Archive for October, 2019


October 25, 2019 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The 2014 film Maleficent, a revisionist re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale told from the point of view of the story’s ‘villain,’ was an unexpected box office hit for Walt Disney Pictures, and so it was inevitable that a sequel would follow. That sequel is Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and it once again stars Angelina Jolie and her razor-like cheekbones in the title role, bringing back her cut glass English accent to terrorize elocutionists the world over. It is a continuation of the original film’s story and sees young Aurora – newly crowned the Queen of the Moors – falling in love with the handsome Prince Philip of Ulstead. After Philip proposes marriage, Aurora and Maleficent are invited to Philip’s home castle by the king and queen, John and Ingrith; however, unknown to all, Ingrith has been hiding a deep lifelong hatred of fairies and moorland people, and has a plan to destroy them all. The film co-stars Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Harris Dickinson, and is directed by Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Rønning, who took over duties from Robert Stromberg. Read more…


October 24, 2019 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Walt Disney Corporation is, for better or worse, probably the world’s biggest and most influential media and entertainment company. Not only does it own its own catalogue of classic live action and animated films, including those made by Pixar, it of course also owns Lucasfilm and the rights to the Star Wars universe, Marvel and the Avengers universe, and has recently bought Twentieth Century Fox and it’s entire cache of intellectual property. As I write this five of the six highest grossing films of 2019 are Disney features, and we haven’t even seen Frozen II or Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker yet, which could lock out seven of 2019’s Top 10. It’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always this way, and even easier to forget that the film that turned it all around was an animated feature based on a classic story by a children’s author from Denmark. Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2019, Part III

October 15, 2019 1 comment

I am pleased to present the third installment in my ongoing series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world in 2019. Rather than grouping the scores on a geographical basis, this year I decided to again simply present the scores in a random order, and so this third batch includes reviews of four more disparate scores from the first nine months of the year – including two magnificent nature documentaries from Germany and Romania, a swashbuckling adventure score from a Spanish animated film, and a gritty 1970’s inspired action-thriller score from a historical Spanish drama! Read more…

STEEL MAGNOLIAS – Georges Delerue

October 10, 2019 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A classic Hollywood emotional melodrama based on the play of the same name by Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias is a close look at the lives of a group of women in a small town in Louisiana. It is a detailed examination of all aspects of life – weddings and funerals, children, husbands, and boyfriends, love and infidelity, loneliness, sickness, and death – and is mostly set around the town’s local beauty parlor, where the women often congregate to gossip, congratulate, commiserate, and mourn. The film is anchored by an astonishing ensemble cast of female acting brilliance, including Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and most notably Julia Roberts in the role that made her a star. It’s one of those three-handkerchief movies that is entirely intended to wring every drop of emotion out of its audience, and it is considered somewhat manipulative and mawkish today, but in 1989 it was a huge hit, earning Roberts her first Academy Award nomination. The film was also the biggest box office success of director Herbert Ross’s career – despite him having previously made such acclaimed films as The Sunshine Boys, The Turning Point, The Goodbye Girl, California Suite, and Footloose – and it had a score by the great Georges Delerue. Read more…

JOKER – Hildur Guðnadóttir

October 7, 2019 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In this era where super hero movies are a dime a dozen, where in the past 30 years we’ve had at least three Supermen, five Batmen, three Spider-Men, and innumerable iterations of other DC and Marvel comic book characters, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to do something completely out-of-the-box different. While the majority of these films concentrate on the heroes, perhaps the most iconic villain in all of comic book history is the Joker, the long-standing nemesis of Batman. He has been portrayed on film multiple times himself; by Cesar Romero in 1966, by Jack Nicholson in 1989, by Heath Ledger in 2008, and by Jared Leto most recently in 2016, with Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance in The Dark Knight coming to be considered the gold standard. There have been multiple origin stories for the character, but he has never been the sole focus of a film before – until now. Read more…

HENRY V – Patrick Doyle

October 3, 2019 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1989 Kenneth Branagh was a brash, handsome, dazzlingly talented young actor and director, who emerged from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the early 1980s and set the British theatrical world alight with his electrifying Shakespearean productions. He was part of a group of talented contemporaries which included people like Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Rowan Atkinson, all of whom began to have a profound effect on British stage society through their respective careers in drama and comedy. Branagh then went on to create the Renaissance Theatre Company, which brought his troupe of players into the circle of beloved stage veterans like Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Derek Jacobi, and Sir John Gielgud. Together they made enormously successful stage productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, the latter of which directly led to Branagh receiving funding to make a big-screen adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works, Henry V. Read more…

THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE – Daniel Pemberton and Samuel Sim

October 1, 2019 5 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1982 the Jim Henson Company released what was, at the time, the most ambitious puppet-centric movie ever made: The Dark Crystal. Despite being a rich fantasy film of evil monsters and gallant heroes, visually stunning and wondrously creative, it was not an immediate success upon its release, with many people considering it much too scary for its young target audience. However, in the intervening 37 years it has become a beloved cult classic, a cultural touchstone for many 1980s children who were left enchanted and terrified in equal measure. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel for decades, but have been forced to be content with various comic books and novels to quench their thirst for additional tales from this universe – until now. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a 10-episode series produced by Netflix which acts as a prequel to the original movie, and with its increased budget actually surpasses the original in terms of its larger scope, richer detailing, brilliant storytelling, and visual majesty. Read more…