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Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

FIFTY SHADES FREED – Danny Elfman

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Following it’s publication in 2011, the novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James became a literary phenomenon. Originally a self-published and sex-filled piece of Twilight fan fiction, it eventually morphed into an original story that followed the relationship between mousy college student Anastasia Steele and enigmatic billionaire Christian Grey, who is an enthusiastic practitioner of bondage, dominance, and sadomasochism. The book and its two sequels topped best-seller lists around the world, with the first story selling over 125 million copies worldwide. Films inevitably followed; Fifty Shades of Grey premiered in 2015, the first sequel Fifty Shades Darker came along in 2017, and now we have this third and final installment, Fifty Shades Freed. James Foley returns to the director’s chair for the second time, and Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprise their roles as Ana and Christian. Read more…

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BLACK PANTHER – Ludwig Göransson

February 20, 2018 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The utter dominance of comic book action movies at the American box office continues with the success of Black Panther, the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the origin story of a character who appeared for the first time in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, and explores the history of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, which is the most technologically advanced civilization on Earth thanks to its unlimited supplies of the metal vibranium, but pretends to be a poor third world country to hide its power. Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa, the new King of Wakanda, who takes up the mantle of the Black Panther after his father’s death in Captain America: Civil War; returning home to begin leading his country, T’Challa finds himself facing a threat in the shape of Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a mercenary with ties to Wakanda, whose actions send the entire country into a civil war of its own. The film co-stars Lupita Nyongo, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Sterling K. Brown, and Andy Serkis, and is directed by Ryan Coogler. Read more…

BULLITT – Lalo Schifrin

February 19, 2018 Leave a comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Steve McQueen was seeking a script for his next film and took a liking to author Robert Fish’s novel Mute Witness (1963). His production company Solar Productions purchased the film rights, and brought in Alan Trustman and Henry Kleiner to write the screenplay. He made a surprising choice to bring in English director Peter Yates after viewing the stunning extended car chase scene in his last movie, Robbery (1967). McQueen chose to change the film’s title to “Bullitt”, which based his character Frank Bullitt on real life San Francisco Inspector Dave Toschi, with who he studied as part of his training and orientation to police procedures and practices. McQueen would play the titular role, which would be a departure for him in that for the first time he would abandon his ‘rebel’ persona and join the Establishment as a police officer. To round out the cast, McQueen brought in Robert Vaughn as Walter Chalmers and Jacqueline Bisset as Cathy. Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – Asia-Pacific, Part II

January 29, 2018 1 comment

The eighth and final installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world finds us on a triumphant return to Asia, with eight more reviews of the best film music the continent has to offer. And what a treasure trove it is, encompassing animated fantasies, TV series, war movies, epic dramas, and a guest appearance from the world’s most beloved 100-foot lizard. There are four scores from Japan, two from China, and one each from Turkey and Vietnam, rounding out what has been an eye-opening journey around the darkest reaches of the film music globe, searching for bright spots. Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – Rest of Europe, Part II

January 26, 2018 2 comments

The seventh and penultimate installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world sees us back on Europe mainland for a final dash around the continent. This is where we get really obscure: we’ve got a total of eight scores here, including a TV series from Poland, a historical action movie from Russia written by a rock musician, a Norwegian supernatural thriller, children’s adventure films from both Germany and Norway – one of which is animated – and a comedy road movie about racism from Finland! It just goes to show that good film music being written everywhere, in the most unexpected places, if only you have the patience to seek it out. Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – Asia-Pacific, Part I

January 22, 2018 2 comments

The seventh installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world sees us moving east to Asia. Asian film music – especially that of the far east and countries like Japan, China, and South Korea – is shockingly under-valued and un-discovered by the majority of film music fans in Europe and the United States, despite the fact that many of their films contain the bold, orchestral, theme-filled scores that they crave, but do not find in domestic blockbusters. My point in writing these reviews is to show that this great film music does exist if you’re willing to make a little effort to find it: case in point, these seven outstanding scores – four from Japan, one from China, one from Israel, and one outlier from Australia. We will be returning to this part of the world again soon! Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – Rest of Europe, Part I

January 18, 2018 1 comment

The sixth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world sees us jumping around the European mainland. Whereas Spain, Britain, and France all had enough scores to warrant articles of their own, other countries had maybe one or two outstanding highlights, and this article is an attempt to cover several of them. As such, here are seven of those outstanding pan-European efforts, including a huge fantasy adventure score from Russia, a rousing sports score from Finland, a rich romantic drama score from Italy, a comedy adventure score from the Netherlands, a superb seasonal animation score from Poland, among others. There will be more to come from this cross-continental adventure later! Read more…