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Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Doyle’

ARTEMIS FOWL – Patrick Doyle

June 16, 2020 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

After being in production since 2013, and then languishing in distribution hell for well over a year after it was completed, Artemis Fowl has finally staggered into the world as a straight-to-streaming product on Disney+ in June 2020, having had its theatrical release cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s a fantasy-adventure film for children, based on the massively popular series of novels by Eoin Colfer, and tells the story of a 12-year old genius named Artemis Fowl, who is the heir to the vast fortune accumulated by his father, a criminal mastermind. However, when his father is kidnapped, young Artemis is tasked with rescuing him, and is thrust into an adventure involving ancient artifacts, mythical hidden cities, and creatures from Irish folklore – fairies and leprechauns and the like – some of whom are intent on apparently starting a war between them and humans. The film stars Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, and young Ferdia Shaw (the grandson of Jaws actor Robert Shaw) in the title role, and is directed by Kenneth Branagh. Read more…

HENRY V – Patrick Doyle

October 3, 2019 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1989 Kenneth Branagh was a brash, handsome, dazzlingly talented young actor and director, who emerged from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the early 1980s and set the British theatrical world alight with his electrifying Shakespearean productions. He was part of a group of talented contemporaries which included people like Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Rowan Atkinson, all of whom began to have a profound effect on British stage society through their respective careers in drama and comedy. Branagh then went on to create the Renaissance Theatre Company, which brought his troupe of players into the circle of beloved stage veterans like Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Derek Jacobi, and Sir John Gielgud. Together they made enormously successful stage productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, the latter of which directly led to Branagh receiving funding to make a big-screen adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works, Henry V. Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – United Kingdom, Part II

December 31, 2017 1 comment

The third installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world returns to the United Kingdom, with a look at a half dozen or so more outstanding scores from films made in Britain. This set of scores from comprises comedies, dramas, and even a horror movie, and includes one by an Oscar-winner, one by a well-loved multiple Oscar nominee, and one by one of the most impressive newcomers to emerge in 2017. Read more…

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS – Patrick Doyle

November 10, 2017 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The concept of the ‘whodunit’ in contemporary literature was essentially invented by British author Agatha Christie, who during her lifetime wrote more than 50 detective stories and mysteries. Possibly her most famous work was the 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express, which features as its protagonist one of her most beloved creations, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Without giving too much of the plot away, the story unfolds as Poirot is traveling from Istanbul to London on the famous eponymous train. A passenger is murdered in his cabin, and Poirot is implored by the train’s director to help solve the case. With the train stuck in a snowdrift, Poirot has time to investigate each of the other passengers in the first class compartment where the murder took place, and slowly develops a theory linking the murder to the abduction and subsequent death of a wealthy child heiress several years previously. This is the second big screen adaptation of the story, after Sidney Lumet’s 1974 film; it was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who himself plays Poirot, and has an all-star supporting cast that includes Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley. Read more…

A UNITED KINGDOM – Patrick Doyle

March 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the things I love most about the movies is the fact that it often gives me the opportunity to learn a little bit about historical events I previously knew nothing about. Case in point: A United Kingdom, the latest film from British director Amma Asante, which is basically about the events leading up to the foundation of the Republic of Botswana. In 1947 Botswana was still known as Bechuanaland and was part of the British Empire, ruled by both a local royal family, and by a High Commissioner appointed by the British Crown. Seretse Khama, the heir to the throne, is in London studying law, and intends to return home once his studies are finished to take over from his uncle, who has acted as his regent since his father’s death. Things become more complicated when Seretse meets and falls in love with Ruth Williams, a middle class white woman; what unfolds is simultaneously a love story, a treatise on racism in the UK and Africa in the 1940s, and a political drama concerning the complicated diplomatic relationship between Britain and its Commonwealth colonies in southern Africa. The film, which was released in British cinemas in November 2016 prior to its worldwide opening in February 2017, stars David Oyelowo as Seretse, and Rosamund Pike as Ruth, and features an excellent supporting cast of British and African character actors including Vusi Kunene, Terry Pheto, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, and Nicholas Lyndhurst. Read more…

