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Archive for May, 2007

BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE – George S. Clinton

May 25, 2007 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been interesting to see how the perception of the Native American, or the American Indian, or however you want to describe them, has changed in Hollywood over the years. At the birth of cinema, movies tended to depict them the same way as the United States as a whole did: troublesome, violent, dirty savages who stood in the way of the white man’s inevitable progress across the American continent, and who had to be eradicated as necessary. By the 1950s, the attitude had softened somewhat: characters like Tonto were portrayed as subservient lackeys to the heroic Lone Rangers of the world, almost as a variation on Stepin Fetchit, or Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom. I don’t know when the perception of native Americans made its most radical shift, but the by the time Dances With Wolves rolled around in 1989, the Indian had become a noble, almost mythic figure: honorable, family-oriented, dependable, spiritual, deeply in touch with the land around him, and bearing all the qualities humanity itself aspires to have. This is certainly the standpoint Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee takes. Read more…

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BUG – Brian Tyler

May 25, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

On a purely technical level, William Friedkin’s “Bug” is one of the simplest films you will see this year, if you see it at all. It has only seven speaking roles and takes place almost entirely on one fairly ordinary set. It is being released in the middle of a summer movie season full of action-packed blockbusters, and has no special effects or star power to its advantage (unless you count Ashley Judd as star power). It is being billed as a terrifying horror film, and promises the sort of torturous jolts provided to audiences by the “Saw” films, but there is really very little of that, either. “Bug” is merely an incredibly effective observation of sad, lonely people taking a desperate journey into madness. Read more…

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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END – Hans Zimmer

May 25, 2007 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The third and (at the time of writing) final Pirates of the Caribbean movie promises to be the biggest and best of them all. With Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) having vanished during his battle with the Kraken at the end of Dead Man’s Chest, the remainder of the gallant crew – Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), the lovely Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightley), former Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) – agree to accompany Jack’s former nemesis, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to “the end of the world” to rescue him from oblivion. In order to achieve this, the hearty band of brigands must travel to Singapore to enlist the help of Sao Feng (Chow-Yun Fat), a ruthless pirate who rules the South Seas, while avoiding the attentions of Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), who wants to end the pirate way of life once and for all, and especially Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), the captain of the accursed Flying Dutchman, who still seeks revenge against Jack and his crew… Read more…

SHREK THE THIRD – Harry Gregson-Williams

May 18, 2007 1 comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

In this reviewer’s humble opinion, the “Shrek” franchise had just about run it’s course after the second movie… but because nobody asked my opinion, they went ahead and made a third one, and a fourth is in the works. I was a fan of the original “Shrek” score, written by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell. It featured some genuinely delightful themes and a lot of creative energy. For the second film, Gregson-Williams went solo, and turned in a fairly uninspired effort that merely repeated everything from the first score in a generally less energetic manner. Read more…

28 WEEKS LATER – John Murphy

May 11, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

28 Weeks Later is the sequel to Danny Boyle’s nightmarish 2002 horror movie 28 Days Later, this time directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and starring Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau and Catherine McCormack. Set in the immediate aftermath of the horrific ‘Rage’ virus that either wiped out the majority of Britain’s population or turned them into rabid zombies, it tells the story of a family of survivors who were neither killed nor ‘infected’, and their efforts to re-integrate into a similarly uninfected community being protected by US and NATO troops, while all the while avoiding the still ever-present threat posed by the remaining plague zombies. Read more…

AWAY FROM HER – Jonathan Goldsmith

May 4, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A small-scale US/Canadian drama directed by one-time child actress Sarah Polley, Away From Her would likely have passed straight under everybody’s radar if it wasn’t for Julie Christie’s emotionally shattering, Oscar-nominated leading performance. She plays Fiona Anderson, a loving wife and mother, whose happy married life is shattered when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Reluctantly, Fiona’s husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent) places her into a nursing home – and for the first time in five decades they are forced to undergo a long-time separation since the nursing home has a “no-visitors” policy for the first 30 days of a patient’s stay. However, when Grant visits Fiona after the orientation period, he is devastated to find out that not only has the disease caused her to seemingly forget him, but that she has transferred her affections to another man – Aubrey (Michael Murphy), a wheelchair bound mute patient at the nursing home. Read more…

LUCKY YOU – Christopher Young

May 4, 2007 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In addition to his horror and thriller scores, for some reason, Christopher Young often gets hired to score films about playing cards, or which are set in Las Vegas: titles like Shade, Rounders, and The Big Kahuna, for example. Lucky You, the latest film from director Curtis Hanson, is both about playing cards AND set in Las Vegas, so it’s almost inevitable that Young would end up scoring it!

The film stars Eric Bana as hotshot poker player Huck Cheever, who arrives in Nevada to play in a major tournament. However, Huck has personal demons – recklessness, compulsiveness, and a long-term rivalry with his poker-playing father (Robert Duvall). Just as Huck seems to be fighting a losing his battle, waitress Billie (Drew Barrymore) enters his life, who inspires him to turn things around and set him on the road to both personal and professional recovery. Read more…