Archive for May, 2011

PRIEST – Christopher Young

May 15, 2011 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

You always know where you stand with a Christopher Young horror score. Throughout his career, going all the way back to Hellraiser in 1987 and continuing on through scores like Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Bless the Child and Drag Me to Hell, horror movies with religious overtones have defined the majority of his best work, brought him the most fans, and earned him the most acclaim. Although he is enormously accomplished at writing in literally dozens of styles, from the smooth jazz of scores like Rounders to the soaring orchestral beauty of scores like Murder in the First, his work in this genre remains the cornerstone of his writing, and Priest is yet another outstanding example of why he remains one of the best in the business as this kind of thing. Read more…

THE TREE OF LIFE – Alexandre Desplat

May 10, 2011 9 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Terrence Malick is a most unusual director. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he seems wholly unconcerned with narrative, plot, and incisive dialogue, and instead seems completely obsessed with visual beauty. He’s like a painter, but instead of using canvas, he uses film, and his subjects move and speak. His films are deep, intimate ruminations on life, love, nature, and the human condition, full of existential narration and long, lingering shots of Mother Nature at work. His latest film, The Tree of Life, is only the fifth theatrical film of his entire career, following on from Badlands in 1973, Days of Heaven in 1978, The Thin Red Line in 1998 and The New World in 2005. It stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain and Fiona Shaw, and follows the life of a twelve year old boy from American Midwest named Jack, whose world view is shaped both by his optimistic and idealistic mother, and by his pessimistic father, and who must make a choice on how to live his life in an ever-changing, confusing world. Read more…

GUY DE MAUPASSANT – Georges Delerue

May 8, 2011 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

This film presents a fictionalized biography of Guy de Maupassant, a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. Director Michael Drach explores his dying days, as he suffers and finally succumbs to the unforgiving ravages of syphilis. We observe a series of flashbacks that bring his life into full view – a vision that is viewed through the lens of his unremitting passion for sexual encounters. Amidst this flowing montage of vignettes are highlights that feature important literary figures in his life; his mother, his lesbian friend Gisele d’Estoc, and various other players. Regretfully we must bear witness to his descent into madness as all the stories of his life swirl together as the unstayable scythe of death approaches. Read more…

SOUL SURFER – Marco Beltrami

May 6, 2011 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Soul Surfer tells the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a champion youth surfer from Hawaii who, while out on an early morning surf with her best friend, had her life forever changed when her left arm was bitten off by a tiger shark – she was just 13 years old at the time. Despite suffering this horrific injury and hovering close to death, Bethany recovered enough to be able to return to competitive surfing just months later with only one arm, and went on to win the National Scholastic Surfing Association National Championships in 2005. The film, which is directed by Sean McNamara, stars Anna Sophia Robb as Hamilton, features Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Carrie Underwood in supporting roles, and has a superb and highly original score by the versatile Marco Beltrami. Read more…

THOR – Patrick Doyle

May 4, 2011 8 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An epic comic book action-fantasy based on Norse mythology. Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair. Patrick Doyle providing the score. For film music fans Thor was a mouth watering prospect that promised to be one of the most exciting and adventurous scores of the year. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as the eponymous hero, who is cast out of the Norse god stronghold Asgard after disobeying his father, King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Arriving on Earth, and no longer able to channel the power of his hammer Mjolnir, Thor teams up with scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in an effort to reclaim his power and return to Asgard in time to stop his duplicitous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from overthrowing Odin. The film, which also features Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore and Samuel L. Jackson, is part of the Marvel Avengers series of movies which includes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and the upcoming Captain America, and will culminate in a combined Avengers movie slated for 2012. Read more…

FIRST KNIGHT – Jerry Goldsmith

May 2, 2011 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

First Knight is a retelling of the classic legendary tale “The Knight of the Cart” first penned in the late 12th century by Chrétien de Troyes. Screenwriter William Nicholson stripped the tale of its magic and mythos of the Grail quest, instead focusing his lens on an intimate exploration of the passions, foibles and tragedy borne of intimate human relationships. Sean Connery succeeds in providing a sympathy and gravitas to the role of King Arthur with solid performances provided by Richard Gere as Lancelot, Julia Ormond as Guinevere and Ben Cross as the evil villain Malagant. The film was a critical failure but achieved commercial success taking in 134 million, more than sufficient to cover its 55 million production costs. Read more…