Categories
music

The Way by Zack Hemsey

The music of Zack Hemsey has found its way into some high profile trailers over the last year and his latest album is called The Way.

Perhaps most famous for his track Mind Heist, which was used in the third and final trailer for Inception (2010), other pieces have featured in trailers for Robin Hood (2010) and The Town (2010).

In fact the trailer for the Ben Affleck crime drama was given a considerable lift by the track Redemption, which features on The Way.

If you liked Mind Heist, then you’ll probably did the rest of the tracks, which feature plenty of epic sounding compositions that make great use of strings and beats.

You can listen to all the the tracks below and buy them from his official website here.

Zack Hemsey’s official site (the album section is here)
Hemsey’s offficial YouTube channel & Blog
Profile of Zack Hemsey
> Listen to several different versions of Mind Heist (the track from the Inception trailer)

Categories
Behind The Scenes Interesting music

Zack Hemsey Profile

The Soundworks Collection have done a profile of composer Zack Hemsey.

Most people will have heard his track Mind Heist, which was used in the third and final trailer for Inception (2010).

You might also recognise his music from the trailers for Robin Hood (2010) and The Town (2010).

A New Jersey native, he currently resides in Lake Carmel where he has a home studio.

He describes how he got into music; his influences; and composing, recording and mixing on Logic Pro.

An independent artist, his discography and credits include the following:

Studio albums

Singles

Studio albums (under Nine Leaves)

  • Nine Leaves (2006)
  • Peace In Death (2008)

Film trailers

  • “Redemption” from The Town (2010)
  • “Mind Heist”, “Simple Idea” and “True Potential” from Inception (2010)
  • “Character” from Robin Hood (2010)
  • “Changeling” from Trust (2011)

Television

  • “Sanguine Love” and “Second Chances” from CSI: NY (2009-2010)
  • “Cinderella” from The Cleaner (2009)
  • “Cougar Island” from Hunter Hunted (2007)

Commercials

  • “Moonlight” Chrysler 300
  • “Time Lapse” Taylormade
  • “Count The Ways” Firestone
  • “Sword” Smirnoff
  • “Sweater” Eucerin
  • “Queen Latifah” Jenny Craig
  • “Dizzy” US Cellular
  • “Touche” / “Blink” Kit Kat
  • “Inspired Design” Callaway
  • “Water Balloon” / “Vacation” Enablex
  • “Last Cigarette” Quitters
  • “Resolution” Special K
  • “Train” iShares
  • “Fire Nation Unleashed” Avatar
  • “Parking” GM

> Zack Hemsey’s official site (the album section is here)
> Hemsey’s offficial YouTube channel & Blog
> Soundworks Collection

Categories
DVD & Blu-ray

DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 31st January 2011

DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

Winter’s Bone (Artificial Eye): An acclaimed US indie drama set in the Ozarks (the rural area covering Arkansas and Missouri) about a young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) determined to find out what happened to her missing father whilst struggling to support her family.

Co-written and directed by Debra Granik, it was one of the genuine indie breakout hits of the past year and manages to skilfully combine the tropes of a serious drama within the framework of a thriller.

> Read our full review of Winter’s Bone
> Buy Winter’s Bone on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK

The Town (Warner Home Video): Crime drama set in Boston about a bank robber (Ben Affleck) who falls in love with a woman (Rebecca Hall) his gang have kidnapped. Affleck also directs and the film features Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm in supporting roles.

Ben Affleck’s second film as director is a satisfyingly lean crime drama, with solid performances across the board and excellent contributions from cinematographer Robert Elswit and editor Dylan Tichenor.

> Read our full review of The Town
> Buy The Town on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK

ALSO OUT

22 Bullets (Anchor Bay Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray / Normal] 31/01/2011
Amer (Anchor Bay Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Going the Distance (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Legend of the Fist – The Return of Chen Zhen (Metrodome Distribution) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Mr Nice (Entertainment One) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Nuclear Blast Clips: Volume 1 (Nuclear Blast) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Color Purple (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) [Blu-ray with Digital Copy]

> UK cinema releases for Friday 28th January 2011, including Hereafter, Tangled and Biutiful
> The Best DVD & Blu-ray releases of 2010

Categories
Cinema

UK Cinema Releases: Friday 24th September 2010

NATIONAL RELEASES

The Town (Warner Bros.): Ben Affleck’s second film as director is a satisfyingly lean crime drama about bank robbers, set in the Charlestown district of Boston. Adapted from Chuck Hogan’s novel ‘Prince of Thieves’, Affleck plays the leader of a gang who play cat and mouse with a local FBI agent (Jon Hamm) keen to bring his crew to justice.

