A few days ago, I came across a DVD bundle with Dreamscape and Assault on Precinct 13 for only ten bucks. Being an opportunist, and knowing that Dreamscape had been remastered with a DTS track, and knowing that Assault on Precinct 13 hails from John Carpenter's golden period (which includes Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York and Starman). This morning I woke up a little too early, so I watched Assault on Precinct 13. First off, let me just say that it is nice to see a film that hasn't been pussified by the mainstream. Precinct 13 is unpretentiously a hard-edged, white-knuckled exploitation film. The action in the film is motivated by an event that would never be seen in a film today.
Yes, you saw that properly. What is interesting is how well defined the characters are. The actors are so committed and the action is so raw and straightforward that it has a realism to it that counteracts the absurdity of the premise. A combination of Rio Bravo and Night of the Living Dead, the assault itself causes the cops to team up with the inmates to defend themselves.
The film is anchored by a rock-solid performance from Austin Stoker as Lieutenant Bishop, which is offset by Wilson, an unredeemable criminal who is nevertheless capable of great heroism... this character as written by Carpenter may well be a nascent Snake Plissken, but Dawin Joston's performance brings a depth and humanity to the role that is very different from what Kurt Russell had done. The DVD has a humorous interview with Carpenter and Stoker, and also isolates Carpenter's throbbing score, which is one of his best.
This film is being remade with Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Gabriel Byrne, Kim Coates, Matt Craven, Brian Dennehy and Ja Rule and is being directed by Jean-François Richet. There is no way this all-star remake is going to be as intense as the original, and it will probably make all the mistakes that Carpenter avoided.
Silva Screen is releasing a 2 disc set of a symphonic suite of Howard Shore's music from The Lord of the Rings. It was supposed to be released on Tuesday, but now has been pushed back to June 8. The recording is performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic conducted by Nicholas Raine and the Crouch End Festival Chorus conducted by David Temple. The track listing will be as follows...
2. The Prophecy
3. Concerning Hobbits
4. The Shadow of the Past/A Knife in the Dark
5. The Bridge of Khazad-dum
6. May It Be*
7. The Riders of Rohan
9. Forth Eorlingas/Isengard Unleashed
10. Gollum's Song*
11. Hope and Memory/Minas Tirith
12. The White Tree
13. Twilight and Shadow
14. The Fields of Pelennor
15. The Return of the King/Finale
16. Into the West*
17. Gollum's Song**
18. May It Be**
19. Into the West**
* symphonic version - ** vocal version
How these will fit onto two discs is anybody's guess. The samples on Silva's website sound pretty good, though (although they are mislabeled)... a very different interpretation, but a valid one.
Tim informed me that he absolutely loves the Pure Bond compilation I made for him. He liked everything I put on there, and enjoyed the dialogue bites (a favorite is apparently the cue "The Death of Largo" from Thunderball overdubbed with the exchange between Q and Bond from The Spy Who Loved Me; "Have I ever let you down, Q?" "Frequently!"). It's nice to know that I finally got something right, at least as far as he's concerned.
The Fuckhead Strikes Back
From Film Score Monthly:
Film fans who were upset when George Lucas made alterations to the first three Star Wars films and kept the original versions out of circulation will have more fuel for the flames of their anger when they learn that Lucas is planning to release a similarly altered version of his first feature, THX-1138, which will now feature digitally augmented cityscapes and crowd scenes. So if you've got a letterboxed laserdisc of his original, outstanding version, keep it.When will Lucas learn that just because you can show a thing, does not necessarily mean that one should show a thing?
Somebody please kill this guy before he does any more damage.
Really, folks, there's no reason for him to be allowed to live anymore. It's not like the next Star Wars movie is going to be any good (I think that we can accept that by now), so we may as well get rid of him.
What's really annoying about him revamping THX-1138 is that part of what makes the film so effective was because of the fact that it was so claustrophobic. Cityscapes means exteriors, which runs counter to the aesthetic of the film.
Well, I do have the widescreen laserdisc of the film, which was a decent transfer when it was originally released, but has dated significantly. It would be nice if the film were to be available on DVD, but just like the Star Wars trilogy, the lasers are the only decent way to see it.
The Manchurian Candidate is on. Angela Lansbury is so sinister in this film that I could never watch Murder, She Wrote. It's like Paul Reiser... Aliens forever ruined Mad About You for me. Not that I watch television anyway, but it is interesting to see how careers evolve...
I have attempted, from time to time, to use the "rich text" feature on the LJ, only to find that it sucks.