Archive

Archive for December, 2009

THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS – Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna

December 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Unfortunately for director Terry Gilliam, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is destined to be remembered as ‘the film Heath Ledger was making when he died’ rather than for any artistic merit the film may have itself, which is a shame because by the looks of things the film has all the magic one has come to expect from the former Python. The film is a fantastical tale about the owner of a travelling circus who, having made a deal with the Devil, takes his audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations. However, Parnassus harbors a dark secret; in exchange for immortality, he pledged the life of his daughter to the devil, and is now using the unsuspecting customers of his ‘imaginarium’ to trick the devil out of his prize. Following Ledger’s death, his part was taken over by three actors – Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law – all of whom apparently worked for free, alongside a quirky cast that also includes Tom Waits, Lily Cole, Verne Troyer, and Christopher Plummer as Parnassus himself. Read more…

Advertisements

SHERLOCK HOLMES – Hans Zimmer

December 25, 2009 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

This version of Sherlock Holmes is apparently the 223rd occasion the ubiquitous detective has been portrayed on either the big or small screen, but as far as I’m aware this is the first time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary character has been a traditional Hollywood action hero. A succession of actors – from Basil Rathbone to Peter Cushing and Jeremy Brett – have portrayed Holmes as a thoughtful, cultured, albeit rather eccentric English gentleman, and although Doyle’s novels have often spoken of his prowess as a bare knuckle fighter and swordsman, as well as his drug use, Holmes was never an ‘action man’ in the traditional sense. It seems the filmmakers have made a rather unfortunate misjudgment of character on this film, making this Holmes a young, bare-chested hunk rather than an analytical mind. Read more…

THE YOUNG VICTORIA – Ilan Eshkeri

December 19, 2009 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A British costume drama directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, The Young Victoria tells the story of the early life of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria, who ruled Britain for 63 years from 1837 until 1901, and enjoyed a great life-long love with her consort, Prince Albert. Emily Blunt plays Victoria as a young romantic, deeply in love with Albert (Rupert Friend), both before and after her accession to the throne. The film, which was co-produced by Martin Scorsese and Sarah Ferguson (formerly the Duchess of York), features a plethora of British senior actors in supporting roles, including Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Paul Bettany, Mark Strong and Julian Glover, has rich and opulent production design and costumes, and has a strong score by British composer Ilan Eshkeri. Read more…

AVATAR – James Horner

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

James Cameron makes a habit of being groundbreaking. Whether he is creating a planet full of ferocious xenomorphs in Aliens, experimenting with liquid metal robots in Terminator II, or making a realistic recreation of a sinking boat in Titanic, the Canadian director has always been at the forefront of cutting edge cinematic technology, pushing the envelope of what is creatively and technologically possible on the screen. His latest film, Avatar, continues that trend; with an estimated budget of $320 million, it’s the most expensive film ever made, and looks set to become one of the biggest grossing films of all time too. Read more…

INVICTUS – Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A true life drama directed by Clint Eastwood, Invictus tells the story of the country of South Africa, and its emergence from of social, political and sporting exile imposed on it during the Apartheid years, which was lifted following the release from jail of Nelson Mandela in 1990. Specifically, it tells the parallel stories of Mandela’s first years as president of the newly-democratic South Africa, and the South African rugby union team’s victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was seen as turning point in the modern history of the nation. The film stars Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as South African team captain François Pienaar, and is scored by Eastwood’s son Kyle Eastwood and his regular musical partner Michael Stevens. Read more…

THE LOVELY BONES – Brian Eno

December 11, 2009 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A supernatural drama based on the massively popular novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones tells the story of a teenage girl named Susie in 1970s suburban America who, after being brutally raped and murdered, watches from heaven as her family and friends go on with their lives, and tries to help her family solve her murder, while she herself comes to terms with her own death. The film is directed by Peter Jackson, and stars Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as Susie’s parents, Susan Sarandon as Susie’s grandmother, Stanley Tucci as murderous pedophile George Harvey, and Saoirse Ronan as Susie herself. Read more…

A SINGLE MAN – Abel Korzeniowski

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A Single Man is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood, and marks the directorial debut of writer/director and former fashion designer Tom Ford. Set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, it tells the story of a British college professor George (Colin Firth) who, following the death of his long-time homosexual partner, struggles to find meaning in his life. The film is already a critical success, with Colin Firth tipped to receive his first Academy Award nomination for his performance, and has also seen recognition for the score by 37-year-old Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski, who received a Golden Globe nomination for his work. Read more…