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Archive for November, 2009

FANTASTIC MR. FOX – Alexandre Desplat

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I grew up reading and loving Roald Dahl’s stories; everything from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and The Twits to The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Matilda, his words (as well as Quentin Blake’s incomparable illustrations) were an indelible part of my childhood, and remain beloved to this day. Strangely, the one Roald Dahl story I don’t think I ever read was Fantastic Mr. Fox, written by Dahl in 1970 and which has now been turned into an animated feature film by directed Wes Anderson with a voice cast that includes such luminaries as George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Jarvis Cocker from the English rock band Pulp. The story – as is always the case with Dahl’s work – is a dark morality tale dressed up as an innocent children’s story. The plot concerns Mr. and Mrs. Fox, a pair of wily and cunning animals who feed their family by stealing chickens, ducks and cider from under the noses of three despicable farmers named Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Read more…

THE FOURTH KIND – Atli Örvarsson

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A terrifying supernatural horror film supposedly based on true events, The Fourth Kind stars Milla Jovovich, Will Patton and Elias Koteas, and is set in the isolated fishing community of Nome, Alaska, where over the course of the last 40 years there have been multiple reported cases of alleged possession, alien abduction, supposed murders, and government conspiracies to keep the story quiet. While the ‘factual basis’ of director Olatunde Osunsanmi’s film remains questionable, the film has frightened a good number of cinematic audiences across the world; contributing enormously to this is Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson’s original score.

Written for a small orchestra judiciously augmented by various electronics, percussion items and unsettling vocal effects, The Fourth Kind is an effectively unnerving score that is often as cold as the Alaskan tundra in which the film is set. Read more…

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS – Rolfe Kent

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Contrary to popular belief, The Men Who Stare At Goats is not a film about the life story of my good friend and esteemed colleague James Southall; instead, it is a comedy-drama about the US government’s experiments in psychic warfare. Directed by George Clooney’s longtime writing partner Grant Heslov, it stars Ewan McGregor as Bob Wilton, a reporter in Iraq who thinks he may have uncovered the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney) a slightly deranged former US army officer who claims to have been part of a top-secret project to equip the military with soldiers capable of paranormal powers. With a quirky supporting cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey and Robert Patrick, The Men Who Stare At Goats has all the right credentials to become a cult hit; along for the ride is composer Rolfe Kent. Read more…

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Alan Silvestri

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve lost count of the number of times Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of yuletide redemption, A Christmas Carol, has been re-told on the silver screen. The Internet Movie Database lists at least 50 productions with some variation of the title, ranging from versions starring The Muppets and Mickey Mouse to serious dramatic portrayals by Alastair Sim, George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart, and of course the classic musical Scrooge with Albert Finney from 1970. Director Robert Zemeckis’s latest version continues the obsession with photo-real rotoscope animation he began in The Polar Express and Beowulf, and stars Jim Carrey in multiple roles, but mainly as the Victorian miser Ebenezer Scrooge, whose curmudgeonly life is forever changed when he is visited by three ghosts one fateful Christmas Eve. Read more…