Tag Archives: film

My Thoughts on: The Music Room (1958)

Yesterday, for the first time in a while, I sat down and watched a movie from my collection. I’ve actually seen The Music Room before, but I hadn’t blogged about it, so today I decided to change that.

If you’ve never seen Indian cinema, then The Music Room (Jalsaghar) is a pretty good place to start. The film was directed by the legendary Satyajit Ray and was released in 1958. I believe the story is set sometime after India achieved its independence from the British Empire in the late 1940s, a time of great change for millions of people. But for Biswambhar Roy (Chhabi Biswas), the main character of the story, all of these things don’t concern him in the least. He’s a zamindar (landlord) from a noble family and he happily spends his days throwing parties and music recitals instead of managing his lands or his dwindling finances.

Biswambhar Roy’s financial difficulties, and indeed his decline throughout the story are set in direct contrast to the rise, well, the attempted rise, of Mahim Ganguli (Gangapada Bose), the son of a moneylender, who works and invests his way into great wealth by the end of the story. It is made painfully obvious that Mahim is attempting to buy his way into the polite society that Biswambhar Roy belongs to, thinking that money alone is all he needs to get in. But what Mahim fails to understand is that, in this society at least, money is not what makes one noble, but rather one’s background. That’s why, despite eventually being left with no money, Biswambhar Roy still receives more respect from the locals than Mahim can ever dream of getting.

However, don’t think that this is only a story about Mahim Ganguli rising where Biswambhar Roy falls. While that is a significant side plot, the crux of the story is with Roy and the end of life as he knows it. As I said at the beginning, Biswambhar Roy is obsessed with giving music recitals, indeed he’s obsessed with music in general (even his wife comments on it). And it’s this obsession that leads to the downfall of the family. Even though Biswambhar Roy is cautioned that the money is running out, the zamindar is determined to prove that he can still provide the entertainments traditionally expected of men of his status, especially if it shows up upstarts like Mahim Ganguli. This he does….but with tragic consequences that bring Roy’s world crashing down upon him in a scene of pure heartbreak.

Speaking of music, part of what makes The Music Room so notable is that the film highlights Indian music and Indian dance and incorporates both into the story. We are treated to several vocal performances from some of India’s greatest musicians of the time (I particularly highlight Begum Akhtar’s performance as the singer in the film’s first music sequence). The Music Room was the first film to do this and I feel it captures a perfect snapshot of Indian music and dance from that era. Indeed, if I ever found myself teaching a music class again, when the time came to discuss world music I would have my students watch this film because it highlights so much of Indian music so well.

Ultimately, The Music Room is a tragedy of the highest order. No matter how much Biswambhar Roy wishes it, the glory days of his family will never return and watching this man lose everything is a heartbreaking experience that will stick with you long after the credits roll.

Let me know what you think about The Music Room in the comments below and have a great day!

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My Thoughts on: Men (2022)

*Note: this review was originally published for subscribers on Patreon in May

*minor spoilers below*

Well, it was bound to happen sometime. After seeing over ten movies in theaters (so far) this year, I’ve finally seen a movie that completely disappointed me and that is Alex Garland’s Men

What really hurts about this is I was genuinely excited, if slightly nervous, about seeing this movie. I’ve been a fan of Garland’s directorial work since his debut with Ex Machina. I also saw Annihilation in theaters and I liked that film quite a bit (though Ex Machina remains his best work). Based on that history, it seemed reasonable to assume that I would enjoy Men to some degree as well.

Well….that didn’t happen.

The biggest issue is, I sat through the entire movie and I still can’t tell you what Men is supposed to be about. This didn’t bother me for most of the runtime, because I figured a last act twist was coming that would explain everything. Well, there were some last act twists all right, but they did absolutely nothing to explain what the BLEEP was going on in that movie. I don’t mind when movies don’t completely spell everything out for you (Garland’s first film Ex Machina is a prime example) but Men doesn’t come close to explaining what is happening or why.

