Posts Tagged ‘Theodore Shapiro’

THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE – Theodore Shapiro

October 29, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Christopher Garner

The Eyes of Tammy Faye tells the true story of the rise and fall of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker (played by Andrew Garfield and Jessica Chastain). It follows the pair from their humble beginnings running a local tv station’s Christian-themed puppet show, to becoming superstars within the world of Christian televangelism (even opening a big Christian theme park), to Jim Bakker’s fall from grace due to rape allegations and accounting fraud (he was convicted for the latter and spent nearly five years in prison). The film is directed by Michael Showalter (of The Big Sick fame). Critics have been mostly positive about the film, with particular praise being lavished upon Jessica Chastain, whose transformation to play Tammy Faye across multiple decades has generated some Oscar buzz. Read more…


June 23, 2017 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’m so out of touch with children’s popular culture these days that, prior to a few weeks ago, I had never even heard of Captain Underpants, and had no clue that they made a film about him. The character comes from the enormously popular series of children’s novels by American author and illustrator Dav Pilkey, in which George Beard and Harold Hutchins – two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books – accidentally hypnotize their mean teacher Mr. Krupp into thinking that he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants. In this animated adventure, Captain Underpants finds himself in conflict with Professor Poopypants, a brilliant scientist who, having being constantly made fun of because of his name, decides to try to take over the world. The film is directed by David Soren, has a voice cast that includes Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll, and Jordan Peele, and has a spectacular score by composer Theodore Shapiro. Read more…

GHOSTBUSTERS – Theodore Shapiro

July 19, 2016 1 comment

ghostbusters-shapiroOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Plans for a third Ghostbusters movie have been floating around Hollywood since the 1990s, but for a variety of reasons a true continuation of the story never materialized. Incomplete screenplays, lack of money, and reluctance from the stars of the original film – Bill Murray, especially – frustrated fans for decades, and the death of original cast member Harold Ramis in 2014 seemingly put an end to the possibility. However, in early 2015, it was unexpectedly announced that a complete reboot of the franchise had been green-lit, with Paul Feig directing a screenplay by Katie Dippold, and a brand new all-female leading cast comprising Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. That there was uproar about this is an understatement; almost from the moment the project was announced, there was a social media backlash, much of it aimed, somewhat misogynistically, at the fact that the leads were women, combined with the fact that the story completely ignored the characters and heritage of the first two films. Read more…

A SYMPHONY OF HOPE: THE HAITI PROJECT – Christopher Lennertz et al.

October 2, 2011 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

On January 12, 2010, the city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti was effectively flattened when it was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Within a matter of seconds over 50,000 people had been killed, and over a million people left homeless. Diseases such as cholera blighted the survivors and thwarted relief efforts, and since then the humanitarian crisis in the country has reached staggering proportions, with over 250,000 residences destroyed and basic services and infrastructure left in ruins. Reacting to the global call for help, film composer Christopher Lennertz was inspired to act. Calling upon his fellow composers and other members of the Los Angeles film music community of musicians and engineers, Lennertz teamed up with the charity Hands Together to create A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project, a musical fundraising project intended to help the people of Haiti. Read more…

A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Last Saturday, March 26th, I had the honor attending the recording sessions for “A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project” at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, CA. The brainchild of composer Christopher Lennertz, the Symphony is musical fundraising project designed to help the people of Haiti in their desperate time of need.

A year after the terrible earthquake which destroyed the lives of thousands of Haitians, it was clear to Lennertz that the need for assistance was greater than ever. In response Lennertz came up with the idea of the “Symphony of Hope”, and invited 25 leading film composers to collaborate with him on a project to benefit the Haiti Earthquake Relief fund. Read more…

JENNIFER’S BODY – Theodore Shapiro and Stephen Barton

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A lascivious comedy horror from Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama, Jennifer’s Body stars the delectable Megan Fox as the eponymous high school cheerleader who, following an encounter with a member of a rock band whose bite is worse than his bark, becomes a literal man-eater, and begins seducing, and then slaughtering her male classmates. The film, which also stars Amanda Seyfried as Jennifer’s geeky best friend Needy and Johnny Simmons as the ill-fated boyfriend Chip, has an original score co-composed by Theodore Shapiro and Stephen Barton.

