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Archive for September, 2009

COCO AVANT CHANEL – Alexandre Desplat

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the world of French high fashion and haute couture, no name commanded, and continues to command, as much respect and admiration as that of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. The film Coco Avant Chanel, directed by Anne Fontaine and starring Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde and Alessandro Nivola, charts the formative years of Chanel before she became a household name, from her early life in the poorhouses and orphanages of rural France, to her first faltering efforts at establishing a clothing business in Brittany, and her love affairs with playboys Étienne Balsan and Boy Capel, until her eventual success in pre-war Paris, out of which would grow into one of the premier fashion houses in the world. Read more…

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BAARÌA – Ennio Morricone

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Baarìa may well be the first instance of a director – in this case Giuseppe Tornatore – making a film about what is effectively his own life story. The film is a reflection and love letter to the island of Sicily, and depicts two childhood friends, Peppino and Mannina, who grow up to be lovers. The story spans three generations, from the 1920s to the present day, and is set in the town of Bagheria (known as Baarìa in Sicilian dialect), where Tornatore grew up. The film stars Francesco Scianna and Margareth Madè, and has an original score by the legendary Ennio Morricone, who has been Tornatore’s musical muse for over 25 years, through films such as Cinema Paradiso, Stanno Tutti Bene, The Starmaker, The Legend of 1900 and the Oscar-nominated Malèna. Read more…

PANDORUM – Michl Britsch

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The latest ‘haunted house in space’ film to play on cinema screens, after the genre was set in motion by the likes of Alien and, later, Event Horizon, Pandorum stars Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster star as a pair of astronauts who wake up from suspended animation with no memory of who they are, where they are, or what happened to the other 60, 000 passengers on their enormous space ship. Exploring the passageways of their industrial vessel, the pair quickly realizes that they are not alone on the ship, and are soon engaged in a desperate battle for survival against a deadly foe.

Well received as an effective sci-fi horror, the film marks the first English-language film of German director Christian Alvart, as well as that of his regular collaborator, composer Michl Britsch, whose debut mainstream work this is. Read more…

SURROGATES – Richard Marvin

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Surrogates is a high-concept science fiction action thriller set in a world where the human race has retreated to live in isolation from each other, and only interact through ‘surrogates’ – robots built to look identical to their hosts, and which are controlled by humans from the safety of their own homes. Bruce Willis stars as cop Tom Greer, who must venture out into the ‘real world’ for the first time in years when he gets involved in a murder mystery where surrogates and their owners are being killed. The film co-stars Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, James Cromwell and Ving Rhames, is directed by Jonathan Mostow, and features a new original score by Richard Marvin.

It’s been nine years since Marvin’s last major theatrical score – the submarine thriller U-571 back in 2000 – but he has nevertheless remained very busy in the TV world Read more…

BRIGHT STAR – Mark Bradshaw

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A lush, but ultimately tragic costume drama based on the life of 19th century romantic poet John Keats, Bright Star tells the story of the passionate but ill-fated relationship between Keats and a flirtatious, forward-thinking fashion designer Fanny Brawne, which would be cut short by Keats’ death in 1821 at the age of just 25. Directed by Jane Campion and starring Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish as Keats and Brawne, Bright Star has received a great deal of critical acclaim for its lead performances, with Cornish especially tipped for Oscar recognition.

The music for Bright Star is by young Australian composer Mark Bradshaw, who collaborated with director Campion on several short films, and wrote music for several Australian theater productions prior to working on this, his first major feature film. Read more…

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS – Mark Mothersbaugh

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When I first heard about Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs I assumed it was one of those beloved American pre-school children’s books of which I have never heard, like pretty much everything by Dr. Seuss or Where the Wild Things are, and it turns out I was right. Written by Judi Barrett, illustrated by her husband Ron Barrett, and first published in 1978, it tells the story of an young inventor named Flint Lockwood who builds a machine which converts rain water into food, making him and his town internationally famous… until, unexpectedly, the food that falls from the sky starts to grow to enormous size, and threatens to destroy everything. It’s basically an animated comedy that spoofs disaster movies like Armageddon, albeit replacing asteroids with cheeseburgers; it’s directed by Darcy MacIsaac and Christopher Miller, and has an all-star voice cast featuring the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Faris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, and even Mr. T! Read more…

THE INFORMANT! – Marvin Hamlisch

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The last time Marvin Hamlisch had a movie in theaters – ANY movie – was in 1996, when he scored the Barbra Streisand vehicle The Mirror Has Two Faces, almost 13 years ago. The younger generation of film music fans who grew up listening to scores from the 2000s might be forgiven for not knowing that Hamlisch, in the 1970s, was one of the bonafide stars of the soundtrack world. He was the youngest student ever accepted at the acclaimed Juilliard School of music in 1951 when aged just seven, and worked on a slew of hit movies in the 1970s, scoring the likes of “The Sting”, “The Way We Were”, “Save the Tiger” and even a Bond movie, “The Spy Who Loved Me”, while simultaneously writing hit songs like “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows”, “Nobody Does It Better”, “Life Is What You Make It”, and of course “The Way We Were” for Streisand herself. He won three Oscars, and was nominated for nine more, before effectively disappearing off the film music map. Now, after a decade away (during which he wrote the hit Broadway musicals The Goodbye Girl and The Sweet Smell of Success), he’s back with a brand new score for The Informant!, the latest film from director Steven Soderbergh. Read more…