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James Newton Howard

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Top James Newton Howard Articles see all

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  • Film Review: 'Maleficent'

    Now almost midway through the year, 2014 seems unlikely to produce many more visually arresting, brilliantly designed, stoned-college-kid-friendly pieces of eye candy than Disney's "Maleficent." As for its revisionist take on the travails of the iconic "Sleeping Beauty" villainess, however, it falls far short of something an imaginative fan-fiction scribe, let alone obvious role models John Gardner or Gregory Maguire, might have crafted from the material. Uncertain of tone, and bearing visible scarring from what one imagines were multiple rewrites, the film fails to probe the psychology of its subject or set up a satisfying alternate history, but it sure is nice to look at for 97 minutes. Boasting an impressive and impeccably costumed Angelina Jolie in the title role, it ought to prove a solid global moneymaker and merchandise-minter for the Mouse House.
  • Review: 'Maleficent' ★★ 1/2

    Review: 'Maleficent' ★&#9733 1/2
    The formula works. It worked with "Wicked" on stage and it worked with "Frozen" on film — tilting the storytelling prism so that a new angle on a well-known fairy tale appears in the light. The strategy depends on humanizing characters formerly...

    Angelina Jolie is wickedly good in the not-quite-classic 'Maleficent'

    Angelina Jolie is wickedly good in the not-quite-classic 'Maleficent'
    In re-imagining the infamous evil queen who curses an innocent girl, "Maleficent" is very much a cautionary tale for modern times. It essentially begs the question — are you sure it was the shrew that needed taming? It stars a wickedly good...

    BMI Film/TV Kudofest Shows Journalist-Author Jon Burlingame Some Love

    On Wednesday night, the ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was filled with so many talented heavyweights and the power players behind them that Doreen Ringer-Ross, mistress of ceremonies at the BMI Film/TV Music Awards, referred to the assembled as "a...

    Film Review: 'Cut Bank'

    Watching an estimable quintet of character actors do their thing is the chief pleasure of "Cut Bank," a largely routine thriller dressed up as a quirky small-town morality play. The feature helming debut of Matt Shakman, a former child actor turned...