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Posts Tagged ‘Hans Zimmer’

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…

INFERNO – Hans Zimmer

October 28, 2016 2 comments

infernoOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Inferno is the latest in the series of films based on Dan Brown’s immensely popular Robert Langdon novels, after The Da Vinci Code in 2006, and Angels & Demons in 2009. Tom Hanks returns to the leading role as the genius Harvard University professor of religious iconology and symbology; in this story, Langdon finds himself racing around ancient historical sites in Florence and Venice, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the suicide of a billionaire scientist, and how it relates to a missing biological weapon, and the various writings and artworks of Dante Aligheri and Sandro Botticelli that define our modern concept of hell. The film is directed by Ron Howard, and co-stars Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, and Irrfan Khan; also returning to the team is composer Hans Zimmer, whose scores for The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons are amongst his most popular of the last ten years. Read more…

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – Hans Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg

March 29, 2016 10 comments

batmanvsupermanOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In an attempt to compete with Marvel and their cadre of interlocking super-hero pictures, DC Comics have begun to develop their own version of a cinematic universe. It began with Man of Steel in 2013, director Zack Snyder’s re-imagining of the Superman story, and continues with this second film, which sees the introduction of Batman and several other DC characters into a single, shared story space, setting up what will eventually become the Justice League. Rather than continuing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice takes yet another fresh look at Gotham’s cowl-wearing warrior, replacing Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne with Ben Affleck and Michael Caine’s Alfred with Jeremy Irons. The film inserts Wayne into the immediate aftermath of the finale of Man of Steel by having him witness the conclusive fight between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod over Metropolis, and the devastation that accompanied it, from the ground. Jump forward 18 months, and Wayne has committed himself to exposing Superman as an unstoppable threat to humanity. Meanwhile, Superman’s alter-ego, newspaperman Clark Kent, has become concerned with Batman’s personal brand of vigilante justice in nearby Gotham, and resolves to expose him. However, unbeknownst to either Kent or Wayne, their mutual plans are being manipulated by technology mogul Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who has megalomaniacal tendencies of his own, and wants both Batman and Superman out of his way. Read more…

INTERSTELLAR – Hans Zimmer

November 22, 2014 7 comments

interstellarOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is a science fiction epic on a grand scale. Set in a future where life on Earth is in jeopardy due to a series of environmental disasters, the film follows Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former pilot turned corn farmer, whose precocious daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) believes she is receiving messages written in dust from a ghost in her bedroom. One of these messages eventually leads Cooper to a secret NASA installation where, under the radar and away from the public eye, Professor Brand (Michael Caine) and astronauts Amelia (Anne Hathaway) and Doyle (Wes Bentley) have been working on a project to save humanity. Their plan involves piloting a ship to the space around Saturn, where friendly ‘fifth-dimensional beings’ have placed a wormhole to the far side of the galaxy. The hope is that, on the other side of the wormhole, a new planet capable of sustaining human life can be found and colonized. Read more…

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 – Hans Zimmer

May 19, 2014 3 comments

amazingspiderman2Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

As the second movie in Sony’s “reboot” of the Spider-Man franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 sees Andrew Garfield returning as the teenage web-slinging super hero Peter Parker, still attending high school by day, while battling super-villains at night. The plot this time round sees young Peter in a healthy relationship with the lovely Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) as they prepare to graduate from Midtown Science, although he is haunted by the promise he made to Gwen’s late father to keep her safe, as well as the memory of the death of his parents several years earlier, and the mystery surrounding their work and legacy. Peter’s world is shattered further, however, with the emergence of a new threat: Electro (Jamie Foxx), a mild-mannered engineer working for the multinational conglomerate Oscorp, who develops the capacity to manipulate and control electricity – and a deep hatred of Spider-Man – following an industrial accident. Not only that, but Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to the city following the death of his father Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper), the head of Oscorp, only to discover that the illness that killed his father is hereditary, and that the only cure may be inside Spider-Man’s blood. The film is again directed by the appropriately-named Marc Webb, and has an original score by Hans Zimmer, replacing the first film’s composer James Horner. Read more…

12 YEARS A SLAVE – Hans Zimmer

December 20, 2013 Leave a comment

12yearsaslaveOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most important and acclaimed films of 2013, 12 Years a Slave tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York in the pre-Civil War United States, who is tricked, abducted and sold into slavery. Arriving in the South, the story chronicles the next twelve years of his life as he faces cruelty after cruelty, indignity after indignity, relentlessly barbaric treatment at the hands of a malevolent slave owner, and his struggle to maintain some semblance of dignity and humanity as he strives to find a way back home to his family. The film is directed by British filmmaker Steve McQueen, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup, and features an outstanding supporting cast including Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Alfre Woodard, Brad Pitt, and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who is destined for an Academy Award nomination for her soulful performance as Solomon’s fellow slave, Patsey. A brutal, difficult, and at times excruciatingly raw film, 12 Years a Slave is clearly one of the year’s best films, in that it examines in unflinching detail one of the most heinous periods in American history, and features a powerhouse central performance from Ejiofor as the man who refuses to be beaten down by the wrongs done to him. Read more…

RUSH – Hans Zimmer

September 10, 2013 2 comments

rushOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve been a fan of Formula One motor racing for over twenty years; my grandfather, who was also a big fan, introduced me to it in the late 1980s, and since then I’ve followed every season, cheering on a succession of great British drivers – Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jenson Button – and getting caught up in the intrigue, drama, excitement, adrenaline and masterful engineering each new season brings. It takes a certain kind of personality to hurtle down a straight towards a blind hairpin bend at 200mph with a machine as powerful as an F1 car under your right foot – the very next corner could, literally, be their last – and so the drivers who do this for a living tend to be larger-than-life themselves, prone to a certain sense of eccentricity and egotism. When I first started watching the sport, the biggest rivalry was between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, but a decade previously the two dominant personalities were the flamboyant and brilliant Englishman James Hunt, and the equally mercurial but slightly taciturn Austrian Niki Lauda. Read more…

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