Archive for January, 2012

CONAN THE DESTROYER – Basil Poledouris

January 26, 2012 2 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

The immense worldwide success achieved by “Conan the Barbarian” lead, to the surprise of no one, to an inevitably sequel. Producer Dino De Laurentiis hired director Richard Fleischer to revisit the mythic Hyborean world and offer us the classic mythic adventure. In the tale we see that at the bequest of the evil Queen Tamaris of Zamora, Conan is promised that his dead lover Valeria will be resurrected if he would bring to her the sacred Horn of Dagoth. In reality the duplicitous Tamaris plans to betray Conan and sacrifice her niece Jehenna to reanimate the god Dagoth with whom she plans to mate and generate a new progeny of gods. A colorful and eclectic cast lead again by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan) was assembled and featured the fierce Amazon warrior Zula (Grace Jones), virginal Princess Jehenna (Olivia d’Abo), the wise wizard Akiro (Mako), the comic thief Malak (Jeff Corey) and the treacherous Bombaata (Will Chamberlain). A parade of directors and a truly feeble script soured Schwarzenegger as he chose to not return for a third film. Never the less, fantasy films were at their zenith in the 80s and the film was a commercial success, doubling its $18 million production costs. Read more…

Academy Award Nominations 2011

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

oscarstatuetteThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have announced the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film in 2011.

In the Best Original Score category, the nominees are:

  • LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
  • ALBERTO IGLESIAS for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • HOWARD SHORE for Hugo
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for War Horse

This is the first Oscar nomination Ludovic Bource, who won the Golden Globe for his score for The Artist earlier in the season. This is the 3rd Oscar nomination for Iglesias, the 4th nomination for Shore, who previously won for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001 and for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003, and the 46th and 47th Oscar nomination for Williams, who previously won in 1971 for Fiddler on the Roof, 1975 for Jaws, 1977 for Star Wars, 1982 for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and 1993 for Schindler’s List..

In the Best Original Song category, the nominees are:

  • BRET McKENZIE for “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets

The winners of the 84th Academy Awards will be announced on February 26, 2012.

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THE IRON LADY – Thomas Newman

January 23, 2012 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Even though, technically, I was born when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, I grew up in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain. All of my earliest memories of major socio-political stories – the Falklands War with Argentina in 1982, the Brighton hotel bombing of 1984, the miner’s strike and general industrial unrest of 1984 and 1985, the Poll Tax riots of 1990, and various international issues involving the IRA and the former Soviet Union – all occurred during her tenure. Whether you love her or loathe her (and many people do genuinely loathe her and what she did to the country), there is no escaping the fact that she was a massively influential and important person: the first woman ever to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the seventh-longest serving Prime Minister in history, and the longest serving since Queen Victoria was on the throne. Read more…

BAFTA Nominations 2011

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

baftaThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the nominations for the 65th British Academy Film Awards, honoring the best in film in 2011.

In the Best Original Music category, which is named in memory of the film director Anthony Asquith, the nominees are:

  • LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
  • ALBERTO IGLESIAS for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • TRENT REZNOR and ATTICUS ROSS for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • HOWARD SHORE for Hugo
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for War Horse

These are the first BAFTA nominations for Bource, Reznor and Ross. It is the 3rd BAFTA nomination for Iglesias, the 6th BAFTA nomination for Shore, and the 13th nomination for Williams, who has won on seven previous occasions: for Jaws in 1975, Star Wars in 1977, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in 1983, Empire of the Sun in 1987, Schindler’s List in 1993, and Memoirs of a Geisha in 2006.

The winners of the 65th BAFTA Awards will be announced on February 12, 2012.

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Golden Globe Winners 2011

January 15, 2012 Leave a comment

bource-globeThe Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have announced the winners of the 69th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and American television of 2011.

In the Best Original Score category French composer Ludovic Bource won the award for his score for critically acclaimed silent film The Artist. In his acceptance speech, Bource said:

“I’m sorry, I’m French! Too much emotion for me tonight. Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this incredible honor. I’m better with music than words. Right now, if I were to write a song it would be a tap dance number. So, the power of the music is universal. The gift of the silent film, The Artist, is also universal. So, thank you Michel [Hazanavicius] for the greatest opportunity and partnership a composer could wish for. Thank you to Bérénice [Bejo], Jean [Dujardin], and the incredible ensemble cast and crew on The Artist, thank you so much. I would also like to thank Thomas Langmann, Bob and Harvey [Weinstein], my family who is watching at home in Paris, and my agent Amos [Newman]. Thamk you! ”

The other nominees were Abel Korzeniowski for W.E., Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Howard Shore for Hugo, and John Williams for War Horse.

In the Best Original Song category, the winners were Madonna, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry for “Masterpiece” from W.E., the film about Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson that Madonna directed.

The other nominees were Brian Byrne and Glenn Close for “Lay Your Head Down” from Albert Nobbs; Chris Cornell for “The Keeper” from Machine Gun Preacher; Elton John and Bernie Taupin for “Hello Hello” from Gnomeo and Juliet; and Thomas Newman, Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason Jr., and Damon Thomas for “The Living Proof” from The Help.

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CONAN THE BARBARIAN – Basil Poledouris

January 13, 2012 6 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Conan The Barbarian is based on the Conan stories penned by author Robert E. Howard. The movie adaptation tells the story of a young Conan who lives in the mythic Hyborean Age and suffers grievously at the hands of an evil ruler of the Snake Cult, Thulsa Doom, who kills his parents and sells him into slavery. Eventually after much suffering he gains his freedom and trains to become a mighty warrior. He then sets out to solve the riddle of steel and avenge his parent’s death. As such, this is a classic morality tale with an unambiguous hero and villain. The film was a commercial success, which spawned a sequel and served to reinvigorate the fantasy genre. Read more…

WAR HORSE – John Williams

January 11, 2012 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A variation on the classic Black Beauty tale about of the life of a heroic horse, filtered through the cinematic lens of director John Ford, War Horse is director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the well-regarded novel by Michael Morpurgo about the adventures of a horse named Joey during World War I. The action moves from rural Devon, where young Joey is raised as a plow horse by Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) to work on his father’s farm, to the battlefields of central Europe after he is sold to the British Army upon the outbreak of war and is adopted by a kindly cavalry officer as his personal mount. Moving from adventure to adventure, Joey makes his way through the mire of The Great War, serving on both sides of the conflict – and all the while young Albert, now himself serving in the trenches, never gives up hope of being reunited with his equine friend. The film co-stars Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch, and of course has a score by the venerable John Williams, his second score of 2011 after several years away from the podium. Read more…