Tag Archive: James Newton Howard

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

BB.5 (out of 5) J.K. Rowling exploits her fans for all they’re worth in this original screenplay based in the world of her megahit Harry Potter series, taking place decades before the action… Continue reading

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

BB.5 (out of 5) The nonsense continues in this conclusion to the trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins, which like many of the adventure sagas aimed at young people ends with far more… Continue reading

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

B (out of 5) The land of Panem is a dire place to be after our heroine Katniss has destroyed the Hunger Games, rendering the country just as humorless as it was before… Continue reading

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Green Lantern

BB.5 (out of 5) Ambitious, beautifully shot but ultimately flat entry in the superhero genre, with the always amiable Ryan Reynolds trying but failing to make much of an impression.  He plays a hotshot… Continue reading

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Larry Crowne

0.5 (out of 5) A film so disastrous it has to be seen to be believed.  Tom Hanks is a longtime employee at a Walmart-like store who is devastated when he gets fired due… Continue reading

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Nightcrawler

BBBBB (out of 5) It’s hard to make your career happen in an economic crisis, but when you are ambitious and not picky about the job category, the sky’s the limit on the… Continue reading

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The Green Hornet

BB.5 (out of 5) Seth Rogen attempts a different kind of superhero movie by injecting his loveable-loser brand of humour into the action genre, but with minimal results. Between his unintelligent script that… Continue reading

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Maleficent

BB.5 (out of 5) In an effort to present young female viewers with more than the unimaginative binary feminine personality around which fairy tales are built, usually in the form of the innocent… Continue reading

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Nanny McPhee Returns (Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang)

BBB.5 (out of 5) The fashion-challenged, frizzy-haired, homely nanny with the magical powers returns to set another group of children straight in this sweet sequel to the surprise 2005 hit.  Emma Thompson is once… Continue reading

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Defiance

BB (out of 5) A family of Jewish brothers see their friends and neighbours being carted off by Nazis in World War II Russia and decide not to sit around and wait for… Continue reading

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Blood Diamond

BBB (out of 5) For all the film has going for it, Blood Diamond should be an instant classic: a top-notch cast, gorgeous photography, a strong story, a proven director and an incredibly… Continue reading

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire

BB.5 (out of 5) Charmingly simple animation and some strong voice casting don’t make up for a serious lack of adventure in this Disney feature. Michael J. Fox provides the voice of Milo Thatch,… Continue reading

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The Prince Of Tides

BBB.5 (out of 5) Barbra Streisand shows, as with her other films as director, her incredible talent with directing actors while never being able to balance out uneven storylines.  Nick Nolte is excellent as a… Continue reading

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Big Trouble

BB (out of 5) Delayed after September 11th because it dealt with a terrorist bomb on an airplane, this film wouldn’t have been missed had it been left on the shelf forever. A… Continue reading

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The Village

B (out of 5) This chapter in M. Night Shyamalan’s trove of scary tales is one of the most pretentiously idiotic pieces of tripe that you’ll ever see. It takes place in the… Continue reading

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Signs

BBB.5 (out of 5) Farmer and former priest Mel Gibson is startled awake one morning to find mysteriously-shaped crop circles in the cornfields adjoining his house. He is further disturbed by news reports that… Continue reading

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Unbreakable

BB.5 (out of 5) M. Night Shyamalan must have thought the intensity in his previous classic thriller The Sixth Sense was the result of having everyone speak in a low hush from the depths… Continue reading

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The Sixth Sense

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Surprisingly creepy thriller about a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who is terrorized by his ability to see dead people walking around just as well as he sees the… Continue reading

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Falling Down

BB.5 (out of 5) Michael Douglas is stuck in traffic on a super hot day in L.A. and decides he’s mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Busting up after an… Continue reading

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Flatliners

BBB.5 (out of 5) Apparently medical school doesn’t keep you busy enough: a group of students find that taking themselves to the brink of death gives them insights to the great beyond. It… Continue reading

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Snow White And The Huntsman

B.5 (out of 5) I have no idea what is going on in this film: Charlize Theron plays a wicked sorceress who worries that her little stepdaughter will grow up to be prettier than… Continue reading

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Intersection

B (out of 5) In the middle of a possibly fatal car crash, Richard Gere contemplates the two women in his life, a sexless marriage to Sharon Stone and a loveless affair with Lolita Davidovich.… Continue reading

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

BB.5 (out of 5) The girl who survived the Shirley Jackson-meets-Mad Max spectacle of the first film is back in mundane rehash that barely passes for a sequel.  Jennifer Lawrence‘s Katniss finds herself… Continue reading

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America’s Sweethearts

B (out of 5) Flat, boring and completely unsympathetic romantic comedy that wastes the talent of everyone involved. Billy Crystal (who wrote and produced) plays a publicity director at a major Hollywood studio… Continue reading

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The Hunger Games

BBB.5 (out of 5) Deliverance and Westworld are combined for the teen set in this terrific adaptation of the popular novel by Suzanne Collins. It takes place in the chillingly not-so-distant future, where… Continue reading

