Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Head Above Water

I recently found Masaru Satoh's score from the classic Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo available for download. waystone may remember the first time I ever saw this film (she showed it to me), it was with another person who thought the score was pretty bad. The truth is that the music, much like the film itself, never really takes itself all that seriously. If you want to hear a serious score by Satoh, check out The Seven Samuraii (actually, check out The Seven Samuraii anyway, it's one of the best movies ever made), but Yojimbo is strictly tongue-in-cheek material. The infectious main theme immediately brings me back to that first glimpse of the town, where a dog trots by with a hand in its mouth.

Masaru Satoh
A.K.A. "Sato"

The Butterfly Defect

Having to sit through this trailer before each showing of The Return of the King was annoying, partly because after a certain point I gave up and just wanted to see the film just to get it over with. I never did, while it was in theaters, which turns out to be a pretty good thing because that meant that the first time I saw it was as the director's cut.

I have to honestly say that I found myself liking the film against all my better judgement. It is incredibly silly. Ashton Kutcher isn't all that great, but he is effective in the central role, and the film's histrionics actually give it something of a forward momentum that keeps it engaging from beginning to end... and what an end the director's cut has.

The trailer pretty much gives the outline of the film, but it doesn't really get into a lot of the more nitty-gritty aspects of the film. And it does get pretty damn nitty-gritty, which is what turned a lot of critics off to the positive elements of the movie. It also has some very awkwardly staged sequences, in which the narrative sort of stumbles forward, which is somewhat annoying, but nothing all that bad.

The film is quite thought-provoking, if sometimes simplistic, though the limitations of the cinematic medium doesn't really permit for more subtle changes to occur between the different realities. That said, some of the subtle differences are quite ingenious; in the "zero" timeline, one sees the younger version of Amy Smart's character in baggy clothes - this is the reality in which she was abused, while in another - where she wasn't - she is dressed in more form-fitting clothes.

Unfortunately, the trailer did blow many of the surprises of the film by showing you too much, but the way that they fit together does work quite well. The theatrical cut ending works, I guess, but it really doesn't have any teeth, while the director's cut ending actually has a certain amount of resonance.

Overall, this was by no means a great movie, but it was definitely engaging (more so than I was expecting it to be) and the DVD is chock full of interesting special features, plus New Line's expected top-of-the-line transfer which presents the film in a beautiful 1.85:1 transfer with an outstanding DTS ES Discrete 6.1 surround track.

It should be noted that Amy Smart does not, in fact, appear topless in this film.

Ultraviolent Ultraviolet

Suit lent me his copies of Ultraviolet so I could show them to some of my more local peeps. I popped one of the DVDs in the other day and checked out the different sound options. I was most surprised to find that the Dolby 5.1 track is a simple mix, but actually rather aggressive.

* * *

My cellphone needs a good talking to. It froze up on me last night, so I never knew that Suit called, which is annoying because he was doing so to see how I was doing.

I hate pissing away goodwill.
Tags: cinema, memes

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