An equally grievous fault is that Men is trying way too hard to be clever about its subject matter (whatever that is). It’s almost like Garland thought that by filling the movie with lewd, disgusting men who are *minor spoiler alert* ultimately defeated by a woman, that he would find a receptive audience. But, if anything, the male characters in this film were a complete turnoff for me. Perhaps if Garland had done a better job explaining what was going on in the story, it might have been more palatable. But as it is, we were subjected to a litany of offensive comments that at times had the audience commenting out loud about how offensive they were (especially when the priest character tried to justify the spousal abuse that the main character suffered). That moment disgusted me and in hindsight I probably should’ve walked out at that point.

For a time, it almost seemed like the film had an interesting premise going. It seemed to me that our heroine was encountering the manifestation of an ancient pagan god (depicted on an ancient basin used as a baptismal font in the village church) who was interested in acquiring a mate because, well, that’s what fertility gods do. But then, as I alluded to earlier, there was a last act twist that not only blew that theory to ribbons, it also completely confused me because it seemed to come completely out of left field.

I will say this much for the film: Rory Kinnear puts on the performance of a lifetime in this movie. I lost count of all the characters he played, but there’s such a wide variety it’s stunning to think that he pulled them all off himself. I also enjoyed Jesse Buckley’s performance as Harper, especially in the latter half of the film when the action starts ramping up.

The only other detail of this film that I thoroughly enjoyed was the music. As with Garland’s previous films, the music was composed by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow and it is superbly done. Indeed, had the music been not so good I don’t think I could’ve made it through the film.

I can’t in good conscience recommend going to see Men. It was overall a complete disappointment for me and it is far from Alex Garland’s best work.

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My Thoughts on: Jurassic World Dominion (2022)

After Jurassic World fell flat with me, I swore I would stay far away from the franchise, a decision that felt justified when Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom didn’t do all that great. And when Jurassic World: Dominion was announced, I didn’t feel particularly inclined to check the film out. But then I saw the news that Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern were reprising their roles as Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ian Malcolm and Dr. Ellie Sattler and I realized I couldn’t stay away this time.

Even though I hadn’t seen Fallen Kingdom, I simply had to see what happened when the heroes of the original Jurassic Park met up with the protagonists of Jurassic World. The result was completely and utterly glorious. I’m not sure what people are so upset about, I had a complete ball watching this movie.

Jurassic World: Dominion is set several years after the events of Fallen Kingdom and sees Owen and Claire raising Maisie off the grid, having formed a loving, if dysfunctional, family unit. At the same time, the world is trying to come to grips with the reality of humans living side by side with dinosaurs. Their lives are upended when Maisie, as well as Blue’s baby are both kidnapped, forcing our heroes to go on a continent hopping journey to get them both back. Meanwhile, Dr. Ellie Sattler is pursuing her own investigation, one that will eventually lead her to cross paths not only with Ian and Dr. Grant, but also Owen and Claire.

One of my favorite things about this movie is the sheer volume of Easter eggs scattered throughout the film. If you’ve seen all of the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movies, then you will see call-backs and references everywhere, some bigger than others. There’s even, to my surprise, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference to The Lost World that I didn’t even realize I’d seen until I checked the trivia for the movie. I like all of these callbacks though because it really made this movie feel like the grand conclusion to an epic, if occasionally flawed, saga. Honestly, if they made no more Jurassic World movies, I’d be happy with this being the final entry.

The one criticism of this movie I do agree with has to do with the film’s ultimate antagonist. And the reason I agree with this criticism is because it’s not the dinosaurs that are the big problem, which is what all the trailers led us to believe. No, it turns out the problem is something ELSE that humans created. Now, while I thoroughly believed this other thing was a viable threat, the fact is, if you watch a Jurassic World movie, you’re watching for the dinosaurs, bugs just aren’t going to cut it. I’m also really not a fan of when trailers make it seem that Thing A will be the big threat, only to introduce Thing B out of nowhere once you actually go to see the movie.

