Tag Archives: DVD

Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 209 of 209

10 Jun

209 of 209

I’m yet to see the names of the million plus extras. I suppose there’s not enough material in the universe to make the film stock required to screen all those names.

What on Earth is ‘Atmosphere Casting’? Did this Tony Gaznick character cast smoke, haze, mist and shards of light? Or was he responsible for the nitrogen, oxygen and argon on set?

“Hey, Ms. Casting Agent Person,”
“Hi Tony, what can I do for you?”
“We’ve got a role for some air. It’ll be playing the town photographer, have you got a canister you can send over?”
“Tony, you know the air on my books won’t play 19th century photographers. They keep geting burned up in the magnesium flashes.”

Before CGI, actors were forced to play layers of gas in motion pictures. In addition to John Proctor, Daniel Day Lewis also played the exosphere in The Crucible. He’s so versatile.

Oh, the key grips were Richard Deats and Tony Cridlin. That’s good to know, I was thinking throughout the whole film that the movie is well gripped. I must send them a congratulatory e-card.

The credits move seamlessly into the thank yous. A courteous man, Michael Cimino has been generous in extending his gratitude. He thanks the USA, then the Governor of Montana, Glacier National Parks and several other forest/park departments who I presume are all part of the USA. If you lead by thanking the entire country, is there a need to get into specifics? You just say, “Thanks America,” and everyone is covered. Thank Earth just to be on the safe side if you’re frightened of missing someone, like Penny. Everyone always forgets poor ol’ Penny. If you’re asking yourself, “Who the hell is Penny?” Exactly. Case in point.

The music and the increasing sparcity of the names leads me to believe the film is at last ending. As the final credits role, it might be a good moment to reflect. Cue reflection music, something with a harp and a basset horn, but no keytars.

After four years and having finally seen all of it, what do I think of Heaven’s Gate; the tale of love amidst the Johnson County cattle wars of Wyoming during the late 1800s? My final analysis is the film is much like this review – long, pointless and centred on something completely obscure.

Written in Panavision.

Colour by the distribution of light power versus wavelength interacting with the eye.

The soundtrack for this review can be purchased through Sony Records, or stolen from John Hurt’s garage.

Thank you for reading, thank you Penny and thank you Earth.

The end.

© MMXIIVCDIIVIVQXVIVIIX

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Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 208 of 209

8 Jun

208 of 209

The credits keep on a-rollin’. They’re moving at a good speed, I’d say. Not too fast, not too slow – they’re in something scientists like to call the ‘end credits Goldilocks zone’. Whether credits do or don’t fall into this category is adjudicated by Goldie Hawn. She takes the role very seriously, so don’t ever scroll text passed her too quickly. A waiter once waved a dinner menu speedily in front of her and she drowned him in a vat of minestrone. The thing is, the restaurant wasn’t even serving soup, she bought it in herself just in case.

There were three assistant camera men, apparently. Ken, Eric and Michael. I think that’s a good number and what a likely lot they would have been on set, hey? Kensy Ez & Mick! Oh, the hijinks and tomfoolery they would’ve gotten up too. On a serious note, practical jokes cause deaths in the workplace. Pull your juvenile heads in, Ken, Mick and Eric!

Heaven’s Gate was stunt coordinated by Buddy Van Horn. It’s nice to see some adult entertainer/anti-Western cross over.

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Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 207 of 209

7 Jun

207 of 209

Cut to an exterior shot of the boat, which is a metaphor for slightly smaller boats. Look at that boat chimney smoke, it’s like a big, fluffy, sooty, suffocating pillow. Smoke inhalation was never so comfortable.

Fade to black and… the credits roll. What?! Are you serious? I’ve got to review three minutes of credits? You mother… Alright fine.

Font is perfect and the exact same font I would have chosen. Predictably, we start with the acting credits. It’s quite handy to read actually, we finally get to know some character names.

Kris Kristofferson played Averill? I didn’t hear anyone call him that. He was referred to as James, or Jim, or Helena during the underwater dream dance sequence. Isn’t Averill a cheap brand of ibuprofen? Or is that Advil? Either way, I prefer fast acting pain relief. It’s possible James’ last name is product placement and the film was sponsored by big pharma. Ah yes, that confirms it – Christopher Walken as Xanax and Jeff Bridges as Lipitor.

