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Archive for March, 2011

L’INCORRIGIBLE/VA VOIR MAMAN, PAPA TRAVAILLE – Georges Delerue

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

lincorrigibleMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

In L’Incorrigible, lead character Victor played by (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is the quintessential con man, totally beyond redemption, who resumes his nefarious craft following his release from prison. He rents apartments he doesn’t own, sells nonexistent fighter planes to African countries, and assumes many different guises from a gardener, lawyer, private detective, government official, and yes, even a transvestite in order to reap profit from his unsuspecting victims. Remarkably, he manages to fool his charming but very naive parole officer Marie-Charlotte (Genevieve Bujold). When Victor finds out that Marie-Charlotte’s father curates a museum that displays an extremely valuable painting, well, you need little imagination to realize what lies next! The film enjoyed modest commercial success in France. Read more…

AO, LE DERNIER NÉANDERTAL – Armand Amar

March 11, 2011 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Films about prehistoric man tend to fall into one of three camps: they are either straight-out action adventures in which the lead characters all happen to be cavemen (think 10,000BC), or they are hybrids in which modern humans and our Neolithic forebears interact (think Iceman or The Land That Time Forgot), or they are deadly serious character studies which try to genuinely recapture what life might have been like for our ancestors (think Clan of the Cave Bear or Quest for Fire). The French film Ao, Le Dernier Néandertal – The Last Neanderthal – is one of the latter. Directed by Jacques Malaterre and starring Simon Paul Sutton, Craig Morris and Aruna Shields, it tells the story of Ao, a Neanderthal man who, after the death of his entire clan – including his wife and child – decides to make the long trek to the area in which he was born, to try to reconnect with his long-lost brother. While making the perilous journey, Ao must cope with all manner of hardships, terrible weather, and animal attacks, and fears the worst – until he meets a woman called Aki, who is a member of a new and unusual clan which we know as homo sapiensRead more…

GNOMEO & JULIET – Chris Bacon and James Newton Howard

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

gnomeojulietOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There’s not a lot you can say about gnomes, really. They’re ugly little buggers, with their pot bellies and their pointy hats and beards and pipes and fishing rods. They look benign, like little miniature Santa Clauses, but they have evil in their hearts, every one of them. Beloved the world over by seriously deluded expatriate Germans and middle-aged gardeners who have run out of things to do with their flowerbeds, they have become figures of ridicule, in British culture at least – but this hasn’t stopped Touchstone from making a feature length animated film featuring the loathsome little bastards.

Incredibly, Gnomeo & Juliet takes the classic Shakespeare story of tragic romance and re-imagines it with gnomes and Elton John songs. Directed by Kelly Asbury, the film has attracted an astonishingly distinguished voice cast – James McAvoy as Gnomeo, Emily Blunt as Juliet, and supporting turns from Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters and Ozzy Osbourne – as well as a contribution from world famous rock artist Elton John. Read more…

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU – Thomas Newman

March 8, 2011 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Looking back over Thomas Newman’s career to date, it’s interesting to note how much his musical style has altered over the years. During the late 1980s and 1990s he was very much his father’s son; scores such as The Shawshank Redemption, Little Women, Oscar and Lucinda, Meet Joe Black and The Horse Whisperer showcased his lush, theme-driven, string-heavy music, and made him a popular favorite within the film music world. Then, in 1999, he wrote American Beauty, and from then on began his gradual transformation into a composer whose music relies on sound design, instrumental texture and unusual instrumental combinations than the straightforward orchestral through-composing that made many – including me – such an admirer. Since the turn of the millennium, for every Cinderella Man or Angels in America, there have been a half-dozen other “quirky” scores dominating his filmography: Erin Brockovich, White Oleander, In the Bedroom, Jarhead, Little Children, Revolutionary Road. These scores show flashes of the orchestral brilliance of which he is capable, but more often than not eschew the lyricism in favor of rhythm and texture, with very little thematic content to grab hold of. Unfortunately, The Adjustment Bureau is more of the same. Read more…

PATTON – Jerry Goldsmith

March 3, 2011 1 comment

pattonMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

A Patton biopic film was first conceived by Frank McCarthy, a retired general working as a producer for 20th Century Fox in the 1950s. After selling the concept to Studio Executive Richard Zanuck, a screenplay was commissioned that resulted in two incarnations, one by Francis Ford Coppola and another by Edmund H. North. Over time these two screenplays were eventually merged into a single version. Both efforts drew inspiration from two books, Patton: Ordeal And Triumph, a biography by Ladislas Farago and A Soldier’s Story, the memoir of General Omar Bradley. After many years of ‘fine-tuning’, a final script was born and the search for a director and lead actor proceeded in earnest, eventually settling upon Franklin J. Schaffner and George C. Scott respectively. The film from the start was a one-man show, a biopic of a giant among men. Patton can best be described as charismatic, complicated and contradictory; he was deeply religious and yet both vulgar and profane, he was an insufferable narcissist and yet a supreme patriotic, and lastly he was a military tactical genius and yet a poor post war administrator. The film covered Patton’s rise to prominence in World War II during his military campaigns in Tunisia, Sicily, France and the occupation of Germany. It suffices to say that Scott’s performance was a tour de force that transcended the film and earned him a best actor Oscar award that he ungraciously declined to accept. The film went on to win seven Oscars including best picture and remains a popular film to this day. Read more…