Category Archives: Reviews


When I say buckle up and get ready for Flashover, I do really mean just that, because this is way more than your average disaster movie. You are in for the most exciting and exhilarating ride on this action-packed thriller.

Directed by Oxide Pang, Flashover, tells the story of a group of firefighters in a desperate battle for the lives of others and themselves amidst a large-scale disaster. Based on true events that happened in China, the movie stars Du Jiang , Wang Qianyuan  Tong Liya , Han Xue and many other talented cast members. Set in Guangchen, China, an earthquake triggers two massive explosions at a chemical plant. These two massive explosions obliterate the entire industrial area making it look like a war zone, there are numerous collapses, many casualties and a raging fire in a neighbouring school. Upon hearing about the disaster, Captain Zhao and his team immediately leave to the scene to assist with rescuing and the fire to prevent another burst nearing the effect of a nuclear explosion.

Among the chaos and fallen debris, the front-line firefighters must make their way through difficult and dangerous areas and heights while using their quick wits to rescue the wounded and combat the relentless and massive blaze. However, when you think things cannot get any worse – like all great action disaster movies it does rapidly. However, unlike other disaster films, this film captures the whole process of the life of a firefighter when duty calls. From their departure, to gearing up, tackling the raging fires, and rescuing the people who are affected by them, the movie explores and captures all these perfectly.

It analyses closely the intimate relationships, the firefighters have throughout and exploring the different hardships they face with each other, the film depicts friendship and strong bonds that surround the chaos. Flashover shows how seriously these firefighters take their jobs. The bravery and strength of each one being able to put everyone else above themselves is truly respectable. And when it comes down to the wire, they must also think on their feet and act swiftly because any delay could be disastrous. Think The Towering Inferno, Backdraft and Earthquake all rolled into one and you are maybe able to get an idea of the scale and feel of this movie. The production is paced well and contains peaks that are filled with an exciting and edge of the seat atmosphere What will happen next? How would they save this citizen this time? Will they make it out safely? Well, those questions will be answered when you finally sit down and watch the movie. There are scenes here that will touch upon so many different emotions, and you cannot fail to have anything but a deep sense of respect for the firefighters who in real life risk their own lives every day, not knowing what they are going to what they are walking into, but every time getting on with it and tackling anything that is thrown at them head on.

Although the film may have sections that are exaggerated in the time-honoured tradition of cinema, it still concentrates upon the core values of a firefighter. For a film such as this that is overflowing with action, tense moments and shocking sequences, the musical score had to be something special, and I am glad to say it is probably one of the best soundtracks around at this moment in time, like the action in the movie the music too is relentless, filled with a tense and nervous air alongside apprehensive and booming themes that carry the action along on a wave of thundering percussion, rasping brass and driving strings.


 Composer Anthony Chue has created a wall to wall, floor to ceiling work that just does not stop and creates an even greater feeling of tension and a driving somewhat virulent persona for the fire that refuses to relent. Like the movie is a combination of so many themes utilised in previous disaster films, the score also boasts rich thematic passages, lilting and melancholy interludes that are all framed by the ever present and non-stop action tracks which although are dramatic remain thematic. Zimmer meets Williams and Goldsmith combines with Horner in this highly recommended actioner soundtrack, not to be ignored, do so at your peril. Available on all digital platforms via Plaza Mayor.   

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Anthony Chue is best known for his music scores for films such as Bodies at Rest directed by Renny Harlin, Divergence directed by Benny Chan, and his recognizable themes in his scores for the Storm series Z-Storm, S-Storm, L-Storm etc directed by David Lam. He is known for his high energy adrenaline driven action scores that make good use of low brass, strings, and electronic sounds. His Best Score nominations include The Golden Horse – Men Suddenly in Black (2003), Divergence (2005), and Invisible Target (2007), and one at the Asian Film Awards, for Reign of Assassins (2010). He divides his time between Hong Kong, and Los Angeles, where he is represented by The Kaufman Agency.


