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Posts Tagged ‘Hans Zimmer’

THELMA & LOUISE – Hans Zimmer

May 27, 2021 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A classic road movie about revenge and female empowerment, Thelma & Louise stars Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in the titular roles as a pair of meek housewives who get a new lease on life when they decide to go on a weekend vacation away from their husbands in Thelma’s 1966 Ford Thunderbird. Things go horribly wrong when the pair stop for a drink at a roadhouse bar, and Thelma is attacked and almost raped in the parking lot by a local. The incident leaves the attacker dead of a gunshot wound – killed by a furious Louise – and results in an extended chase across the American west, as the two women are pursued by a dogged sheriff (Harvey Keitel) determined to bring them to justice. The film was directed by Ridley Scott, co-starred Michael Madsen and a very young Brad Pitt, and received a great deal of critical and commercial acclaim, with its screenplay by Callie Khouri winning the Oscar that year. The on-screen relationship between Thelma and Louise has been called a breakthrough for feminist filmmaking, while the final scene at the rim of the Grand Canyon is now considered iconic. Read more…

BACKDRAFT – Hans Zimmer

May 20, 2021 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Backdraft is one of the best action movies of the 1990s, an action thriller murder-mystery set within the world of hotshot Chicago firefighters. Kurt Russell and William Baldwin star as brothers Stephen and Brian McCaffrey; Stephen is a fearless hero, while Brian has always lived in his shadow. After an incident on the job where a fellow firefighter was almost killed, Brian is reassigned to help veteran arson investigator Donald Rimgale (Robert De Niro) with his latest case, in which a number of prominent local businessmen and politicians have been murdered in fires involving a phenomenon known as a ‘backdraft’. As Rimgale and Brian dig into the circumstances of the fires, the investigative trail soon leads them in the directions of both a corrupt local alderman, and back to Stephen’s firehouse. The film was directed by Ron Howard, co-stars Scott Glenn, Donald Sutherland, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and is a magnificent edge-of-seat thriller that combines political skullduggery and familial drama with a number of sensational fiery action sequences that quicken the pulse and make your palms sweat with tension. The film was a massive commercial success, grossing almost $80 million in the US alone, and received three Academy Award nominations, for Visual Effects, Sound, and Sound Effects Editing. Read more…

GREEN CARD – Hans Zimmer

January 21, 2021 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Green Card is a romantic comedy-drama written and directed by Peter Weir, starring Gérard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell. Depardieu plays Georges Fauré, an undocumented immigrant from France living in New York, who enters into a ‘green card marriage’ with MacDowell’s character, Brontë Parrish, so that he can stay in the United States. In order to fool the agents from the Immigration and Naturalization Service who are reviewing their case, Georges and Brontë agree to move in together, but quickly find that they have absolutely nothing in common, and before long they can barely tolerate each other. However, true love has a way of emerging in stories like this – and such is the case here, with plenty of hi-jinks and cross-cultural misunderstandings along the way. Green Card was the first English-language leading role for Gérard Depardieu, who was already considered the finest French actor of his generation, and it was mostly a success, with Depardieu winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Read more…

WONDER WOMAN 1984 – Hans Zimmer

December 29, 2020 8 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE FILM, YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER WAITING UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE DONE SO TO READ IT.

Perhaps the biggest casualty of the COVID-19 cinema apocalypse was Wonder Woman 1984, director Patty Jenkins’s sequel to her massively popular 2017 super hero-smash charting the origins of the titular warrior hero. Wonder Woman 1984 was supposed to be Warner’s summer blockbuster tentpole, and was originally going to be released in theaters in June, then August, then October of 2020, before it mostly bypassed cinemas altogether and debuted on HBO Max on Christmas Day. But, even without the full-blown big-screen release, Wonder Woman 1984 is still a huge dose of unpretentious, action-packed fun. The film is set in the early 1980s and sees Gal Gadot returning in the title role, masquerading as museum curator Diana Prince by day, while continuing to fight crime as Wonder Woman. When Diana’s museum comes into possession of a mysterious ‘dreamstone’ that apparently grants wishes, things quickly spiral out of control, first when Diana wishes for her deceased lover from WWI Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to be reincarnated, and then when her mousy colleague Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) wishes to be like Diana. Eventually ambitious businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) – who has coveted the dreamstone for years – manipulates Barbara into getting it from the museum for him, and with it he initiates a megalomaniacal plot to take over the world. Read more…

