Consul Raoul Nording, Kirk Douglas as General Patton, Anthony Perkins as Sergeant Warren, Simone Signoret as Café Owner, Glenn Ford as General Omar Bradley, Robert Stack as General Edwin Sibert, Billy Fick as Adolph Hitler and Yves Montand as Marcel Versini. Read more…

BEN-HUR – Marco Beltrami

August 26, 2016 8 comments

benhur-beltramiOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ was, and remains, one of the most popular and successful novels in American literature. The story recounts the life of a fictional Jewish prince, Judah Ben-Hur, in 1st century Jerusalem. Ben-Hur grows up wealthy and privileged with his childhood friend, a Roman named Messala. Years later, Messala returns home from Rome as a newly-commissioned commander in the Roman army, and his new status and increasing prejudice against Jews causes a rift between the two former friends. Messala falsely accuses Ben-Hur of attempting to assassinate a Roman prefect, and conspires to have him sent away to serve as a galley slave, while simultaneously imprisoning his mother, Miriam, and sister, Tirzah. Ben-Hur vows revenge against Messala, and spends years training himself to be a warrior and charioteer, waiting until his opportunity to achieve redemption appears. To give it its strong religious undercurrent, Wallace’s story takes place simultaneously with the life of Jesus Christ, who was born and lived during the same time period, which allows Ben-Hur and Jesus to cross paths at several moments during the formation of Christianity. Read more…

MOUNTBATTEN: THE LAST VICEROY – John Scott

August 25, 2016 Leave a comment

mountbattenthelastviceroyTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy was a critically acclaimed 6-part British television series, telling the astonishing life story of Louis Mountbatten, a member of the British aristocracy, and a cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. The series chronicles his life as a British statesman and naval officer; he served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in South-East Asia during World War II, and afterwards was appointed Viceroy of British colonial India, where he successfully negotiated with both Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and oversaw the transition of power from the British Empire to the independent nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in 1947. Following his work in India, Mountbatten returned to Britain, and subsequently served in the government as a senior member of the military, until he was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in 1979. The series was directed by Tom Clegg, starred Nicol Williamson, Janet Suzman, and Ian Richardson, and had a score by the great English film composer John Scott. Read more…

SAUSAGE PARTY – Christopher Lennertz and Alan Menken

August 23, 2016 Leave a comment

sausagepartyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There hasn’t been a mainstream R-rated animated film in many years – at least since the South Park boys released Team America: World Police in 2004 – which, considering the success and popularity of shows like Archer and Bojack Horseman on television, seems to be something of an anomaly. Thankfully, that balance may be redressed with the success of Sausage Party, the brainchild of screenwriters Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jonah Hill, Kyle Hunter, and Ariel Shaffir, and directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon. The film follows the adventures of a sausage named Frank who lives in Shopwell’s supermarket. He is in love with Brenda, a hot dog bun, and together they dream of being taken to ‘the great beyond’ when they are bought by one of the supermarket’s patrons. Unfortunately, an unexpected incident leaves Frank and Brenda stranded on the wrong side of the supermarket, and they must team up with a Jewish bagel, a Muslim lavash, and a sexy taco named Teresa, in order to get home. Meanwhile, Frank’s friends Barry and Carl have been successfully taken to ‘the great beyond’, but quickly realize that all their preconceptions about supermarket heaven have been terribly, terribly wrong. Read more…

HENRY V – William Walton

August 22, 2016 Leave a comment

henryv-walton100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

It was WWII and Great Britain was in the midst of her greatest struggle as the Allies prepared for the 1944 Normandy invasion. Prime Minister Winston Churchill exhorted Laurence Olivier to fashion a film to rally and boost British morale for what he envisioned to be her finest moment – taking the offence to the Nazi’s and liberating France. For Olivier this became a passion project, which consumed him. After William Wyler turned down his offer to direct, Olivier took an unprecedented and audacious move – he would assume the roles of producer, director and actor! He cast himself in the titular role and surrounded himself with a fine cast, which included Renee Asherson as Princess Katherine, Robert Newton as Ancient Pistol, Leslie Banks as the Chorus, Felix Aylmer as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Robert Helpmann as the Bishop of Ely. Olivier’s vision was clear from the very beginning; he would maintain fidelity to the original Shakespeare play although he would stylize it for the cinematic presentation. Read more…

PETE’S DRAGON – Daniel Hart

August 19, 2016 1 comment

petesdragonOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Pete’s Dragon is a new Disney remake of its own original 1977 film, a musical which starred Helen Reddy, Jim Dale, Mickey Rooney, and an entirely cartoon dragon, and which was nominated for an Oscar for its iconic original song, “Candle on the Water.” The new version, written and directed by David Lowery, is a very different, less comical take on the story. It follows the adventures of a young boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley), whose parents are killed in a car accident on a road trip, but who escapes without injury and flees into the woods. Pete spends the next six years living in the wild, where he is looked after by a huge, green, friendly dragon, a local legend in the area, whom Pete names Elliott. However, Pete’s idyllic life in the forest is interrupted when he is discovered by the young daughter of a forestry service ranger and taken back into civilization; meanwhile Elliott, who misses his young friend, ventures out of the woods and into town, where his existence risks being revealed to the townsfolk. It’s a lovely, sentimental, heartwarming film about childhood friendships, families, and respect of nature; it co-stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, and Robert Redford, and has been lauded by critics as a warm and appealing family film. Read more…

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