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Archive for July, 2009

ALIENS IN THE ATTIC – John Debney

July 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A family sci-fi adventure, Aliens in the Attic follows in the footsteps of films like Jumanji and Zathura in pitting a group of resourceful children against a group of fantastical creatures invading their home. Carter Jenkins, Austin Butler, Ashley Boettcher and Ashley Tisdale from the High School Musical series star as a quartet of kids who discover that their summer home has become infested with knee-high aliens who want to take over the world. The film is directed by John Schultz and has a fun, if a little derivative, score by John Debney.

Written for a full and lavish symphony orchestra, Aliens in the Attic spends quite a bit of time channeling both Danny Elfman and Bernard Herrmann, mainly through its liberal use of a theremin to depict the alien invaders. Read more…

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ORPHAN – John Ottman

July 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Evil movie kids: don’t you just love ‘em? From Regan in The Exorcist and Damien in The Omen to those freaky twins in The Shining and anything starring Macaulay Culkin, the murderous minor has been a staple of the horror genre for decades, playing our worst fears and nightmares. The latest addition to the list is Esther, the protagonist of the film Orphan. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard and the truly menacing 12-year old actress Isabelle Fuhrman, Orphan tells the story of a typical husband and wife Kate and John Coleman who, having lost their unborn child, instead decide to adopt a young girl instead; subsequently, into their lives comes Esther, a seemingly angelic child from an orphanage. However, before long, alarming events occur, leading the Colemans to think that there may be more to Esther than meet the eye… Read more…

THE UGLY TRUTH – Aaron Zigman

July 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A modern day battle-of-the-sexes comedy, The Ugly Truth stars Katherine Heigl as Abby, a TV producer with a disastrous romantic life, whose world begins to change when a misogynistic shock-jock named Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) is hired to present a segment on her morning news show. Mike, who claims to be an expert in knowing what a man really wants from a woman, offers to help Abby woo the man of her dreams: a hunky doctor who lives in the same apartment building. Despite her misgivings at Mike’s sexist outlook on life, Abby agrees, but in spite of their initial mutual dislike, the more time Abby and Mike spend with each other, the more romantic sparks between the mis-matched pair start to fly. Read more…

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE – Nicholas Hooper

July 17, 2009 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Nicholas Hooper really has been given one of the best, and worst, jobs in the world in taking over the musical voice of the Harry Potter franchise. On the one hand, this is the gig of a lifetime: working on a globally successful, massively popular series of films which are guaranteed to be enormous box office hits and bring his name and voice to millions. On the other hand, he’s taken over from arguably the most popular living film composer – John Williams – and as such faces the ire of countless film music fans who don’t like his music because his first name isn’t John and his second name isn’t Williams. As much as Hooper’s first score for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007 was disappointing, I think I was still a little guilty of having that frame of mind going in: he doesn’t sound like John Williams, so it can’t be good. It can’t possibly add anything to the Potterverse. I was one of the few who managed to take Patrick Doyle’s Goblet of Fire score at face value, and so coming in to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince I was determined not to pre-judge it this time round. And you know what? Having adopted that frame of mind, I really enjoyed it. Read more…

ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS – John Powell

July 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The third film in the series of director Carlos Saldanha’s popular Ice Age animated features, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs continues the adventures of sarcastic woolly mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), irritable saber toothed tiger Diego (Dennis Leary) and scatterbrained sloth Sid (John Leguizamo). With Manny and his mammoth mate Ellie settling down and starting a family, Sid decided he wants a family of his own; as such, he steals some dinosaur eggs to raise. However, a visit from the eggs’ real mother results in Sid being taken to a lush and strange underground ‘lost world’, causing Manny, Diego and the others to mount a rescue. Read more…

PUBLIC ENEMIES – Elliot Goldenthal

July 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Waiting for Public Enemies has been a test of patience for Elliot Goldenthal fans. It’s been a long six years since Goldenthal’s last theatrical score – S.W.A.T. in 2003 – although the intervening period has been an eventful one in Goldenthal’s life; he wrote his first opera, Grendel, in collaboration with his partner Julie Taymor, and produced the Beatles songs used in her 2007 film Across the Universe, but most seriously he suffered a potentially life-threatening head injury in 2005 when he fell off a chair and smacked his head on the marble floor of his kitchen, rendering him literally speechless for several months. So, is Public Enemies the triumphant return to the cinema fans of scores like Titus, Final Fantasy and Interview With the Vampire had wanted? The answer, a touch disappointingly, is no. Read more…