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Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Goldsmith’

LIONHEART – Jerry Goldsmith

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Lionheart is a perfect example of how a film studio can utterly ruin a film’s commercial success with poor distribution. A rousing historical action-adventure, the film is loosely based on the story of the Children’s Crusade of the year 1212, in which children from all over Europe adopted the cause of King Richard the Lionheart to protect Christianity from Muslim invaders. This story concentrates specifically on a young knight named Robert (Eric Stoltz), who finds himself becoming the protector of a group of children who are being threatened by the evil ‘Black Prince’ (Gabriel Byrne), a former crusader who became disillusioned with his cause and is now selling children into slavery. The film was an epic and lavish production – it was directed by the great Franklin Schaffner, was written by Menno Meyjes, and executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola – but it was hamstrung by its own production company, Orion Pictures, who delayed and delayed the film and eventually only released it in cinemas in Canada in the late summer of 1987 (it didn’t play in the United States at all). As a result, the film is virtually unknown these days, and is likely best remembered for Jerry Goldsmith’s rousing, epic score. Read more…

INNERSPACE – Jerry Goldsmith

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Innerspace is a fun sci-fi adventure comedy, written by Jeffrey Boam and Chip Proser, and directed by Joe Dante. Dennis Quaid stars as Lt. Tuck Pendleton, an air force test pilot who is part of a top secret science experiment involving a brand new miniaturization technology. Pendleton and his submersible pod are shrunk down to minuscule size, and are supposed to be injected into a laboratory rabbit, but the lab is attacked by industrial saboteurs who want the technology for themselves, and Tuck is instead accidentally injected into the body of hypochondriac Jack Putter (Martin Short). Once Jack has overcome his initial skepticism and terror, he teams up with Tuck’s on-again off-again girlfriend, spunky reporter Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), to find a way to get Tuck out of his body before his air supply runs out – but the saboteurs, led by Victor Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy) and Dr. Margaret Canker (Fiona Lewis), still want the miniaturization technology for themselves, and have sent their ruthless henchman Mr. Igoe (Vernon Wells) to get it, at any cost. Read more…

EXTREME PREJUDICE – Jerry Goldsmith

May 4, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Extreme Prejudice is a western-flavored action thriller directed by Walter Hill, starring Nick Nolte as Jack Benteen, a grizzled Texas Ranger who teams up with a platoon of elite US Army commandos led by Major Hackett (Michael Ironside). Their mission is to take down a major trafficker running shipments of narcotics across the border from northern Mexico into El Paso; the only stumbling block, for Benteen at least, is the fact that the trafficker is Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe), Benteen’s childhood best friend. As the soldiers close in on Bailey’s compound, Benteen finds his loyalties tested, especially when a beautiful woman named Sarita (Maria Conchita Alonso) – both men’s ex-girlfriend – enters the fray. The film is a gritty, sweat-soaked, uncompromising thriller, and an homage to the great western The Wild Bunch, which received decent reviews when it opened in cinemas in May 1987. Read more…

HOOSIERS – Jerry Goldsmith

November 17, 2016 Leave a comment

hoosiersTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Hoosiers is generally considered one of the best sports films ever made. Directed by David Anspaugh and written by Angelo Pizzo (who would later collaborate again on Rudy in 1993), the film stars Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, a former elite basketball coach who, after suffering a personal humiliation, is forced to take a job as a teacher and basketball coach at a tiny high school in Indiana in 1951. Despite overwhelming odds – including a small student population to select a team from, opposition from parents, opposition from faculty members such as English teacher Myra Fleener (Barbara Hershey), and a hopelessly drunk assistant coach (Dennis Hopper) – Dale leads his team to the state championship game. Looking back on the film today, Hoosiers seems to be very clichéd, but the truth of the matter is that this film is the one that invented, or at least popularized, many of the sports movie clichés we take for granted today: the gruff coach with a heart of gold, the group of misfits who come together to form a winning team, the old-fashioned old-timers who don’t understand what the newcomer is doing, the last-second winning shot to clinch the championship. Hoosiers was a massively popular and successful film, and received two Oscar nominations: one for Hopper as Best Supporting Actor, and one for Jerry Goldsmith’s score. Read more…