Back to what I loved about this movie: another thing I loved was the film’s frequent, and I mean FREQUENT citing of Jurassic Park’s iconic theme as created by John Williams. Just like the “Superman March” has a way of turning up in any story about Superman (excluding Man of Steel), it feels like an absolute requirement for the Jurassic Park theme to show up at some point and Michael Giacchino quotes this theme to great effect throughout the story.

I also, minor spoiler alert here, like how the action is more global in this film. Usually the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World films are largely confined to one specific area outside of the prologue or epilogue. This film though, moves through the United States, Malta, and Italy and it was a really nice change of pace for the story.

I also want to say that I really enjoyed how the various dinosaurs are realized throughout the film. They’ve come a long way since the original Jurassic Park. In line with how our understanding of dinosaurs has changed, we see many feathered dinosaurs throughout the story, though thankfully Rexy (the T-Rex from the original movie, yes she’s in this movie too) retains her original appearance. What I really liked is how not all of the dinosaurs are CGI, there are clearly animatronics being used in several places, though I don’t mean that as a criticism as they’re very well done. I just mean that it’s nice to see the movie used practical effects at times instead of digitally creating everything.

All of this is to say that I really enjoyed Jurassic World: Dominion, which was quite a pleasant experience for me as I really didn’t think I was going to when I went to the movie theater. This was a great way to tie the entire story together and I think if you give this film a chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Let me know what you think about Jurassic World: Dominion in the comments below and have a great day!

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My Thoughts on: The Bad Guys (2022)

*note: this review was originally published for subscribers on Patreon

If you’ve followed my writing for any length of time than you know I am a sucker for most animated films (with minor exceptions). Therefore, when I saw the trailer for The Bad Guys, I knew I had to check it out because it looked really cute.

And you know what? It is!!

The Bad Guys is one of my most favorite types of films to see in theaters: a cute family-friendly film that doesn’t require too much thought to understand and enjoy. The story is relatively simple: The Bad Guys are a criminal gang made up of a bunch of stereotypically “evil” animals: Mr. Snake, Ms. Tarantula (“Webs”), Mr. Shark, Mr. Pirahna and their leader the Big Bad Wolf. They pull heists all around the city with ease and seem to have it made….until Mr. Wolf decides to pull one last job that changes everything. Consequently, Mr. Wolf realizes that maybe he doesn’t want to be a “bad guy” for the rest of his life.

Despite being made for kids, there’s a great lesson to be learned in this movie. It’s a fairly obvious lesson: the movie practically screams “Don’t judge by outward appearances” for almost the entire length of the story but it’s a good lesson so I don’t really mind.

Actually, what really impresses me about this movie is the twist it manages to pull off. Fairly early in the story it’s obvious that a twist is coming. After all, since the Bad Guys are shown to be…well, not that bad, it made sense that someone or something else was going to be the big villain of the story. I *thought* I had the twist pegged. but boy was I proven wrong. What’s more, the actual villain of the story is kinda scary once they reveal themselves. Okay, maybe not really scary but….certainly demented.

Of all the members of The Bad Guys gang, I think I liked Ms. Tarantula, also referred to as Webs the best (and not just because she’s the only female member of the gang). She’s a really cool character (she’s a computer hacker) and I just really like her.

There’s not too much more to say about The Bad Guys. The animation is solid, the twists were only somewhat predictable, and there was actually a decent sized opening for a sequel that I wouldn’t mind seeing. 

If you get a chance to see The Bad Guys, I highly recommend it. It’s a fun little movie and a great way to relax for a little while.

That’s all I’ve got about The Bad Guys. Have you seen the film? Did you like it? Let me know what you thought in the comments below and have a great day!

