11 items from 2016
Your reaction to the horror thriller The Shallows (starring the beautiful Blake Lively) will depend on your overall relationship with shark movies. If you’re like me—secretly afraid of the water after a much-too-young viewing of Jaws—you’ll probably be on the edge of your seat and have an exhilarating experience. If you’re put to bed by these movies, you won’t be impressed by the latest in this now overdone genre. Because I avoid shark attack movies like the plague I’m not one to tell you how well The Shallows measures up against the others. But, on a standalone basis, I really have few bad things to say about The Shallows.
The talented Lively plays a fearless American tourist, Nancy, visiting Mexico to surf grieving the untimely death of her mother. Soon she finds herself marooned on a group of rocks 300 feet from the shore, »
- J Don Birnam
In the mood for a stay-cation this summer? Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows should change your mind if not. This is an isolated thriller with a swift and vicious bite, as Blake Lively squares off against an oceanic threat not a single one of us would fare any better against. Sure, the thought of Lively’s California sufer-babe facing off against a shark does require a smirk, but Anthony Jaswinski’s script makes for a tense aquatic thriller under Collet-Serra’s watchful eye. It’s the kind of movie that ruins a perfectly sandy paradise, turning crystal-blue waters into a blood-red depths – complete with jumps and screams aplenty.
Lively stars as Nancy, a distraught daughter/sister who is still grieving after cancer stole away her free-spirited mother. After “momentarily” ditching med school, she seeks out a secluded Mexican beach with intentions of surfing the same swells her mom once did. »
- Matt Donato
Most shark attacks occur in less than six feet of water. In many ways, that fact alone is scarier than just about anything in Jaume Collet-Serra’s “The Shallows” — unless you count the color of Blake Lively’s face, which some visual effects flunky inadvertently turned a seasick shade of green when digitally superimposing it onto surf double Isabella Nichols.
Like “The Deep” — the schlocky 1977 Peter Benchley adaptation immortalized by the sight of Jacqueline Bisset in a wet T-shirt — Collet-Serra’s more aptly named film recognizes that audiences tend to be a lot more interested in water-logged thrillers when there’s a pretty actress at stake. As the sexy alternative to the protagonists of “All Is Lost” (Robert Redford is too old) and “Life of Pi” (Suraj Sharma is too young), Lively plays Nancy, a med school student who faces off against a great white shark just a few yards from shore. »
- Peter Debruge
Some brilliant scores accompany movies that don't always deserve them. Here are 25 examples...
Can a film soundtrack rescue a movie that is otherwise a lost cause? One thing’s for sure: throughout the history of cinema, music has often been the redeeming feature of many an underwhelming movie. Here are 25 amazing film scores composed for films that, frankly, didn’t deserve them.
This somnambulistic three hour romantic drama should really feature an extra screen credit for star Brad Pitt’s fetishised blonde locks. Rising way above the torpid melodrama of the plot is one of Thomas Newman’s most hauntingly melodic and attractive scores, one that leaves his characteristic quirkiness at the door to paint a portrait of death that is both melancholy and hopeful. The spectacular 10-minute finale That Next Place remains one of Newman’s towering musical achievements.
Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, Sharknado, The Reef and Open Water. Just a sampling of the shark films that have been terrorizing audiences right out of the ocean and into a frenzied state for decades. Every year, the Discovery Channel hosts a week where fans can get their fill of fins, chum and the beautiful beasties. “Shark Week” has become mandatory watching every summer for shark enthusiasts.
Coming to cinemas on June 24, 2016 is the latest shark movie, The Shallows. Here’s a look at the teaser and poster for the film that’s being called, “Jaws for a new generation.”
In the taut thriller The Shallows, Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing alone on a secluded beach when she is attacked by a great white shark and stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills.
- Michelle McCue
Paramount Pictures’ newest version of the timeless classic is one of the most-anticipated movies of 2016.
