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Independence Day: Resurgence
  • Composed by Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser
  • Sony Masterworks / 2016 / 52m

It’s amazing that it’s taken twenty years, really: Roland Emmerich’s mega-hit Independence Day was entirely self-contained, but that’s never been seen a barrier before to producing sequels.  The sequel is Will Smith-less, but otherwise most of the cast are back, including Jeff Goldblum, as Earth is once again at threat from pesky invading aliens.  The early reviews are pretty poor in general, but they were last time too and that didn’t stop everyone going to see it, so we shall see whether it can be as successful.

Independence Day
  • Composed by David Arnold
  • La-La Land / 2010 / 129m (score 100m)

Roland Emmerich’s incredibly successful Independence Day came out in 1996 surrounded by hype and seemed to me to be very much enjoyed by audiences, even as critics were sneering at it.  More pretentious types now seem to have retrofitted a kind of post-modern satire onto Emmerich’s intentions with the film but I highly doubt it was ever intended to be anything other than a highly enjoyable piece of popcorn entertainment, which it is despite its frequently dumbfoundingly ridiculous nature.

Flight
  • Composed by James Horner
  • ASB Records / 2010 / 16m

For a James Horner fan, listening to Flight – his rousing, glorious celebration of flying – is a truly bittersweet experience. Flying was one of the great passions of his life, along with composing – but of course it was ultimately what cost him his life so prematurely. Such was his enthusiasm for it, he actually performed on occasion with an aerobatic display team, known as the Flying Horsemen, and this piece was originally written to accompany their displays (and is still used to do so today).

Now You See Me 2
  • Composed by Brian Tyler
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2016 / 77m

2013’s slightly odd heist movie Now You See Me, featuring four magicians who seem to be stealing money in bulk and redistributing it from rich to poor, attracted at best mixed reviews but was a big box office hit.  Three years later the first sequel has arrived, with most of the case reprising their roles, including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Michael  Caine and Morgan Freeman, with Daniel Radcliffe added for good measure.  Jon M. Chu takes over the directorial reins from Louis Leterrier.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
  • Composed by Steve Jablonsky
  • Paramount Music / 2016 / 69m

Jonathan Liebesman’s 2014 reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may not have found much love from critics, but it clearly did from audiences, as its half-billion-dollar box office take confirms; no surprise therefore that a sequel was quickly put into production.  Liebesman wasn’t attached to it for very long (if indeed he ever was at all), with Paramount turning instead to Earth to Echo director Dave Green.  Ironically, while reviews have mostly suggested the film is an improvement on its predecessor, it doesn’t look like it’s going to generate nearly as many ticket sales, so the third film for which most of the cast has already signed might not make it.

Warcraft

Composed by Ramin Djawadi Back Lot Music / 2016 / 61m The hugely-popular Warcraft series of video games (and later, more) began back in 1994 when the first game was released, since when it has spawned a devoted army of followers, spawned books, physical games – and now a film.  Films based on video games […]

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Composed by Danny Elfman Walt Disney Records / 2016 / 76m Tim Burton’s 2010 take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland may have received only mixed reviews but it made an absolute fortune at the box office so I guess it’s no surprise that a sequel has (somewhat belatedly) now arrived. Burton didn’t come back, […]

X-Men: Apocalypse

Composed by John Ottman Sony Classical / 2016 / 76m X-Men: Apocalypse, the ninth film in the series (and the second of 2016, after the rather different Deadpool) sees the original mutant, En Sabah Nur, awaken in the 1980s having been entombed alive in ancient Egypt, and decide he doesn’t much like what humanity has […]

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty

Composed by Scott Glasgow MovieScore Media / 2016 / 61m A reimagined haunted house movie take on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, The Curse of Sleeping Beauty sees a man inherit a large mansion – good news, one would think, except when there’s an ancient curse on it.  Which there is.  The man is convinced a […]

Money Monster

Composed by Dominic Lewis Sony Classical / 2016 / 39m Directed by Jodie Foster, Money Monster is a thriller starring George Clooney as a television presenter who gives financial tips, one of which is to invest in a company which shortly afterwards sees its share price plummet.  One disgruntled man (Jack O’Connell) who invested his […]

Link

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith La-La Land Records / 2016 / 39m Richard Franklin’s 1986 film Link is little-remembered today, and was not at all well-received when it was released.  It stars Elisabeth Shue as a zoology student (called Jane – after Dr Goodall – I wonder how she felt about such an honour) who finds herself terrorised […]

Captain America: Civil War

Composed by Henry Jackman Hollywood Records / 2016 / 69m The Marvel machine rolls on with no sign of audiences losing interest in Captain America: Civil War, in which the superheroes split into two factions, one led by Captain America and the other by Iron Man, after the United Nations attempts to start regulating them.  The cast […]

Executive Decision

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith Varèse Sarabande CD Club / 2016 / 75m Veteran film editor Stuart Baird made his directorial debut in 1996 with Executive Decision, an action thriller in which Steven Seagal leads a team of special forces tasked with boarding and securing a plane which has been hijacked with a bomb on board.  […]

Despite the Falling Snow

Composed by Rachel Portman Cube Soundtracks / 2016 / 52m Directed by Shamim Sarif based on his own 2004 novel, Despite the Falling Snow follows a former Cold War-era Russian politician who has to confront the truth of the woman he loved in 1950s Moscow, many years later.

The Jungle Book

Composed by John Debney Walt Disney Records / 2016 / 74m One of those stories that gets a new film treatment every few years, this 2016 version of The Jungle Book is a “live action” remake by Disney of their 1960s animated version.  It’s been just over twenty years since the last major Hollywood version, which […]