Posts Tagged ‘David Arnold’

DRACULA – David Arnold and Michael Price

January 28, 2020 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There have been literally dozens and dozens of adaptations of and variations on the Dracula story in the years since Bram Stoker wrote it in 1897. The most recent version is this BBC mini-series developed by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the brains behind such successful shows as Doctor Who, Sherlock, and The League of Gentleman. Danish actor Claes Bang is the latest to star in the title role as the undead aristocrat from Eastern Europe who drinks human blood to survive; the show begins with a fairly conventional re-telling of the Dracula myth – castles and brides, voyages to Whitby, Lucy and Mina and Jonathan Harker – but ends with a very unconventional contemporary twist that places Dracula in modern society and completely upends vampire lore. The show has not been entirely successful, but it certainly has handsome and impressive production values, which extend to its score by composers David Arnold and Michael Price. Read more…

GOOD OMENS – David Arnold

July 12, 2019 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I have been a fan of the late great British author Sir Terry Pratchett ever since I was a kid. Titles like The Color of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Mort, and Pyramids were among my most treasured literary discoveries in the 1980s and 90s; the combination of fantasy, science-fiction, and historical adventure with a distinctly Pythonesque brand of English humor and wit appealed to my sensibility greatly. Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly, very few of his works have been translated into film or television projects, and even fewer of them have been seen outside of the UK, which means that while he remains massively popular at home, he is something of an unknown quantity to the rest of the world. This is why I’m so pleased that Good Omens has been so well received; it’s a 6-part TV adaptation of the novel Pratchett wrote with sci-fi author Neil Gaiman in 1990, and is a comedy about the end of the world. Michael Sheen and David Tennant star as Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, who have been living on Earth since the beginning of time as the official representatives of God and Satan. When they learn that the son of Satan has been born – an event which will in time trigger the apocalypse – Aziraphale and Crowley team up to stop it happening. It turns out that, over the millennia, the pair have become unlikely friends, and are not willing to give up their pleasant and comfortable lives in England – even if Armageddon is part of God’s ineffable plan. Read more…


December 12, 2010 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third contemporary film based on the Chronicles of Narnia saga by C. S. Lewis. Directed by Michael Apted, it tells the story of the two youngest Pevensie children, Lucy and Edmund, who return to the fantastical land of Narnia with their insufferable cousin Eustace to assist the noble Prince Caspian and the heroic mouse warrior Reepicheep aboard the royal ship, the Dawn Treader. Caspian is attempting to solve the mysterious disappearance of eight Narnian lords in the remote islands of the Western seas, and must do battle with slave traders, sea serpents, dragons, and the spectral legacy of the Snow Queen along the way. The film stars Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes and Will Poulter, the voice work of Liam Neeson and Simon Pegg, features cameos from Tilda Swinton, Anna Popplewell and William Moseley, and has an original score by David Arnold. Read more…


November 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The re-boot given to the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale in 2006 was possibly the best thing that could have happened to 007. The film itself was arguably the best Bond movie since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969, and Daniel Craig’s gritty, wounded portrayal of MI6’s finest brought him firmly into the new millennium. Quantum of Solace, the second movie in the new rebooted series, continues the story from the immediate point where Casino Royale concluded; it’s essentially a revenge film, with Bond attempting to bring the killers of Vesper Lynd from the previous film to justice, while locking horns with a new adversary – evil multimillionaire businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Almaric). The film is directed by Marc Forster, also stars Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton as the new Bond girls, Camilla Montes and Strawberry Fields, and features Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright and Giancarlo Giannini in recurring supporting roles. Read more…


October 3, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

“How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” is based on the life of Toby Jones, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine who did indeed lose a lot of friends and alienate a lot of people. For all of Jones’ faults, at least he was honest enough about himself to write a very unflattering autobiography of sorts. The film is a little kinder to Jones than the book was, largely because the role of Jones is played by Simon Pegg, an actor who is rather difficult to dislike completely. This creates a lead character that is more appealing than he might have been, but perhaps that reward is earned at the expense of the film as a whole.

Here, Pegg’s character goes by the name of “Sydney Jones”, and he goes to work for a magazine that is essentially Vanity Fair in all but name. The magazine is run by a fellow played by Jeff Bridges, who is one of the few actors who can seem both irritated and relaxed at the same time. Read more…

HOT FUZZ – David Arnold

April 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

It has been said that the best way to criticize a movie is to make a better movie. If that is true, and I have an inclination to believe that it is, then director Edgar Wright is a pretty good film critic. Much like Quentin Tarantino, Wright seems to have a gift for paying homage to a film genre while simultaneously transcending it. Unlike Tarantino, Wright also gleefully bites the hand that feeds him, and surprisingly, his movies are all the better for it. In his 2004 feature, “Shaun of the Dead”, he made a rather funny zombie movie that had a good time exploiting the conventions of zombie movies, not to mention the conventions of British behavior. His latest film, “Hot Fuzz”, centers it’s attention on action movies, particularly buddy cop action movies, and even more particularly buddy cop action movies directed by Michael Bay. Read more…

AMAZING GRACE – David Arnold

February 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the least worthy aspects of the British Empire was their involvement in and implicit support of the international slave trade in the 1700s. For over one hundred years, thousands upon thousands of west African tribesmen were forcibly removed from their homes and shipped overseas to work as slaves, on sugar plantations in the Caribbean, and in the cotton fields of what would eventually become the United States. This heinous activity, in Britain at least, was eventually abolished due to the tireless activity of one man: William Wilberforce.

Amazing Grace, directed by Michael Apted and starring Ioan Gruffudd, tells the life story of Wilberforce: his first hesitant steps into British government as the young member of Parliament from Yorkshire in 1780 Read more…

CASINO ROYALE – David Arnold

November 17, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When you think about it in terms of numbers, the James Bond franchise is pretty damn impressive. 007’s screen history reaches back 40 years, comprises 21 movies, and has a combined box-office gross of over $1.3 billion (or $3.3 billion if you adjust it for inflation). No wonder the franchise is considered to be amongst the most successful and important in all of cinema. We’ve had ten directors, nine composers, and now we’re on to our sixth leading actor: Daniel Craig, stepping into the sharp tuxedo vacated by Pierce Brosnan at the end of Die Another Day, and ordering the vodka martini with a broader, brusquer accent than heard in many years. Read more…

DIE ANOTHER DAY – David Arnold

November 22, 2002 Leave a comment

dieanotherdayOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

You know, I’m beginning to think that David Arnold is running out of ideas. When he burst onto the film music scene in 1996/97 with Stargate, Independence Day and so on, he was a breath of fresh air, bringing new life and orchestral acumen to a genre which generally suffers from a lack of emerging talent. When he took over from Eric Serra after the lamentable GoldenEye as the composer of choice for the Bond movies, it was heralded as a step in the right direction, and he has proved himself to be the only composer to “get” the series in the way John Barry did. Die Another Day is Arnold’s third Bond movie score. It is also, by a long way, his weakest. Read more…


November 19, 1999 Leave a comment

theworldisnotenoughOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The nineteenth James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it marks the only the third occasion in history that the same actor – Pierce Brosnan – has returned to play Bond for a third time. It also heralds the “official” handing over of the Bond reins from John Barry to David Arnold who, after receiving critical acclaim for his last Bond score Tomorrow Never Dies, becomes the first ever composer to score more than one Bond movie – with the exception of Barry himself, of course. Read more…