July 12, 2005

Recently seen and briefly noted 1

Gunner Palace (Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, 2004)

What are our men in uniform doing there in Baghdad? They're driving around in humvees mostly. In their free time, they hang around the pool. The black guys rap. Nothing you wouldn't expect. The most interesting characters, the Iraqi interpreters, are given short shrift.

The Mysterians (Ishiro Honda, 1957)

At the age of 7, if you had asked me what my favorite movie of all time was, I would have said this. It remained in my memory thereafter as a literal non-stop orgy of exploding models. Seeing this 27+ years later, there is a lot more plot than I remembered, but the battles between Earth and the Mysterians are still very satisfying with some excellent model work by Eiji Tsurubaya. Akira Ifukube deserves a more prominent place in film music history. His music (which you can hear in isolation on the DVD) is like a blend of Stravinsky and Sousa. Advice to aliens: if you want to breed with our women, don't have a list of specific women, especially if one of them is the girlfriend of one of the humans you're negotiating with. (Anachronism: there is an actress in this who looks exactly like Maggie Cheung.)


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