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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Jackman’

KONG: SKULL ISLAND – Henry Jackman

March 17, 2017 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

As the granddaddy of all monster movies, King Kong has an enormous legacy and is a major touchstone in cinematic history. Ever since Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack first brought the giant ape to the silver screen in 1933 his presence has loomed large over the genre, with multiple remakes and adaptations over the subsequent 70-plus years. The latest film to join the pantheon is Kong: Skull Island, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, which is set in the 1970s just as the Vietnam War is coming to an end. U.S. government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) acquires funding to lead an expedition to the mythical Skull Island on the pretence of conducting a geological survey, but who is actually searching for evidence of long-forgotten mythological giant monsters. Accompanying him on the trip are a platoon of US army soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), British SAS veteran and expert tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), and photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), among others. However, once they arrive on the island, the adventurers quickly encounter much more than they bargained for in the shape of a 100-foot tall bipedal ape known as Kong; before long they are fighting for their lives, not only from the protective Kong, but from the numerous other creatures who live on – and below – the mysterious island. Read more…

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THE BIRTH OF A NATION – Henry Jackman

October 18, 2016 2 comments

birthofanationOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1915 the pioneering film director D. W. Griffith released The Birth of a Nation, which he had adapted from the novel The Clansman by T. F. Dixon Jr. Looking back on it now, it is clearly one of the most groundbreaking and important films ever made, but at the same time it is one of the most abhorrent too. Despite being a silent film shot in black and white, it broke ground in terms of cinematic artistry; Griffith essentially invented many of the filmmaking tools we take for granted today, including pans and zooms, close-ups, cross-cut editing in order to tell parallel stories simultaneously, and choreographed action sequences. It also featured one of the first ever commissioned film scores, written by composer Joseph Carl Breil. As a technological achievement, the original Birth of a Nation is an absolute masterpiece. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most racist films in the history of cinema. To boil it down to its nuts and bolts, it’s a heroic tale about the Ku Klux Klan, who become righteous freedom fighters in the aftermath of the Civil War, saving the noble white folk in the south from the “insolent niggers” from the north, most of whom were played by white actors in eye-rolling, mugging blackface. Time has not been kind to Griffith’s film, and rightfully so; today most film scholars praise its technological achievements, but utterly denounce its content, although Roger Ebert did write of it: “The Birth of a Nation is not a bad film because it argues for evil. Like Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, it is a great film that argues for evil. To understand how it does so is to learn a great deal about film, and even something about evil”. Read more…

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE – Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson

February 24, 2015 1 comment

kingsmanthesecretserviceOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Kingsman: The Secret Service is an espionage action-adventure film based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and David Gibbons; it pays healthy homage to the James Bond films and several other spy franchises, but peppers its plot with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek British humor and intentionally over-the-top violence. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, the film stars Colin Firth as Harry Hart, codenamed Galahad, a dapper English gentleman who is actually an undercover spy for an elite independent espionage agency called the Kingsmen, who hide behind the façade of a bespoke Savile Row tailor’s shop. When one of their operatives is killed, Hart recruits Gary Unwin, nicknamed Eggsy, a young petty criminal whom Harry knew as a child. Seeing the potential for greatness in Eggsy, Harry enrolls him into an elite school for potential Kingsman recruits, but before long the Kingsmen are embroiled in trying to foil a sinister world domination plot masterminded by billionaire consumer electronics mogul Richmond Valentine – and Eggsy is along for the ride. The film co-stars newcomer Taron Egerton as Eggsy, Samuel L. Jackson as Valentine, and has a stellar supporting cast that includes Michael Caine, Mark Strong and Mark Hamill; it’s also one of the most fun films I’ve had the pleasure of seeing at the cinema in quite some time, coming across as an enjoyable romp which both lovingly embraces and pokes fun at genre clichés. Read more…

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – Henry Jackman

March 20, 2014 17 comments

captainamericathewintersoldierOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Once upon a time there was a director who, along with some friends – a writer, a cameraman, some actors – made a movie. It doesn’t matter what the movie was about. It could have been about aliens, or cowboys and indians, or a young couple suffering through a rocky relationship, or a bank robbery gone wrong. Whatever it was about, the director wanted to make the best movie he could make, and for the audience who saw that movie to care about the characters, and to empathize with the emotions they felt. At some point, he approached a composer, in order to give that film a musical voice. The composer – who was well-versed in musical theory and composition – was as much of a storyteller as the director was, and wanted to enhance the film with his music; to bring out subtle emotions so the audience could feel them, to highlight subtexts that acting alone could not convey, to make it a better film than it would be without the music being there. Read more…

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – Henry Jackman

July 17, 2012 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is the first movie based on the very popular series of “mashup” novels by Seth Grahame-Smith, in which a real, famous person or an established literary classic is re-imagined with a science fiction or horror twist. Other entries in the mini-genre include “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, “Queen Victoria: Demon Slayer” and “Unholy Night”, but Abraham Lincoln is the first to make the transition to the big screen. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the film stars as Benjamin Walker as the 16th President of the United States, recounting the story of his early life: having discovered that his beloved mother was murdered, young Lincoln vows vengeance against the man responsible, Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), but is overpowered and almost killed by Barts, who is actually a vampire. Lincoln is rescued and nursed back to health by the enigmatic Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper), who trains Lincoln to be a vampire hunter, and promises the idealistic young man that he can exact his revenge when the time is right. The film, which also stars Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rufus Sewell, was originally going to be scored by the Oscar-winning duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, before the film eventually fell into the hands of one of the most talented and creative recent graduates from Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control stable, Henry Jackman. Read more…

PUSS IN BOOTS – Henry Jackman

October 28, 2011 6 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Given the worldwide success of the Shrek franchise, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing spinoffs, and so it comes as no surprise that the fall of 2011 sees the release of Puss in Boots. The feline lover-and-fighter quickly became an enormously popularly character following his initial appearance in Shrek 2, with his swashbuckling ways, his flirtatious voice (provided by Antonio Banderas), and his secret weapon – big, adorable eyes which turn grown men to jelly – and this new movie focuses solely on him. Directed by Chris Miller, the film again features Banderas as the leading voice, and is a prequel of sorts, telling the story of the events leading up to Puss’s introduction to Shrek and Donkey, from Puss’s point of view. The cast features the voices of Salma Hayek as Puss’s paramour Kitty Softpaws, Zach Galifianakis as Humpty Dumpty, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris as Jack and Jill, and even Guillermo Del Toro as the mysterious Moustache Man. Read more…

MONSTERS VS. ALIENS – Henry Jackman

March 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the biggest grossing films of 2009, Monsters vs. Aliens is an animated family sci-fi comedy about a young woman named Susan Murphy, who is hit by a meteorite from outer space and grows to enormous size. After being captured by the government, she is taken to a secret where she meets a ragtag group of other “monsters” who have also been rounded up over the years; however, the new friends find themselves thrust into the limelight when they are asked to help defeat a squadron of unfriendly aliens arrive on Earth, having discovered the meteorite’s amazing qualities, and wanting it for themselves. The film, which was directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon and has a stellar voice cast including Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Seth Rogen and Stephen Colbert, features an original score by composer Henry Jackman. Read more…