Check out the latest reviews:
Fury
  • Composed by Steven Price
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2014 / 67m

It’s been quite a year or so for Steven Price, after he was hired to do a few weeks’ work on sound design for 2013’s Gravity, which wasn’t going to have a score.  Not only did it get a score, he got to write it; and not only did he write it, it was absolutely fantastic, winning him a load of awards, most notably the coveted praise of the noted British film music critic James E. Southall.  Now, the challenge for him is – how on earth could he follow it up?  The answer comes in the form of Fury, David Ayer’s film set very late in World War II and focusing on a tank commander (Brad Pitt) and his small crew sent deep into Germany, facing (needless to say) overwhelming odds.

Gone Girl
  • Composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
  • Columbia / 2014 / 87m

David Fincher’s latest glossy bridge from mainstream “airport bestseller” into critically-praised movie comes in Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn’s novel about a man whose life is turned upside down when his wife disappears, with him emerging as the prime suspect.  Fincher seems to have a bit of that old Alfred Hitchcock gold dust, managing to make films that appeal on different levels to different types of people – many of his films work as pieces of no-nonsense surface-level entertainment to those who want that, but offer something deeper to those who choose to dig.

Dracula Untold
  • Composed by Ramin Djawadi
  • Backlot Music / 2014 / 60m

There haven’t been nearly enough Dracula movies, so it’s with great joy and anticipation that the world welcomes Dracula Untold, which is actually not yet another movie version of Bram Stoker’s novel but instead tells the famous character’s origin story.  It stars someone who looks even more like Orlando Bloom than Orlando Bloom does, Luke Evans, and is directed by Gary Shore.  The film is being positioned as the launchpad for the new “Universal Monsters” franchise, which will see new versions of the studio’s classic characters from Hollywood’s golden age.

The Judge
  • Composed by Thomas Newman
  • WaterTower Music / 2014 / 47m

David Dobkin’s The Judge sees Robert Downey, Jr, play a lawyer who returns home from the big city to attend his mother’s funeral only to find that his estranged father, a judge played by Robert Duvall, stands accused of murder.  Needless to say, he ends up defending him.  It sounds like it should be based on a John Grisham novel, but it isn’t, it’s an “original” film; most reviews have highlighted the lack of originality as the film’s major flaw, but have highlighted its performances from its strong cast (which also includes Billy Bob Thornton as the prosecutor) as its greatest asset.

Nightcrawler
  • Composed by James Newton Howard
  • Lakeshore Records / 2014 / 51m

Nightcrawler marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy, and stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a man drawn into the shady world of freelance crime journalism in Los Angeles (hence its title).  Early buzz for the film is very positive.  The director’s brother Tony Gilroy is himself a writer/director and has worked with composer James Newton Howard on several occasions, Michael Clayton, Duplicity and The Bourne Legacy, so it’s no great surprise to find the family connection leading to the composer cropping up here too.

Destiny

Composed by Michael Salvatori, C. Paul Johnson, Martin O’Donnell and Paul McCartney Bungie Music / 2014 / 139m 2014 saw the release of one of the most eagerly-awaited video games there has ever been, Destiny, a new story from the makers of the extremely popular and successful Halo franchise.  The story sees the player travel around […]

The Boxtrolls

Composed by Dario Marianelli Back Lot Music / 2014 / 63m From the makers of Coraline, The Boxtrolls is a stop-motion animation in which a boy is raised by a community of funny little box-shaped creatures – the boxtrolls – in the English town of Cheesebridge, which sadly is not a real place but I am […]

Themes from the General Electric Theater

Composed by Elmer Bernstein Intrada / 2014 / 35m An extremely popular tv anthology show in America for a decade from 1952, The General Electric Theater – despite misspelling “Theatre” – adapted popular plays and novels into little half-hour episodes each week.  It had an unexpected impact on not just America but the world several decades later, because […]

African Safari 3D

Composed by Ramin Djawadi Studiocanal / 2014 / 37m A wildlife documentary which does what you might expect it to do, African Safari 3D has been making its way around European cinemas since late 2013, recently broadening to South America (but has yet to find its way to any English-speaking territories).  

No God, No Master

Composed by Nuno Malo Varèse Sarabande / 2014 / 65m A crime thriller set on the Atlantic coast of America in the early 20th century, No God, No Master weaves its story around that of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a pair of Italian immigrant anarchists who were executed for their alleged part in a murder.  Many […]

Red Krokodil

Composed by Alexander Cimini Kronos Records / 2014 / 47m Red Krokodil is an Italian film placing the physical decline of a drug-addled man within the metaphorical setting of a post-apocalyptic, Chernobyl-like city.  It was directed by Domiziano Cristopharo and received a home video release in America in 2012.  

Tokarev

Composed by Laurent Eyquem Caldera Records / 2014 / 42m Tokarev (retitled Rage in America) is a revenge thriller starring Nicolas Cage as a man out to get those (in the Russian mafia) responsible for his daughter’s death.  It got pretty terrible reviews with many critics seemingly disappointed that it didn’t fall into the “so bad it’s good” category […]

The Liberator

Composed by Gustavo Dudamel Deutsche Grammophon / 2014 / 54m I’ve been thinking through what I consider to be the great achievements of my life – that time I assembled an Ikea wardrobe all by myself in just seven hours, or when I fixed the burglar alarm without needing to call out an electrician, or when […]

Wish I Was Here

Composed by Rob Simonsen Miles of Lions Records / 2014 / 21m Wish I Was Here is a Kickstarter-funded comedy drama written and directed by Zach Braff, in which he stars as an actor struggling to find purpose in his life – a purpose he finds when he is forced into home-schooling his two children.  

Field of Lost Shoes

Composed by Frederik Wiedmann La-La Land Records / 2014 / 73m Set during the American Civil War in 1864, Field of Lost Shoes tells the story of a group of young cadets suddenly thrust into the heat of battle at the Battle of New Market, during which a very small Confederate force (including the cadets) saw […]