Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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"I liked the Austrian way better." "So did I."

happy birthday
heybishop!!!


Okay... so after three days being immersed in the Indiana Jones box set, all I can say is "awesome!" When all is said and done, none of the quibbles I have with it really hinder my enjoyment of it. There is no question that this wasn't the same sort of production that you would have gotten from FSM, Intrada or Varese, but it was nevertheless quite well organized, and in the case of the latter two scores represent an unambiguous improvement over any previous edition.

  • RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
    While this was the least revelatory of all three scores in terms of content (the superb DCC release covered most of it back in 1995), the sound quality is so improved that it makes the music sparkle. I gave it a very good listen, and decided that the pitch issue wasn't worth bothering to correct for. The new sound mix is outstanding and clear, much improved over the DCC disc, which is really saying something as that was an excellent production all around. I used the DCC CD to reconstruct the full length of "Desert Chase" (I also took the tail off of the "End Credits" and put them on "The Raiders March").

    I've been eyeballing a copy of the DCC set on vinyl... if the price doesn't get too ridiculous, I might pick it up.


  • INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM
    This was the score I was most looking forward to having in expanded form. This is Williams at the top of his form, taking his cue from the film's serial-era throwback sensibility (as opposed to the updating of the serials that was Raiders) with all sorts of Hollywood-esque exotica. The score is chock full of memorable themes, each one of them getting a nice workout in various arrangements, and Williams also provides little motives for specific scenes, one of the most memorable of which is in "The Scroll/To Pankot Palace." And I never realized before how much I liked Short Round's theme; it is a sprightly construction to begin with but Williams finds ways to make every appearance delightful, particularly the heroic settings it is given in "Short Round Escapes" and "Short Round Helps."

    There are four things I miss in this set, only one of which - the absence of the memorable "Fortune and Glory" cue - I wasn't able to compensate for. I had an alternate source for the film version of "Map" as well as the percussion track "The Rope Bridge" and I was able to reconstruct the full end credits sequence with the music on the box set and a DVD rip. The music is fantastic, but if one listens to the disc straight up, it can be a choppy experience. Many of the tracks were meant to flow directly into each other, but the album doesn't re-create the crossfades, so the music has starts and stops being defined by where the take begins and ends as opposed to an intrinsically musical flow. I loaded my DVD of the movie and created my own version with the crossfades intact; the score sounds better this way.

    Amazingly, this disc is a sonic improvement on the already impressive Japanese Polydor CD.


  • INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
    This was a big surprise. I never really warmed up to the old Warner Brothers CD of this score. This despite the fact that I thought that the film was quite well-scored. I think part of the problem may have been the muddy sonics and the brevity forced onto a soundtrack album issued in the waning days of the LP. The additional material in the new release really gives the score the breathing room to shine. Williams' jaunty academic theme is great fun, and the homestead and grail themes are now finally given proper coverage. And the second part of "Indy's Very First Adventure" at long last!!!

    As with Temple of Doom, this score seems to work better when one joins the tracks together as they appear in the film. I assembled a complete version of "Belly of the Steel Beast" integrating the material from "On the Tank" (which opens with a pick-up of the Indy A theme that closes off "Death of Kazim" in the film). Rediscovering this score has been one of the highlights of getting this new set.



  • Yoinked from everybody is this:

    If you saw ME in a police car, what would you think I got arrested for? Answer me, then if you want, post to your own journal and see how many crimes you get accused of.
    For marinshellstone is the icon meme:
    • Reply to this post with the word MEME and I will pick six of your icons.

    • Make a post (including this info) and talk about the icons I chose.

    • Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.

    • This will create a never-ending cycle of icon glee.
    KEY
    This is a shot from Meshes of the Afternoon, an extremely primal and influential experimental film by Maya Deren. The key itself is a cypher that has a deadly secret. It's really impossible to explain in linear terms what is going on with it, and it makes little sense out of context with the film. I use it to imply that there is more than just what is on the surface... or that perhaps an answer is as much a riddle as the question...

    KA D'ARGO
    If there is one thing about Farscape that was a constant, it was that the relationship between Crichton and D'Argo was always fun (reaching something of an apotheosis in the standout episode "Scratch 'n' Sniff" and "Revenging Angel"), but he was also capable of showing a much more introspective side (there is a reason why he fascinates the documentarians of "A Human Reaction"). But more than that, D'Argo in many ways represents the true heart of Moya, the strength of loyalty and friendship that forms the backbone of the show's appeal.

    Q (Major Boothroyd)
    I am a gadget person, and so Desmond Llewellyn's iconic character always appealed to me even if, ironically, the more gadget-heavy Bond films tended to be my least favorite. The character was always fun, though.

    KAMBEI
    This character shoulders the responsibility of being the embodiment of Akira Kurosawa's interpretation of the Bushido code. Though he is introduced performing an act of violence, it occurs off screen, and throughout the course of the film, he tends to be seen as a benevolent figure. Just before the intermission, some of the villagers whose houses are being sacrificed for the good of the rest attempt to revolt. Kambei draws his katana and corrals them back; this is the first time we ever actually see him as a figure of danger, but only after his character has been proven. A piquant observation about the darker tone of later Kurosawa films by one of the commentators on The Seven Samurai is that he presents a world that no longer has Kambei in it.

    AGENT CHESTER DESMOND
    "HE'S GOT HIS OWN M.O. - MODUS OPERANDI!!!" Fire Walk With Me was my introduction to the world of Twin Peaks, and Chet was, in some ways, the guy that got me into it. Deadpan but firm, Desmond in some ways represents what Dale Cooper aspires towards.

    REBO AND ZOOTY
    This comedy team is referenced through several seasons of Babylon 5, usually through disparaging remarks by Londo Mollari. Their appearance in the Neil Gaiman-scripted "Day of the Dead" episode in season five was something of a surprise for me, especially as they were none other than Penn and Teller. They have studied comedy of species throughout the universe; Minbari humor, Rebo says, is based on failure to attain spiritual enlightenment.
    Tags: birthday, film music, john williams, memes
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