Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Goldsmith’

GREMLINS – Jerry Goldsmith

August 21, 2014 Leave a comment


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


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 4 comments

startreknemesisexpandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

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…


September 5, 2013 2 comments

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

The Next Generation crew returned for their third film with the addition of villain J. Murray Abraham (Ru’afo) and Picard’s love interest Donna Murphy (Anij). This 9th installment of the franchise offers in the finest Star Trek tradition another classic morality play. The story explores Machiavellianism, which espouses that “Might Makes Right” and that evil means may be used to achieve a “Greater Good”. The story is set on the planet Ba’ku, which is located in isolation in Sector 441. Ba’ku’s planetary rings emit a unique metaphasic radiation, which are both regenerative to health and life prolonging. We see a Federation team collaborating with the So’na, later to be revealed as disaffected Ba’ku ex-patriots, covertly seeking to remove the Ba’ku so that they may harvest the planet’s ring matter for ‘the betterment of all’. When Data malfunctions and exposes the sordid plan to the Ba’ku a crisis is precipitated. Picard and his crew choose to violate the direct orders of the mission commander Admiral Dougherty and defend the Ba’ku, believing that his mission violates the Prime Directive. This elicits war with the So’na who begin the forced removal of the Ba’ku and the harvesting of the planet’s rings. Our heroes succeed in defeating Ru’afo and in reuniting the Ba’ku with their estranged children, the So’na. The film was a commercial success, doubling its production costs and achieved some critical acclaim with both Hugo and Saturn Award nominations. Read more…


April 29, 2013 Leave a comment

startrekfirstcontactexpandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

As is consistent of the ethos of the Star Trek universe, we are again treated to a classic morality play that speaks to obsession and the powerful, yet ultimately self-destructive drive for vengeance. The script purposely draws upon classical references of Herman Melville’s great novel “Moby Dick”, which lends a potent gravitas to this latest voyage. The story reveals a bold attack by the Borg to destroy humanity by conquering it not in the present, but instead by destroying its past. Through use of a temporal vortex, the Borg time travel backwards to 21st century Earth, which lays vulnerable having been decimated by a third World War. Their plan hinges on destroying the Phoenix, Earth’s first warp capable ship. History reveals that its inaugural flight elicited a first contact encounter with the Vulcans who happened to be exploring the Terran system. This first contact laid the seed from which arose the United Federation Of Planets. Captain Picard follows the Borg back through time and must overcome his personal demons having been once assimilated by the Borg, as well as his obsession for revenge to save humanity’s future. The film was a critical success earning many awards as well as the most profitable Star Trek film of the franchise. Read more…

FIRST KNIGHT – Jerry Goldsmith

May 2, 2011 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

First Knight is a retelling of the classic legendary tale “The Knight of the Cart” first penned in the late 12th century by Chrétien de Troyes. Screenwriter William Nicholson stripped the tale of its magic and mythos of the Grail quest, instead focusing his lens on an intimate exploration of the passions, foibles and tragedy borne of intimate human relationships. Sean Connery succeeds in providing a sympathy and gravitas to the role of King Arthur with solid performances provided by Richard Gere as Lancelot, Julia Ormond as Guinevere and Ben Cross as the evil villain Malagant. The film was a critical failure but achieved commercial success taking in 134 million, more than sufficient to cover its 55 million production costs. Read more…


April 4, 2011 3 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story is an iconic television movie that was adapted from an Earl Hamner Jr. story starred Patricia Neal and Richard Thomas in a traditional heart-warming story of a poor rural family’s Christmas. The story takes place on Christmas Eve in 1933 during the Great Depression with the children awaiting, with great anticipation, the miracle in the barn when at the stroke of midnight all off the animals speak. The family is also awaiting the homecoming of their beloved father who had to seek employment in the city and is returning home. A snowstorm places Mr. Walton’s return in peril and the family struggles to remain optimistic as the night wears on. But this is a happy tale and when he returns with a bag of gifts all is made right as the family celebrates the joy and warmth of Christmas. The film was made on a very modest budget, but it was an immediate hit, spawned The Waltons – a highly successful television series and remains an enduring classic holiday favorite. Read more…


January 20, 2011 4 comments

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

Star Trek V is at its heart a mystical quest film concerned with a question that has aroused humanity’s curiosity for millennia. It explores our search for that sacred omphalos from whence we arose – the Garden of Eden. In metaphysics Eden symbolizes primordial perfection, the source of all life and the state of perfect communion between humanity and God. It is from this inner longing, this yearning that the saga which is Star Trek V unfolds. William Shatner lobbied very hard to direct the film and although he managed to win the directorship, he regretfully would not enjoy critical success. Production and financing problems forced a dramatic scaling back of the movie’s climactic scene where he had planned a dramatic display of immense stone gollums and the earth opening up to reveal scenes of Dante’s ten levels of Hell. It suffices to say that the lack of resources served to mortally wound the story’s narrative and resulted in what many believe to be the weakest film in the Star Trek franchise. Read more…

Jerry Goldsmith, 1929-2004

July 21, 2004 Leave a comment

Jerry GoldsmithComposer Jerry Goldsmith died on July 21, 2004 at his home in Beverly Hills, California, after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Jerrald King Goldsmith was born in Pasadena, California, in February 1929, and started playing piano at an early age, before later being tutored by pianist Jakob Gimpel and composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He studied music at both the University of Southern California – where he attended classes given by Miklós Rózsa – and Los Angeles City College, before securing a job as a clerk-typist in the music department of TV network CBS under music director Lud Gluskin. He began writing music as early as 1951, for radio shows and live television (one of his first gigs was the first ever James Bond story, Casino Royale, produced as part of the Climax! series), and quickly became a television mainstay, contributing scores to such series as The Lineup, Black Saddle, Playhouse 90, Perry Mason and The Twilight Zone.

