Latest reviews of new albums:
A Cure for Wellness
  • Composed by Bejnamin Wallfisch
  • Milan / 2017 / 49m

A psychological horror directed by Gore Verbinski, A Cure For Wellness charts the strange goings-on at a Swiss rehab centre.  A box office bomb, it has received little praise except for its arresting visuals. 

Tulip Fever
  • Composed by Danny Elfman
  • Sony Classical / 2017 / 43m

Set in Amsterdam in the 17th century, Tulip Fever tells the story of a painter who falls in love with the married woman whose portrait he is commissioned to paint.  Filmed in the summer of 2014, the film’s release has been postponed numerous times, most recently just a week before its scheduled release in February. 

John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection
  • Composed by John Williams
  • Sony Classical / 2017 / 209m

When Steven Spielberg says that John Williams is the single most important collaborator of his career, he really means it.  And the reverse holds.  Jaws was their second film together and propelled both of them to the top of their professions; Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones, ET, Jurassic Park all followed – and plenty more.  Some people (let’s refer to these people as “morons”) may say that the best kind of film music is the kind you don’t notice.  Well, in terms of Hollywood blockbusters, you don’t find better film music than in those films, and boy do you notice it.  Williams’s contribution to Spielberg’s films is immeasurable.

Kong: Skull Island
  • Composed by Henry Jackman
  • WaterTower Music / 2017 / 57m

Twelve years after his last big-screen appearance, King Kong is back, with an “origin story” (everybody needs one of those these days).  Kong: Skull Island is set in the 1970s and stars Tom Hiddlestone, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and Brie Larson, as a government agency discovers an island with the giant ape in battle with the “skull crawlers” who have virtually wiped out his species.  Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts – who rather boldly cited Apocalypse Now and The Conversation as influences on the film – early reviews have been positive and, if nothing else, at least watching it won’t take up such a large portion of your life as Peter Jackson’s previous one.

The Game of Thrones Symphony
  • Composed by Ramin Djawadi
  • Silva Screen / 2017 / 69m

Highly lauded on its debut in 2011, HBO’s Game of Thrones has only got bigger and more popular as time has gone on, with its seventh season set to be shown this year.  Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the series features dragons, breasts, fights, people travelling long distances for reasons that elude me, colourful language and plenty more.  I’ve rarely had much of a clue of what’s going on, but have watched every episode.

The Lego Batman Movie

Composed by Lorne Balfe WaterTower Music / 2017 / 94m (score 54m) The Lego Movie was so successful back in 2014 that further instalments were inevitable.  Batman appeared briefly in it and now gets his own spinoff, featuring all the characters you’d expect, lots of wit and frenetic energy and pop culture references galore. 

Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass

Composed by Christopher Wong MovieScore Media / 2016 / 40m A successful film in its native Vietnam, Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass tells the story of two young brothers whose close relationship begins to break apart when a girl arrives on the scene.  Based on Nguyễn Nhật Ánh’s novel and directed by Victor Vũ, […]

The Great Wall

Composed by Ramin Djawadi Milan / 2017 / 66m All the way from China and starring one of the country’s most popular stars Matt Damon, The Great Wall is a monster movie set in the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago, events previously filmed in the tv series Dynasty starring John Forsythe and Linda Evans.  […]

The Space Between Us

Composed by Andrew Lockington Sony Masterworks / 2017 / 75m Asa Butterfield stars in The Space Between Us as the first human born on Mars.  He’s now 16 and has been in the very small colony all his life – and he would like to go to Earth, in particular to meet a girl he’s struck […]

Gold

Composed by Daniel Pemberton BMG / 2017 / 50m Gold is a modern twist on an old-fashioned adventure movie style starring Matthew McConaughey going off to find fortune by mining for gold in Borneo.  It’s loosely based on a real life scandal involving the Canadian Bre-X company in 1993 (look it up if you’re interested – […]

A Dog’s Purpose

Composed by Rachel Portman Back Lot Music / 2017 / 47m Lasse Hallström appears to be the go-to guy when it comes to films about dogs (he does, after all, share his name with the most famous Hollywood dog of all) and his latest canine escapade is A Dog’s Purpose, based on W. Bruce Cameron’s […]

Jackie

Composed by Mica Levi Milan / 2016 / 34m Natalie Portman gives what is generally considered to be one of her finest performances as Jackie Kennedy in Pablo Larrain’s acclaimed Jackie, which covers her time in the White House and then in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination.  She was a complex person, with a […]

Lion

Composed by Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschke Sony Classical / 2016 / 49m An Awards-friendly film if ever there was one, Lion tells the true story of a man who – as a five-year-old boy in India – lost his brother, stayed on a train to faraway Calcutta, got taken into an orphanage and ultimately adopted […]

Moonlight

Composed by Nicholas Britell Lakeshore / 2016 / 38m Written and directed by Barry Jenkins based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, Moonlight tells the tragic story of a drug-infested life.  In three parts, it follows Chiron as a young boy, a teenager and then an adult.  Attracting near-universal acclaim, the low-budget film has received eight […]

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 […]