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Figo

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  1. That Empire Strikes Back poster is one of the most evocative images from my early teens. God, how I fetishized that thing. Happy Birthday, Star Wars. Would that ye had died young and left a pretty corpse.
  2. Happy birthday to one of my all-time favorite film composers. Everyone, crack out your Ben-Hur. Flog one another in a virtual chariot race. Crush Stephen Boyd beyond recognition. I don't know about you, but I've been playing Rozsa all week -- I'm really hooked on Lust for Life -- and I plan to watch Eye of the Needle and The Thief of Bagdad tonight. After I buy a whole heap of Rozsa discs from Screen Archives.
  3. I agree. It's particularly distressing when aging filmmakers return to the phenomenal movies of their prime and decide to second-guess them. Why tamper with The Exorcist? Superman? Apocalypse Now? E.T.? In George's case, it's because he's dried up and probably insane, like Howard Hughes or Charles Foster Kane. Is there a facility on Skywalker Ranch, do you think, where he stores his own urine in milk bottles? I also feel for the pioneering artists and technicians who made Star Wars what it was. There's probably no love lost between Lucas and John Dykstra, but Dykstra's work earned him an Oscar and set the standard for all special effects films that followed. Now, what? the images are run through a computer and all that ingenuity and craftsmanship are negated. I don't know about you, but I find it a heck of a lot more impressive when someone is able to make something great out of almost nothing, as opposed to making something ordinary out of what was previously great. The best art is seldom made by someone with unlimited means.
  4. Amen. Coinsidering the retail price for each of the three movies is $29.99, they could have been Criterion releases. But that would have implied quality. For the record, the last time I purchased Star Wars in any form -- come to think of it, the only time -- was when the original trilogy was released on VHS. I have no interest in the special editions, and less than no interest in the prequels.
  5. I bought all three of these releases at Target (the least expensive outlet I could find), but dreading profound disappointment, I haven't removed the shrinkwrap and am still contemplating returning them to the store. What the reactionaries in this thread fail to grasp is that the "Lucas-bashers" really, really want a respectable copy of the films they loved when they saw them in the theatre -- as they saw them in the theatre. That's all I want. Lucas can tinker and damage his own legacy to his heart's content. All I -- and all thousands just like me -- desire is a nice, clean transfer. I don't even want bonus features. If it can be done for John Ford movies, if it can be done for The Adventures of Robin Hood, then it can be done for a film made in 1977. There had to be a scrubbed-up master in order to do the special editions. Please, for the love of God, George, do the right thing. It's guys like me who put you where you are now. Don't make us solicit our friends for bootlegs.
  6. Like everyone else, I basically knew Myers from The Deer Hunter. Then one night I rented The Witches, and I wasn't able to get the music out of my head. To this day, I can still remember the theme. Very good score, and also a surprisingly fine adaptation of a Roald Dahl novel. I really underestimated Myers. Too many recordings of the Cavatina.
  7. I believe this formula was established by Lou Gossett.
  8. Speak for yourself. CE3K is one of Williams' very best scores, and like just about everything he wrote back then, I know it by heart. As Joe said, in the '70s there wasn't much else available. We didn't have computers. We didn't have video. So we'd all go to the movies (for godawful cheap) and listen to the soundtracks, over and over and over again. It also helps that when you're young, there's a lot more time to simply listen and dream.
  9. And the Kaska pieces aren't too shabby, either.
  10. It's a great piece, one of the concert works to which I return most often. I wish those numbskulls at Sony would get their acts together and issue the three brass concertos (trumpet, horn & tuba) on a single program -- while Williams is still in good enough health that he's able to conduct.
  11. One of my biggest concerns from all of the stills I'd seen beforehand was that the cast was going to consist of a lot of pretty, young actors. Having seen the film, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, as they all seemed to have the chops to play their roles competently. As has already been mentioned, Brandon Routh sounds exactly like Christopher Reeve, and in some scenes, by gum, he looks exactly like Reeve. That's some pretty effective lighting. Of course, Reeve will never be replaced, but Routh is far better than expected. (The film's dedication to Reeve would have been more poignant -- and would have bolstered audience good will -- had it appeared at the beginning.) Bosworth was nothing like Margot Kidder, but again she was competent. The Pulitzer Prize angle was a little ludicrous, but hell, it's a comic book. A good Lois needs to be able to do a lot of brazen and stupid things in quest of a good scoop. She's mostly just an excuse to get Superman to perform all kinds of cool super-rescues. Sorry if that sounds sexist, but as the character was conceived, it's basically what she is. I thought Spacey was fine as Lex, perhaps a bit more as he is (or was) in the comics. Hackman was great, but as a kid I was surprised by just how much humor he brought to the role. It seemed as if he were guest-starring on the Adam West Batman TV show. That said, I missed the Hackman touch in one or two scenes. I couldn't imagine the Lex of the original during the big confrontation, but then again I suppose Hackman could have played it like his Unforgiven sherriff. Spacey is naturally creepy, if you ask me. He didn't even have to act (which is probably why most of the time he didn't.) I'm really liking Frank Langella recently, so it didn't bother me that his Perry White was a little more low-key than one would expect. He's definitely gotten better with age. I still can't believe this is the same guy who played Dracula. The superspawn wasn't too annoying, but I agree his inclusion could spell trouble for the future. I'm not a big fan of CG effects (those of you who know me will be shocked to hear this), and this movie has done nothing to convert me, although I think some of the most effective moments were the iconic images of Superman catching/holding/stopping big stuff. The bit with the plane seemed right out of an old Fleischer brothers cartoon, and did anyone else notice the allusion to Action Comics? The filmmakers basically duplicate the very first appearance of Superman, as he holds an automobile aloft. http://www.supermanhomepage.com/images/com...act001s-tb.html I didn't mind the inclusion of many direct references to the Donner film, although the repetition of certain lines pretty much fell flat. The opening credits were weak compared to the original -- far too busy, with a particularly weak performance of the main title music -- though I appreciate the effort. The flashback to Supe's boyhood on the Kent farm was disappointingly ho-hum; all CGI and not particularly imaginative. Eva Marie Saint was a nice addition, and she still looks great at 81. Too bad she didn't have much to do. And it's a dispiriting reminder of the state of our own country that a film about the ultimate American icon had to be shot in Australia. After all these years, don't you think Lex would have come up with something more interesting than yet another land-grab scheme? Superman III may have sucked, but at least it featured an imaginative subplot featuring a wicked Superman. And when are we going to get to see some of the other classic villains?
  12. Imagine how much more powerful the pay-off would have been had the March been used at the end of the airplane sequence. With the images of the crowd going wild, it may have been the one scene almost worthy of the original. But perhaps such cornball rah-rah-isms and apple pie naivite are just too uncool by today's standards.
  13. Sorry, Burga. It was TheRuleOfThirds I meant.
  14. Oh my god, a perceptive comment by Ilya S. The mangling of the ship crashing through the ceiling is on par with the removal of the rifle shot from E.T. So much for Williams' hard work. Aren't we supposed to get a DVD release of the original cut, by the way, as part of some ridiculously padded set?
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