Newest Major Reviews:.This Month's Most Popular Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
. 1. The Lego Batman Movie
2. Fifty Shades Darker
3. Hidden Figures
4. La La Land
5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
. . 1. Star Wars: Force Awakens
2. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
3. Titanic
4. Avatar
5. Nineteen Eighty-Four
6. Gladiator
7. Star Wars: A New Hope
8. Animal Farm
9. LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
10. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
. . 1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Fantastic Beasts/Find Them
3. Willow
4. The Ghost and the Darkness
5. An American Tail
Filmtracks On Cue


On Cue for December, 2005:





12/31/05 - Aeon Flux: (Graeme Revell) --All New Review-- "When a studio denies screenings for critics on a project as highly advertised as Aeon Flux, you know that something is wrong. A few notable exceptions have popped up over the years (Psycho being the best known), but for the most part, studios have little interest in treating critics to screenings of films that they know are downright awful. And while Aeon Flux may never be found in those "world's worst films" categories, it been thoroughly slapped around by those critics who went ahead and viewed it. One critic had the outstanding response of saying that the film is "as enjoyable as acid reflux." Based on the animated MTV series, the film's story is set 400 years in the future and tells us that the remaining 5 million or so people who have survived a terrible disease are confined to one city, and that city is controlled by one powerful family. Inevitably, of course, people want outside of the walls of the city, and a supertechno assassin is dispatched by these rebels to kill off the people holding their curiosity in check...." ** Read the entire review.

12/28/05 - The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D: (Robert Rodriguez/Graeme Revell/John Debney) --All New Review-- "Director Robert Rodriguez has an important decision to make about his career. Is he going to continue producing gripping, mature pictures such as El Mariachi and Sin City? Or is he going to let his apparent fetish for video game-inspired kiddie adventures with wannabe rock star pre-teens destroy his career? These Spy Kids types of films really are becoming a borderline form of fetish for Rodriguez, and his methodology of producing them often results in an awkward situation regarding the music for the pictures. To label it plainly: Rodriguez is an equal-opportunity employer when it comes to his scores. It is easy to accept the premise that Rodriguez prefers to write the primary themes for his films but does not have the time or expertise to flesh them out to the levels necessary for the finished product. There's nothing wrong with getting some assistance for the score-writing duties..." ** Read the entire review.

12/24/05 - Brokeback Mountain: (Gustavo Santaolalla) --All New Review-- "First published as a short story in The New Yorker in 1997, E. Annie Proulx's heartbreaking tale has been adapted with much acclaim by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana for Ang Lee's full, feature length film, Brokeback Mountain. The true mastery of the film in critics' viewpoint has been Lee's ability to tell the story with the kind of intimate focus on personal tragedy that keeps Brokeback Mountain from becoming a melodramatic farce or a stereotypical "gay cowboy" representation. Two male ranch hands unexpectedly discover their affection for each other as teens and immediately deny that their haphazard intercourse ever happened. As they marry and carry on with their lives over several years, they go on "fishing trips" that yield no fish, and the inevitable sadness of their predicament manifests itself when the wife of one of them finally confronts the men after witnessing them kiss. By the end, it's hard to know if everything we're seeing exists in flashback or as part of an imagined future..." *** Read the entire review.

12/22/05 - The Greatest Game Ever Played: (Brian Tyler) --All New Review-- "Not everyone thinks of a round of golf as the greatest game ever played, including George Carlin, who famously called for all the American golf courses (and cemeteries, of course) to be churned up and used for affordable, low cost housing. The participants of the also famous 1913 U.S. Open golf championship would hardly agree, for it is that sole event that occupies the entire story of Bill Paxton's The Greatest Game Ever Played. There couldn't be a further departure for Paxton from his last (and first) film, Frailty, with The Greatest Game Ever Played serving a very familiar process of presenting a feel-good sports story with a touch of history, romance, and, of course, the obligatory underdog plot. True to historical record, Francis Ouimet was an underpriviledged American amateur with a 10-year-old caddy who defeated renown British player Harry Vardon in the U.S. Open in 1913. Vardon is a likable character, having grown up in similar circumstances, and the only villain of the story is a newspaper owner..." *** Read the entire review.

12/19/05 - Stealth: (BT) --All New Review-- "Why bother? Really, the quality of director's Rob Cohen films must be contributing, in some minor form or another, to the gradual dumbing down of America. From XXX to The Fast and the Furious, and now with the ultra-dumb Stealth, there seems no purpose to these video game films other than to a) develop video games from them, and b) make lots of stuff blow up. Spectacularly unrealistic and frightfully illogical, W.D. Richter's script for Stealth actually tries to touch on an ethical debate contemplated in films since 2001. What happens if the ultra powerful and sleek new flying drone of the military is magically struck by lightning and given an intelligence of its own? And what then if it starts downloading songs from the Internet and destroying innocent targets? Only the guys who get off on a flyboy buzz will find anything redeeming in Stealth, and amid its scenes of exploding and crumbling skyscrapers or utterly ridiculous dialogue..." ** Read the entire review.

12/16/05 - Proof: (Stephen Warbeck) --All New Review-- "While it is very tempting to compare Proof, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn, to Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind from four years ago, the two films differ in that A Beautiful Mind was about a crazy mathematician whereas Proof is about the daughter of a crazy mathematician. Both films reflect the tortured tales of how the madness of the mathematician affects the family around him, and both handle dementia in an extremely intelligent fashion. Launched from its success on stage, Proof received some worthy critical responses on film, although many have said that some of the theatrical flare has been lost in the film version. Director John Madden has experienced success before, and it was his teaming with Gwyneth Paltrow and composer Stephen Warbeck that assisted his success with Shakespeare in Love, including some controversial Academy Awards. The comfortable relationship between director and composer has led to a score for Proof..." *** Read the entire review.

