Archive for November, 1999


November 26, 1999 Leave a comment

ridewiththedevilOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Under normal circumstances, Taiwanese director Ang Lee and Canadian composer Mychael Danna would not be the first names to spring to mind when thinking of the appropriate people to collaborate on an epic civil war western, But, with Ride With The Devil, both men have undoubtedly done the best work of their careers to date. Adapted from the acclaimed novel Woe To Live On by Daniel Woodrell, Ride With The Devil gives a seldom-seen perspective on the American conflict by following the lives of two Missouri boys, Jake Roedel (Tobey Maguire) and Jack Bull Chiles (Skeet Ulrich), who join up with a ragtag army of Confederate bushwhackers after their parents are killed by Yankee troops. Although loyal to the South, the bushwhackers are ungoverned by the “proper” army, and primarily patrol their own territories, killing Yankees when they can, sacking Northern-allied towns when they can’t. As time progresses and the bloodshed increases, it soon becomes apparent that Jake and Jack Bull are slowly becoming more and more disenchanted with the “cause” they once so passionately believed in, and are questioning their own morality – especially after crossing paths with Sue Lee Shelley (Jewel), a young war widow, and Daniel Holt (Jeffrey Wright), a former slave who still remains with his former owner George Clyde (Simon Baker) and fights for the South. Read more…

END OF DAYS – John Debney

November 26, 1999 Leave a comment

endofdaysOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Having suffered professional ridicule for his performance in the laughably bad Batman & Robin, and having subsequently undergone open heart surgery, Arnold Schwarzenegger had been away from the world’s cinema screens for almost three years. He needed a vehicle to re-assert his star power, to confirm that his status as the world’s favorite action hero had not been diminished by health scares, and to reaffirm his status as the biggest box office draw in town. What better, then, than to have him do battle with Old Nick, the devil himself? In End of Days, Schwarzenegger does just that. Read more…

LIBERTY HEIGHTS – Andrea Morricone

November 19, 1999 Leave a comment

libertyheightsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I would imagine it’s very difficult being the son of a famous father, especially in the world of the soundtrack. It’s rather unusual that film music talent is often passed on through generations and between siblings. Of course, the Newman scoring clan (Alfred, Lionel, Emil, David, Thomas and Randy) have achieved almost legendary status, and the pairings of Jerry and Joel Goldsmith, Maurice and Jean-Michel Jarre, Harry and Rupert Gregson-Williams, and more recently Howard and Ryan Shore have all borne rich musical fruit. Unknown to most score fans, Ennio Morricone’s son Andrea has been supporting his father’s musical endeavors for many years, on scores such as Cinema Paradiso and Il Quarto Re. Now, with Liberty Heights, Andrea is finally stepping out of his father’s shadow and introducing the world to his own musical voice. Read more…

TOY STORY 2 – Randy Newman

November 19, 1999 Leave a comment

toystory2Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When Toy Story first appeared in the scene four years ago, it revolutionized the world of animation. The first computer-generated feature film in motion picture history, and featuring a voice cast line-up that any live action movie would drool over, the film made stars of its fictional lead characters Woody and Buzz Lightyear, launched “to infinity and beyond” as an international catchphrase, and gave the Pixar animation studios carte blanche to develop their production as they saw fit. Now, after the record breaking success of A Bug’s Life two years ago comes the inevitable sequel – Toy Story 2. Read more…

SLEEPY HOLLOW – Danny Elfman

November 19, 1999 Leave a comment

sleepyhollowOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Good news, folks! Danny Elfman is back with a vengeance, delivering a score for Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow which will have fans nostalgic for the Batman days and those in love with his new, more mature works shaking with delight in equal measure. Tim Burton has, of course, always been the greatest musical inspiration for Danny Elfman, who wrote four of the finest scores of his career for his films: Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Sleepy Hollow not only joins that illustrious list of credits, but in many ways surpasses it, because despite not being as thematically memorable, the new score is certainly the most satisfying in terms of orchestration, cue construction and intelligence. Read more…


