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5 items from 2015

Ennio Morricone’s 25 Greatest Musical Cues

26 August 2015 9:19 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight will be the first time that the legendary composer Ennio Morricone has scored an entire movie for the spaghetti Western–loving director. (Indeed, it will be the first time that any composer has scored an entire movie for Tarantino, who generally prefers his music repurposed.) Morricone, age 86, has continued to work fairly steadily, but it will be exciting for those of us who are fans of the composer to see the spotlight shine brightly on him once again. Because to say that Morricone is a great soundtrack composer — or even the greatest of all soundtrack composers — doesn’t quite do him justice. His influence is monumental across musical genres, and his innovations have been adopted even by avant-garde musicians. In fact, many people who’ve never seen a single film scored by the prolific Morricone can probably still easily identify many of his musical themes. »

- Bilge Ebiri

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Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule

20 August 2015 10:29 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Ever since I came up with the quizzical, whimsical (quizzimsical?) name for my blog way back in 2004, I’ve been asked how I settled on such an odd one. The answer is fairly simple: as originally envisioned, I supposed that I would split blog time between writing about movies and writing about baseball, therefore I wanted something that would effectively, fancifully evoke both worlds. But it wasn’t long before I realized that I was a much better baseball fan than I was a literary observer or analyst of the sport, and soon I stopped writing much about the game at all. Yet the name remained—it had become ingrained, and I liked it, yet I felt new readers might now find it puzzling, and for a while I flirted with the idea of changing it. Thankfully, one of those early readers of »

- Dennis Cozzalio

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Watch: 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly' Star Wars Western Mash-Up

23 July 2015 8:22 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

"You kill me, you won't see a cent of that gold." There's always time for a Star Wars short film. Below you can watch the short film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly parody mash-up directed by Calvin Evans. It's basically Star Wars, featuring Han Solo, Greedo and Boba Fett, as if it were literally a Sergio Leone western. The actual dialogue isn't that great, but the effects are excellent, the opening titles are perfect, and they just get so much of the atmosphere right that I can't help but admire the work on this short. There's even a nice poster to go along with it. It's a quick 5-min mash-up that's worth watching, so fire it up. Enjoy! Artwork above by Mark McHaley for the film. The original description from YouTube explains: "A Italian western parody, of Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad and the Ugly... but with Star Wars characters. »

- Alex Billington

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Ennio Morricone Says "The Standard Of Composition For Film Has Deteriorated"

4 June 2015 6:19 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

With six decades in the game and hundreds of credits to his name, there are few film composers as revered as Ennio Morricone. And there are probably just as few suited to comment on the changing nature of film composition, and the use of music in film. And while I think there's still plenty to get excited about in the changing landscape (check out On The Rise: 12 Film Composers To Watch to get an idea of the talents that will be paving the way in the future), Morricone has some pointed criticism about the current state of film and music affairs. "The standard of composition for film has deteriorated. I have suffered a lot in watching many films because of that," he told The Guardian. And he pointed toward filmmakers who are either afraid of being overshadowed by a strong score, or don't know to employ it properly. “There are »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The Salvation Review

26 February 2015 3:48 PM, PST | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

With his tough, chiseled face, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has one of world cinema’s best mugs. The actor carries so much of the weight of his many characters in his face, whether it be Hannibal Lecter’s suave cunning on television or anguished despair in his triumphant role in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. Naturally, as a stoic settler trying to get retribution on a bloodthirsty baddie in The Salvation, a pastiche to the westerns of John Ford and Sergio Leone, Mikkelsen is magnetic, expressing deep hurt and pain with just a glower or grimace.

As recent Danish immigrant Jon, Mikkelsen’s bloodied and blistered face is a wall to show just how resolute he can be. Jon crossed the Atlantic with his brother (Mikael Persbrandt) in the 1860s with the hopes of making a living in a frontier town. He learned the customs and language, as did the »

- Jordan Adler

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