Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jablonsky’

SKYSCRAPER – Steve Jablonsky

July 24, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1988 director John McTiernan made a film called Die Hard, in which a group of terrorists take over a Los Angeles skyscraper, and a hard nosed cop played by Bruce Willis must defeat them to protect his family. Now, in 2018, director Rawson Marshall Thurber has made a film called Skyscraper, in which a group of terrorists takes over a Hong Kong skyscraper, and a hard nosed ex-FBI agent played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson must defeat them to protect his family. And they say originality is dead in Hollywood. The reviews and box office returns for the film have not been great, especially compared to the director’s previous efforts Dodgeball and Central Intelligence, and despite the star-heavy power of The Rock in the leading role, serviceable support from Neve Campbell, and a decent amount of vertiginous thrills and spills. Read more…


October 4, 2016 2 comments

deepwaterhorizonOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon – an oil rig owned by the British Petroleum company (BP) and located in the gulf of Mexico – suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure, resulting in an enormous explosion, the deaths of eleven engineers who worked on the rig, and an ecological disaster of astronomical proportions, with more than 210 million gallons of oil spilling into the ocean and eventually onto the southern coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Director Peter Berg’s film looks at the events surrounding the disaster, focusing mainly on the men and women whose lives were impacted most by the event; the film stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, and Kate Hudson, and has been the recipient of mainly positive reviews, who praised its realism, accuracy, and emotional portrayal of the disaster’s human cost. Read more…


June 17, 2016 2 comments

teenagemutantninjaturtles2Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve been rather hard on Steve Jablonsky over the years. Back in 2004, after he wrote his magnificent score for the Japanese animated film Steamboy, I confidently predicted that he would go on to become “the next John Powell,” and follow in the illustrious footsteps of his one-time Media Ventures colleague to become one of Hollywood’s best composers. It’s true that, financially, many of Jablonsky’s films have done very well. His quartet of Transformers films were gargantuan box office successes, and his quartet of classic horror movie reboots – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street – all grossed more than $50 million each. Unfortunately, the music that has accompanied these films has, for me, been mostly disappointing, especially considering the wonderful heights that Steamboy attained. Parts of scores like The Island, Dragon Wars, and Your Highness remain guilty pleasures, and with the benefit of hindsight the original Transformers score has actually held up remarkably well over time, but most of the rest have been predictable and by-the-numbers, contributing greatly to the endless parade of boring Hollywood summer blockbuster scores that all sound the same and have no soul. As such, going into the score for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, I had mentally prepared myself for another entry in a long catalogue of mind-numbing dumbed-down action scores. However, I’m very happy to report that my expectations were significantly surpassed, to the point where I can confidently say that, for me, this score is Jablonsky’s best work in almost a decade. Read more…

ENDER’S GAME – Steve Jablonsky

November 10, 2013 1 comment

endersgameOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ender’s Game is a science fiction drama based on the highly acclaimed, hugely influential 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card. In the years after a devastating attack on Earth by an alien race known as the Formics, the human race has devised a strategy to prevent future attacks: a battle school designed to discover and train massively talented children to control the Earth’s defenses – children apparently have the capacity to learn and adapt to new situations and technological advances better than adults. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is one of these talented children, and the film follows him after he is chosen to take part in the elite military program by Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford), as the threat of a second attack by the Formics looms ever larger. The film, which is directed by Gavin Hood and also stars Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin, has some important points to make about the nature of war, manipulation and propaganda, and is visually stunning, but prior to its release became embroiled in controversy following the revelation about some of Card’s political beliefs, and may have suffered slightly at the box office as a result, leaving the possibility of an ongoing franchise doubtful. Read more…


August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I didn’t want to write this review. I really didn’t. I saw the first Transformers movie and thought it was a decent enough summer popcorn flick, but then I endured Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and with the terrible acting and the execrable screenplay and the awful direction and the interchangeable fighting robots and the mind-numbing score, I vowed never to suffer through another Transformers-related experience, cinematically or musically. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, however, is one of the biggest box office successes of 2011, and contains one of the best-selling scores of the year, and as such it’s difficult to ignore it completely.