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Soundtrack News: ‘Pleasure’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is Available Now

Milan Records has released PLEASURE (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SCORE) by musician, composer, arranger and producer Karl Frid. Karl Frid studied classical music at the Royal College of Music in London with trombone as his main instrument, before making a musical U-turn. He went to study Afro-Cuban music at the CNSEA in Havana, Cuba before finishing his studies in Afro-American music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Since then he has worked as a full time freelance musician, composer, arranger and producer. His vast knowledge in music ranges from classical and jazz to Latin, hip-hop and pop music.

Available everywhere now, the album includes a mix of both original vocal tracks and instrumentals composed by Frid for the Plattform Produktion / NEON drama, which follows an adult film actress as she navigates the industry in Los Angeles.

Working in close collaboration with writer and director Ninja Thyberg, Frid devised a score that vacillates between sacred opera and hardcore hip-hop, a dichotomy echoing the conflict at the heart of the protagonist’s journey. Frid enlisted Swedish soprano Caroline Gentele to perform on the album’s choral-based songs, and rapper-singer Mapei along with producer Ludvig Klint to write and record the soundtrack’s three original hip hop tracks, the resulting 16-track collection coalescing into a truly one-of-a-kind musical universe befitting the onscreen story.

Of the score, composer Karl Frid had the following to say:

“When I first saw a raw cut of Pleasure, I knew I had to do the score. The female gaze on the working conditions from within this huge industry that no one wishes to speak about, let alone even acknowledge the existence of, was as liberatingly upfront and honest as provoking. I aimed to arrive at a musical universe that was not judgmental or too revealing, a process made in close collaboration with director Ninja Thyberg. The mix of sacred opera, vocalized by Caroline Gentele, and the raw and heavy hip hop beats featuring Mapei, created an interesting juxtaposition – that of the main character’s perception of herself in contrast to how men and society see her. The making of the film and the score has been a long journey and I’m very excited to finally share this music with the rest of the world.” 

PLEASURE (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SCORE)

TRACKLISTING –

  1. Pleasure
  2. Confutatis
  3. Una Gioia Sempre Viva
  4. My First Porn
  5. Fata Viam Invenient
  6. Una Gioia (feat. Mapei)
  7. Kink Orgasm
  8. Voca Me Cum Benedictus
  9. Ignis Tartari
  10. Oro Supplex
  11. Hard to the Core (feat. Mapei)
  12. Dai
  13. Confutatis in D Minor
  14. Bella & Joy
  15. Good Girl / Bad Girl (feat. Mapei)
  16. Confutatis in C Minor

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My Thoughts on: The Northman (2022)

*note: there may be minor spoilers for The Northman below

*note: this review was originally published on Patreon for subscribers in April

There are a number of movies I’ve been excited for already this year and The Northman has been one of them for quite some time. I almost ignored this film until I saw the trailer and realized “Oh, this is the story of Hamlet, but with Vikings.” And it’s true! I read about this film and found out that The Northman is based on an old saga that did in fact eventually inspire the story of Hamlet centuries later.

In case you’re not familiar with Hamlet though, I’ll summarize what the film is about: The Northman is set in the 10th century and follows a Viking prince named Amleth who is spurred on to revenge after his uncle kills his father and seizes the throne, forcing him to flee for his life.  After being trained as a berserker by another group of Vikings, Amleth eventually discovers he is unable to avoid his fate and must pursue vengeance, no matter the cost.

One thing that will hit you straight away about The Northman is how beautiful it all is. The cinematography is exquisite throughout and all of the colors really pop on the screen. I was also struck by all the attention to detail scattered throughout this film: Eggers and his crew really did their homework when they put this story together. All of the details: the jewelry, the clothing, the artwork, and yes even the weapons, it all feels authentic, like something that would really have been found in that era. 

The acting is spot on too. Alexander Skarsgård absolutely nails the role of Amleth and Anya Taylor-Joy is delightful to watch as Olga. I particularly enjoyed the raw ferocity Alexander Skarsgård portrayed on the screen (the fight scenes he’s in are all amazing). Mix all of this in with the amazing musical score and The Northman is easily one of the best films to come out in the first half of 2022.

