Archive for July, 2004

THE VILLAGE – James Newton Howard

July 30, 2004 Leave a comment

thevillageOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

With the exception of The Sixth Sense, which was brilliant on all fronts, I have never been that fond of M. Night Shyamalan’s slow-moving thrillers, or of the scores his regular composer James Newton Howard wrote for them. Unbreakable was sub-par, and Signs was a fairly good film but I was one of the few who did not connect with the score. Shyamalan’s fourth and latest film is The Village, a mysterious tale set in Covington, a hamlet in 19th century Pennsylvania. Creatures dwell in the woods near the village, and an unspoken truce has existed between the humans and the creatures for decades – essentially, we won’t disturb you, if you don’t disturb us. However, things change for the worse when young Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix)  ventures beyond the boundaries and into the domain of ‘Those We Don’t Speak Of’ and incites their wrath. With a cast that includes Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt and Adrien Brody, the film has the right credentials to be a success, while the score is a rarity in that, already, it is by far the best for a Shyamalan film to date. Read more…


July 23, 2004 Leave a comment

bournesupremacyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

When The Bourne Identity, the first film based upon Robert Ludlum’s massively successful spy novels, grossed almost $122 million at the US box office, a sequel was inevitable. The Bourne Supremacy sees Matt Damon returning as the eponymous Jason Bourne, the former CIA assassin who, following the exploits of the last film, has settled down with a new identity in a tropical paradise with his girlfriend Marie (Franka Potente). However, when the CIA comes knocking on Bourne’s door once more, trying to frame him for a bungled operation, Bourne decides to fight back and clear his name. The film is directed by Englishman Paul Greengrass, making his Hollywood debut following years of sterling work creating top-notch dramas for British TV, and co-stars Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles and Karl Urban. Read more…

Jerry Goldsmith, 1929-2004

July 21, 2004 Leave a comment

Jerry GoldsmithComposer Jerry Goldsmith died on July 21, 2004 at his home in Beverly Hills, California, after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Jerrald King Goldsmith was born in Pasadena, California, in February 1929, and started playing piano at an early age, before later being tutored by pianist Jakob Gimpel and composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He studied music at both the University of Southern California – where he attended classes given by Miklós Rózsa – and Los Angeles City College, before securing a job as a clerk-typist in the music department of TV network CBS under music director Lud Gluskin. He began writing music as early as 1951, for radio shows and live television (one of his first gigs was the first ever James Bond story, Casino Royale, produced as part of the Climax! series), and quickly became a television mainstay, contributing scores to such series as The Lineup, Black Saddle, Playhouse 90, Perry Mason and The Twilight Zone.

Goldsmith scored his first feature film, the western Black Patch, in 1957 at the age of 28, and spent much of the 1950s and 60s scoring both feature films and television projects: he worked on hit TV shows such as Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Cain’s Hundred, Dr Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Loner, Room 222 and The Waltons, while scoring such popular films as Freud (1962), for which he received his first Oscar nomination, The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), A Patch of Blue (1965), In Harm’s Way (1965), The Blue Max (1966), The Sand Pebbles (1966), the groundbreaking and avant-garde Planet of the Apes (1968), and numerous revisionist Westerns, which seemed to be his forte for much of the first two decades of his career. Read more…

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I, ROBOT – Marco Beltrami

July 16, 2004 Leave a comment

irobotOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Marco Beltrami was a late addition to the creative team of I Robot, following the dismissal of original composer Trevor Jones by director Alex Proyas. Beltrami had just nineteen days to write and record his replacement score – no mean feat to accomplish in such a short space of time, and with the added pressure of knowing that the film was one of 2004’s most anticipated summer releases. His success is nothing short of remarkable, and it’s quality is testament to his increasing stature as one of film music’s true emerging talents. Read more…

KING ARTHUR – Hans Zimmer

July 9, 2004 1 comment

kingarthurOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I was going to open this review by saying something along the lines of “Can Media Ventures sink any lower than this, yet another tepid regurgitation of past scores?”, but in actual fact, the more I have listened to King Arthur, it seems less terrible than it did on that first spin. It’s certainly not a great score: it’s unoriginal, clichéd, and at times quite laughably predictable in its construction and execution. But, mixed in with all the familiarity, there’s a great score trying to break out. Zimmer only lets it shine in brief, so-near-and-yet-so-far snippets, which tantalise the listener into wondering what this score could have been, if only… Read more…

THE CLEARING – Craig Armstrong

July 2, 2004 Leave a comment

theclearingOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve been a big admirer of the work of Scottish composer Craig Armstrong throughout his relatively short career. From his early work on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, through great scores such as Plunkett & Macleane, The Bone Collector, The Quiet American, Moulin Rouge and Love Actually, Armstrong has continually displayed a mastery of the orchestra, superb use of electronics, and an aptitude for powerful and memorable themes. It comes as something of a shock, therefore, to discover that The Clearing is a quite horribly boring score, easily one of the worst for a mainstream release in 2004. Read more…