Name: The Witches
Running Time (minutes): 91
Description: A young boy, recently orphaned, is taken to England by his grandmother. At a hotel in which they are staying, a group of witches have gathered to prepare a plot to rid the world of all children.
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling and Jasen Fisher
Genres: Fantasy, Family, Horror
I have watched this film only once before, when I was 9 years old during the third year of primary school, and because our TV guide didn’t offer anything remotely interesting other than this (yet again), I decided to give it another go, purely for nostalgic purposes, and I was surprised to discover I actually remembered some bits and pieces of the dialogue, even though I couldn’t speak English back then.
Why is it that everyone always needs to sound so awfully artificial in children’s movies? Only Bruno’s parents were convincing. And I also hate totally unnecessary lines, like Luke going ‘I gotta get out of here.’ Then go! The foreign accents were kind of annoying too and why, oh why, did the Grand High Witch have to have a German accent? The film had some pacing problems here and there as well.
I didn’t remember anything about the score because back in those days, film scores completely passed me by. However problematic this film was, at least I’ll have a new score to listen to now. Unsurprisingly, it’s an orchestral adventure, like so many other scores written in the 90s. I especially liked the fact that lots of piccolos were used to underscore Luke’s first moments as a mouse.
The audio-describer had a bit of a London accent and sometimes described actions way before they happened, but at least she perfectly summarised the “openin'” credits, leaving the orchestral material virtually untouched.
Running Time (minutes): 115
Description: Medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences, hoping for insights. Each has their heart stopped and is revived. They begin having flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them. The experiences continue to intensify and they begin to be physically beaten by their visions as they try and go deeper into the death experience to find a cure.
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Julia Roberts
Genres: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Quite good. Only didn’t like the image of God at the end and the slightly too religious plot.
The score was very interesting and extremely engaging during the near-death experiences.
Name: Home Alone
Running Time (minutes): 103
Description: It is Christmas Time and the McAllister family is preparing for a vacation in Paris, France. But the youngest in the family, named Kevin, got into a scuffle with his older brother Buzz and was sent to his room, which is on the third floor of his house. Then, the next morning, while the rest of the family are in a rush to make it to the airport on time, they completely forget about Kevin who now has the house all to himself. Being home alone is fun for Kevin: having a pizza all to himself, jumping on his parents’ bed and making a mess. Then, Kevin discovers about 2 burglars, Harry and Marv, about to rob his house on Christmas eve. Kevin acts quickly by wiring his own house with makeshift booby traps to stop the burglars and to bring them to justice.
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Finally managed to watch this one after five years of peer pressure and it was well worth the wait. Fun movie, if a little sentimental sometimes. But after watching it a second time, it’s now clear to me that there’s a hidden narrative in this movie. This is a story about a family who can’t cope with having a highly gifted child, so they try and kill him without anyone noticing. The mother is clearly spearheading the entire operation: making sure everyone oversleeps etc., and when she ‘accidentally’ meets up with John Candy, she happily lets him ramble about his polkas and then he even tells her he once left his own child alone in a graveyard. They’re all psychos. I loved Kevin this time, except his badly formulated firecrackers line. And why did they have to turn off the movie right after the credits started on this TV station and delete the first five seconds of the beginning just to save time? Urgh!
But what a lovely score this movie has! I must say that, after having listened to Zimmer’s Batman trilogy, this score was THE perfect ‘antidote’. Finally an orchestra that was actually DOING something! The ‘Somewhere in my Memory’ orchestral versions made me shiver all over. Absolutely stunning carols too. I’m officially in Christmas mode!
Name: Presumed Innocent
Running Time (minutes): 127
Description: After his former girlfriend is killed and he becomes the prime suspect, D.A. Rusty Sabich goes on a search to find the real killer and finds out he/she may be closer to him than he thinks.
Stars: Harrison Ford, Raul Julia and Greta Scacchi
Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Not sure what I could write about this film. The main characters and actors are brilliant. Harrison Ford is of course amazing. I also don’t know who I liked better, Bonnie Bedelia (wife) or Greta Scacchi (lover). In the end, both were equally charismatic. The funny thing is that, very early on, I suddenly suspected how it was going to end. But then I was also sure I had it completely wrong and yet it turned out I had been right all along.
Even though John Williams wrote the score, I initially had some misgivings. The first cue sounded so… uncomplicated: how could such a simplistic theme be appropriate for this movie? But then, the story unfolded and of course Williams had completely nailed it again. The only negative remarks I can still give is that there’s a real lack of resemblance between the extremely adequate main theme and the optimistic music towards the ending. Also, Williams handled a sex scene in a way I wasn’t expecting and it didn’t really work for me.