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Archive for March, 2016

JEAN DE FLORETTE – Jean-Claude Petit

March 31, 2016 Leave a comment

jeandefloretteTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jean de Florette is one of the most critically acclaimed and important French films of the 20th century. Directed by Claude Berri and adapted from the novel by Marcel Pagnol, it stars three of France’s most prominent actors of the era – Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, and Yves Montand. Montand and Auteuil play César and Ugolin, uncle and nephew, impoverished farmers in Provence shortly after the end of World War I. They covet the neighboring farm owned by the Cadoret family, especially its abundant water, provided by a natural spring on the property. When ownership of the Cadoret farm transfers to Jean (Depardieu), a city tax collector and hunchback with a young daughter named Manon, César and Ugolin see an opportunity to seize the farm for themselves, and embark on a series of schemes designed to turn the community against Jean and drive him away. The film was a massive success, and saw audiences connecting with its universal themes of jealousy and greed, while simultaneously being charmed by cinematographer Bruno Nuytten’s gorgeous photography of the French landscape. The film received eight César and ten BAFTA nominations, winning a total of five, and was largely responsible for the tourist boom in Provence during the 1980s and 90s, especially among the British. Read more…

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – Hans Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg

March 29, 2016 10 comments

batmanvsupermanOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In an attempt to compete with Marvel and their cadre of interlocking super-hero pictures, DC Comics have begun to develop their own version of a cinematic universe. It began with Man of Steel in 2013, director Zack Snyder’s re-imagining of the Superman story, and continues with this second film, which sees the introduction of Batman and several other DC characters into a single, shared story space, setting up what will eventually become the Justice League. Rather than continuing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice takes yet another fresh look at Gotham’s cowl-wearing warrior, replacing Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne with Ben Affleck and Michael Caine’s Alfred with Jeremy Irons. The film inserts Wayne into the immediate aftermath of the finale of Man of Steel by having him witness the conclusive fight between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod over Metropolis, and the devastation that accompanied it, from the ground. Jump forward 18 months, and Wayne has committed himself to exposing Superman as an unstoppable threat to humanity. Meanwhile, Superman’s alter-ego, newspaperman Clark Kent, has become concerned with Batman’s personal brand of vigilante justice in nearby Gotham, and resolves to expose him. However, unbeknownst to either Kent or Wayne, their mutual plans are being manipulated by technology mogul Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who has megalomaniacal tendencies of his own, and wants both Batman and Superman out of his way. Read more…

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID – Burt Bacharach

March 28, 2016 Leave a comment

butchcassidyandthesundancekidMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

For screenplay writer William Goldman, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was a passion project. He first came upon the story of Cassidy and Longbaugh in the late 1950s, was fascinated by the men, and felt it was a story that needed to be brought to the big screen. Richard Zanuck of 20th Century Fox saw gold when he read the script and purchased the rights for an astounding $400,000! He tasked John Foreman to produce and George Roy Hill to direct. A stellar cast was brought in, which included; Paul Newman (Butch Cassidy), Robert Redford (The Sundance Kid), Katherine Ross (Etta Place), Jeff Corey (Sheriff Bledsoe, and Strother Martin (Percy Garris). Read more…

MISCONDUCT – Federico Jusid

March 25, 2016 Leave a comment

misconductOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Had Misconduct been made in the 1990s, it would have been one of the most anticipated films of the year, such is its stellar cast and genre. A legal thriller set in the high stakes world of the pharmaceutical industry, it stars Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino as, respectively, a pharma exec and the owner of a law company, who both attempt to manipulate young litigator Josh Duhamel as he prosecutes Hopkins’s company for corruption. Unfortunately the film – which is directed by Japanese-American filmmaker Shintaro Shimosawa, and also stars Alice Eve, Malin Åkerman, and Julia Stiles – has been consigned to the dreaded ‘limited release/video-on-demand simultaneous release’ list where movies go to die, a very undignified fate for two of the greatest screen actors of their generation. Read more…

WHERE THE RIVER RUNS BLACK – James Horner

March 24, 2016 2 comments

wheretheriverrunsblackTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1986, despite having achieved a great deal of popularity and success for his large scale orchestral scores, James Horner entered what many call his ‘experimental synth’ phase, such was the film music zeitgeist at the time. It lasted several years, in parallel with many of his more traditional symphonic works, and encompassed such scores as The Name of the Rose, Red Heat, Vibes, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, and Thunderheart, but appears to have begun in earnest with this one: a little-known drama called Where the River Runs Black. The film was directed by Christopher Cain (father of TV Superman Dean Cain), and tells the story of a young orphan boy named Lazaro, who grows up feral in the Amazon jungle, but is eventually found and sent to live at a Catholic mission with a kind priest, Father O’Reilly, played by Charles Durning. O’Reilly cares for the boy, and teaches him to speak, and for a while it seems as though Lazaro’s life is settled; however, through a set of coincidental circumstances, Lazaro meets a local businessman and recognizes him as the man who murdered his mother when he was just six years old. Read more…

ZOOTOPIA – Michael Giacchino

March 22, 2016 Leave a comment

zootopiaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Zootopia is the latest animated film from Walt Disney, directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore. A comedy-crime caper with undertones that explore themes of racism, xenophobia, and political corruption (yes, really!), the film follows the adventures of Judy Hopps, an ambitious rabbit who wants to become the first leporine police officer in Zootopia, a city populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. Before long Judy is embroiled in a case in which several animals have been reported as going missing and “turning savage,” reverting back to the old ways of predators and their prey. To solve the case, Judy must team up with a wisecracking and streetwise fox named Nick Wilde, find the missing persons, and discover how and why the animals are devolving to their “natural state”. The film features the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, and J.K. Simmons, and has an original score by Michael Giacchino. Read more…

THE LION IN WINTER – John Barry

March 21, 2016 2 comments

lioninwinterMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer Joe Levine had a contract with Peter O’Toole and was looking for a film to again showcase his talent. He found the vehicle in the Broadway play “The Lion In Winter” by James Goldman that offered dramatic dialogue, which would play to O’Toole’s thespian strengths. Anthony Harvey was brought in to direct the film and they hired an amazing cast to support Peter O’Toole (King Henry II), which included Katherine Hepburn (Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine), their three sons, Anthony Hopkins (Richard), John Castle (Geoffrey), and Nigel Terry (John). Also joining was Jane Morrow (Henry’s mistress Alais) and Timothy Dalton (King Philip II of France). Hopkins and Dalton were both making their screen acting debuts. Read more…