Archive for July, 2006


July 28, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The ‘big movie’ at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Little Miss Sunshine is the first feature film from acclaimed directors, husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who have helmed countless music videos and TV commercials over the years. The film is a road movie comedy with an intellectual heart, and follows the fortunes of a dysfunctional family who are driving cross-country in a VW bus to enter their daughter in the California Little Miss Sunshine pageant: dad Greg Kinnear, mom Toni Collette, Nietzche-loving son Paul Dano, pre-teen beauty queen Abigail Breslin, suicidal uncle Steve Carell, and coke-snorting grandpa Alan Arkin. It all sounds rather contrived, but by all accounts the film is a heart-warming comedy which also has the academic chops to tackle such meaty subjects as philosophy, family values, and the inherent exploitativeness of child beauty pageants. Read more…

MONSTER HOUSE – Douglas Pipes

July 21, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Discovering the work of a brand new composer is always an exciting event, especially when that composer’s debut score is a success. So, I hereby introduce the film music world to Douglas Pipes, composer of the new animated comedy-horror from Sony Pictures, Monster House. The film is a computer generated fable about a group of teenagers in suburban America who discover that their neighbour’s dilapidated, scary old house is really a living, breathing, monster – which has a penchant for devouring anyone, or anything, which ventures too close! Although the film owes a great deal to both Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling in terms of its story and overall tone, the film has been roundly praised for its excellent animation, multi-faceted appeal for both children and adults, witty screenplay, excellent voice cast (which includes Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kevin James, Catherine O’Hara, Kathleen Turner and Jon Heder), as well as its music. Read more…

LADY IN THE WATER – James Newton Howard

July 21, 2006 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The critics have not been kind to N. Night Shyamalan of late. Ever since he burst onto the scene in 1999 with The Sixth Sense and was immediately hailed as the new wunderkind in Hollywood, the Indian-American writer/director has come under increasing fire for his subsequent projects, many of which were criticised for tricking the audience and relying on ‘last minute twist’ gimmicks. His seventh film as director, Lady in the Water, has come in for the harshest criticism of all; Shyamalan has been accused of everything from narcissism to self-indulgence, having cast himself in a significant pivotal role, and freely admitting that the entire story was cooked up from a bedtime story he made up for his children. Needless to say, I personally think it’s his best film since The Sixth Sense. Read more…


July 7, 2006 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When I wrote my review of Klaus Badelt’s score for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl back in 2003, my opening paragraph read: “In giving Pirates of the Caribbean a four-star review, I’m making myself undergo a crisis of conscience. How can I, as a “respected” reviewer of film music, give such a high rating to a score which is quite blatantly inappropriate for the movie, predictable to the extreme, and derivative of virtually every major Media Ventures action score written in the last ten years?”. Three years later, and Hans Zimmer’s score for the sequel, Dead Man’s Chest, has me thinking the exact same thing. Yet again, though, the bottom line is this: it may be inappropriate, and simplistic, and bear no relation to either the Disney ride or the musical genre conventions of pirate movies, but each and every time I listen to it, I have a bloody good time, and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Read more…