‘Moustached Mercenary’. That’s an amazing character name. Any actor would grow a moustache and kill to have that on their CV.

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Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 206 of 209

7 Jun

206 of 209

Who is this mystery woman? A-hah! I remember. I think she’s the girlfriend we saw waltzing with James in the prologue at Harvard University. I was partially right to check my dance cards. I couldn’t check James’, he’s never allowed his dance cards to enter the public domain. I launched many FOI requests, but was unsuccessful.

Did James lose Ella, then take out his address book and look up an old girlfriend? Lame, man. Though, it was a lot harder to do in those days, he couldn’t just Facebook search her. Looking up an old girlfriend in the late 19th century involved public registries, censuses, pigeons, private investigators and letters passed on by a portly intermediary named Susan.

James look very solemn. As he gazes over his ol’ dance partner, you can see the remorse and regret. He is still haunted by the past; by Ella, by the Sovereign of the Stock Growers Association, by John Hurt and the wily cows, by vellum rain, by rollerskating cowboys, by antelope trains, by the number 86, by the family in the stationmaster’s pipe, by hover bikes, by keytars, by cockfights, by whiskey rivers, by the Bureau of Meteorology, by death lists, by George Negus, by fly racing, by patents pending, by giant bees, by burning hedges, by fluffy hats, by extras, by Kooyong, by tobacco, by $50 a day plus expenses, by Nate and his acting hat, by Iron Man, by cabin tanks, by spooky butlers and by bloody wagons!

His lip trembles. Yeah, I suppose that’s a lot of shit to get over.

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Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 205 of 209

5 Jun

205 of 209

It should be mentioned at the end of the previous minute another spooky butler appeared and the mysterious woman asked for a cigarette. But no one is going to mention it, so no point lamenting it now.

It’s unfortunate the butler didn’t sing The Ol’ Butler Shuffle. If he had, it could have been released as a single to help recoup some of the film’s losses. Novelty songs have always used in this way. Shaddap You Face was sung in a deleted scene of The Godfather III. In the end, the producers felt it was distasteful.

Jim obliges the woman’s request and hands her a cigarette. He reaches for a lighter, opens it… goodness, they’re moving so slowly. Get on with it. It’s as though they’re both in slow motion. Did someone accidentally change the frame rate?

Come on, if you’re producing a three hour film, you can’t dwell on every single bloody moment as though the simple act of lighting a cigarette has significance that should be drawn out with slow deliberate reverence. Light the fucking thing! Light it!

Thank you. It’s lit. Nicotine can now be inhaled. I’ve never seen anyone who asks for a cigarette take their time getting it to their mouth. I’m like that with milk. If I ask for a glass, you can bet the moment you give it to me I’m going to freeze dry it, chop it up and snort it. Presuming you also lend me the liquid nitrogen.

The mystery woman, who I assume is Jim’s partner or wife, looks familiar. Perhaps we met at a social, or ball? I’d better check my old dance cards and see if any names ring a bell.

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Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 204 of 209

4 Jun

204 of 209

Below deck James enters his opulent bedroom. So much opulence! It’s dripping opulence. Jim is going to need an opulence rain coat, lest he be covered in wet opulence. Is anyone else turned on?

Jim is again silently pottering about. That would be my synopsis of Heaven’s Gate – Jim silently goes about his business, a bunch of stuff happens around him.

Oo-la-la, there is a strange woman in his boudoir. I hate it when that happens. So often I’ll come home to find a middle aged woman in my luxurious bedroom. “Away foul temptress!” I cry, only to realise it is not my house and I’m in fact yelling at an otterman with a snuggy draped over it.

The film is almost over. Who is this strange woman and what does she represent? The people of Kooyong? Is the local member for Kooyong asleep on Jim’s boat?!

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*Kooyong is an ancient underwater city and is owned by Russia

Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 203 of 209

4 Jun

203 of 209

It’s future time! Cue lasers, robots and Google Cufflinks (patent pending).  A boat drifts behind a caption – “Newport, Rhode Island 1903”. I like Newport, it’s so much better than Oldport and far superior to Getting-On-A-Bit-Port.

