Posts Tagged ‘Ramin Djawadi’

UNCHARTED – Ramin Djawadi

March 29, 2022 Leave a comment

Original Review by Christopher Garner

Uncharted is a long-delayed action-adventure film based on a video game franchise (that was in turn inspired by Indiana Jones), but this new film feels more like National Treasure than anything else. It tells the story of Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), a young thief who meets Sully (Mark Wahlberg), a seasoned treasure hunter that used to work with Nate’s long-lost brother. Nate teams up with Sully to find Magellan’s lost treasure and encounters plenty of bad guys and double-crosses along the way. Critics have been hard on the film, but I thought it was more fun than its tomatometer score would suggest, despite the ridiculous finale. Uncharted is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who helmed the Zombieland films and the first Venom film, and it has probably done well enough at the box office ($330+ million) to get a sequel, though none has been announced yet. Read more…

ETERNALS – Ramin Djawadi

November 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand and expand, it’s inevitable that the films will begin to introduce characters that are unfamiliar to mainstream cinema goers not as well-versed in comic book lore. With them having mostly exhausted Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and much of the rest of their core superhero complement, Marvel are now turning to a new group to fill the void: the Eternals. Despite me having never heard of them before now, they actually first debuted in print in 1976, and are essentially an alien race of immortal beings sent to Earth by their creators, the god-like Celestials, to protect humanity from a race of creatures known as Deviants, as well as to generally aid and guide human development. Over the course of thousands of years the Eternals eventually fought and defeated all of the Deviants, and having done so retired into anonymity; they were instructed to observe and gently guide the population from afar, but never become directly involved in human affairs – which is why they did not intervene during Thanos’s fight with the Avengers. However the ‘snap,’ which brought back the population previously destroyed by Thanos in the Infinity War, also apparently brought Deviants back to Earth, which forces the Eternals to emerge, re-form, and combat them once more. The film is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao, and stars an ensemble cast featuring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie, among others. Read more…

REMINISCENCE – Ramin Djawadi

August 27, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Reminiscence is a fascinating but somewhat flawed neo-noir sci-fi thriller written and directed by Lisa Joy, one of the co-creators of the hit HBO TV series Westworld. The film is set in Miami many years in the future; global warming caused seawater to engulf large parts of the city, resulting in a damaging civil war. During the war a type of sensory-deprivation technology was developed that could make people journey backwards into their own memories, and then have those memories emerge as visual projections so they could be examined in three dimensions by observers. It was initially used as an interrogation technique, but now Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) uses them as his business – entertainment for those who want to escape from the present and briefly revisit their past. Nick is world-weary and perpetually depressed, but his life changes when he meets Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), a sultry night club singer, and they embark on a passionate relationship. When Mae suddenly disappears without a trace, Nick resolves to find out what happened to her, using his memory technology as a guide. However, the more Nick searches, the more he gets drawn into a murky world of organized crime, political corruption, and violence around every corner. The film co-stars Thandie Newton and Cliff Curtis, and was released simultaneously into theaters and on HBO Max; unfortunately, the film was a box office disaster, a combination of audience apathy, poor reviews, and COVID hesitancy driving it to the all-time worst opening weekend of a film playing in over 3,000 theaters. Read more…

ELEPHANT – Ramin Djawadi

April 21, 2020 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Elephant is the latest feature film from Disney Nature, the subsidiary of the mouse house dedicated to making wildlife-themed documentaries, and whose previous works have included Chimpanzee, African Cats, and Bears. Although I understand that their heart is in the right place, these Disney docs pale considerably when compared to the efforts of the BBC Natural History Unit, and I especially have a pet peeve about how the filmmakers force a narrative onto the animals’ lives, and anthropomorphize them to make them more dramatically persuasive. In Elephants, for example, the ‘story’ follows a herd of elephants “led by their great matriarch Gaia and her younger sister Shani, who has helped keep their family safe. Shani has also been raising her spirited son Jomo, a very energetic young elephant who just wants to play”. How do they know the older elephant is named Gaia? How do they know the young elephant is called Jomo? These are wild elephants. They don’t have human names. The animal kingdom is intense and dramatic already, and doesn’t need to be dressed up and dumbed down with cutesy names and false constructed narratives to be compelling to audiences. Anyway, despite this, the stories have been fairly popular, and Elephants has an added level of public interest due to the fact that it is narrated by Meghan Markle, and is her first media project since she married Prince Harry and became the Duchess of Sussex. Read more…

