Check out the latest reviews:
Robot Overlords
  • Composed by Christian Henson
  • MovieScore Media / 2015 / 63m

Some nasty robots from overseas come and enslave us all in Robot Overlords, with humanity confined to the indoors.  Needless to say, some resistance ensues.  The film stars Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley and reviews suggest it is as good as you might expect a film called Robot Overlords (seriously…) to be.  

The River Wild
  • Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Intrada / 2015 / 79m (score 62m)

A surprisingly good “family in distress” action film, The River Wild sees action heroine Gail (Meryl Streep) go off for a nice trip along the river with husband David Strathairn and their son, only to find themselves – as often happens on family vacations – being terrorised by Kevin Bacon.  Still, the right people get shot and everyone you’d want to be is fine and happy at the end (well, everyone apart from Maurice Jarre), sadly including the irritating boy.  (By the way, perhaps the best thing to happen as a result of the movie is this website, showing Gail’s diary from the trip.)

The River Wild (rejected score)
  • Composed by Maurice Jarre
  • Intrada / 2015 / 76m (score 51m)

During the 1990s, a number of great film composers – contemporaries of each other, having grown to dominate film music in the 1950s, 60s and beyond – found themselves suddenly seeing things start to go wrong.  John Barry, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Maurice Jarre – it happened a few times to each – they would write and record a film score only to see it dumped and replaced by another at the last minute.  Usually they’d be replaced by someone considerably less capable of scoring films (Goldsmith had the ignominy of being replaced by Brad Fiedel on one occasion!) but sometimes another great would step in, as happened with The River Wild, with Jarre seeing his score chucked out and Goldsmith brought in. (Jarre’s comments reported in this album’s liner notes, that at no time did any of the filmmakers express to him any problems with the music, and if they had then he’d have been delighted to try to fix them, seem terribly sad.)

The Great Human Odyssey
  • Composed by Darren Fung
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2015 / 64m

A three-part Canadian tv series about humanity’s spread from Africa and evolution (and some near-misses when the species was at risk), The Great Human Odyssey aired earlier this year as part of the long-running The Nature of Things series.  

Broken Horses
  • Composed by John Debney
  • Lakeshore Records / 2015 / 63m

A contemporary western, Broken Horses – written and directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra – stars Anton Yelchin and Chris Marquette as a pair of brothers – one enslaved in a life of crime, the other a violin prodigy chasing his dream to become part of the New York Philharmonic – who are reunited in their home town as they try to escape the clutches of a local gangster.  

Effie Gray

Composed by Paul Cantelon Lakeshore Records / 2015 / 42m Effie Gray is the true story of a Victorian woman who feels increasingly isolated from her new husband, famous art critic John Ruskin, and goes on to fall in love with the painter Everett Millais.  Ultimately it probably received more attention for the lawsuits it attracted (two […]

Chappie

Composed by Hans Zimmer Varèse Sarabande / 2015 / 64m Set in the near future, Chappie sees the Johannesburg police department deploying robots to help tackle the high crime rate.  Since they couldn’t be called robo-cops due to copyright reasons, one of them – programmed to mimic human emotions – was named instead after a type of […]

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Composed by John Debney Varèse Sarabande / 2015 / 49m Based on a true story, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water tells the story of an aquatic sponge and his rival, a copepod, who have to work together in order to retrieve the secret Krabby Patty recipe from a nasty pirate.  

The Missing

Composed by Dominik Scherrer MovieScore Media / 2015 / 44m A BBC drama following a father’s hunt for his son, who went missing several years ago while on holiday in France, The Missing was compulsive viewing, with an outstanding central performance by James Nesbitt as the obsessed father and an unusual narrative structure split across different time […]

In a move that has caught seemingly everyone by surprise, Dreamworks announced today that Thomas Newman has been signed to score Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, the first time since 1985 that somebody other than John Williams has scored one of the director’s films.

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain

Composed by Benjamin Wallfisch MovieScore Media / 2015 / 39m I remember when I first read about the Bhopal industrial disaster, scarcely able to comprehend the scale of the tragedy that befell the Indian city in 1984 when a gas leak from a chemical plant caused environmental disaster, killing thousands of people and leaving up to 150,000 […]

Alexandre Desplat confirmed on French radio today that he will score Star Wars: Rogue One, the 2016 standalone movie being made by Gareth Edwards.  It’s been a few years since I posted a news story… this one felt worth it.

A Far Off Place

Composed by James Horner Intrada / 2015 / 76m Reese Witherspoon must trek across the Kalahari desert with a young man in a desperate quest to reach the protection of Maximillian Schell after her family is brutally murdered by poachers.  No, I am not issuing an instruction (sadly the Movie Wave website has not yet attained those […]

Wolf Hall

Composed by Debbie Wiseman Silva Screen / 2015 / 56m A handsome BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Mark Rylance gives a stunning performance as Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister, as it chronicles his part in the king’s split from the Roman church and follows events up to the execution […]

Broadchurch

Composed by Ólafur Arnalds Mercury Classics / 2015 / 53m The first season of Broadchurch was a bit of a phenomenon in Britain when it was broadcast in 2013.  It’s about a community torn apart when a young boy is found dead on the beach, and isn’t a straightforward whodunnit (though that does play a part) but […]