It’s the 21st of April

Discussion in 'General' started by maybrick, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    I just got home from work at 1am, got something to eat and decided to check out what was streaming on Shudder. It was the Fog, and if my calculations are correct then they must have started it at approximately 5 to midnight, the exact moment John Houseman starts telling the ghost story at the beginning of the film. Too cool.
     
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  2. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    That's cool. A friend and I once popped in an old TWILIGHT ZONE (on VHS !) set in the far off "future" (some time in the 90's) and ended up watching it on the exact date the story was set on.
     
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  3. soxfan666

    soxfan666 Well-Known Member

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    That is super cool. One of my favorite things about Shudder is “Shudder TV.” I, like many others, suffer from not being able to pick a damn movie and will spend an hour flipping through all the titles. Now I just start the app and see what they have playing...
     
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  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    One of the geekiest things I ever did was start the movie Strange Days at 9:40PM on Dec 31 1999.
     
  5. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    LOL, that's great! I've been meaning to watch The Fog as it's been too long.

    The closest I've come to accidentally doing something like that was when I watched The City of the Dead (1960) as a tribute to Christoper Lee's passing on October 30th/31st at about 1AM, of which the plot's fateful hour is at the 13st hour. November 1st had Daylight savings which added another hour to standard time making it a 25 hour "day." So if I had waited 24 hrs to watch it last I could have been watching it on Halloween night at the "13th hour."

    Speaking of which, May 1st is Walpurgisnacht which is the day the devil comes to earth and many movies feature either this event or other May Day celebrations such as The Wicker Man.

    Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
    The Undead (1957)
    The Wicker Man (1973)

    And certainly many more I can't think of.

    Also, also, Jonatham Harker visits Dracula on the feast of St. George which is the Christians trying to re-claim the pagan May Day. So watching a Dracula adaptation can be appropriate too.
     
  6. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I've heard of watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starting at 2AM on a Sunday, but that seems unnecessarily harsh.
     
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  7. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    I recently watched The Fog with a friend and he ended up loving the movie. He said it had a "creepy chill vibe" lol and I think that actually works in the film's favour now. It has that sleepy small town '70s horror vibe to it that I personally love. That 70's slow burn. Burnt Offerings and Phantasm both have a similar tone from that period. The electronic score also still really works.

    I've found that a lot of early Carpenter (ones that are fairly simple, plot-wise) like Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween and The Fog hold up particularly well because of the fact that they're such simple stories. I think Assault on Precinct 13 has aged better than, say, Big Trouble in Little China. I still love both of them but I think the simplicity of the former works more in its favour.

    ~Matt
     
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  8. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Watched it last night at the witching hour but 24 hours too late once again. But the bulk of the film happens on the 21st so close enough. ;)

    I never saw this in the theaters only off cable broadcast or my VHS copy of the broadcast but I remember being disappointed with it the one or two times I've seen it. So it was either pan & scan or letter boxed on a tiny screen. I owned the DVD in a boxset but just never could around to it. But I watched my Shout Blu-ray and really enjoyed it last night. Seeing it in the original aspect ratio in HD can improve the experience immensely. But sometimes you just have to get over what a movie isn't and I got over what The Fog isn't and enjoy it more now for what it is.

    I think some of the let down is Jamie Lee Curtis is too much of a bystander, Adrienne Barbeau is just narrating from the lighthouse most of the time, and even Tom Atkins is a bit bland so actually Janet Lee and Nancy Loomis have the juiciest parts with the barbs they can exchange. Not big deals but usually Carpenter puts some color in his characters but we don't have much of that here. It's a pretty straight forward ghost story and "that's OK." I love the old school horror movies and this has a lot of those sensibilities. Besides juicing up the dialog a bit there's really nothing I would change (Halloween level dialog).

    On the Blu-ray there's an interesting zoom effect as the "captain" tells the story. I'm curious how it was originally done as it's too quick and clean to be in-camera. On the theatrical prints there was probably optical zooming used which would have caused progressively grainier shots as they blew-up the image; an acceptable loss as it happens so fast the impression is all you need. I suspect it was "digitally" recreated here because it looks like progressive zooming in on two to three sequential frames without any visual degradation. They just need to digitally down grade zoomed captures of the original camera negatives to down 1080p so it can stay detailed without the added grain of optical printing and blowing up the frame. It doubt it was on the negative but who knows.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  9. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    That zoom has been there for a lot longer than the blu ray. It has always appeared to me to be a couple frames of medium shots inserted as a stylistic choice. It isn’t a mistake.
     
  10. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Yes, it's a stylistic choice and almost certainly present during its initial theatrical release (Carpenter's not known for making Lucas-esque alterations as even Sam Raimi has done).

    But I don't think it's progressively taking medium shots on set. For starters that requires two/three camera setups and it matches too well to be that as it doesn't look like progressive changes so I don't think they changed lenses or distance. And they probably didn't zoom as the perspective doesn't seem to change. So they probably did an optical zoom in the film lab magnifying each consecutive frame. May have even been a post-production decision. But that would increase the level of grain; both because of the optical printing process and the fact that it's a blow up. I don't see that on the Blu-ray.

    So how it's done on the Blu-ray does not appear to be how it would be done in 1979/80. So I suspect it's been digitally recreated. That's not a BAD thing either. The credits for example are probably digitally re-created; most are now. So I'm just curious how technically it was done. More so for 1980.
     

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