Thursday, November 30, 2006

REQUEST: the score to Frances / music by John Barry

Periodically, I am going to post some requests of my own with fingers crossed that someone will share from their collection if they do have that title.

First up - does anyone have John Barry's score for the film Frances?

If so, could you please share this one? I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance....

Russ Meyer's Vixen! (1968) / music by William Loose

Yeah, just an excuse to post some titilating photos :) (an admittedly bad pun only Russ would enjoy?)

I have only seen a few of Russ Meyer's films (Faster Pussycat Kill Kill; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) and, while I have enjoyed those few on a certain level, I have never been in a rush to see the rest of his oeuvre. I guess Im just not a big tit fan. Keira Knightley - yes, those are the kinds of tits i like: small, petite, the nipples become hard at the touch...

sorry, getting carried away here...

Nevertheless, Russ and his films have interested me enough to pick up Big Bosoms and Square Jaws: The Biography of Russ Meyer by Jimmy McDonough - its a great read that really paints a vivid portrait of Russ and what went into the making oh his films.

Jimmy McDonough also wrote an even better bio of Andy Milligan (The Ghastly Ones: The Sex Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan) - its better because Milligan's life was soooo off-beat and weird (Russ is positively straight-laced by comparison). Andy and those who entered his life are an amazing cast of oddball characters. Its a hilarious, sad, sordid read - seek this one out.

Here's the soundtrack to Russ Meyer's Vixen:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Puppet on a Chain (1971) / music by Piero Piccioni

another film I am dying to see. the poster art for this flick suggests its a James Bond wannabe, right down to the promise of a great boat chase through amsterdam(!). former bond villain Vladek Sheybal even appears in this flick.

Piero Piccioni's score is just cool lounge music action cues (there are some quiet interludes as well); check this out and allow your mind to score that action film you have been thinking of making.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Until September (1984) + Starcrash (1979) / music by John Barry

I know, I know: ANOTHER John Barry. Honestly, I am just picking things off the shelf and, if I havent seen that particular title offered on any of the usual suspects of blogs similar to this one, then I am content to just post that day's pick.

The score for Until September is a great example of why I love John Barry; no one else can do the lush, romantic music in quite the same way. The tinkling piano of the main theme always makes me swoon.

At the time the film was released, I had a massive crush on Karen Allen (ever since Raiders of the Lost Ark); pairing Ms. Allen with this John Barry score inspired many a romantic fantasy of my own, each infinitely more interesting and exciting than this film.

Barry's score for Starcrash comes from the same period when Barry gave us the scores to Moonraker and The Black Hole. Starcrash has many echoes of those scores, and some of the same faults - it kinda drags a bit. Whereas Barry's score for Until September is more memorable than the film itself, with Starcrash, the opposite is true: I remember the film more than the score. Maybe thats due to the fact that Starcrash has Caroline Munro wearing some nice little nothings throughout the film. Aside from that, I find these Italian rip-offs of Star Wars (such as Starcrash; The Humanoid; etc) so entertaining; I would rather watch these Italian rip-offs over any of the actual Star Wars films.

And, yes, for those people interested in such things, Audiograbber was used when ripping this disc.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Homeboy (1988) / music by Eric Clapton

Not to keep anyone in suspense: yes, this is my initial foray using AUDIOGRABBER!
Now if I have set this up correctly, these should be 192kbps mp3s.
Let me know how things are looking with this post.

I am a big fan of this movie, as it features another of Christopher Walken's patented, only - Christopher - Walken - can - get - away - with - this - schtick performances; he is absolutely mesmerizing in a role that, in other hands would be campy or foolish. but which, as Walken plays it, results in a dynamic and scary character.

Mickey Rourke, on the other hand, doesnt fare quite so well. Mickey does something weird with his lip and he speaks in a low-key, kinda retarded mumble. yeah, i know the character is meant to be a brain damaged simpleton, but still, he just looks and sounds kinda silly; its a little too much of an actor's workshop of a performance. I think Mickey also wrote the screenplay.

