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Archive for May, 2006

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND – John Powell

May 26, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The third, and possibly most eagerly-awaited X-Men movie yet, The Last Stand ushers in the 2006 summer season as one of the first genuine blockbusters of the year. Directed by Brett Ratner, it sees the returning cast of the previous instalments (Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn, Anna Paquin) joining up with some new faces (Kelsey Grammer, Vinnie Jones, Olivia Williams, Shohreh Aghdashloo) in a complicated plot involving a cure for mutantism, a resurrected mutant whose powers are out of control, and a powerful war between the good and evil mutants for the fate of humanity. It’s all lofty, exciting-sounding stuff, and deserving of a score to match its epic aspirations. Read more…

THE DA VINCI CODE – Hans Zimmer

May 19, 2006 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s not often that a work of fiction generates such a frenzy of attention that the Vatican itself is compelled to comment on its contents, but that’s what happened in the aftermath of the release of Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code in 2003. The book, which offers controversial theories about subjects as wide ranging as the life of Jesus Christ, the nature of the Holy Grail, corruption within the Catholic church, the roles of several Masonic orders, and the legacy of artists and scholars such as Isaac Newton, Claude Debussy, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci himself, has sold more than 40 millions copies world-wide, making it one of the most successful books of the 21st century. Critics have denounced it as a work of poorly-written fiction whose subject matter is tantamount to blasphemy; admirers of Brown’s work have lauded it as an enjoyable work in its own right, which as well as being a thrilling page-turner, highlights a number of important questions which scholars of world history have been asking for many years. I personally enjoyed it immensely. Read more…

POSEIDON – Klaus Badelt

May 12, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The latest addition to the ever-growing list of unnecessary Hollywood remakes (following hot on the heels of the likes of The Pink Panther and When a Stranger Calls), Poseidon is a big-budget action-adventure disaster movie directed by Wolfgang Peterson – who is himself no stranger to watery problems, having previously directed Das Boot and A Perfect Storm. When a luxury cruise liner is capsized by a massive tidal wave on New Year’s Eve, the surviving revellers – Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum – find themselves desperately climbing through the wrecked ship, trying to escape before the whole thing sinks and drowns them all… and that’s basically it. It’s a very simple plot, which sticks close to director Ronald Neame’s 1972 original (which starred Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters and Roddy McDowall among others), but will be totally redundant for anyone who remembers it, or its classic John Williams score. Read more…

THE PROMISE – Klaus Badelt

May 5, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

So, here’s a statement you won’t see me make very often: The Promise is the best score of Klaus Badelt’s career, and one of the best scores to be released in the first half of 2006. As I have written on many, many occasions, one of my favourite styles of film music is the combination of a western orchestra with solo performances by Chinese instruments, and Badelt’s score for director Chen Kaige’s visually sumptuous film is the latest to join a long and distinguished list, along with the likes of Rachel Portman’s The Joy Luck Club, Conrad Pope’s Pavilion of Women, Basil Poledouris’s The Touch, and Tan Dun’s Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Read more…

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III – Michael Giacchino

May 5, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s not so long ago that JJ Abrams was just another budding writer/director in Hollywood, and Michael Giacchino was a promising young composer writing music for video games. However, following the huge success of Abrams’ TV shows Alias and Lost, and Giacchino’s work on the box-office blockbuster The Incredibles, the pair of them are now cinematic hot properties, working together on one of summer 2006’s most-eagerly awaited and high-profile action movies: Mission Impossible III. The third film based on the classic 1960s spy thriller show, Mission: Impossible III once again stars Tom Cruise as special agent Ethan Hunt, trotting around the globe to all manner of exotic locations, on a secret mission to thwart the nefarious plans of the film’s arch-villain, Owen Davian, played by recent Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman. Along for the ride is a big name supporting cast which includes Ving Rhames, Laurence Fishburne, Billy Crudup and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and by all accounts the film is a spectacular, gadget-filled, explosion-laden thrill ride which pushes all the right blockbuster buttons. Read more…

AN AMERICAN HAUNTING – Caine Davidson

May 5, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Cashing in on the currently in-vogue “demonic possession” sub genre of films, initiated by last year’s surprise hit The Exorcism of Emily Rose, An American Haunting stars Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek and young Rachel Hurd-Wood, and tells the allegedly true story of the Bell family, settlers in rural Tennessee in the early 1800s, who became the first family in American history to have a family member be killed by a malevolent spirit, and to have the death officially recorded as such. The film is directed by Courtney Solomon, whose debut feature was the poorly-received fantasy Dungeons & Dragons in 2000. American Haunting has fared much better, bringing in over $15 million at the US Box Office to date. Read more…