HILLBILLY ELEGY – Hans Zimmer and David Fleming

November 24, 2020 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Hillbilly Elegy is a multi-generational family drama directed by Ron Howard, based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by J. D. Vance. Gabriel Basso stars as Vance, a young man from rural Kentucky in the Appalachian mountains, who becomes the first in his family to attend college. Vance is called back from Yale to his home town to deal with a family emergency, and the film explores his relationship with his heroin-addicted mother, his world-weary but kind-hearted grandmother, and his troubled sister, while also looking at the broader socio-economic hardships suffered by communities like his. The film co-stars Amy Adams, Glenn Close, Haley Bennett and Frieda Pinto, and is poised to be a major contender for acting awards at the 2020 Academy Awards. Read more…

PACIFIC HEIGHTS – Hans Zimmer

September 17, 2020 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of a spate of Something-from-Hell movies in the early 1990s, Pacific Heights was a thriller which made everyone think twice about sub-letting their apartment to a stranger. The film stars Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith as Drake and Patty, a young professional couple who own a large house in San Francisco’s upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood. Drake and Patty lease one of their empty apartments to Carter Hayes (Michael Keaton), a mysterious loner with a hidden past, who immediately sets about renovating the apartment, hammering and drilling at all hours of the night, angering the other tenants. Eventually Carter’s anti-social and disruptive behavior begins to take its toll on Drake and Patty’s relationship, to such an extent that the police become involved. Carter’s response to the legal threats is to make life even more miserable for Drake and Patty, eventually leading to recrimination, threats, and mounting violence. But what is Carter’s motivation? And why do events and women from his past keep coming back to haunt him? The film was directed by John Schlesinger from a screenplay by Daniel Pyne, and features Laurie Metcalfe, Beverly d’Angelo, and Tippi Hedren in supporting roles. Read more…

DRIVING MISS DAISY – Hans Zimmer

December 19, 2019 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Driving Miss Daisy is a story of the unlikely friendship that develops between Daisy Wertham, a retired white Jewish schoolteacher, and Hoke Colburn, an African American driver and handyman, set against the backdrop of racism and prejudice in the American South in the 1950s. When Miss Daisy (Jessica Tandy) crashes her car into her neighbor’s house, her son Boolie (Dan Aykroyd) hires Hoke (Morgan Freeman) to be her driver; despite initial misgivings from both parties, as time passes the unlikely pair grow to become friends and confidants, as both suffer slights and prejudices against them – Hoke for his skin color, and Daisy for her religion. The film was directed by Bruce Beresford, and written by Alfred Uhry, who adapted his own Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play for the big screen. It was a significant critical and commercial success too, winning Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Makeup, and Best Actress for Tandy, who in doing so became the oldest winner in the history of the category at the age of 81. Read more…

BLACK RAIN – Hans Zimmer

September 5, 2019 1 comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve written this sentence about other scores before, so I apologize for the repetitiveness, but I think it’s important to acknowledge the fact that there are very few scores in the world that you can point to as being a literal turning point in the history of film music. Black Rain is one of them. The film itself is not especially famous these days, despite actually being rather good. The film stars Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia as Nick Conklin and Charlie Vincent, two New York City cops who witness a murder in a bar and arrest the assailant. The killer is a man named Sato (Yusaku Matsuda), who is a member of the Japanese Yakuza crime syndicate. Sato is extradited to Japan, and Nick and Charlie agree to accompany the gangster back to Osaka for his murder trial. However, when they arrive at the airport, Sato’s fellow Yakuza free him from police custody by tricking Nick, which brings shame and tension to the already fraught relationship between Nick and his Japanese counterpart, Detective Masahiro (Ken Takakura). Determined to find Sato at any cost, Nick enters the dangerous underworld of Japanese organized crime. The film was directed by Ridley Scott, and was a box office success, combining a classic cop thriller revenge story with one of the first mainstream American depictions of Japanese Yakuza gangster culture. Read more…

