Posts Tagged ‘Graeme Revell’


January 13, 2022 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a psychological thriller which builds on the ‘something-from-hell’ sub-genre trope, and made parents everywhere think twice about hiring a nanny. The film stars Matt McCoy and Annabella Sciorra as Michael and Claire Bartel, successful young parents with a pre-teen daughter and a baby on the way. After the baby is born Claire hires the seemingly perfect Peyton Flanders (Rebecca de Mornay) to be their new nanny, and for a while things go well – until unusual events start occurring in the Bartel household, and Claire begins to suspect that there is more to Peyton than meets the eye. The film was directed by Curtis Hanson, and was a popular box office hit in the early weeks of 1992; it also became notorious for a particular scene in a greenhouse, which remains a grisly thrill to this day. The title of the film is taken from the famous 1865 poem of the same name written by William Ross Wallace, which praises motherhood and celebrates mothers, and states that ‘the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world’. Read more…

HARSH TIMES – Graeme Revell

November 10, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

At one point in “Harsh Times”, one character tells another, “You look like a turd dressed up in a fancy suit”. If you can accept the metaphor of a performance by Christian Bale being the equivalent of a fancy suit, then the same statement can be applied to this movie. It’s second-rate, warmed-over, run-of-the-mill material. It sure is galvanizing, though.

Bale plays Jim Davis, a troubled ex-Army Ranger looking to settle down. He’s applied for a job with the LAPD, has a lover in Mexico waiting to be taken across the border, and despite a taste for the wild side of life, he’s genuinely interested in making a decent life for himself. So is his best friend Mike (Freddie Rodriguez), who has been mooching off his wife’s (Eva Longoria) money for years. So, they go off job-hunting together, but things don’t work out so well for Jim. He’s rejected for psychological reasons, which simply sends him into an even deeper mental meltdown. Read more…

AEON FLUX – Graeme Revell

December 2, 2005 Leave a comment

aeonfluxOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I sometimes feel quite sorry for film music composers, and what they have to put up with. Un-cooperative uninformed directors, clueless meddling producers, insane deadlines, technical glitches – it’s a wonder certain scores ever turn out as good as they do, considering the difficult circumstances in which they were written. Aeon Flux is one such project: a troubled film from the day it was given the go-ahead, it suffered everything from last minute script re-writes to multiple composer changes. Originally Theodore Shapiro was on board, but before he could record his score he was replaced by Australian/German electronica duo Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek. However, AFTER they had recorded their score, the producers from MTV decided they were still dissatisfied with the finished product, and brought in Graeme Revell to save the day, with just a couple of weeks until the film’s premiere. Revell has been in this situation before, of course, being the last stop on the Tomb Raider merry-go-round back in 2001. That Aeon Flux is this good is testament to his professionalism and time-management skills. That Aeon Flux is this disappointing is testament to more film studio indecisiveness with respect to the part of the process they continually seem to understand the least – the music. Read more…

THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL – Robert Rodriguez, John Debney and Graeme Revell

June 10, 2005 Leave a comment

adventuresofsharkboyandlavagirlOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Director Robert Rodriguez’s career continues to confound me: having wowed the world with his ultra low budget thriller El Mariachi in 1992, and subsequently risen to be a “darling of the cool independent set” with films such as Desperado, From Dusk Til Dawn and The Faculty, he has simultaneously developed a sideline in action-adventure children’s movies, notably the Spy Kids series. Rodriguez’s bizarre duel life had arguably reached its nadir in 2005 with the release of the ultra-slick, ultra-violent Sin City, and this polar opposite film: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Co-written by Rodriguez’s 7-year-old son Racer, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is an unashamedly juvenile action adventure starring young actors Taylor Dooley (female) and Taylor Lautner (male) as the titular Sharkboy and Lavagirl, the imaginary creations of a young kid named Max (Cayden Boyd), who spends most of his time daydreaming up adventures for his super-heroes to have. However, one day, Sharkboy and Lavagirl appear in real life, and bring Max to their home of Planet Drool, which is apparently being destroyed, and only he can save it… It’s a perfect childhood fantasy, and wholesome entertainment for younger kids, but much has been made of the fact that Rodriguez has filmed significant portions of it in rather shoddy 3-D, a cinematic technology that should have been consigned to history a decade ago. Nevertheless, I won’t personally be venturing to the cinema to confirm or deny this for myself, having suffered enough during Spy Kids 3. Read more…

SIN CITY – Robert Rodriguez, John Debney and Graeme Revell

April 1, 2005 Leave a comment

sincityOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been interesting to chart Robert Rodriguez’s career since he first burst onto the international movie scene at the helm of the ultra-low budget crime thriller El Mariachi in 1992. Since then his films have oscillated between violent thrillers and horror movies like Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Faculty, and unexpectedly kid-friendly fire like the Spy Kids trilogy and the upcoming The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Sin City is most definitely in the former camp, and can be seen as his attempt to make the ultimate modern film noir. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Frank Miller, Sin City is a crime thriller set in the fictional Basin City, the kind of place where Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Hammett’s Sam Spade, or anyone from a Quentin Tarantino movie would feel right at home. The film focuses on three separate stories, all of which take place in the same place, at the same time, and with cross-over between the three (not unlike the story structure of Pulp Fiction, but more linear). In the first, Bruce Willis plays John Hartigan, a tough cop who sets his sights on solving one last case before he retires: to save an 11-year old girl from the clutches of the serial murderer/rapist Yellow Bastard (Nick Stahl). Read more…