Goldsmith scored his first feature film, the western Black Patch, in 1957 at the age of 28, and spent much of the 1950s and 60s scoring both feature films and television projects: he worked on hit TV shows such as Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Cain’s Hundred, Dr Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Loner, Room 222 and The Waltons, while scoring such popular films as Freud (1962), for which he received his first Oscar nomination, The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), A Patch of Blue (1965), In Harm’s Way (1965), The Blue Max (1966), The Sand Pebbles (1966), the groundbreaking and avant-garde Planet of the Apes (1968), and numerous revisionist Westerns, which seemed to be his forte for much of the first two decades of his career. Read more…

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STAR TREK: NEMESIS – Jerry Goldsmith

December 13, 2002 Leave a comment

startreknemesisOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jerry Goldsmith’s involvement with Star Trek now stretches back almost 25 years. He is as associated with the franchise as the USS Enterprise, “Beam me up, Scotty” and “Make it so”, and with the possible exceptions of James Horner and Alexander Courage, is the only composer to truly get to the heart of the Star Trek universe – even though he himself has said that he does not fully understand the phenomenon, or why his work is so well-loved. Having written so much classic music over the years, it is therefore somewhat disappointing to report that his work on Star Trek: Nemesis is pretty standard, uninspiring stuff. A few snatches of thematic familiarity, some exciting action material, and echoes of Total Recall aside, it’s actually a rather predictable, albeit enjoyable, sci-fi score. Read more…

HOLLOW MAN – Jerry Goldsmith

August 4, 2000 Leave a comment

hollowmanOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Throughout cinema history, the story of the invisible man has been invented and re-invented by each subsequent generation. From James Whale’s 1933 classic with Claude Rains in the title role, to the popular 1970s TV series starring David McCallum, man’s fascination with making himself diaphanous has made for compelling viewing. In Hollow Man, director Paul Verhoeven has taken this principle one step further, by making his invisible man not just invisible, but also psychotic and murderous: driven insane by the scientific methods that gave him his power. Gory, and more than a little gratuitous (inspect the rear of the insert card for proof!), Hollow Man stars Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Caine, a brilliant but slightly deranged scientist who has perfected a serum that will render whoever uses it invisible. Despite the protestations of his loyal assistant Karen (Elisabeth Shue), and the remainder of his staff, Sebastian tests the drug on himself, with horrific results. Read more…

THE 13th WARRIOR – Jerry Goldsmith

August 27, 1999 Leave a comment

13thwarriorOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In my opinion, the last two sword and sorcery movies to have truly great scores were Basil Poledouris’s Conan the Barbarian in 1981 and James Horner’s Krull in 1983 – the enduring legacy of a genre which, in recent years, has virtually died out in Hollywood. Although there is not very much sorcery in The 13th Warrior, there are plenty of flashing blades, and Jerry Goldsmith has conjured up a rousing, magnificent musical work to accompany them, the first “medieval epic” score for quite a few years that can be compared on equal terms to those earlier classics. Read more…

THE HAUNTING – Jerry Goldsmith

July 23, 1999 Leave a comment

thehauntingOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Although I personally enjoyed it immensely, Jan De Bont’s modern reworking of Robert Wise’s 1963 classic The Haunting was one of the more high-profile casualties in the summer of 1999’s blockbuster stakes. Despite a headline cast including Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and boasting some truly marvelous special effects, audiences complained that the film concentrated far too much on the visual side of the film and less on actually scaring the audience. To be fair, both visually and aurally, the film was absolutely magnificent, with Eugenio Zanetti’s Gaudi-inspired architecture teeming with cherubic faces and Gothic opulence, and Gary Rydstrom’s resonant sound design echoing majestically through the cinema’s surround sound stereo system. In terms of plot and acting, however, the film performed pretty badly, with several unrealistic contrivances and unconvincing performances from all the leads sealing its critical fate. Read more…

THE MUMMY – Jerry Goldsmith

May 7, 1999 1 comment

themummyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jerry Goldsmith’s first effort of 1999 is a barnstorming action score of epic proportions. The density of the orchestrations and the complexity of the melodic lines put you in mind of vibrant works such as First Knight, Deep Rising, and especially The Wind and the Lion with its intoxicating ethnic percussion and pervading sense of Arabic mystique. A loose remake of Boris Karloff’s 1932 horror classic, The Mummy is an old-fashioned, tongue-in-cheek Saturday matinee flick with more than a few passing resemblances to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Universal Pictures and director Stephen Sommers hope it will be the first big action movie to smash the box office in a summer market already dominated by the imminent release of The Phantom Menace. It stars Brendan Fraser as a treasure-seeker who travels to 1930s Egypt searching for lost artefacts. What he finds, though, is far worse – the mummified body of the ancient Egyptian priest Imhotep, who was buried alive in disgrace by the then Pharaoh, and who unleashes a terrible vengeful power on those who disturbed him from his slumber. Read more…