THE LION KING – Hans Zimmer

July 26, 2019 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! Sithi q!uhm, ingonyama. Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! Sithi q!uhm, ingonyama; Siyo n!qoba; Ingonyama nengw’enamabala, ingonyama nengw’enamabala…

When Lebo M’s plaintive cry in his native Zulu rang out across the savannah, informing the animals of the plain that a newborn lion, destined for greatness, had been born, one of the most memorable moments in film music history was born along with him. The Lion King, originally directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, did pretty brisk business at the box office when it was released in the summer of 1994, raking in almost $1 billion at the global box office, and quickly becoming an enormous cultural phenomenon too. The film spawned a massively successful stage show that ran for many years on Broadway, several animated spinoffs, and single-handedly introduced the phrase ‘hakuna matata’ into the American lexicon. With Disney in the middle of making live-action versions of several of their classic animated films – we have already had Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, among others – it stands to reason that The Lion King would be in line for the same treatment, given the improvements in digital computer technology since the original was released. Read more…

CRIMSON TIDE – Hans Zimmer

April 15, 2019 1 comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer happen to view a documentary film titled Submarines: Sharks of Steel, and became inspired to bring a submarine drama to the big screen. The initial screenplay told the story of a Trident submarine crew attempting to stop the ship’s computer from independently launching nuclear missiles and starting World War III. When they pitched their idea to the Department of the Navy they characterized the movie as “The Hunt for Red October meets 2001: A Space Odyssey.” They obtained permission from the U.S. Navy for the creative team to perform research by sailing aboard the Trident missile submarine USS Florida from Bangor, Washington. A few months later they submitted a revised script by Michael Schiffer in which an Executive Officer leads a mutiny against the Captain to prevent a nuclear missile launch. Well, the Navy balked against this assault on its traditions and refused to cooperate further. Undeterred, the production team secured assistance from the French navy to support the film. Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson would produce the film, with Tony Scott tasked with directing. A fine cast was brought in, including Gene Hackman as the imperious Captain Frank Ramsey, Denzel Washington as Executive Officer (XO) Ron Hunter, George Dzundza as Chief of Boat (COB) Walters, Matt Craven as Communications Officer Roy Zimmer, Viggo Mortensen as Weapons Officer Peter Ince, and James Gandolfini as Supplies Officer. Read more…

RAIN MAN – Hans Zimmer

February 14, 2019 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There is a great serendipity in how Hans Zimmer became the film music megastar he is. Back in 1985 Zimmer co-scored the film My Beautiful Launderette with his mentor, Stanley Myers, when he was still a fresh-faced youngster working in London. That film was produced by Sarah Radclyffe, the co-founder of Working Title Pictures, who in 1988 produced A World Apart, the directorial debut feature of acclaimed cinematographer Chris Menges. That film was the first significant solo project of Zimmer’s career, and it just so happens that the film was seen by Diana Rhodes, the wife of director Barry Levinson, just as Levinson was working on his latest film, Rain Man. Rhodes recommended Zimmer to Levinson, and Zimmer received what he now refers to as ‘the call,’ which secured him the job, took him to Los Angeles, and utterly changed his life. Read more…

