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Did Kurt Loder even see EITHER versions of this movie?
Kurt Loder's review is terrible. Why? Because he obviously didn't see the original movie NOR THIS ONE! I won't go into details. Simply see both movies and you'll see what I mean. (No spoilers here.) Meanwhile, yes, Keanu is wooden, as usual. He CAN act, but he never gets a chance most of the time. I thought Connelly was fine, Hamm was wasted (sadly), Cleese was great RECREATING (yes, Kurt, his scene was in the original movie!) the role, the effects were fun, and the fact that the story did follow most of the original movie and wasn't bogged down by TONS of destruction scenes was nice. So overall I enjoyed the movie a lot.
But I was in the minority. LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE. I just wish they hadn't ruined the movie. It seemed obvious that "the powers that be" decided to hack it up vs the original vision. But that's the way most movies go these days. Oh, and on that point, WHY did they screw around with the soundtrack to add "booming junk" when you can hear an obvious Bernard Herrmann tribute within it? Sad.
RIP Michael Rennie and Robert Wise.
PS I'm joking when I say... "What, no Dogstar song in the end credits?"
A lifetime memory... relived.
*** A TINY SPOILER IN HERE, BUT ONLY IF YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THE ORIGINAL VERSION, LET ALONE THE "DIRECTOR'S CUT" *** In 1979 I was 22 years old.
For months prior to its opening I watched the TV ads for "Alien" in fascination. I thought, "WOW, this looks TRULY scary!" NEAT!
Back then they didn't have presale tickets available except at the box office itself. As I lived in a pretty far away 'burb of Hollywood at the time I didn't get a chance to get my ticket until long after ALL of the other showings EXCEPT ONE had sold out on opening weekend at the BEST theater in which it was playing in town, the Egyptian, in Hollywood. (Long before its conversion into the American Cinematheque). Due to studio-predicted demand, on opening weekend "Alien" played at the Egyptian from around 6 am Friday morning all the way thru the weekend CONTINUOUSLY! All day, all night showings, on the biggest screen there.
So when did I go? The Saturday 3 am showing! BY MYSELF! Afterwards I walk out, and a cop immediately happens upon me. There I am, 6 am on Hollywood Blvd, just standing in shock outside the theater entrance. He asked "Are you OK? You look ill!" I said "Yeah!", went to my car, looked for "eggs" in the backseat, drove home, and had nightmares that night. (You might say I was impressionable even at that age in those days! LOL) True story.
OK, so now I'm long over the shock of "Alien". And tonight the AFI showed "Alien" at a great theater near where I live, the ArcLight in Sherman Oaks. Yup, I'm still in a 'burb of, albeit closer to, Hollywood. It played on one of the two biggest screens in the complex. And I went.
It was glorious to see it again on a big screen, first time since that opening weekend! Altho the additions to this, the "director's cut", were interesting, I think I prefer the version I saw way back then (and later, repeatedly on the tiny TV screen when they showed it on HBO, etc, over the years). Much more "clostrophobic" in feeling. But it still does a fantastic job to awe and frighten. Standouts (outside of the story, script and direction) are the fantastic lighting, beautiful soundtrack (especially all the noises), great acting by newbies at the time, and more.
So if you ever get a chance to see "Alien" on the big screen, DO, no matter how many times you may have seen it at home.
And what's there next week? "Aliens". I saw that film opening weekend too, again at the Egyptian! (I feel like one lucky boy!)
Reliving my life
*** NO SPOILERS YET *** I'll put my spoilers below this summary.
I would've given "Control" a 10 for the following 3 reasons. (1) Sam Riley's acting. (2) The re-creation of the music live on stage by the actors. (3) The cinematography, which looked so much like Anton Corbijn had done it himself. Stunning.
The first 2/3 of the movie was a 10, but the last 1/3 made me give it an 8.
Oh, and I had a minor qualm with the portrayal of Peter Hook at times. (I've heard rumors it might be true, but who cares!) If you know NOTHING about Ian Curtis and/or Joy Division and/or Anton Corbijn, DEFINITELY GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It's a beautiful film.
And now for some personal thoughts and recollections, for those who DO know the history regarding the aforementioned folks and entities! *** SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE BAND JOY DIVISION *** I'll share some personal stuff first.
I missed seeing Joy Division by only "THIS" much. (I still regret it.) My current partner of 27 years, ML (www.imdb.com/name/nm0422314/), saw Joy Division in England during their Feb 1979 tour. When I met ML for the first time later in the summer of 1979 he said it was the greatest live band he had ever seen in his life. And to this day he still says it. (And we were and are EXTREMELY active with seeing live bands, it would blow your minds, lets just say we won't be retiring EVER.) When I saw the posters for that period in the background shots I nearly died. When ML watched the live segments, he was blown away. Other than the crowd size in the venues (which he said was actually half-full when he saw them) the performances were dead on.
We lived and loved during Joy Division. I met ML via Joy Division. The first cassette tape ML made as a gift to me to impress me (Awwww!) contained "Transmission". And Tony Wilson made a copy of the not-yet-released first album on cassette and gave it to a friend in the US who gave a copy to ML, with permission of Wilson, because ML was one of the, if not the, first person in the US who truly loved them. And so I heard that album long before its release, was puzzled by its bleakness and lack of stereotypical "punk" qualities (the attitude is there, of course), and fell in love with it. Tons of playing in our car, it was worn out just before the actual album came out and the tape could be replaced! So along comes the part where the band in the movie plays their first live gig, using that same song, "Transmission". I started crying. Why? Because this movie has all of the EMOTIONS of that period, and I started reliving them, right there in my movie theater chair. I could remember that past so vividly. It wasn't the first time that had happened to me in a movie ("24 Hour Party People" too), but this was the greatest moment.
Note that I have seen lots of footage of Joy Division, but only as much as any fan of theirs can get their hands on these days. Nothing from vaults and such. (MAN do they need to make a movie from THAT stuff, if it exists.) Then there was sadness. Joy Division was scheduled to play here in Los Angeles at the Starwood during the scheduled first US tour. And the LA date was June 9. On ML's birthday! So when we learned, just a few weeks before that date, of Ian's demise... well, enough said.
But then, happiness, and ML got his wish. He managed a band back then, BPeople (from Pasadena), and he was able to get them as the openers for New Order at their very first gig in Los Angeles, 11/6/81 at Perkins Palace, in Pasadena! I still have a promo poster for the show.
Like I said, this band (and MANY others) was pivotal to our relationship at the time.
So I have to EXCLAIM LOUDLY, if you are a fan of all of these persons and entities in the past and present, GO SEE THIS MOVIE! You'll LOVE the first 2/3.
Now quickly about the last third. The movie becomes soap-opera-esqe regarding the feelings of the wife (the woman who wrote the book the movie is based upon) and the mistress. While watching I got into it partly, but it just went on way too long. And the ending scenes of Ian's death, they didn't work as much as I had hoped. Not that I wanted to see him die, I'm glad they didn't show it. It's just that it wasn't really as impactful as it should've been.
I think you see that I liked it enough to recommend it.
Hope I didn't bore you with the personal stuff. I rarely blog (I currently have my recent first-ever blog posted at the Interpol fan site, what a coincidence, HA) so I felt compelled to write this SOMEWHERE, and IMDb was the winner (or loser?).