Intrada has just announced two new soundtrack releases, both featuring expanded scores from five-time Oscar winner John Barry.
HOWARD THE DUCK -- from executive producer George Lucas and the husband-and-wife filmmaking team of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz -- was a lavish, big-budget attempt to bring the cult Marvel character to the screen. With rising stars Tim Robbins and Lea Thompson (you know, Zoey Deutch's mom) in the leads, the film was a notorious critical and box-office flop but featured state-of-the-art ILM visual effects and, most memorably, a terrific score by Barry in one of the most unexpected composer-castings of all time. Barry wrote and recorded a delightful orchestral score, but late in the post-production period some of his music for the film's final section was replaced with new cues by Sylvester Levay. Disc One features Barry's complete original 78-minute score. Disc Two has 22 minutes of Barry's alternate cues, 18 minutes of Levay's re-score and an additional 18 minutes of alternate Levay re-score. Disc Three features music recorded for the film by Thomas Dolby (who was at one point thought to score the film as well) including the film's songs, and concludes with the original soundtrack LP sequencing including six Barry cues. This set is available to pre-order now but is not expected to ship until some time in October.
Their other new release presents Barry's score for the 1965 World War II drama KING RAT, with George Segal and Tom Courtenay leading the cast as Allied soldiers in a Japanese POW camp. The film, based on the novel by James Clavell (Shogun, The Last Valley, The Fly) was one of several Barry collaborations with actor-turned-director Bryan Forbes, and has been described by some as a grittier companion piece to Empire of the Sun. Upon the film's original release, Mainstream released an LP re-recording of Barry's music for the film, which was later released on CD by Sony, but Intrada's King Rat presents not only the LP tracks but also Barry's complete original score tracks, heard for the first time outside of the film.
The latest CD from La-La Land is the first-ever release of the soundtrack for CHILD'S PLAY 2, the second of the "Chucky" horror films, and the first to be scored by Graeme Revell, who returned to the series for the fourth (and arguably best) entry, Bride of Chucky. Revell's score was orchestrated and conducted by the great Shirley Walker, and was performed by a 90-piece orchestra. This release, limited to 3000 units, is expected to begin shipping today, and is the latest release from the label's partnership with Universal as part of the Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Child's Play 2 - Graeme Revell - La-La Land
King Rat - John Barry - Intrada Special Collection
Les Hirondelles de Kaboul - Alexis Rault - Milan (import)
Monos - Mica Levi - Lakeshore
IN THEATERS TODAY
Abominable - Rupert Gregson-Williams
Always in Season - Osei Essed
Christmas Survival - Hugo de Chaire
The Curse of Buckout Road - Ryan Shore
The Day Shall Come - Chris Morris, Seb Rochford, Jonathan Whitehead
The Death of Dick Long - Andy Hull, Robert McDowell
First Love - Koji Endo
Groupers - Rick Urban
The Harvesters - Sacha Galperine, Evgueni Galperine
Judy - Gabriel Yared - Song CD due Oct. 11 on Republic
The Lake Vampire - Alain Gomez, Luis Daniel Gonzalez
The Laundromat - David Holmes
Loro - Lele Marchitelli - Score CD on Milan (import)
Obsession - Bobby Johnston
Prey - Richard Breakspear
Sister Aimee - Graham Reynolds
10 Minutes Gone - Josh Atchley
Villains - Andrew Hewitt
Stranger Things 3 - Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein - Lakeshore
Solis - David Stone Hamilton - Perseverance
La Fameuse Invasion des Ours en Sicile - Rene Aubry - Milan (import)
The Lighthouse - Mark Korven - Milan
Dracula/The Curse of Frankenstein [re-recordings] - James Bernard - Tadlow
Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds - Masao Yagi - Cinema-Kan (import)
Encounter - Penka Kouneva - Notefornote
Go Fish - George Streicher - Notefornote
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Marco Beltrami, Anna Drubich - eOne
Bastardos y Diablos - Louis Febre - Dragon's Domain
Bride of Frankenstein - Franz Waxman - La-La Land
The Dan Redfield Collection vol. 1 - Dan Redfield - Dragon's Domain
Deep Water - Toydrum - Silva
Goldsnake Anonima Killers - Carlo Savina - Digitmovies
Henry King at Fox - Alfred Newman - Kritzerland
Howard the Duck - John Barry, Sylvester Levay, Thomas Dolby - Intrada Special Collection
The John Morgan Collection vol. 1 - John Morgan - Dragon's Domain
La Notte Del Grande Assalto - Carlo Rustichelli - Saimel
Lavender Braid - Eugene - Kronos