Director Michael Seresin creates a real downbeat atmosphere; this is not a feel-good movie. Strangely, I dont think Seresin directed another movie although he was the director of photgraphy on many of my favorites such as Angel Heart.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Games of Death (1978) + Night Games (1980) / music by John Barry

More John Barry; cant ever have enough John Barry. The scores here are not really representative of John Barry's best work, but each has individual highlights.

This was ripped to mp3 format, zipped and uploaded.

I only noticed now that the Hammett score was ripped using the Ipod so it was not in mp3 format.

I will repost that score (and others that I had originally ripped using the Ipod) in the near future.

If anyone wants something sooner than that, just let me know.

Here now is Game of Death / Night Games:

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hammett (1982) / music by John Barry

Beautiful, atmospheric score for West German director Wim Wenders' underrated evocation of American noir films.

Johnny Cool (1963) / music by Billy May

another film i wish i could lay my hands on; what a cast: henry silva, elizabeth montgomery, jim backus, joey bishop(!), mort sahl, telly savalas and sammy davis jr (as a character named "Educated").

billy may provides a swinging jazz score; sammy davis sings a great song called "Bee Boom".

Friday, November 24, 2006

Les Deux Orphelines Vampires (1997) / music by Philippe D'Aram

maybe this one is for the hardcore cult film obsessives; i'm not sure director Jean Rollin is known outside of that clique. frankly i would prefer to look at the stills from his films than the actual films themselves. usually his films are filled with naked french girls, usually they are vampires, usually they are lesbians, usually they are engaging in soft pore the elements are there for great films right? but no, jean rollin proceeds to package the proceedings in the most laughably pretentious example of exploitation horror erotica disguised as french art film; scenes go on and on with a kind of slow-motion drugged languorousness; impossible to watch without falling asleep (nude french vampire lesbian goings-on notwithstanding).

if the mention of pretentious french artiness is getting you interested in the films of jean rollin, here is a link to a series of articles on jean rollin that should serve as a good primer for those who want to take the films seriously:; i prefer to apply my intellectual film theorizing to films like Beyond The Poseiden Adventure, Meteor and Chopping Mall.

The music to Les Deux Orphelines Vampires gives you a taste of Jean Rollin's entire filmmaking technique. You'll see what i mean.

It was tough finding pics/posters of Rollin's Two Orphan Vampires film for this posting, so I used interesting snaps of other Rollin films.

Death Wish (1974) / music by Herbie Hancock

I love Charles Bronson; I would watch him in anything. I HAVE watched him in anything, from the great (Once Upon a Time in the West; Citta Violenta; The Evil That Men Do) to the hilariously bad (The White Buffalo; Assassination; Death Wish 3; Death Wish V: The Face of Death) to the plain bad (Messenger of Death).

Death Wish (the original) is, of course, one of Bronson's classic ones; Michael Winner is such an incredibly awful director, its a wonder that the film works at all. Maybe its simply Bronson's presence that makes the film iconic? Witness: the final shot of the film, after Bronson has been exiled from New York, and he takes aim with his fingers at some hoodlums that he has encountered in what is now his new home city.

I will go to extremes in discussing the remainder of the Death Wish series when I post the Jimmy Page soundtrack for Death Wish II at a later date cuz I love those films just as much (if for different reasons - I mean, I am not going to try to siggest that Death Wish 3 is aa good film per se, but man is it fun).

For now, here is Herbie Hancock's funky score for the one, the only, the original.

This was ripped directly from an OOP cd (with the title Il Giustiziere Della Notte) to mp3 format, zipped and then uploaded.

Let me know how things sound if you find yourself downloading this one.

Holocaust 2000 (1977) / music by Ennio Morricone

An example of what the Italians used to do best: rip-off American films and add their own distinctive, decidely cheesy flavor to the proceedings. In this case, they ripped off the then currently popular The Omen. Directed by Albert DeMartino who had earlier ripped off The Exorcist in a suitable sleazy / cheesy style with his L"AntiChristo (1974). At the time of Holocaust 2000 (also known in some circles as The Chosen), Kirk Douglas was trying to keep in the movie-going public's favor by appearing in some commercial schlock - this flick was followed by The Fury (early Brian DePalma, very worthwhile), The Villain, a broad slapstick western directed by...Hal Needham?!?!?!?! co-starring Arnold Schwarzennegger (pre-Terminator, pre-Conan), and in a supporting role....Paul Lynde?!?!?! I havent seen it, but this could be a camp classic; and then Saturn 3, a sci-fi flick notable for having dubbed over Harvey Keitel(!), an ever-so-brief glimpse of Farrah Fawcett's nipple (and how did she get such a great tan in space anyway?), and a more prolonged glimpse of Kurt Douglas' then-64 year old ass. There's a killer robot loose in the film (lusting after Farrah's tanned nipple no doubt) but it doesnt seem very mobile so the excitement is neglible.

