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Archive for June, 2013

WORLD WAR Z – Marco Beltrami

June 27, 2013 3 comments

worldwarzOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite initially looking like a potentially disastrous movie, with the whole final third of the movie having to be re-written and re-shot following disastrous initial test screenings, World War Z is actually of the most intelligent and interesting zombie movies of recent years. With the 28 Days Later franchise, the Walking Dead TV show, and countless other imitators, zombies are de rigeur these days, but where World War Z differs is in the fact that it plays more like a tense medical thriller than a traditional zombie-slaughtering action flick, concentrating on the efforts to stem the tide of the potential apocalypse and save the afflicted rather than simply massacring them. Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a former United Nations specialist who is called back into the fray from his quiet family life in suburban Philadelphia when a pandemic of global proportions erupts – people are turning into vicious, violent zombies at an alarming rate and if Gerry and his colleagues can’t find the source, or the cure, it could be the end of humanity as we know it. The film is adapted from the popular novel by Max Brooks and directed by Marc Forster, whose previous films include Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland and the flop James Bond film Quantum of Solace; it co-stars Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz and James Badge Dale. Read more…

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THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK – Alfred Newman

June 19, 2013 Leave a comment

diaryofannefrankMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Francis Goodrich and Albert Kackett successfully adapted the novel Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl for the Broadway stage. When it secured both a Tony award and a Pulitzer prize Warner Brothers bought the film rights and hired George Stevens to produce and direct a film adaptation. Unknown Millie Perkins was hired for the title role and was supported by Otto Schilkraut (her father Otto), Gusti Huber (her mother Edith), Richard Beymer (her boyfriend Peter Van Daan) and Shelly Winters (Petronella Van Daan). The story is set in Nazi occupied Holland where Otto Frank and his family have decided to go into hiding, because of the increasing persecutions against Jews. A sympathetic local businessman Kraler and his assistant Miep prepare a hiding place in the rooms above their place of business, and arrange for the Franks and another family, the Van Daans, to stay there. Later on, they are joined by the dentist Dussel. Together, living in isolation, they try to avoid detection while praying for Holland to be liberated by the Allies. This poignant story explores the life of persecuted people living in constant fear as seen through the eyes of Anne. The film was a stunning commercial success and won critical acclaim, securing eight Academy nominations including best score for Alfred Newman, who lost to Rozsa’s magnificent effort Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Read more…

MAN OF STEEL – Hans Zimmer

June 17, 2013 30 comments

manofsteelOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Before I begin this review of Man of Steel, let me make one or two things perfectly clear. I do not hate Hans Zimmer, or his music. I’ve met him on a couple of occasions, and he’s an extremely nice and friendly man. As a composer, I think he’s very talented. He was a genuinely groundbreaking artist when he first emerged on the scene in the late 1980s, and broke the film music mould when he wrote scores like Black Rain, Backdraft and Crimson Tide. I absolutely adore many of his works, ranging from A League of Their Own to The Prince of Egypt, The Last Samurai and Pearl Harbor. I think Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a masterpiece, and close to being the best score of his entire career. I have a few issues with the way his Remote Control organization has come to dominate the mainstream Hollywood film scoring world, but I admire him as a shrewd businessman, and he did help launch the careers of John Powell and Harry Gregson-Williams among others, which is praise-worthy in itself. Having said that, I think Man of Steel is a colossal failure of both musical ingenuity and conceptual approach. Read more…

EPIC – Danny Elfman

June 12, 2013 1 comment

epicOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Epic is an environmentally-themed animated adventure film for children, directed by Chris Wedge and loosely based on the novel ‘The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs’ by William Joyce . It follows the adventures of a young girl named Mary Katherine who, while on a visit with her eccentric scientist father, is magically shrunk down to tiny size by Tara, Queen of the Forest, who lives nearby. Entrusted with delivering an ancient prophecy regarding the queen’s heir, Mary Katherine soon becomes involved in an aeons-old war between the heroic Leaf Men, who protect the forest, and the Boggans, who want to destroy it. As all these animated films these days, the film boasts an impressive voice cast, including Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Sudeikis, and music stars Beyoncé Knowles, Pitbull and Steven Tyler. Read more…

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GAGARIN: FIRST IN SPACE – George Kallis

June 7, 2013 Leave a comment

gagarinfirstinspaceOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Gagarin: First in Space is a Russian film directed by Pavel Parkhomenko, about the life of Yuri Gagarin who, in 1961 became first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth. The film – which, to Russians, has a similar sense of national pride and honor as films like The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 does to Americans – stars Yaroslav Zhalnin as Gagarin, and features a rousing, heroic score by Cypriot composer George Kallis. Read more…