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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Aisle Seat 8-6: JAWS, Total Recall, Clue, Dr. Moreau by Andy Dursin
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2012 - 8:54 AM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

"Jerry’s score – the “Anvil of Crom” like opening titles aside..."

Oy, this again. Am I the only person who played them both back to back and can only find two sustained notes at the beginning to be the same? Same key, same instrument, same tempo, but really two notes and then they diverge. Both themes are then completely different. Hardly worth all the mentions.

 Posted:   Aug 7, 2012 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   The Beach Bum   (Member)

Though it's a fair bet the titles were temped with Anvil Of Crom (and The Terminator).

 Posted:   Aug 7, 2012 - 11:29 PM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

"The movie looks like a product of 1990, no question, dominated by loud colors and garish visuals,.."
Well compared to the new near black and white version, everything with a modicum of colour would come across as loud. The colours are not loud, they just are present. It's like a colour film of the 50s compared to a mid 70s film. As for the garish visuals, give me garish over moving pseudo pre-Rafaelite oil paintings any day. The CGI rubbish in the new version is completely uninvolving. What’s worse, they have been of the same unconvincing non-quality as they have been the past decade so the original’s version are less old fashioned than the new ones (
“the visual effects are more hit-or-miss, utilizing old-fashioned miniature models and opticals that haven’t held up well (they weren’t entirely cutting edge at the time of the production either, being inferior to the type of work ILM was producing around the period)”). The only thing the computer graphics have gained over bad late 90s early 2000 rubbish is that they took the “all plastic all of it, air brush finish” of things. Added to it all is that this story, as so many nowadays, suffers from “Matricitis”: “Alright latinoish deary with hair that has the obvious black dye look, you are a super fighter. So that means landing on one leg bent and one leg stretched with one hand on the ground and the other pointing to the stretched leg, look to ground look up and do so through your eyebrows.... or something like that, and action or what we pass of as such”.

 Posted:   Aug 9, 2012 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   kirksworks   (Member)

I have to chime in on the comments about Island of Dr. Moreau. I agree the film is a total mess, but it's a total mess like the 1967 Casino Royale. There's something compelling about it that makes you watch in spite of the train wreck it is. I think Stan Winston's make-up work was actually quite interesting, particularly that little mini-Moreau who is so bizarre you can't take your eyes off him. And some of the more developed manimals are very effective, far superior to anything in the Lancaster version, which I find a pretty boring by comparison to the Frankenheimer.

I also disagree that Gary Chang's score is a far cry from the Rosenthal. I love much of Rosenthal's work, but his Moreau score just kind of sits there like the movie. Chang's score is propulsive, filled with orchestra color and emotion. It gets better the more you listen to it and familiarize yourself with the themes.

You should have mentioned the opening credit sequence, which I think rates as one of the most visually exciting I'd ever seen. When I first saw the movie, watching the credits I thought we were in for a classic. Of course I was sadly disappointed, but the film has much to pull you along. Even though Brando isn't much in it, his persona carries so much weight (literally as well, I guess), he almost doesn't need to act much to pull it off. And the film has some true surprises. The operating table in the house of pain was short but hideously effective, as was the first clear view of a cat-like manimal that turns and snarls.

I agree with you that the message was pretty heavy-handed, and the climax was overly cruel. SPOILER - The death of Fairuza Balk's character, in particular was a waste of what they could have done with her if she'd gone off with Thewlis. The same could be said of the other versions with their variations on the panther girl or cat girl, but Falk was actually more interesting than them and it was mean spirited to do away with her the way they did. At least in Island of Lost Souls the panther girl dies trying to save the main character.

Apparently, since this version of Dr. Moreau keeps showing up on DVD in some form or another, there is an audience who keeps coming back to it. So it has something, wedged in there amidst all the aimlessness.

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