12/13/05 - The Chumscrubber: (James Horner) --All New Review-- "Black comedies about the pitfalls of American suburban life for the teenage crowd have experienced a renaissance in the last ten years, aided by the immensely popular mainstream hit, American Beauty. No film festival would be complete with several entries in this genre (convenient, of course, because of the low budgets required to make them), and a hyped favorite at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival was The Chumscrubber. A film lauded by debutant director Arie Posen and screenwriter Zac Stanford, The Chumscrubber is a look at life in Hillside, the shallow and medicated suburb of average Americana (in this genre of film, at least) in which parents don't care about their kids, the kids are hopelessly ingrained in drugs, and a character who defeats nasties with his detached head in a post-armageddon world of a video game both inspires the teens and the title of this film. The irony is that if you've never wandered about life in the drugged daze that these teens are experiencing, you'd never be able to relate..." ** Read the entire review.

12/11/05 - Jarhead: (Thomas Newman) --All New Review-- "It's been several years since the initial Hollywood films about the first Gulf War began putting the Los Angeles twist on America's endeavor in that time and place, though 2005's Jarhead comes from perhaps the most notable of circumstances thus far. Directed by American Beauty's Sam Mendes, Jarhead is based on the best-selling 2003 memoir of the same name by Anthony Swofford, who served a frustrating tour in the first Gulf War. While some groups may be inclined to lump this film in with the second Gulf War (and indeed, some of the problems and emotions that existed in 1991 still prevail in some pockets of the military in Iraq the second time around), the movie makes clear the difference between the short invasion that was 1991 and the prolonged occupation that is 2003 and beyond. The focus of Jarhead is an intensely personal one, and tells of the narrator's experiences as a 20-year-old sniper who spends his young adulthood preparing for war and is then obsolete by the time he actually arrives on the battlefield...." *** Read the entire review.

12/8/05 - The Brothers Grimm: (Dario Marianelli) --All New Review-- "Whenever you approach a Terry Gilliam film, whether you're a film reviewer, a soundtrack reviewer, or an everyday moviegoer, you have to expect yourself to be transported into a macabre world of fantasy where terrible things happen simply because they're funny and unexpected. There has been a significant time since Gilliam's last project, and while The Brothers Grimm showed much promise in its long evolution, the film will be placed like many of his other efforts on the back burner of cult status. Since working with Michael Kamen on Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Gilliam has rarely put forth much attention to the quality of the scores for his films, nor have those films really needed spectacular musical accompaniment. But the big screen interpretation of the fable for The Brothers Grimm proved to be an exception. To describe the plot of this tale would do too much injustice to the film..." ***** Read the entire review.

12/6/05 - The Fog: (Graeme Revell) --All New Review-- "When did it become cool and/or fiscally viable to remake John Carpenter's already suspect horror movies of the 1970's and 1980's? One that certainly didn't need a remake was The Fog, a 1980 film from Carpenter that depicts a small coastal town haunted by ghosts of a shipwreck that take their revenge by embodying themselves in a killer fog. In the somewhat faithful 2005 remake, that deadly condensation manages to cause spontaneous fires, attacks by killer seaweed, and the always popular demise of a character via uncontrolled garbage disposal. There is no amount of ridicule that can adequately describe just how hideous this remake is; without the stylistic ingenuity of Carpenter's direction, the new version of The Fog fails despite a significantly higher budget. Even Carpenter's involvement as a producer could not steer the film past its critical doom and box office floundering. This had to be one of the projects in which you knew the dismal outcome of the picture..." ** Read the entire review.

12/4/05 - Bee Season: (Peter Nashel) --All New Review-- "The greatest irony about the film adaptation of Bee Season is that most of the people who watch the trailers for the film and are unfamiliar with Myla Goldberg's 2000 best-selling novel on which it is based will have no idea what they're getting into when they watch it. Seemingly a story about how a family copes with its internal demons while its daughter becomes a spelling bee champion, Bee Season only uses these concrete story elements to tell a larger tale about religion. The film involves the Jewish concept of the Chosen People, capable of reaching the ear of God through letters via the ancient mystical practices of Kabbalah. Subplots in the film involve acts that are done in the name of Tikkun Olam (a Hebrew phrase that means "to repair the world") and spiritual journeys at a Hare Krishna temple. It is a dreary tale of self-exploration, almost in a documentary style, and even its scenes at the spelling bees, with hundreds of young hopefuls in attendance, are portrayed with a dull lack of enthusiasm..." ** Read the entire review.

12/1/05 - Oliver Twist: (Rachel Portman) --All New Review-- "Charles Dicken's first full novel was published in 1838, and as such, Oliver Twist is among the author's better known stories about early 19th-century London. It has been put onto the big screen several times, including most notably Sir David Lean's classic 1948 version and the Academy Award winning musical adaptation of the stage hit Oliver! in 1968. There are subthemes that not only connect the 2005 version by Roman Polanski to his previous film, The Pianist, but also to the director's own childhood. Polanski's intent in remaking Oliver Twist once again was to place an emphasis on the humor and eccentricities of the larger-than-life characters rather than get caught up in the doom and gloom of the destitute side of life in London at time. The usual score collaborator for Polanski, Wojciech Kilar, has taken a leave of absence from film music, which is unfortunate, given that Kilar's often dark sensibilities would seem to suit the Dickens story quite well...." **** Read the entire review.






Page created 12/30/05, updated 1/4/06. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publishing). Copyright © 2005-2006, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved. "Real Audio" logo and .ra are Copyright © 1996, Real Audio (www.realaudio.com). "Academy Awards" and the Oscar statue are ® AMPAS, 1996.