Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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A (Not So) Quiet Night

Last night was quite relaxing.

I had a psych mid-term, which I began at 6:15 and finished at 6:25.

I proceeded to go to my grandparents' house, where I caught the tail end of Otto Preminger's Anatomy Of A Murder. I am a big fan of courtroom dramas, actually. I love the idea of a restricted locale, but in which the action is all in the intensity of the enigma and the performances of the actors. Inherit the Wind, Witness For the Prosecution and Compulsion are other outstanding examples (I also happen to think that the genre lends itself well to black-and-white cinematography).

I then left, and found myself playing Jerry Goldsmith's classic score from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. While it is difficult to explain to non-film music fans, this is some of the best film music out there... of course there is the title music, which has become the unofficial "Star Trek" theme, after Alexander Courage's fanfare from the original series. There is so much more to this score, however. Since the film is essentially a mystery (albeit one that gives Trek fans quite a sense of deja vu), Goldsmith illustrated the technological identity of V'Ger by creating some of his most distinctive work. The most noticable trait of this score is that it utilizes the "Blaster Beam," an instrument designed by Craig Huxley that is played by banging on it. This is that "braaaang" sound that is all over the V'Ger cues.

I then went over to Blockbuster to rent Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I can not, at the moment, afford the Indy DVD box set, so I had to settle for renting. I chose Temple of Doom because of the fact that I had Raiders of the Lost Ark on laserdisc, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was shown on HBO, along with Batman, every day for three years. I have to say that the picture transfer is outstanding, and the restoration of the original Panavision aspect ratio adds quite a lot to the film. If Raiders was essentially a Republic Serial writ large, then Temple of Doom is a 40's B-movie on an A-list scale with (then) modern technology. Harrison Ford's performance is spot-on for this (he calls Willie "doll"). The sound is an accurate presentation of what the film sounded like in 1984 (the surrounds are used pretty much for ambience).

Since I wasn't really tired, I decided I would check out one of my other rentals, Enemy At the Gates. Wow. This is everything a big, epic film should be. The central conflict is an intimate one, but it is set against (truly) world-changing events. Jude Law and Rachel Weisz are great, as is Bob Hoskins. Joseph Feinnes comes across as a bit wooden, but that is in keeping with his character, and as usual, Ed Harris is incapable of turning in anything less than an amazing performance. The contrast of large scale war sequences and the intense cat-and-mouse game played by Law and Harris works exceedingly well, and I was pretty damn impressed by this movie.

As you can see, my night was actually rather loud. First I had George C. Scott and Jimmy Stewart shouting at each other. Then I had a full orchestra with crazy percussion and a blaster beam. Then I had Indiana Jones thwacking and shooting and making his own sort of racket. Finally, I had Nazi Panzers and the Luftwafte blowing up Stalingrad.

Truly, the best way to relax...
Tags: cinema, film music, jerry goldsmith, reviews
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