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…

ALIEN COVENANT – Jed Kurzel

June 3, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Alien Covenant is director Ridley Scott’s second prequel to the 1979 masterpiece Alien, following on from 2012’s Prometheus. In this film, which takes place fifteen years after the end of the previous one, we follow the space ship Covenant, which is ferrying several thousand human colonists to a remote Earth-like planet. However, an accident aboard the vessel kills the captain and forces other crew members to wake from stasis and carry out repairs; then, after they intercept what appears to be a distress call from a nearby planet, the new captain Oram (Billy Crudup) decides to investigate, despite the objections of both his second in command Daniels (Katherine Waterston), and the ship’s android Walter (Michael Fassbender). After arriving on the planet, Daniels quickly finds her misgivings to have been correct, and before long the crew is fighting for its life. Read more…

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 – Tyler Bates

May 9, 2017 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in which writer/director James Gunn blends epic space action and special effects with broad comedy and a whole host of unresolved daddy issues. In the aftermath of the events of the first film, the Guardians – Star Lord Peter Quinn (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and the newly-sprouted Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) – are now working as heroes for hire, saving planets for a price. Unfortunately for the Guardians, the aftermath of their most recent job results in them running from the haughty and arrogant High Priestess of the Sovereigns (Elizabeth Debicki), space pirate Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker), and Gamora’s vengeful sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), all of whom have different reasons for wanting to find the Guardians. Unexpectedly, the Guardians receive help from an omnipotent and powerful creature named Ego (Kurt Russell), who claims to be Quinn’s father… Read more…