Shepard Tones

Dunkirk has received mixed reviews. I’m still hoping to make it to the theater to see it, but I may end up waiting for home release.

Christopher Nolan’s movies have always been a treat. He’s a master of atmosphere and is adept at choosing worlds and themes that match his style. His treatment of Batman is probably as good as a live-action version of the character can be. The Prestige will always be on of my favorite movies of all time.

But all of his films and by all indications, Dunkirk is no exception, have outstanding soundtracks. This video provides some insight on how they do so much to contribute to his films.




How Little Caesar Gave Us Caesar

So I am watching an episode of the 1960’s Batman series that I recorded with my over-the-air DVR, and this pops up:

It took me a moment to realize that that’s Edward G. Robinson! He was an art collector. Sadly, he was forced to liquidate an amazing collection in the 1950’s to pay for a divorce settlement and because his career suffered in the 1950’s when he made enemies during the McCarthy hearings. (It’s complicated, and he’s not entirely a victim.)

He was on the Fox lot to audition for a little movie called “Planet of the Apes.” Here are a pitch and a makeup test. He’s in there a few minutes in:

Planet of the Apes is, in my opinion, one of the best science-fiction movies ever made. Good science fiction has themes and Planet of the Apes is about race, politics, truth, and life in a hierarchal society.

If you watch this entire video you can see some of the changes it went through. The original script, co-written by science-fiction giant Rod Serling, called for a more modern society for the apes but budget cuts led to what we eventually saw. The dialogue also improved with rewrites.

Even with the stripped-down sets, the core themes stay, and may even be better served with a less flashy film.

Even though Maurice Evans’ performance as Dr. Zaius is superlative, can you imagine it with Edward G. Robinson’s menace? Wow.

It was largely Robinson’s performance in the test that sold the movie to Fox. So in a way, Little Caesar gave us Andy Serkis’ Caesar, in the rebooted franchise:

The new franchise (we won’t talk about that other movie that Burton guy made) has stuck to the themes and 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was an outstanding addition to the franchise. I am looking forward to War.




Still The Best Star Wars Movie

The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the seven Star Wars movies so far, and probably forever, regardless of how many more Disney makes.

This fan made trailer reinforces that, I believe.


And his latest trailer makes an even stronger case.

Why do I think it’s the best? I’ll let Dante tell you. He nails it:

And he wasn’t even supposed to be there that day.

Tears In The Rain

Is that real?

The arrival of Blade Runner in 1982 was a seminal moment for me. Harrison Ford, fresh from Raiders of the Lost Ark and still frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back was starring in a movie based on a story from one of my favorite authors, Philip K. Dick.

There are some critical differences between the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the movie Blade Runner but this still is, and will always be, one of the best adaptations from book to film ever made. If there is an author whose work should be made into a film noir, it’s Dick, and if there is an actor that can play a beautiful, frustrating, flawed, Dick character, he’s Harrison Ford.

So I am nervous about the upcoming sequel and may just skip it.

This fan-made prequel, on the other hand, could not be more dead-on. Enjoy.

Lovecraft in Anime

I enjoy Lovecraft. “The Dunwich Horror” was the one of first written story that ever really scared me. I think “The Witches of Worm” may have been the actual first, but I read them pretty close together in elementary school.

The Cthulhu Mythos shows up in a lot of places. My favorite Robert E. Howard stories have always been about King Kull, rather than Conan because Kull tended to run into “foul necromancer” that were mucking about with Cthulhu and the gang more than Conan ever did. Mike Mignola makes brilliant use of the mythos in his Hellboy and BPRD comics.

This trailer looks very promising. The movie seems to be due out in 2018, but it’s tough to tell. The Facebook page is full of ads for other films. I’ll be keeping my eye out for it.

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