Posts Tagged ‘Bear McCreary’


November 8, 2022 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is one of the most lavish, ambitious, and expensive television shows in the history of the medium. It’s a prequel to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film series, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings histories, The Silmarillion, and its various appendices, and is set in the Second Age of Middle-Earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings took place. Essentially it tells the ‘origin story’ of several key events in LOTR lore: the fall of the Dark Lord Morgoth and subsequent rise of his chief servant Sauron, the creation of the land of Mordor, the fate of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the forging of the Rings of Power, as well as the relationships between various elves, dwarves, and men, who make and break alliances in an effort to combat the tide of evil. Numerous familiar characters from the film series appear, not least the elves Galadriel and Elrond, as well as a race of creatures known as ‘harfoots,’ the ancestors of the hobbits. Read more…


August 2, 2022 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

At first glance, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank looks like one of those tired animated films that come out seemingly weekly to keep the kids entertained for 90 minutes during those dog days of summer, but a deeper look reveals a few interesting things. First of all, the film is an animated remake of the classic 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles, albeit transposed to a fantasy world of samurai cats and dogs, which is an unexpectedly brilliant idea in and of itself. Second, the film is co-directed by master animator Rob Minkoff, one of the men behind such classics as The Lion King. Third, it has an astonishing voice cast, including Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, George Takei, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh, and Mel Brooks himself essentially reprising his role as Governor Le Petomane from Blazing Saddles. Fourth – and most importantly from my point of view – it has a score by Bear McCreary. Read more…


January 14, 2022 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A comedy-horror-thriller with an indie attitude, This Game’s Called Murder is the latest film from writer-director Adam Sherman. It stars Ron Perlman, Natasha Henstridge, and Vanessa Marano, and is about the eccentric members of the Wallendorf family. Mr. Wallendorf is a fashion mogul and designer of iconic red high heeled shoes, and Mrs. Wallendorf is his conniving brutal wife. Their daughter, Jennifer, is a superstar on social media, and it is her struggle to come to terms with who she is inside this powerful but massively dysfunctional family that leads her down a road of violence, anarchy, and many, many Instagram posts. The film premiered in a few theaters and on streaming services in December 2021, but mostly it has flown under the radar – and it would have flown under mine entirely were it not for the fact that it was scored by Bear McCreary. Read more…


August 17, 2021 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I am Adam, Prince of Eternia, defender of the secrets of Castle Grayskull. This is Cringer, my fearless friend. Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said… by the power of Grayskull!

When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was one of my favorite cartoon shows. It was, of course, created as a vehicle to sell action figures by the global toy company Mattel, and it was exceptionally preachy, with an obvious ‘moral of the story’ coda at the end of each episode, but 8-year-old me didn’t care. I couldn’t get enough of the noble warrior Adam and his muscular alter-ego, saving his home planet from the evil Skeletor with the help of his friends – an ever-changing cast that usually included the heroic man-at-arms Duncan, his trusty steed Cringer aka Battle Cat, the magical Orko, and the warrior princess Teela. Looking back at it now with more adult eyes, it was incredibly cheesy and repetitive, badly animated, and somewhat crudely written; despite this, I have fond nostalgic memories of the show, which have stayed with me over the years. Read more…


July 29, 2020 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Animal Crackers is an animated adventure film for children, directed by Scott Christian Sava and Tony Bancroft (who co-directed Mulan), which is somewhat astonishingly inspired by the animal-shaped biscuits/cookies of the same name. It’s a surprisingly convoluted story but, basically, the plot boils down to a family of circus owners who are given a magical box of Animal Crackers which temporarily turns people into whatever animal shape they eat, and which they use to save their livelihood and thwart the plans of their evil uncle, who wants to take the circus over for his own nefarious purposes. The film has an astonishing voice cast – John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Ian McKellen, Danny DeVito, Sylvester Stallone – and premiered at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2017 prior to debuting in cinemas in China in 2018. It was slated for release in the United States later that same year but financial issues involving the distributor led to it being delayed and delayed, and then with all the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it eventually skipped theaters altogether, and was finally released on Netflix in July 2020. Read more…


June 12, 2019 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ever since he first appeared on film in 1954 in director Ishiro Honda’s classic film Gojira, the gigantic amphibious reptile known in the West as Godzilla has become something of an icon, an instantly recognizable element of Japanese pop culture. Godzilla has appeared in an astonishing 32 films in Japan, plus a number of associated video games, novels, comic books, and television shows, but did not make his American debut until the 1998 film directed by Roland Emmerich. When that film was a comparative financial flop, audiences would have to wait a further 16 years for director Gareth Edwards’s 2014 film of the same name. The success of that film solidified Warner Brother’s plans for a future franchise, and now we have the first sequel – Godzilla: King of the Monsters – directed by Michael Dougherty from a screenplay by Dougherty, Max Borenstein, and Zach Shields. Read more…

