Archive for February, 2017


February 17, 2017 1 comment

legobatmanmovieOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Considering the combined box office success of both the Batman movies, and the 2015 Lego Movie, as well as the fact that the former character enjoyed a memorable extended plastic cameo in the latter, it was almost inevitable that the caped crusader would get his own Lego spinoff. Directed by Chris McKay, the film takes a fairly standard animated movie plot trope – Batman having to drop the ‘lone vigilante’ persona and work with his friends to stop the Joker – and surrounds it with a never-ending stream of pop culture references, in-jokes, cameos, and one-liners, some of which come so thick and fast that they barely have time to register as being funny before the next gag hits. Parts of The Lego Batman Movie are genuinely brilliant, creative and clever, and very funny, but the whole thing feels like a movie designed by a hyperactive six year old on way too much sugar. Visually, the movie veers from being astonishingly good to being a brain-smashing mess, while the action sequences feel like they are edited with an average shot length of less than a second. It’s a movie which, by the end, has relentlessly hammered you into submission, and left you gasping for breath and crawling for the exit. Read more…

BAFTA Winners 2016

February 12, 2017 Leave a comment

hurwitz-baftaThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) have announced the winners of the 70th British Academy Film Awards, honoring the best in film in 2016.

In the Best Original Score category composer Justin Hurwitz won the award for his score for the contemporary screen music La La Land. In accepting his award, Hurwitz said:

“Thank you to the Academy. I wanted to share this as well with our incredible lyricists, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote all the words. I remember talking a couple of years ago to somebody who came to the BAFTAs as a part of a movie that had multiple nominations and they were saying that one of the coolest things was getting to know other people who worked on the movie who you may not have known, and that’s not the experience I’m having because this was such an unusually collaborative movie where from the very beginning we were working under one roof, and I got to see these other artists work up close. I got to see Mary Zophres designing the costumes, and watch the Wascos work, and watch Linus (Sandgren) shoot it, and I was constantly inspired by the work of these other artists, which is a cool experience for a composer in general, but to see it under the direction of Damian (Chazelle), who’s so masterful, is really something I’ll never forget. This is very cool trophy, by the way, I really like it. Beautiful Thank you!”

The other nominees were Jóhann Jóhannsson for Arrival, Abel Korzeniowski for Nocturnal Animals, Mica Levi for Jackie, and Dustin O’Halloran and Volker “Hauschka” Bertelmann for Lion.

Categories: News and Announcements Tags: ,

NEWTOWN – Fil Eisler

February 11, 2017 3 comments

newtownOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Friday, December 14, 2012, began as a fairly standard day in Newtown, Connecticut. People getting up, eating breakfast with their families, and heading to work. Moms and dads dropping their kids off at school. This all changed at 9:35am when a mentally ill young man named Adam Lanza stole a shotgun, murdered his mother, and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he subsequently shot and killed 26 other people – most of them children aged six and seven – before turning the gun on himself. The incident was the deadliest mass shooting at a high school or grade school, and the third-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in American history – and yet, despite public outcry, despite the catastrophic numbers of dead children, the Government of then-President Barack Obama was unable to pass stricter laws on gun ownership. It remains ridiculously easy for Americans to buy these sorts of deadly weapons, and as such future tragedies like this remain a distinct possibility. These events, and their aftermath, are examined in detail in the harrowing documentary feature Newtown, directed by Kim A. Snyder. Read more…

IFMCA Award Nominations 2016

February 9, 2017 1 comment


The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2016, for the 13th annual IFMCA Awards. In a wide open field, the most nominated composers are Michael Giacchino and Justin Hurwitz, with five nominations each, and Abel Korzeniowski, with four nominations.

Giacchino is nominated for his work on two scores; the action-packed comic book fantasy film “Doctor Strange,” and the popular and socially aware Disney animated film “Zootopia,” as well as for the “Night on the Yorktown” cue from his score for “Star Trek Beyond”. In addition, his score for the first of the Star Wars spinoff films, “Rogue One,” helped him secure a nomination for Composer of the Year. Giacchino is a 36-time IFMCA Award nominee who previously received Score of the Year honors in 2004 for “The Incredibles,” and in 2009 for “Up”. Read more…

Categories: News and Announcements Tags: ,

Movie Music UK Awards 2016

February 3, 2017 3 comments

mmukawardsI know I have said this year after year, but this year it seems to be truer than ever: choosing the best scores of 2016 was an incredibly difficult task. The issue, for me, was the lack of a clear 5-star masterpiece score, combined with a whole host of very good-but-not-great scores.I keep a running tally of every score I hear throughout the year, and I have ended up with an astonishing 58 scores which, if I were still giving out star ratings, I would have rated either **** or ****½.

Putting these in any kind of hierarchical order is virtually impossible task considering the tiny margins of quality between each score but, nevertheless, it’s something I had to do. So, after much deliberation, here are my choices for the Best Scores of 2016! Read more…

PASSENGERS – Thomas Newman

February 1, 2017 5 comments

passengersOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Passengers is a romantic drama with a sci-fi twist, a love story amongst the stars with an unusual moral dilemma at its core, and with an action movie climax that stands at odds with much of the gentle comedy of the first half of the movie. Directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Jon Spaihts, the film stars Chris Pratt as Jim Preston, one of 5,000 colonists on board a state-of-the-art starship traveling to a new life on Homestead II, a distant planet. The journey takes 120 years, and the passengers are all in hibernation, but a malfunction on board the ship causes Jim to accidentally wake up 90 years early. After unsuccessfully trying to put himself back into hibernation, Jim resigns himself to his fate; despite having access to the ship’s luxurious facilities, Jim only has an android bartender (Michael Sheen) for company, and after a year of isolation decides to commit suicide. It is at this lowest point that Jim comes across Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), a fellow passenger, whose cryo-tube is still working, and the film’s moral dilemma emerges: should Jim, who believes he has fallen in love, wake Aurora up for companionship, knowing that doing so will result in her never reaching Homestead II? Read more…