Archive for August, 1999

THE ASTRONAUT’S WIFE – George S. Clinton

August 27, 1999 Leave a comment

astronautswifeOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ever since the Austin Powers phenomenon took hold, the work of composer George S. Clinton has become increasingly in demand. Until the world became aware of the amorous adventures of the British super-spy, Clinton was merely the guy who wrote all that sleazy saxophone music to accompany Zalman King’s soft-core Red Shoe Diary movies, and who created all that stupid technobabble for Mortal Kombat. But there is a whole other side to his talents waiting to be discovered – like the music for The Astronaut’s Wife, a peculiar sci-fi thriller which attempts to bring together plot threads from movies as diverse as Rosemary’s Baby and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Read more…

IN TOO DEEP – Christopher Young

August 27, 1999 Leave a comment

intoodeepOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I suppose everyone can have an off day once in a while, and even though Chris Young’s off days are often better than other composer’s best, In Too Deep still remains one of his least-inspired scores for many a year. It’s interesting that Young should score movies like this because – and I don’t want this to sound in any way racist – he is one of the few white composers who can write music for black movies. Normally, the director of a film like In Too Deep would employ someone like Terence Blanchard or Stanley Clarke to provide a culturally appropriate underscore. But Young, having written for movies like Tales From The Hood and Set It Off, seems able to convincingly convey the same musical identity. Read more…

THE 13th WARRIOR – Jerry Goldsmith

August 27, 1999 Leave a comment

13thwarriorOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In my opinion, the last two sword and sorcery movies to have truly great scores were Basil Poledouris’s Conan the Barbarian in 1981 and James Horner’s Krull in 1983 – the enduring legacy of a genre which, in recent years, has virtually died out in Hollywood. Although there is not very much sorcery in The 13th Warrior, there are plenty of flashing blades, and Jerry Goldsmith has conjured up a rousing, magnificent musical work to accompany them, the first “medieval epic” score for quite a few years that can be compared on equal terms to those earlier classics. Read more…


August 20, 1999 Leave a comment

teachingmrstingleOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Of the young new composers to emerge during the latter half of the nineties, John Frizzell is the only one to have not yet developed a truly original voice of his own. Contemporaries such as John Ottman and Marco Beltrami have already established an earmarking “sound”, stylistic trademarks and compositional techniques, and while Frizzell has shown an adeptness in a number of genres (horror in Alien Resurrection, comedy in Beavis and Butt-head, action in Dante’s Peak) he is still musically anonymous – his new score for Teaching Mrs. Tingle being a prime example. Read more…

MICKEY BLUE EYES – Basil Poledouris and Wolfgang Hammerschmid

August 20, 1999 Leave a comment

mickeyblueeyesOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

After almost a year’s respite from the pressures of the film scoring circuit, Basil Poledouris returns to the fray with Mickey Blue Eyes, the second of 1999’s two Mafia comedy films. Since Nino Rota’s legendary mobster music for The Godfather way back in 1972, the mobster movie has developed its own musical standard, typified by genre ballads by crooners Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. Whether it was an intentional homage to his contemporaries, or whether it was just a lack inspiration that led Poledouris down the well-trodden path is open to debate, but whatever the case may be it is certain that Mickey Blue Eyes is one of his weakest scores in many a year. Read more…


August 13, 1999 Leave a comment

brokedownpalaceOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Over the years, the “innocent person in a brutal foreign prison” subject has resulted in some excellent movies, including the Oscar-winning Midnight Express, the Australian TV series Bangkok Hilton and last year’s Return to Paradise. Following purposely in their footsteps is Brokedown Palace, directed by Jonathan Kaplan and starring Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale as two friends travelling in Thailand who, after meeting a charismatic young Australian (Daniel Lapaine) and agreeing to accompany him to Hong Kong, find themselves in the unwitting possession of a substantial amount of heroin. Arrested by the Thai authorities and abandoned by their new friend, the women are sentenced to spend 33 years in a brutal prison chillingly nicknamed “The Brokedown Palace”, where they eventually realize that their only hope of freedom is through an expatriate American lawyer played by Bill Pullman. Read more…

BOWFINGER – David Newman

August 13, 1999 Leave a comment

bowfingerOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy have spent much of the last five years or so  attempting to recapture their respective glory days, when smash movies such as 48HRS, Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, All of Me and Roxanne were the norm. Their first on-screen collaboration, the hit comedy Bowfinger, has helped kick-start both their careers and set them both back on the road to the top of the Hollywood tree. It is somewhat ironic, therefore, that their film should be about the people on the flipside of tinsel town, trying to make a buck and get a break in the cutthroat and unforgiving movie business. Read more…

DICK – John Debney

August 6, 1999 Leave a comment

dickOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

John Debney’s Dick. If I wasn’t such a fine, upstanding member of the on-line film music community, I could quite easily turn this review into a rejected script from a Carry On film. But, contrary to popular belief, I have far more taste and decorum than that, so I will remain completely straight-faced for the remainder of this review. Honest. Read more…

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THE IRON GIANT – Michael Kamen

August 6, 1999 Leave a comment

irongiantOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The thing which distinguishes The Iron Giant from the vast majority of other film scores is that, by and large, there are no recurring themes anywhere. Written in the short gap between finishing his historic “S&M” collaboration with Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and re-commencing work on his millennium symphony, “The New Moon in the Old Moon’s Arms”, composer Michael Kamen tackled The Iron Giant like a mini-symphony of its own, with each individual cue a standalone piece intended to depict a certain feeling or moment in childhood. Read more…


August 6, 1999 Leave a comment

thomascrownaffairOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

When you look at Bill Conti’s list of credits over the past five years or so – memorable titles such as Rookie of the Year, Bushwhacked, Spy Hard and Wrongfully Accused leap out – it is all the more surprising and gratifying to see him attached to such a high profile and comparatively serious movie as The Thomas Crown Affair. He has repaid the trust invested in him by director John McTiernan with an unusual, challenging, peculiarly percussive score that has generated heated debate amongst score fans, with equal amounts of admirers and detractors. Personally, I fall into the former category. While I can appreciate that Conti’s efforts were not entirely successful, and although one key musical sequence was utterly destroyed through careless digital editing, I find it refreshing that a composer such as Conti would be willing to try something so new and original at a time when most film scores are rejected if they don’t adhere to tried and tested formulas. Read more…

THE SIXTH SENSE – James Newton Howard

August 6, 1999 Leave a comment

sixthsenseOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Every year has its “twist” movie – from The Usual Suspects in 1994 and Primal Fear in 1995 to Fallen and Wild Things last year. 1999’s sting in the tale comes from The Sixth Sense, a superior thriller starring Bruce Willis as troubled child psychologist Malcolm Crowe who, after a failed consultation drives a former patient over the brink, sees a chance of personal and professional redemption in the case of 10-year old Cole Sear. You see, Cole has a dark and terrible secret which even his mother (Toni Collette) doesn’t know about. In his own words, he “sees dead people, walking around like regular people”, and Malcolm believes that if he can help this terribly frightened young child, it will also rescue his waning relationship with his estranged wife Anna (Olivia Williams). Read more…