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Topics - uncknown

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Off-Topic Discussion / COURIC/PALIN
« on: April 02, 2009, 01:04:38 PM »
Anybody see this article in the APRIL FIRST edition of Hollywood Variety?
Ron Howard must be losing his mind along with his hair!

Imagine's Next Project: COURIC/PALIN

Ron Howard shocked the Hollywood community today with the announcement that his next film will be a docudrama about the infamous interview between Katie Couric and Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Howard's last film FROST/NIXON was a box-office bomb despite being nominated for a best Picture Oscar so it is unclear where the audience is for a film about a television interview program.
Initial reports state that Jessica Simpson will play Couric. Tina fey who has made a career out of playing Palin bowed out after her salary demands were rejected. She reportedly wanted 15 million dollars and ninety percent of the profits. The producer BrIan Grazer said they are hoping to get Katie Holmes for Palin. COURIC/PALIN is based on a one-man show that played Off-Off Broadway and starred Roger Debris in both roles (in drag), Debris , who also directed and wrote the play, will adapt it for the big screen.

In related news, famed documentarian D.A. Pennebraker (DONT LOOK BACK: THE WAR ROOM) will be releasing PENN/ROURKE this Summer.
The film chronicles the heated, bitter, sometimes violent battle for the Best Actor OscaR between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. Insiders who have seen a rough cut were astonished by footage of the two actors involved in a bloody brawl at the Los Angeles eatery Barney's Beanery.

Off-Topic Discussion / Tomas Milian
« on: February 01, 2009, 01:36:02 PM »
Did TM dub his own voice in BIG GUNDOWN et. al.?
It looks as if he is speaking Spanish on screen but I know the Cuban born actor speaks English also.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / The restoration (article)
« on: December 17, 2008, 04:22:10 PM »
Yeah, this is olde news, but a couple of other threads have rekindled the debate over the  MGM "restored' Leone films.
I wrote this for a magazine (remember them?) back in "04. it is based on the theatrical release, the dvd had not yet been issued ???

I was fortunate enough to  see the re-released version of the film in San Francisco last Summer [2003]
How great it was to see a new, clean print after  years of suffering through ragged prints at revival houses. Leone's style especially demands to be seen on a big screen. His compositions favor close-ups and long shots and the Techniscope process, which uses less than half the 35mm film frame, is not well suited to the small screen.
This new version contains scenes that were only included in the Italian version. To insert them into the US version the actors had to dub their lines into English for the first time. Lee Van Cleef is no longer with us so a voice actor dubbed him, and did so very well. Eli Wallach and Clint Eastwood dubbed their own voices and maybe in Eastwoods's case an impersonator might have been a better idea. His raspy, modern day voice just does not match his mid-sixties one, making his new scenes a bit jarring.
One of the new  scenes, where Tuco recruits gunmen to kill Blondie,  was never even in the Italian version. It should have stayed out. However, the scene where Angel Eyes visits a Confederate fort seeking information about the missing gold cache was a welcome addition.
Now we get to the crux of the matter. One of my big beefs with these restorations is the treatment of the soundtrack. G, B, U has a mono soundtrack. In a situation analogous to the colorizing of black & white films, film companies feel a need to soup- up older soundtracks with Dolby Digital overkill. The gunshots in this new version sound like cannons going off. Panning sound effects are produced by dropping out a speaker a la the old Perspecta sound system. And, do we really need the voices bouncing all over the screen as characters move about? At least the surrounds were kept to a minimum; only noticeable when the bridge was blown up.
I don't really mind them stereoizing the music, especially with such a great score. However, that too can pose some problems. First you need the music in stereo, then it has to sync up. In this instance, only some scenes could overlay new stereo music tracks.
Unfortunately, this trend seems to be with us to stay. The best we can hope for is that the dvd retains the original mono soundtrack(done with Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST) as an optional alternate to the "re-mastered in 5.1" track.

General Discussion / Leone in FSM!
« on: December 24, 2004, 11:39:50 AM »
The music magazine Film Score Monthly has had two articles recently about Sergio & Ennio!

v.9 no.5 has  an in-depth piece on the music, the soundtrack, and the restoration of THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
v.9 no.8 has a review of the dvd documentary about EM "ENNIO MORRICONE: A MAN AND HIS MUSIC"

go to and click on "back issues'.


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