Lost and Love - Zbigniew Preisner - Caldera
Marco Beltrami: Music for Film - Marco Beltrami - Silva
Metralleta Stein - Luis Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Mario Molino, Daniele Patucchi, Dusan Radici, Carlo Rustichelli - CSC
Music for Dinosaurs - David Spear - Dragon's Domain
Non Faccia La Guerra, Faccio L'Amore - Riz Ortolani - Digitmovies
Padre No Hay Mas Que Uno - Roque Banos - Saimel
Quando La Coppia Scoppia - Piero Umiliani - Beat
Rory's Way - Frank Ilfman - Kronos
Rwanda - Davide Caprelli - Kronos
Second Spring - Stelvio Cipriani - Kronos
Trois Jours et Une Vie - Rob - Music Box
Tutti Possono Arricchire Tranni I Povere - Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, Vince Tempera - Beat
What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Dennis McCarthy, Kevin Kiner - Dragon's Domain
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
September 27 - Recording sessions begin for Sol Kaplan’s score for Niagara (1952)
September 27 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Silicon Avatar” (1991)
September 28 - Evan Lurie born (1954)
September 28 - Leith Stevens begins recording his score for The Scarlet Hour (1955)
September 28 - Laurent Petitgand born (1959)
September 28 - John Williams records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Hungry Sea" (1965)
September 28 - Geoff Zanelli born (1974)
September 28 - Miles Davis died (1991)
September 28 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Relics” (1992)
September 29 - Mike Post born (1944)
September 29 - Manuel Balboa born (1958)
September 29 - Theodore Shapiro born (1971)
September 29 - John Barry
begins recording his score for First Love
September 30 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for Young Bess (1952)
September 30 - Marty Stuart born (1958)
September 30 - Lyn Murray records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Lonely Place” (1964)
September 30 - Jack Urbont records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Wheels” (1966)
September 30 - Andrew Gross born (1969)
September 30 - Richard Einhorn
begins recording his score to Dead of Winter
September 30 - Virgil Thomson died (1989)
October 1 - Irwin Kostal born (1911)
October 1 - Elia Cmiral born (1950)
October 1 - Jerry Goldsmith
begins recording his score to The Prize
October 1 - Ernst Toch died (1964)
October 1 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Operation Rogosh” (1966)
October 1 - Johannes Kobilke born (1973)
October 1 - Dave Grusin begins recording his score for Falling in Love (1984)
October 1 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Haven” (1987)
October 1 - Dennis McCarthy
records his scores for the Star Trek: Enterprise
episodes “Impulse” and “Twilight” (2003)
October 2 - Leroy Shield born (1893)
October 2 - Bruce Montgomery born (1921)
October 2 - Eric Demarsan born (1938)
October 2 - Bernard Herrmann marries his first wife, writer Lucille Fletcher (1939)
October 2 - Damon Gough born (1969)
October 2 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Visitor” (1995)
October 2 - Recording sessions begin on Nathan Barr's score to Hostel (2005)
October 3 - Roy Webb born (1888)
October 3 - Nick Glennie-Smith born (1951)
October 3 - Arnold Bax died (1953)
October 3 - Jeff Alexander
begins recording his unused score to Saddle the Wind
October 3 - Robert Drasnin records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Thief from Outer Space" (1966)
October 3 - Gerald Fried records his score for the Lost in Space episode "Collision of Planets" (1967)
October 3 - Johnny Mandel
begins recording his unused score to The Seven-Ups
October 3 - Harry Sukman begins recording his score for Salem’s Lot (1979)
October 3 - Stu Phillips begins recording his score for the two-part Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “The Plot to Kill a City” (1979)
October 3 - Shirley Walker
begins recording her score for Turbulence
October 3 - Richard Bellis records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The House of Quark” (1994)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
"Here, Sandberg once again manipulates lighting, composition and suspense, framing shots in such a way that we’re constantly searching the shadows for hints of movement, while drawing out scenes for maximum tension. He loves to make out-of-focus shapes budge in the background, and instructs his actors either to whisper or otherwise speak their dialogue so softly that we lean in to catch their words, making ourselves that much more vulnerable to whatever might jump out of the frame (at some moments, the score falls entirely silent, while at others, it supplies precisely the jolt needed to make audiences jump)."
