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THE COBWEB – Leonard Rosenman

December 14, 2020 Leave a comment

GREATEST SCORES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Director Vincent Minnelli was intrigued by the cinematic possibilities offered by William Gibson’s novel, The Cobweb (1954), which takes place in a psychiatric institution where both the patients and the professional staff suffer from neuroses. He sold his idea to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, John Houseman was tasked to produce, and a budget of $1,976 million was provided. Casting foundered when Robert Taylor, Lana Turner and Grace Kelly were either unavailable or declined. Eventually a fine cast was assembled, which included Richard Widmark as Dr. Stewart McIver, Lauren Bacall as Meg Rinehart, Charles Boyer as Dr. Devanal, Gloria Grahame as Karen McIver, Lilian Gish as Victoria Inch and John Kerr as Stevie. Read more…

ROBOCOP 2 – Leonard Rosenman

June 18, 2020 3 comments

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

After the unexpected critical and commercial success of Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop in 1987, it was inevitable that a sequel would be produced, and so in June 1990 Robocop 2 debuted in cinemas. Peter Weller returned to don the chrome armor for a second time as Alex Murphy, a detective in the futuristic Detroit Police Department who, after being murdered by criminals while on duty, is transformed into a half human-half machine cyborg crimefighter. The original movie was a violent action story that masked Verhoeven’s critiques of American hyper-consumerism and corporate corruption; Robocop 2 is a much more straightforward (although perhaps more graphically violent) story that sees Murphy trying to bring down a gang of drug dealers that are flooding the city with Nuke, a synthetic and highly addictive narcotic. Meanwhile, rampant corruption within the police department and its corporate owner, OCP, causes more issues with policing in the city, including mass strikes by cops. In order to address the problems city officials try to strike a deal with Cain, a vicious drug kingpin with a messiah complex. What could go wrong? The film co-stars Nancy Allen, Tom Noonan, and Belinda Bauer, was co-written by cult comic book creator Frank Miller, and was directed by The Empire Strikes Back’s Irvin Kershner, in what turned out to be his last film prior to his death. Read more…

STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME – Leonard Rosenman

February 22, 2012 2 comments

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Coming off his directorial success with Star Trek III, Leonard Nimoy again assembled our iconic crew for a thoughtful eco-story that spoke to humanity’s poor stewardship of the Earth. The film opens with a massive space probe of unknown origin en route to Earth. When it arrives it delivers a cryptic message in a language that seems unintelligible. In addition, its power system neutralizes the Earth’s power grid and begins to vaporize its oceans. The exiled Captain Kirk and his fugitive crew correctly determine that the message is directed not to humanity, but instead to an extinct species, the Humpback whale. As such, they resolve to time travel back to late 20th century Earth to recover two humpback whales, hoping to bring them back to the future so they can respond to the probe’s message. Set in 20th century urban San Francisco, this new adventure was comic, light-hearted and proved to be a huge commercial success, earning profits of more than five times it’s production costs. Read more…