After a heist goes slightly wrong, they fear that a hostage (Rebecca Hall) may have recognised one of them behind their masks. To complicate matters further, Affleck’s character soon falls for her which creates tensions with his fellow gang member and friend (Jeremy Renner).

Whilst not as strong as Affleck’s directorial debut, the quietly brilliant Gone Baby Gone (2007), it establishes him as a confident storyteller who can evoke a strong sense of place (most of it was shot on location in Boston) and a very capable director of actors.

After screening at festivals in Venice and Toronto, it built up momentum and topped the US box office last weekend, scoring great reviews in to the bargain. British critics will probably be cooler on it, but audiences may be keener as word of mouth spreads. Warner Bros may be quietly confident that this could do better than expected and give Eat Pray Love a run for its money. [Nationwide / 15] *Read a longer review here *

Eat Pray Love (Sony Pictures): Adapted from the best selling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert about a woman (Julia Roberts) who reboots her life by going on a journey around the world, which takes her to Italy, India and Indonesia. Along the way she meets various people, eats food, prays and falls in love (as the title might suggest).

Directed by Ryan Murphy (who is also the creator of Glee), it co-stars Javier Bardem, James Franco, Viola Davis and Richard Jenkins. Aimed firmly at the female cinemagoer, it opened to mixed reviews and respectable box office in the US last month. Sony will be expecting this to top the box office this weekend although it will face competition from The Town. [Nationwide / PG]

The Hole (Entertainment One UK): A thriller about a family who discover a mysterious hole in the basement of their house, which appears to be a scary bottomless pit.

Directed by Joe Dante, this is the director’s first film since Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003) and stars Teri Polo, Chris Massoglia and Haley Bennett.

This is a rare thing these days, a family-orientated suspense film that touches on the horror genre, with nods to Stephen King and The Twilight Zone. Whether the 3D will help or hinder its box office chances is an open question and the absence of stars might also be a drawback. [Vue West End & Nationwide / 12A]

ALSO OUT

Enter the Void (Trinity Filmed Entertainment): The first film from Gaspar Noé since the controversial Irreversible (2002) is a strange and hypnotic set in contemporary Tokyo. When a young American drug dealer (Nathaniel Brown) is killed he becomes a disembodied soul, observing his sister (Paz de la Huerta) and other acquaintances like a ghost.

Ambitious and technically dazzling, it is ultimately a disjointed exploration of life after death. Although at times grandiose and clumsy, generally the level of craft here is something to behold and the sheer visceral assault on the senses is unlike anything in recent memory.

It has had a troubled journey to the screen, with various cuts shown to different festivals over the last year, suggesting even Noé might have got lost inside the material. It will be strictly for arthouse audiences – and will probably divide even them – but still features some of the most interesting cinema you will see this year. [Curzon Soho & Key Cities / 18] * Read a longer review here *

World’s Greatest Dad (The Works): A black comedy about a teacher (Robin Williams) who is also a struggling writer and frustrated father to his teenage son (Daryl Sabara).

When something drastic happens, he finds himself as an unlikely celebrity and gets the attention he always craved. Although the poster might suggest a much more commercial film, this is actually a genuine independent that screened to considerable acclaim back at Sundance in 2009.

Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, the presence of Williams in the lead role is initially misleading as this is a darkly funny and subversive film, which will probably get a more appreciative audience over time. [Odeon Covent Garden & Key Cities / 15]

Frozen (Momentum Pictures): A horror about college students who encounter some problems at a ski resort. Directed by Adam Green, it stars Emma Bell and Shawn Ashmore. [Empire Leicester Square, Ritzy Brixton, Screen on the Green & Key Cities / 15]

Peepli Live (Artificial Eye): A Hindi satire about farmers’ suicides and the subsequent media and political response starring Omkar Das Manikpuri and written and directed by Anusha Rizvi. [Curzon Renoir, Empire West End, Genesis Mile End & Nationwide / 15]

True Legend (Optimum Releasing): A Chinese-Hong Kong martial arts film about a Qing dynasty general (Man Cheuk Chiu) who retires in order to pursue his dream of a family and his own martial arts school. Directed by Yuen Woo-Ping, it also stars Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, and Michelle Yeoh. [Curzon Soho & Nationwide / 15]

The Wildest Dream (Serengeti Ent/National Geographic): A documentary which intersects the stories of George Mallory, the first man to attempt a summit of Mount Everest, and Conrad Anker, the mountaineer who finds Mallory’s frozen remains 75 years later. Directed by Anthony Geffen. [Apollo Piccadilly Circus, BFI IMAX & Nationwide / PG]

