Archive for October, 2012

HALO 4 – Neil Davidge

October 12, 2012 Leave a comment


Original Review by Joseph W. Bat

It is strange to think today that video games are billion-dollar franchises. The gamer of today definitely knows of the Halo series of games. It was with Halo 2 & Halo 3 we saw arguably for the first time how games could be marketed as a blockbuster event like a big budget Hollywood film. Having early beginnings on Mac and PC, Halo made its debut on Microsoft’s at the time new video game console XBOX. And it has been home to it ever since. The original trilogy as it will be known now, created by developer Bungie Studios, brought a huge community together. It would spawn fan fiction, several novels, short films, and even catching the eye of Hollywood to develop a feature film. It isn’t often a hugely successful series like Halo changes creative hands, but that is exactly what Halo 4 is. Read more…

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER – Erich Wolfgang Korngold

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

The Prince and the Pauper was Mark Twain’s first effort to write a historical fiction novel. Director William Keighley had screenwriter Laird Doyle adapt the tale for film and hired swashbuckler star Errol Flynn (Miles Hendon) to head his cast, which included Claude Raines (Lord Hertford) and the twins Billy and Bobby Mauch. The story involves the birth of two boys who share both an uncommon resemblance and destiny: the pauper Tom and prince Edward. As a kid, Tom would often sneak into the palace garden and play with the prince. One day they change clothes with each other and are discovered by the guards, which eject the prince who they assumed, was a pauper. As the two boys struggle with their new lives, King Henry VIII dies leaving Tom under the malevolent control of Lord Hertford the duty of assuming the throne. With the assistance of mercenary Miles Hendon, Edward succeeds in interrupting the coronation and regaining his standing as rightful heir. The film did not achieve critical success but was never the less a commercial success. Read more…

LOOPER – Nathan Johnson

October 9, 2012 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Looper is a high-concept science fiction action movie, directed by Rian Johnson and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. The film takes the concept of time-travel and mixes it with organized crime; in the future, when the mob wants to take someone out, they use the newly invented but highly illegal time-travel technology to send someone back in time, whereupon they are immediately killed by a Looper – an assassin in the past. Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is one such looper, and is good at his job – until he realizes that his latest victim, just sent back in time, is the future version of himself… Critics have called Looper one of the most intriguing science-fiction movies in several years, and young director Rian Johnson is quickly becoming heralded as a new and exciting cinematic visionary. Read more…

THE MASTER – Jonny Greenwood

October 4, 2012 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite living in Los Angeles, and despite being a very casual acquaintance of someone who I know for a fact is one, I know very little about Scientology. You occasionally see them set up on Hollywood Boulevard, offering ‘stress tests’ to unsuspecting tourists, and you hear odd stories about Tom Cruise in the tabloid news, but beyond that my actual knowledge of the details of the late L. Ron Hubbard’s much-derided ‘celebrity religion’ is sketchy at best – little more than lurid tales of science fiction, aliens, past lives, and the like. In Paul Thomas Anderson’s film The Master, the word ‘scientology’ is never uttered, but it’s clear what is going on, and the film is a less-than-pretty expose of the origins of the religion. Read more…


October 3, 2012 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Director Michael Wadleigh chose to adapt Whitley Strieber’s novel Wolfen to film, as he believed it afforded him an opportunity to infuse depth and intelligence into the horror genre. The story is a mytho-historical tale that reveals the existence of a hidden intelligent species called Wolfen that have co-existed with humans for centuries. After a city cop (Albert Finney) is assigned to solve a horrific set of violent murders, he gradually unravels the mystery that are the Wolfen who will now do anything to ensure their anonymity. Replete with Indian legend and folklore about wolf spirits, the story was heralded for its sophistication and effort to elevate the horror genre. Regretfully, the film ran seriously over budget and Wadleigh was fired and never allowed to complete his vision. The film was not a commercial success, however critics acknowledged it as an unusual and ambitious effort. Read more…


October 1, 2012 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A couple of years ago I wrote a review of the soundtrack for the film Gamer, by Geoff Zanelli and Robb Williamson, in which I posted my now-famous ‘polar bear with a migraine’ photo, and basically called it was one of the worst film scores I have ever heard in my life. Despite hating the music for that particular film, I was very careful not to criticize the composer himself, who was clearly providing exactly what the director and producer of that film wanted in terms music – which just happened to be music I cannot tolerate. A lot of us tend to forget, myself included sometimes, that a film composer’s primary motivation is to support with music the director’s vision of the film being made, and any secondary life the music takes on apart from the film is entirely inconsequential to the reason the music exists in the first place. A composer might be asked to write grating and grinding electronics for one film, as Zanelli was on Gamer, and a less-experienced critic might call him a hack, or whatever other derogatory terms spring to mind. But all composers, by necessity, have to be versatile, and Geoff Zanelli’s versatility and talent is highlighted by his work on The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a film score at the other end of the musical spectrum from Gamer as it is possible to be. Read more…