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Archive for June, 2017

THE SEARCHERS – Max Steiner

June 19, 2017 1 comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Renowned director John Ford had long been recognized as a master of the Western genre with successes, which included Stagecoach (1939), My Darling Clementine (1946), Fort Apache (1948) and Wagon Master (1950). He came upon a novel The Searchers (1954) by Alan Le May that he believed offered a powerful narrative, which needed to be brought to the big screen. Warner Brothers Studio approved the project, purchased the film rights and tasked Ford with bringing his vision to fruition. Frank Nugent was hired to write the screenplay and Ford assembled a stellar cast, which included; John Wayne as Ethan Edwards, Jeffrey Hunter as Martin Pawley, Vera Miles as Laurie Jorgensen, Ward Bond as Reverend Captain Samuel Clayton, Natalie Woods as Debbie Edwards and Henry Brandon as Scar. The story was set in Texas and inspired by a real life event, the 1836 kidnapping of Cynthia Ann Parker by Comanche Indians. She would spend twenty-four years of her life among them, bearing and raising three sons with her Comanche husband. Read more…

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES – Geoff Zanelli

June 16, 2017 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth entry in Disney’s tentpole Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, based on the classic dark rides found at Disney theme parks the world over. Directed by Norwegian filmmakers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, it picks up the story of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) several years after the events of the fourth film, On Stranger Tides. Down on his luck and having to resort to robbing banks to make ends meet, Jack becomes embroiled in a new adventure when the ghost of Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), fearsome pirate hunter of the Spanish Navy, is released from a cursed prison in the so-called Devil’s Triangle; Salazar, who blames Jack for his long imprisonment, begins to track Jack’s ship looking for revenge. In an effort to stop Salazar, Jack teams up with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), an intelligent young woman accused of being a witch; his old nemesis Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now a wealthy shipping fleet owner; and Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), the now-adult son of Jack’s old friends Will and Elizabeth. Together, they search for the mythical Trident of Poseidon, which they believe has the power to break Salazar’s curse… and may hold other magical powers too. Read more…

THE UNTOUCHABLES – Ennio Morricone

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The colorful life of gangster Al Capone has captured the imagination of the American public for decades. He was the notorious crime boss of Chicago during the prohibition era in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and was beloved, despised, and feared in equal measure – many in Chicago’s working class neighborhoods saw him as a Robin Hood figure, helping the downtrodden of the city. Attitudes towards him changed in the aftermath of the brutal St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, after which law enforcement officials became more intent on bringing him to justice. Brian De Palma’s 1987 film The Untouchables tells a dramatic version of this largely true story, as dogged federal agent Elliot Ness forms a team of equally determined investigators in an attempt to end Capone’s criminal activity once and for all. The film starred Kevin Costner as Ness, Robert De Niro as Capone, and Sean Connery as Ness’s world-weary ex-cop partner Jimmy Malone, a role which won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Read more…

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – Elmer Bernstein

June 12, 2017 Leave a comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Legendary producer-director Cecil B. DeMille, who at 72 was nearing the end of a great career, sought to reclaim past glory with a film that would serve as his crowning achievement. After much thought, he found his answer, in his past. He announced to the world in 1952 of his intention to remake his 1923 film, “The Ten Commandments.” DeMille stated that his retelling of the story would focus exclusively on the life of Moses. This epic film’s preparation took five years, with the script alone requiring three years to write, and the actual filming taking two years. DeMille insisted on a timeless script and so hired a quartet of screenplay writers headed by Aeneas MacKenzie to accomplish the task. The team drew upon three contemporary novels; “Prince Of Egypt” by Dorothy Clarke Wilson, “Pillar Of Fire” by Reverend J. H. Ingraham and “On Eagle’s Wing” by Reverend A. E. Southon. Lastly, DeMille insisted on historical accuracy and fidelity to the ancient texts, which included the works of Philo, Josephus, Eusebius, The Midrash and The Holy Scriptures. Read more…

WONDER WOMAN – Rupert Gregson-Williams

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s taken more than 70 years for Wonder Woman to appear in her own major live-action movie. The character first appeared in print in 1941, the creation of American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston, and has been seen as a feminist icon for more than half a century. Prior to her extended cameo in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice the most prominent depiction of her character on screen, prior to this film, was the popular 1970s TV series starring Lynda Carter; now she is front and center of her own origin story, with Israeli actress Gal Gadot playing the title role. Read more…

HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS – Bruce Broughton

June 8, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Harry and the Hendersons – released as Bigfoot and the Hendersons in the UK – is a warm-hearted family comedy about the most famous mythological creature of North American folklore, the sasquatch, or bigfoot. The film stars John Lithgow as George Henderson, an average family man who, while traveling home with his wife and children after a camping vacation, accidentally hits and apparently kills a large animal with his car on a remote forest road. Upon investigation, George realizes that the animal is a real bigfoot, and decides to take the carcass home; unfortunately, once they arrive back in suburban Seattle, it quickly becomes clear that the animal is far from dead. Despite their initial shock, the Hendersons soon discover that the bigfoot – whom they name Harry – is kind, peaceful, and intelligent, and they resolve to take him back to the wilderness, but find opposition in the form of ruthless hunter LaFleur, who has been tracking Harry and his kind for years. The film, which was directed by William Dear and co-stars Don Ameche, David Suchet, and Melinda Dillon, was a modest commercial and popular hit in the early summer of 1987, but went on to win an Academy Award for Best Makeup for the astonishing bigfoot effects applied to 7’2″ actor Kevin Peter Hall. Read more…

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS – Victor Young

June 5, 2017 1 comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Ever-ambitious producer Mike Todd sought to bring an epic adventure tale to the big screen. He hired screenwriter James Poe to adapt renowned author Jules Verne’s novel “Around The World In 80 Days”. He gave the director reigns to Michael Anderson who brought in an amazing cast which included; David Niven as the classic Victorian English gentleman Phileas Fogg, Mexican icon Cantinflas as the resourceful “Jack of all Trades” Passepartout, Shirley MacLaine as the captivating Princess Aouda, her debut acting role, and Robert Newton as the redoubtable Inspector Fix. The story takes place in England circa 1872 and centers on an epic adventure taken by Phileas Fogg and his man servant Passepartout. Fogg makes the audacious claim that he can circumnavigate the world in eighty days. He offers a £20,000 wager with four skeptical compatriots of the Reform Club, thus setting the stage for the adventure. Read more…