LINK – Jerry Goldsmith

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment

linkTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite being generally regarded as one of the most brilliant and groundbreaking composers in the history of cinema, Jerry Goldsmith scored some absolute stinkers when it came to the quality of the actual movies themselves. The 1980s was particularly fertile ground for terrible films; the decade saw him working on such ignominious titles as The Challenge, Baby: The Secret of Lost Legend, King Solomon’s Mines, Rent-a-Cop, and Warlock, but perhaps no film sums up this rather unfortunate aspect to his legacy as Link, a movie about a monkey that embarks on a killing spree. The film was directed by Richard Franklin, for whom Goldsmith scored Psycho II in 1983, and starred Elizabeth Shue as Jane, a young American anthropology student, who travels to England to work with a brilliant but reclusive professor (Terence Stamp) at his remote Victorian mansion/research facility. However, once Jane gets to know the mansion’s simian inhabitants, she begins to notice unusual events occurring, and suspects that an aged orangutan named Link, who is basically the facility’s butler, may be responsible… Read more…

LEGEND – Jerry Goldsmith/Tangerine Dream

April 21, 2016 2 comments

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Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Capitalizing on the enormous commercial success of Alien in 1979, and the critical acclaim afforded to Blade Runner in 1982, director Ridley Scott left the world of hard science fiction for his next film, Legend, which instead embraced the mystical world of high fantasy. A sylvan story of elves and goblins, unicorns and fairies, princesses and demons, Legend was a hugely ambitious exploration of northern European folk tales and myths, woven together by screenwriter William Hjortsberg. The film starred Tom Cruise as Jack, a forest-dwelling young boy who is chastely in love with a young princess, Lili, played by Mia Sara. Together they explore their beautiful woodland home, but all is not well in the world; the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) has sensed the presence of two unicorns in the forest, and sent three of his goblin minions to kill them and steal their horns. Circumstances result in Lili inadvertently leading the goblins to the unicorns, and when their horns are stolen, the world is plunged into a dark, wintry nightmare from which there appears to be no return – but Jack has other ideas, and resolves to infiltrate the evil palace where Darkness resides and restore the world to its former glory. Read more…

KING SOLOMON’S MINES – Jerry Goldsmith

November 19, 2015 3 comments

kingsolomonsminesTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

With the massive box office success of the two Indiana Jones films, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Temple of Doom, several film producers sought to bring to the silver screen a ‘rugged historical adventurer’ of their own. Cannon Films had acquired the rights to H. Rider Haggard’s classic novel King Solomon’s Mines and its main character Allan Quatermain, and put into production a light, family-friendly version of the tale, with J. Lee Thompson directing, and Richard Chamberlain in the lead role. The film is set in the early 1900s and follows Quatermain, who is hired by the beautiful Jesse Huston (Sharon Stone) to find her father, who has disappeared in central Africa while searching for the fabled mines of the title. The expedition brings Quatermain in contact with numerous dangers and enemies, not least of which is a rival expedition led by the ruthless Colonel Bockner (Herbert Lom), who will stop at nothing to find the mines himself. Read more…

RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – Jerry Goldsmith

September 24, 2015 1 comment

rambofirstbloodpart2THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Following the massive success of the original First Blood movie in 1982, it was inevitable that a sequel would be forthcoming. Rambo: First Blood Part II once again saw Sylvester Stallone returning to one of his most iconic roles as former United States Special Forces commando John Rambo. Having spent a year in prison as punishment for his part in the events of the first film, Rambo is visited by his old commanding officer, Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna), and offered a deal – in exchange for being pardoned by the government, Rambo must return to Vietnam and investigate reports of American soldiers still being held captive by the Viet Cong. However, as Rambo arrives in Southeast Asia, all hell breaks loose, and the one-man army finds himself waging war not only against the Vietnamese, but against a group of corrupt Soviets who are funding them. The film was directed by George P. Cosmatos from a screenplay by James Cameron, co-stars Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, and Julia Nickson as a local intelligence agent, and was an even greater commercial success than the original, becoming one of the most iconic action movies of the 1980s. Read more…