Peter Debruge, Variety
BEACH RATS - Nicholas Leon
"With respect to 'It Felt Like Love,' 'Beach Rats' represents a leap forward in terms of craft and narrative maturity, and also a companion piece in its dreamy, tone-poem feel, and its keen eye and ear for adolescent behavior. Hittman folds Louvart's evocative summertime images, composer Nicholas Leon's brooding electronic notes and the fluid rhythms shaped by editors Scott Cummings and Joe Murphy into a raw observational portrait that leaves a haunting impression in its wake."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
BIRTH OF THE DRAGON - Reza Safinia, H. Scott Salinas
"But wait, there's less! The score wastes no opportunity to hit every note too hard, from classically offensive 'oriental' flute when introducing Asian characters, to hard charging electric guitar during fight scenes. The fashion and acting styles are all entirely too modern; no one involved with this movie is out to even pretend it takes place in 1964. A nameless henchman describes Lee's movies as 'chopsocky,' a term that wouldn't be coined for another 10 years. Lee wouldn't actually start making martial arts films in America for another six years, though this film has him directing them in the street with his students as extras. A Google search could have cleared up factual mistakes like that, but who has the time? The whole endeavor is marred by that sort of carelessness. Like the way Magnussen almost never takes off his (plainly modern) leather jacket as a way to save money finding him more period appropriate clothes to wear. There are also gags you see coming a mile away that the film wants you to get excited about, as if knowing joke structure is the same thing as writing a joke."
Scout Tafoya, RogerEbert.com
DEATH NOTE - Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross
"Music informs Wingard’s sense of tone and place throughout 'Death Note,' from Atticus and Leopold Ross’s slithering electronic score to numerous 1980s ballads, among them Jennifer Rush’s 'The Power of Love' and Berlin’s 'Take My Breath Away.' Wingard thoroughly keys his characters’ emotions to the film’s music, commenting in various ways on what’s transpiring on screen. But 'Death Note''s tonal assurance falters once L (Lakieth Stanfield), a Tokyo-based sleuth with some combination of exemplary deductive abilities and psychic powers, sets out in hot pursuit of Kira’s trail. As more shadowy figures and exposition are wedged into the film to satisfy fans of the source material, Wingard loses hold of his initially trenchant central construction of a globally inclined outlaw couple fueled by a strange romance scored to pop music and thriving on violence. Whereas the more grounded scenes of 'Death Note,' whether in Light’s home or at school, anchor a startlingly bloody fantasy of power run amok, the scenes that fixate on super powers and code-busting seldom manage to rise above the realm of serviceable YA fiction."
Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine
"The result is perversely watchable, which puts it a cut above the average inane wannabe franchise-starter. With no likable characters or internal suspense to keep it in check, Wingard’s direction sputters out into a cloud of slickness and pastiche: chases set to Giorgio Moroder-type beats; eccentrically purposed pop songs (Australian Crawl’s 'Reckless,' the Air Supply version of 'The Power Of Love,' etc.); teen-movie stock characters; a certain famous 'Blade Runner' prop; an homage to Jonathan Demme. Just in case anyone thought that Wingard had forgotten about John Carpenter, the end credits roll out in the genre master’s favorite typeface, Albertus. But as for Wolff’s Light Turner -- that is, the ostensible focus of the film -- he’s afforded about as much sympathy as the protagonist of a 'Tales From The Crypt' episode."
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club
"The script, credited to Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides and Jeremy Slater, is a snarl of loose ends and half-explained devices, but Wingard executes it with style, especially where Light’s remote executions are concerned, orchestrating elaborate Rube Goldberg-like sequences (reminiscent of the 'Final Destination' movies) for each of the kills. Though destined for the small screen, Wingard has given this assignment a look and feel (and score, courtesy of Atticus and Leopold Ross) deserving of the big screen, which will do far better justice to its black-on-black color scheme than most TV sets."