November 19, 1999 Leave a comment

theworldisnotenoughOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The nineteenth James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it marks the only the third occasion in history that the same actor – Pierce Brosnan – has returned to play Bond for a third time. It also heralds the “official” handing over of the Bond reins from John Barry to David Arnold who, after receiving critical acclaim for his last Bond score Tomorrow Never Dies, becomes the first ever composer to score more than one Bond movie – with the exception of Barry himself, of course. Read more…


November 12, 1999 Leave a comment

pokemonmovieOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There are a few things that decent, upstanding members of society don’t admit to having in polite company. Chronic flatulence is one. An illegitimate love child living in Mexico might be another. The third, and possibly worst of all, might be a liking for anything to do with Pokémon, those horrendous little Japanese things that children the world over have taken to collecting. It fills me with pride to say that, to date, I have never seen an episode of the Pokémon cartoon series, except for perhaps a couple of stupefied minutes when channel-hopping. I am also fortunate enough not to have any eight-year-old relatives, and therefore was not dragged to see Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (AKA Pokémon: The First Movie) when it opened in cinemas in the UK back in April. Read more…


November 12, 1999 Leave a comment

feliciasjourneyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The mainstream musical development of Mychael Danna continues with his excellent, unusual score for Atom Egoyan’s drama Felicia’s Journey, starring Bob Hoskins and Elaine Cassidy. Based on the novel by William Trevor, Cassidy plays a young Irish woman – the Felicia of the title – who travels to Birmingham, England in the 1960s and encounters friendly catering manager Bob Hoskins, who offers her a room in his home. However, Hoskins is not all he appears to be, and soon Felicia finds herself at the mercy of an innocuous-looking monster, with no obvious means of escape. Read more…


November 12, 1999 Leave a comment

themessengerOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Beyond The Three Musketeers and Les Misérables, Joan of Arc’s tale is one of the few genuinely French legends to become common knowledge outside its homeland. The story of Joan of Arc has been often told in the cinema, notably by Ingrid Bergman, but never with as much passion or gusto as in Luc Besson’s new adaptation. With young starlet Milla Jovovich in the lead role and able support from a bevy of international stars including Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway and John Malkovich, The Messenger is every bit an epic. Going down an unlikely route for his music, Besson again turned to his friend and long-time collaborator Eric Serra. This was his one bad move. Serra, whose musical roots are in the pop and rock fields, does not have the symphonic knowledge to be able to properly put together a score like this, and his lack of experience has sadly left him floundering out of his depth. Read more…

DOGMA – Howard Shore

November 12, 1999 Leave a comment

dogmaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Kevin Smith’s Dogma stirred up a lot of ill feeling in the religious community upon its release. As the director of the irreverent Clerks and Chasing Amy, Smith is never one to shy away from courting controversy, but I doubt even he could have anticipated the severe backlash aimed at him by the Catholic church. Basically, they didn’t like the idea of their beliefs being mocked but the problem (as is often the case in these situations) was that they didn’t actually bother to sit down and watch the movie before condemning it. If anything, Dogma positively encourages the notion of having some sort of faith – in God, or Buddha, or Allah, or whatever – while taking pot shots at the many hypocrites who hold a bible in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other. Read more…

THE BONE COLLECTOR – Craig Armstrong

November 5, 1999 Leave a comment

bonecollectorOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Taking films such as Silence of the Lambs and Seven as its starting point, The Bone Collector is another entry into the “thriller noir” genre, in which saturated color, rain-soaked streets and grisly murders are the order of the day. Directed by Phillip Noyce, the film stars Denzel Washington as Detective Lincoln Rhyme, one of New York’s finest forensic cops, whose career is cut tragically short when he is paralyzed following a freak accident on the job. Now the recipient of round the clock care and confined to his state of the art apartment-cum-hospital, Rhyme’s skills are unexpectedly called upon once more after a beat cop named Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) discovers a murder victim within an elaborately staged crime scene. Uncovering her untapped potential for forensics, Rhyme urges Amelia to be his feet on the ground while he, with his intellect still very much intact, tries to piece together the clues and identify the murderer before he takes more victims. Read more…