Latest reviews of new albums:
Sneakers
  • Composed by James Horner
  • Columbia / 1992 / 49m

Phil Alden Robinson’s Sneakers is a hugely entertaining caper movie from 1992 with a wonderful cast led by Robert Redford.  He leads a team of security specialists who find themselves caught up in a plot from Ben Kingsley to destabilise the global economy using a new computer hacking device.  It’s a film with great rewatchability and I’m surprised to find that it received only lukewarm reviews when it was released (but was still a big success).

The Dark Tower
  • Composed by Tom Holkenborg
  • Sony Classical / 2017 / 67m

Long in development, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower has finally made it to cinemas in 2017, directed by Nikolaj Arcel (J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard having previously been attached).  It ended up being a continuation of the series of novels, incorporating elements from various entries along with some of King’s other works.  Idris Elba takes the lead as the Gunslinger, with Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis The Man in Black.  It has been panned by critics.

Papillon
  • Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Quartet / 2017 / 72m

Based on Henri Charrière’s massively successful memoir of life in a French prison camp in Guyana, Papillon can boast the star power of Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman (the former giving one of his finest performances) and Franklin J. Schaffner’s film is an entertaining yarn, albeit one in which disbelief frequently has to be suspended (while Charrière almost certainly was imprisoned there, just about everything else has been disputed).

The Emoji Movie
  • Composed by Patrick Doyle
  • Sony Classical / 2017 / 63m

Based on the inspirational true story, it is unlikely that Oscar voters will need to watch another film this year after they see The Emoji Movie, currently setting both critics and audiences alight and almost certainly on course to break Avatar‘s box office records.  It tells the story of Gene, an emoji capable of multiple expressions, who lives inside a phone and is assumed to be malfunctioning (and therefore gets hunted down) because he doesn’t always display the emotion expected. 

Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • Composed by Christopher Lennertz
  • Sony Classical / 2017 / 62m

After the box office disappointment of The Smurfs 2 in 2013, Sony has rebooted the franchise with Smurfs: The Lost Village, which unlike the previous films is pure animation, without the live action elements.  Starring Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel and Mandy Patankin as Papa Smurf, with the Smurfs trying to locate the mysterious lost village before Gargamel does.  While it received stronger reviews than the previous pair of films, the box office return wasn’t great, so it might be a while before we see them on the big screen again.

Dunkirk

Composed by Hans Zimmer WaterTower / 2017 / 60m Christopher Nolan’s latest choice of project surprised many – Dunkirk follows the events of Operation Dynamo in which hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers were almost miraculously evacuated from the town in northern France.  At first it seems quite an about-turn for the director but he […]

War for the Planet of the Apes

Composed by Michael Giacchino Sony Classical / 2017 / 76m The three Planets of the Apes films in the new series confound expectations in many ways: a modern reboot series that’s actually very good; a trilogy where each film is better than the one before it; summer blockbusters that get equal love from audiences and […]

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Composed by Michael Giacchino Sony Classical / 2017 / 68m Only ten years passed between the first of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and the character’s relaunch in The Amazing Spider-Man; five years later, here we are again, with the character back again and now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the reason for the prompt […]

The Book of Henry

Composed by Michael Giacchino Back Lot / 2017 / 51m Coming in between Jurassic World and Star Wars IX for director Colin Trevorrow, The Book of Henry is a much smaller-scale film.  In what sounds like the most cheerful plot ever conceived for a film (spoilers ahead for the rest of this paragraph, but no […]

Cars 3

Composed by Randy Newman Walt Disney Records / 2017 / 50m It may be the least critically-loved series in Pixar’s roster, but Cars is a very lucrative franchise so a third film was probably always likely to be on the cards.  The previous entry was easily the worst film the studio has put out but […]

Lights, Camera… Music!

Composed by John Williams BSO Classics / 2017 / 76m An offshoot of the Boston Symphony Orchestra founded in 1885, the Boston Pops Orchestra (as its name suggests) was formed to perform lighter, more popular music than its big brother.  When it was looking for a new Principle Conductor following Arthur Fiedler’s retirement in 1979, […]

The Land Before Time

Composed by James Horner MCA / 1988 / 58m With Disney in a rut, other companies’ animated movies were more to the fore through much of the 1980s and one of the most successful was Don Bluth’s The Land Before Time.  There have been no fewer than thirteen direct-to-video sequels (the most recent coming in 2016) […]

The Mummy

Composed by Brian Tyler Back Lot Music / 2017 / 124m The first film in Universal’s new (well, old, I guess) “Dark Universe” which will be resurrecting many of the famous monsters from their films of many decades past, The Mummy rather improbably stars Tom Cruise as the man who unwittingly discovers the tomb of […]

Albion: The Enchanted Stallion

Composed by George Kallis MovieScore Media / 2017 / 52m A fantasy film screened at various festivals in 2016 before being released on home video earlier this year, Albion: The Enchanted Stallion tells the story of a 12-year-old girl transported to an ancient kingdom (Albion) and finding she holds the key to saving a whole […]

Wonder Woman

Composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams WaterTower / 2017 / 79m Given that the same comic book characters keep getting the same films made about them over and over again, it’s quite a surprise that when Wonder Woman appeared in Batman v Superman in 2016 it was the first time she’d ever appeared on the big screen.  […]