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Junior

BBB.5 (out of 5) When genetic scientists Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito can’t get their anti-miscarriage drug approved by the national drug board, they decide to try it out on a test subject in order… Continue reading

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Dave

BBBB (out of 5) Delightful political comedy, featuring a brilliant screenplay by Gary Ross and intelligent direction by Ivan Reitman. When the President of the United States (Kevin Kline) is taken gravely ill… Continue reading

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Wildcats

BB.5 (out of 5) Goldie Hawn‘s bubbly personality is perfectly suited to this tolerable comedy, though the screenplay and direction aren’t nearly up to the par of Private Benjamin or Butterflies Are Free.… Continue reading

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Salt

BBBB (out of 5) A routine corporate office building in Washington, D.C. is actually the headquarters of an elite chapter of the C.I.A., one of whose employees is about to go home to… Continue reading

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Batman Begins

BBBB (out of 5) The winged rodent superhero is back, and he’s a sight for sore eyes in this dark, brooding and exciting adventure by Memento‘s Christopher Nolan. Giving us more insight into… Continue reading

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The Dark Knight

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Darker days ahead for a Gotham City that is so over with crime that cops are dressing up like the Caped Crusader in an effort to step up his… Continue reading

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Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion

BBB.5 (out of 5) Hilarious high school comedy has delightful, bubbly L.A. blondes Romy and Michele (Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow) get invited to their ten-year high school reunion in Tucson, Arizona. They ruminate… Continue reading

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Pretty Woman

BBB (out of 5) After you have finished enjoying the adorably plucky Julia Roberts, don’t you ever notice that you’re watching a romantic comedy where a man falls in love with his sex servant?… Continue reading

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Runaway Bride

B.5 (out of 5) Idiotic romantic comedy from Garry Marshall that makes his Pretty Woman seem like a graduate thesis. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere (reunited from the aforementioned romantic comedy after nine years) do extremely well… Continue reading

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Collateral

BBBB (out of 5) Jamie Foxx is excellent as a cab driver who drops off the beginning of a promising relationship in the form of Jada Pinkett Smith (who has never been more captivating) and… Continue reading

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Dinosaur

BB (out of 5) Among the worst fully-animated Disney films is this incredibly boring retread of every hero-fighting-the-odds-of-normality tale that takes place in the world of the great prehistoric lizards. The computer animation… Continue reading

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I Am Legend

BBB (out of 5) It has been three years since the entire world’s population of humans was virtually wiped out by a deadly virus, leaving immune scientist and soldier Will Smith alone on the… Continue reading

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The Trigger Effect

BB.5 (out of 5) Los Angeles succumbs to a complete power blackout and soon the city is plunged in disorder and crime. Many suburban residents keep themselves locked away at home, protecting themselves… Continue reading

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Stir Of Echoes

BBB.5 (out of 5) Unfairly compared to The Sixth Sense, this low-key murder mystery is crafty and intelligent, making up in plot twists and turns and brilliant character development for what it lacks… Continue reading

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Mad Money

B (out of 5) Diane Keaton plays an upper middle-class wife whose husband (Ted Danson) is downsized by the recession and spends months unable to get another job. Swimming in debt and in danger… Continue reading

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Hidalgo

BB.5 (out of 5) Inspired by the supposedly true story of Frank Hopkins (most historians can’t agree on just how much of it is fiction), the famous cowboy who witnessed the massacre at… Continue reading

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Restoration

BBB (out of 5) Robert Downey Jr. is excellent in this period version of Jerry Maguire, as a successful Renaissance court surgeon who hits rock bottom after seriously avoiding his true calling (he has… Continue reading

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The Emperor’s Club

BB (out of 5) Oh dear, Mr. Holland has written an essay about Dead Poets and said Goodbye to Mr. Chips before signing it To Sir With Love. There is absolutely not one… Continue reading

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Primal Fear

BBBB (out of 5) Excellent courtroom thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. When a prominent Chicago priest is murdered, a young Kentucky boy (Edward Norton) from the church’s orphanage… Continue reading

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Parkland

BB (out of 5) Released for the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and a more unimportant movie could not possibly have been made on the subject.  It covers… Continue reading

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An Eye For An Eye

B (out of 5) It’s rather unfortunate when an Oscar winning star and similarly feted director can come up with nothing better to occupy their time and talent than this bullshit TV movie fare. Sally… Continue reading

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Outbreak

BBBB (out of 5) When an adorable simian is brought to America from Africa illegally on a barge, it spreads a terrible virus in a small American town that kills residents and calls… Continue reading

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Snow Falling On Cedars

BB (out of 5) The most beautifully photographed film of the year next to American Beauty is unfortunately also the most vapid. Robert Richardson’s cinematography, Jeannine Oppewall’s production design and James Newton Howard’s… Continue reading

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Everybody’s All-American

BBB.5 (out of 5) This enjoyable drama centres around the loss of youth’s golden dreams in the wake of grown-up reality. Dennis Quaid plays a star college football player who sees nothing but glory… Continue reading

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