CINDERELLA – Patrick Doyle

March 18, 2015 1 comment

cinderellaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Walt Disney are currently undertaking an interesting exercise whereby they are re-making many of their animated classics as live action films; last year, Sleeping Beauty was re-imagined as the action packed Maleficent, and next year Beauty and the Beast is set to hit cinemas in an all-new setting. This year, however, it is the turn of Cinderella, which was originally produced by the mouse house in 1950, and is now receiving a lavish big screen re-telling from director Kenneth Branagh. For those who don’t know, the story is largely based on the popular fairytale novel Cendrillon by Charles Perrault, first published in 1697, and tells the story of a young woman who is mistreated by her cruel stepmother and her wicked step-sisters, and dreams of escaping her life of domestic drudgery. One night, when her family is away attending a ball given by a handsome prince, to which Cinderella has been expressly forbidden from going, she is visited by her kind fairy godmother, who uses her magic to create a ball gown and glass slippers for Cinderella to wear, and a carriage to take her to the palace. At the ball, the Prince sees and instantly falls in love with the beautiful Cinderella, but circumstances contrive for her to have to flee the palace at the stroke of midnight, before the Prince learns her identity. His only clue is one of the glass slippers, which Cinderella accidentally leaves behind in her haste… The film stars Lily James as Cinderella, Game of Thrones alumnus Richard Madden as the Prince, Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother, and Helena Bonham-Carter as the Fairy Godmother, and has a glorious original score by Patrick Doyle. Read more…

THOR – Patrick Doyle

May 4, 2011 8 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An epic comic book action-fantasy based on Norse mythology. Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair. Patrick Doyle providing the score. For film music fans Thor was a mouth watering prospect that promised to be one of the most exciting and adventurous scores of the year. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as the eponymous hero, who is cast out of the Norse god stronghold Asgard after disobeying his father, King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Arriving on Earth, and no longer able to channel the power of his hammer Mjolnir, Thor teams up with scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in an effort to reclaim his power and return to Asgard in time to stop his duplicitous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from overthrowing Odin. The film, which also features Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore and Samuel L. Jackson, is part of the Marvel Avengers series of movies which includes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and the upcoming Captain America, and will culminate in a combined Avengers movie slated for 2012. Read more…

IGOR – Patrick Doyle

September 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Pity the poor sidekick. Throughout literary history, the role of the sidekick has been one of benign subservience, forever scuttling away to do the master’s bidding, or bear the brunt of the master’s ire, never allowed to express an opinion, or to become a true, rounded personality. In the world of classic literary horror, the sidekick role was invariably filled by an Igor, a hunchbacked, lazy-eyed, nasal-voiced nobody, assisting Victor Frankenstein or Count Dracula with their nefarious plans. In Anthony Leondis’s new animated film, Igor, the sidekick finally steps into the sunlight; this is a story where the clichéd hunchbacked evil scientist’s assistant finally has his own story – one in which he aspires to become a scientist himself, much to the displeasure of the rest of the evil science community. The film features a star-studded voice cast that includes the likes of John Cusack, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Sean Hayes, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno and Christian Slater, and has been roundly praised for being a funny, clever movie, with plenty of subversive humor to keep the adults happy. Read more…

NIM’S ISLAND – Patrick Doyle

April 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

The rather silly family adventure film “Nim’s Island” tells the story of a young girl (Abigail Breslin) who is stranded on a deserted island when her father (Gerard Butler) is lost at sea. The girl requests the assistance of her favorite author (Jodie Foster), who in turn reluctantly attempts to rescue the young child.

The “Romancing the Stone”-influenced flick is scored by Patrick Doyle, who provides a perfectly pleasant lightweight action score. Things begin on a bit of a predictable note, with a sweet main theme for piano, strings, and acoustic guitar. It’s a nice piece, if not especially memorable. It pops up every now and then, but the album features a reasonably diverse array of thematic ideas. Read more…

SLEUTH – Patrick Doyle

October 12, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Kenneth Branagh has always been a director with a lot of theatrical flair, so it sort of seemed to make sense that he would choose to remake “Sleuth”, the wonderful 1972 film starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. The original film is a terrific ride of dialogue and plotting. It makes the absolute most of its contained set (a mansion) by filling it with all kinds of trinkets, gadgets, toys, and games. Call it maximum minimalism, if you like. In a brilliant bit of casting, Branagh placed Michael Caine in the role originally played by Olivier, and Jude Law in the Caine role. Though I haven’t seen Branagh’s film yet, I was surprised to learn from reading early reviews that Branagh has emptied the mansion, cut the running time by 45 minutes, and turned out a generally leaner, meaner product. Read more…