FIRST BLOOD – Jerry Goldsmith

September 21, 2015 1 comment

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

First Blood was adapted from the David Morrell in 1972 novel of the same name, although an alternative ending was shot that preserved the story’s protagonist for future tales. Sylvester Stallone plays John J. Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran who gained honor and distinction serving as a member of the elite United States Special Forces, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Yet all is not well as he is haunted by the horrors of war and cannot find inner peace as he tries to adapt to civilian life. As Rambo hikes through Hope, Washington, to visit a friend he arouses the interests of the xenophobic local Sheriff, William Teasel (Brian Dennehy), who promptly escorts him out of town. Outraged as his treatment as he has not done anything wrong, Rambo returns to the town; Teasel takes his return as a personal affront and promptly arrests him on false charges. When Rambo is further disrespected and physically abused by Teasel’s minions he snaps and switches into his special forces combat mode with predictable and devastating consequences for his abusers. After pummeling his abusers, he escapes the jail and then flees on a motorcycle to the safety of the woods. Teasel, of course, organizes a hunting party to bring Rambo in “to face justice.” What follows is a rampage of killing and destruction as Rambo brings Teasel and his city to the brink of defeat. Thanks to the timely intervention of his commanding officer Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna), Rambo’s release and free passage is negotiated to save the town further carnage. The movie served as a potent commentary on the alienation and estrangement felt by many of our soldiers as they returned from a deeply unpopular war and attempted to re-assimilate into society. Read more…

THE SAND PEBBLES – Jerry Goldsmith

April 27, 2015 1 comment

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

Director Robert Wise recognized the epic potential of The Sand Pebbles when he read Richard McKenna’s novel, and commissioned Robert Anderson to adapt it for the screen. He assembled a stellar cast, which included hero Jake Holman (Steve McQueen), his love interest Shirley Eckhart (Candice Bergen), his friend Frenchie Burgoyne (Richard Attenborough), the honorable Captain Collins (Richard Crenna) and his apprentice Po-Han (Mako). The film’s setting is colonial China circa 1926 where the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo patrols a tributary of the Yangtze River. China is in tumult as Nationalists, Communists and feudal warlords all compete for land, money and power. Jake, a laconic loner and iconoclast, joins the crew and immediately clashes with the “rice-bowl” coolie system, which runs the ship. In so doing he alienates both the captain and his crewmates. He meets Shirley, a missionary, and we see a spark of romance. Yet their relationship is doomed as war against all westerners erupts and the San Pablo must fight for its life as it sails upriver to rescue missionaries at the China Light Mission. The film was a commercial and a critical success earning eight Oscar nominations including Best Score, which Goldsmith lost out to John Barry’s Born Free. Read more…

BABY: SECRET OF THE LOST LEGEND – Jerry Goldsmith

April 9, 2015 1 comment

babysecretofthelostlegendTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In my review of Supergirl earlier in this series, I remarked how a number of Jerry Goldsmith scores are essentially ‘parallel universe’ scores, inferior versions of films John Williams scored. From the late 1970s through the mid 1990s, Goldsmith wrote a lot of great music for some truly awful movies, and if you look at his filmography during that period, you can see the pattern developing: where John Williams had Superman, Goldsmith had Supergirl; as Williams had Raiders of the Lost Ark, so Goldsmith had King Solomon’s Mines; and so on. Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend is basically Goldsmith’s Jurassic Park, eight years before Steven Spielberg broke all box office records with his dinosaur movie. It’s a family adventure directed by Bill L. Norton, starring William Katt, Sean Young, Patrick McGoohan and (inexplicably) Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes in an early acting role; it tells the story of Susan and George Loomis, a paleontologist and her husband, who discover a mother and baby brontosaurus in Africa, and try to protect them from hunters who want to capture them. Read more…

SUPERGIRL – Jerry Goldsmith

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Supergirl was envisaged as a spin-off, capitalizing on the enormous success of the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise. Originally created in 1959 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, the character was a popular but under-utilized member of the DC Comics family until this, her first big-screen appearance in 1984. Directed by Jeannot Szwarc from a screenplay by David Odell, the film starred Helen Slater as Clark Kent’s cousin Kara, an inhabitant of Argo City, the last surviving remnant of the planet Krypton following its destruction in the first reel of Superman: The Movie. When Kara’s teacher and mentor Zaltar (Peter O’Toole) accidentally allows a special and exceptionally powerful jewel called the Omegahedron to travel to Earth, Kara follows it, intending to retrieve it and bring it home; once there, she finds she has acquired powers similar to that of her cousin, which she must use to stop an evil witch named Selena (Faye Dunaway), who has found the Omegahedron and intends to use it to increase her powers. Read more…

