Archive for December, 2010

TRUE GRIT – Carter Burwell

December 21, 2010 2 comments

truegritOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

True Grit is the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, the writing-directing-producing brothers who brought us such classic movies as Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou and No Country For Old Men. True Grit is a new version of the well-respected 1968 novel by Charles Portis which chronicles the adventures of grizzled marshal Rooster Cogburn at the end of the Wild West era in the 1920s, who is hired by 14-year-old Mattie Ross to track down the drifter who murdered her father. John Wayne won his first and only Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Cogburn in the original 1969 version of the story. This time around, the cast features Jeff Bridges in the leading role, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in supporting roles, and an original score from the Coens’ regular composer, Carter Burwell. Read more…

BEN-HUR – Miklós Rózsa

December 17, 2010 10 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

This 1959 film version of General Lew Wallace’s best-selling novel achieved Oscar legend as it went on to win 11 Academy Awards including Best Score for Miklós Rózsa. The film tells the tale of Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur, played in exemplary fashion by Charlton Heston, who lives in Judea with his family during the time of Jesus Christ circa 33 C.E. Judah’s childhood Roman friend Messala returns to Judea as an ambitious Tribune intent on achieving fame and his destiny at any cost. When Judah refuses to provide Messala with the names of local Jewish dissidents, an offended Messala contrives a pretext to exact a terrible revenge. Messala orders the arrest of Judah and his family on patently false charges. Judah is then condemned to certain death on the Roman galleys, while his mother and sister are given life imprisonment.

Doomed to die chained to a galley oar, Judah’s hatred and the desire for vengeance fuels his will to live. Soon the hand of fate intervenes and he gains his freedom. Empowered with the help of a Roman General and a wealthy Arab sponsor he returns to Judea and challenges Messala to a chariot race. In an epic struggle Judah emerges triumphant while Messala lays defeated on the track, his body mangled irreparably by horses that trampled him. Meeting for a last time as surgeons wait to amputate Messala’s legs, Judah realizes the hollowness of his victory, of how unquenching it is to drink from the cup of revenge. He leaves Messala to death and rescues his family from a leper colony. Later he sees them cured as the pounding rains born of the crucifixion storm cleanses the sores from their bodies. Read more…

Golden Globe Nominations 2010

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

goldenglobeThe Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have announced the nominations for the 68th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and American television of 2010.

In the Best Original Score category, the nominees are:

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for The King’s Speech
  • DANNY ELFMAN for Alice in Wonderland
  • A.R. RAHMAN for 127 Hours
  • TRENT REZNOR and ATTICUS ROSS for The Social Network
  • HANS ZIMMER for Inception

This is the first major film music award nomination for Reznor and Ross, but Reznor has previously been the recipient of multiple Grammy awards and nominations for his work with Nine Inch Nails. This is the 5th nomination for Desplat, who won the award in 2006 for The Painted Veil, the 3rd nomination for Elfman, the 2nd nomination for Rahman, who won the Globe in 2008 for Slumdog Millionaire, and the 10th nomination for Zimmer, who previously won Globes for The Lion King in 1994 and Gladiator in 2000.

In the Best Original Song category, the nominees are:

  • CHRISTINA AGUILERA, SAMUEL DIXON and SIA FURLER for “Bound to You” from Burlesque
  • BOB DI PIERO, TOM DOUGLAS, HILLARY LINDSEY and TROY VERGES for “Coming Home” from Country Strong
  • ALAN MENKEN and GLENN SLATER for “I See the Light” from Tangled
  • CARRIE UNDERWOOD, DAVID HODGES and HILLARY LINDSEY for “There’s a Place for Us” from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • DIANE WARREN for “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from Burlesque

The winners of the 68th Golden Globe Awards will be announced on January 16, 2011.

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THE KING’S SPEECH – Alexandre Desplat

December 14, 2010 5 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The United Kingdom suffered one of its worst constitutional crises in living memory in the early 1930s. Following the death of King George V, his eldest son David ascended to the throne as King Edward VIII, but his insistence on marrying Wallis Simpson – a commoner, a divorcee, and worst of all an American – brought criticism from the political and religious leaders of the time. Forced with a choice between his kingdom and the woman he loved, Edward chose the latter, leaving his younger brother Bertie to reluctantly take over as King George VI. However, suddenly becoming the monarch of over a third of the world’s population did not sit well with the new king, who was forced to deal with two issues at the beginning of his reign: firstly, the growing influence of German chancellor Adolf Hitler threatening peace in Europe, and secondly the King’s own terrible stutter, which often rendered him literally speechless on important occasions. To counteract the latter, the King sought out the help of an unconventional Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Director Tom Hooper’s excellent film The King’s Speech tells the story of the unconventional friendship of the pair; it stars Colin Firth as George VI, Geoffrey Rush as Logue, and Helena Bonham-Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Guy Pearce as Edward, and Michael Gambon as the ailing George V. Read more…