A young Spanish composer who I think is superb is Oscar Martin Leanizburrutia, he has written so many beautiful film scores, each one having to it a rich and vibrant air and containing affecting and highly emotional compositions, his graceful and poignant musical touches are like wispy and light touches from a brush that is applying colour and texture to a blank canvas, the canvas being the movie in his case. His music has to it a celestial aura, a deeply spiritual ambience and a powerful persona that invades one’s heart and soul, staying with you long after you have finished listening to it. His most recent score is for the movie Libres. A documentary that explores the human being as a perfect balance between body, mind and soul. For centuries Spain has been the cradle of Contemplation. Free is a journey into the interior of man in which the filmmakers have achieved permission to enter and speak with people who rarely utter words and places that remain closed to the world: in monasteries. This say the filmmakers, is our opportunity to know what leads a person in the XXI century to decide to lock himself between four walls for the rest of his life. How is their day to day, their motivations, their link with pure nature and their outer life, which has a lot to do with the interior.        

The composer creating once again superbly original and striking thematic material, for the subject matter, never overpowering but at the same time being commanding, combining orchestral sounds with choir, and featuring a handful of heartfelt solo performances by violon, cello, guitar, and piano.

I challenge anyone not to be moved by this music, not since The Mission have, I felt this way about a film score. Libres is supremely affecting, and outstandingly theme lead. This is one for you, and everyone else who appreciates music that is delicate, uplifting, emotive, inspiring, stirring, and just stunning. It is a score that you will return to many times and is available on digital platforms.  


Set in the opening days of the second world war, the story for the movie 49th Parallel begins with a German U boat attacking and sinking allied shipping in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. After which the Germans then decide to try and evade capture or destruction by Canadian Naval forces by sailing up to what they see as the safety of Hudson Bay.  The submarines Captain is a fanatical Nazi, and without much thought decides to send some of his crew ashore to gather supplies at a remote Hudson Bay outpost. But as soon as the shore party reach dry land the U boat is sunk by Canadian forces, which leaves the shore party marooned in a foreign country.

The Nazi Lieutenant who oversees the party then starts to plan his crew’s return to Germany. But to do this they need to reach the United States which is still a Neutral country. As the Germans make their way to America, they encounter various people along the way, each of these it seems have their own views about the war and nationalism. The movie was a propaganda film and one which asked the question as to why America had not joined the allies in the fight against the Nazi’s. The film had an impressive cast with Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, Anton Walbrook, Raymond Massey, and Eric Porter. Directed by Michael Powell and written by Powell and Emerich Pressburger, and Rodney Ackland, it is without a doubt a classic movie and an important one in the history of British cinema.


The musical score was the work of the esteemed British compose Ralph Vaughan Williams, and his complete score for the movie has been released on a new re-recording performed by The BBC concert orchestra under the baton of Martin Yates, this is a recording that contains all the music that was written for the movie and is an impressive release from Dutton Epoch. It is a score that is not only dramatic, and rousing but also one that contains wonderfully patriotic sounding themes that are stirring and engaging and boasts beautifully written fully melodic pieces that add just the correct amount of romance and melancholy. This is a score that is so deserving of being referred to as iconic or classic. The BBC Concert orchestra once again display their professionalism and their talent with a performance that literally shines throughout, being flawless and beguiling.


Harold Fry is an ordinary man who has passed through life, living on the side lines, until he goes to post a letter one day…and just keeps walking.

That is the story of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which is a British drama film directed by Hettie Macdonald that is due for release this coming weekend. It is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Rachel Joyce, and stars two wonderful actors in key roles Jim Broadbent and Penelope Wilton.

The intimate and affecting musical score is by composer Ilan Eshkeri, who has fashioned a soundtrack that is totally in tune with the events of the storyline, the music accompanying and elevating the various events and underlining and supporting them throughout.  The soundtrack will be released tomorrow Friday 28th April on digital platforms via Movie Score Media the Swedish soundtrack specialist label. Eshkeri is an accomplished and in demand composer and has scored many motion pictures as well as working on scores for video games and TV productions, his credits include the epic score for Stardust, music for the BBC production’s A Perfect Planet, and Informer plusother titles such as The White Crow, Collide, Swallows and Amazons, Doctor Thorne, and so many more. I spoke to the composer about the movie and his score.


One of your latest projects is for ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. How did you become involved on the project and did the film makers have any specific requests regarding the score? 

