I’ve been doing these Watercooler Musical Interludes since March and I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to realize I still haven’t done Bernard Herrmann. The question is, which one to pick? One of the Hitchcock’s would’ve been an obvious choice or maybe his final score for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, but I think I’ll go with the original version of Cape Fear which of course Scorsese had redone by Elmer Bernstein for his remake in the 1990s.

That’s all from my end this week. Now it’s your turn. Seen anything worth talking about? Lay it on me.

9 Responses to “Cape Watercooler”

  1. Saw ParaNorman and To Rome With Love during this weekend. While I did enjoy ParaNorman a lot, I can’t say the same for TRWL. My favorite segment was the one with Allen, and the Benigni one worked for me too. Cruz made her segment watchable, but I really hated the love triangle segment, it was a mess for me.

  2. Yes, Herrmann is one of the all-time greatest composers. He could be No. 1 in fact. His music here in CAPE FEAR is stunning.

    The ‘French Old Wave Festival’ launched on Friday, and Lucille and I watch the opening film and then two more on Saturday evening.  In addition I attended two more on Sunday, which are extremely rare and unavailable on DVD.  In addition we took the boys to same Film Forum on Thursday night to watch a restored print of Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall.

    We saw:

    Total Recall (1990)  ****     (Thursday night)        Film Forum

    Casque d’Or (1952)    *****            (Friday night)      French Old Wave at Film Forum

    Le Jour Se Leve (1939)  *****      (Saturday night)  French Old Wave at Film Forum

    Justin De Marseille (1935) ****       (Saturday night)  French Old Wave at Film Forum

    The Baker’s Wife  (1938) **** 1/2  (Sunday afternoon) French Old Wave at Film Forum

    The Lovers of Verona (1949) ****       (Sunday night)    French Old Wave at Film Forum

    I’ll have more to say about the viewings on a future comment, but for now with all the trip preparation I only have time to provide the star ratings.  Of the five French films, the only two I had never seen until now are THE LOVERS OF VERONA (Cayette) and JUSTIN DE MARSEILLE (Tourneur).

    I also saw the Hong Kong drama A SIMPLE LIFE on an Asian blu-ray and thought it solid, if unspectacular.

  3. Sam, I’m glad to see you enjoyed the 1990 Total Recall. I’m planning to see that before the new version.

    Rodrigo, as I’m a huge fan of Allen’s work in recent years, I have to say that what you are saying about TRWL saddens me a bit. I still hope that it would be enjoyable but I’m also worried that it might fail now… Is it really that bad?

    This weekend was a working weekend for me but I managed to see The Avengers. It was for me an oversell. I did not find it as entertaining as I hoped it would be. I hated the Thor film and Captain America did nothing for me either. The Avengers had its moments and a couple of laughs but it was far from a masterpiece… Oh, Christopher Nolan, how you spoiled me… :P Anyway, maybe the problem is in me but I did not really enjoy it and it felt too long for me. Anyone else having the same problem?

  4. PiroHunter, I gave TRWL a 3/5 rating. It’s no Midnight in Paris, but I did enjoy a lot out of the segment with Woody Allen, it was hilarious from the moment Allen shows up and interacts with everyone in the storyline. As for the love triangle thing, I think that Craig loved it the most. I think that general consensus says that Allen’s segment is the best and for the other 3 segments, opinions may vary.

    I hope you get to enjoy it more than I did.

  5. Rodrigo, I really liked the love triangle part of TRWL, not because of Eisenberg or Page (or Gerwig who was kind of wasted), but because of Baldwin. I loved how it was sort of as if he was looking back at his younger life from a new perspective. The ins and outs of the triangle itself were not as interesting to me.

    Sam, I haven’t seen Justin de Marseilles or The Lovers of Verona, but I LOVE the others on your Old French Wave list. I’m especially a fan of The Baker’s Wife. I wonder how the print was? The only copies I’ve seen of it were ratty prints poorly transferred to VHS.

    Le Jour Se Leve is also a great one. I’m a huge fan of Gabin. It’s sad to see how vibrant European (and especially french) cinema was in the 1930s only to know that it was totally snuffed out by World War II.

    Piro, I went into Avengers expecting it to suck and I wound up really liking it. It’s started painfully slowly and I thought for sure it was going to fizzle completely, but the last half redeemed it. Good cast and it worked that none of htem had to carry the whole movie by themselves. I didn’t like Thor either, but I did like the first 2/3s of Captain America.

    One thing is that I liked it wasn’t so deadly serious the way the Nolan movies are. Sometimes you want an comic book movie to be light and entertaining. Whether Avengers is the latter is debatable, but it was for me.

  6. Craig, the print was gorgeous, and like you I have been searching for years for something watchable. My prayers were answered, but we need now to get a quality DVD for sure!

  7. I saw Ruby Sparks and The Bourne Legacy this past weekend. Sparks is an interesting animal. I liked its willingness to parody the very genre that brought it and it gets quite dark, but I felt the ending might have worked against it. It also could have used more Elliot Gould. Kazan and Dano are both very good.

    I enjoyed The Bourne Legacy quite a bit too. Gilroy slips into confuso-vision during the action scenes ala Greengrass, but the action scenes work anyway. Gilroy doesn’t try to turn shaky cam into a visual metaphor and that works in his favor. The film does a decent job of launching off a tangent while closing the door on the original films, and it fits within the mold of those while not entirely aping them. Rachel Weisz is excellent in a paper-thin supporting role. The only real problem for me is that Renner just doesn’t have enough charisma to carry the picture. He’s a good actor and his physicality as an action star actually exceeds that of Damon, but he comes up just short pulling the whole thing together. But I enjoyed it anyway.

  8. Rodrigo, I hope to see TRWL soon and to let you know how it felt. I’m not as confident now but maybe lowering expectations is a good thing.

    Craig, the last hour or so of The Avengers was really entertaining for me but as a whole, the film was a let down. I don’t know what I expected from a comic book movie. I just thought that with a cast like this and… Oh, well… I’ll have it in mind when I’m looking for some light form of entertainment but I still believe it could have been better on several levels. :) For me Captain America seemed promising till the mid-point and it was all downhill from there…

  9. Sam, I’m jealous. I see the French Old Wave series is scheduled here at the American Cinematheque in September, but they only list Part 1 which does not include The Baker’s Wife. Here’s hoping it’ll turn up in Part 2

    Joel, I wondered about Renner. I like him, but he just doesn’t feel like the kind of major movie star that can carry a series like this.

    Kalin, I hear you on avengers and Cap America both. The latter especially got worse as it went along. I loved the novelty though of a superhero set during WWII. I wish he’d stayed there instead of having him hurried ahead for Avengers.

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