December 12, 2010 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third contemporary film based on the Chronicles of Narnia saga by C. S. Lewis. Directed by Michael Apted, it tells the story of the two youngest Pevensie children, Lucy and Edmund, who return to the fantastical land of Narnia with their insufferable cousin Eustace to assist the noble Prince Caspian and the heroic mouse warrior Reepicheep aboard the royal ship, the Dawn Treader. Caspian is attempting to solve the mysterious disappearance of eight Narnian lords in the remote islands of the Western seas, and must do battle with slave traders, sea serpents, dragons, and the spectral legacy of the Snow Queen along the way. The film stars Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes and Will Poulter, the voice work of Liam Neeson and Simon Pegg, features cameos from Tilda Swinton, Anna Popplewell and William Moseley, and has an original score by David Arnold. Read more…

JADE – James Horner

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Weintraub Entertainment purchased the script for Jade from the famous writer Joe Eszterhas, who had gained earlier acclaim and commercial success for sexual thrillers such as Jagged Edge and Basic Instinct. Paramount Studios eventually came to select William Friedkin (of The Exorcist and The French Connection fame) to direct. The film deals with a woman’s secret life and a classic love triangle consisting of psychologist Dr. Katrina Gavin (played by Linda Florentino), her husband Matt Gavin (played by Chazz Palminteri) and politically ambitious District Attorney David Corelli – her ex-boyfriend – played by David Caruso. Read more…

BLACK SWAN – Clint Mansell

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An intense psycho-sexual drama which touches on a number of themes ranging from parental oppression and body dysmorphic disorder to sexual repression and the search for perfection, Black Swan is the latest film from the challenging director Darren Aronofsky, the man behind films such as Requiem For a Dream, The Fountain and The Wrestler. Natalie Portman stars in a tour-de-force performance as Nina, a young and talented ballerina in the New York City ballet, whose personal life is dominated entirely by her overbearing mother Erica (Barbara Hershey), herself a former dancer. Artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to promote Nina to the leading role in their new production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, as the expense of prima ballerina Beth (Winona Ryder), but Thomas is concerned as to whether the naïve and virginal Nina has enough ‘dark side’ to play both the White Swan and the Black Swan on stage. Into this mix comes the free-spirited and sexually adventurous Lily (Mila Kunis), a transfer from the San Francisco ballet; before long, Nina and Lily embark on a dangerous relationship which is part-friendship part-rivalry, which threatens to shatter Nina’s already tenuous grasp on her sanity. Read more…


December 4, 2010 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Princess Kaiulani is a film about the life of the extravagantly-named Victoria Kaiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn, who was the heir to the Kingdom of Hawaii until the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. Kaiulani – who was educated in England and New York and was in no way the ‘Barbarian Princess’ that the media of the time dubbed her – immediately took up the cause of her country, petitioning US presidents Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland to restore the monarchy, but her efforts were cut short by her untimely death in 1899 at the age of just 23. Nevertheless, Kaiulani was exceptionally popular in the islands, and is remembered today as a strong and tireless campaigner for Hawaiian rights and sovereignty. The film is directed by Marc Forby, stars The New World’s Q’Orianka Kilcher as Kaiulani alongside Barry Pepper, Will Patton and Julian Glover, and features a rich and expansive original score by Stephen Warbeck. Read more…


December 1, 2010 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

This is the tragic story of Mountain Rivera who competed for heavyweight champion of the world but is now at the end of his 17 year boxing career. He has suffered a devastating knockout blow by Cassius Clay in the seventh round and his career is over. A life time of damaging blows has left him a broken man with slurred speech, unrealized dreams and many regrets. Unbeknown to him, his manager Maish Renick bet against him lasting four rounds with Clay and is now owes the mob considerable money, money that he does not have. As such he hatches a self-serving plot to reinvent Rivera as a costumed wrestler, a scheme to make him some quick money so he can pay off the mob who will otherwise soon kill him. Read more…