Anyway, Ennio Morricone contributes an effectively creepy score for Holocaust 2000. Also included here is Ennio's score for Sesso in Confessionale, which is a film I know nothing about.

A note about this download - I imported the tracks directly from an OOP cd to mp3 format, zipped them, and then uploaded via Rapidshare. Pls let me know how it sounds to your ears.

How'm I doing?

Some folks have suggested that the downloads may not have the best sound; thats possible because i am flying by the seat of my pants and figuring this out as I go along.

By all means, pls feel free to leave comments as to sound, how to improve my way of doing this.

I have been ripping the cds using Ipod, then just zipping the m4a / AAC files from there and uploading to Rapidshare.

what if i ripped the cds directly to mp3 format and then zipped?

let me play around and my next offering will hopefully be in better quality sound. I hope you visitors will nevertheless give the current downloads a try for now - if anyone requests it, I will certainly repost an upgrade of a specific title.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Holy shit...i just came from seeing Casino Royale...i-i-i'm, i dont know, i cant talk, i'm was fucking awesome! and this from a bond traditionalist...fuck man, i'm a roger moore fan ferchrissakes! yes, yes sean connery was the best, but i'd rather watch roger moore bonds, he's the one i grew up on...i thought i was over bond after A View To A Kill (really weak, there was no hiding that roger moore was too old, the stunt men were waaaaay too visible, and having grace jones turn into a good guy at the end was even worse than turning Jaws into a good guy), but to my surprise Timothy Dalton and his Bond flicks were rather good (License To Kill especially)...then pierce brosnan came along and everything went to hell, each one worse than the last, there is not one highlight in any of pierce's movies, no set piece that keeps you talking afterwards, no memorable villains, and pierce was simply awful, he had no way with a quip (and what lame quips they were e.g. "I thought Christmas only came once a year")...ugh...pierce brosnan was the now, here is the new Casino Royale, its getting good reviews, i'm still not sure if i wanna see it, the family is over for thanksgiving, so what to do after turkey dinner at 2pm, how about a movie, oh look casino royale starts relatively soon, lets go see that...and it was, just, just awesome...well, except for that opening credits sequence (maurice binder will never be replaced, and man these title songs are the worst; hard to believe but A View To A Kill is sounds like a great tune compared to just about any title song that came after) and pls PLEASE get rid of david arnold as the film composer, my god that man cannot score a bond flick! there is no lyricism or beauty to the music during the quieter moments in the film (just go back to John Barry to see what I mean) and his action cues are just brash and assaultive (go back to George Martin's Live and Let Die score to see how to do action cues utilizing your memorable title theme and of course the james bond theme itself)...i dont want to get into a full review too much right now, its still in theaters and i cant really give an in depth discussion of the film without giving away the story...but i will say this: daniel craig is really really good, very good...kudos to him for pulling this off...mads mikkelsen as Le Chiffre is one of the most intense villains in the entire series, he is a chilling, almost scary presence...i dont know the first thing about Texas Hold 'Em (the card game where Bond matches wits with Le Chiffre) but Craig and Mikkelsen make it a joy to watch the battle, i'm glad the filmmakers devoted as much time to the card game as they did, its a thrilling scene...eva green is stunning to look at, but she is not irritating in the slightest like just about every other woman in the series....and the stunts are - wow!, there hasnt been a stunt set piece worth mentioning since the Dalton films (e.g. the fight while dangling out of an airplane from The Living Daylights; the chase with tanker trucks from License To Kill) day, after the film has passed from theaters (and hopefully made a gazillion dollars), i will devote more time and space to talk about the film in more detail, but for now, i will just suggest that you go see it (what else is out right now anyway? another jerry bruckheimer production? pass!)...after casino royale, james bond will return, and you know what, i'll be waiting...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stardust Memories (1980) / Various Artists

My absolute favorite Woody Allen film.

