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Posts Tagged ‘Hans Zimmer’

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN – Hans Zimmer

June 30, 2022 1 comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most popular comedy-drama films of 1992 was A League of Their Own, a film about baseball and how there is no crying in said sport. Set in 1943, the film tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), which was established when the outbreak of World War II shut down Major League Baseball and the men all went off to fight the Nazis in Europe. With sexism and misogyny rampant in American society at the time, the women who sign up to play are faced with obstacles at every turn – one of whom is Jimmy Dugan, the old ball player who is reluctantly hired to coach them – but though tenacity and friendship, the women of the Rockford Peaches get to live out their sporting dreams. The film was directed by Penny Marshall from a screenplay by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and had a fantastic cast including Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, and Bill Pullman; it was also a great hit, grossing more than $130 million at the box office, and spawning a popular soundtrack album that included two successful singles. Read more…

TOP GUN: MAVERICK – Lorne Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer, Lady Gaga, and Hans Zimmer

June 7, 2022 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the summer of 1986 the world fell head over heels in love for Maverick, Goose, Iceman, and the men and women of Top Gun – the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program of the United States Navy, which trains some of the best military combat pilots in the world. With its combination of intense jet fighter action, macho camaraderie, and steamy romance, the film was a massive box office blockbuster, and cemented its star Tom Cruise as one of Hollywood’s premiere leading men – a position he continues to hold, more than 35 years later. Fans of the film have been clamoring for a sequel for decades, and production on it finally began in May 2018, with an intended release date of July 2019 – but it was pushed back and back and back, initially to June 2020, then December 2020, then July 2021, then November 2021, due to the combined impact of re-shoots, the COVID pandemic, and then a clogged schedule. It eventually hit cinemas at the end of May 2022 – almost four years to the day since they started making it – but it was more than worth the wait: reviews were stellar, both from audiences and critics, and at the time of writing it has already grossed $291.6 million at the US box office alone. Read more…

RADIO FLYER – Hans Zimmer

February 18, 2022 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Radio Flyer was a somewhat misguided nostalgic drama directed by Richard Donner from a screenplay by David Mickey Evans. The film stars Tom Hanks as Mike, a middle-aged man telling the story of his childhood in the 1960s to his two sons; 11-year-old Mike (Elijah Wood) and his younger brother Bobby (Joseph Mazzello) find their lives altered irrevocably when their divorced mother (Lorraine Bracco) marries a man they know as ‘the King’ and moves them all to California. The King is a drunk and is physically abusive, especially towards Bobby, and so as a way to escape their situation the boys fantasize about modifying their ‘Radio Flyer’ toy wagon into an aeroplane, and flying away. Despite clearly being a look at an abusive relationship through the eyes of a child, and an unreliable narrator at that, the film was heavily criticized for what some saw as trivializing a serious subject, with critic Roger Ebert being especially ‘appalled’ by the film’s ending. As such, the film is mostly forgotten today, a footnote in the otherwise successful careers of its creators and stars. Read more…

DUNE – Hans Zimmer

October 26, 2021 6 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the years since it was first published in 1965, Frank Herbert’s Dune has grown consistently in stature and acclaim, and is now considered one of the greatest works of science fiction in the history of the genre. It’s a story about intergalactic power and control, alliances and betrayals, prophecy and mysticism, and is focused on events on the desert planet Arrakis. Arrakis is the sole source of ‘spice,’ a hallucinogenic spore naturally found in the sands of Arrakis, the use of which is what makes interstellar space travel possible; as such, spice is the most valuable commodity in the universe. Mining spice is a dangerous task, due to the inhospitableness of the planet, the presence of giant deadly sand worms, and the constant attacks by the native Fremen population, who despise their off-world colonizers. The main crux of the story follows the noble house of Atreides, which is sent to Arrakis by the Emperor of the galaxy to take over the running of the spice mines from the house of Harkonnen, their bitter rivals. What follows is essentially a power struggle for overall control of the galaxy between the Emperor, House Atreides, House Harkonnen, and the mysterious female-led religious order of the Bene Gesserit, with Paul Atreides, the young son of the duke of House Atreides, as the focal point of it all. Read more…

NO TIME TO DIE – Hans Zimmer

October 5, 2021 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

After what feels like an eternity, wherein the film suffered delay after delay after delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 25th James Bond film No Time To Die has finally reached cinemas. It marks the end of the journey for Daniel Craig as 007 – he will be replaced by a new actor before the next film is released, whenever that may be – and also marks the climax to the arc of a series of films that began with Casino Royale in 2006 and which actually presents a fairly linear narrative across multiple films, something the Bond franchise had never attempted to do before. The film picks up the story almost immediately after the events shown in Spectre, and sees Bond travelling in Italy with Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the psychiatrist who helped him capture his arch-nemesis Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). However, an apparent betrayal sends Bond into a tailspin and into retirement – he’s leaving MI6 and the spy game for good. Years later, Bond is coaxed out of retirement by his old CIA colleague Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) after a top secret scientist goes missing, and before long Bond is facing off against a new adversary in the shape of terrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), while teaming up with a new Double-0 agent (Lashana Lynch) who views Bond as a broken, misogynistic relic from the past. The film is directed by Cary Fukunaga, and was written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and the great Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was brought in to give the screenplay a contemporary edge. Read more…

THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS – Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro

August 6, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Christopher Garner

Dreamworks’ The Boss Baby: Family Business takes place after Tim and Ted Templeton (the characters from the first Boss Baby) have grown up and grown apart. Older brother Tim has had two children of his own, Tabitha and Tina. Younger brother Ted has become a successful businessman, but work keeps him from having any personal connections with his brother’s family or anyone else. It turns out that baby Tina is a boss baby like her uncle Ted was, and has been tasked with bringing the brothers back together again and stopping evil Dr. Armstrong who runs Tabitha’s school, and who is bent on enslaving all parents so that children can be free. Tom McGrath returned to direct the sequel. Alec Baldwin reprises his role from the first film, and James Marsden, Amy Sedaris, Ariana Greenblatt, and Jeff Goldblum join the cast as grown-up Tim, Tim’s children, and the villainous Armstrong respectively. The film has had mixed reviews from critics. It’s not exactly intellectual cinema, and the whole idea of a sequel kind of undercuts the frame of the first film, but it has a lot of laughs for parents and kids, and Baldwin, Marsden, and Goldblum (at his Goldblummiest) are clearly having a great time. Read more…

REGARDING HENRY – Hans Zimmer

July 29, 2021 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Regarding Henry is an emotional drama film written by the then-25-year-old J.J. Abrams, and directed by Mike Nichols. Harrison Ford stars as Henry Turner, a wildly successful but callous and unethical New York lawyer, whose work often means he neglects his wife, Sarah (Annette Bening), and their children. One night Henry is shot in the head when he accidentally interrupts a robbery in a convenience store; he survives, but is left with brain damage, amnesia, and physical handicaps, to the extent that he barely remembers his former life. Henry also undergoes a significant personality change, becoming almost child-like with friendliness, curiosity, and a new-found sense of ethics. The film goes on to explore how this sudden change, and slow recovery, affects Henry’s life, his career, and his relationship with his family. I have always liked the film a great deal, and consider it to be one of Harrison Ford’s career best straight dramatic performances. Read more…

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 9 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…