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Archive for April, 2005

LADIES IN LAVENDER – Nigel Hess

April 29, 2005 Leave a comment

ladiesinlavenderOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Nigel Hess is a composer who doesn’t get  enough press. An extremely talented composer who has written music for dozens of British TV series over the last 20 or so years, he is one of those people who music is immediately familiar (his themes for “Maigret”, “Wycliffe”, “Campion”, “Dangerfield” and “Hetty Wainthrop Investigates” are classics), but who is almost never recognized by the public at large. I would wager that the vast majority of the people reading this have never heard of him before, and do not own any of his earlier CDs. Bearing that in mind, the fact that he was hand-picked by actor/director Charles Dance to score his debut film, Ladies in Lavender, gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Hess has a talent which begs to be discovered by the wider world. Read more…

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THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY – Joby Talbot

April 29, 2005 Leave a comment

hitchhikersguidetothegalaxyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s interesting to watch what happens when a cult becomes a phenomenon. When British author Douglas Adams first developed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a play for radio in 1978, he could scarcely have imagined the impact on British popular culture his inventive imagination would have. Since that date, Hitchhiker’s has grown to encompass a follow-up novel, four sequels (“The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”, “Life the Universe and Everything”, “So Long & Thanks For All The Fish” and “Mostly Harmless”), a well-respected British TV series in 1981, and now a multi-million dollar movie produced by Touchstone Pictures. Several phrases and ideas from the books have entered common language, from the online language translator Babelfish to the popular instant messaging programme Trillian and the chess super-computer Deep Thought. Read more…

THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES – William Ross

April 22, 2005 Leave a comment

gameoftheirlivesOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The original choice of composer for director David Anspaugh’s film The Game of Their Lives was Jerry Goldsmith, who sadly died before he was able to contribute any music to the project. While it would have been a thrill to hear one last, potentially great score from Goldsmith, his sad loss ultimately provided an opportunity for William Ross to come in and make the old man proud. Ross, whose career is taking a definite upward shift off the back of films such as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Ladder 49, has responded to the film with a warm, melodic, uplifting score which will surely have great appeal. Read more…

THE INTERPRETER – James Newton Howard

April 22, 2005 Leave a comment

theinterpreterOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The international profile of James Newton Howard has arguably never been greater, following his various successes in recent years – The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and the Oscar-nominated The Village amongst them. He is now at a stage in his career where he can pick and choose projects from the most high-profile movie-makers in Hollywood: such is the case with The Interpreter, the latest political thriller from director Sydney Pollack, who in the past has helmed such classic films as Three Days of the Condor and The Firm. Read more…

SAHARA – Clint Mansell

April 8, 2005 Leave a comment

saharaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

British composer Clint Mansell has had an interesting career arc. Beginning as a vocalist/guitarist/keyboard player with the 1980s electro-rock band Pop Will Eat Itself, he went on to produce and arrange music for a variety of bands in the 1990s, including Nine Inch Nails, before making his film debut in 1998 with the low-budget sci-fi cult Pi. Further projects, notably Requiem for a Dream, The Hole and Murder By Numbers, brought him further into the limelight, and he briefly received attention when his theme from Requiem for a Dream was re-orchestrated and used in the trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2002, but nothing in his back catalogue gave even the merest hint that he was capable of writing something like Sahara, which is possibly one of the most engaging and – for want of a better word – cool action scores in quite some time. Read more…

SIN CITY – Robert Rodriguez, John Debney and Graeme Revell

April 1, 2005 Leave a comment

sincityOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been interesting to chart Robert Rodriguez’s career since he first burst onto the international movie scene at the helm of the ultra-low budget crime thriller El Mariachi in 1992. Since then his films have oscillated between violent thrillers and horror movies like Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Faculty, and unexpectedly kid-friendly fire like the Spy Kids trilogy and the upcoming The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Sin City is most definitely in the former camp, and can be seen as his attempt to make the ultimate modern film noir. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Frank Miller, Sin City is a crime thriller set in the fictional Basin City, the kind of place where Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Hammett’s Sam Spade, or anyone from a Quentin Tarantino movie would feel right at home. The film focuses on three separate stories, all of which take place in the same place, at the same time, and with cross-over between the three (not unlike the story structure of Pulp Fiction, but more linear). In the first, Bruce Willis plays John Hartigan, a tough cop who sets his sights on solving one last case before he retires: to save an 11-year old girl from the clutches of the serial murderer/rapist Yellow Bastard (Nick Stahl). Read more…