I wasnt aware that this soundtrack had a release until a co-worker brought in a cd that comes from Germany; very skimpy packaging (the cover has a photo of Allen which, if its from a film, I dont recognize which one it is - Allen appears to be sitting in a giant spider web; the title given for the cd on this front cover is Woody Allen's Memories; backcover with tracklist has the title Woody Allen's Film Stardust Memories; the actual cd has the same latter title). If anyone is interested in the cd art, just send me a note and I will post it so you can see it.

Its a short cd, but I love every song that appears here.

Here is the track list:

Stardust / Louis Armstrong
Body and Soul / Django Reinhardt
Tickle Toe / Count Basie
Palesteena / Original Dixeland Jazz Band
Tropical Mood Meringue / Sidney Bechet
Moonlight Serenade / Glen Miller
I'll See You in my Dreams / Django Reinhardt
Three Little Words / Duke Ellington
If Dreams Come True / Chick Webb
Fantasy / Armstrong-Reinhardt-Basie-Bechet-Miller-Ellington-Webb

If anyone has soundtracks to Hannah & Her Sisters, A Midsummer Nights Sex Comedy or just about any of Allen's films up to and including Husbands and Wives, I hope you wouldnt mind sharing these.

I do have the score to Manhattan; maybe I will post that in the near future.

Here is Stardust Memories:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Robert Altman 1925 - 2006

I was never an outright Altman acolyte; I've seen more movies by Altman that left me saying "Huh? Wha-?" (e.g. Quintet; somebody PLEASE explain the movie to me!) or just plain-and-simply bored out of my skull (Health; A Wedding; Gingerbread Man; Cookie's Fortune; Dr T and the Women, Pret-a-Porter - does it seem like I am picking on his later work?).

Nevertheless, there is no denying Altman contributed important vocabulary to the maturation of film during the late 60s / early 70s.

Of Altman's films, the ones I treasure the most are the stage-derived ones e.g. Secret Honor, Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and Streamers). Add to this (short) list Short Cuts, most of Popeye, That Cold Day in the Park, and, yes, MASH.

A new Altman project always generated anticipation as the release approached; you could never write him off. I was in London last year and went to see his production of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues. Alas, a few scattered good performances (Maximillian Schell was a riot) did not overcome a heavy-handed, plodding script (maybe Miller is more at fault here than Altman?). Side note: I actually brushed past Altman in the lobby of the theatre after the performance and apologized to him as I thought I might have bumped him too hard (I just wanted to say something to him; I couldnt exactly say that I didnt like the play) and he was quite cheerful in replying "No worries young sir."

A Prairie Home Companion was already on its way to me via Netflix as news of Altman's death started spreading. I cant wait to see it...

Images (1972); music by John Williams

Here's the John Williams soundtrack to Altman's riff on Polanski's Repulsion. Altman creates a dreamlike atmosphere, telling the story through the eyes of Susanna York, whose character just happens to be going insane. Beautiful cinematography (as usual) by Vilmos Zsigmond. A cryptic movie that is worth the time spent puzzling over (unlike, say, Quintet).

Monday, November 20, 2006

Angel Heart (1987); music by Trevor Jones

Mickey Rourke was on something of a roll with memorable roles (big and small) in a number of seminal films throughout the 80s; blink-and-you-miss-him roles in Heavens Gate (yes, I am a defender of this film) and Body Heat, bigger breakthrough roles in Diner and Pope of Greenwich Village (where he showed his acting chops), and then the lead roles in the great Year of the Dragon, the iconic 9-1/2 Weeks, A Prayer for the Dying (even with the strange attempt at an Irish accent), and this film, Angel Heart.

The streak came to a screeching halt with Wild Orchid in 1990 and then he never recovered, choosing to appear in simply bad films like Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, White Sands and even a Jean Claude Van Damme film (Double Team)! Incredibly, this great actor wound up in the straight-to-video category. A sideline with boxing didnt help matters (and probably fucked up his movie star looks).