I also have to give a brief shout-out to all the locations explored in this movie, particularly Iceland where a big chunk of the movie is set. You might expect such barren locales not to be particularly interesting looking but it’s quite the opposite actually. The way Eggers frames each scene, particularly in Iceland, there’s a beauty to be found everywhere that I appreciated as the story went on.

I also have to say I enjoyed the role magic played in the story. And make no mistake, it’s made quite clear that there is magic at work. While certain story elements are attributed to spirits or gods when we (the audience) know it’s actually humans at work, there are other details that make it plain that something not of this Earth is getting involved. We’re never told exactly who or what this is. It could be straight up the Norse gods at work, or it could be pure spiritual power in general. But something otherworldly is moving in this story and the way it is presented is spine-tingling.

If there is one nitpick to make about this movie, it’s that your enjoyment of certain parts of the story may very depending on how well you know Norse mythology. There are multiple references made to Odin and Valhalla, and if you don’t know how those stories are put together (and the role Valkyries play in the mythology) then certain scenes in this movie won’t make much sense to you. However, I should emphasize that you don’t really have to fully understand the Norse mythology to get the movie as a whole, it just helps with some of the finer details if you do.

I can’t emphasize enough that The Northman is worth checking out. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of period dramas or not, this is a story about something everyone can understand: a son seeking vengeance. One thing is for sure, this is a movie you won’t forget any time soon and I’m so glad I went to see it.

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My Thoughts on: Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

*note: this review was originally published for subscribers on Patreon

Oh good lord, where to even start with this movie. I’ve had the better part of a week to think about my reaction to this movie and honestly I’m still struggling to put it into words. So if this review seems a bit more rambling than usual, I apologize for that. It’s just…Everything Everywhere All at Once isn’t your usual movie. It’s…different.

Really different.

Let’s start at the beginning and see if I can make sense of things from there. The plot of Everything Everywhere All at Once, in a nutshell, focuses on a woman named Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), whose laundromat is being audited by the IRS. But when she goes to the IRS office to have the audit done, a series of weird events start happening. Suddenly her husband isn’t her husband, he’s a different version of her husband from another universe. In fact, we find out there are a lot of parallel realities out there in the multiverse. It’s one of the things that makes this movie so dizzying at times, but in the best way possible. 

And why is Evelyn being contacted by an alternate reality? Well, I’ll keep it simple to avoid spoilers, but the gist is that an overwhelming evil is taking over reality one universe at a time and this particular version of Evelyn is the only one who can stop it. To do so, Evelyn will have to harness the power of the multiverse, unlocking abilities that her counterparts in other realities know how to do.

That summary above sounds like it might be pretty complete, but I promise you this is just scratching the surface of what the movie is about. The big thing to understand is that watching Everything Everywhere All at Once will seriously shift the way you think about reality, at least it did for me. There are some deep messages in this film about the ultimate meaning of life and what we can/should/choose to do with our time in this universe. 

On a more shallow level, there’s also a very touching story to be found between Evelyn and her father (played to perfection by James Hong) and between Evelyn and her daughter (Stephanie Hsu). The latter especially gives the performance of a lifetime and next to Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn is one of my favorite parts of the movie. Seriously, the acting performances that are put on in this film….to represent so many versions of the same person across multiple realities….that can’t possibly be easy to do and yet it’s made to look so easy! 

Everything Everywhere All at Once is easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year, and in the past few years if I’m honest. I’m certain new details will jump out to me in future rewatches and I highly encourage everyone to go watch this film if you get the chance.

I know this isn’t as long as reviews I usually do, but I feel like if I go too far into this film than I’ll spoil all of it, and really this is a film that can’t be explained, it must be experienced.

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My Thoughts on: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)

*note: this review was originally published for subscribers on Patreon

*warning: minor spoilers below for Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Of all the surprises of 2020 (the pleasant ones at least), Sonic the Hedgehog was the most unexpected. I went into that movie with very low expectations and was completely blown away. Consequently, with a larger universe being hinted at, I didn’t hesitate to go see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in theaters.

