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Archive for May, 2009

DEPARTURES (OKURIBITO) – Joe Hisaishi

May 29, 2009 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2008 Academy Awards, Departures is a gentle, moving Japanese film directed by Yôjirô Takita, starring Masahiro Motoki as Daigo, a professional cellist who, following the break-up of his orchestra, moves back to his hometown and takes a job as a “Nokanshi”, an undertaker’s assistant who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life.

The score for Departures is by the wonderful Joe Hisaishi, whose reputation in the west continues to grow, mainly as a result of his regular collaborations with legendary Anime director Hayao Miyazaki. Departures, however, is a very different score from the likes of Ponyo or Princess Mononoke. Read more…

DRAG ME TO HELL – Christopher Young

May 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Drag Me To Hell is the best pure horror score I have heard in probably a decade – at least since Brian Tyler’s Darkness Falls in 2003, and probably since a great deal before then. It’s also one of the best scores of Christopher Young’s entire career – and that’s saying something for the man who wrote such stellar scores as Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Murder in the First. So, now that I have made these two potentially outrageous statements, let me clarify why I think this is the case.

Drag Me To Hell is Sam Raimi’s return to his roots. A clever, gory, and occasionally very funny horror story in the Evil Dead tradition, Drag Me To Hell stars Alison Lohman as Christine Brown, a New York loan officer with a decent job and a warm, loving boyfriend (Justin Long). Read more…

UP – Michael Giacchino

May 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When we look back on his career, 2009 could well be seen as a watershed year for Michael Giacchino in terms of public awareness and his place in the film music hierarchy. Film music fans have known about Giacchino for a long time, of course, initially through his work on the Medal of Honor video game series and the TV shows Lost and Alias. This year alone he has already scored the rebooted Star Trek movie and a new big screen version of Land of the Lost. However, it is his new status as one of Pixar’s go-to guys (alongside Randy and Thomas Newman) that may cement his reputation. The Incredibles was a critical and commercial success, Ratatouille earned Giacchino his first Academy Award nomination, and now he has Up, which many writers have acclaimed as the best Pixar movie to date. Read more…

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN – Alan Silvestri

May 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A big-budget sequel to the immensely popular and successful family comedy Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian again stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, the security guard at a museum where the exhibits come to life at night. However, when two of his exhibits (and friends) – roman centurion Octavius and cowboy Jedidiah Smith – are accidentally shipped to the Smithsonian, he must break in and rescue them. To Larry’s shock, however, he finds that the exhibits in the Smithsonian come to life too…

The film is again directed by Shawn Levy and has a star-studded supporting cast that includes Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais and Hank Azaria, as well as a score by Alan Silvestri, who also scored the original. Read more…

TERMINATOR: SALVATION – Danny Elfman

May 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The fourth installment in the long-running Terminator film franchise, Terminator Salvation picks up the story following a nuclear holocaust, caused by the Skynet automated defense system that played an important part in the original trilogy. John Connor (Christian Bale) has survived the blast, and is now struggling to bring together a rag-tag band of human survivors to battle against the immense, unstoppable machines that now control the world. The film was directed by Charlie’s Angels helmer McG, and co-stars Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Joining the Terminator lexicon for the first time is composer Danny Elfman, replacing Marco Beltrami (who composed the third film’s score), who himself replaced Brad Fiedel, who composed the original movies’ iconic musical accompaniment. Read more…

ANGELS & DEMONS – Hans Zimmer

May 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The second film based on author Dan Brown’s enormously popular series of novels about the adventures of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, Angels & Demons is actually a prequel to the popular and controversial The Da Vinci Code. Tom Hanks returns as Langdon, who becomes embroiled in another labyrinthine plot of mysteries and clues following the death of the Pope. Before the conclave to choose a his successor can begin, the four senior bishops in line for the position are kidnapped by a group claiming to be the ancient cult of the Illuminati, who want revenge against the Vatican for centuries of persecution at the hands of the catholic church. Read more…

STAR TREK – Michael Giacchino

May 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The last composer not named Jerry Goldsmith to score a Star Trek movie was Dennis McCarthy, who scored Star Trek Generations in 1994. We’ve had a full 15 years of Star Trek on the big screen with one sound from one legendary composer – talk about big shoes for Michael Giacchino to fill. But then again, Giacchino has made a career filling big shoes, from his early days following John Williams on the Jurassic Park video games, to picking up Lalo Schifrin’s mantle on Mission: Impossible III in 2006.

Like the recent Batman and Spider-Man movies, the new Star Trek is a re-booting of the franchise which first hit the small screen back in 1966, and has since encompassed four TV series and, including this one, eleven movies. Read more…