A WRINKLE IN TIME – Ramin Djawadi

March 16, 2018 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A Wrinkle in Time is a fantasy adventure film for children, adapted from an apparently immensely popular and influential 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle. It follows the adventures of a young girl named Meg, whose astrophysicist father went missing several years previously. One day, Meg and her friends are visited by three ‘astral travelers’ – Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who – who reveal that Meg’s father is still alive, and that together they are able to save him from the clutches of ‘the darkness’ that is taking over the universe. So begins a fantastical journey, as Meg is whisked across the galaxy using a mysterious object known as a tesseract to face her darkest fears – and, hopefully, reunite her family. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Storm Reid in the main role as Meg, and is directed by Ava DuVernay, the woman behind the critically acclaimed Selma. Read more…


October 24, 2017 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Mountain Between Us is an unusual mix of genres, being described in the mainstream press as a ‘survival drama/action thriller/romance’. Directed by Palestinian filmmaker Haby Abu-Assad making his American debut, and based on a popular novel by Charles Martin, the film stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as two strangers – he a surgeon heading to perform an operation, she on the way to her wedding – who agree to share a small plane charter flight out of Idaho to the East Coast. When the plane goes down in bad weather in a remote mountain range, and with the pilot having been killed in the crash, the pair must summon all their reserves of strength and resilience to survive. Read more…

THE GREAT WALL – Ramin Djawadi

February 28, 2017 2 comments

thegreatwallOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Great Wall is a Chinese action-fantasy movie directed by the great Zhang Yimou, the creator of such outstanding pieces of cinema as Raise the Red Lantern, Shanghai Triad, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Curse of the Golden Flower. It stars Matt Damon as William, a mercenary who, along with his compatriot Tovar (Pedro Pascal), finds himself in China during the 11th century searching for gunpowder. Circumstances lead the pair to a fortress along the Great Wall of China under the command of General Shao (Hanyu Zhang), Strategist Wang (Andy Lau), and acrobat-warrior Commander Lin-Mae (Tian Jing), who are preparing to do battle with the Tao-Tie, terrible creatures which attack the wall every 60 years. William and Tovar become embroiled in the desperate defense of the wall knowing that, if the Tao-Tie should breach the fortifications, all of China – and, eventually the world – would be threatened. It’s a fairly simple story which is steeped in Chinese mythology, and features some staggering action sequences, but its strength is in its visual splendor. Zhang is famous for his astonishing use of color, and The Great Wall is no exception; from the armor of the various different platoons of the Nameless Order, to the pageantry of the festivals and ceremonies, to a spectacular fight sequence in a tower made of stained glass, the whole film is a feast for the eyes which begs to be seen on the big screen. Read more…

WARCRAFT – Ramin Djawadi

June 28, 2016 1 comment

warcraftOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

World of Warcraft has been one of the most popular MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) in the world since it was first launched in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. The game has grown over the course of the past decade and a half, through five or six different expansions, and had 5.5 million active players in October 2015. Rumors of a big-screen adaptation of the game surfaced as early as 2006, but delays in production resulted in it not being released until almost a decade later. Directed by Duncan Jones – son of the late David Bowie – the film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, and Toby Kebbell, and is a vast canvas of humans and orcs battling for supremacy in a fantasy-inspired world of knights and monsters and magic. Unfortunately, the film has not been a success, critically or commercially, with many reviewers focusing on its wooden screenplay, overly-complicated plotting, and clichéd comparisons to the Lord of the Rings series, instead of its really quite astonishing visual splendor. Read more…

FRIGHT NIGHT – Ramin Djawadi

September 16, 2011 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The original Fright Night was one of my favorite scary movies of the 1980s, a wonderfully grotesque comedy horror about a teenage movie nerd named Charley Brewster who finds out that a real live (dead?) vampire is living next door; in order to stop the evil vampire from taking over the neighborhood – and, more importantly, turning his cute girlfriend into a bloodsucking fiend – Charley teams up with aging TV anthology host and one-time vampire-hunter Peter Vincent to take on the forces of darkness. The 2011 remake is directed by Craig Gillespie (the creator of United States of Tara), and stars Anton Yelchin as Charley, David Tennent as Vincent, and Colin Farrell, hamming it up as the suave, but deadly Jerry Dandridge. Read more…

