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Posts Tagged ‘Fernando Velázquez’

Best Scores of 2018, Part III

January 29, 2019 9 comments

This is the third and final installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world. Again, rather than doing the scores on a geographical basis, this year I decided to simply preset the scores in a random order. This conclusive batch includes six scores: a superb children’s adventure score from an independent American film rebooting a beloved 1970s franchise, two beautiful scores from Japanese animations, a fun and spooky German children’s fantasy-comedy, a Spanish sports comedy caper, and a wonderfully nostalgic throwback to 80s synth scores for a Swedish comedy-thriller. Read more…

The World of Film Scores – 2018 First Quarter Round-Up

March 30, 2018 5 comments

In a break with my usual convention, I have decided that instead of doing a series of geographical articles at the end of the calendar year highlighting the best under-the-radar film scores, I am instead going to write four quarterly articles which spotlight the same types of scores – unheralded works from outside the Hollywood film music mainstream – but which are spaced throughout the year so that they are more timely in terms of when the films are released. As such, here is the first – a look at ten outstanding scores from the first three months of 2018, encompassing a wide range of projects from all over the world, including works from Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, China, Russia, and beyond! Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – Spain

January 15, 2018 4 comments

The fifth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world sees us in one of my favorite film music countries, Spain. I have long been a vocal promoter Spanish film music which, over last ten years or so, has become a soundtrack powerhouse filled with composers who – in terms of the number of excellent scores per film – are probably writing the highest quality film music in the world. 2017 was no exception, with dozens of excellent scores emerging from the country during the calendar year. This article contains the scores which, in my opinion, are the eight best, which encompass both film and television, span multiple genres, and are written both by familiar favorites and exciting newcomers. Read more…

Best Scores of 2016 – Spain and Portugal

January 19, 2017 1 comment

The sixth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Spain and Portugal. I have long been of the opinion that, pound for pound, the best film music in the world is being written on the Iberian peninsula, and this year’s nine entries more than confirm that theory yet again. Read more…

CRIMSON PEAK – Fernando Velázquez

October 27, 2015 Leave a comment

crimsonpeakOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

This is not a ghost story. It’s a story with ghosts in it.

Director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, Crimson Peak, is a love letter to the great Gothic horror stories of the 1800s, inspired by authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley, as well as Charlotte Brontë’s classic Jane Eyre. Mia Wasikowska stars as Edith Cushing, the headstrong heiress to a Buffalo NY mining company, who is swept off her feet in the aftermath of a family tragedy by a dashing British nobleman, Lord Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). After relocating to the Sharpe ancestral home, the crumbling Allerdale Hall in the north of England, Edith finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings, having to deal not only with the dilapidated building – which seems to literally bleed from the walls due to the red clay on which it stands – but also with Thomas’s aloof sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain), who seems to be hiding sinister motivations. Worst of all, however, is the fact that Edith has been able to see ghosts since her childhood, and Allerdale Hall is full of them, all warning her to stay away… Read more…

HERCULES – Fernando Velázquez

August 16, 2014 1 comment

herculesOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There have been lots of films made about Hercules, the muscle-bound demi-god from Greek mythology, over the years. Steve Reeves played him in the classic Italian ‘swords and sandals’ movie in 1957, Arnold Schwarzenegger played him in his film debut in Hercules in New York in 1970, and Kellan Lutz played him in The Legend of Hercules just a few months ago, but in this latest version directed by Brett Ratner the bulging biceps and undersized loincloth are sported by former wrestling star The Rock, now thespianning under his real name, Dwayne Johnson. The film is based on the comic book series by Steve Moore and is a tale of revenge and betrayal involving the death of Hercules’s wife and sons years previously. The film co-stars Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and John Hurt, and has done pretty brisk business at the box office in a summer crowded with action blockbusters. Read more…

Best of 2013 in Film Music – Spain

February 9, 2014 6 comments

eltiempoentrecosturasEL TIEMPO ENTRE COSTURAS – César Benito
Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