Peter Debruge, Variety
DON'T LET GO - Ethan Gold
"'Don’t Let Go' fits into what may seem like a lost genre, the supernatural thriller, where a tone of unease is more disturbing than any simple jump scares. Much of this mood comes from the score by Ethan Gold (who also provided the soundtrack to his brother Ari’s similarly instinctual 'Song of Sway Lake'). A low, rolling undercurrent, interrupted by the metallic discord of a keyboard glockenspiel, creates a feeling of a broken dream and evokes Jack’s desperate attempts to pull his world back together."
Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle
"Reid is also quite good, displaying more of the charisma that helped hold 'Wrinkle in Time' together (she has a moment of scorching, raw acting near the end that’s goosebump-raising), and Williamson is as reliable as ever, though the prolific Mr. Henry (Seriously, when does this guy sleep?) is sadly underused. And the filmmaking is competent, boosted by the moody-as-hell score and cinematography."
Jason Bailey, The Playlist
THE FANATIC - John Swihart
"But with no explanation for what the Moose’s condition is -- and boy, is what Travolta doing a choice -- Durst and his main star have, rather than giving us a character, merely offered up a hapless, carnival figure of laughable madness, alternately impossible and improbable. And no amount of John Swihart’s shrieky strings score, or Conrad W. Hall’s superficially moody cinematography, can help. How Durst and first-time screenwriter Dave Bekerman resolve the second-half housebound scenario is even more head-scratching, a thuddingly inane mix of guilt, gore and irony that’s supposed to feel like a cosmic twist instead of the logic sprain that it is."
Robert Abele, The Wrap
"Using the grown Jeannette in New York as the film’s north star, Cretton and his co-writer Andrew Lanham jog back to different points in Jeannette’s childhood. It takes a while to differentiate the four Walls children, but the performances -- by a small army of sensitive, ginger-haired kids and adults, in three timelines -- cleave you to the characters even when you can’t remember their names. The film deftly handles these temporal shifts, in particular a montage (delicately scored by composer Joel P. West) that introduces Jeannette as a teenager, and Larson in a different, younger guise. Here, she is plain-faced and with jaw set to escape the poverty-stricken West Virginia town the family has landed in, and the psychic grip her now-raging alcoholic father has on her."
Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle
KILLERMAN - Julian DeMarre, Heiko Maile
"That’s not to say that a two-hour-plus trudge through poverty and addiction would necessarily be preferable to inspirational hokum, or that Wells is wrong for remembering her father’s bright side as well as the darkness in him while writing her source material. But it doesn’t help that the filmmaking choices throughout 'The Glass Castle' default to cliché: the paint-by-numbers stirring score, for example, or the use of slow motion to indicate where you’re supposed to get choked up. With a talented cast that’s perfectly capable of conveying emotion without the use of cheap sentiment -- Larson is sensitive as always in her portrayal of the adult Jeannette, and Harrelson equally fascinating in depicting Rex as a wild-eyed dreamer and hostile drunk -- these tricks and narrative contrivances really aren’t necessary. Like little Jeannette and her siblings, this cast deserves better."
Katie Rife, The Onion AV Club
"Still, even when the the music swells and people talk through their problems to reach unremarkable conclusions, there’s an undercurrent of emotional authenticity. To a large degree, that stems from Jeanette’s inability to completely abandon her wreck of a father. His cruel antics don’t alienate her so much as make her furious: She wants to make things better, and it tears her up that she can’t."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"But what are we meant to feel? As the film ping-pongs between the past and the 'present' of 1989 and starts to close in on its takeaway 'message,' I grew exponentially more uncomfortable. It seems to me 'The Glass Castle' could function perfectly well as a depiction of a childhood on the fringes, and Jeannette’s eventual escape to New York as a bittersweet but necessary step. The film makes it clear: Jeannette doesn’t hate her father, even though he did so many things that those of us watching from the comfort of our theater seats can say we wouldn’t stand for. Family is complicated, this one especially. But when 'The Glass Castle' throws all this nuance out for a swelling score and a tearful tribute to its inspiring patriarch, the film unmasks itself as something much more absolutist, and part of me can’t help but wonder what the last two hours were meant to establish. Many filmgoers will see Rex and Rose Mary as unforgivable, and even those of us willing to accept that there are many different shades at work here will likely feel the foundation of the film fall out from under us by its conclusion. How appropriate, I suppose."
