Sunday, February 20, 2011

The More They Stay The Same Regarding Bajan Censors Post.

Like most people who heard about it, I was not too happy about the Barbados film censorship board's decision to ban Black Swan from the cinemas there... technically the cinema, singular, since it'll be shown - if the appeal is successful - by Olympus Theatres in its multiplex; the Olympus is, I believe, the Vista of the present day. (The Vista was located around the posher, more touristy part of the island and generally showed more high-end fare like Reds and Private Benjamin.) It seems they objected to the film's much-talked-about Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis/makeout scene and blocked the release as a result, leading to the formation of this Facebook group, which I'm pleased to say I joined. (Brokeback Mountain got passed, by the way. The spirit of Queen Victoria lives.)

(Cedric) Best noted: "I think the film was censored because it was deemed not suitable for public viewing."

Which begs the question of why Death Warrant, Super Mario Bros., Predator 2 and other utter drivel were passed... I should note that it's hardly the first time such things have happened, which is to be expected given we're talking about an officially Christian (it seems that The Passion Of The Christ had an easier time than the Twilight movies, for instance - ludicrously, the former got a PG-13 rating, so either it was cut for that rating or...) and definitely conservative island. Among the more ludicrous cuttings that I was subjected to in my movie-going years there:

1. Removing the satirical advertisements from Robocop (although the violence, language etc remained intact).
2. Snipping all of Nicole Kidman's unclothed scenes from Billy Bathgate, which had the effect of making an already tedious movie even more boring.
3. Cutting language out of movies already passed for adults only (Harlem Nights, Roadhouse).
4. Blocking The Last Temptation Of Christ (never mind the fact that the movie - which really isn't for all tastes admittedly what with its pacing and all - is very, very much on His side).

And so on.

The Birthday Magazine Post.

First off, a very happy birthday 45th birthday to the wondrous Cindy Crawford!

Secondly, a not happy at all day to the person who tore some of Cindy's presence out of the first issue of Michigan Avenue before it was sold on eBay to me... NOT DONE.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Spartacus Post.

Varese Sarabande head honcho Robert Townson celebrated his 1000th release by tackling a score he and many others have been jonesing for for decades - Spartacus. An epic undertaking with an epic set to match; Alex North's makes-Gladiator-look-like-crap music not only gets four discs to itself (two with the complete score in mono, one with all the surviving stereo cues, and one with alternates and preliminary material), but it also includes a double-disc tribute album - made up entirely of versions of the love theme (probably the first ever film music tribute album devoted to one composition) - and a DVD of the likes of John Williams, Alexandre Desplat and Mark Isham singing the praises of North and his music. With the addition of a 170-page book (not a booklet, an actual book) on the score, on North and with a bit of Townson self-promotion (other labels have done their bit in bringing out Alex North treasures, like Intrada's release of his original music for 2001: A Space Odyssey, but they don't get mentioned) that is the only blip in this work of genius, it's thoroughly, utterly recommended.