Posts Tagged ‘Simon Franglen’


December 29, 2022 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

For a while, people sort of forgot what a big deal Avatar was. When James Cameron’s spectacular sci-fi epic first hit screens in December of 2009 it was immediately heralded as a visual masterpiece, boasting some of the most impressive and realistic special effects in the history of cinema, as well as being a groundbreaking step forward in the use of 3D technology and motion-capture. It won three Oscars, was nominated for another six (including Best Picture), and grossed something in the region of $2.9 billion at the global box office, making it one of the most financially successful films ever. But then the backlash came, with some people (rightfully) criticizing the story as being a tired re-tread of both the Pocahontas legend and movies like Dances With Wolves and Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, while also noting its ‘white savior’ tropes. And then… well… it all sort of drifted away. Cameron announced that there would be sequels – possibly four of them – and then he went away to go and make them. And, slowly, over the course of more than a decade, almost everyone forgot about the whole thing. Every once in a while some bit of Avatar news would leak out – shooting began way back in 2017 – but more than anything the Avatar sequels felt a little like a mythical thing, some fairy-tale idea seemingly destined to never come to fruition. Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2022, Part 1

April 5, 2022 1 comment

The new year has hopefully brought a new lease of life to world cinema, and at the end of the first quarter of 2022 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 nine scores for projects from all over the globe, and includes dramatic TV series from Kuwait and Japan, an exploration of childhood nostalgia and a contemporary action-thriller from France, a giallo thriller from Italy, a fantasy epic from Russia, a religious drama from Spain, and an intimate drama from Denmark, among others! Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2021, Part 4A

November 30, 2021 1 comment

2021 is almost over and, as the world of mainstream blockbuster cinema and film music continues to recover from the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we must again look to smaller international features not as reliant on massive theatrical releases to discover the best new soundtracks. As such I am very pleased to present the next installment in my ongoing series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world. The five titles included here represent some of the best film music heard this year to date, and include a sweeping religious-themed biopic from Spain, two historical epics from China (scored by American composers), a Japanese murder-mystery sequel, and an emotional drama score from Poland set in Auschwitz. Read more…

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – James Horner and Simon Franglen

September 23, 2016 3 comments

magnificentseven2016Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The death of James Horner in June 2015, in a plane crash at the age of 61, was one of the most shocking events to hit the film music community in many, many years. It wasn’t just the fact that Horner was seemingly on the verge of a comeback, having written several classical pieces and new scores in the preceding year, and having signed to write several new works (Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall, and several Avatar sequels among them); it was the suddenness, the randomness of it all, coming completely out of the blue with no time to prepare for a film music world without him. At the time, once the immediate grief and concern for his family had been addressed, thoughts naturally turned to his musical legacy, and all the great music he was yet to write, and which we would now never get to hear. As it turns out, Horner had one last gift to share – the score for director Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the great western The Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke as three members of a gang of gun-slinging heroes who team up to protect a town from ruthless industrialist Peter Sarsgaard, who is forcibly removing the inhabitants of a small Old West community for his own nefarious purposes. Read more…