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March 2009

Top 20 composers of the past 20 years

Top 20 composers of the past 20 years

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John Farr, at bestmoviesbyfarr.com, has compiled his personal list of ten composers who he feels wrote the most memorable scores of the 15 years from 1959-1974. He chooses this period somewhat arbitrarily, claiming that the most evocative use of music in the past quarter century has taken the form of soundtracks (American Graffiti, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction). 1.) Bernard Herrmann, “North By Northwest” (1959) / “Psycho” (1960) 2.) Elmer Bernstein, “The…

Seth Rogen on Letterman

Seth Rogen on Letterman

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David Letterman has a much stranger sense of humor than he normally gets to express on his own show. As offbeat as he can be, I first realized we had matching taste in movie comedies when he raved about One Night at McCools a few years back — a movie that got panned by most critics. I ignored the reviews, took Letterman’s advice, and discovered a dark twisted gem. Unlike…

Sherlock Holmes poster

Sherlock Holmes poster

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(click to enlarge) The brooding teaser poster for Sherlock Holmes has the Baker Street sleuth striking a pose that reminds me of another fin-de-si√®cle eccentric. And another one. (Some have said that the dark tinted glasses are anachronistic — in the 19th century “it was common for syphilis patients to receive amber- or yellow-tinted lenses” — but here’s the Honorable Henry Cranston, Congressman from Rhode Island, stylin’ in his shades…

Subtitles for Dummies

Subtitles for Dummies

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Don’t buy the new DVD or Blu-ray discs for Let the Right One In unless you like all the subtlety and nuance sucked right out of your movies. The subtitles for the theatrical release, as well as those on last year’s screeners, did a fine job translating the sly attitude and dark humor intended by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel and screenplay. But the DVD released March 10th hangs…

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno is NC-17!  Not.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno is NC-17! Not.

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We know Sharon Waxman knows exactly what’s going on here, and understands the game being played. Maybe she thinks nobody else does, because this gets reported in breathless gasps, as if we’re all supposed to be shocked and concerned. Is Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno Too Raunchy? With outrageous sex scenes and racist humor that goes beyond Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen‚Äôs docu-comedy Bruno was just given an NC-17 rating. Can he…

A Joaquin Time-Bomb

A Joaquin Time-Bomb

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Director James Gray speaks out about the bizarre behavior of former BFF, Joaquin Phoenix. Gray is in the UK promoting Two Lovers, and he’s less than thrilled that the Phoenix’s antics overshadow his film: “It’s like, Letterman was trying to get the movie out there, but the only thing that’s out there now is a crazy person with a beard making a fool of himself!” says Gray, still seething today…

Maurice Jarre, 1924 – 2009

Maurice Jarre, 1924 – 2009

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From the BBC: French composer Maurice Jarre, best known for his music for Hollywood films, has died in Los Angeles at 84, after suffering from cancer. Jarre, father of the composer Jean-Michel Jarre, rose to prominence relatively late in life. His breakthrough came in 1962 when he wrote the score for Lawrence of Arabia, for which he was awarded an Oscar. He won two further Oscars for Doctor Zhivago and…

Sugar trailer

Sugar trailer

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Thanks to Jack Stark for tipping us to the trailer for Sugar, nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance last year (Frozen River won) and nommed for Best Screenplay at the Indie Spirit Awards (beat out by Vicky Cristina Barcelona). Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the husband and wife team behind Half Nelson, Sugar gets its official theatrical release April 3. It’s the story of…

Broken Embraces, Spanish trailer

Broken Embraces, Spanish trailer

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Love the nod to Bernard Herrmann with the trancy whirlpool harp à la Vertigo. And is that a shot quote from Notorious too? How many of our Spanish readers have seen Los Abrazos Rotos?

Shutter Island, teaser poster

Shutter Island, teaser poster

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Brad Brevett at Rope of Silicon has this teaser poster scanned from the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. Looks like Scorsese (or at least the Paramount market department) is playing up the Gothic horror aspects of the story rather than the noir detective mystery, and that’s fine by me. The ghoulish font is a bit Fright Night but, really, what movie wouldn’t be improved by having its title writ in blood?