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Music, All Shook Down “The Synthesizer For Me, Has Always Been The Greatest:” John Carpenter on His Life in Music and Movies

“The Synthesizer For Me, Has Always Been The Greatest:” John Carpenter on His Life in Music and Movies

“When I was eight-years-old, I saw a movie that changed my life: Forbidden Planet,” John Carpenter, the film composer, director, and screenwriter says from his home in Los Angeles. The film he is referring to is a 1956 science fiction…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist New on Video: Low-Budget Brosnan in <i>Nomads</i>

New on Video: Low-Budget Brosnan in Nomads

Pierce Brosnan is a handsome, handsome man. I'll always associate him with my first girlfriend, who had a deep crush on him, a crush that translated into us watching everything that was available in Brosnan's filmography. We got…
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Film, "ParaNorman": Beautiful Animation Brightens PG Horror

"ParaNorman": Beautiful Animation Brightens PG Horror

Another handsome handcrafted charmer from Laika, the stop-motion shop that gave us Coraline, makes up for lacking its predecessor's delicacy by also lacking its dispassion. In scenic Blithe Hollow, whose main industry is the window-dressing of its own witch-hunt history,…
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Film, "The Thing": Effective if Witless Remake of Horror Classic

"The Thing": Effective if Witless Remake of Horror Classic

John Carpenter should approve of this reasonably respectful and tough-minded prequel to his 1982 The Thing. There in Antarctica, you'll recall, Kurt Russell and company encountered an alien with infectious/shape-shifting powers, making all parties justifiably paranoid about who was human…
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Film, "Attack the Block": Pitch-Perfect Sci-Fi Indie Is a Summer Delight

"Attack the Block": Pitch-Perfect Sci-Fi Indie Is a Summer Delight

The smartest, funniest cheap monster movie import this side of June's Trollhunter, Attack the Block is a near-perfectly balanced seasonal trifle: Anchored in social realism yet determinedly goofy, it's neither too eager for laughs nor overtly preachy. Set in a…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Zombieland</i>


The zombie movie—that evergreen vessel for all manner of social and political allegory—gets stripped down to its “Holy shit! Zombies! Run!” chassis in this fitfully amusing romp directed with little ambition and even less distinction by first-timer Ruben Fleischer. Set…
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Film, Just in time for Halloween, small-screen thrills

Just in time for Halloween, small-screen thrills

Apart from the stray slasher flick, Halloween is traditionally a dead spot on the Hollywood calendar. This week's big release? The Michael Jackson tribute film This Is It — creepy in its own right. But Universal Studios has been raiding…
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Calendar, Night&Day Big Time

Big Time

One evening last week, a woman on the street near Union Square had on a T-shirt that read "Size Matters." She and her companion were wearing shorts; perhaps they were tourists. In any event, she looked embarrassed. Maybe it had…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish Eating for Two

Eating for Two

Feed (TLA) Remember the old jokes about "What's grosser than gross"? The makers of Feed do, as they prove in the first 10 minutes -- one-upping their opening scene featuring a voluntary victim of cannibalism by bringing in a guy…
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Film, Kicking French Ass

Kicking French Ass

Let's trade, action fans. Give up all 126 minutes of Mission: Impossible III's digitized bloat and torture games, along with Poseidon's more modest — yet somehow more numbing — 99 minutes in a computer-generated rain barrel. In exchange, you get…
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Film, Unlucky <i>13</i>

Unlucky 13

Assault on Precinct 13, the sluggish remake of John Carpenter's grungy 1976 movie of the same name, begins with a bang to which it never lives up. In a smoky den of all manner of iniquity, Ethan Hawke's trying to…
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Film, Reel World

The Gore Gore Girls

The Gore Gore Girls Modern horror movies imagine psychopaths in hockey masks, zombies in the mall, and other malevolent monsters of the suburban subconscious. In Charm, a scream-packed and deadpan funny 8mm debut feature, underground filmmakers Sarah Reed and Sadie…
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Stake Tartare

John Carpenter's Vampires Directed by Carpenter. Starring James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Thomas Ian Griffith, and Sheryl Lee. Opens Friday, Oct. 30, at area theaters. When Montoya, one of the fearless vampire killers in John Carpenter's Vampires, tells another character that…
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News, Letters


Chemical Misprint Jack Boulware's article "The Electric Clearlight Acid Mess" (Aug. 21) was both interesting and informative. I must, however, point out one significant error. I assume the chemical structure on the cover and in the article is supposed to…
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One-Shot Wonder

Escape From L.A. Directed by John Carpenter. Starring Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Pam Grier, and Cliff Robertson. John Carpenter was the low-budget directorial phenom of the '70s -- the pauper's Hitchcock whose Halloween, independently produced at a cost of $300,000,…
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