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Archive for June, 2000

THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE – Mark Mothersbaugh

June 30, 2000 Leave a comment

adventuresofrockyandbullwinkleOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Rocket T. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. The names hardly roll off the tongue, do they? Not quite the same ring as those other revered characters in the annals of cartoon history, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. But, despite everything, these two peculiar animated heroes are cult figures in the United States (although, much like The Grinch, they never caught on in the UK). I vaguely remember some kind of badly-animated cartoon series featuring this duo from somewhere in the foggy mists of my youth, but never really paid it much attention. The fact that a movie based on these two was ever made amazed me. The fact that it was directed by Des McAnuff, who previously made the deliciously dark comedy Cousin Bette, amazed me even more. And then when I found out that both Robert De Niro and Rene Russo were in it, I had to call for the smelling salts. Read more…

THE PATRIOT – John Williams

June 30, 2000 1 comment

thepatriotOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

When word leaked out that Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were less than satisfied with David Arnold’s demo score for The Patriot, it set off a chain of murmurings throughout the film music world. Who would be the man to replace Arnold, whose previous collaborations with Centropolis had resulted in the uniformly wonderful Stargate, Independence Day and Godzilla? Then came the announcement: John Williams. Collective gasp. John Williams scoring a civil war epic? This could be the chance for him to turn in the kind of score everyone wanted Saving Private Ryan to be, but wasn’t. A glorious celebration of honor, nobility, valor in battle, and belief in one’s comrades. You’ll be delighted to discover that The Patriot doesn’t disappoint. Read more…

THE PERFECT STORM – James Horner

June 30, 2000 Leave a comment

perfectstormOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

James Horner, of late, seems to have developed an affinity for disasters of one sort or another. Space disasters (Apollo 13), meteorite disasters (Deep Impact), disasters at sea (Titanic)… nowadays, it seems that if Horner is scoring the movie you can virtually guarantee that something awful is about to happen to a lot of people. The Perfect Storm, 2000’s big disaster movie, continues the trend, right down to the fact that it again concerns the sinking of a ship. But, whereas Titanic combined a terrible tragedy with wish-fulfilling romantic fantasy, The Perfect Storm is a serious, harrowing, and all-too true story. The film, which is directed by Wolfgang Petersen and stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, takes place in 1994 in the small port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Hearing news that a potentially fruitful shoal of fish has been spotted off the New England coast, the crew of the trawler Andrea Gail head off into the North Atlantic to take advantage. But what none of the crew ever imagined was that, far out to sea, a freak of nature was generating a weather phenomenon that had never before been encountered in recorded history: a perfect storm, which would envelop everything in its path. Read more…

CHICKEN RUN – Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell

June 23, 2000 Leave a comment

chickenrunOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The plasticine people of Aardman Animations took the world by storm in 1989 with the creation of Wallace and Gromit, a Yorkshire-based inventor and his incredibly expressive dog, who starred in three cinematic adventures: A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. Their creator, Nick Park, was thrust into the stratosphere: six years, three Oscars, and a multi-million pound deal with Dreamworks Pictures later, and the world’s first “claymation” motion picture has finally hit theatres. Chicken Run, which was co-directed by Park and fellow animator Peter Lord, is a terrific family adventure – exciting, funny, scary, and technically amazing. Read more…

GORMENGHAST – Richard Rodney Bennett and John Tavener

June 10, 2000 Leave a comment

gormenghastOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Gormenghast is one of the largest and most ambitious television productions ever mounted in the United Kingdom, the BBC’s lavish adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s celebrated fantasy novels Titus Groan and Gormenghast. Directed by Andy Wilson and featuring an all-star cast including Ian Richardson, Stephen Fry, Celia Imrie, Fiona Shaw, Christopher Lee, Zoe Wanamaker and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Gormenghast is the tale of madness, treachery and double-crossing in a corrupt and decaying monarchy. Set in an ancient mythical kingdom in a far away land, it charts the rise to power of a young scullery boy named Steerpike, who lies and cheats his way into the confidence of the royal court, but soon begins political machinations to overthrow the monarch and his heir, the new-born Titus, 77th Earl of Groan. Read more…

GONE IN 60 SECONDS – Trevor Rabin

June 9, 2000 Leave a comment

gonein60secondsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I don’t want to turn this review into a diatribe, but this release of Trevor Rabin’s Gone in 60 Seconds epitomises, for me, everything that is wrong with certain aspects of film scoring today, and is exactly the kind of score which could sound the death knell for the old-school ways of the classically trained composer. The problem is not really a musical one: it’s more to do with what a director (or, more importantly in this instance, a producer) sees as being a score that will create the most amount of excitement, regardless of whether there is any musical talent at work. Gone in 60 Seconds is much more about rhythm and volume than it is about mood or emotion. It’s the soundtrack equivalent of a battering ram. Read more…