Emily Yoshida, Vulture
"In a truly insulting change of heart, after nearly two hours of depicting Rex as a viciously intoxicated, cruel monster, the movie suddenly tries to paint the patriarch as an eccentric, fun loving guy who’s been rough, but always believed in his children. Sure, he’s been a bastard the movie says, but after a few turning points we won’t reveal here, Larson’s Jeannette conveniently receives a flood of good memories that shifts the movie into a tone of reconciliation that is sentimental, treacly and phony. It even has the audacity to produce a magical sheen to the past with slow motion affectations and an undeserved swelling score."
Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist
"In the muted color scheme of the locations and Ken Seng’s drably lit cinematography, the homage succeeds, but 'Killerman' lacks personality both stylistically and in its overall story construction. Terrified of quiet moments, Bader also slaps Julian DeMarre and Heiko Maile’s run-of-the-mill synthesizer music from start to finish, desperately trying to escalate the intensity of whatever is happening on screen."
Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap
"'Killerman' is pulpy and propulsive in its retrograde thrills, and while that might not be the same thing as calling it a great or even a good movie, it’s an admission that, somewhere in the world of VOD streaming, there’s an audience for it. Credit the brazenly garish 16mm cinematography by DP Ken Seng, and the wall-to-wall synthesizer score by composers Julian DeMarre and Heiko Maile, for enhancing the ‘70s flavor. The leads are credible and creditable across the board, and the supporting players -- including Buric, whose performance could be labeled Swift’s Premium and sold by the pound; Nickola Shreli as the dirtiest of the dirty cops; and Suraj Sharma as a drug dealer whose pep talk to himself is tragically insufficient -- are everything they have to be."
Joe Leydon, Variety
TULIP FEVER - Danny Elfman
"Grainger isn’t the main character, but she takes over the movie, as we wait for her shanghaied baby daddy to reappear and clear up the lunacy that overtakes 'Tulip Fever' in its second half. What began as a respectable, if somewhat flat 17th-century love story, complete with gorgeous costumes and lush score, seems to lose its wits as it goes along -- which may have been the mindset of the era, but feels like a miscalculated opportunity here."
Peter Debruge, Variety
VITA & VIRGINIA - Isobel Waller-Bridge
"While Chadwick ('The Other Boleyn Girl', 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom') captures the aspirational pandemonium of tulipomania and its reach across class lines, the ostensibly rising drama lies flat, laid out piece by piece, with an elegant assist from Danny Elfman’s score but without the necessary alchemizing energy to make the story truly take hold."
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
"When capricious socialite and writer Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) first glimpses Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) at a bohemian party in Chanya Button’s 'Vita & Virginia,' the latter is the midst of a dance, her head leaning back and arms freely swaying in the air. It’s an uncharacteristic moment of outgoingness for the author, who by this time in the early 1920s has had only modest success, and the throbbing ambient techno music that underscores the scene lends her and Vita’s desires a strange and striking modernity. But the film doesn’t fully commit to such anachronistic flourishes in its portrait of the two women’s tumultuous love affair, instead frequently falling back on the stately demeanor of countless other historical biopics and period pieces."
Derek Smith, Slant Magazine
"Though Button struggles to get a handle on Vita, she too does better by Virginia. The writer’s mental anguish is suggested via CGI tricks -- a flock of crows, rapidly-spreading ivy, ominously rising water -- that only Woolf can see. These are used sparingly enough to make an impact, in contrast to a consistently melodramatic score (from Isobel Waller-Bridge, 'Fleabag') that undermines Debicki’s thoughtful restraint."
Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap
"Part of the problem is that the script never allows for depth of character, making the exaggerated over- and under-acting more apparent. This is a film filled with people who say what they want, feel, and need all the time. A character literally says, 'You must remember that Virginia is vulnerable under all her brilliance.' Oh, really? Thanks. The film constantly telegraphs the intended depths of its storytelling without ever actually doing the digging. The result is an experience that’s oddly flat when it’s not spiraling off into flights of fancy, usually through a bouncy but slightly incongruous score or a bit of magical realism with Virginia, who has visions like birds attacking her or vines growing in her house."
