Name: Catch Me If You Can
Running Time (minutes): 141
Description: An FBI agent tracks down and catches a young con artist who successfully impersonated an airline pilot, doctor, assistant attorney general and history professor, cashing more than $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in 26 countries.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken
I had already watched this one years ago, but hardly remembered any of it. Nice film, but at times a little disjointed and too fast-paced. The only really problematic aspect was the parents: I just don’t really understand the character of his dad and particularly his mum, and I certainly don’t get why Brenda’s father apparently thinks it’s totally cool that his girl marries a shady character when that girl was banished from the house for years. Then Tom Hanks briefly mentions Frank’s dad is dead, his mum just has another child without telling him anything about it… That’s just strange. The score is great. I just love that ‘Joy Ride’ theme so much.
Running Time (minutes): 106
Description: When their daughter is abducted and taken for ransom by a gang of serial kidnappers, a young doctor and his wife find themselves held hostage while a 24-hour plan to extort their money is set into motion. Now, with time running out and the health of their asthmatic daughter at serious risk, they find themselves in a life-and-death race against the clock as the “perfect crime” begins spiraling towards an unthinkable, terrifying and deadly conclusion.
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron and Courtney Love
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Excellent too. As usual with an Ottman score, I only liked little bits and pieces.
Name: Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones
Running Time (minutes): 142
Description: Ten years after the ‘Phantom Menace’ threatened the planet Naboo, Padmé Amidala is now a Senator representing her homeworld. A faction of political separatists, led by Count Dooku, attempts to assassinate her. There aren’t enough Jedi to defend the Republic against the threat, so Chancellor Palpatine enlists the aid of Jango Fett, who promises that his army of clones will handle the situation. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi continues to train the young Jedi Anakin Skywalker, who fears that the Jedi code will forbid his growing romance with Amidala.
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
I still don’t like Jarjar. Die he must. But how can I hate him when Hayden Christensen is in this film? Was he the only one who wanted to play Anakin or did he threaten the director in his own house, or…? Any explanation would be illuminating. Seriously, what he did isn’t even called acting! Padme isn’t bad. Christopher Lee was as good as always.
The parallells with the original trilogy are beginning to come across as ludicrous. Another droid battle, another lightsaber battle, another bad guy who flees into space, another bad guy who chops off a good guy’s arm… Been there, done that. I understand that the visual aspect is important here, but to me it’s just lame story-telling. Granted, Yoda fighting was good. I also liked how Shmi’s death affected Anakin and at least she did play well. Yoda is of couse still great, as is C3-PO.
And the score… To say that the love theme is gorgeous doesn’t even do it justice. No word can describe such musical beauty and its two sections have an excellent purpose: one for the romance, another for the impossibility of it. I liked how some of the music resembled the Quidditch and library music from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and how there even was an unintentional statement of the Game of Thrones main theme.
Name: The Lord Of The Rings 2: The Two Towers
Running Time (minutes): 179
Description: Sauron’s forces increase. His allies grow. The Ringwraiths return in an even more frightening form. Saruman’s army of Uruk Hai is ready to launch an assault against Aragorn and the people of Rohan. Yet, the Fellowship is broken and Boromir is dead. For the little hope that is left, Frodo and Sam march on into Mordor, unprotected. A number of new allies join with Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Pippin and Merry. And they must defend Rohan and attack Isengard. Yet, while all this is going on, Sauron’s troops mass toward the City of Gondor, for the War of the Ring is about to begin.
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Viggo Mortensen
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama
The ads started in the middle of The Last March of the Ents. Treebeard would not approve! Great film, though I still don’t like Arwen. Saruman was very enjoyable, on the other hand, even more because he stopped singing.
I just LOVE what Shore does in the track called Glamdring on the Complete Recordings at at 03:07-10. For me, that’s the best portrayal of Gandalf’s sheer power in the entire saga. So magical. The score is great again, if a little less exciting. Still find it unfortunate the Nazgul music received different variations and I really don’t like that woman who sings Gollum’s song. Way better end credits suite, though.
The surround sound dynamics were a lot better in this one and the distortion was minimal. There were issues with the volume of the music, though: loud sound effects made it go quieter, but then there were moments where the choir was so overwhelmingly loud that it was almost comical (when Gandalf shows up for the first time, for instance).
Name: Harry Potter 2-Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
Running Time (minutes): 161
Description: Forced to spend his summer holidays with his muggle relations, Harry Potter gets a real shock when he gets a surprise visitor: Dobby the house-elf, who warns Harry Potter against returning to Hogwarts, for terrible things are going to happen. Harry decides to ignore Dobby’s warning and continues with his pre-arranged schedule. But at Hogwarts, strange and terrible things are indeed happening: Harry is suddenly hearing mysterious voices from inside the walls, muggle-born students are being attacked, and a message scrawled on the wall in blood puts everyone on his/her guard – “The Chamber Of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies Of The Heir, Beware”.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
I still like Columbus’s approach. Yes, it’s faithful to the book, but the pacing is perfect. Two things though: the amount of time Harry and Ron spend crying ‘AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHHHH!’ like demented maniacs really is over the top. Just stop already. Also, was Lucius really going to kill Harry? And I won’t talk about the cheesy ending…
I’m still re-discovering bits of score, especially towards the ending. The variation on Harry’s Family theme when he brings flowers to Hermione is so moving. Also loved the Hedwig’s Theme rendition in the final Harry-Lucius scene. Also like how the three-note loop just becomes a symbol of evil in general. Pity Williams dropped it afterwards. I still don’t understand the approach/thinking behind Myrtle’s theme, though. But the finale is amazing!
Name: Far From Heaven
Rating: Made For TV
Running Time (minutes): 107
Description: In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.
Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert
Genre: Drama, Romance
How many things can go wrong with a romantic drama starring Julianne Moore? I was always going to like this one, I suppose, but hadn’t expected it to be so moving, emotional and sad. I really enjoyed it, especialy after all the crap I’ve been watching lately. My only negative remark is that Moore was at times perhaps a little bit too gushing, too frantic, too desperate, but then again, it was probably part of the act.
This was also my first Elmer Bernstein score and it was gorgeous! There was me thinking no one could beat Patrick Doyle at writing lush, romantic scores. This one was absolutely stunning and heartbreaking.