We are in the process of developing a new Hollywood Gothqiue website, one that will better integrate the weblog with the static pages into one unified whole.
Although we have yet to transfer all of the old pages over, the blog function of the new website is up and running, so at this point it makes sense to post all future news updates there.
You can access the new website at the old url: www.hollywoodgothiuqe.com.
See you there!
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS will be screened, along with several of Pal's short stop-motion "Puppetoons."
Tickets are $5 for general audiences, $3 for Academy members. The theatre is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California 90211. Telephone 310) 247-3000.
The Los Angeles Times has an article about the event, including interviews from some of the people who will be involved.
Like last year, Horror Nights 2008 will feature mazes based on Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface, but Universal promises that the Kruger maze will be brand new, featuring a recreation of the infamous house on Elm Street. (Last year was more like a trip through an Asylum - not surprising when you know that it located in a maze that had been called "The Asylum" the year before.)
New for this year will be a Scare Zone inspired by THE STRANGERS, the sleeper hit horror film from earlier this year. (For those unfamiliar with the terminology, Scare Zones are simply areas of the park haunted by ghouls, so you get the Halloween experience even before you stand in line for an hour to walk through a maze.)
In addition, the back lot tram tour will be significantly upgraded to double its length, for the first time incorporating mazes.
Universal's usual rides and attractions will be open, although revamped for Halloween: the Jurassic Park Ride becomes Jurassic Park in the Dark; the Waterworld show becomes Slaughterworld, etc.
Halloween Horror nights will be open on weekends, beginning October 3. Dates are October 3-4, 10-11, 17-19, 24-26, 30-31 and November 1. Doors opening nightly as 7:00pm; closing hours vary.
Tickets are available for $54 onlin at Universal Studios Hollywood's official website; they are also sold in advance at Ralph's, Food 4 Less, and Hot Topic, where you can save $20 a ticket by buying a Coke-related product.
Halloween is just around the corner apparently. Sure, you may think it's not till the end of October - over two months away - but Halloween superstores are already setting up, and the big-name attractions like Knott's scary farms will open their tombs at the end of September.
So, it should be no surprise that Universal Studios is already sponsoring a contest to promote their 2008 Halloween Horror Nights. Follow this link to enter, for a chance to win a round-trip to Universal Studios Florida this Halloween.
The New Beverly Cinema has finally posted its August schedule, which thanks to the miracle of RSS FEEDS you can access at the Hollywood Gothique listing for the theatre.
Mixed in with the usual revival fare are several fantasy, horror, and science-fiction titles:
Moving on, the complete schedule for September is not yet available, but there will be midnight screenings of the horror-comedy IDLE HANDS and of Michael Mann's 1983 horror film THE KEEP, and in October there will be an all-night horror show on the 18th.
I don't know what's up with the New Beverly's August schedule. Here it is July 31, and their website has yet to post the complete listing of screenings for August; there is only a listing for Friday and Saturday of two black-and-white films from the '50s, the horror classic CURSE OF THE DEMON on a double bill with the film noir thriller THE LINE UP.
This is a slightly odd pairing but should be interesting. CURSE is considered one of the great horror films because of its serious approach, although many critics fault it for destroying the carefully wrought ambiguity by actually showing the titular demon. (Predating X-FILES by decades, the story presents a mystery that might either be supernatural or psychological in nature; how the characters interpret it depends on their point of view.)
Anyway, as long as the New Beverly keeps up doling out the screening info one block at a time, I cannot update the Calendar section. That's the bad news.
The good news is that their website offers RSS feeds of their screening info, so I have pasted that into our listing for the New Beverly on our Art House Theatres page. So you can always keep up-to-date on what's happening there.
Now, if only other theatres would start offering similar service...
You can read more about CURSE OF THE DEMON here.
The most striking note of the experience was being overwhelmingly impressed by how much more vivid and detailed the old-fashioned miniature effects appear, compared to today's more modern digital technology. There is, quite simply a texture to the work in BLADE RUNNER that makes you feel as if you can almost reach up onto the screen and feel it. The movie is much more than a pretty light show; it is a compelling, mesmerizing vision of the future, a self-contained imaginary world that takes on a life of its own on screen and inside the mind of the viewer.
Of course, mondo credit for this goes to the special effects team supervised by Douglas Trumbull (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND) and Richard Yuricich (RESIDENT EVIL). However, one achievement of the film that always amazed me was the way that the different elements synthesized so perfectly, for which I credit Ridley Scott. Auteur criticism aside, he directed a movie in which the contributions of the various departments are combined without any of the seams showing; the live-action footage looks exactly like the miniature special effects scenes, and you seldom if ever have the perception that you are seeing two different elements edited together.
As for the Final Cut itself, there are few surprises for fans who have seen the film in its various permutations; this is an amalgamation of bits and pieces from the 70mm preview cut, the unrated European Theatrical cut, and the 1992 "Director's Cut," with a few film flubs digitally airbrushed away. What follows is a brief rundown, noting the more obvious changes from the original theatrical version released in 1982:
FROM THE 70MM PREVIEW VERSION
Except for the bird shot, which I always liked, the Final Cut represents the "Best of Everything" version of the movie, almost rendering the prevous versions obsolete, except as they provide a fascinating glimpse at the movie's evolution through several stages. The original narration never bothered me that much, so I am glad that that version still exists in the new DVD box set that came out last year. And the brief narration in the 70mm Preview Cut is also interesting (although the fact that it suddenly appeared in only one scene was rather jarring).
Personally, I hope this latest version of BLADE RUNNER puts to rest the tiny cult of people who insist that the 70mm Preview Cut is the best version of the film. The differences between it and the old theatrical cut are certainly striking enough to make it interesting viewing for hardcore fans, but it is so obviously an unfinished version that one wonders how anyone could have considered it the "best." (To cite the most obvious example, the original Vangelis score disappears in the final reel, replaced by a temp track consisting of music from the 1968 PLANET OF THE APES.)
When it arrived on screen in 1982, BLADE RUNNER was pretty much trashed by critics, who saw nothing but visual effects and production design. Over the years, the film's reputation has grown, even while fans acknowledged flaws (most often pointing to the tagged-on happy ending and the narration, both of which were meant to lighten up the film for the multiplex audience more interested in sci-fi escapism than serious science-fiction). Each of the permutations that followed the original theatrical buffed out some of the flaws, but none of them quite got it right. On a plot level, BLADE RUNNER still may not be perfect (questions about the back story and police procedure abound), but short of remaking the movie movie, this is as good as it is ever likely to be, and that is pretty damn good.