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Archive for November, 2000

BOUNCE – Mychael Danna

November 17, 2000 Leave a comment

bounceOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The more of Mychael Danna’s music I hear, the more I am of the opinion that he is one of the most talented  – and versatile – practitioners of film music working today. Having become noted for composing minimalist, ethnically-inflected scores for films such as Exotica, Kama Sutra and The Ice Storm, Danna bucked his own trend by writing two of the most interesting and challenging scores of 1999: the vivid, confrontational 8MM, and the sweeping, epic Ride with the Devil. The musical development of Danna continues with his lovely score for Bounce, the Canadian’s first mainstream romance. Bounce is directed by Don Roos (previously responsible for The Opposite of Sex) and stars Ben Affleck as businessman Buddy Amaral, who finds himself delayed at an airport while waiting for an overbooked flight to Los Angeles. Striking up a conversation with fellow passenger Greg Janello (Tony Goldwyn), Buddy thinks he is doing a good turn when he offers Greg his seat so he can get back in time to see his young son. In a tragic twist of fate, the plane Buddy should have been on then crashes, killing all on board. Racked with guilt and remorse, descending into alcoholism and quitting his job, Buddy seeks out Greg’s widow Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow) looking for some kind of redemption and forgiveness… and certainly not expecting to end up falling in love. Read more…

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HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS – James Horner

November 17, 2000 Leave a comment

howthegrinchstolechristmasOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The problem with reviewing this kind of album is whether to review the score, or the package as presented to us by the record label. Interscope Records’ release is a curious hybrid of pop, dialogue and score that never quite gels together as a product – although the three elements, in themselves, are good, the end result of an album that falls short on virtually all levels, each part never quite complementing each other, and leaving score fans with a definite sense of being short-changed. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, shortened to simply “The Grinch” over here, is the first live-adaptation of the classic children’s story by Theodor S. Geisel, aka Dr Seuss. The story was famously rendered in cartoon form by the legendary Chuck Jones in 1966, and went on to become a perennial Yuletide favorite in the United States, but has never captured the imagination of children in the UK in quite the same way. We know who Dr Seuss was, and all about The Cat in the Hat and so forth… it just never really caught on. Besides, we’ve got Raymond Briggs and The Snowman to keep up happy over the festive period. It’s actually rather surprising, therefore, that the movie has gone on to become a massive smash in this country, sitting at the number one slot for several weeks and taking in millions of pounds at the box office. Read more…

RED PLANET – Graeme Revell

November 10, 2000 Leave a comment

redplanetOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Of late, there seems to be an increasing amount of pressure on film music composers to score science fiction films in daring new ways. While this kind of innovation in film music is, and always should be, welcomed, it has to be said that these experiments are not always entirely successful. The critical backlash against Ennio Morricone’s Mission to Mars was palpable; similarly, Graeme Revell’s techno score for the animated summer movie Titan A.E. did little to stir the minds and hearts of soundtrack fans. Revell continues to break down barriers with his score for Red Planet, the latest in a line of Martian movies to hit screens in the wake of NASA’s Pathfinder exploration of our closest celestial neighbor. Unfortunately, and while credit is certainly due to the New Zealander for his efforts, the score for Red Planet is likely to be as equally derided as its predecessors. Read more…

THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE – Rachel Portman

November 3, 2000 Leave a comment

legendofbaggervanceOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

With increasing frequency, British composer Rachel Portman is finding herself being asked to score films with “Academy potential”. After her award-winning turn on Emma in 1995, which secured her status in history as the first woman to win a composing Oscar, the undisputed queen of film music has scored such acclaimed movies as Marvin’s Room, Beloved, and last year’s successful drama The Cider House Rules, cementing her status as a member of Hollywood’s A-list. Her latest assignment is The Legend of Bagger Vance, a tale of life, love, and the open fairway which seeks to do for golf what Field of Dreams did for baseball, directed by Robert Redford from the novel by Steven Pressfield. It stars Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron, and tells the story of Adele Invergordon (Theron), who inherits her late father’s golf resort in late 1920s Savannah, Georgia. In order to get rid of some of the debts, she decides stages a celebrity golf tournament at the course, and invites three of the state’s top players, one of whom is Rannulph Junuh (Damon), her one-time beau and a former top pro who retuned from the war a drunken, shell-shocked, broken man. Initially reluctant to start swinging the clubs again, Junuh unexpectedly finds himself receiving encouragement from the mysterious Bagger Vance (Smith), who offers to be his caddy in exchange for a mere $5, and begins to impart to Junuh all the wisdom he possesses about life, love and golf. Read more…