Latest reviews of new albums:
Flightplan
  • Composed by James Horner
  • Hollywood Records / 2005 / 51m

A slick but fairly routine thriller, Flightplan stars Jodie Foster as a woman who falls asleep on a transatlantic flight sitting next to her young daughter, and when she awakens not only finds that her daughter isn’t there any more but that everybody denies having seen her on the flight at all and the crew can find no record of her having been on board.  It was the first English-language film directed by Robert Schwentke and was a big hit despite rather mediocre reviews.

Guy Farley Film Music Collection
  • Composed by Guy Farley
  • Caldera Records / 2016 / 70m

A talented British composer, Guy Farley has been writing high-quality music for generally lower-profile films for some years now.  Capable of writing music of great emotion and drama, I’m surprised he hasn’t found himself attached to some more well-known films – it is surely only a matter of time.  Caldera Records has championed his music in recent years and this collection includes music from four different films, linked by a common theme but with a varied approach to their music.

I can’t believe it but twenty years have passed since this website was born.  I take a look back at the journey I’ve been on…

Po
  • Composed by Burt Bacharach
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2017 / 48m

They don’t make legends much more legendary than Burt Bacharach, songwriter extraordinaire.  Now 88, he still makes occasional performances, usually to great acclaim.  His arsenal of classic pop songs is probably without peer.  Over the years he has often contributed songs to films and occasionally written scores too – Po is his first in a very long time indeed.  It’s a small-scale film shown at festivals during 2016, yet to receive a widespread release, but it’s one that touched the composer very personally.

The Monkey King 2
  • Composed by Christopher Young
  • Intrada / 2016 / 75m

The second in a planned series of cinematic adaptations of Wu Cheng’en’s classic Chinese mythology Journey to the West, The Monkey King 2 moves forward several hundred years from the events depicted in the first film.  Few characters return apart from the Monkey King himself (now played by Aaron Kwok rather than Donnie Yen).  It was staggeringly successful at the box office and the next one’s already in production, planned for release in early 2018.

Assassin’s Creed

Composed by Jed Kurzel Decca / 2016 / 66m The latest attempt to make a decent film from a video game adaptation comes in Assassin’s Creed, based on the incredibly successful series of games which sees the player thrust into important historical events, in this case the Spanish Inquisition.  Directed by Justin Kurzel, the film has […]

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Composed by James Horner Interscope / 2000 / 77m (score 40m) “Promotional release” / 2000 / 75m Not one of Ron Howard’s finest hours, How the Grinch Stole Christmas nevertheless cleaned up at the box office in late 2000, becoming (and remaining) the most successful Christmas film after Home Alone.  Jim Carrey (remember him?) attracted […]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Composed by Michael Giacchino Walt Disney Records / 2016 / 69m When Disney bought Lucasfilm, I think a lot of Star Wars fans were quite nervous about what they planned to do with it, immediately announcing not just the new trilogy of sequels but also that there would be various spinoffs.  The fear, of course, […]

Passengers

Composed by Thomas Newman Sony Classical / 2016 / 68m Written by Jon Spaihts and directed by Morten Tyldum, Passengers is about a 120-year spaceship voyage where one passenger (Chris Pratt) wakes up 90 years early and, seeking company, then wakes up fellow passenger Jennifer Lawrence.  One thing leads to another and they find themselves […]

Wolfen

Composed by James Horner Intrada / 2011 / 46m Michael Wadleigh’s 1981 film Wolfen adapts Whitley Strieber’s novel, in which Albert Finney plays a detective investigating brutal murders – with the culprits turning out to be super-intelligent wolves.  It was the only film Wadleigh directed other than his legendary 1970 documentary Woodstock, which must be one […]

Allied

Composed by Alan Silvestri Sony Classical / 2016 / 42m The World War II drama Allied stars Brad Pitt as a Canadian air force officer who poses as the husband of a French resistance operative (Marion Cotillard) on a mission – then they actually fall in love, only for him to find out later that […]

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Composed by James Newton Howard WaterTower / 2016 / 73m A prequel spinoff of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is loosely based on a 2001 book J.K. Rowling wrote for the Comic Relief charity.  The book purports to be Potter’s copy of a textbook written by Newt Scamanger, including handwritten notes […]

Morricone 60

Composed by Ennio Morricone Decca / 2016 / 73m For those of us who caught the Ennio Morricone bug at some stage in life, seeing him in concert is a religious experience.  I’ve had the pleasure several times and each is etched forever into my memory.  He seems to have been on a never-ending “world” (mostly […]

Nocturnal Animals

Composed by Abel Korzeniowski Silva Screen / 2016 / 34m The second film from fashion designer-turned-director Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals is a psychological drama adapted from Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal lead an ensemble cast as a former married couple – he writes a violent novel as an allegory […]

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Composed by Craig Armstrong Globe Soundtracks / 2016 / 37m The third film in the series starring Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones’s Baby sees the character coming to terms with the fact that she may be getting too old to start a family – and lo and behold she then indulges in a spot of how’s-your-father […]