Thursday, 16 February 2012

Recent Films Reviews

I have been out and about recently watching various new films.

Firstly I got around to watching Amelie at Cornerhouse on Sunday 12 Feb. One of my friends absolutely adores this film and has been telling me to watch it for months. I will admit that I had severe reservations before watching as frankly, I find the poster for the film rather disturbing. Seriously, she looks weird! Look at her here That spoon could easily be an axe and it would not look out of place!

Anyway, the film itself was very enjoyable much to my surprise. I found it to be a mix of funny moments, slightly crazy people and bizarre situations. I am glad I finally listened to my friend and watched this film.

Second film was a freebie courtesy of The Times+ though I had to travel to the Showcase in Liverpool for the screening. Still, this film about a young boy searching for the lock or box that fits the key found amongst his dead Father's possessions is a film to melt your heart. You see the boy struggle to understand why his Father dies on 9/11, try to form a relationship with his Mother & meet a variety of people along the way. In the end the boy helps another person and in the process helps himself.

Woman in Black was the final film which sees Daniel Radcliffe in his first "post Potter" role. He does not disappoint in this film and at some points you almost expect him to pull out his wand and fight the evil spirit! There are parts too that can have you jumping out of your seat. Combining all that with a twisty end, that is both sad & happy, makes this a film worth watching.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Film Music of John Williams: 80th Birthday Celebration Review

Wonderful, an absolutely wonderful evening. To hear many familiar & loved theme tunes, along with some unknown, played out live was a fantastic experience.

The show started with my up-most favorite theme tune, Star Wars. To hear this memorable piece of music played in front of me and to be able to see the instruments played was so exciting, I could almost picture the open credits of the film.

The next music was not by Williams but Bernard Herrmann with the theme to Citizen Kane. Quite bizarre as this film has just been delivered to me by Lovefilm. I have heard the music before watching the film.

The Lord of The Rings blockbuster The Two Towers, another film I have not seen was next. I tried to read the book as a child and that was enough to put me off the series for life!.

The next theme was a chance to check if it was safe to go into the sea, that's right, it was Jaws. I always find myself looking around for a shark when I hear the opening bars of the music :-)

At this point I had decided that I really have missed out on some classic film music. Close Encounters was next in two parts, the theme and the music towards the end of the film, which I have been told involves a "spaceship".

Time for the Witches to take to the stage now with music from The Witches of Eastwick and the Dance of The Witches. And yes, this is another film i have not yet seen but I have added to my Lovefilm list.

Another blockbuster was next, a popular TV series from the 1960's that has spawned multiple films though the decades, given us fearless warriors like the Klingon's, the Borg Collective and boldly gone where no man has gone before. It was of course Star Trek.

We next went for a fly through the buildings of Manhattan as Superman takes Lois Lane on a trip. This was concluded with the theme tune. This also concluded the first half of the performance.

At the start of the second half we were introduced to a piece of music that Williams wrote for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Magic wands were waved and owl feather ruffled next as Hedwig's Theme from the First Harry Potter film was played. I have read the book but will admit to only watching the first four films.

Another of my all time favorite films was next and another unforgettable tune, Raiders of The Lost Ark.

It was then time to find yourself an eye patch and parrot as we took to the high seas in the 2nd of the Pirates of The Caribbean franchise. Can't say these films have ever appealed to me so this was yet another piece of music that I had never heard before.

"Hymn to the Fallen" from Saving Private Ryan was next and also the final piece of music that I was yet to hear.

Jurassic Park, Schindler's List & E.T concluded the performance.

During the concert my mind kept wandering back to the same thought, John Williams certainly knows how to capture the heart & meaning of a film or scene and put it into music. When the film called for a more serious note you can feel this in the music. Equally so, when the film was about adventure, i.e Raiders of the Lost Ark the music is upbeat and you feel a part of film.

On the advert used for this concert Williams is described as "the greatest living composer". After the two hours plus I spent listening to a catalogue I cannot disagree with this statement.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Film Music of John Williams: 80th Birthday Celebration Preview

I am really looking forward to this concert tonight. The Orchestra is the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Carl Davis.

Everyone knows a John Williams Theme tune. Tonight's performance will include the following films:

Star Wars (my favorite)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Magnificent Seven

and many more.

I really do hope that after the performance I have a very similar big smile on my face to the one I have now as I write this review.

Look out for my review in the next few days.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Descendants - Review

I went to the Odeon Cinema last night to watch the new George Clooney film, The Descendants.

Excellent performances all round from the cast in what is an enjoyable movie. A film about a Father who has an almost non-existent relationship with his two daughters. After an accident places his Wife in a coma it is up to Matt King (Clooney) to somehow connect with his kids and get them all through the traumatic situation.

Added to the event is the fact that is Wife was having an affair and was planning to leave him as well as his family Trust making a decision regarding a land sale that will net them millions.

The journey the family take as they try to make sense of their situation and find the family bond is a mix of tears & laughter and some absolute hilarity especially from the boyfriend Sid and the Father in Law Scott.

Will it win Oscars I am not sure but it is well worth a look if this is playing at your local cinema.