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Title:MOVIE MUSIC UK | Film Score Reviews by Jonathan Broxton since 1997
Description:Film Score Reviews by Jonathan Broxton since 1997
MOVIE MUSIC UK | Film Score Reviews by Jonathan Broxton since 1997
Film Score Reviews by Jonathan Broxton since 1997
Fathers of Film Music
News and Announcements
BACK TO THE FUTURE 鈥 Alan Silvestri
July 9, 2015
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Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
In the spring of 1985, Robert Zemeckis was a young up-and-coming director who had enjoyed some success with the Michael Douglas-Kathleen Turner adventure flick Romancing the Stone the year before, but for the most part was still largely an unknown quantity. His breakthrough came with the release of Back to the Future, a classic time-travelling comedy adventure which went on to become the biggest grossing film of the year, made Michael J. Fox a movie star, and cemented the much-derided DeLorean automobile into cinematic folklore forever. Fox stars as Marty McFly, a typical 1980s kid from suburban California, who is accidentally sent back to the year 1955 by his friend, scientist and inventor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), who has built a time machine out of the aforementioned DeLorean. Stranded in time and without enough fuel to return home, Marty must seek help from the 1955 version of Doc 鈥 but, unfortunately, he inadvertently puts his own future at risk when the teenage version of his mother Lorraine (Lea Thompson) meets and develops a crush on him rather than George (Crispin Glover), the man destined to be his father鈥 Read more #8230;
Categories: Reviews
Tags: Alan Silvestri, Back to the Future, Film Score, Reviews, Throwback Thirty
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD 鈥 Erich Wolfgang Korngold
July 6, 2015
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Original Review by Craig Lysy
In 1935 Warner Brothers Studio sought to bring an epic swashbuckling film to the big screen and William Keighley was hired to direct. Screenwriters Norman Reilly Raine and Seton Miller were brought in to write the script, for which they drew inspiration from the Medieval Robin Hood legends. A stellar cast was assembled including; Errol Flynn (Sir Robin of Locksley AKA Robin Hood), Olivia de Havilland (Lady Marian Fitzwalter), Basil Rathbone (Sir Guy of Gisbourne), Claude Reins (Prince John), Patrick Knowles (Will Scarlett), Eugene Pallette (Friar Tuck), Alan Hale Sr. (Little John) and Melville Cooper (High Sheriff of Nottingham). The story reveals that in 1,191 C.E. King Richard the Lionheart of England has been taken captive by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, as he returned from the Third Crusade. Regretfully his imprisonment provides a pretext for his treacherous brother Prince John to usurp the throne. As a member of the ruling Norman elite, he begins a reign of terror and oppression of the native Saxons, raising taxes supposedly to ransom Richard #8217;s freedom, but in reality the money flows into his personal coffers for his own enrichment. Only one nobleman has the conscience to oppose John鈥檚 duplicity, the Saxon knight Sir Robin of Locksley. At a court dinner he boldly declares that he will do all in his power to oppose John and restore Richard to the throne. For this affront John issues an arrest warrant. With his lands and title now forfeit, Robin assembles a band of 鈥淢erry Men鈥 who rob from the rich and provide for the poor. When Lady Marion becomes his prisoner, her initial disdain turns to admiration and then love when she sees Robin鈥檚 nobility and care for the people. Eventually Robin discovers Richard has returned and devises a plan to overthrow John. He and his men enter Sir Guy鈥檚 castle dressed as monks and succeed in winning the day, which features an epic duel with Sir Guy. Now vanquished, a contrite John begs for Richard鈥檚 forgiveness, and is exiled. Richard then pardons the Merry Men, knights Robin as Baron of Locksley and Earl of Sherwood and Nottingham. He then commands Robin to marry his ward, the Lady Marian resulting in a classic happy ending! The film was both a huge commercial success and critical success, earning four Academy Award nominations, winning three, including Best Original Score. Read more #8230;
Categories: Reviews
Tags: Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Film Score, MMUK Classics, Oscar-Winning Scores, Reviews, The Adventures of Robin Hood
LIFEFORCE 鈥 Henry Mancini
July 2, 2015
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Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
