Posts Tagged ‘Dave Grusin’

HAVANA – Dave Grusin

December 10, 2020 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A political drama enlivened with a splash of sultry romance, Havana was director Sydney Pollack’s long-awaited follow-up to his multi award-winning epic Out of Africa, which swept the Oscars in 1985. The film is set in 1958, literally days before the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, and stars Robert Redford as Jack Weil, an American professional gambler who travels to Havana to take part in a poker tournament. Following a chance meeting on the ferry from Florida, Jack quickly finds himself embroiled in a number of dangerous political situations, almost all of which seem to involve either revolutionary leader Arturo Durán (Raul Julia), CIA operative Marion Chigwell (Daniel Davis) who is moonlighting as a restaurant critic, or the dangerous local head of the secret police Menocal (Tomás Milián). Most dangerous of all is his illicit affair with Roberta (Lena Olin), the sexy and seductive wife of Durán, the repercussions of which could not only affect the immediate relationship between husband and wife, but the success of the revolution entirely. Read more…


May 9, 2019 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Fabulous Baker Boys is a musical comedy-drama, written and directed by Steve Kloves. It stars real-life brothers Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges as Jack Baker and Frank Baker, jazz musicians who are struggling to find success. Frank is a happy family man, whereas Jack is single and lonely, his personal life little more than a series of one night stands. Things change when Suzie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), a former escort and aspiring singer, comes into their lives; in addition to having a surprisingly terrific singing voice, she also increases their commercial potential, and soon the duo becomes a trio. However, as it always does, trouble rears its ugly head when Jack and Suzie start having romantic feelings for each other, a relationship which has the potential to drive the brothers apart. The film was a massive commercial and critical success at the time, and received four Academy Award nominations, but is now mostly remembered for the scene in which Pfeiffer performs an impossibly sexy rendition of Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn’s “Makin’ Whoopee” while draped across Bridges’s grand piano. Read more…

ON GOLDEN POND – Dave Grusin

March 11, 2019 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Jane Fonda was an avid reader, and happened to come across the novel On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson. She was captivated by the story and bought the film rights, intending for her father Henry Fonda to play the lead role of Norman Thayer. She secured financial backing for the film from Lord Grade, of the British studio ITC Entertainment. Bruce Gilbert was assigned to produce the film, and Mark Rydell was tasked with directing. Jane Fonda had always intended that this film would be a father-daughter endeavor, and so her father Henry Fonda was hired to play Norman Thayer, while she would play the estranged daughter Chelsea. The story’s father-daughter estrangement mirrored the real-life relationship of Jane and her father and ultimately proved to be cathartic, in that it restored their relationship. Joining them would be Katherine Hepburn as Ethel Thayer, Doug McKeon and Billy Ray, Dabney Coleman as Bill Ray, and William Lanteau as Charlie Martin. Read more…


March 22, 2018 6 comments


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the annals of recent film music history, there is perhaps no more obscure a winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score than Dave Grusin’s The Milagro Beanfield War. Even the film itself is virtually forgotten today, despite it being directed by Robert Redford and having a cast that includes Rubén Blades, Sônia Braga, Melanie Griffith, John Heard, Daniel Stern, and Christopher Walken. It’s a political comedy-drama – as Redford’s films often are – about the residents of a rural New Mexico town who find themselves in an ever-escalating confrontation with a group of unscrupulous businessmen. The businessmen want to buy tracts of land in order to invest in a series of lucrative property developments, but before they can do so they need the local residents to leave, so they divert the local water supply, leaving the farmers unable to irrigate their crops. It’s a very 1980s story about how the financial concerns of the wealthy ignore, and sometimes intentionally destroy, the rights of working class people. Read more…

THE GOONIES – Dave Grusin

June 11, 2015 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most beloved children’s adventure films of the 1980s, The Goonies tells the story of seven friends – Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, and Ke Huy Quan – who are about to be separated forever when their homes in small-town Oregon are bought by a ruthless developer. In a last-ditch attempt to raise the money they need to buy back their property, the Goonies embark on a mission to locate the long-lost treasure belonging to the pirate One Eyed Willie, whose shipwreck is rumored to be just off the coast; however, as they search for the booty, the friends quickly find themselves embroiled in a much more dangerous situation when they accidentally stumble across the Fratelli gang (Anne Ramsey, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano), bank robbers who are hiding from the law nearby. The film, which was directed by Richard Donner, produced by Steven Spielberg, and written by Chris Columbus, caught the imagination of a generation, and has gone on to be a genre classic, with a multitude of quotable lines and memorable scenes: the cry of “hey, you guys!,” and the term ‘truffle shuffle’ have since gone on to be part of the Hollywood lexicon. 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…


October 8, 1999 Leave a comment

randomheartsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite having written some truly lovely orchestral scores in his career, notably Havana and On Golden Pond, Dave Grusin’s first love is and always will be jazz. In the liner notes for this release of his score for Random Hearts, Grusin muses that “no-one loves romantic music more than Sidney Pollack”, but it was felt that on this project he was “looking for something a little more lean and stark” than on their other nine collaborations. A consummate craftsman, Grusin responded with an intriguing, engaging jazz score. Random Hearts stars Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott-Thomas, two secure professional people in fulfilling relationships whose lives are torn apart when their respective partners are killed in the same plane crash. It soon transpires that, unbeknown to Ford and Thomas, his wife and her husband were having an affair with each other, a fact which, when combined with the sense of grief and betrayal felt by the surviving spouses, gradually draws them together. Part tragedy, part melodrama, part romance, Random Hearts sounds great on paper but, unfortunately, failed to set the box office alight, instead ending up as Harrison Ford’s first major flop in over a decade. Read more…