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Archive for October, 2008

SPLINTER – Elia Cmiral

October 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Czech/Swedish composer Elia Cmiral has fallen a long way down the film music pecking order since the comparative heights of Ronin in 1998 and Battlefield Earth in 2000, to the point where is now a go-to guy for a large number of low budget horror directors. Cmiral’s latest film, Splinter, is another one in a long list of gore-fests: directed by Toby Wilkins, it stars Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo and Jill Wagner as a young couple and an escaped convict who find themselves trapped in an isolated gas station by an evil parasite which, when contracted, mutates the body of the host into something resembling a human porcupine. Read more…

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TINKER BELL – Joel McNeely

October 31, 2008 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A very belated prequel to one of Disney’s best-loved classics, Peter Pan, the 3D animated movie Tinker Bell tells the story of what life was like for the green dress-clad pixie before she started having her adventures with Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys, and dueling with Captain Hook. The film is directed by Bradley Raymond, and features a surprisingly high profile all-female voice cast including Mae Whitman, Kristen Chenoweth, Raven-Symoné, Lucy Liu, America Ferrara, Jane Horrocks, Anjelica Huston.

The film is scored by Joel McNeely, who seems to be making something of a mini-career scoring Disney animated sequels, having already turned in work on sequels to Cinderella, The Fox and the Hound, Lilo & Stitch and Mulan. Read more…

LEGENDS OF THE FALL – James Horner

October 25, 2008 1 comment

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

On 29 April 1995, I went to the Warner Village Cinema at the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield to see Legends of the Fall. 133 minutes later, my life had been changed forever. You see, that day was the day I fell in love with film music; absolutely, head over heels in love. As a result of seeing this film, and hearing this score, I embarked on a relationship which has since played an enormous part in my life for the past decade, and will likely continue to do so for the rest of my life. I had been aware of film music prior to this day, of course; I knew about Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Superman, and all the other classic John Williams scores that most children of the late 1970s know. But it was only after seeing Legends of the Fall was I ever actually aware of the effect the music was having on me in the cinema; that a creative artist was actually creating this incredible sound, making me feel these emotions. I was hooked. I wanted to know more. After the film ended, I immediately went to the HMV in Meadowhall and bought the soundtrack CD – my first – and in doing so became a film music fan. Read more…

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK – Jon Brion

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A typically twisted and mind-bending drama from writer/director Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche New York is a film about a self-absorbed theater director played by Philip Seymour Hoffman who, as his real personal life crashes down around him, sets to creating a theatrical masterpiece about life mimicking art mimicking life, with a life-sized replica of New York City inside a huge warehouse. It’s all very existential and difficult, but it has an astonishing supporting cast – Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Hope Davis, Tom Noonan, Emily Watson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Williams – and has been the recipient of a great deal of praise from various critics groups. Read more…

CHANGELING – Clint Eastwood

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Clint Eastwood’s latest film, “Changeling”, tells the story of Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), a single mother attempting to raise a young son in Los Angeles during the late 1920s. She is a good mother, and she actually has a reasonably successful career as a supervisor at a telephone company. One night, she comes home from work, and discovers that her son is missing. She has no idea where he could have gone. She calls the police, who inform her that her son will probably be back home within 24 hours. If not, they’ll look into it. The next day, her son has still not returned.

A long investigation seems to lead nowhere for weeks and weeks, but finally, there is a breakthrough. Five months after the boy’s disappearance, the police claim they have found Christine Collins’ son Read more…

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (LÅT DEN RÄTTE KOMMA IN) – Johan Söderqvist

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When I was a kid, vampires were evil creatures; dark and shadowy figures, middle-aged men clad in cloaks and cowls who could turn into bats. They were things which were to be feared, and to be reviled. Nowadays, in this era of goths and emos, of Buffy and Angel, and main street stores like Hot Topic, vampires are suddenly chic – they’ll still creep into your room at night and suck blood out of your neck, but instead of looking like Bela Lugosi they look like Brad Pitt, and are more likely to be found brooding in a corner somewhere, contemplating their hidden depths and exuding a dark, enticing sexuality. How times change. Read more…

PASSENGERS – Edward Shearmur

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An interesting horror/thriller which slipped under the radar despite starring Anne Hathaway, Passengers is directed by Rodrigo García and follows the increasingly disturbing life of a grief counselor (Hathaway) working with a group of plane-crash survivors (including Patrick Wilson, Dianne Weist and David Morse), who finds herself drawn into a dangerous mystery when her clients begin to disappear without explanation.

The score for Passengers is by Edward Shearmur, who has spent most of 2008 inexplicably scoring a series of crappy comedies – College Road Trip, Meet Bill – which are significantly beneath a man of his talents. Musically, Passengers is a world away from the heady heights Shearmur attained on Reign of Fire and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Read more…