Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

INNERSPACE – Jerry Goldsmith

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Innerspace is a fun sci-fi adventure comedy, written by Jeffrey Boam and Chip Proser, and directed by Joe Dante. Dennis Quaid stars as Lt. Tuck Pendleton, an air force test pilot who is part of a top secret science experiment involving a brand new miniaturization technology. Pendleton and his submersible pod are shrunk down to minuscule size, and are supposed to be injected into a laboratory rabbit, but the lab is attacked by industrial saboteurs who want the technology for themselves, and Tuck is instead accidentally injected into the body of hypochondriac Jack Putter (Martin Short). Once Jack has overcome his initial skepticism and terror, he teams up with Tuck’s on-again off-again girlfriend, spunky reporter Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), to find a way to get Tuck out of his body before his air supply runs out – but the saboteurs, led by Victor Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy) and Dr. Margaret Canker (Fiona Lewis), still want the miniaturization technology for themselves, and have sent their ruthless henchman Mr. Igoe (Vernon Wells) to get it, at any cost. Read more…


July 18, 2017 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third and – at the time of writing – final installment of the rebooted Planet of the Apes film series, inspired by the novels of Pierre Boulle and the 1960s film series originally starring Charlton Heston. It continues the story of Caesar, the leader of a community of increasingly intelligent apes. In the first film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar was given increased intelligence and the ability to speak after being infected by a genetically modified virus intended to cure Alzheimer’s disease, but which accidentally killed a large portion of the world’s human population instead. In the second film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar is struggling to create a stable ape society while trying to broker an uneasy truce with the humans remaining in what is left of San Francisco. Now, in this new film, Caesar and his ape colony are embroiled in an all-out war with a platoon of human soldiers under the command of a brutal colonel, a situation so dire that Caesar resolves to find a new home for his people, far away from the conflict. Read more…


July 17, 2017 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer Stanley Kramer of Columbia Pictures found inspiration for a compelling military drama within the pages of Herman Wouk’s 1951 novel, “The Caine Mutiny”. He purchased the film rights and tasked Edward Dmytryk with directing, and Wouk to write the screenplay. All did not begin well as controversy arose regarding the script. Dmytryk was dissatisfied with Wouk’s effort, which would have required a ten-hour film, so he relieved him and hired veteran writer Stanley Roberts. While Roberts was successful in his mission, he resigned when further cuts were ordered to keep the film’s running time under two hours. As such Michael Blankfort was brought in and cut 50 pages from the script, to achieve its final incarnation. More problems arose, as the navy was initially resistant to support the film due to its narrative of an unhinged Captain and mutiny aboard a US naval vessel. The final script however won over Naval command and ship resources were dedicated to the film. There was more controversy to come as casting also got off on the wrong foot. Columbia President Harry Cohn leveraged Humphrey Bogart’s desire for the lead role of Captain Queeg to reduce his customary $200,000 salary, which caused the actor great consternation and bitterness. In the end he accepted the role and provided one of the finest acting performances of his career. He would be supported by a fine cast, which included; Jose Ferrer as Lieutenant Barney Greenwald, Van Johnson as Lieutenant Steve Maryk, Fred McMurray as Lieutenant Tom Keefer, Robert Francis as Ensign Willie Keith, Tom Tully as Lieutenant Commander William De Vriess, May Wynn as May Wynn, and E. G. Marshall as Prosecutor Lieutenant Commander John Challee. Read more…

CARS 3 – Randy Newman

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The creative relationship between Pixar Animation and Randy Newman goes back more than twenty years, all the way back to 1995 and their first foray into feature films with the original Toy Story. Their collaboration has since continued through titles like A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3, and Monsters University, each of which has been enriched with Newman’s tuneful songs and warm scores. Cars 3 marks the eighth Newman Pixar score (him having been dropped in favor of Michael Giacchino on Cars 2); the film, which is directed by Brian Fee, follows the continuing adventures of the anthropomorphic race car Lightning McQueen, who this time round finds himself locking horns – fenders? – with an upstart racer named Jackson Storm, who embraces all kinds of new racing technology and threatens to replace McQueen at the top of the grid. Read more…

DUEL IN THE SUN – Dimitri Tiomkin

July 10, 2017 2 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Famed studio executive David O. Selznick had long sought to recapture the past glory he achieved with Gone With The Wind (1939). He at last found his film within the pages of the novel Duel in the Sun (1944) by Niven Busch. He secured the film rights and joined with screenwriters Oliver H.P. Garrett and Ben Hecht to write the screenplay. For Selznick this film was a passion project, which he would produce and distribute. King Vidor was tasked with directing, and a stellar cast was brought in, which included; Jennifer Jones as Pearl Chavez, Joseph Cotton as Jesse McCanles, Gregory Peck as Lewt McCanles, Lionel Barrymore as Senator Jackson McCanles, Herbert Marshall as Scott Chavez, Lilian Gish as Laura Belle McCanles and Walter Houston as Jubal Crabbe – The Sinkiller. The film was beset with drama and controversy from day one. Its controversial sexual content resulted in Hayes Code censoring, causing numerous editing, which disrupted its storytelling and narrative flow. In addition, Selznick’s constant interference and micromanaging resulted in numerous rewrites of the script, and reshoots, which expanded the film to over 26 hours in length! In the end, this contributed to the breakup of Selznick’s marriage with Jennifer Jones, as well as King Vidor quitting the project. In total, seven directors and six cinematographers were casualties in the making of this film. Read more…

SPARK – Robert Duncan

July 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most rewarding things about being a film music critic is the fact that, from time to time, I am sent promos of unreleased scores. A lot of them aren’t very good – there’s usually a reason they aren’t released – but once in a while it also means I get to write a ‘scoop’ review of a score which most people won’t know, and praise it for being an undiscovered gem. Spark is one of those scores. I’ve had this promo album for a little while now, and have been sitting on this review in the hope that a proper commercial release of the music would be forthcoming, but the film was a massive flop at the box office and has been out of cinemas for months, which means that at this point it’s very unlikely to happen, at least from the studio-owned in-house record labels. As such it means that, unfortunately, no-one can actually buy this score at the moment, which begs the question: why review it? Well, one thing I can do with a review like this is raise awareness, and as such this is as much of a plea as it is a review: a plea to the owners of the independent record labels out there – Varese Sarabande, Intrada, La La Land, Music Box, Caldera, Quartet, Moviescore Media – to not let this genuinely great music be forgotten. Read more…

ROXANNE – Bruce Smeaton

July 6, 2017 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Roxanne is one of the best romantic comedies of the 1980s. Directed by Fred Schepisi and written by Steve Martin, the film is an adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s classic 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, updated to the present day and relocated to a small ski town in Canada. Martin plays Charlie D. Bales, the town’s fire chief, a witty, charming, intelligent, athletic man whose defining feature is his outrageously large nose. Despite his excellent personality, Charlie is unlucky in love, but things seem to be looking up when his friend Dixie (Shelley Duvall) rents one of her cabins to Roxanne Kowalski (Daryl Hannah), a beautiful astronomer who is working in the area over the summer. Charlie and Roxanne quickly connect, but Charlie is disappointed when Roxanne insinuates she only likes him as a friend, and is instead interested in one of Charlie’s firemen, the impossibly handsome but irredeemably stupid Chris (Rick Rossovich). To make matters worse, Chris is hopelessly inept when it comes to women – and he enlists Charlie to help him overcome his fears… Read more…