Channeling its self-aware, hipster attitude, the score is actually a rather unconventional horror effort; low on theme, high on atmosphere, and with a definite rocker’s edge to go with the film’s contemporary style. Read more…

YEAR ONE – Theodore Shapiro

June 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A high concept comedy directed by Harold Ramis and starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, Year One follows the fortunes of two prehistoric hunter-gatherers named Zed and Oh, who are banished from their tribe after eating from a forbidden tree, and embark on all manner of adventures, meeting the historical Biblical figures Cain and Abel, becoming slaves in the ancient city of Sodom, and falling in love with two fellow slaves, Maya and Eema. Despite taking a number of peculiar liberties with classical bible stories, following a very odd timeline, Year One features a quirky supporting cast (Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Juno Temple, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and even Vinnie Jones), and was a surprising box office success during the summer of 2009.

The score for Year One is by Theodore Shapiro, who seems to be stuck in a rut of scoring big-budget comedies, despite his talent in other genres. Read more…

MARLEY & ME – Theodore Shapiro

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A light romantic drama based on the hugely popular best selling novel by John Grogan, Marley & Me is the story of the ups and downs in the relationship of a married couple, John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston), told from the point of view of their boisterous, mischievous golden retriever, Marley. The film is directed by David Frankel, and has a score by Theodore Shapiro, who scored Frankel’s previous film, The Devil Wears Prada in 2006.

As one would expect, considering the film’s subject matter, Shpiro’s score is generally light, romantic and contemporary, consisting mainly of upbeat orchestral themes augmented by electric and acoustic guitars and various urban percussion items. Read more…

TROPIC THUNDER – Theodore Shapiro

August 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A puerile, abysmally unfunny ‘comedy’ starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder tells the story of a group of pampered, self-absorbed actors making “the ultimate Vietnam movie”, who inadvertently become caught in the middle of a real-life drug war which they mistakenly believe to be part of their hyper-realistic set. Despite deriving the majority of its humor from incessant bad language and gratuitous gore, the film became one of the biggest-grossing comedies of 2008.

One of the few things to work superbly in context, and on CD, is Theodore Shapiro’s score, which follows the tried and tested format of treating the movie absolutely seriously, and as a result is probably the most successful thing about the entire project. Read more…

BLADES OF GLORY – Theodore Shapiro

March 30, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Sports comedies are nearly as common as sports dramas at the movie theatres, and “Blades of Glory” was a film that did very little to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. Despite a few entertaining moments, the film feels like one of the more forgettable entries in the career of Will Ferrell… and one of the many recent forgettable entries in the career of Jon Heder (who keeps trying and failing to capitalize on his “Napoleon Dynamite” fame). Anyway, the film centers around a pair of banned male figure skaters who bend the rules by deciding to skate together as a pair. This leads to all sorts of rather dumb gay jokes, and a long, slow progression to the climax of all sports movies, “The Big Game/Event/Championship/Thing”. Read more…

13 GOING ON 30 – Theodore Shapiro

April 23, 2004 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A delightfully nostalgic throwback to the 1980s, 13 Going on 30 is a charming fantasy-comedy that plays like the female version of the classic Tom Hanks movie Big. Teenager Jenna Rink (Christa Allen) wants nothing more than to be popular and date one of the cutest boys in school, but when her birthday party turns into a disaster, and she had an argument with her friend Matt (Jack Salvatore Jr.), she retreats to a closet. Wishing she could be 30 years old, Jenna knocks over “pixie dust” from the dolls house Matt makes for her… and awakens the next morning in the year 2004, looking like Jennifer Garner. She’s has a power-house job as an editor for Poise magazine, and is friends with Lucy (Judy Greer), the girl for whose companionship she craved all those years ago. However, Jenna’s mind is still stuck in 1987: not knowing what to do, and adrift in a world she doesn’t know or understand, she tracks down the only one she believes she can trust: 30-year old Matt, now a hip New York photographer who looks like Mark Ruffalo. Read more…

STARSKY & HUTCH – Theodore Shapiro

March 5, 2004 Leave a comment

starsky&hutchOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It is de rigueur in Hollywood at the moment to re-make classic TV shows of the 70s and 80s as big-budget cinema outings: we’ve already had Charlie’s Angels and SWAT, and there are rumors of A-Team and Knight Rider movies in the pipeline. Starsky & Hutch was one of the comedy successes of the min-genre, paying loving homage to the well-loved original series while gently lampooning the fashions and morals of the decade. Directed by Todd Phillips, the film starred Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller as the eponymous Bay City detectives, the roles made famous by David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser. Here, they find themselves on the trail of shady businessman Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughan), who they believe is a drug dealer; along the way they are helped by their flamboyant jive-talking snitch Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg), and hindered by their cantankerous boss Captain Doby (Fred Williamson). Plot is, of course, secondary in a film like this, which revels instead in the comedy set pieces, and the sense of nostalgia in the production: everything, from the classic Ford Torino, to the costumes and hairstyles, and the sexual attitudes, are a prefect recreation of the original setting. It’s a blast. Read more…