El Tiempo Entre Costuras, “The Time Between Seams”, is an epic Spanish TV series based on the novel by María Dueñas. Broadcast on the Antena 3 network in October 2013, it stars Adriana Ugarte as Sira Quiroga, a seamstress in Madrid in the 1930s, who is forced to flee her home when the Spanish Civil War breaks out. The score for El Tiempo Entre Costuras is by Los Angeles-based Andalusian composer César Benito, and it’s absolutely sensational. There’s something captivating, emotional, entrancing about César Benito’s work here. Epic, yet intimate, sweeping, yet personal, it’s one of the best scores for television you are ever likely to here. Beginning with the rhapsodic “Tema de Sira”, written for solo piano, the score opens up into the sparkling, busy “Madrid, 1922”, which captures the life and energy of pre-war Madrid through central theme which effortlessly moves around all sections of the orchestra, and features an especially gorgeous sequence for various solo woodwinds. Read more…

ZIP & ZAP AND THE MARBLE GANG (ZIPI Y ZAPE Y EL CLUB DE LA CANICA) – Fernando Velázquez

October 4, 2013 Leave a comment

zip&zapOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang – known in its original Spanish as “Zipi y Zape y el Club de la Canica” – is an action-comedy-adventure for children, directed by Oskar Santos, and based on the comic book adventures of the titular characters. Zipi and Zape are two ten year old twins, mischievous but lovable, who are sent to summer camp by their parents after they are caught stealing. Once there, the devilish duo quickly form a gang with the other kids and misfits at the camp, in defiance of the eye patch-wearing camp counselor, and embark on a series of thrilling adventures involving a hunt for missing treasure. Read more…

THE LAST DAYS (LOS ÚLTIMOS DÍAS) – Fernando Velázquez

March 29, 2013 Leave a comment

lastdaysOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Last Days – “Los Últimos Días” – is a Spanish science fiction-horror-thriller written and directed by David Pastor and Àlex Pastor, which looks at the aftermath of a peculiar epidemic which spreads across the globe, leaving its sufferers to have an irrational fear of open spaces that causes instant death. With the majority of the world population now trapped inside buildings, one young man from Barcelona, Marc (Quim Gutiérrez), tries to find his missing girlfriend, Julia (Marta Etura), without ever going outside – but uncovers something terrifying about the epidemic in the process. Read more…

THE IMPOSSIBLE (LO IMPOSIBLE) – Fernando Velázquez

October 15, 2012 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

On December 26th 2004 a massive 9.1 earthquake struck off the coast of the island of Sumatra, causing a colossal tsunami tidal wave to spread violently across the Indian Ocean. Countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand and India were severely damaged by the effects of the tsunami, but the country of Indonesia was affected most, with some 131,000 people confirmed killed in its immediate aftermath, and hundreds of thousands more left homeless, and forced to deal with the disease and poverty that inevitably followed. Almost eight years later, the tsunami is generally considered one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recorded history, having already been classified as the largest earthquake for over 40 years, and the third largest on record. Director Juan Antonio Bayona’s film The Impossible – known as Lo Imposible in Spanish speaking countries – stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts as Henry and Maria, a normal family who happen to be on vacation in the country at the time the tsunami strikes, and who get caught up in the horrific tragedy. It is through their eyes, their plight, and their struggle to survive that we witness the devastating events unfold. Read more…

THE ORPHANAGE (EL ORFANATO) – Fernando Velázquez

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A hugely effective mystery/horror/thriller from Spain, El Orfanato is the latest film from Iberia to take the art houses by storm, off the back of the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. The film, which is directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and stars Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo and Roger Príncep, tells the story of a woman named Laura, who brings her family back to her childhood home, where she opens an orphanage for handicapped children. Once there, Laura discovers that the new environment awakens her young son’s imagination – but before long, the fantasy games he plays with an invisible friend turn into something much more frightening. Desperate to save her family from the increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house, Laura turns to a group of parapsychologists for help in unraveling the mystery that has taken over the orphanage – but finds something more terrifying than she could have imagined. Read more…