This was a story that I really connected to, and I was lucky the film makers immediately connected with the music I wanted to write.  The music is all about Harold Fry’s internal journey and the motion of walking which helps the mind process thoughts and emotions.   The mental health aspect of the story was really important to me, and this music is a meditative and emotional journey.

The soundtrack will be released by Movie score Media on Friday 28th April. Will this be as a digital release only or will there be a CD release at some stage and are you involved in what music will be included on the release? 

The album will be available and digitally and CD on demand. I collaborated with the record label and the film makers to make  what I hope will be a great album that takes the listener on a journey.  This is an album you want to listen to whilst getting lost in your thoughts on a long walk.

How much music did you write for the film and is the entire score on the soundtrack release?   

The soundtrack is a little different to the music in the film I wanted to craft an album that worked as a standalone experience for the listener, but it has all the same melodies and heart as the film.

What size orchestra did you have for the score and is it a work that is a fusion of orchestral and electronic elements? 

The music is very intimate I performed piano and violin in many parts of the score, I then included string orchestra in some places.


Where was the score recorded? 

I recorded most of it in my home studio at the bottom of my garden.

Can I ask what is next for you? 

I am looking forward to a US tour of my show Space Station Earth which I am hoping to announce later this year.

The score for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, is certainly an absorbing and highly expressive one, the composer fashioning beautiful and highly emotive pieces that are a joy to listen to, it is a score that works beautifully within the movie but also has a life of its own away from the storyline and the images. The film is a powerful and emotional one that is made even more effective and affecting by the composers poignant and haunting music.

The score is not grand or overblown in any way whatsoever, it serves the story superbly, never overpowering but always supporting and is an important component of the movie that becomes the central characters drive and determination. This is a gem of a soundtrack, that I am confident will be returned to many times after the initial listen. Highly recommended.


Many thanks to the composer and his PA Nadine, also thanks to Mikael at Movie Score Media.……


A new independent American movie is released this month entitled When he Comes Back. The plot focuses upon Lucy who has been in Seattle for years now. Her Father lives in LA with his new fiancé, a woman Lucy can only call “that woman”. Lucy has been dating Leon for long enough to know that she isn’t sure. Still, they have become engaged, but as the marriage grows closer the one thing that could derail everything happens: Cary Mitchell returns to Seattle. Cary and Lucy got to know one another while they were both at the University of Washington. Lucy loved photography and Cary was a handsome model for her to practice on. During their time together, a romance seemed inevitable, but somehow, never happened. Instead, the years passed, and Lucy grew ever closer to Leon, originally a good friend of Cary’s before Cary eventually left Seattle and moved to Beijing. The story opens with Cary’s return and the discovery that he still doesn’t know his old friends have become engaged while he was away or does, he? Lucy and Leon pick Cary up at the airport and the three take a trip across Washington to visit Cary’s Uncle Bill in the country for a weekend of duck hunting and nature photography. Things start to get complicated when Lucy and Leon break the news of their engagement to Cary, who the audience quickly realize still has feelings for her. Things get even more complicated when Leon decides to force Lucy into sex while Cary sits in the next room, prompting a confrontation between Cary and Leon that results in a black eye for Leon. Over the coming day, it appears that everyone has said what they need to say and been able to put the past behind them, but the following morning, Leon is found unconscious in the mud by the rocks with a serious head wound.


The musical score for the movie is by composer Nicolas Errera, who has written a beautifully emotive soundtrack for the film, which accompanies the storyline and gives weight and even more passion and emotion to the performances from the central characters on screen. It is mostly a low key affair, but at the same time a powerful work, with piano being the core instrumentation of the soundtrack, the composer adding delicate and affecting nuances to the proceedings from the instrument and augmenting it with fragile sounding string support.

Slight and affecting tone poems are scattered throughout the work, and it is a charming and delightful listen, the music is available now on digital platforms, and I am hoping that there could be a compact disc release, but because this is an independent production, I am thinking that this might not happen. The music is a beautiful and enriching listening experience, a touching, poignant, and highly emotive, the composer creating wonderfully haunting pieces that I know you will return to so many times. Highly recommended.