James strolls the deck looking rather weathered and aged. Nothing like owning a boat to help forget your past. It’s a terrific way to overcome trauma. In fact, the Federal Government is introducing boat gifting as a key element of its mental heath policy. With a referral from your GP, each citizen is entitled to ten Medicare subsidised sessions with a psychologist per calendar year, plus a boat.

It’s working wonders apparently, except for people who are trying to overcome the trauma of a boating accident. Anecdotally, they seem to react less positively to the treatment.

The boat is certainly a step up from that stupid wagon Jim owned. It’s quite the status symbol. Owning a wagon back then was like owning an Audi, owning a boat was like owning Kooyong.

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*For international readers, an Audi is a pretend car and Kooyong is an affluent suburb of Melbourne that once hosted the Australian Tennis Open. Nowadays, Kooyong is an independent nation and has a freeway.

Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 202 of 209

3 Jun

202 of 209

So sad. Jim weeps, cradling Ella in his arms. It was important for me to specify Ella is being cradled in arms because Jim carries a wooden cradle in his pocket. It’s a foldable one he bought from Wild West IKEA.

Wild West IKEA was great, but cowboys’ horses kept mysteriously disappearing from the horse parking lot during its heyday.

I feel sorry for Jeff Bridges. I also feel sorry for his character. No one is there to weep over his dead body. Surely Jim could sprinkle a few tear drops on Jeff? It might even bring him back to life, so long as the tears are mixed with unicorn semen.

James is quite upset and this is a very sad scene. It’s sadder than the time I went to Universal Studios and the Jaws shark wasn’t working. That was tough…

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Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 201 of 209

2 Jun

201 of 209

This dressing scene is very unsettling. James and Ella are completely silent as they put on their sunday best. That doesn’t seem right. If American sitcoms have taught me anything, it’s that when a man and a woman get ready to go out they argue. Shouldn’t Ella be asking how she looks, forcing James to give stumbling awkward answers?

They’re finished dressing and are ready to go at the same time. This is nothing like a sitcom! Men get dressed quickly and try to rush the woman along. Comedy ensues. It’s simple math! Men + woman + their inherent differences = chuckles. It is so disrespectful to Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, Friends and According to Jim, to not perpetuate mindless humour when there is an opportunity.

Ella and Jim are greeted outside by Jeff Bridges. They’re acting very strange. Ella gives Jeff an awkward kiss on the cheek. It’s quite weird. It was a bit slow, lingering and icky. Something is afoot…

What is going on? They’re all just waiting around in silence for something to happen.

OMG! Gunfire! It’s the Prefect of the Stock Growers Association and his goons! Jeff is shot and Jim returns fire, taking out the Pope of the Stock Growers Association.

Oh no… oh no, oh no… Ella is hit. Blood pours from her wounds. It’s sad; the blood is gonna be a real pain to wash out of that pretty, white dress.

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Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 200 of 209

1 Jun

Dear Mr. Godfrey,

Thank you for submitting your screenplay ‘Just West of Xanadu, A Musical Western’ for our consideration. We receive countless proposals from directors and writers each year and selecting potential scripts for production is an enormously difficult task.

Having said that, I absolutely loved your screenplay! We were on the lookout for a more subtle, understated project than we’d usually embark upon and I couldn’t put your script down.

I enjoyed all of it – the singing beards, the glitz, the music, the unusual step of including costume suggestions in the draft and I especially loved the symbolism of the sword and its longing to own a bread shop.

I wish to start preproduction immediately! Can’t wait to discuss the finer points of the many levels of your script.

Thank you and all the best,

Baz Luhrmann

Bazmark Inq

200 of 209

Woh. Is this scene a jump forward into the future? Jeff Bridges appears to climbing off a wagon in a different set of clothes, so time must have elapsed. Either that or he rehydrated himself and his tatty garments. Seems to have worked wonders.

Jim and Ella dress, for a very long time… in silence. Come on! We’re almost there! 19th century clothes take a long time to put on, that’s fair enough, but we’re so close to the end and what is this scene establishing? Post war, both still have the dexterity to dress?

The two are looking well groomed and well hydrated, I’ll give them that. Jim is looking a little thin but that’s nothing a potato and an overbearing personal trainer won’t fix.

I guess we are to assume that Jim and Ella got back together. Nothing like swoopin’ in on the bereaved. Jim, you ol’ dog…

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