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Archive for December, 2008

AFRIKA – Wataru Hokoyama

December 31, 2008 Leave a comment

GAME ZONE REVIEW

Original Review by Joseph W. Bat

Now here is an interesting combination: a Japanese developer making a game that is entirely set in Africa, and a musical score recorded in Hollywood. Announced in 2006 for Sony’s Playstation3 as simply Afrika, game developer Rhino Studios’ game has a simple approach. You play as a photographer hired to travel to Africa and are given missions to take photographs of the various wild animals and landscapes found within Africa. While not your typical game, Afrika has been praised for its vivid detailed recreation of Africa and many gamers have been importing the game from Japan since the game is only available in Asia.

For the musical requirements of Afrika, upcoming composer Wataru Hokoyama was hired to write a bold and lush score. Born in Japan and musically trained in America Read more…

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THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON – Alexandre Desplat

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A film by David Fincher based on the 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the tale of a man who is born old, and gets younger as his life progresses. Set in Louisiana in the late 1800s, it stars Brad Pitt as the titular Button, who is born with the physical appearance of an 80 year old man, much to the shock and embarrassment of his parents. As the years pass, Button gets younger and younger, fighting in wars, attending college, and falling in love – but backwards, and with the knowledge that, the longer time passes, the closer he is to losing everything and everyone around him. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Julia Ormond, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas and Tilda Swinton, and is tipped to be a major player at the 2009 Academy Awards. Read more…

DEFIANCE – James Newton Howard

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the less well-known stories of heroism in World War 2 is that of the Bielski Partisans, a family of Jewish brothers who, following the invasion of Poland by the Nazis in 1941, managed to flee the advancing troops and make their way to the inhospitable forests of what is now western Belarus. Over the course of the next two years, the Bielski brothers rescued and sheltered more than 1,200 Polish Jews from the Nazis, often fighting in hand-to-hand skirmishes alongside Soviet forces, and survived the war, and in doing so made one of the most significant contributions to the Jewish cause in the Holocaust in terms of lives saved. Director Edward Zwick’s acclaimed film Defiance stars Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell as the Bielski brothers, and has an emotional, powerful, Oscar-nominated score by composer James Newton Howard. Read more…

LAST CHANCE HARVEY – Dickon Hinchliffe

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A contemporary romantic comedy-drama directed by Joel Hopkins, Last Chance Harvey stars Dustin Hoffman as the eponymous Harvey Shine who, while visiting London to attend his estranged daughter’s wedding, meets and forms an unlikely relationship with Kate (Emma Thompson), a middle-aged woman with a somewhat downbeat outlook on life and romance. However, as the pair spend more time together, Harvey finds himself renewed, and vows to repair not only his relationship with his daughter, but everything else wrong with his life before it’s too late.

The music for Last Chance Harvey is by English composer Dickon Hinchliffe, a former member of the indie rock band Tindersticks, and who previously worked on films such as Keeping Mum and Married Life. Read more…

MARLEY & ME – Theodore Shapiro

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A light romantic drama based on the hugely popular best selling novel by John Grogan, Marley & Me is the story of the ups and downs in the relationship of a married couple, John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston), told from the point of view of their boisterous, mischievous golden retriever, Marley. The film is directed by David Frankel, and has a score by Theodore Shapiro, who scored Frankel’s previous film, The Devil Wears Prada in 2006.

As one would expect, considering the film’s subject matter, Shpiro’s score is generally light, romantic and contemporary, consisting mainly of upbeat orchestral themes augmented by electric and acoustic guitars and various urban percussion items. Read more…

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD – Thomas Newman

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been almost a decade since Thomas Newman wrote, and was Oscar nominated for, his score for American Beauty. In the intervening period, Newman’s work on that film has, arguably, become the most copied piece of music in recent history: the plinking and plonking and rhythmic quirkiness of that score has become cinematic (and televisual) musical shorthand for suburban life, and the things that go on behind the manicured lawns and the white picket fences. Thomas Newman has collaborated with American Beauty’s director, Sam Mendes, twice since then, on Road to Perdition in 2002 and Jarhead in 2005, but Revolutionary Road marks the first return to the setting which initially inspired both men. Read more…

THE SPIRIT – David Newman

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A dark, highly-stylized super-hero action film, written and directed by comic book legend Frank Miller, The Spirit stars Gabriel Macht as rookie cop Denny Colt who, having been killed in the line of duty, returns from the dead to fight crime in Central City as the mysterious, shadowy Spirit. In this adventure, The Spirit locks horns with two master criminals: The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), as super-villain who wants to wipe Central City off the map, and Sand Saref (Eva Mendes), a sexy femme fatale who seduces and marries wealthy men, has them killed, and uses their money to fund her crime empire.

The film, which also stars Scarlet Johansson, was shot in moody black and white using green-screen technology Read more…