Archive for March, 2001

SPY KIDS – Robert Rodriguez

March 30, 2001 Leave a comment

spykidsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There’s a saying in Britain – I don’t know how widespread it is in the rest of the English-speaking world – which states that “too many cooks spoil the broth”. What this means, basically, is that if too many people try to take part in one thing at once, the end result can be diminished by the contributions of its many creators. This old adage can be applied to Spy Kids, an enjoyable children’s action score which is rendered just a little overly-schizophrenic through the use of eight – count ’em – eight different composers. Basically, Spy Kids is a James Bond adventure story with a difference – the protagonists are pre-teens. What some people may find surprising is the fact that it was written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, the man who previously brought the world such dark, violent movies as El Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Faculty. The plot is simple: Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) are semi-retired spies with two precocious children, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara). Gregorio and Ingrid still occasionally blast off on an adventure when duty calls but unfortunately, their sabbatical has made them a little rusty – so much so that they end up being captured by the diabolical Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming), a children’s TV show host who is planning to use an army of robot children to take over the world. The only solution? The kids to rescue, armed with a load of cool gadgets and the espionage know-how inherited from mom and dad. Read more…

THE DISH – Edmund Choi

March 16, 2001 Leave a comment

thedishOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Composer Edmund Choi has had an unusual career to date. After graduating, he wrote music for Praying With Anger and Wide Awake, Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan’s first two films, and the romantic comedy Down To You in early 2000. However, it was his re-scoring of the Australian comedy The Castle in 1999 (Miramax asked him to replace Craig Harnath’s original music for the American market) that landed him this assignment writing the score for Rob Sitch’s follow-up. Unfortunately, despite his undoubted talent, Choi has fallen into the trap many fledgling composers find themselves facing, and succumbed to a bad case of temp-track fever. Set in 1969, The Dish is a warm and appealing comedy starring Sam Neill as Cliff Buxton, an amateur astronomer from rural Parkes, NSW, Australia, who is the man in charge of the large satellite transmitter which sits proudly in the community’s main sheep paddock. Then, suddenly, Parkes is put on the map when NASA contacts Buxton to ask him to provide backup technology for Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the face of the moon. With the help of his good natured but slightly inept assistants (Kevin Harrington, Patrick Warburton), Buxton is only too pleased to be of service to the Americans – but gets more than he bargained for when a technical glitch back home in Houston leaves the Parkes Dish solely responsible for sending out the lunar TV pictures to a world holding its collective breath. Sitch’s endearing film was one of 2001’s sleeper successes, at least critically – it did very little at any box-office, despite receiving glowing reviews – and boasts a charming lead performance from Neill, a world away from the histrionics of Jurassic Park and its sequels. Read more…