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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National Lampoon's Vacation

You might recall that back in October we told you that New Line/Warner Bros had signed Wedding Crashers and Fred Claus director David Dobkin to produce and possibly direct a new film in the National Lampoon’s Vacation series which would follow Rusty Griswold, the son of Clark Griswold, who is now a father in his own right and takes his family on a, you guessed it, road trip vacation. Then came that the Super Bowl Commercial/Mini Movie (which can be watched here), which while it wasn’t nearly as good as any of the films (not even Vegas Vacation), garnered a lot of attention. Enough attention to convince New Line to order a screenplay for this new adventure.
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Hot Tub Time Machine Movie Trailer #2

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MGM has released a second green band movie trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine, a new sci-fi comedy starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Lizzy Caplan, Crispin Glover and Chevy Chase. The film follows a group of best friends who’ve become bored with their adult lives:

“Adam (John Cusack) has been dumped by his girlfriend; Lou (Rob Corddry) is a party guy who can’t find the party; Nick’s (Craig Robinson) wife controls his every move; and video game-obsessed Jacob (Clark Duke) won’t leave his basement. After a crazy night of drinking in a ski resort hot tub, the men wake up, heads’ pounding, in the year 1986. This is their chance to kick some past and change their futures – one will find a new love life, one will learn to stand up for himself with the ladies, one will find his mojo, and one will make sure he still exists!”

Directed by Steve Pink, the director of Accepted and screenwriter of High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank. I love the concept, I like the cast, and I even digg the screenwriter, but something about these trailers just isn’t doing it for me. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Hotel Hell Vacation 14 Minute Short Film

Hotel Hell Vacation
Back in November, we told you that Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo would be reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, but not for another big screen sequel (not yet, at least…). The Griswolds reunited instead for an advertising campaign for HomeAway launched during the 2010 Super Bowl. The television spot advertised a new Vacation “mini-movie” titled Hotel Hell Vacation, featuring Chase, D’Angelo, and an exact replica of the film’s iconic Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Here is the official plot synopsis:

Ride along as The Griswolds hit the road again. This time theyre on their way to see Rusty at his vacation rental. They stop at a hotel and typical Griswold madness ensues.

The 14 minute short film is now online, and embedded after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Hotel Hell Vacation
Back in November, we told you that Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo would be reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, but not for another big screen sequel (not yet, at least…). The Griswolds reunited instead for an advertising campaign to be launched during the 2010 Superbowl. The television spot is for HomeAway vacation rentals (a natural fit) features an exact replica of the film’s iconic Wagon Queen Family Truckster. We’ll post the commercial once it comes online, but I’m sure you’ll see it first on February 7th 2010 during the big game. For right now, we have a teaser trailer promoting the “short film”, titled “Hotel Hell Vacation”, which can be watched after the jump.

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Hot Tub Time Machine

There were a couple of big questions raised by the first trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine. Not “how do these guys get back in time?” (Duh. They use a hot tub time machine.) More important stuff like: “is Clark Duke really meant to be the same age as John Cusack?” And does one of the guys get it on with Gregg’s character’s mom? Serious, deep questions. We need answers.

The new red-band trailer for the film addresses some of those burning issues. It also has naked people, so mark this one NSFW. Then watch it, after the break. Read More »

Hot Tub Time Machine Movie Trailer

zz442208f2

MGM has released the official movie trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine, a new sci-fi comedy starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Lizzy Caplan, Crispin Glover and Chevy Chase. The film follows a group of best friends who’ve become bored with their adult lives: Adam (John Cusack) has been dumped by his girlfriend; Lou (Rob Corddry) is a party guy who can’t find the party; Nick’s (Craig Robinson) wife controls his every move; and video game-obsessed Jacob (Clark Duke) won’t leave his basement.

“After a crazy night of drinking in a ski resort hot tub, the men wake up, heads’ pounding, in the year 1986. This is their chance to kick some past and change their futures – one will find a new love life, one will learn to stand up for himself with the ladies, one will find his mojo, and one will make sure he still exists!”

Directed by Steve Pink, the director of Accepted and screenwriter of High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank. This trailer will be attached to prints of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. But you can watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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