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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Isham’

THE CONJURING – Joseph Bishara

July 25, 2013 4 comments

theconjuringOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Conjuring is the latest in a series of high profile ‘demonic possession’ movies, following on from such recent successful theatrical efforts as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Devil Inside, The Possession, and the Last Exorcism series. Based on the supposedly true experiences of two paranormal investigators from the 1970s, the film stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga and Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are called to help a married couple, Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston), and their daughters, who have recently moved into an old farmhouse in rural Rhode Island, and who have since been terrorized by a malevolent spirit who appears in the form of an old woman. The film is directed by James Wan, who directed the first (and best) Saw movie, and has opened to generally favorable reviews and good box office returns. Read more…

42 – Mark Isham

April 26, 2013 Leave a comment

42Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Growing up in England, you don’t really get to know much about the history of baseball. Obviously, we know that the sport exists (even though it is nothing more than fancy rounders!), and having lived in the United States for as long as I have now, I can now throw out some of the most famous names – Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson – and have a basic idea of who they were and what they did. Beyond that paltry smattering, however, the details of most of the rest of baseball lore is still unknown to me, and prior to watching 42 I knew as much about the life of Jackie Robinson as I would expect the average American to know about, say, Laurie Cunningham – and if you just had to Google him you just proved my point. Read more…

THE CONSPIRATOR – Mark Isham

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

For many years I had assumed – entirely incorrectly, as it turns out – that the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth was a one-man show committed by a single opportunist. In actual fact, the events of April 14, 1865, were much more far reaching, in so much as three other co-conspirators attempted to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward on the same evening, but only Booth was successful in dispatching his quarry. Booth was killed by soldiers a few days later, but two of the other conspirators – Lewis Powell and George Atzerodt – were captured and tried. The fourth conspirator, John Surratt, was not caught and so John’s mother, Mary Surratt, was tried in his place, accused of allowing her guesthouse to be used as the base for the assassination plot to be conceived. Robert Redford’s latest film, The Conspirator, looks at these events with fresh eyes, concentrating specifically on the relationship between Mary Surratt (Robin Wright) and Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy), the young attorney assigned to defend her. The film also stars Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood and Danny Huston, and features an excellent dramatic score by Mark Isham. Read more…

CROSSING OVER – Mark Isham

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Written and directed by Wayne Kramer, Crossing Over is a story about immigration in the United States, and about how immigrants of different nationalities struggle to achieve legal status in Los Angeles. It follows the lives of several individuals – Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Max Brogan (Harrison Ford), his Iranian-American partner Hamid (Cliff Curtis), a sympathetic defense lawyer (Ashley Judd), and a green card approval supervisor (Ray Liotta) – all of whom experience different aspects of America’s immigration laws during the course of their working lives.

The score for Crossing Over is by Mark Isham, who previously worked with director Kramer on The Cooler and Running Scared, and who scored a similar kind of multi-character drama with the Oscar-winning Crash in 2005. Read more…

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PRIDE AND GLORY – Mark Isham

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A dark, gritty thriller directed by Gavin O’Connor, Pride and Glory stars Edward Norton as Ray Tierney, a New York cop from a long line of New York cops who discovers a police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law that threatens to tear his family apart. The film, which also stars Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich and Jennifer Ehle, is scored by Mark Isham, who previously worked with O’Connor on Miracle in 2004.

As one might expect, much of Pride and Glory is rather subdued, with dark, moody orchestral textures augmented by shifting, brooding synth drones dominating the score. One thing I have never been too enamored of is Isham’s action/thriller writing – scores like Blade or Don’t Say a Word or The Net or Running Scared Read more…

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES – Mark Isham

October 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Secret Life of Bees is a familial/racial drama based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Set in South Carolina in 1964, it stars Dakota Fanning as 14-year-old Lily Owens who, following the accidental death of her mother, escapes with her negro caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) from the clutches of her abusive father (Paul Bettany), and travels across the rural South heading for the home the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters – Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Alicia Keyes. As the unlikely pair travel, Lily learns from Rosaleen a number of harsh lessons about the realities of life, love, race, and what it means to embrace and acknowledge your past. Read more…

THE EXPRESS – Mark Isham

October 10, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Express is an inspirational sports drama about the life of Ernie Davis who, while playing for Syracuse University in 1961, became the first African-American college football player to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy, and the trials and hardships he endured to break this sporting color barrier. The film is directed by Gary Fleder, stars Rob Brown and Dennis Quaid, and features a lovely score from Mark Isham.

This isn’t a traditional flag-waving sporting glory score in the vein of The Natural or Rudy or Hoosiers; instead, Isham spends a lot of time scoring the social and political upheaval that surrounded Davis and his exploits, leading to a score which is at times surprisingly dark Read more…