Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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"Sorry, Venkman, I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought."

I am currently taking a short respite after the four mixes I just made in rapid succession, but I have two ideas for two concept album mixes. One was inspired by the other, but which one gets completed first is anybody's guess (some of you may be able to guess the subject of one of these projects from some recent posts I made over at the FSM, and Intrada message boards). And I have a few other projects on the boards as well. This is going to be an interesting year.

Bear McCreary has confirmed on his blog that the Season Four album for Battlestar Galactica will be two discs, the first being analogous to the previous three season collections, the second being the complete score for the two parts of Daybreak. He is also planning a separate release of music from the two Galactica telefilms, "Razor" and "The Plan," and eventually a release or box set of additional music from the series. And, of course, the Caprica pilot.

I have up until now been in favor of a single disc Season Four compilation, but then I heard the score for "Daybreak" and believe this to be the right move. Kudos to La La Land for being so supportive (among other things)!

It's interesting that there are so many disappointing high def transfers out there of films that aren't that old, but the James Bond films invariably look gorgeous on Blu-ray. Yes, I'm talking about the old Connery films from the early 60s (the first four, Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball have thus far been released), which are razor sharp and finely detailed with accurate colors.¹ And these haven't been smoothed over to eliminate grain, it's clear that any that was there is still there and people's flesh looks real, not like the waxwork dummies seen in the Blu-ray of Patton.

The transfers are so good that it is quite easy to see the difference between straight footage and that which has been treated with optical effects (e.g. the laser beam in Goldfinger)... as well as the soft focus photography invariably bestowed upon the Bond girls. I am not quite so enamored of the 5.1 remixes (though John Barry's music scores sound great), but they all have the original monaural soundtrack, so I don't have anything to complain about. These films look better than I've ever seen them look, and they also have all of the special features that appeared on the previous DVD editions.

And yes, Ms. Eaton glitters all the more brightly on Blu-ray.

Goldfinger was released with two other Bond titles (Moonraker and The World Is Not Enough)² along with Quantum of Solace, and as expected the transfer on that film is flawless in both image and sound, matching the theatrical prints that I saw of the film. I must admit that each time I watch the film, I enjoy it more and more. Those that had a lukewarm reaction to it might well wish to sample it again; it truly rewards with further viewing.

Nothing can really save that horrible Jack White/Alicia Keyes song. I find it interesting that all of the songs David Arnold has worked on for the Bond films (k.d. lang's "Surrender," Garbage's "The World Is Not Enough" and Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name") have been much superior to the ones he wasn't involved in, but the producers are still trying to outsource them. I wish they'd just give it up... Sheryl Crow's song for Tomorrow Never Dies and Madonna's for Die Another Day were downright embarrassing, as is this mess, which sounds like the two vocalists are singing different songs.

Some upcoming Blu-ray releases in which I'm interested:
    April 21

  • X-Men and X2
    This redresses the silliness of only having the third (and weakest) entry in the series available in this format. I am particularly looking forward to having the second film in high def.

  • April 28

  • In the Realm of the Senses
    This is coming from Criterion, replacing some rather annoying DVD releases from Fox Lorber (the subtitled version was cropped while the dubbed was in non-anamorphic widescreen). I had seen the complete version of this film as a 16 millimeter print long before it had gotten any sort of video release; the features included "deleted footage," and I wonder if that means that the scene with the children is going to be re-integrated into the film or if it is going to be a special feature.

  • Star Trek Season One
    This set will contain both the new versions with CGI special effects and also (via seamless branching) completely remastered editions of the original versions as well. And for cheaper than the DVDs! Score!

  • May 12

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    No details on the audio yet, but hopefully the original monaural track will be included as I found it superior to the 5.1 version prepared for the film's recent restoration, mostly because of how it often caused Ennio Morricone's iconic score to lack definition.

  • May 26

  • True Romance
    You know a Tony Scott film is going to look gorgeous in high def. You just do.

  • June 16

  • Dr Strangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
    Control freak Stanley Kubrick's films always look great in high def.

  • Ghostbusters
    I was very disappointed that the original release date (Hallowe'en of last year) was pushed back. This is one of my favorite comedies and am dying to have it restored.

  • June 23

  • Last Year At Marienbad
    Okay, film school dork stuff here... but I just can't wait to see the details of the Rococo architecture. This is a bizarre but fascinating work, just what would you expect from a film directed by Alain Resnais from a script by Alain Robbe-Grillet (whose Trans-Europe Express is a film that should be better known than it is, especially with Charlie Parker flagrantly biting off of it in the acclaimed Adaptation).

  • July 27

  • Torchwood Season Two
    I have seen nothing at all of the second season of this series, but I found the set of the first not only to be very entertaining, but informative as well through the enormous wealth of supplementary material. Torchwood is shot in the same format as we are using on The Early Mixes (albeit with more expensive equipment) and I found some of the reflections by the filmmakers to have been quite useful in my own work.

¹ — Any anomalies thereof are strictly because of the emulsions of the period. I've seen more transfers of more recent movies that don't have colors as spot-on as these.

² — I'm only bothering with the Connery and Craig Bonds at present (although I plan to get On Her Majesty's Secret Service upon its release). At some point I might pick up some of the better latter-era Bonds, but I'm in no rush.
Tags: battlestar galactica, bear mccreary, david arnold, ennio morricone, film music, filmmaking, ghostbusters, high def, james bond, john barry, mix workshop, sergio leone, stanley kubrick, star trek, x-men
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