Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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That last post was one of those occasions when I was being particularly unpleasant. Happily enough, I did have the presence of mind to lock it, so the damage is hopefully minimal.

It's the sort of post that I look at now and say, "What an obnoxious creature am I!"

On the other hand, I do remember how difficult it was to find the lyrics to the second Meteors song. Suit and I ended up just playing the song and trying to divine what he was singing, so if you're more familiar with it than I, and I have gotten the lyrics wrong, forgive me.

No, I'm not going to delete it. I posted it and it isn't nice, but I'm not about to sanitize myself. Sometimes I can be an angry prick, and that was one of those times.

London Below

While waiting for Suit to return home from work yesterday, I popped in his DVDs of Neverwhere.

I had read this book a couple of years ago, and was unaware that a television adaptation had been made. I had a certain amount of trepidation about it, but I have to say that it is a pretty good adaptation with a lot to recommend it.

The limitations of the production are immediately apparent in the overly frenetic first episode. The video image is a little too "dry" for the subject matter, and the choppy editing scheme and over-the-top style were initially off-putting. Things settle down somewhat by the second episode, which is when the setting shifts from the London Above to London Below. It is here that director Dewi Humphries is on surer footing, and the budgetary constraints actually work in the program's favor. From time to time, the show gets a little too flamboyant for its own good, but such moments are fewer and farther between as the program progresses.

The performances are all pretty good, and while I found Gary Bakewell as Richard Mayhew somewhat abrasive in the first episode, thereafter he calms down somewhat and manages to draw you into the story.

Of particular note are Hywel Bennett and Clive Russell, who play the murderous duo Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemaar, whose malevolent repartee certainly makes one of the best assassin teams since Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd's killing spree graced Diamonds Are Forever, and Paterson Joseph, as the Marquis De Carabas.

Because both Suit and I had read the book before seeing the show, we had preconcieved notions as to what the characters would look like. While the image I got in my head from the novel of Croup and Vandemaar is pretty close to how they appear in the series, I had a somewhat different image of the Marquis. Suit had the inverse reaction, saying the series pretty much nailed his concept of the Marquis but that Croup and Vandemaar were different from what he envisioned. Both of us agreed, however, that the actors sold their parts to us; I have no difficulty accepting the show's version of the Marquis because Joseph works so well, and Suit had no problem with Croup and Vandemaar because their portrayal captured the essence of those characters from the book.

I can't say I cared much for Brian Eno's drab score, but the environments, by James Dillon (production designer), Chris Coldwell (art director) and Amanda Ackland-Snow (set decorator) are spot-on. While Humphries' more manic impulses will sometimes showcase the program's low budget simply because video can't do certain things, the sets are wholly in keeping with how the London Below is described in the book. The color scheme is a little bizarre, but that is apparently because of a lighting issue that was supposed to have been corrected in post-production but wasn't.

Neil Gaiman has a commentary track on the DVD that is supposed to be pretty good, but I have not sampled it as yet.

Oh, and Freddie Jones shows up in a cameo as the Earl of Earl's Court. Brilliant casting.

Nice Tunes For A Really Dumb Movie

Screen Archives is distributing an expanded edition of Basil Poledouris' score for Cherry 2000, coupled with his music from No Man's Land. This is one of those film scores that makes it embarrassing to be a film music aficionado.

The music is actually a lot of fun. Poledouris came up with three primary themes that are quite fun, and he overlayed the orchestra with tinkling electronics.

The movie is so stupid that it is difficult even to bring it up with a straight face, but what is really silly about this score is that it came out as a limited edition release when Varese Sarabande records was first starting up its CD Club. Only 2000 copies were made, and they sold out immediately. For some strange reason, this album became some sort of holy grail for collectors, at one point actually fetching two thousand dollars. I'm serious. In today's day and age, with CD burners, this sort of thing would never happen, but it did back then.

Two thousand dollars is way too much for any CD. That sort of fanaticism is scary, partly because of how obsessive an act it is to pay that much, but also because it really does have a negative impact on the marketplace.

Thankfully, nobody has to pay that much anymore.
Tags: cinema, film music
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