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Archive for July, 2000

WONDERLAND – Michael Nyman

July 28, 2000 Leave a comment

wonderlandOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In my opinion, Michael Nyman has never been particularly good at “warm” music. Throughout his career, Nyman has always shown an aptitude for using interesting orchestrations and for creating a number of moods – from forlorn longing in The Piano, to coldness and sterility in Gattaca, to horror in Ravenous, to the peculiarity that characterizes his work for Peter Greenaway – but never has he written something that one can immerse oneself in the way that you can with, say, a romantic Williams theme or a soaring Marc Shaiman melody. Therefore, it comes a something of a surprise to realize Wonderland is a bit of a departure for him, in that the music has a kind of welcoming, inviting feeling. It’s music that genuinely wants to be listened to, to be experienced, and to be liked. Read more…

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THOMAS AND THE MAGIC RAILROAD – Hummie Mann

July 28, 2000 Leave a comment

thomasandthemagicrailroadOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

When the Reverend W. Awdry first created the characters that feature in his children’s tales of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, I bet he never imagined that one day they would be made into a feature film starring Hollywood heavyweights Alec Baldwin and Peter Fonda – but that is exactly what has happened here with this children’s movie, the first from writer/producer/director Britt Allcroft. In what can only be described as a psychedelic twist, the film concerns Mr. Conductor (the aforementioned Baldwin who, thanks to political correctness, is no longer fat or a controller), who has lost his magic dust and soon will no longer be able travel backwards and forwards from the island of Sodor, which is populated by talking trains, and Shining Time, a village in the “real world”. Meanwhile, a young girl named Lily (Mara Wilson from Matilda) is visiting her grumpy grandpa (Fonda), and discovers a magic railroad which links Sodor and Shining Time that looks like it will allow Mr. Conductor to continue his mystical travels. However, an evil train named Diesel has other ideas, and it falls to the ubiquitous Thomas to save the day. Read more…

WHAT LIES BENEATH – Alan Silvestri

July 21, 2000 Leave a comment

whatliesbeneathOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite being best known for the feelgood drama Forrest Gump and the time-travelling adventures Back to the Future, director Robert Zemeckis has always been a fan of classic horror. He served as executive producer for the ghoulishly gruesome TV series Tales from the Crypt and its spin-off movies, as well as making his own mark on the genre directing the amusing but less-than-successful Death Becomes Her. Now, with What Lies Beneath, Zemeckis has dispensed with the laughs and set out to make a good, old fashioned ghost story, with a top-name cast that includes Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer on screen together for the first time as a husband and wife whose idyllic house in the country is terrorized by a mysterious spectre from his past. Read more…