For the most part, Mickey would never to see the light of a good role again (except for very small cameos in Buffalo 66 and Animal Factory) until Robert Rodriguez used him in Once Upon a Time In Mexico and Sin City, and Mickey gave those roles everything he had - there's nothing like watching a great actor recognize a great role and rediscover the fire within; add to this a turn in Tony Scott's soon-to-be-labelled-as-a-cult-item Domino and the man just might be on a streak again. Fingers crossed.

Angel Heart is a moody noir nightmare that is all filmmaking style-over-substance, but hey, its pulp so it fits the genre. Mickey wears his usual baggy-designer-clothes-and-three-day-stubble outfit and damned makes it look fashionable. DeNiro turns in solid work (before he lost the fire and sold out). And, of course, Lisa Bonet is hot hot hot.

Trevor Jones' score conveys the nightmarescape of the film quite well, filled with forebodings, shadows, sounds a lot like his later score for Mississippi Burning.

The soundtrack integrates choice dialogue from the film, and a few blues numbers to boot.

Great stuff.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Marseille Contract (1974); music by Roy Budd

Roy Budd has an incredible string of film scores from the 60s and 70s, including Get Carter, The Stone Killer, Diamonds, and The Wild Geese (to name but a few off the top of my head).

The music for this obscure film is just cool, cool, cool thriller film music.

The cast of this flick alone demands that I see it butI cant find it anywhere. It may have been out on videocassette (remember them) back in the heyday under the name The Destructors but who the hell can find VHS videocassettes in this day and age.

If you have seen the film and want to share your opinions, pls do.

Or, if you havent seen the film, feel free to content yourself with the score - here it is:

Last Embrace (1979); music by Miklos Rozsa

An early Jonathan Demme film.

I havent seen the film in a while but I dont really remember liking it. A Hitchcock pastiche that, as I recall, was devoid of mystery, suspense, excitement.

I like the poster tho (the one where the babe is hanging over Niagra Falls, not the one that makes the film seem like a love story).

I havent listened to the soundtrack in a while either.

Nevertheless, here it is, for all you Rozsa fans.


Here is a quick rundown of some things you should know are on cable (at least on the east coast of the US).

By all means, let me know whats on a cable near you that you find interesting.

Friday The 13th: A New Beginning
; 5 Star Max, 1 - 2:30am -- I admit, I am a fan of the series, its followed me through puberty and into adulthood. This entry is no better or worse than the others but the gore is heavily cut; the filmmakers, however, compensate by featuring more breasts than usual...

Seed of Chucky; OuterMax 12am - 1:25am -- this franchise started out lamely and degenerated from there, only to pick up and become interesting with the fourth (!) entry and this one, the fifth of the series.

Basketball Diaries; Starz -- 12:15am - 2am -- for fans of Leo DiCaprio only; fans of the book by Jim Carroll beware cuz the filmmakers really fucked this up!

Cape Fear; Encore - 12am - 2:10am -- watchable, but overlong and DeNiro had already started the downward spiral that would lead to self-parody and, worse, Meet The Fockers.

Roy Colt and Winchester Jack; Encore Western, 2:05am - 3:35am -- a western directed by the great Mario Bava, cant wait to see this!

The Hole; Encore Mystery 1:30am - 3:15am -- keira knightley flashes her breasts; who cares about the rest of the movie?

Moving; OuterMax - 3:30am - 5:2am -- one of Richard Pryor's worst movies, an attempt at Bill Cosby family humor; this is when I firts noticed that Pryor wasnt looking too healthy...the scary thing is, Pryor did more movies after this and his deterioration (physically and comedically) is painful to watch.

On Deadly Ground; Showtime Extreme- 3am - 4:45am -- a vanity project for Steven Seagal who stars and directs and doesnt skimp on the close-ups of himself...rivals William Shatner's incredible Star Trek V for star-director narcissism. still, the film keeps the action coming and pauses the storyline for some truly surreal sequences (e.g. after being mortally wounded early in the film, Seagal has a hallucinegenic healing sequence where he dreams he fights a big polar bear for some reason; Seagal's climatic lecture on being environmentally sound - of course, by this point he had already blown up half of alaska, but his heart is in the right place, i guess).