GAME OF THRONES – Ramin Djawadi

September 9, 2011 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Game of Thrones is a sprawling fantasy drama television mini-series made by HBO, based on the popular first novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Set in a fictional ancient kingdom similar to medieval Britain, it follows the fortunes of four noble families – the solid and gritty Starks, the manipulative and cunning Lannisters, the warlike but faded House Baratheon, and the proud and mysterious House Targaryan, the last surviving members of which have been banished overseas, but who have joined forces with the vicious and nomadic Dothraki clan and are looking to return home for revenge. The show has a sprawling, labyrinthine plot of murder, betrayal, sex, violence, magic and superstition, but at its core is about the four houses and their various political machinations to gain control of the fabled Iron Throne, and with it the monarchy of the kingdom. The show stars Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Harry Lloyd, Emilia Clarke and Jason Momoa, and received rave reviews when it premiered on US television in April 2011. Read more…


April 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I went into Clash of the Titans expecting the worst. When the news broke that Scottish composer Craig Armstrong – who had been attached to the film almost since its inception – was being replaced by Ramin Djawadi, and that the film’s release date was being delayed several months so that the producers could cash in on the Avatar effect and add new 3-D special effects to an already effects-heavy film, my heart sank. However, after my first complete listen to the score, I found myself thinking “hey, it’s not that bad”. And then I stopped and thought again; have my standards dropped so low that ‘not that bad?’ is actually seen as a positive remark? Have Hollywood’s most expensive and elaborate productions become so bloated and self-serving that the music only has to not make the film demonstrably worse for it to be seen as a success? If this is where the major studios are pitching themselves these days, things truly are going from bad to worse. Read more…

THE UNBORN – Ramin Djawadi

January 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Anytime a film has a January release date, odds are pretty strong that it’s going to be a waste of time. When it’s a horror film directed by David S. Goyer, such odds are even stronger. Such was the case with “The Unborn”, a critically-reviled supernatural horror flick featuring such overqualified actors as Gary Oldman and Jane Alexander. The film tells the unusual story of a girl who is haunted by her dead twin brother. Apparently, the brother was killed as a baby during horrific Nazi experiments, and now the girl must find a way to get rid of her evil ghost twin before it does something nasty to her. The film was scored by Ramin Djawadi, another student of Hans Zimmer who continues to get plum assignments despite the lack of any discernible talent. So, has he shown any signs of improvement in his latest outing? Read more…

FLY ME TO THE MOON – Ramin Djawadi

August 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An animated adventure about three flies who become astronauts on the Apollo 11 moon mission – yes, you did read that correctly – Fly Me to the Moon has an impressive voice cast (Tim Curry, Robert Patrick, Christopher Lloyd, even Buzz Aldrin himself) and even more impressive 3D visual effects, but apparently suffers from a lack of sophistication in its childish writing, and even more worrying lack of a world view in its depiction of the space race – but what do you expect when your lead hero is a musca domestica!

The score for Fly Me to the Moon is by Ramin Djawadi, flying high following his commercial success on Iron Man, and tackling the animated adventure genre for the second time after Open Season in 2006. Read more…

IRON MAN – Ramin Djawadi

May 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

2008 has been the summer of super heroes. Such is the power of the escapist entertainment provided by the likes of Marvel and DC Comics that three of the top five films at the box office have been about superheroes: The Dark Knight, Hancock, and this movie – Iron Man. Based on a character which appeared in a Marvel comic in 1963 and directed by Jon Favreau, the film stars Robert Downey Jr. (in a career-revitalizing role) as wealthy industrialist an inventor Tony Stark, who builds a super-advanced ‘power suit’, which he dons in an attempt to rid the world of the powerful weapons his own company created, and which have now fallen into the hands of terrorists… Read more…

MR. BROOKS – Ramin Djawadi

June 1, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

I don’t know how true it is, but I’ve heard this rumor that actor/director Kevin Costner is the sort of guy who is very picky about the music for films he is involved in. I have no idea how much trouble he’s given composers, or how much he knows about music, but I do know that the vast majority of Costner films have featured solid scores by solid composers. It’s interesting to note that the likes of Bruce Broughton, Alan Silvestri, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Ennio Morricone, Maurice Jarre, John Barry, John Williams, Michael Kamen, Thomas Newman, William Ross, Gabriel Yared, George S. Clinton, John Debney, Alexandre Desplat, Trevor Jones, and Basil Poledouris are among those who have scored the actor’s movies. I seriously doubt many modern actors can match that kind of list. Read more…