RIM OF THE WORLD – Bear McCreary

June 4, 2019 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Rim of the World is a sci-fi action adventure film for children, written by Zack Stentz and directed by ‘McG’. It tells the story of four misfit friends attending a summer camp in the mountains above Los Angeles – when all of a sudden the Earth is invaded by aliens. Somehow, these four intrepid teenage adventurers find themselves in possession of a key which holds vital information about how to stop the invasion, and must trek across through the wilderness, down the mountain, and deliver the key to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, before the aliens find them first. The whole thing is a fun, kid-friendly adventure that has proved to be a popular success since its premiere on Netflix in the summer of 2019. Read more…


May 17, 2019 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

On the surface, a film about the man who wrote the first Oxford English Dictionary might not seem like an especially compelling narrative, but somehow director Farhad Safinia’s film The Professor and the Madman appears to have done just that. It is adapted from Simon Winchester’s acclaimed book The Surgeon of Crowthorne, and stars Mel Gibson as Professor James Murray, the Scottish linguist tasked with the creation of the tome. More specifically, it examines the friendship that developed between Murray and Dr William Chester Minor, an American amateur lexicographer who contributed tens of thousands of quotations to the book – despite the fact that he was an inmate at Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane, where he had been sent after he had murdered a complete stranger in a fit of paranoia. The film has a superb supporting cast of great British character actors and Game of Thrones alumni – Natalie Dormer, Eddie Marsan, Jennifer Ehle, Ioan Gruffudd, Stephen Dillane, Steve Coogan, Anthony Andrews – and has an absolutely ravishing original score by Bear McCreary. Read more…

HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U – Bear McCreary

February 27, 2019 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Blumhouse’s low-budget comedy horror slasher film Happy Death Day was an unexpected critical and commercial success in 2017. Audiences really connected with it’s appealing cast, knowing and witty sense of humor, plentiful scares, and clever mix of genres – perhaps the best description of the film was ‘Groundhog Day meets Scream’. The film starred Jessica Rothe as Tree, a university student who is stalked around campus and eventually murdered by someone wearing a ‘baby mask’ similar to those worn by her school’s mascot. The twist comes by way of the fact that Tree is caught in a time loop, and every time she dies she wakes up again that same morning in her dorm room, fated to continue this cycle of being murdered again and again until she finds out who the killer is. In this sequel, which is again directed by Christopher Landon, Tree finds herself caught in the time loop for a second time – despite her having solved her own murder at the end of the first film – but this time is required to team up with a group of experimental science students who appear to have created a parallel universe where Tree’s killer still exists. The film co-stars Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Ruby Modine, and Suraj Sharma from Life of Pi. Read more…


October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

If ever you’ve wanted to see the 1990s movie Groundhog Day re-imagined as a serial killer horror thriller, then Happy Death Day is the film for you. It’s a fun, imaginative little slice of mischief in which Tree, a young female college student, finds herself living the same day over and over again – her birthday – and being murdered at the end of it by a deranged killer in a baby mask. She wakes up again the following morning in the dorm room of her sheepish one night stand, and slowly comes to realize that she must solve her own murder if she is to escape this endless time-loop of blood and death. The film, which was directed by Christopher Landon and stars Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard, is self-aware and tongue-in cheek, with enough playful humor to keep things light, but enough creepiness to make it an effective whodunit, especially when the hooded and masked killer is on screen. Read more…

REBEL IN THE RYE – Bear McCreary

September 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Rebel in the Rye is a biopic about the life of J. D. Salinger, the reclusive author of the classic 1951 novel about teenage angst and social alienation, Catcher in the Rye. It looks mainly at Salinger’s life as a young man, charting the time he spent serving on the front lines in World War II, following the creation and publication of Catcher, examining his relationships with his girlfriend Oona O’Neill, his mentor Whit Burnett, and his supportive publisher Dorothy Olding, and lamenting the subsequent unwanted fame and notoriety Salinger suffered through, which led him to withdraw from public view for most of the rest of his life. The film was written and directed by Danny Strong, and stars Nicholas Hoult as Salinger, with Zoey Deutsch, Kevin Spacey, and Sarah Paulson in supporting roles. Read more…


March 18, 2016 3 comments

10cloverfieldlaneOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

A ‘spiritual successor’ to the 2008 film Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane is the directorial debut of Dan Trachtenberg. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle, a young woman who, after breaking up with her boyfriend and then crashing her car, wakes up in an underground bunker, chained to the wall, and with a broken leg. The well-stocked and surprisingly comfortable bunker is owned by Howard (John Goodman), a survivalist and doomsday prepper, who gradually explains that some sort of ‘attack’ has occurred outside, rendering the atmosphere toxic, and that he brought her to his bunker after finding her crashed car, saving her life. Michelle also meets Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.), one of Howard’s neighbors, who fought his way into the bunker after the supposed attack occurred. Over time, the three of them learn to coexist in their tense proximity, despite Howard’s paranoia and unstable personality, but soon events cause Michelle to wonder whether Howard’s claims about the outside world are true. Read more…