Picking up sometime after the events of the first film, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees the speedy blue hedgehog struggling to make a life in Green Hills with his adoptive family the Wachowskis. Sonic wants to be a hero, but Tom reassures him that the moment his powers are needed will find him eventually. The moment comes when Dr. Robotnik finds his way back to Earth….along with Knuckles the echidna, who has a long-standing grudge of his own against Sonic.

For the most part I enjoyed Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (though I viewed the film in less than ideal conditions, i.e. a noisy theater). As with the first film, Jim Carrey’s performance as Dr. Robotnik remained one of the best parts, though I think I liked his performance in the first film slightly more than this one. You really get a feel for how power hungry the mad doctor really is as the film goes on. It’s kind of frightening actually, especially when the film reaches the climax. On a related note, I absolutely loved how Stone went right back to fawning over Dr. Robotnik the instant he returned. Stone is that rare example of a henchman whose loyalty never waivers, even when it’s clear the villain does not care about them.

Idris Elba as Knuckles is my next favorite part of the movie. Knuckles is my new favorite character, even more than Sonic and Tails. Knuckles initially seems poised to be just as much as villain as Dr. Robotnik, but it turns out the echidna is far more complex than he first appears. I’m very excited to see what the spin-off series with Knuckles looks like. One thing is for sure, Idris Elba was the perfect casting choice for Knuckles, his voice fits the character perfectly.

Now, all that being said, this movie does have some significant flaws, ones that I could not ignore. While the main story with Sonic trying to beat Robotnik to the Master Emerald is pretty good, the side plot of the Wachowskis attending a wedding is just…well, it’s kinda dumb and it doesn’t really fit all that well with the rest of the story. But, for that matter….parts of Sonic’s story aren’t that good either. The pace of the story is very uneven and the side plot in Siberia….ugh. I feel like this story could’ve been better fleshed out, or more refined. 

At any rate, at least these bad moments don’t overwhelm the good parts of the film. One other good thing I can say about this film is that the animators have definitely nailed the ability to bring the video game characters to life. The animation on Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails all looks fantastic. And having Colleen O’Shaughnessey reprise her role as Tails in the films, well that’s just cool!

The last thing I want to mention is that the mid-credits scene is definitely worth waiting around for. While I didn’t think it was possible for the story of Sonic to grow any larger once Tails and Knuckles were introduced, this scene definitely proved me wrong. It absolutely sets up a plot for the third film, one that I’ll likely end up seeing in theaters too. All I’ll say is, if you know anything about the plots of the Sonic the Hedgehog games, then this mid-credits scene will make you scream!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is far from the perfect movie, but I did enjoy it. This series has continued to surprise me and I’m looking forward to rewatching this one.

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My Thoughts on: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

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My Thoughts on: Candyman (2021)

*note: this review was originally published for subscribers on Patreon

Candyman is a film that I originally intended to see in theaters last fall, but ultimately didn’t because I was suffering from severe burnout at the time. Even though I received the movie on blu-ray for Christmas, I still found I wasn’t ready to view the movie….until now that is.

Today, I finally sat down and watched Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, a direct sequel to the original 1992 film. While it’s been close to a year since I watched the original film, this one contains enough references to the original film that if you haven’t seen the original or haven’t seen it recently, it doesn’t hurt your experience with this film. I particularly appreciate the role, however small, that Helen Lyle (the protagonist of the original film) plays in the story. While she never appears in the flesh, her presence is very much felt throughout the film.

And what a film! Set in the modern day, the story follows artist Anthony McCoy as he discovers and delves into the legend of Candyman while seeking inspiration for his art. It seems like a great idea at first, but it quickly turns nightmarish for all involved, as it quickly becomes apparent that, even all these years later, Candyman is still very real (and just as deadly as ever).

