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Archive for October, 2021

SHATTERED – Alan Silvestri

October 14, 2021 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Shattered is a twisty-turny psychological thriller written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, based on the popular novel ‘The Plastic Nightmare’ by Richard Neely. The film stars Tom Berenger as Dan Merrick, a successful architect who is involved in a major car accident with his wife Judith (Greta Scacchi). Judith survives relatively unharmed, but Dan suffers major injuries and brain trauma, including amnesia, and needs plastic surgery. As he recuperates at home afterwards, with the help of his friend Jeb (Corbin Bernsen) and Jeb’s wife Jenny (Joanne Whalley), Dan slowly starts to feel that things are not quite what they appear to be, and begins to make some inquiries into his own past. These inquiries eventually lead Dan to private detective Gus Klein (Bob Hoskins), whose explosive revelations change Dan’s life forever. Read more…

THE STARLING – Benjamin Wallfisch

October 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Starling is a comedy-drama film from Netflix, directed by Theodore Melfi, starring Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, and Kevin Kline. The film is an examination of the grief suffered by the parents after the loss of a child; McCarthy and O’Dowd play Lily and Jack, a husband and wife couple whose new baby dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which results in Jack having a nervous breakdown and requiring a stay in a mental health facility. As Lily focuses all her attention on Jack, preparing for his imminent return home, she neglects her own mental health needs; to compound matters, a starling has made a nest in a tree in their back garden, which starts to dive-bomb and attack her every time she comes near it. Eventually, things change for the better for Lily when she meets Larry Fine (Kline), a former psychologist turned veterinarian, who becomes an unexpected confidant. Read more…

THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE – Roy Webb

October 11, 2021 Leave a comment

GREATEST SCORES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Renowned producer David O. Selznick saw opportunity for a riveting, suspenseful murder thriller film based on the 1933 novel Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White. He purchased the film rights, and envisioned Ingrid Bergman in the lead role. His plans for production however never came to fruition as he was forced to sell the film rights to RKO Pictures in 1946 to cover the massive cost overruns of his passion project, Duel In The Sun. RKO executives gave the green light to proceed with Dore Schary placed in charge of production, and provided a modest budget of $750,000. Robert Siodmak was tasked with directing, and screenwriter Mel Dinelli was hired to adapt the novel, which resulted in a change in the film’s title, as well as shifting its setting from England to New England. A fine cast was assembled, which included Dorothy McGuire as Helen, George Brent as Professor Albert Warren, Ethel Barrymore as Mrs. Warren, Kent Smith as Dr. Arthur Parry, and Gordon Oliver as Steven Warren. Read more…

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY – Kris Bowers

October 8, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Christopher Garner

Twenty-five years ago Michael Jordan shared the big screen with the Looney Tunes for a film that was lackluster (at best), yet is fondly remembered by a lot of people of a certain age. Now we get the sequel, in which a fictional Lebron James (played by the actual Lebron James) and his fictional son Dom (played by Cedric Joe) are sucked into a virtual multiverse of Warner Brothers properties by an evil artificial intelligence named Al-G Rhythm (played by Don Cheadle). James runs into the Looney Tunes and enlists them to play in a basketball game that will somehow determine the outcome of the film. Director Malcolm D. Lee is usually associated with comedies steeped in African American culture like Girl’s Trip, Undercover Brother, and The Best Man, rather than live action/animation hybrid films for children. This film has not fared well critically. It made $160 million worldwide, but with a budget of $150 million, it can’t exactly be termed a financial success either. Read more…

RICOCHET – Alan Silvestri

October 7, 2021 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ricochet is an action-thriller directed by Russell Mulcahy, starring Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Ice-T, Kevin Pollak, and Lindsay Wagner. Washington plays Nick Styles, an LAPD cop, who becomes a hero when he subdues and arrests a violent hitman named Earl Blake Talbot (Lithgow) during a hostage standoff. Years later, Styles is now a successful Los Angeles district attorney, but everything changes when Blake – who has now aligned himself with a group of neo-Nazis in the Aryan Brotherhood – escapes from prison and embarks on a violent and destructive revenge plot against the man who he claims destroyed his life. Ice-T plays Odessa, Styles’s former childhood friend who is now a drug dealer, and the whole thing culminates in a fight to the death atop Los Angeles’s iconic Watts Towers. The original screenplay, as written by Fred Dekker, was pitched as a Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry sequel, but it was rejected for being ‘too grim,’ and was eventually re-worked by Steven E. de Souza and Menno Meyjes as a vehicle for Washington. Read more…

NO TIME TO DIE – Hans Zimmer

October 5, 2021 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

After what feels like an eternity, wherein the film suffered delay after delay after delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 25th James Bond film No Time To Die has finally reached cinemas. It marks the end of the journey for Daniel Craig as 007 – he will be replaced by a new actor before the next film is released, whenever that may be – and also marks the climax to the arc of a series of films that began with Casino Royale in 2006 and which actually presents a fairly linear narrative across multiple films, something the Bond franchise had never attempted to do before. The film picks up the story almost immediately after the events shown in Spectre, and sees Bond travelling in Italy with Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the psychiatrist who helped him capture his arch-nemesis Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). However, an apparent betrayal sends Bond into a tailspin and into retirement – he’s leaving MI6 and the spy game for good. Years later, Bond is coaxed out of retirement by his old CIA colleague Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) after a top secret scientist goes missing, and before long Bond is facing off against a new adversary in the shape of terrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), while teaming up with a new Double-0 agent (Lashana Lynch) who views Bond as a broken, misogynistic relic from the past. The film is directed by Cary Fukunaga, and was written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and the great Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was brought in to give the screenplay a contemporary edge. Read more…

SAMSON AND DELILAH – Victor Young

October 4, 2021 Leave a comment

GREATEST SCORES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The genesis of the film began in 1934 when Paramount Studios announced that it would follow-up its lavish 1934 production of Cleopatra with the biblical romance tale of Samson and Delilah. Film rights to the libretto of the 1877 opera Samson and Delila by Camille Saint-Saëns was purchased. It would however take twelve years for renowned producer-director Cecil B. DeMille to finally get the project off the ground. He secured a budget of $3.0 million and hired Jesse L. Lasky Jr., Fredric M. Frank, and Harold Lamb to write the screenplay drawing upon biblical references as well as the 1926 novel Samson the Nazarite by Ze’ve Jabotinsky. DeMille would also direct and after some casting drama finally secured Victor Mature to star as Samson. Joining him would be a fine cast, including Hedy Lamarr as Delilah, George Sanders as The Saran of Gaza, Angela Lansbury as Semadar, and Henry Wilcoxon as Ahtur. Read more…

ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING – Siddhartha Khosla

October 1, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Only Murders in the Building is a highbrow TV comedy-drama series from Hulu, set in the world of ‘true crime podcasting’. The show stars Steve Martin and Martin Short as Charles and Oliver, a reclusive former TV actor and a failed Broadway producer, respectively, who live in an exclusive New York apartment building. They are both fans of true crime podcasts and, when a young man named Tim Kono is apparently murdered in their building, they come together to make a podcast of their own, and begin investigating Tim’s death. However, things become more complicated when a third party, a young woman named Mabel (Selena Gomez), also shows interest in Tim’s death, and joins the podcast gang. There is more to Mabel than meets the eye, and before long the trio is knee-deep in a conspiracy more dangerous than they ever expected. The show co-stars Nathan Lane and Amy Ryan, and was created by Martin and screenwriter John Hoffman along with Dan Fogelman, the producer of the hit NBC drama series This Is Us. Read more…