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"Unlike Nicole Kidman, who famously wore a prosthetic nose in 'The Hours' and otherwise glammed herself down as much as possible, Debicki makes little attempt to replicate Woolf’s appearance, apart from wearing her hair in a bun most of the time. Indeed, she appears to have been wildly miscast during her first significant scene, which sees her dancing solo at some literary soirée and looking as if she’s just finished a commercial shoot for Estée Lauder. (The film’s anachronistic, largely electronic score, courtesy of 'Fleabag' composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, doesn’t help in that regard.) Once Woolf becomes besotted with Sackville-West, however, Debicki taps into universal feelings of insecurity and apprehension, creating a compelling portrait of a woman struggling desperately to hold them at bay. Arterton, on the other hand, dials Sackville-West’s libertine blitheness up so high that she can’t even ring a doorbell like a normal person -- everything’s a calculated gesture, even when the character is completely alone. This mismatch undermines all efforts to forge a tangible emotional bond between the two women, and since that bond is the film’s raison d’être, there’s not much left apart from the endless recitation of their correspondence."
Mike D'Angelo, The Onion AV Club
"Instead, aside from the creamy, fresh, bright tones of Carlos De Carvalho’s photography, and the surprising, but successfully anachronistic melodic electro score from Isobel Waller-Bridge, it seems that Button, in just her second feature, will allow the lesbian angle to set the film apart from its period-drama brethren and otherwise won’t do too much to air out those stuffy, damask-curtained rooms. Which makes it all the more surprising that 'Vita & Virginia' should, due in large part to one astonishing performance, give us an impression of Woolf that is so much bigger than the relatively contained story the film tells, and the relatively familiar format in which it unfolds."
Jessica Kiang, Variety
THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.
Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPAS, Alamo Drafthouse, American Cinematheque: Aero, American Cinematheque: Egyptian, Arclight, Arena Cinelounge, Laemmle, New Beverly, Nuart, UCLA and Vista.
HIGH AND LOW (Masaru Sato) [Vista]
KILLER CROCODILE (Riz Ortolani) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
PAGANINI HORROR (Vince Tempera) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
VAMPIRE HUNTER D (Tetsuya Komuyo) [Nuart]
BARTON FINK (Carter Burwell) [Vista]
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (Miklos Rozsa), LAURA (David Raksin) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
OLD BOYFRIENDS (David Shire) [Cinematheque: Aero]
SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (Gene De Paul, Adolph Deutsch, Saul Chaplin) [Vista]
THAT DARN CAT! (Bob Brunner) [New Beverly]
DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN (William Lava) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
EASY RIDER [Cinematheque: Aero]
IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (Ernest Gold) [Arclight Hollywood]
JENNIFER'S BODY (Theodore Shapiro, Stephen Barton) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE LONG GOODBYE (John Williams) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
MOROCCO, SHANGHAI EXPRESS [Cinematheque: Aero]
SHAUN OF THE DEAD (Daniel Mudford, Pete Woodhead) [Alamo Drafthouse]
SNOOPY COME HOME (Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, Don Ralke) [Arclight Sherman Oaks]
THAT DARN CAT! (Bob Brunner) [New Beverly]
ESCAPE FROM L.A. (Shirley Walker, John Carpenter) [New Beverly]
QUADROPHENIA [Alamo Drafthouse]
TAMMY AND THE T-REX (Jack Conrad, Tony Riparetti) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
HOW THE WEST WAS WON (Alfred Newman) [Arclight Hollywood]
M [Cinematheque: Aero]
ZODIAC (David Shire) [New Beverly]
THE EXORCIST [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (Maurice Jarre) [Arclight Hollywood]
PSYCHO (Bernard Herrmann) [New Beverly]
ZODIAC (David Shire) [New Beverly]
DOLEMITE (Art Wright) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
ZODIAC (David Shire) [New Beverly]
DONNIE DARKO (Michael Andrews) [Vista]
FINAL DESTINATION 2 (Shirley Walker) [New Beverly]
GRINDHOUSE: PLANET TERROR (Robert Rodriguez, Graeme Revell) [New Beverly]
THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE (Giuliano Sorgini) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE ROOM (Mladen Milicevic) [Nuart]
THE EVIL DEAD (Joseph LoDuca - in person!) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (The Beatles, George Martin) [Vista]
KILL BILL: VOL. 2 (RZA, Robert Rodriguez) [New Beverly]
MADMAN (Stephen Horelick) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE MONSTER SQUAD (Bruce Broughton) [New Beverly]
SOMETHING SPECIAL (David McHugh) [UCLA]
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (John Carpenter, Alan Howarth), NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (Barry DeVorzon), THE FOG (John Carpenter) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE MONSTER SQUAD (Bruce Broughton) [New Beverly]
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED THIS WEEK
Heard: House of Cards: Season 5 (Beal), Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope (Neely), Saban's Power Rangers (Tyler), Il Diavolo Nel Cervello (Morricone), War for the Planet of the Apes (Giacchino), Black Mirror: USS Callister (Pemberton), Noted Expert (Michael Ian Black), Star Trek: Catspaw/Friday's Child (Fried), Orchestral Music vol. 1 (Bennett), Akeelah and the Bee (Zigman)
Read: the rest of Victories, by George V. Higgins
Seen: Ad Astra; Rambo: Last Blood; Downton Abbey; The Sound of Silence; Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins
Watched: Queer as Folk ("The Art of Desperation"), The Haunting of Hill House ("Touch", "The Twin Thing"), The Greene Murder Case, MIchael & Michael Have Issues ("Sh**bag House", "Frogbox"), The Rockford Files ("The Dexter Crisis")
Continuing from last week, more brief memories of my moviegoing life:
1969: My parents take me to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I am probably eight years old. I doubt I understood any of it, but it definitely made a big impression, and I've seen it countless times since.
