Posts Tagged ‘Marc Shaiman’


December 16, 2018 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Is there a more beloved screen musical than Mary Poppins? The Walt Disney-produced 1964 classic, based on the series of novels by P. L. Travers, made a star of actress Julie Andrews, entered songs like “Feed the Birds,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” into the enduring cinematic lexicon, and won the hearts of children and adults all around the world. When it was announced that, more than 50 years later, a sequel was in production, it was inevitable that comparisons between it and the original would be made – how could they not be? The potential for disaster was enormous. Thankfully for all concerned, Mary Poppins Returns is a triumph in every respect, an overwhelmingly joyous ‘happiness bomb’ that pays respectful homage to the legendary first film while continuing the story in a thoughtful, respectful, fun, and emotional way. The film is set some thirty years after the first one, in pre-War rather than Edwardian London, and finds the original Banks children Jane and Michael as adults. Michael is a widower with three children of his own, living in his father’s home; however, in the aftermath of his wife’s death, Michael has sunk into a depression, and is in danger of losing the house to the bank. Just as all hope seems lost their magical childhood nanny, Mary Poppins, returns, and with the help of a London lamplighter named Jack, sets about putting things right for the Banks children for a second time. Read more…

LBJ – Marc Shaiman

November 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States. Born in Texas in 1908, he served in the US Navy and worked as a high school teacher before winning election to the House of Representatives in 1937, and then to the Senate in 1948. After a widely-praised career in Washington, Johnson was chosen to be John F. Kennedy’s running mate in 1960, and became Vice President after Kennedy’s victory. He ascended to the presidency in 1963 after JFK was assassinated; as President, he won the 1964 election with ease and instituted a series of sweeping popular social reforms aimed at combating racism, poor healthcare, and poverty, but was simultaneously criticized for his aggressive personality, and for the United States’s controversial involvement in the Vietnam War. Amid the Vietnam controversy Johnson lost the 1968 Democratic primary to his own vice president, Hubert Humphrey, after Robert F. Kennedy was himself assassinated, and when Humphrey lost the general election to Republican Richard Nixon, Johnson retired from politics and returned to his Texas ranch, where he died in 1973. Director Rob Reiner’s movie LBJ tells Johnson’s life story, with Woody Harrelson portraying the man himself, and with Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, and Jennifer Jason Leigh in supporting roles. Read more…

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THE BUCKET LIST – Marc Shaiman

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been a while since the world had an original score by Marc Shaiman since he went off to write Hairspray and subsequently become the new darling of Broadway, but when Rob Reiner comes calling, Shaiman usually responds – and so we have The Bucket List, the latest cinematic collaboration between the two. The film stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two old men – both diagnosed with terminal illnesses – who make ‘the bucket list’, outlining the things they want to achieve before they shuffle off the mortal coil and kick the bucket. And so, the film follows their various misadventures as the pair escape from their cancer ward and subsequently tick off all the items on their list by going skydiving, driving stunt cars, traveling the world, and living their lives to the fullest before time runs out on them. Read more…

HAIRSPRAY – Marc Shaiman

July 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Marc Shaiman took a break from the film scoring world in the early 2000s to embark on a Broadway career in the company of his lyricist partner Scott Wittman. The result of their collaboration was Hairspray, a charming and effortlessly sunny musical based on the 1988 film by John Waters, about an overweight teenager named Tracy Turnblad who, in 1960s Baltimore, dreams of performing on a popular TV dance show.

Huge acclaim and several Tony Awards later, and things have come full-circle with the movie version of Shaiman’s musical, with Shaiman adapting his own music for the screen. Read more…

TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE – Harry Gregson-Williams, Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman

October 15, 2004 1 comment

teamamericaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In this post-9/11 world, where the threat of global terrorism looms overhead, where the fate of the people of Iraq hangs in the balance, and where political correctness in relation to sensitive subjects has reached fever pitch, thank God that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are around to bring everything back into perspective. The irreverent duo, who inject more intelligent humor into a single episode of South Park than most comedies can manage in a decade, have turned their satirical attention to the world of the American action movies and George W. Bush’s foreign policy with Team America: World Police. Read more…

SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT – Marc Shaiman and Trey Parker

July 2, 1999 Leave a comment

southparkOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

For anyone who has been living in a cocoon for the last few years, South Park is an animated TV series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, set an the isolated Colorado town, and is all about four eight-year-old friends (Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovsky, Eric Cartman and the immortal Kenny McCormick) who, quite simply, wreak havoc in every episode, aided and abetted by recurring characters such as the sex machine school Chef (voiced by Isaac Hayes), Stan’s girlfriend Wendy Testaburger (who gets puked upon whenever Stan talks to her because he’s so nervous), and kooky schoolteachers Mr. Mackey and Mr. Garrison, who wears a puppet on his left hand called “Mr. Hat”. The thing about South Park is the style – the animation is extremely crude and simplistic, but the scripts are ironic, satirical, and surprisingly intelligent, with messages and morals easily identifiable in amongst each episode’s gross-out gags. Read more…