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Archive for May, 2003

FINDING NEMO – Thomas Newman

May 30, 2003 Leave a comment

findingnemoOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The last person you would expect to score a Disney family movie would be Thomas Newman; the last person you would expect to score a Pixar movie would be Thomas Newman, especially when the monopoly on these has hitherto been held by his cousin Randy. But, in an attempt to break away from the usual sound and go down a different road, Pixar and director Andrew Stanton asked Newman to score Finding Nemo, the excellent animation studio’s offering for summer 2003. The truly unexpected thing about the end result is twofold: firstly, it has provided Newman with a perfect opportunity to employ the services of a much larger orchestra, and to write broad themes and largely more upbeat music. The surprising thing is that, by and large, is also a little disappointing. Read more…

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THE MATRIX RELOADED – Don Davis

May 16, 2003 Leave a comment

matrixreloadedOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The original Matrix movie was a bona-fide phenomenon when it was released in 1999, breaking new ground in many areas: the level and depth of the story by directors Andy and Larry Wachowski; the mysticism and theology that peppers the story; the fetish chic “look” of the film; the once-innovative special effects, with the now passé bullet-time slow motion sequences; and Don Davis’s lavish, electronically enhanced orchestral score, which was lauded by fans but which I personally didn’t care for. Whatever your feelings about its artistic merits, the impact of The Matrix was and is impossible to ignore – and the sequel raises the bar again.  Beginning where the original movie left off, The Matrix Reloaded sees Neo (Keanu Reeves) now an established member of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar, one of many ships under the control of human freedom fighters who are striving to rid the world of the race of machines who have enslaved humanity and tricked them into thinking they are free by creating “the matrix”, a vast computer programme designed to simulate reality. Along with crewmembers Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) and Link (Harold Perrineau), the crew seek to fulfill the prophecy of “The One” by tracing the Matrix to its source and freeing humanity… but this is only the beginning. Read more…

X-MEN 2 – John Ottman

May 2, 2003 Leave a comment

xmen2Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Following the musical debacle of the original X-men movie in 2000, in which the studio heads at Fox meddled so much with Michael Kamen’s score it rendered it almost redundant, it stands to reason that director Bryan Singer would return to composer John Ottman, for the sequel. Ottman, who had worked with Singer previously on The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil, had been away making his own movie, Urban Legends: Final Cut, and was unavailable to score X-Men 1. His efforts here bear all the hallmarks of a composer trying to stamp his own musical authority upon a series, and establish himself as the obvious composer of choice for future movies in the franchise. He has only partly been successful. X-Men 2 picks up where the original movie left off: the evil Magneto (Ian McKellen) is incarcerated in a plastic prison; Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is scouring the globe trying to unravel the mysteries of his past; and the various other mutant members of the X-Men continue to fight the fight against evil, under the benign authority of Dr. Xavier (Patrick Stewart). However, when a renegade mutant attempts to assassinate the President of the United States, it becomes apparent that past differences must be put aside, and the mutants loyal to Magneto and Xavier must join forces to stop a new enemy which could destroy all mutants. Read more…