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Archive for April, 2012

LA NOUVELLE GUERRE DES BOUTONS – Philippe Rombi

April 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The story of La Nouvelle Guerre des Boutons was adapted from Louis Pergaud’s 1912 novel and is a remake of Yves Robert’s 1962 film of the same name. It is a comedy with an anti-war narrative sub-text. Set in France circa 1944, it tells the tale of schoolboys from the neighboring villages of Longeverne and Velrans have formed two opposing factions, which have been waging a mock war for as long as anyone can remember. After each battle the victor’s spoils would be the taking of buttons off the clothes of the vanquished. Hoping to turn the tide of the conflict, one team of the boys employ a strategy of running into battle naked, thus depriving the opposing boys nothing to steal. Fate would have it however that after this amazing victory, one of the boys defects to the other side. This turncoat reveals a weakness in his former camp that allows his new teammates to launch a secret attack that brings victory. The traitor’s betrayal is discovered and he is punished for his treachery. Not done, he informs his superiors and parents that he has been beaten up by bullies. This upsets the entire apple cart as his mom and dad escalate the conflict with the opposing schoolmates resulting in jail time. Read more…

À VOUS DE JOUER MILORD – François de Roubaix

April 15, 2012 1 comment

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

À Vous de Jouer Milord was a 1974 spy drama mini-series of six episodes directed by the famous French director Christian-Jaque. The national security storyline concerned the theft of design schematics for the new generation French tank, the AMX 30. Justifiably alarmed by the loss of the schematics, the government resolved to call back into service their retired agent Hubert de Pomarec (AKA Milord) played by Henri Piégay to regain the stolen plans. Christian-Jaque imbued the mini-series with a comic book sensibility and robust action scenes with his lead performing his own stunts. While entertaining, it received no critical acclaim. Read more…

CASA DE MI PADRE – Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau

April 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Casa de Mi Padre is an intentionally silly spoof of those wonderfully cheesy but enormously popular Spanish-language telenovelas, especially ones from the 1970s which have a Grindhouse-esque quality. English-speaking audiences are generally unaware of their success and popularity, but they form a cornerstone of Latin popular entertainment, especially in countries like Mexico, Spain, Portugal, and most of South and Central America. The brainchild of actor/producer Will Ferrell, screenwriter Andrew Steele and director Matt Piedmont, the film stars Ferrell as Armando Alvarez, the good-natured but dim-witted son of a wealthy Mexican landowner (the late Pedro Armendáriz, Jr.), whose life is thrown into turmoil when his younger brother Raul (Diego Luna) returns to the family home with a beautiful new fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) to take over the business. However, Raul has fallen in with the wrong company, and soon Armando finds himself caught up in the middle of a bitter feud between Raul and the evil drug kingpin Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal). Yes, despite the rather serious plot, it is a comedy, and yes, it’s entirely in Spanish, and the jokes come thick and fast, with intentionally bad continuity, poor special effects, and hilarious psychedelic inserts competing with the broad slapstick and clever wordplay Ferrell brings to the table. Read more…

WRATH OF THE TITANS – Javier Navarrete

April 11, 2012 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I have to admit, when I learned that Javier Navarrete was scoring Wrath of the Titans, I was pretty excited. The original film to which this is a sequel – 2010’s Clash of the Titans – was solidly panned by the majority of film critics, and had a pretty risible score by Ramin Djawadi that adhered to every Remote Control cliché ever invented. Everything was revamped this time, with a new director in the shape of Jonathan Liebesman, a new supporting cast including Rosamund Pike and Bill Nighy behind leads Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, and a brand new composer, whose track record promised to provide everything that Djawadi’s score was lacking in terms of thematic identity and orchestral intelligence. Navarrete is, of course, the Spanish composer of such excellent works as Pan’s Labyrinth, Inkheart, Mirrors and Cracks, and this would be far his biggest assignment in the Hollywood mainstream to date. Read more…

EMMANUELLE 4/S.A.S. À SAN SALVADOR – Michel Magne

April 8, 2012 Leave a comment

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The original Emmanuelle (1974) was adapted from the novel by Emanuelle Arsan. It proved to be a box office sensation, which spawned a franchise. Director Francis Leroi, well known for his work with erotica, took up the Opus 4 story line with an added twist. Sylvia (Sylvia Kristen) is desperately trying to escape from her former lover Marc, and so she goes to Brazil where renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Santamo transforms her into the beautiful Emmanuelle. Her new more youthful identity now played by Mia Nygren potentiates a profound sexual awakening, which is complicated by her memories of Marc. It suffices to say that the plot offers unexpected plot twists, which provide multiple opportunities to fully explore the characters.

Pierre Bachelet, Francis Lai and Serge Gainsbourg had respectively scored the first three films of the franchise. Michel Magne, well known for his neo-romantic style was a natural choice for the film. Like his predecessors, he infused his writing with a modern romanticism and provided a number of beautiful songs. You will notice immediately how Magne provides a rich musical palate, which spans from the chaotic, to the playful, to the sensual erotic. Read more…

A TROLL IN CENTRAL PARK – Robert Folk

April 4, 2012 3 comments

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producers Don Bluth and Gary Goldman had a long history of successful animated films that included “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time”. With their company now set in Ireland, Bluth decided to utilize traditional Celtic mythology for his next film. In this new story, Stanley is a friendly troll blessed with the gift of a wondrous and magical green thumb that allows him to grow flowers by merely sticking it into the ground. Unfortunately the evil troll Queen Gnorga banishes him from her realm to modern day Manhattan for his life generating gift and kindness to humans. Stanley adapts to his new cave home in Central Park and befriends Gus and Rosie who unknown to their parents have set out on a magnificent adventure. But all is endangered when Queen Gnorga journeys to Manhattan, armed with her purple thumb intent on turning everything she touches to stone. As is fitting, goodness prevails and our heroes defeat and overthrow the evil Queen. The film was not a critical success and failed at the box office, not even coming close to recovering its production costs. Read more…