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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Isham’

BOBBY – Mark Isham

November 17, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

“Hey, good evening ladies and gents, it’s time for a great big exciting night of entertainment, with all your favorite stars! Along the way, you’ll have some laughs, shed a couple tears, maybe learn a couple of things, and most of all, see a lot of the beautiful faces you know and love! We now take you live to the Ambassador Hotel for a great evening of entertainment! Oh, and you’ll also see Robert Kennedy get killed.”

Is it just me, or does “Bobby” feel way too much like “Grand Hotel 1968”, or perhaps an Irwin Allen movie? I’m not criticizing the fact that a politically-charged film dealing with a serious event in American history has a huge, star-studded cast, but I am criticizing the way the movie uses them. Emilio Estevez’s “Bobby” is, at it’s best, a vivid snapshot of a particular time in America. At it’s worst, it’s a cheap love letter to all things Kennedy, paired with some silly soap operas as dramatic filler. Read more…

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THE BLACK DAHLIA – Mark Isham

September 15, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The enduring mystery of the ‘black dahlia’ murder case has intrigued and confounded Hollywood since 1947. It involves the grisly death of an aspiring young actress named Elizabeth Short, who was found dead – literally chopped in half at the waist and dismembered – in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, 8 miles south of downtown Hollywood. The shocking brutality of her killing made her much more of a media figure in death than she ever was in life, who dubbed her “The Black Dahlia”, a pun on the title of the Alan Ladd film The Blue Dahlia, which had recently been released. Despite the efforts of hundreds of police, and the enormous media coverage, Short’s killer has still never been found, although the suspects at the time included such high profile names as publisher Norman Chandler, folk singer Woody Guthrie, gangster Bugsy Siegel, and even Orson Welles. This fascinating history is the basis of director Brian De Palma’s latest film, based on the novel by James Ellroy, which hypothesises one possible version events. The all-star cast includes Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, and Mia Kirshner as Short. Read more…

CRASH – Mark Isham

May 6, 2005 Leave a comment

crashOriginal Review by Peter Simons

The first film directed by Paul Haggis, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Million Dollar Baby, is Crash, a dramatically potent contemporary ensemble piece about life, love and racism in Los Angeles. The film’s stellar cast includes such famous names as Matt Dillon as a veteran LAPD cop, Don Cheadle as a detective investigating a seemingly racially-motivated murder, Brendan Fraser as the local District Attorney, Sandra Bullock as the DA’s wife, and Thandie Newton as an innocent bystander whose accusations of racial and sexual harassment sets of a chain reaction which has repercussions for all. Crash has become one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2005, having been lauded for its intricate storyline, convincing performances, and bravery in tackling a difficult and controversial subject with a mixture of sensitivity and power. Read more…

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RACING STRIPES – Mark Isham

January 14, 2005 Leave a comment

racingstripesOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Considering that 2005 is just a few weeks old, it has already seen a film music landmark: the best score of Mark Isham’s career to date. Despite being best known for his jazz-inspired trumpet performances and beautiful orchestral works such as the Oscar-nominated A River Runs Through It and Fly Away Home, he had often in the past professed a desire to write a big, thematic, heroic orchestral score: his “Star Wars”, as he puts it. Obviously, Racing Stripes is in a totally different genre, but this could well be the very score he was describing. Read more…

THE COOLER – Mark Isham

November 28, 2003 Leave a comment

thecoolerOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

For all his successful forays into the world of orchestral film music, Mark Isham will always remain, at heart, a jazzer. Having grown up with a trumpet almost permanently attached to his lips, Isham has soloed with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, toured with The Beach Boys and Van Morrison, and performed as a “guest artist” on dozens and dozens of other records, as well as releasing many solo albums. Therefore, his jazz pedigree is in no doubt – but, in film at least, he rarely gets to show it. His work on The Cooler, therefore, is a wonderful change of pace. Read more…

LIFE AS A HOUSE – Mark Isham

October 26, 2001 Leave a comment

lifeasahouseOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite his well-founded reputation as an accomplished jazzer, Mark Isham has shown on several occasions a real aptitude for writing quiet, emotional music that tugs at the heartstrings. His latest score, for the moving drama Life as a House, is one of these, and fits in well with earlier works such as Nell, October Sky and Fly Away Home, The film, directed by Irwin Winkler, stars Kevin Kline as George, a man for whom life is not going well: he has split from his wife Robin (Kristin Scott-Thomas), is estranged from his wayward son Sam (Hayden Christensen), has lost his job, and is diagnosed terminal cancer and given four months to live. Feeling a need to put his life and affairs in order before he shuffles off the mortal coil, George asks Sam to help him as he embarks on an ambitious project to knock down and re-build his house on the coast, in the hope that, through their shared experiences, father and will reconcile their differences before he passes away. However, Sam does not relish the prospect of working hard on a house with a father he has no interest in, when he could be drinking and partying with his buddies… that is, until mom starts to reappear on the scene, and he begins a tentative relationship with Alyssa (Jena Malone), the pretty girl-next-door. Read more…