I love how the story of Candyman is updated to even more better reflect the ongoing turmoil in our country involving racial tension. What was only hinted at in the original film (re: the inequality between communities) is now confronted almost head on in this one. I also like how the story of Candyman is expanded upon, past the original legend that’s cited in the first film. It doesn’t feel shoehorned in the least and in fact it feels like a very natural part of the story, almost an improvement if that makes sense. In fact, based on how the story ends, I’d almost say there’s room for a sequel.

Anthony’s story arc is particularly heartbreaking to watch, even more than Helen’s in the first film (and that’s saying something). Even though Anthony seems to have the best of intentions when investigating the legend of Candyman, it doesn’t take long for the story to corrupt everything it touches, ripping Anthony’s life apart. Though once he becomes aware of certain story details, I feel like Anthony almost becomes resigned to his fate, while I can’t help but think of how Helen resisted almost to the bitter end before finally inserting herself into the narrative on her own terms. Maybe I’m wrong and I’ll decide otherwise upon rewatch, but that’s how I feel after my initial viewing.

Now, no review from me would be complete without mentioning the film’s music. If you’ve seen the original Candyman, then you’re likely aware that film contains a magnificently haunting score from Philip Glass. Well, while the music for this film is composed by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, it’s clear to my ears that he took inspiration from the original score when putting this music together. And to my delight, when I watched the movie’s credits, it looks like the composer directly cited some of Philip Glass in the music too! If I had to choose, I’d say the original Candyman score is a hair better, but that’s really just nitpicking. The music in this film is beautiful and haunting and really helped to drive the horror in the story home.

Also, since it’s been a while since the film came out, I don’t see the harm in openly discussing the fact that Candyman doesn’t physically appear except in reflections for most of the movie. I understand the explanation that this is because Candyman has become weaker over time, but it also reminds me of a scene in the original movie where Helen sees video footage where she was confronted by Candyman, only no one can see him. This reminded me very much of that.

All of this is to say that this new Candyman was very much worth the wait and I enjoyed it immensely. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly encourage you to do so.

See also:

My Thoughts on: Candyman (1992)

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Soundtrack News: ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ Original Soundtrack Available Now

Decca Records have released the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Downton Abbey: A New Era, scored by composer John Lunn. The soundtrack retains the distinctive sweeping orchestration and title motifs from the Emmy Award-winning series whilst celebrating the story’s entrance to a new decade with 1930s swinging Jazz and embracing the glitz of early cinema.

Scottish composer John Lunn has received two Primetime Emmy Awards and two BAFTA nominations for his scores for Downton Abbey. Classically trained yet contemporary in attitude, he combines a highly intelligent and sensitive approach with a sound that always hits at the emotional heart of a piece. Other television work includes ITV/PBS’s Grantchester, The White Queen and The White Princess, Shetland, The Last Kingdom and To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters.

Of the new soundtrack, Lunn had the following to say:

 “I’ve been working on Downton Abbey now for over ten years, but this is the soundtrack that I’m probably most proud of. It’s been a joyous return to working with the director Simon Curtis, we had previously worked together on Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, and he seems to bring the best out of me. Along with reworking familiar and well-loved themes, the new storylines have opened up a whole new vista for me.”

Downton Abbey: A New Era Tracklist:

1.    A New Era (focus track)
2.    Kinema
3.    Côte D’Azur
4.    Guy
5.    All Aboard
6.    The Handsome Mr. Barber
7.    Crazy Rhythm (incl vocals by CHERISE)
8.    The Gambler
9.    Le Chapeau De Carson
10.  That I Do Remember
11.  First Draft
12.  Am I Blue (incl vocals by CHERISE)
13.  Then You’re In Luck
14.  Violet Mon Adorée
15.  Good News, Bad News
16.  The Last Farewell
17.  Cortege
18.  Next Generation
19.  Downton Abbey – The Suite

Will you be checking out the soundtrack for Downton Abbey: A New Era?

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