Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Fly and The Thing Return To Hollywood

I recently attended a double feature of David Cronenberg's THE FLY (1986) and John Carpenter's THE THING (1982). The first film starred Jeff Goldblum (Thank God It's Friday, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)), and the second starred Kurt Russell (Escape From New York, Big Trouble In Little China). Both movies showcase directors and actors at the top of their game, as well as the special effects teams.
As far as horror-science fiction hybrids go, these films are loads of fun. In Cronenberg's Fly, the gradual transformation Goldblum's character goes through is both horrible and yet strangely beautiful at the same time. The same can also be said for the titular character in The Thing. Nothing in these films is wasted, either in terms of the gore or the acting.
Some people would say the original versions of FLY and THING are the only true versions, and that the remakes pale in comparison. I disagree. I actually found the remakes to be enjoyable in their own right, and stand on their own as great examples of classic cinema.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tron And Terminator 2 Revisited

I recently had the opportunity to see the original TRON from 1982 in a double feature with TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. I had already seen T2 in the cinemas twice before, but this was my first time for seeing Tron on the big screen. Tron was shown using a Blu-ray because the 70mm print was booked elsewhere and obviously couldn't be in two places at the same time, and T2 was shown on film. When I first heard about how Tron was going to be shown, I groaned. While most Blu-rays have incredible picture quality, I have seen a few titles from the early days of the format that would NOT look good if displayed on anything bigger than a 40 inch television screen. Because of various technical issues, a few of the first Blu-rays to be released had noticeable artifacts and pixellation. Thankfully, Tron is NOT one of those titles. Its appearance was absolutely beautiful. It had just the right amount of grain and looked very natural for a digital presentation. I can honestly say that, when a Blu-ray is done right, it will look great on even the biggest screen.
T2, on the other hand, has seen better days. The print that I saw looked rough, with a few too many scratches and other assorted glitches. The film appears to have broken and been spliced back together in several places, much to the amusement of the audience. While I am still a die-hard devotee to real film in the theatre, versus any sort of digital format, I have to admit the contrast between the presentations of TRON and T2 on that particular night was almost enough to convert me. In the end, I had a great time with both movies, and look forward to another double feature.