The Devil's Advocate; Starz East, 3am - 5:30am -- late-career Al Pacino after he had descended to self-parody; unlike DeNiro, however, Pacino remains an entertaining jokester of a performer, chewing scenery with giddy abandon - the fun he is having with the role is infectious. And Keanu Reeves comes up with a good performance, free of his usual Keanu-isms.

Adrenaline: Fear The Rush; Encore Action, 3:40am - 5am -- with a title like that, you would think this action flick would move; sad to say, as directed by the prolific, if untalented, Albert Pyun, the film remains still, lifeless. a waste of former-Highlander Christopher Lambert and the gorgeous Natasha Henstridge.

Remo William: The Adventure Begins; Encore East, 5:35am - 7:45am -- an OK, should-have-been-better adventure flick that was supposed to launch a franchise. With former Bond director Guy Hamilton and former Bond scripter Christopher Wood, I thought they might get it right. Alas, they cast charisma-free Fred Ward as Remo (it doesnt take a 12 year old to tell you this guy is NOT an action icon). Joel Grey as Chiun (Remo's mentor) is the whole show. Good stunts, lousy villain.

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia; Sundance Film, 6am - 8pm -- Directed by Sam Peckinpah, the last great Peckinpah film (after this came Convoy and, worse, The Osterman Weekend). Classic Warren Oates.

Cannonball Run II - HBO Comedy East, 7:50am - 9:45am -- this isn't a film, its anti-film. complete, total, utter, irredeemable crap. Burt Reynolds deserves to have fallen from grace for foisting this shit onto movie screens.

My Name is Nobody; Encore Drama, 10:20am - 12:20pm -- Sergio Leone produced this spaghetti western but did not direct. Still, a great western even when it relies on too-silly humor courtesy of star Terence Hill. Henry Fonda also stars, bringing a quiet dignity to his role of a famous gunfighter who just wants to retire.

Sudden Impact; ActionMax East, 10:20am - 12:30am -- outside of the classic "Make My Day" line and Harry Callahan's switch to the .44 Auto Mag weapon, the film is rather inert. bad acting (sondra locke is particularly terrible) and just plain bad directing from star Eastwood (Clint cannot direct action for his life, and his handling of the backstory for Locke's character is extremely poor). The next in the Dirty Harry Series (The Dead Pool) is even worse.

Marathon Man, ThrillerMax East - 12:30pm - 2:35pm -- a classic. every set-piece in the film is a primer for how to direct suspense (Scheider at the French opera; Schieder vs the albino; Laurence Olivier torturing Dustin Hoffman, the climatic showdown between Olivier andHoffman). you dont really notice that the plot is a bit thin. watch!

Big Bad Mama II; Showtime Extra, 11:45am - 1:25am -- belated sequel with Angie Dickinson returning 15 years after the original; she still looks hot. Better still: nude scenes for Danielle Brisbois (she from Archie Bunker's Place) and Julie McCullough (she from Growing Pains and later a Playboy spread). The great Bruce Glover also appears (fully clothed).

Girl on a Motorcycle; The Movie Channel, 1:10pm - 2:40pm -- havent seen it but its supposed to be a relic from the 1960s. Marianne faithful is indeed eyecatching so I guess I will be watching.

From Noon Till Three; Encore Western, 1pm - 2:45pm -- you can bet I will recommend you watch just about every Charles Bronson movie that comes on (even the dire Messenger of Death). I havent seen, like this one. I heard its much lighter in tone than most Bronson movies.

Carlito's Way; More MovieMax, 1pm - 2:45pm -- classic Al Pacino / Brian Depalma crime flick. Everything about this film is top notch except for the scenes with Penelope Ann Miller as Carlito's love interest. those scenes stop the film dead, but its usually not for long. absolutely incredible 15 minute chase sequence at the end.

Nixon; Encore Drama, 4:40pm - 8pm -- doesnt approach the greatness of Stone's JFK, but no one does political drama like Oliver Stone. Anthony Hopkins turns in great work as the titular character. solid supporting work from everyone involved.