The complicated story concerns a secret crashed spaceship on the moon, the US military searching for the evil Decepticon transformer that still remain in the world, and a plot by those Decepticons to use ancient technology found within the spaceship to enslave humanity. Naturally, the heroic Autobots and their human friend Sam Witwicky team up with the military to save the day – cue massive scenes of chaos, enormous fighting robots, and general death and destruction. Read more…

YOUR HIGHNESS – Steve Jablonsky

April 7, 2011 5 comments

yourhighnessOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

While not quite a spoof in the same way that Robin Hood: Men in Tights was a spoof, Your Highness nevertheless is a lighthearted variation on those medieval costume dramas, in which damsels in distress and knights in armor do battle with dangerous enemies and fall in love in the forest. Directed by David Gordon Green, the film stars Danny McBride and James Franco as Thadeous and Fabious, a pair of royal knights – one a lazy oaf, the other a noble warrior – who team up with a warrior princess named Isabel (Natalie Portman) to rescue Fabious’s virginal bride-to-be Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) from the clutches of Leezar (Justin Theroux), an evil sorcerer. The film also stars Toby Jones, Charles Dance and Damien Lewis, and has an original score by Steve Jablonsky. Read more…


June 26, 2009 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I recently joked on a film music message board that I should simply recycle my review of Steve Jablonsky’s first Transformers score in order to pay homage to the sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I fully appreciate that sequel scores should maintain a certain thematic consistency with their predecessor, and predicted that in all likelihood Jablonsky would trot out the same tired power anthems and banal über-heroism that he saddled the first film with… but, really, it’s just going to be the same score again, right? Wrong. Somehow, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is actually worse.

The film, which again is directed by Michael Bay and stars Shia LaBoeuf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel and John Turturro, picks up the story a couple of years after the events of the first movie Read more…

DRAGON WARS (D-WAR) – Steve Jablonsky

September 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A very silly Korean monster movie directed by Hyung-Rae Shim, Dragon Wars (or D-War as it is alternately known) stars Jason Behr, Amanda Brooks and Robert Forster, and is based on an old Korean legend about mythological creatures called Imoogi, who every 500 years or so emerge from their hiding places, transform into enormous dragons, and do battle over the ownership of a mystical power source. Caught up in the middle of this ancient conflict is Ethan (Behr), a Los Angeles-based photojournalist who in a past life was a noble warrior in feudal Korea, and Sarah (Brooks), who is the reincarnation of the warrior’s love, and who (inexplicably) is the also guardian of the power source the dragons desire. Read more…

TRANSFORMERS – Steve Jablonsky

July 6, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Fanboys are funny creatures. On the one hand they are often derided for being misguidedly devoted to a particular composer to the point of obsession, and dismissed by film music ‘elder statesmen’ as being ignorant or – worse still – indifferent to the Golden Age glories of the past, or of any kind of musical endeavor outside their narrow genre preferences. On the other hand, they are also the lifeblood of the mainstream soundtrack industry, gleefully lapping up the latest new releases from the top of the box office charts, spending their money and spreading their enthusiasm far and wide, investing in the market, and thereby allowing it to thrive. One thing you can’t ignore is the power of their collective voices – as evidenced by this rather belated release of Steve Jablonsky’s score for the 2007 summer blockbuster Transformers, which exists thanks, in a large part, to the incessant clamoring for it by the aforementioned fanboys. Read more…

STEAMBOY – Steve Jablonsky

March 18, 2005 3 comments

steamboyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the best music comes from the most unlikely of places? Steamboy is the latest Anime adventure from legendary director Katsuhiro Otomo, the man who brought the groundbreaking Akira to the world back in 1988. The film follows the adventures of Ray, a young inventor living in the England in the middle of the 19th century. Shortly before the first ever World Expo, an incredible invention called the Steam Ball arrives at his door – a present from his eccentric grandfather in the USA. However, the nefarious Ohara Foundation has discovered the vast power the Steamball contains, and send men from Japan to the Expo to recover the invention from Ray – at any cost. Read more…