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Posts Tagged ‘Film Score’

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN – Geoff Zanelli and Jon Brion

August 17, 2018 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Winnie the Pooh has been a character beloved to millions of children all over the world since author A. A. Milne first created him in 1926. The honey-loving bear of ‘very little brain’ has been a part of the Disney stable of characters since the 1960s, and has gone on to appear in multiple animated films. This new film, Christopher Robin, is somewhat different. Directed by Marc Forster and starring Ewan McGregor, it is the first ever live action Pooh film, and the first one ever to explore the lives of the characters after the books and stories ended. McGregor plays the adult Christopher Robin, now all grown up and living in post-war London with his wife Evelyn and young daughter Madeline. As a manager at a struggling luggage company, Christopher Robin spends far too much time at work, neglecting his family; he has also seemingly forgotten all about his beloved childhood friends, and lost the gift for playful imagination that he had in abundance as a youth. During one particularly stressful weekend, having been forced to work by his superior instead of going to the countryside with his family, Christopher Robin is visited by Winnie the Pooh; Pooh tells him that all his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood – Piglet, Eeyore, and the rest – have vanished and he needs Christopher Robin’s help to find them. The film co-stars Hayley Atwell, Mark Gatiss, and Bronte Carmichael, as well as the voices of Jim Cummings and Brad Garrett. Read more…

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DIE HARD – Michael Kamen

August 16, 2018 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Die Hard is one of the most iconic, enduring, and ground-breaking action films ever made; it made an action star of former TV leading man Bruce Willis, launched the cinematic career of the late great Alan Rickman, and set the high benchmark for all the action movies that would follow it. The film is directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven de Souza and Jeb Stuart, based on the novel ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ by Roderick Thorp. Willis plays John McClane, a New York cop who has travelled to Los Angeles for his Christmas vacation, where he intends to try to reconcile with his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia). He arrives at his wife’s office skyscraper building, Nakatomi Plaza, where a Christmas party is underway. The party is disrupted by the arrival of a German terrorist group led by the suave but ruthless Hans Gruber (Rickman), which takes all the party-goers hostage – except for McClane, who escapes undetected onto a different floor. After Gruber brutally executes the company CEO, McClane becomes involved in a game of cat-and-mouse with the terrorists, picking them off one by one in an attempt to rescue the hostages. The film co-stars Alexander Godunov, Reginald Veljohnson, and Hart Bochner, and remains to this day one of my all-time favorite action movies. Read more…

THE INCREDIBLES 2 – Michael Giacchino

August 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

14 years ago, in 2004, Michael Giacchino became the first composer to successfully make the transition from video games to movies when he was asked to score a Disney-Pixar animated action adventure super hero film called The Incredibles. Giacchino’s career to that point had been filled with high quality scores for games such as The Lost World, Call of Duty, Secret Weapons Over Normandy, and several entries in the groundbreaking Medal of Honor series, plus work on TV shows like Alias, but The Incredibles was his first film work of any significance. It was a sensation – the combination of jazzy John Barry-style big band arrangements and broad, exciting action music was a breath of fresh air, and essentially launched a career which has seen him become one of the most in-demand and well-loved composers in Hollywood, with his musical fingers in multiple franchise pies comprising Star Wars, Star Trek, Mission Impossible, Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park, several Marvel super hero movies, and many other Pixar films, including the Oscar-winning Up. Now, after all this time, Giacchino is returning to the place it all started, with his score for the long-awaited sequel The Incredibles 2. Read more…

CONAN THE BARBARIAN – Basil Poledouris

August 13, 2018 1 comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Conan The Barbarian is based on the Conan stories penned by author Robert E. Howard. The movie adaptation tells the story of a young Conan who lives in the mythic Hyborean Age and suffers grievously at the hands of an evil ruler of the Snake Cult, Thulsa Doom, who kills his parents and sells him into slavery. Eventually after much suffering he gains his freedom and trains to become a mighty warrior. He then sets out to solve the riddle of steel and avenge his parent’s death. As such, this is a classic morality tale with an unambiguous hero and villain. The film was a commercial success, which spawned a sequel and served to reinvigorate the fantasy genre. Read more…

DEATH OF A NATION – Dennis McCarthy

August 8, 2018 11 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The world is in a strange place, politically. The rise of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States has forced the country into a sort of ideological schism between Republicans and Democrats, red states and blue states, right wing and left wing. Across the world authoritarian leaders are flexing their muscles, from Vladimir Putin in Russia to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. In Europe, Britain’s still-controversial Brexit is causing discord in the European Union. There remains political turmoil in the Middle East, while in places like China people like Xi Jinping are looking to consolidate their power in increasingly draconian ways. I’m not going to get into the meat of any of those thorny issues in this review, but I will ask this: where does art fall into this equation? Does art and music have a role to play? If so, what is it? Read more…

A FISH CALLED WANDA – John Du Prez

August 2, 2018 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A Fish Called Wanda is one of the best comedies of the 1980s – one part romance, one part crime caper, one part English farce – which teams several members of the classic Monty Python comedy troupe with several popular American stars. Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline play Wanda and Otto, American jewel thieves in London who, along with stuttering getaway driver Ken (Michael Palin) and East End gangster George (Tom Georgeson), plan an elaborate diamond heist. However, in-fighting and double-crossing within the gang leads to George being arrested, which proves to be a problem for everyone else as he is the only one who knows where the loot has been stashed. In order to get information about the location of the diamonds, Wanda decides to seduce George’s barrister, Archie Leach (the irrepressible John Cleese), a repressed middle-class Englishman stuck in a loveless marriage. Archie, flattered by the attention, immediately falls for Wanda, but shockingly Wanda also finds herself genuinely attracted in return – which causes more friction within the gang, not least because Otto and Wanda are also secretly lovers themselves. Read more…

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT – Lorne Balfe

July 31, 2018 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When actor/producer Tom Cruise got together with director Brian De Palma in 1996 to make a brand new big-screen version of the classic 1960s spy TV series Mission: Impossible, I doubt that even he expected that he would still be playing the role of action hero Ethan Hunt 22 years later – yet, here we are. We’ve gone through multiple director changes in the intervening two decades – John Woo, J. J. Abrams, Brad Bird – but for the time being the series appears to have settled on Christopher McQuarrie, who with this film becomes the first director to make two Mission: Impossible films. Fallout is, in many ways, a continuation of the story established during Rogue Nation in 2015, as it sees Hunt and his IMF compatriots again locking horns with the shadowy villain Solomon Lane, whose sinister Syndicate organization continues to be a threat to the stability of the world. The globetrotting adventure sees the action moving from Berlin to Paris to London to the foothills of the Himalayas – and what action it is! The staggering set-pieces in the film include a HALO jump over Paris which Cruise did for real, a brutal three-way fight sequence in a bathroom, a high-speed motorbike chase around the Arc de Triomphe and beyond, an epic foot chase through the streets of Britain’s capital that contains a scene where Cruise smashed his ankle – for real – jumping from one building to another, and an exhilarating helicopter dogfight weaving between the towering peaks of the Kashmir. The film co-stars Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, and Alec Baldwin, and has been widely acclaimed as one of the best action movies in recent years. Read more…