A WORLD APART – Hans Zimmer

April 26, 2018 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

As I wrote in my review for James Newton Howard’s Russkies last year, one of my favorite things about the Throwback Thirty series is the opportunity it gives me to take a look back at the very beginnings of certain composers’ careers, and examine how they started and where they came from. But first, a little background on the movie: A World Apart is an anti-Apartheid drama from the acclaimed cinematographer Chris Menges, who was making his directorial debut; it was written by Shawn Slovo, and loosely based on the lives of her parents, Ruth First and Joe Slovo. Set in South Africa in 1963, the film tells the story of Diana and Gus Roth, who are strong and determined anti-Apartheid activists. Despite being white and wealthy the Roths are frequently involved in public demonstrations and high profile political activism against the racist South African government, and as a result are often subjected to police brutality, violence, and societal ostracism – something which their pre-teen daughter Molly struggles to understand. The film stars Barbara Hershey, Jeroen Krabbé, a young Tim Roth, and a then 10-year-old Jodhi May, and was a significant critical success in Europe, winning a BAFTA for Best Screenplay, and receiving commendations at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. Read more…

BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer

October 10, 2017 5 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner is considered a landmark of the genre, a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at the nature of humanity, dressed up with groundbreaking visual effects and a revolutionary neo-noir style. Now, 35 years later, the film’s long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 has finally arrived after what feels like an eternity in development, with a new director in the shape of Denis Villeneuve, and with original director Ridley Scott acting as executive producer. Without wanting to give too much of the plot away, the film stars Ryan Gosling as a ‘blade runner’ named K, a futuristic cop hunting down the last few old-model ‘replicants,’ incredibly lifelike synthetic humanoids who have been designed to work as slaves for real humans, and whose rebellion formed the plot of the first movie. Since then, newer-model replicants have become a stable part of society, but when K discovers a long-buried secret that has the potential to change the world, he finds himself trying to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), the protagonist of the first film, who has been missing for decades. Read more…

DUNKIRK – Hans Zimmer

July 25, 2017 17 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A lot of people today don’t realize just how close the Allies came to losing World War II. During the latter half of 1939 and the early months of 1940 Adolf Hitler and his troops swept across Western Europe, overwhelming the Netherlands, Belgium, and much of France. By May, his only real opposition to Nazi aggression was the army of the British Empire – the United States had not yet joined the war; Pearl Harbor would not be attacked until December 1941. But, to be frank, the British were losing. Hitler’s troops pushed them back to the small town of Dunkerque on the coast of Normandy and surrounded them; cut off from the rest of Europe, and with the English Channel separating them from home, more than 300,000 men were stuck on the beaches there, sitting ducks for the Luftwaffe. However, what transpired next proved to be the literal turning point of the war. For disputed reasons which are still debated today, Hitler accepted the suggestion of his commanders in the area that they should not move in for the kill and instead wait on the outskirts of the city and regroup; this brief respite allowed newly-elected Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his military commanders to organize an evacuation. Over the course of a week the men were ferried off the beaches to waiting Royal Navy ships by a flotilla of literally hundreds of volunteer civilian craft – lifeboats and fishing boats and pleasure cruisers – while the Spitfires of the Royal Air Force protected them from the air. Read more…

THE BOSS BABY – Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro

April 7, 2017 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Boss Baby is a raucous new animated comedy film from Dreamworks directed by Tom McGrath, based on the popular 2010 picture book by Marla Frazee, about the wildly imaginative adventures of a 7-year-old boy named Tim. One day a taxi arrives at Tim’s home, inside of which is a baby wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. Tim’s parents introduce the infant as a new brother, and there is an instant sibling rivalry between Tim and the pint-sized interloper. However, much to his surprise, Tim discovers that the baby can talk like an adult, and is actually a spy on a secret mission to thwart a dastardly plot that involves puppies taking over from babies as the cutest things in the world. The film, which features the voice talent of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Tobey Maguire, was a popular success at the box office over the spring of 2017, despite reviews criticizing it for its flimsy plotting and over-reliance on potty humor (although – it’s a film about a talking baby; potty humor is almost mandatory). Read more…