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Archive for August, 2009

ADAM – Christopher Lennertz

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A small scale romantic drama about a man suffering from Asberger’s Syndrome, Adam stars Hugh Dancy as the titular character, an introverted young man with awkward social graces, who develops a relationship with equally shy Beth (Rose Byrne), a young woman who lives in the same apartment building, who is recovering from her own damaged past relationship. Director Max Mayer’s film, which also stars Peter Gallagher and Amy Irving, takes a gentle look at the life of Asberger’s sufferers, proving that all relationships – no matter what the hurdles – can be overcome by love.

The score for Adam is by Christopher Lennertz, who has hitherto been better known for his large-scale action scores for video games and for his work on big-budget comedies such as Alvin and the Chipmunks and Meet the Spartans. Read more…

THE FINAL DESTINATION – Brian Tyler

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

As if they hadn’t squeezed enough life out of this franchise yet, The Final Destination – the fourth film in the horror movie franchise – again follows the fortunes of a set of teenagers who cheat death, but then find that Death doesn’t like being cheated, and sets out to claim them anyway. The film is directed by David R. Ellis and stars Bobby Campo as college student Nick O’Bannon who, while attending a NASCAR race, has a premonition that a car wreck will cause a stand to collapse, killing himself and his friends; he convinces everyone to leave before the disaster occurs, but in the weeks following the event, his friends all die one by one in freak accidents.

The late, great Shirley Walker set the musical tone for the first three Final Destination films prior to her untimely death in 2006, and her mantle has now been picked up by the resourceful Brian Tyler Read more…

HALLOWEEN II – Tyler Bates

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Cult director Rob Zombie’s ultra-violent re-imagining of the classic Halloween legend continues with Halloween II. Picking up immediately from where the last film left off, the film stars Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode, who has been taken to hospital to recover from the wounds inflicted on her by her psychotic, murderous brother Michael Myers (Tyler Mane). However, Laurie’s recuperation is short lived when the supposedly dead Michael returns, very much alive, intent on reuniting with his sister, even if it means murdering everyone in the hospital who stands in his way.

Despite an idiosyncratic cast that includes Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif and the director’s wife Sheri Moon-Zombie, Halloween II was called a “brutal, bloody, badly executed mess“, and was a comparative box office failure. The same adjectives could apply to Tyler Bates’ score. Read more…

TAKING WOODSTOCK – Danny Elfman

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I missed out on being a part of the Woodstock generation by a good decade or more, having been born six years after it took place, but growing up I was acutely aware on how much the seminal 1969 music festival shaped the musical, social and political mindset of a generation. Calling Woodstock a ‘music festival’ is to underplay its significance: not only did it popularize the music of artists as varied as Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills & Nash, the Grateful Dead, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin, it also became a cultural touchstone for the hippie movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement. Ang Lee’s new film Taking Woodstock takes a gently comedic look at the events leading up to the festival; it stars Demetri Martin as Elliot Tiber, the actual organizer of the festival, Eugene Levy as Max Yager, on whose farmland the festival took place, and features Dan Fogler, Imelda Staunton, Henry Goodman, Liev Schreiber and Emile Hirsch in supporting roles. Read more…

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS – Ennio Morricone/Various Artists

August 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s sixth film, Inglourious Basterds is a World War II movie with attitude. Set in mainland Europe at the height of the conflict, it stars Brad Pitt as Aldo Raine, the leader of a crack platoon of Jewish-American soldiers who have dubbed themselves ‘the Basterds’, and who actively seek out and savagely kill as many German servicemen as possible, with the intent of creating fear and discord amongst the troops. His opposing number is Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), a cruel and ruthless SS officer also known as ‘The Jew Hunter’, whose actions in murdering the family of a young Franco-Jewish family comes back to haunt him when the only survivor, a young girl named Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), embarks on a plot to assassinate Hitler at the premiere of a Nazi propaganda film. Read more…

CAPTAIN ABU RAED – Austin Wintory

August 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The first film made in Jordan for over 50 years, Captain Abu Raed was that country’s first ever Foreign Language Film submission, at the 2008 Academy Awards. Directed by Amin Matalqa, the film stars Nadim Sawalha as the titular character, a cleaner at Amman’s International Airport, who after finding a discarded pilot’s hat in the trash, is mistaken for a pilot by some local children, who he then regales with fantastical stories of his world travels. Eventually, Abu strikes up a friendship with a boy named Murad, who is being abused by his drunken father. After one particularly violent episode, Abu vows to try to help Murad and his mother escape from their domestic hell. Read more…

DISTRICT 9 – Clinton Shorter

August 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Each cinematic year seems to produce a “sleeper hit”, a little film which comes out of nowhere, captures the public’s imagination, and strikes box office gold, often as a result of creative marketing and positive word of mouth. Sleeper hits over the years have included little films like The Terminator, The Blair Witch Project and The Full Monty; if the early buzz is anything to go by, 2009’s sleeper hit looks likely to be District 9, a South African science fiction allegory written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, and executive produced by Peter Jackson.

The film is a damning indictment of the apartheid regime which blighted South Africa for almost 50 years, dressed up as a science fiction action movie. Read more…