Posts Tagged ‘Howard Shore’

THE AVIATOR – Howard Shore

December 17, 2004 Leave a comment

theaviatorOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The latest movie from acclaimed film-maker Martin Scorsese, The Aviator is an in-depth bio-pic examining the life of movie mogul, businessman and industrialist Howard Hughes who, during the 1930s and 40s was one of the richest men on the planet. Born in Texas in 1905, Hughes (played as an adult by Leonardo DiCaprio) claimed as a teenager that his ambitions in life were to “the world’s best golfer, the world’s best pilot, and the world’s best movie producer”. By the time he died in 1975 he was a recluse, having been reduced to a shadow of a man by his various mental problems, and the increasing severity of his obsessive compulsive disorder. But his life in between was nothing if not eventful: he inherited his father’s drill bit company and was a multi-millionaire by the time he was 19; he produced and directed a number of movies in Hollywood, including the famous “Hell’s Angels” (1930) and “The Outlaw” (1943); he dated many famous actresses of the day, including Jean Harlow (played in the film by Gwen Stefani), Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale); and most importantly (according to this film) he had a life-long fascination with aeroplanes, becoming the owner of TWA, effectively inventing Trans-Atlantic passenger air travel, and breaking numerous air-speed records before a horrific crash in 1946 put an end to it all. Read more…


December 19, 2003 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

And so, five years after his journey began, Howard Shore’s travels through the musical word of Middle Earth and the spectacular Lord of Rings trilogy comes to an end with The Return of the King, the final installment of Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking adaptation of the classic fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkein. To say that Shore has come a long way is understatement indeed. Before Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore was “the David Cronenberg guy” who specialized in dark, tortured scores for dark tortured movies. Now, he is the undisputed king of the epic adventure, with the potential to become the benchmark by which all future sword-and-sorcery scores are measured. Before Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore was a well-respected, but largely unheralded member of the film music world. Now, he is a household name, with an Oscar on his mantle, who sells out concert halls worldwide. It’s been one massive ride for the quiet, unassuming Canadian – and with the strength of this final score, his stock can only rise. Read more…

SPIDER – Howard Shore

December 20, 2002 Leave a comment

spiderOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Following the critical and commercial success of his scores for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it has somehow been forgotten that, prior to the world at large hearing his work for Peter Jackson’s epic masterpieces, Howard Shore was known as a “dark” composer. His scores, for directors such as David Fincher and David Cronenberg, were predominantly moody, themeless, atmospheric works which thrived in the grimmer aspects of film music, where evil things lurked in the shadows. Before Lord of the Rings, no one really knew that he was capable of the grand, orchestral-and-choral majesty he ultimately delivered, and since then his musical nightmares have almost been forgotten. But, with Spider, the latest film from David Cronenberg, Shore proves that he has not completely abandoned his roots. Read more…


December 20, 2002 Leave a comment

lotrtwotowersOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Howard Shore, welcome to the world of film music pressure. It’s a peculiar phenomenon, akin to the “second album” syndrome faced by rock and pop musicians whose debut works are hugely successful; John Williams faced it when embarking on the follow-up scores in the Star Wars saga. Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner, such is their popularity and fan base, face it each time they write a new score. Other composers face it when they write music for a beloved piece of fiction – especially in the fantasy or comic book genres – or have scored a major hit with their last effort in a series. With The Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore has joined this latter group. Read more…


December 21, 2001 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

To say that Peter Jackson took on a mammoth task in undertaking a 9-hour, three-film cinematic version of The Lord of the Rings is an understatement indeed. Adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s mammoth literary work for the screen took three years of the affable New Zealander’s life, and as the first part of the trilogy hits the world’s multiplexes, his vision and talent are for all to see. The Fellowship of the Ring is quite possibly the best fantasy film ever made, putting to shame Ralph Bakshi’s lamentable 1978 attempt to tell the same story through animation.

The story of The Fellowship of the Ring – for those who don’t know – is set in a fantasy land named Middle Earth, where a great war has taken place for control of nine rings, the owners of which wield the power to dominate the world. Read more…

THE CELL – Howard Shore

August 18, 2000 Leave a comment

thecellOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Writing a review of a film score like The Cell is a very difficult thing to do. The music is so challenging and abstract it almost defies conventional description, and unless you have seen the film it is difficult to appreciate Howard Shore’s scoring techniques which, away from the screen, seem to be made up of mere random noise and ear-shattering dissonance. It’s also a very difficult score to “enjoy” on any kind of emotional, or thematic level, simply because the music is so consistently harsh. Instead, where The Cell’s brilliance lies is in its complexity and structure, and for the thought processes that went into its creation. Read more…

DOGMA – Howard Shore

November 12, 1999 Leave a comment

dogmaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Kevin Smith’s Dogma stirred up a lot of ill feeling in the religious community upon its release. As the director of the irreverent Clerks and Chasing Amy, Smith is never one to shy away from courting controversy, but I doubt even he could have anticipated the severe backlash aimed at him by the Catholic church. Basically, they didn’t like the idea of their beliefs being mocked but the problem (as is often the case in these situations) was that they didn’t actually bother to sit down and watch the movie before condemning it. If anything, Dogma positively encourages the notion of having some sort of faith – in God, or Buddha, or Allah, or whatever – while taking pot shots at the many hypocrites who hold a bible in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other. Read more…

EXISTENZ – Howard Shore

April 23, 1999 Leave a comment

existenzOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

David Cronenberg inspires Howard Shore to compose some of his best and most memorable movie music. Through such notable works as The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, M. Butterfly and Crash, Cronenberg had always allowed Shore plenty of room to manoeuvre and stretch his musical muscles. eXistenZ is probably the most approachable and, from a soundtrack fan’s perspective, enjoyable work that has resulted from their collaboration to date. An original science fiction tale, eXistenZ is a film which again merges humanity and technology and blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as the designer of a virtual reality video game played through a genetically modified organism known as a “Game Pod”, which inserts an umbilical cord into a special socket inserted into the base of the player’s spinal column and taps into the player’s mind. When the game’s first demonstration goes wrong, Leigh and her bodyguard Jude Law are forced to run for their from various violent factions, all of whom want to stop eXistenZ from becoming a reality. Read more…