Newest Major Reviews:.This Month's Most Popular Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
. 1. Transformers: Last Knight
2. Cars 3
3. The Mummy
4. Wonder Woman
5. POTC: Dead Men Tell No Tales
. . 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 February, 2006:





2/26/06 - Sense and Sensibility: (Patrick Doyle) --Expanded Review-- "Looking back at the early to mid-1990's, the age seemed ripe for Jane Austin dramas. The big costume period-piece flair for dramatics was experiencing a renaissance at the time, not restricted only to the adaptations of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility. With Hollywood stuck in eighteenth-century England for much of the decade, it's no surprise that Sense and Sensibility was such a success with both critics and awards nominators. The film does have merit; it was a surprisingly good adaptation of the Austin story by lead actress Emma Thompson herself, and the supporting cast led by Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman (in a charmingly rare gentleman's performance) counterbalanced the on-cue bumbling of Hugh Grant. For detractors of the kind of ridiculous structure of society resurrected in these Austin tales, Sense and Sensibility is an insipid bore, with the sort of mindbogglingly trivial romance of the era that indeed nearly ruins the larger, overarching themes of the maturing process..." **** Read the entire review.

2/23/06 - Hamlet (1996): (Patrick Doyle) --Expanded Review-- "While directing Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, and co-starring in Othello, actor/screenwriter/director Kenneth Branagh had always dreamt of bringing an ultimate version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet to the big screen. Through history, actors such as John Gielgud, Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, and Mel Gibson had appeared in the title role, and Branagh was prepared to tackle the role with all the authenticity that the original story conveyed. Unlike the other interpretations of the story, Branagh's Hamlet would feature every word of dialogue from the play, causing a massive running time of over four hours that would necessitate an intermission. Despite this length, Branagh's idea worked, with the film providing a much more rounded and understandable tapestry than shorter interpretations. Also of note is that Branagh doesn't force the story to brood in despair, allowing for the more positive moments to shine clearly. Reception of the film by audiences was cool if only because of the huge running time..." *** Read the entire review.

2/20/06 - Arsène Lupin: (Debbie Wiseman) --All New Review-- "Despite his anonymity in the United States, Arsène Lupin is a well-known character in Europe. Author Maurice Leblanc created Lupin in a series of twenty novels nearly a century ago, and his popularity since has extended to various television series, film adaptations, and an anime series about Lupin's grandson in Japan. The character is a gentleman thief who serves as France's combination of Batman, Indiana Jones, and James Bond. A rogue trained by his father as a master of disguise and aristocratic manners, he (unlike his father) vows not to kill anyone no matter the circumstances. Falling in love and falling into involvement with perpetual plans of scheming royalists to re-establish the French Monarchy, Lupin leads a life of intrigue and extraordinary beauty in a Gothic environment of shades of black. This 2004 adaptation produced by the U.K., Italy, and France, was directed by Jean-Paul Salomé and released initially in France before opening across the world in 2005...." ***** Read the entire review.

2/17/06 - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: (Howard Shore) --Updated Review-- "With the vast success of the entire Peter Jackson trilogy and the inevitable extended cuts of the films on DVD, a better treatment than the original score albums for each of the three The Lord of the Rings films has been in the works for a while. The original albums contained significantly edited and rearranged snippets of score that often made little sense when compared to what was heard in the films, though this editing was necessary to give fans what essentially amounted to a "best of" album for each film. But those edits didn't have the luxury of choosing to include supplemental material that Shore wrote after the theatrical releases to accommodate Jackson's longer DVD cuts. Four years later, the first of the expanded CD releases hits commercial store shelves for a whopping $50 (or more), causing fans of the trilogy to salivate in anticipation. Of all three films, it could be argued that The Fellowship of the Ring was the most mistreated by its original album edit..." ***** Read the entire review.

2/14/06 - Fateless: (Ennio Morricone) --All New Review-- "Based on the 1975 autobiographical novel by Imre Kertesz, and adapted to the screen by the Nobel Prize-winner himself, Fateless is an impressionistic telling of one teenage boy's experiences in Hitler's death camps, and his equally alienating experiences after liberation. It is the directorial debut for cinematographer Lajos Koltai, who applies his keen sense of disturbing beauty into a film that for the most part avoids the representations of evil common to movie perceptions about the Final Solution, instead treating the villains of the story as bystanders to the boy's internal turmoil. Although uplifting in the fact that the boy obviously survives several camps, Fateless is still a largely somber and horrific portrayal of a kid whose soul has been stolen and turns away several opportunities at emotional redemption. Kertesz was ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with veteran composer Ennio Morricone, whose career in Italy since receding from the American spotlight has hardly missed a beat...." **** Read the entire review.

2/11/06 - The Constant Gardener: (Alberto Iglesias) --All New Review-- "Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles brings one of John Le Carre's most angry novels to life in The Constant Gardener, a tale with all the fragmented clues of a usual Le Carre story but with a vicious side of distrust against the pharmaceutical industry. A murder mystery and possible love triangle is a front in The Constant Gardener for a larger commentary about the actions of drug companies that test products on people in Africa without much respect for their lives. The setting here is Kenya, the drugs are HIV related, and the characters are a British diplomat and a medical activist who marry without really getting to know one another first. When the activist is killed at a roadblock, her husband searches the lurid and confusing cues with relentless focus, attempting to determine exactly why she had been killed (and learning more than he probably wanted to know in the first place). The film was critically praised almost across the board..." ** Read the entire review.

2/8/06 - Sahara: (Clint Mansell) --All New Review-- "The character of Dirk Pitt has come a long way on the big screen in the last 25 years, but not necessarily in the same way you'd think of other famous characters' progressions. When last we saw Dirk Pitt in an action/adventure film like Sahara was in 1980, when the character was played by Richard Jordan in the outrageously expensive Raise the Titanic. In 2005, we get to see the character dumbed down to Matthew McConaughey levels in Saraha, a project which caused original writer Clive Cussler to throw tantrums about its adaptations. To have perfectly adapted his novel to the screen, a running time of four hours would have been required, but that didn't stop Cussler from rejecting several drafts of the script (which was as painstakingly loyal as possible) before he eventually went ahead and sued Paramount over the final draft that was shot for the theatres. Perhaps audiences should have sued Cussler..." **** Read the entire review.

2/5/06 - Valiant: (George Fenton) --Updated Review-- "A digitally animated British film from Vanguard Studios, Valiant was co-produced by the producer of Shrek and is aimed at British audiences with its all-British cast and stubborn English humor. It's the United Kingdom's attempt to capture the same enthusiasm (and box office) as Aardman Animation's Chicken Run of several years ago, and there's just enough humor aimed at Americans in Valiant to make the film viable for an international audience as well. It's a hard stretch to say that the film is very loosely based on real events given that the story involves a patriotic pigeon who decides to go to war for King and country in the Royal Homing Pigeon Service during World War II. But the British military actually gave medals for bravery to carrier pigeons at the time, so one could conceivably say that the story is partly based on true events. All joking aside, the film's animation is adequate, and the voices of everyone from Ewan McGregor to John Cleese bless the variety of pigeons and other birds on screen..." *** Read the entire review.






Page created 3/7/06, updated 3/8/06. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publishing). Copyright © 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.