GREMLINS – Jerry Goldsmith

August 21, 2014 Leave a comment

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Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Gremlins was a monster movie with a big heart, one of the biggest box office successes of 1984. Directed by Joe Dante – his first mainstream movie following the success of his independent horror movie The Howling in 1981 – it starred Zach Galligan as Billy, an average college kid living in pleasant small town America, whose life becomes forever altered when his father Rand (country star Hoyt Axton) gives him a present for Christmas: a cute critter called a mogwai, which Rand purchased from a mysterious Chinese curiosity shop. The mogwai, which Billy names Gizmo, comes with three very strict rules: keep him out of the sunlight, don’t get him wet, and never, ever feed him after midnight. Of course, Billy inadvertently breaks all three rules, and before long his charming little town is overrun with a whole host of less than friendly gremlins, and Christmas will never be the same again… The film co-stars Phoebe Cates, Polly Holliday, Judge Reinhold, Corey Feldman, and Frances Lee McCain, features comedian Howie Mandel as the voice of Gizmo, and has an original score by Jerry Goldsmith, the first of his eight collaborations with director Dante. Read more…

THE BLUE MAX – Jerry Goldsmith

May 21, 2014 Leave a comment

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

Director John Guillermin was inspired by the Jack Hunter novel “The Blue Max” and so adapted it for film. He assembled a stellar cast, which included George Peppard as Bruno Stachel, James Mason as General Count von Klugermann, Ursula Andress as Countess Kaeti von Klugermann and Jeremy Kemp as Willi von Klugermann. Set in the waning year of World War I on the Western front, it tells the story of a young man’s rise to glory and his tragic end. Stachel, is a classic anti-hero, a member of the lower cast who is driven by blind ambition. As such he leaves the Wehrmacht to join the Luftwaffe in search of personal glory – Germany’s most prestigious medal, Pour le Mérite, or the Blue Max. The prized medal is bestowed upon pilots for meritorious service and requires 20 dog fight kills. Driven with a grim, and relentless determination Stachel will allow nothing to stand in his way. His raw and unchivalrous demeanor offends his fellow pilots who hail from the German aristocracy and disdain this commoner among their ranks. Stachel’s rise is noticed by General von Klugermann, who seeks to exploit him as a national symbol in an effort to rally a weary public tiring of war. A tryst with the General’s wife only adds to Stachel’s ego and notoriety. While he ultimately succeeds in gaining the coveted prize, he does so by defiantly disobeying orders to defend ground troops. Von Klugermann does not wish to disgrace his ‘hero’ with a court marshal and so selects him to fly a proto-type mono-wing plane whose support struts he knows will not hold up. When Stachel dies in a crash von Klugermann’s dilemma is solved, he gains his “man of the people” hero and his air corps is not disgraced by scandal. The film was both a critical and commercial success. Read more…

STAR TREK: NEMESIS – Jerry Goldsmith

February 13, 2014 3 comments

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

Sadly, the beloved Star Trek franchise took its final voyage with this tenth installment. For the storyline we are presented with yet another morality play, which explores the interplay of upbringing, fate and self-realization in seeking one’s destiny. Following a wedding between Will Riker and Deanna Troi, Picard receives startling orders from Star Fleet Command to proceed to Romulus as the Federation’s peace emissary. Evidently a coup d’état had ushered in a new leadership that wished to reset relations after centuries of unremitting animosity. Upon their arrival Picard discovers that the new leader Shinzon is not a Romulan, but instead a human, a clone of himself. Eventually he realizes a sinister deception as Shinzon’s true motives manifest. Shinzon desires to gain glory first by killing his genetic progenitor, Picard, and then by destroying Earth, a final repudiation of his humanity. Thus from a shared genetic template we see a duality, the polarity of goodness embodied in Picard and the polarity evil with Shinzon. What unfolds is a classic battle between light and darkness, a contest of wills with both Picard and Shinzon using their knowledge of the other and themselves to prevail. In the fateful final encounter, the Enterprise joined by Romulan loyalist ships battle Shinzon’s Scimitar, a cloaked mega vessel with superior shields and weapons of mass destruction. We witness Picard and Shnizon match wits with the most impressive battle scenes of the franchise. The film, while not embraced by critics, performed well and was profitable. The decision to end the franchise was very disappointing. Read more…