Will be interesting to see how this film compares to the 1959 classic, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith and Haya Harareet. The nine-minute chariot race has become one of cinema’s most famous sequences, and the film score, composed and conducted by Miklós Rózsa, is the longest ever composed for a film and was highly influential on cinema for more than 15 years.
The 2016 version’s score is from composer Marco Beltrami.
Ben-hur is the epic story of »
- Michelle McCue
Diverse, awe-inspiring and memorable treasures that have sadly fallen off the radar
The noughties were a tough decade for film music fans. Not only was there the unprecedented loss of four great masters in the form of Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Michael Kamen and Basil Poledouris; the nature of the industry itself began to go through some seismic changes, not all of them for the better.
With the art of film scoring becoming ever more processed, driven increasingly by ghost writers, electronic augmentation and temp tracks, prospects looked bleak. However, this shouldn’t shield the fact that there were some blindingly brilliant scores composed during this period. Here’s but a small sampling of them.
At a certain point in “Gods of Egypt,” an extravagantly silly foray into Afroasiatic mythology from the director Alex Proyas, one wounded deity begs another to show him mercy — a futile request as far as his enemy is concerned, but one that may strike a more receptive chord with the compassionate viewer (which is to say, any viewer who would buy a ticket to “Gods of Egypt”). Since the film enters theaters already in its death throes — undone by toxic word of mouth, much criticism of its predominantly white cast, and an opening-weekend box office projection of about 10% of its $140 million production budget — perhaps a little kindness would not be misplaced. So here goes: This is by any measure a dreadful movie, a chintzy, CG-encrusted eyesore that oozes stupidity and self-indulgence from every pore. Yet damned if Proyas doesn’t put it all out there with a lunatic conviction you can’t help but admire, »
- Justin Chang
Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate
Wamg has your passes to the advance screening of the upcoming film, Gods Of Egypt.
Varèse Sarabande will release the Gods Of Egypt – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on February 26 and on CD March 25, 2016. The album features the original music composed by Marco Beltrami (the upcoming Ben Hur, The Hurt Locker, The Homesman, Snowpiercer and World War Z).
“The magnitude of score is beyond anything I have done before,” said Beltrami. “This two and half hour score is the biggest film score project I have ever undertaken, after all these years that it saying something. Just mixing it took over a month but it was all worth it as it is really fun to stretch my wings a bit.”
In this spectacular action-adventure inspired by the classic mythology of Egypt, the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek [Brenton Thwaites] undertakes a »
- Movie Geeks
The sensational, overlooked film scores from the years 1990 to 1999 that really are well worth digging out...
The movies went through tumultuous and exciting changes in the nineties. Quentin Tarantino exploded onto the scene with Reservoir Dogs, Generation X gave rise to slacker marvels like Clerks, and blockbusters like The Matrix put the awe back into special effects.
However, the 90s was also a sensational decade for film music, gifting us classics including the likes of Jurassic Park, Titanic, Total Recall, Braveheart and countless others. But the sheer quality of these soundtrack treasures shouldn’t overshadow those undervalued hidden gems that demonstrate the extraordinary range and versatility of our finest film composers, ones that may have passed you by. So here’s our selection of those incredible works: ranging from the earworming to the unsettling, the melodic to the chaotic, these are the scores that simply demand your attention. »
Far be it from me to disagree with our staff, but I would hard-pressed to name 30 films from 2015 that I would consider among the “best” of the year.
The same can’t be said for film music, though. As predictable as each superhero template or franchise reboot may have been this year, composers keep finding new ways to reinvent the sounds of the cinema. Not to mention that the ever-widening landscape of VOD and streaming service-produced projects has increased the room with which artists can flex their musical chops.
2015 was an embarrassment of movie score riches. In indie horror gem Bone Tomahawk, Jeff Herriott & S. Craig Zahler inject hope and despair into a bleak, cannibal-stricken Wild West, where feeling anything is better than the unflinching mortality facing its characters. Patrick Doyle’s warmhearted Cinderella continued Disney’s tradition of attaching amazing scores to frivolous live-action do-overs, while on the other end of the spectrum, »
- David Klein
11 items from 2016
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