Posts Tagged ‘Joel McNeely’


June 6, 2014 2 comments

amillionwaystodieinthewestOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Seth MacFarlane is one of those people who you either seem to love or hate. Since the debut of his animated TV show Family Guy in 1999 he has polarized audiences, who seem to both love and loathe his crude humor, oddball characters and self-aware pop culture references in equal measure. I have always been firmly in the “love him” camp, having greatly enjoyed Family Guy, it’s spin-off The Cleveland Show, and his other project American Dad, as well as his big-screen debut project Ted, which I still think is one of the funniest comedies in years. His sophomore effort is, somewhat surprisingly, a western: A Million Ways to Die in the West, which stars MacFarlane himself as Albert Stark, a sheep farmer in old Arizona circa 1880, who hates everything about his life, especially the way in which the environment, the weather, and everyone and everything around him has the potential to kill him: hence the title of the film. After breaking up with his needy girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried), Albert thinks he has reached his lowest ebb – until the arrival of the beautiful and spunky Anna (Charlize Theron), to whom Albert takes an immediate shine. The only problem, however, is the fact that Anna is the estranged wife of Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson), the most dangerous bandit in the territory… and he wants his wife back. Read more…

TINKER BELL – Joel McNeely

October 31, 2008 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A very belated prequel to one of Disney’s best-loved classics, Peter Pan, the 3D animated movie Tinker Bell tells the story of what life was like for the green dress-clad pixie before she started having her adventures with Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys, and dueling with Captain Hook. The film is directed by Bradley Raymond, and features a surprisingly high profile all-female voice cast including Mae Whitman, Kristen Chenoweth, Raven-Symoné, Lucy Liu, America Ferrara, Jane Horrocks, Anjelica Huston.

The film is scored by Joel McNeely, who seems to be making something of a mini-career scoring Disney animated sequels, having already turned in work on sequels to Cinderella, The Fox and the Hound, Lilo & Stitch and Mulan. Read more…


July 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

No, I didn’t see “I Know Who Killed Me”. Let’s be honest, you didn’t either. In fact, looking at the box office stats for the R-rated Lindsay Lohan thriller, it seems that hardly anyone did. And why would they? The film’s trailers looked just plain terrible, the critic’s reviews were just plain terrible, and Lohan’s acting is just plain… well, to be fair, mediocre. It looks like the sort of film that was made to flop at the box office… the era of the sleaze thriller is over, kids, “Basic Instinct” was 15 years ago. You’d think they would learn a little quicker.

Speaking of that, I never expected “I Know Who Killed Me” to produce the finest trashy thriller score since Jerry Goldsmith’s effort for “Basic Instinct”. Music is provided by Joel McNeely, who undoubtedly accepted this assignment because he couldn’t get anything better. That’s a real shame, because McNeely is a fabulous composer. Read more…


April 11, 2003 Leave a comment

ghostsoftheabyssOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Following his Oscar winning 1997 movie Titanic, director James Cameron has since become very interested in the shipwreck of the real life ocean liner, which struck an iceberg on 14 April 1912, while on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, and sunk beneath the freezing waters of the north Atlantic, killing almost 1,500 passengers. In Ghosts of the Abyss, Cameron, along with a team of the world’s foremost historic and marine experts and his friend, actor Bill Paxton, embarks on an unscripted adventure back to where some of the footage for his dramatic film was shot. Using state-of-the-art technology and new 3-D IMAX cameras developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew explore virtually all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never before. In addition, actors re-create key moments from the Titanic’s last moments (in a way similar to Discovery Channel documentaries), breathing life and immediacy to the science. Read more…


February 11, 2000 1 comment

sallyhemingsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s pretty common knowledge that I’m not Joel McNeely’s greatest fan. In my opinion, these wild claims of him being “the new John Williams” merely on the strength of him writing Star Wars music for the Shadows of the Empire tie-in are vast overstatements. He’s obviously talented, and a very good conductor, but his scores for Virus and Soldier were both far too derivative, and The Avengers was just plain boring. There are plenty of similarly undervalued composers out there who are equally, if not more talented than he, and who deserve the opportunity to let their music shine in a broader setting. Having said that, it gives me a great deal of personal delight to report that his music for Sally Hemings: An American Scandal is quite lovely, and easily one of the most attractive and enjoyable scores of his career to date. Read more…