Archive

Archive for February, 2007

THE NUMBER 23 – Harry Gregson-Williams

February 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’m always excited when Jim Carrey plays is straight, having witnessed his superb performances in films like The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, and The Majestic; however, his run of dramatic successes had to end eventually – and end it did, with director Joel Schumacher’s paranoiac thriller The Number 23. Carrey plays oridinary family man Walter Sparrow, a dog catcher for the Department of Animal Control, with a loving wife Agatha (Virginia Madsen), and a teenage. However, after Agatha buys an odd novel with the central premise concerning the number 23 as a birthday gift for Walter, his life quickly unravels: he becomes obsessed with the story, believing the mystery about the number 23 to be true, and finding many coincidences and parallels between the book and his own life. Read more…

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THE ASTRONAUT FARMER – Stuart Matthewman

February 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

The opening image of “The Astronaut Farmer” presents a challenge to the audience… almost a dare. It’s an image of a man in a spacesuit riding a horse across the plains, a bizarre thing that will either inspire curiosity, derision, or laughter from an audience. It’s the film’s way of saying, “get on or get off right now, because you’re in for something pretty unbelievable.” Some will (and have) labeled the film as a ridiculous piece of nonsense, which is understandable. It’s one of those stories that can “only happen in the movies”. Twenty years ago, that might have been a complaint on my end, but these days… I don’t think that’s so bad. Read more…

AMAZING GRACE – David Arnold

February 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the least worthy aspects of the British Empire was their involvement in and implicit support of the international slave trade in the 1700s. For over one hundred years, thousands upon thousands of west African tribesmen were forcibly removed from their homes and shipped overseas to work as slaves, on sugar plantations in the Caribbean, and in the cotton fields of what would eventually become the United States. This heinous activity, in Britain at least, was eventually abolished due to the tireless activity of one man: William Wilberforce.

Amazing Grace, directed by Michael Apted and starring Ioan Gruffudd, tells the life story of Wilberforce: his first hesitant steps into British government as the young member of Parliament from Yorkshire in 1780 Read more…

ANGEL – Philippe Rombi

February 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Angel, also known as The Real Life of Angel Deverell, is a French-English romantic comedy-drama based on the novel by Elizabeth Taylor (the writer, not the actress), and is the second English-language feature from the acclaimed French filmmaker François Ozon. Romola Garai stars as the eponymous Angel, a fiery and passionate aspiring writer in late-Victorian England, whose determination, intelligence, and sense of imagination and magic allows her to escape from the dreary tenement where she lived, and fulfill her literary dreams. The film charts Angel’s life, from birth to death, with a sense of satire and a biting wit, and features an outstanding supporting cast, including Sam Neill, Charlotte Rampling, Lucy Russell and Simon Woods. They are accompanied by a truly marvelous score by Ozon’s regular musical collaborator, Philippe Rombi. Read more…

MUSIC AND LYRICS – Adam Schlesinger

February 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Another Valentine’s Day, another romantic comedy at the movie theatre. Wonders never cease to exist. I’ve lamented the current languishing state of romantic comedies in general, screenwriters have gotten lazier and lazier with the genre, pushing out inane drivel with no romance, no humor, and no feeling. It takes a movie like “Music and Lyrics” to remind us of why the genre can be such fun.

At the center of attention in “Music and Lyrics” is the finest romantic comedy star in movies today, Hugh Grant, who has single-handedly resuscitated countless formulaic films. Here, he plays a washed-up pop singer named Alex Fletcher, one of the two key members in the cheesy 80’s band PoP (we see a hilarious music video of one of the band’s hits over the opening credits). Read more…

GHOST RIDER – Christopher Young

February 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The first of Christopher Young’s two major 2007 releases, Ghost Rider is a super hero movie with a twist. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson and starring Nicolas Cage, Peter Fonda, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott and Wes Bentley, the film follows the life of daredevil stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze (Cage). When his father falls terminally ill with cancer, Blaze strikes a deal with the devil: his soul to save his father’s life. The deal, however, backfires on Johnny, turning him into a skeleton-headed motorbike-riding demon with a blazing inferno raging from his skull and hands! If this sounds all a bit hokey, you could well be right, but the fight between Cage’s urban cowboy superhero and Bentley’s evil son-of-the-devil strikes the right balance between over the top action and downright silliness. Read more…

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA – Aaron Zigman

February 16, 2007 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Since first emerging as a film music composer in 2002, with his score for John Q, Aaron Zigman has quickly – and somewhat unexpectedly – become a film music everyman, this decade’s version of John Debney, Marc Shaiman or Randy Edelman: a composer who can be relied upon to deliver the goods with the minimum of fuss, but never really drawing attention to himself or his work in the wider world. In 2006 alone Zigman scored an astonishing six movies, including the moderately successful Step Up, Take the Lead and ATL, and shows no sign of slowing down in 2007, with three fairly major studio assignments already in the first couple of months of the year. The second of this trio is Bridge to Terabithia, a new fantasy adventure based on the popular novel by Katherine Paterson. Read more…