harold-faltermeyer-for-hunter

If the ’80s gave a sniffling speech at the Decade Achievement Awards, Harold Faltermeyer and his scores would be thanked somewhere after Shigeru Miyamoto and Super Mario Bros. and Magic Johnson’s Lakers. A classically trained German composer with an affinity for rock and disco, Faltermeyer got his start in Hollywood assisting mustachioed electro-don Georgio Moroder on soundtracks for Oliver Stone’s provocative Midnight Express and Adrian Lyne’s jail-bait fave Foxes. With the release of Beverly Hills Cop in 1984, everyone acknowledges how Faltermeyer’s theme song, “Axel F,” hopped into bed with America’s zeitgeist like few songs before or since. The track’s equation of urgent nightlife synths plus cool-black-dude drum effects, then buffered to an upbeat Cali finish, not only paralleled the confident, crowd-pleaser m.o. of sure-shot producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, it embodied and celebrated it.

Soon following “Axel F,” Faltermeyer crafted incredibly memorable and fun themes/scores for Fletch and Top Gun, rising to the occasion by sonically matching the unmatched charisma of Chevy Chase and Tom Cruise on screen in the mid ’80s. Reflecting on the three themes today, not to mention his work on actioners The Running Man and Tango & Cash, it’s difficult to express how Faltermeyer shaped the way audiences then and now remember the ’80s as a time of just-plain-exciting innocence and excess, a time when the buddy-cop formula and toothy superstar grins felt fresh. It’s this feeling and nostalgia Kevin Smith is paying pop-homage to with Cop Out, another bid for a mainstream hit from the ’90s slacker auteur starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Smith personally requested Faltermeyer—who’s remained inactive on major soundtracks since the ’92 copper Kuffs—score the film with his signature sound. The catchy result is felt by several critics to be the best thing about the action-comedy. (Stream it here.)

In an interview with /Film, Faltermeyer talked about his creative process and about “crazy shit” including the late Don Simpson’s finesse with a Ferrari.

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Paul Scheer’s Movie Playlist

Tonight on the /Filmcast, we are stoked to be joined by Paul Scheer from MTV’s Human Giant, VH1′s Best Week Ever and the 2009 summer comedy Year One. Tune in live, 10 p.m. EST!!!

Welcome to another edition of the Slashfilm Playlist. This is where we ask writers, directors and stars we dig about their favorite movies and taste in film. This week we have comedian and actor Paul Scheer, whose work on the hit MTV sketch comedy show, Human Giant, is embedded in genre movie culture. Whether he’s sending up Superman 2‘s General Zod with his cast-mates, Aziz Ansari and Rob Huebel, as the omnipotent idiots the “Space Lords,”or playing an actor whose dedication to playing a Worf-knockoff culminates in a permanent (and totally effed) surgical procedure, Scheer makes us do spit-takes. This Playlist proved to be suitably epic.

/Film: Hi Paul. So, why are you nervous about appearing on the /Filmcast?

Paul Scheer: Since Slashfilm’s podcasts are getting so popular on iTunes, Terry Gross from NPR is getting worried you might usurp her throne for most downloads. I heard a rumor that she’s personally executing anyone who appears on the show…I heard Stephen Toblowsky narrowly escaped her death grip, so I’m afraid for my life.

/Film: As soon as we’re finished here, I’ll alert Peter Chen. Both seasons of Human Giant make lemonade out of September 11th, with your huge box office failure, Lil’ 9/11, and the proposed TV series Osama bin Diesel. What is your fave 9/11 movie that does or does not star Nicolas Cage…

Paul: My favorite September 11th film has to be High School Musical, which takes the focus off the events and acts more as an allegory of that day. Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) is clearly Osama bin Laden, and her attempts to take over the “musical” clearly parallel Al Qaeda’s attacks on America. Tisdale’s fights with Zac Efron (George W. Bush) and Vanessa Hudgens (Mayor Giuliani) teach us an important lesson. No matter what happens to the musical (America), the show must go on. It did and so do we. Thank you Disney Channel for painting a clear and succinct tribute to that day.

/Film: So clear. Among your TV show’s many superlatives is its insurmountable kid death toll. I counted 108 murdered kids in one “Kidtentiary” skit alone. Modern films like Tropic Thunder tend to cop out. Human Giant also has a soft spot for kid villains, including Gage from Pet Semetary. Mr. Paul Scheer, you’re the coach. Who do you draft for your Kid Villain All-Star Team?

Paul: Here’s my team. Michael Oliver from Problem Child. He’s like an evil version of Sam from Different Strokes; Vicki the Robot from Small Wonder (Tiffany Brissette). Although she’s technically good, she’s one malfunction away from being a T-1000; The Grady Daughters from The Shining. Pure Double Trouble. Plus, they are snazzy dressers; Haley Joel Osment in anything, he creeps me out. He’s too in touch with otherworldly phenomena.

Of course, the team’s leader would be the baddest of the bad. Technically he’s not a kid, but he loves teaching kids to be bad: enter Cobra Kai Sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) from The Karate Kid.

/Film: Nice draft picks. At this very moment, what are your three favorite films of all time? And what movie have you watched more than any other?

Paul: This is always a tough question, but I’m basing my list solely on pure enjoyment and re-watchability. So, basically these are the movies that if they came on TV, I’d stop and watch them no matter what: Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. My alternates: Die Hard, Point Break, Goonies, Bad Boys 2, Magnolia, The Jerk and Cool Hand Luke. The movie I’ve probably watched the most…it’s a tie between The Empire Strikes Back and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. The latter is just because my parents had HBO and I think they played Remo Williams every day after school for about two years. Sadly, Remo Williams’s adventure began and ended all in one film.

More Playlist after the jump, including Paul’s popcorn-and-M&M’s recipe and Bruce Willis’s sex scenes in Color of Night.

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The Hollywood Reporter lists one of the reasons The Dark Knight won’t top Titanic’s $601 million box office record is because Warner Bros is planning on releasing the film on DVD in December to capitalize on the Holiday sales season. The film has currently grossed $441.6 million domestically, and is on track to make $510-$525 total in the US.

It is interesting to think about how much cinema has changed in the last 25 years. Now-a-days, the long tail is on DVD, Downloads and On Demand. Two decades ago you could have kept Dark Knight in the theaters for 7 months. Without an available home video option, people would still pay to see it on the big screen. And I’m talking about after the practice of road show releases came to an end.

  • E.T. was in theaters for over a year.
  • Star Wars screened for 44 weeks.
  • Back to the Future was in theaters for 37 weeks.
  • Beverly Hills Cop played for 30 weeks.

Can you imagine a movie now-a-days playing in theaters for more than six months? It’s rare.

Which brings me to today’s trivia question:

What Movie has been shown continually in movie theaters since its release in 1975 making it the longest theatrical run in history?

I’ll answer the trivia question in the comments!

/Filmcast Episode 3 – Kung Fu Panda

/FilmCast

Kung Fu PandaIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David, Devindra, and Adam debate how good the Religulous trailer really is, remember the good old days when Eddie Murphy used to say “Fuck,” try to ignore the hype/hate behind the Valkyrie trailer, and geek out about Kung Fu Panda. Special guest bloggers Mike Sonders joins us from Great White Snark and Myles McNutt joins us from Cultural Learnings. Have any questions/comments/suggestions? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com.

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