THE LAST LEGION – Patrick Doyle

August 17, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A historical action-drama set in the final, crumbling days of the western Roman Empire, The Last Legion stars young Thomas Sangster as 12-year-old Romulus Augustus, whose previously privileged life takes a terrible turn when, on the day he is crowned emperor of Rome, the empire falls into terrible anarchy. Banished to the island of Capri to live for the rest of his life, Romulus learns of the legend of a mystical sword which was once owned by Julius Caesar, and which he believes may help him return to power. With the help of his teacher Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley) and the last loyal legionnaire Aurelius (Colin Firth), Romulus escapes the island, and goes to the distant province of Britannia, to search for the sword and gather together a legion of soldiers who will fight for the final glory of the Roman Empire. Read more…

AS YOU LIKE IT – Patrick Doyle

August 17, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve always felt that Kenneth Branagh is the only modern director who ‘gets’ Shakespeare. Whether he’s playing it comparatively straight, as he did with Henry V and Hamlet, or whether he puts a little spin on the proceedings, as he did by turning Love’s Labour’s Lost into a Cole Porter musical, Branagh seems to have a deep love of the Bard’s work, and an uncanny knack of turning his usually somewhat impenetrable language into something clearly understandable, and which conveys common human emotions and timeless themes.

As You Like It, Branagh’s sixth adaptation of a Shakespeare play, is one of the ‘spun’ ones, transplanting it from its original setting in rural France, and re-imagining it in 19th century Japan Read more…

ERAGON – Patrick Doyle

December 15, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The back story of Eragon is an interesting one. It was written between 1998 and 2002 by teenage author Christopher Paolini, and is the first book in a projected three-book cycle called The Inheritance Trilogy. A sword and sorcery fantasy featuring dragons, warriors, elves, dwarves and noble quests, it has been criticized in some quarters for being little more than a mishmash of ideas from other, better sources – and not a very well-written one at that. However, such has been its enduring popularity with young adult readers that the story has been adapted into a multi-million dollar movie by 20th Century Fox and debutant director Stefen Fangmeier, who previously worked as a special effects technician, and received Oscar nominations for his work on Twister, A Perfect Storm, and Master and Commander. Read more…

NANNY McPHEE – Patrick Doyle

January 27, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Peter Simons and Jonathan Broxton

A Mary Poppins fantasy for the modern age, Nanny McPhee is based on Christianna Brand’s successful series of Nurse Matilda children’s books, adapted for the screen by actress Emma Thompson. Thompson herself plays the titular nanny, a hook-nosed, wart-faced, fright-wigged governess who uses magic and good humour to control the children in her charge. Newly-widowed Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) is failing to control his seven children, who have already chased away 17 nannies with their unruly behaviour. However, when a mysterious voice urges Cedric to hire Nanny McPhee, she arrives at the Brown home quickly stamps her authority over hew new charges. Things seem to finally be settling down, until trouble erupts when Cedric’s cantankerous Great-Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) tells him he must be married by the end of the month, or she’ll cut off his money and separate the children – so Nanny McPhee and the oldest Brown sibling Simon (Thomas Sangster) team up to find a wife for Cedric, thereby keeping the family together. The film, directed by Kirk Jones, has a supporting cast full of heavyweight British thespians (including Derek Jacobi, Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, and Kelly Macdonald), and features a delightful, whimsical score by Patrick Doyle. Read more…

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE – Patrick Doyle

November 18, 2005 1 comment

harrypottergobletoffireOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the film adaptation of the best-selling novel by J.K. Rowling, sees young the wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) entering his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with his best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). After getting caught up in a worrying incident at the Quidditch World Cup, Harry finds himself unexpectedly involved in the legendary Tri-Wizard tournament, in which the champions of three international witchcraft schools take part in a number of challenging and highly dangerous tasks to find an overall winner. However, against the backdrop of this prestigious event, something much more sinister is afoot: rumours begin to circulate about the return of the Death Eaters, evil wizards who wrought havoc upon the magical world years before – and worse yet, the return of Voldemort, their leader, and the one who murdered Potter’s parents… Read more…