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 – Graeme Revell

January 21, 2005 Leave a comment

assaultonprecinct13Original Review by Peter Simons

A remake of John Carpenter’s 1976 classic western-meets-urban ghetto thriller, Assault on Precinct 13 stars Ethan Hawke as police officer Roenick, whose precinct is used to shelter a group of policemen and criminals, including crime lord Bishop (Lawrence Fishburne), when their convoy is forced to stop overnight at the precinct due to bad weather, despite the fact that the building has just been closed down for good, and has been cut off from power and communications. Things take an even nastier turn when the precinct is surrounded by an unknown, but heavily armed group ready to kill everybody inside – thereby forcing the cops and the prisoners into an uneasy alliance as they fight off a common enemy. Heralded by most critics as a surprisingly good remake of the 1976 version, other reviewers have slammed director Jean-François Richet’s film for lacking the eerie tension that made Carpenter’s movie a classic. Read more…


June 11, 2004 Leave a comment

chroniclesofriddickOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

David Twohy’s 2000 film Pitch Black was an unexpected success, both critically and commercially. Having had his career restricted to bit parts in the likes Saving Private Ryan , and voice-over work on The Iron Giant, its star Vin Diesel was suddenly an action hero, and it even inspired Kiwi composer Graeme Revell to write one of his most widely-praised scores of the 1990s. The Chronicles of Riddick is a sequel, set five years after the conclusion of Pitch Black, and with the eponymous Riddick (Diesel) on the run from bounty hunters. Riddick meets up with his old friend Imam (Keith David), who has been told of a prophecy that a man will save his home planet from being laid to waste by the warmongering Necromongers and their near-invincible Lord Marshall (Colm Feore) – and he believes that Riddick may be that man. However, Riddick is unable to prevent the Lord Marshal from attacking Helion, and instead he finds himself thrown in a brutal subterranean prison where he encounters Jack, now known as Kyra (Alexa Davalos), the other survivor of Riddick’s time on the Pitch Black planet. Together, Riddick and Kyra plan to escape from the prison and overthrow the Lord Marshal and the Necromongers once and for all… Read more…

DAREDEVIL – Graeme Revell

February 14, 2003 Leave a comment

daredevilOriginal Review by Peter Simons

In many ways, 2003 has become the year of the comic book revival, with movies inspired by characters including The Incredible Hulk, the X-Men and even The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen hitting cinema screen’s throughout the year. Stan Lee’s Daredevil is another to add to this list. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson, whose previous movies include the syrupy drama Simon Birch, and whose screenplay credits include Jack Frost and the Grumpy Old men films, Daredevil tells the tale of attorney Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck), blinded by toxic waste as a child, whose lack of sight increases his remaining senses to such an extent that he find he has the ability to become a superhero and fight crime. Before long, Murdock finds himself up against New York’s number one crime lord The Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and his newest apprentice Bullseye (Colin Farrell) – and crossing paths with the sexy, leather-clad Elektra (Jennifer Garner), who has an agenda of her own. A triumph of style and atmosphere over plot and performance, director Johnson said he wanted to make a movie similar to The Crow – which he lists as one of his favourite films – in both look and feel. Unsurprisingly, given this fact, he turned to Graeme Revell for the music. Read more…


June 15, 2001 Leave a comment

laracrofttombraiderOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Few films have had as troubled a post-production than Tomb Raider, the first big-screen outing for the pneumatically-breasted super heroine from the world of computer games, Lara Croft. Musically, the entire set-up was a shambles, eclipsing even such scoring debacles as The Avengers and What Dreams May Come. The first name attached to the project was John Powell; then, game composer Nathan McCree was announced as being the film’s composer. To the utter dismay of score fans, it was then announced that dance DJ Norman Cook (aka Fat Boy Slim) would co-ordinate the soundtrack. Then, in an amazing about-face, Cook was bumped off and Michael Kamen came in. Sigh of relief. But then, with just weeks to go before the film’s high profile premiere, Kamen downed tools and bolted the project, leaving poor old Graeme Revell with less than 10 days to write and record a 50-minute score for a full orchestra augmented by electronics. The Hollywood composing merry-go-round seemingly knows no depths of stupidity. Read more…

RED PLANET – Graeme Revell

November 10, 2000 Leave a comment

redplanetOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Of late, there seems to be an increasing amount of pressure on film music composers to score science fiction films in daring new ways. While this kind of innovation in film music is, and always should be, welcomed, it has to be said that these experiments are not always entirely successful. The critical backlash against Ennio Morricone’s Mission to Mars was palpable; similarly, Graeme Revell’s techno score for the animated summer movie Titan A.E. did little to stir the minds and hearts of soundtrack fans. Revell continues to break down barriers with his score for Red Planet, the latest in a line of Martian movies to hit screens in the wake of NASA’s Pathfinder exploration of our closest celestial neighbor. Unfortunately, and while credit is certainly due to the New Zealander for his efforts, the score for Red Planet is likely to be as equally derided as its predecessors. Read more…