What do you think of when you think of the music of Henry Mancini? The gentle romance of Breakfast at Tiffany鈥檚? The effortlessly cool jazz of Peter Gunn or The Pink Panther? The forbidden passion of The Thorn Birds? The playful 鈥淏aby Elephant Walk鈥 from Hatari? I鈥檇 bet my bottom dollar that most people would come up with those classics long before they thought of an epic orchestral sci-fi horror score, but that鈥檚 exactly what Mancini wrote for Lifeforce, a British-American production directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by the notorious Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan for Cannon Films. The film is a loose adaptation of Colin Wilson鈥檚 1976 novel The Space Vampires, and stars Steve Railsback as the head of a multi-national space exploration team sent to investigate Halley鈥檚 Comet as it makes one of it鈥檚 regular 75-year passes past Earth. The team finds a space craft concealed inside the comet鈥檚 corona, and inside the space craft they find the preserved bodies of three seemingly humanoid aliens in suspended animation, including one incredibly beautiful female. However, when the space exploration team鈥檚 ship returns home, Mission Control in London finds it empty, save for the three aliens, which soon awake and begin draining 鈥榣ife force鈥 energies from every human they encounter. The film co-starred Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Patrick Stewart, and Mathilda May, who spends almost the entire film completely naked; despite this obvious selling point, the film was a disaster, recouping less than half of its $25 million budget, and receiving terrible reviews from most critics of the time. Read more #8230;
Categories: Reviews
Tags: Film Score, Henry Mancini, Lifeforce, Michael Kamen, Reviews, Throwback Thirty
HERBERT STOTHART 鈥 Fathers of Film Music, Part 11
July 1, 2015
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Article by Craig Lysy
Born: 11 September 1885, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Died: 1 February 1949.
Herbert Stothart was born of Scottish and German ancestry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1885. He studied at Milwaukee Normal School with a curriculum tailored to prepare him for an academic career as a teacher of history. He helped pay for his education by working as a theatre usher, which also elicited a lifelong fascination with movies. It came to pass that he joined an Episcopal Church choir, which kindled a fervent love of music. When he entered the University of Wisconsin, he continued on this path by composing and conducting musicals for the Haresfoot Dramatic Club. His exposure to the musical arts and his extracurricular activities staging school musicals ignited in Stothart a lifelong passion for music, which would now dominate his life. His hard work paid off when one of his productions, #8220;Manicure Shop #8221;, was successfully staged professionally in Chicago, which opened opportunities for further musical studies in Europe. Once this occurred his career path was firmly set, and he returned to America, securing full-time employment as a composer for vaudeville and New York musical theatre. Read more #8230;
Categories: Fathers of Film Music
Tags: Herbert Stothart
JURASSIC WORLD 鈥 Michael Giacchino
June 30, 2015
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Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
In 1998 a 29-year-old producer and aspiring composer for Disney Interactive was hired to write the score for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, a video game spin off from the recently-released Jurassic Park sequel that had hit cinema screens the year before. The game was one of the first PlayStation console titles to feature an original live orchestral score, and the title was so successful that it led to the composer being given further video game assignments, most notably in the Medal of Honor series, and eventually prestigious TV and film scoring jobs. That composer was Michael Giacchino 鈥 the first composer to successfully blur the lines between scoring video games and theatrical movies 鈥 and, with the release of Jurassic World, his almost 20-year career has come full circle. The film is intended to be a direct sequel to the original Jurassic Park 鈥 ignoring entirely the events of The Lost World and Jurassic Park III 鈥 and is set 20 years later in the now fully-functioning, open and successful theme park that John Hammond envisaged, albeit with the events of the original film having been covered up and buried by Ingen鈥檚 PR department. Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire Dearing, the park鈥檚 operations manager, who is visited by her two nephews Zach and Gray for a vacation. Unfortunately Claire is preoccupied with recruiting corporate sponsors for their new attraction, a genetically-modified dinosaur called Indominus Rex, and so essentially leaves the kids to their own devices in the park. Things change when Indominus apparently escapes from his paddock, and Claire calls on the park鈥檚 chief animal trainer, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), to recapture the beast before it starts eating the tourists鈥 Read more #8230;