Budrus (Dogwoof): Drama about a Palestinian leader who unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Directed by Julia Bacha. [Empire West Gate, Clapham Picturehouse & Key Cities / 15]

Confucius (CineAsia): A Chinese biographical film directed by Hu Mei, starring Chow Yun-fat as the famous Chinese philosopher. [Key Cities / 15]

Dragon Hunters (Stealth Media): An animated film about two dragon hunters, directed by Guillaume Ivernel and Arthur Qwak. [Selected Key Cities / PG]

From Here To Eternity (Park Circus): A re-release for the 1953 World War II drama, based on the novel by James Jones, which explores the troubles of soldiers in Hawaii before Pearl Harbour. Directed by Fred Zinnemann, it stars Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine, Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed. [BFI Southbank & Key Cities/ PG]

UK DVD and Blu-ray picks for this week including The World at War and The Ghost
Get local cinema showtimes for your area via Google Movies

Categories
Amusing Viral Video

Star Wars vs The Town

Star Wars and Ben Affleck’s new crime drama The Town might not seem the obvious material for a trailer mashup but this is brilliantly done.

[Via Buzzfeed]

> The Town at the IMDb
> Star Wars at Wikipedia

Categories
Cinema Reviews Thoughts

The Town

Ben Affleck’s second film as director is a satisfyingly lean crime drama about bank robbers in Boston.

The town of the title refers to the Charlestown district of Boston which provides the setting and, as an opening title informs us, has produced generations of thieves.

Adapted from Chuck Hogan’s novel ‘Prince of Thieves’, the story sees Affleck plays the leader of a gang who play cat and mouse with a local FBI agent (Jon Hamm) keen to bring them to justice.

After a heist goes slightly wrong, they fear that a hostage (Rebecca Hall) may have recognised one of them behind their masks. To complicate matters further, Affleck’s character soon falls for her which creates tensions with his fellow gang member and friend (Jeremy Renner).

Whilst not as strong as Affleck’s first outing as director, the quietly brilliant Gone Baby Gone, it nonetheless establishes him as a confident storyteller who can get draw compelling performances from his actors.

Affleck’s acting performance is also solid, cutting a likeable but anguished figure in the lead role whilst Renner has a scene-stealing supporting turn as an unpleasant, edgy sidekick.

Hamm is good value as the driven FBI agent. Even though at times his character feels a little too close to his Mad Men persona, he gives his role here a sense of gravitas and bite as he pursues Affleck’s gang.

The female parts are a little undercooked, as is often the case in male dominated crime dramas, although Hall does her best in an underwritten role and Blake Lively manages a major transformation for those that know her from the television show Gossip Girl.

The script – co-written by Affleck, Aaron Stockard and Peter Craig – feels like it has been forged in a good deal of research.

The local slang the characters frequently use and the little details of the robberies all add help to paint a convincing world, even if a couple of major plot points stretch that credibility.

Affleck has also cannily recruited some first-rate talent behind the camera: cinematographer Robert Elswit shoots contemporary Boston with a gritty but vibrant look, whilst editor Dylan Tichenor gives the pacing an extra snap and crackle during the set pieces (it is worth noting that both regularly work with Paul Thomas Anderson).

The score by Harry Gregson-Williams and David Buckley also adds to the overall mood, with the strings and piano giving certain scenes an extra emotional kick and at times it is reminiscent of the excellent Gone Baby Gone score.

When it comes to the fundamentals, The Town is a highly watchable and pleasingly old-fashioned piece of work. There is no CGI, no pandering to the geek crowd and the characters, dialogue and action are all executed without bluster or excess.

That said, this is very familiar territory for anyone who has seen crime dramas such as The Departed (2006) and Heat (1995).

In fact the parallels with Michael Mann’s film are striking to the point of distraction: a head to head battle between a cop and a thief; bank robberies involving automatic weapons; romantic entanglements; a protagonist struggling to escape his past; and the now-familiar ‘one last job’.

It doesn’t detract from the overall qualities on display, but for viewers familiar with Mann’s film, it lingers like a ghost over stretches of the material.

That said The Town still has many qualities to admire. Even if it isn’t especially groundbreaking, it holds the attention and is packaged with skill and efficiency.

Affleck has certainly had his fair share of ups and downs as an actor, but on the evidence of his first two films, he is quickly maturing in to a very fine director.

The Town opens in the US today and in the UK on Friday 24th September

> Official site
> Reviews of The Town at Metacritic
> Find out more about Charlestown at Wikipedia
> NPR interview with Jon Hamm about The Town and Mad Men