Posts Tagged ‘Roque Baños’

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2022, Part 4B

January 13, 2023 1 comment

Life has returned to world cinema in 2022 following the easing of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and at the end of the fourth quarter of the year I’m absolutely delighted to present the latest instalment in my on-going series of articles looking at the best under-the-radar scores from around the world. This article covers five scores for projects from Spanish-speaking countries, and includes a sci-fi drama series, a Mexican existential comedy-drama, two murder-mystery thriller movies, and a TV series about the life of explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2020, Part VI

January 22, 2021 1 comment

As the year winds down and the COVID-19 Coronavirus continues still to decimate the 2020 theatrical movie schedule, it appears that yet again a lot of the best film music released comes from smaller international features not as reliant on massive theatrical releases to make their presence felt. As such (and as I did last year under much different circumstances) I am very pleased to present the sixth and final installment (for this calendar year) in my ongoing series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world.

The titles included are a Spanish TV documentary about a legendary footballer, a Norwegian fantasy-horror about Norse gods, a Spanish comedy score set in the 1970s, a raucous animated adventure from Ireland, and three terrific scores from Italy: a mafia thriller, a biopic about a beloved entertainer, and a comedy about serial killers! Read more…


November 20, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Back in the early 2000s Steig Larsson’s Swedish-language novel Män Som Hatar Kvinnor – translated into English as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – was a bonafide phenomenon. It introduced the world to the character Lisbeth Salander, the socially awkward punk computer hacker who became an unlikely crusader for women’s justice, enacting revenge upon men who hate women, while getting involved in a labyrinthine plot of murder, sex, and death. Sadly, Larsson didn’t live to see his success – he died of a heart attack before the novels were even published – and so obviously he did not live to see his works transition to the big screen either. Adaptations of his three Salander novels (Män Som Hatar Kvinnor, Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden/The Girl Who Played With Fire, and Luftslottet Som Sprängdes/The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) were made in Sweden starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist, and became instant international successes; an American remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo then emerged in 2011, directed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. Unfortunately, that film was not as successful as many hoped, and plans for English-language adaptations of Fire and Hornet’s Nest were shelved. However, the series has now been revived by Uruguayan director Fede Álvarez in the shape of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which is an adaptation of the fourth Salander novel Det Som Inte Dödar Oss, which was written by David Lagercrantz. Read more…


June 20, 2018 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1989 writer-director and former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam began to develop the screenplay for a film called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which he was co-writing with British scribe Tony Grisoni. While Don Quixote was being finalized Gilliam and Grisoni made Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas together, and then returned to Quixote to begin shooting in 2000, with Johnny Depp and French actor Jean Rochefort in the lead roles. What transpired would eventually become one of the worst examples of ‘development hell’ in the history of cinema, as Gilliam had to abandon production an astonishing three times between 2000 and 2016, due to various issues ranging from financial mis-management to legal wranglings to actor illnesses, and even a flood which destroyed much of the set. The story of Gilliam’s tribulations while making the film even became an acclaimed documentary, Lost in La Mancha, which was released in theaters in 2002. Eventually, against all odds, the film was finally shot and completed in 2017, with Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, and Olga Kurylenko eventually being the ones in the lead roles. Read more…


May 25, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The very curious American phenomenon of turning schoolchildren into sporting heroes has resulted in some fine films, but the whole concept is still somewhat alien to me. When I was growing up in the UK, there were (more or less) three team sports which dominated the national consciousness: football/soccer, cricket, and rugby. Of those, soccer is really the only equivalent sport which Brits follow with a level of passionate interest that is similar to the way Americans follow their big four sports here – American football, basketball, baseball, and ice hockey. Some of you may be interested to learn that I played ‘high school soccer,’ both at ymy school, Newfield, and for my boy scout team, St. Paul’s, and knowing that American readers may now be imagining that I played in front of crowds of hundreds, possibly thousands, in the same way that ‘high school football’ or ‘high school basketball’ players do in the States. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the almost religious zeal with which people in the UK follow professional sports, their college and high school equivalents mean absolutely nothing – no one watches, and no one cares, because we are children, simply getting a bit of exercise and having some fun playing an organized sport, and are viewed as such. We don’t make the news. We don’t sign multi-million dollar contracts at age 14. We’re kids. The biggest crowd I played in front of was probably 30 people, most of whom were the parents of players. It is for this reason that films like The Miracle Season still feel slightly ridiculous to me. Read more…

Best Scores of 2016 – Spain and Portugal

January 19, 2017 1 comment

The sixth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Spain and Portugal. I have long been of the opinion that, pound for pound, the best film music in the world is being written on the Iberian peninsula, and this year’s nine entries more than confirm that theory yet again. Read more…

Best Scores of 2015 – Spain and Portugal, Part II

January 21, 2016 1 comment

The fifth installment in my series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world takes a look at another great bunch of music from films and TV shows from Spain and Portugal. As I mentioned before, I have been very vocal in the past about my admiration for the music coming out of the Iberian peninsula, and this year just reinforces my view that some of the best film music in the world right now is being written there. This final crop features scores by Oscar nominees and promising newcomers, spanning documentaries and dramas and animated films, including three of the scores nominated for the 2015 Goyas, the Spanish Academy Awards. Read more…

Best Scores of 2014 – Spain

January 14, 2015 Leave a comment

My fourth article in my Review of the Year 2014 looks at the Best Scores from Spain. It’s pretty common knowledge that I consider Spain to be one of the world’s great hotbeds of excellent film scoring, and 2014 continues to affirm that this is the case. This year’s group of scores from the Iberian peninsula runs the gamut of genres, from dramas to comedies to horror scores to contemporary thrillers, and features music from some of from the best regional composers working today, including Roque Baños, Arnau Bataller, Zacarías M. de la Riva, and Federico Jusid. Read more…

EVIL DEAD – Roque Baños

April 18, 2013 2 comments

evildeadOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The original Evil Dead was a groundbreaking and convention-shattering horror movie when it was first released in 1981; it launched the career of director Sam Raimi as a new and exciting voice in genre cinema, and the film itself became notorious as a bloody, darkly funny, brilliant assault on the senses – so much so that, in the UK, it became the poster child of the ‘video nasty’ campaign initiated by the self-appointed monitor of British morals, Mary Whitehouse, and was banned on VHS in England for quite some time. 35-year-old Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez’s new version of the film takes what is essentially the same story – a group of friends make their way to an isolated cabin in the woods, and inadvertently release a terrifying demon into the world by way of an ancient book – but dispenses with much of the original film’s gallows humor, while simultaneously increasing the gore content exponentially for jaded new millennium audiences. Blood, guts, vomit, and other assorted entrails splatter the screen for 92 stomach churning minutes, but somehow the film feels less satisfying than the original, taking itself a little too seriously, and in no way living up to its hyperbolic publicity tagline of being “the most terrifying film you will ever experience”. The film stars Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore, and is produced by Raimi and the original film’s star, Bruce Campbell. Read more…