Categories: Reviews
Tags: Film Score, Jurassic World, Michael Giacchino, Reviews
THE WIZARD OF OZ 鈥 Herbert Stothart
June 29, 2015
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Original Review by Craig Lysy
Following the enormous commercial success of Walt Disney鈥檚 鈥淪now White And The Seven Dwarfs鈥 (1937), MGM Studio Executive Louis Mayer was determined to cash in and duplicate its success. He found the story he felt was needed and purchased the rights to L. Frank Baum鈥檚 novel, #8220;The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #8221; (1900). Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf were tasked with writing the screenplay. Veteran director Victor Fleming was hired for the project and he assembled a cast, which is now legend; Judy Garland (Dorothy), Frank Morgan (Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz), Ray Bolger (Hunk/Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Hickory/Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Zeke/Cowardly Lion), Billie Burke (Glinda) and Margaret Hamilton (Miss Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West). Read more #8230;
Categories: Reviews
Tags: Film Score, Harold Arlen, Herbert Stothart, MMUK Classics, Oscar-Winning Scores, Reviews, The Wizard of Oz, Yip Harburg
COCOON 鈥 James Horner
June 25, 2015
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Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
Cocoon was one of the major box-office successes of 1985, a winning combination of science fiction adventure and family drama directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley and Hume Cronyn as three old-timers living in a retirement community in Florida; part of their daily routine is to sneak into an unoccupied house next door and swim in its swimming pool. One day they find a number of strange, rock-like objects at the bottom of the water, but after checking them out, decide to swim there anyway; following their swim, the three geezers suddenly find themselves rejuvenated with a vigorous, youthful energy, and they share their discovery with their respective wives and lady friends, played by Gwen Verdon, Maureen Stapleton, and Jessica Tandy. However, much to the shock of the senior citizens, the 鈥榬ocks in the pool鈥 turn out to be cocoons containing dozens of sick aliens, left behind by friendly extra-terrestrials centuries ago, and which were about to be returned to their home planet by their leader, Brian Dennehy, with the help of a local ship captain, played by Steve Guttenberg 鈥 until the pool was drained of its life force by the old folks. As such, the sextet of retirees must work with the aliens to help them find a way home, without revealing the secret of the pool. The film earned two Academy Awards 鈥 one for Best Supporting Actor for Don Ameche, and one for Best Visual Effects 鈥 and boasted a magnificent score by the then 32-year-old James Horner. Read more #8230;
Categories: Reviews
Tags: Cocoon, Film Score, James Horner, Reviews, Throwback Thirty
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BACK TO THE FUTURE 鈥 Alan Silvestri
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD 鈥 Erich Wolfgang Korngold
LIFEFORCE 鈥 Henry Mancini
HERBERT STOTHART 鈥 Fathers of Film Music, Part 11
JURASSIC WORLD 鈥 Michael Giacchino
THE WIZARD OF OZ 鈥 Herbert Stothart
COCOON 鈥 James Horner
James Horner, 1953-2015
PINOCCHIO 鈥 Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith
TEXAS RISING 鈥 John Debney and Bruce Broughton
Upcoming Films and Scores THE BOY NEXT DOOR - Randy Edelman and Nathan Barr (1/23)
MORTDECAI - Geoff Zanelli and Mark Ronson (1/23)
STRANGE MAGIC - Marius De Vreis (1/23)
ABOVE AND BEYOND - Lorne Balfe (1/30)
AMIRA amp; SAM - Heather McIntosh (1/30)
BLACK OR WHITE - Terence Blanchard (1/30)
JUPITER ASCENDING - Michael Giacchino (2/6)
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY - Danny Elfman (2/14)
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE - Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson (2/14)
THE DUFF - Dominic Lewis (2/20)
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 - Christophe Beck (2/20)
McFARLAND, USA - Antonio Pinto (2/20)
FOCUS - Nick Urata (2/27)
THE LAZARUS EFFECT - Sarah Schachner (2/27)
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