Flatliners impresses

lat1Watched the 4K of Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners (that’s the 1990 movie, the less said about the 2017 remake the better), which looks absolutely lovely. Film itself has aged pretty well, too (I hadn’t seen the film in maybe twenty years). I really quite enjoyed it, although the casting is pretty amusing seeing the actors (Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Oliver Pratt) looking so young; how is it possible something like Flatliners is over thirty years old now?

I’d forgotten the gorgeous end title music composed by James Newton Howard, and how it suddenly through music alone lifts the film to some other level which the last close-on two hours of actual film failed to reach. Simply sublime music, choral in parts and really, really beautiful and soulful. I also found the music over the sections where William Baldwin’s character sees hallucinations of women talking to him through video footage he’d surreptitiously filmed of them having sex with him very effective too; its a very nice score. Never released on a soundtrack album though – I think its due to some crazy reuse charges. as it was recorded in LA, which has made any official release prohibitively expensive. Such a shame.  I remember searching out the album in vain, just as I had the Blade Runner soundtrack album several years before.

I will take issue with an essay on the included booklet though: its an essay about NDEs and in particular a section that brings up similar-themed films, citing examples such as Paul Hogan-starring Almost an Angel (1990), and obscure titles like Death Dreams (1991), but completely ignoring Douglas Trumbull’s Brainstorm (1983), which literally depicts the near-death experience of a scientist daring to experience a Death tape recorded by a colleague. I always thought that Brainstorm and Flatliners were like filmic cousins but the writer Amanda Reyes seems ignorant of Trumbull’s film. Oh, that sounds so very anal of me now that I mention it as a criticism. Must be this hot weather…

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