1969: My parents take me to see Krakatoa, East of Java. I remember almost nothing of it from that screening, but when I see it again nearly fifty years later, at the New Beverly, I remember that a scene where a flaming lava projectile kills Sal Mineo's love interest was fairly traumatic to view as a child.
1972: I see Pete 'n' Tillie, partially filmed in my home town of Mill Valley, at Mill Valley's Sequoia Twin Cinema. For some reason, this dramedy about a middle-aged couple who lose their child becomes the favorite film of my 11-year-old self. All I can guess is that somehow I knew I'd grow up to be a wisecracking red-headed spinster, and thus identified with Carol Burnett's character. It did also have the first feature film score I'd never heard by "John T. Williams" who also scored that season's Poseidon Adventure, whose attempted first viewing of I wrote about in last week's column.
1974: Herbie Rides Again replaces Pete 'n' Tillie as my all-time favorite film. I saw it again recently, for the first time in 45 years, and have no idea why I thought so highly of it at age 12. It didn't stay at the top of the list for very long, though, though I'm not positive what ended up replacing it -- possibly one of Harryhausen's first two Sinbad movies.
1979: I see Alien on opening night. It is the scariest movie I have ever seen, and the scariest movie I ever will see (movies don't scare me in middle age the way they did when I was 17). My friends and I become fairly obsessed with it, and I see it four or five more times in the next several months, and many times since. I even wear a homemade chest-burster puppet on my hand for my high school graduation, which probably makes parents in attendance think I have a tragic deformity.
1979: Probably the most anticipated moviegoing experience of my entire life is the opening day of Star Trek -- The Motion Picture. For the first half I absolutely love it; it is like a dream come true, especially the superb (and still underrated) visual effects and the incomprable score by Jerry Goldsmith. But around the middle of the film -- during a section where the image is marred by dark spots, probably due to the last-minute completion of this particular film print -- I start to notice how draggy and uneventful the film is, and a lot of the magic is lost. It takes me a while to deal with the fact that the film is simply not the masterpiece I emotionally needed it to be, but I enjoyed it much more than I expected it when I saw it again at the New Beverly a couple years ago, especially as it occurred to me that it may be the only one of the 13 Star Trek features that is truly science-fiction, rather than just an action-adventure that takes place in space and the future.
1980: I see Dressed to Kill for the first time at the Alexandria theater in San Francisco, and multiple times after that at a Marin County multiplex. This was at the peak of my DePalma fandom, and though I don't love it nearly as much now I was clearly obsessed with it at the time. I watched it again when I wrote liner notes for Intrada's expanded edition of the score, and it made me realize both why I loved it so much and why my opinion on it has changed -- the filmmaking is superb, especially the museum scene which is one of the highlights of DePalma's oeuvre, but the script isn't great, especially compared to his earlier thrillers like Sisters and Carrie. In the decades since, I have had the opportunity to meet the film's great DP, the late Ralf D. Bode, as well as Angie Dickinson, who is still the nicest celebrity I have met in my decades in and around the film business, a truly lovely human being in every way.