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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Broughton’

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…

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THE BOY WHO COULD FLY – Bruce Broughton

August 18, 2016 Leave a comment

boywhocouldfly-vareseTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Boy Who Could Fly was a popular family drama, written and directed by Nick Castle, about a friendship that helps two children overcome deep emotional wounds. Lucy Deakins stars as Millie, a 14-year old girl who makes friends with Eric (Jay Underwood), the similarly-aged boy next door, after the suicide of her terminally ill father. Eric has autism, and lives with his alcoholic uncle (Fred Gwynne), because both his parents were killed in a plane crash when he was much younger. Despite Eric’s verbal inability to communicate, the two teenagers nevertheless seem to help each other deal with their personal issues, but before long a series of unusual events lead Millie to think that, somehow, Eric has the ability to fly. The film was both a critical and popular success at the box office in the late summer of 1986 (it subsequently won the prestigious Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film); it co-starred Bonnie Bedelia, Fred Savage, and Colleen Dewhurst, and had its sense of magic enhanced immeasurably by Bruce Broughton’s gorgeous score. Read more…

YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES – Bruce Broughton

November 5, 2015 Leave a comment

youngsherlockholmesTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The fascination with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes has often been such that people have ventured beyond the realms of the original 60 stories, and written extrapolations investigating both Holmes’s childhood and his life after his career ended, as well as re-imaginings of the character in more contemporary settings. The 1985 film Young Sherlock Holmes is one such tale, an original story chronicling the supposed first meeting between Sherlock Holmes and his long-suffering friend John Watson, and their first adventure together. Written by Chris Columbus and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, the film stars Nicholas Rowe as Holmes and Alan Cox as Watson, who meet as teenagers at London’s Brompton Academy in the 1870s. After a series of murders in which the victims – one of whom is Holmes’s mentor and former professor Rupert Waxflatter – experience terrifying hallucinations before they die, and after having his suspicions rebuffed by an incompetent police chief, Holmes and Watson begin to investigate the case themselves, and uncover a secret cult of Egyptian god worshippers who appear to be responsible for the deaths. The film co-stars Anthony Higgins, Sophie Ward, and Nigel Stock, and received generally positive reviews, especially for its special effects: the film is notable for including the first fully computer-generated animated character in the shape of a knight made of stained glass, and was one of the first films worked on by pioneering animator John Lasseter, who would later go on to found Pixar. Read more…

SILVERADO – Bruce Broughton

July 23, 2015 1 comment

silveradoexpandedTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite being the quintessential genre of American cinema, the western often goes through periods of decline, lulls in production where very few films of quality are produced by Hollywood. The early 1980s was one of those periods when cowboys were seemingly out of fashion, having been tainted by the overblown budget and massive failure of Heaven’s Gate at the box office in 1980. It would take five years for someone to take a gamble on another one, but two came out in the summer of 1985 – Clint Eastwood’s introverted and introspective Pale Rider, and Lawrence Kasdan’s more traditionally adventurous Silverado. With an all-star cast of talented character actors including Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Linda Hunt, and even John Cleese, the film follows the escapades of four drifters who become unlikely friends and find themselves in the small town of Silverado, New Mexico, caught in the middle of a land war between open range cowboys and homesteading farmers, and dealing with individual demons from their own past. The film was a modest financial success, taking $32 million at the box office, and was generally well received at the time, but as the years have gone by Silverado is now looked on more favorably, and is considered a turning point in the revitalization of the genre. Read more…

TEXAS RISING – John Debney and Bruce Broughton

June 16, 2015 5 comments

texasrisingOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The American cable TV channels A&E and History have, in recent years, been branching out of their usual comfort zone and producing a number of epic mini-series chronicling important events or people in American history. Their first effort, in 2012, told the story of the feud between the Hatfields & McCoys that has since become part of American folklore; the second, in 2013, was a chronicle of the lives of gangsters Bonnie & Clyde, while the third, in 2014, was an extended biography of the life of magician Harry Houdini. Their latest project is a 10-hour western epic called Texas Rising, which chronicles the events of the 1835 war which led to the state of Texas breaking away from Mexico, and briefly becoming an independent nation, before becoming the 28th state of the United States. A large number of important historical events, like the battle at the Alamo, and pivotal figures from the American west, such as Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and Sam Houston, are depicted by director Roland Joffé, whose cast includes a who’s who of character actors, including Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Kris Kristofferson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Crispin Glover and Jeff Fahey. Read more…

A SYMPHONY OF HOPE: THE HAITI PROJECT – Christopher Lennertz et al.

October 2, 2011 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

On January 12, 2010, the city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti was effectively flattened when it was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Within a matter of seconds over 50,000 people had been killed, and over a million people left homeless. Diseases such as cholera blighted the survivors and thwarted relief efforts, and since then the humanitarian crisis in the country has reached staggering proportions, with over 250,000 residences destroyed and basic services and infrastructure left in ruins. Reacting to the global call for help, film composer Christopher Lennertz was inspired to act. Calling upon his fellow composers and other members of the Los Angeles film music community of musicians and engineers, Lennertz teamed up with the charity Hands Together to create A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project, a musical fundraising project intended to help the people of Haiti. Read more…

A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Last Saturday, March 26th, I had the honor attending the recording sessions for “A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project” at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, CA. The brainchild of composer Christopher Lennertz, the Symphony is musical fundraising project designed to help the people of Haiti in their desperate time of need.

A year after the terrible earthquake which destroyed the lives of thousands of Haitians, it was clear to Lennertz that the need for assistance was greater than ever. In response Lennertz came up with the idea of the “Symphony of Hope”, and invited 25 leading film composers to collaborate with him on a project to benefit the Haiti Earthquake Relief fund. Read more…