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Archive for March, 2008

21 – David Sardy

March 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A volatile thriller about the surprisingly dangerous world of counting cards in Vegas, 21 is the latest film from director Robert Luketic. Based on a true story, the film stars Jim Sturgess as MIT math genius Ben Campbell, who is recruited into an elite team of card-counting blackjack players by his professor, Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey). Ben, Micky and his team travel to Vegas each weekend and make thousands of dollars with consummate ease; however, despite having been seduced by his new decadent lifestyle, and despite his budding relationship with fellow card counter Jill (Kate Bosworth), Jim finds that the life of a Vegas card shark can be dangerous – especially when he crosses paths with ruthless casino ‘loss prevention’ officer Laurence Fishburne. Read more…

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STOP-LOSS – John Powell

March 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In US military terminology, a stop-loss is the involuntary extension of a soldier’s active duty beyond their initial end of term of service date – in other words, the powers-that-be force them to return to active duty once their tour is up. Director Kimberly Pierce’s film is an examination of this controversial policy from the point of view of Iraq War veteran Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe), who deserts his comrades and refuses to return to the front lines following the end of his deployment in the Gulf. The film, which also stars Channing Tatum, Abbie Cornish, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is an effective anti-war drama, exposing the US government’s apparent disregard for its servicemen. Read more…

SHUTTER – Nathan Barr

March 21, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Yet another entry into the annals of the “American remake of an Asian horror”, Shutter is the Hollywood studio version of a 2004 Thai film of the same name. Directed by Masayuki Ochiai, it stars Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor as Ben and Jane Shaw, a newlywed American couple who relocate to Japan when Ben lands a well-paid job as a corporate photographer. Soon after they arrive, while driving down a dark forest road, hit and apparently kill a young girl with their car; later, Ben begins noticing strange white blurs in his photographs, leading Jane to believe that dead girl is haunting them through spirit photography, and may be seeking vengeance. Read more…

UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA) – Carlo Siliotto

March 21, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Under the Same Moon – also known in its native Spanish as La Misma Luna – is a road movie with a twist, about a young Mexican boy named Carlitos who, following the death of his grandmother, must find a way to cross the US-Mexican border to find his mother, Rosario, who has been living and working illegally in the United States. The film is directed by Patricia Riggen, stars Kate Del Castillo and Adrian Alonso, and features an original score by Italian composer Carlo Siliotto.

Despite having gained a little bit of international fame following his scores for The Punisher and Nomad, Siliotto remains a little bit of a peripheral figure in the film music world, but I sincerely hope that this changes soon, because Under the Same Moon is gorgeous Read more…

DOOMSDAY – Tyler Bates

March 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Doomsday is a very peculiar, genre-bending British action movie – part Mad Max, part Night of the Living Dead, part Escape from New York – directed by Neil Marshall, who previously made the hugely entertaining Dog Soldiers and The Descent. The film is set in a post-apocalyptic Britain, some years after Scotland has been quarantined due to the onset of a deadly virus. When the virus emerges in London, the corrupt political leaders send Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) to Scotland to find a cure, only to find that the country has become a lawless wasteland overrun by vicious punk rock marauders and armor-clad medieval warriors. The film also stars Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowall, and I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it on a mindless, purely visceral level.
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HORTON HEARS A WHO! – John Powell

March 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Though far from being a classic family film, “Horton Hears a Who” is far and away the most successful feature-length Dr. Seuss adaptation to date, easily topping the horrid “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Cat and the Hat” theatrical films. The film features the voice talent of Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, and Seth Rogan. 20th Century Fox’s go-to guy for animated features in recent years has been the talented John Powell, who returns with yet another energetic effort here.

Powell supplies his trademark blend of zippy themes and slick orchestration, creating a rather entertaining if somewhat familiar listening experience. The themes are engaging enough, but Powell grabs the listener’s attention with the steady stream of eclectic curveballs he throws into the mix Read more…

SLEEPWALKING – Christopher Young

March 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

2007 was one of the best years of Christopher Young’s career in terms of his international profile, when he scored two of the highest grossing films of his career, Spider-Man 3 and Ghost Rider. Sleepwalking is a return to his indie roots; a coming-of-age drama directed by William Maher, the film stars Anna Sophia Robb as Tara, an 11 year old girl struggling to come to terms with her abandonment by her dropout mother Joleen (Charlize Theron), and the subsequent impact on Tara’s older brother James (Nick Stahl), who is left to pick up the pieces.

As befits the film, Young’s score is small and intimate, making use of a reduced orchestra, augmented by solo guitar, solo piano, and ambient synth tones Read more…