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Monday, August 25, 2008

Predator (1987)

What a terrific film. The direction is amazing, and the music is incredible. Alan Silvestri did such a great job with building the emotional heights through music. Some parts remind me of "Back to The Future," which he also did the music for.

Wikipedia says Silvestri "was coming off the huge success of Back to the Future in 1985. Predator was his first major action movie and the score is full of his now familiar genre characteristics: heavy horn blasts, staccato string rhythms, and undulating timpani rolls that highlight the action and suspense." Awesome!!!

I really like the scene that comes after the huge buildup of suspense, where all the soldiers know something's really weird, but don't quite know how -- or who -- or what. And then one of them finally sees the Predator, camouflaged, who just killed his best friend. And the guy goes nuts, opens fire, exhausts his weapon, and picks up his buddy's minigun. Mowing down the forest, shouting his head off. And then Arnold and crew show up and join in. Just firing a wall of bullets into the forest. That's a pretty powerful scene. Then again, maybe some people would think it's corny, or macho. What's wrong with macho?!

I finally saw the scene where the Native American guy laughs, and I realized that must have been where the Predator captured the laugh audio, for when he laughs at the end, just before nuking the forest. It all makes sense now! I see the light!!

Suffice it to say, I really enjoy this film.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

James Bond In The Sixties

Lately the Spike channel has been playing James Bond films weekday mornings, so I've been watching a few. It's interesting to compare the culture of our hero from back then with that of today.

In a couple of films (at least) Sean Connery seemed to behave toward women as objects that he could use to aid him in his mission or relax with. Of course this seems pretty standard for any Bond, but I think modern Bond treats women as (near-?)equals to a greater degree than Sixties Bond.

This morning, Diamonds Are Forever was on, and the female lead talked down to Bond and treated him like a child. I thought maybe that was feminine power reasserting itself after a few films of being trod upon.

It was interesting to see another woman's behavior toward Bond versus toward another man. This woman's at a casino, and some guy invites her to stick around, or leave with him, or whatever, and she takes his face in her hands and consoles him that "He's a nice guy, really," but that he's just not right for her. She's about to leave, when she hears Bond placing a bet of something like ten thousand dollars.

Interest piqued, she walks over and insinuates herself into his gambling, taking his dice and throwing them on his behalf. She doesn't do too well. A few minutes later, after he's won $50,000, he gives her $5,000 for her trouble. Then her eyes light up and she remarks that although he's weird, he's a really great guy. He takes her back to his hotel room, and she says it's great. Then thugs throw her out a window (into a pool). Bond then spent some time with the authoritative female lead.

So Bond won the other woman not with looks, charm, charisma, or heroics, but with money. I guess everybody's got their own idea of who the perfect "somebody" is...

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