Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Song-A-Day: An Ideal of Hope

    So you saw the most recent Man of Steel trailer, yeah? Hype is a dangerous thing, but this new Superman movie is seriously beginning to look like the movie of the summer. Most impressive is the music running throughout, which is apparently a part of Hans Zimmer's score and YouTube is already dubbing "An Ideal of Hope" (real or not, I love that title). Following John Williams' tremendous score is no small feat, but judging from this snippet alone, Zimmer has nailed it - crafting a piece of music that seems to fly as high as its main hero.

   One thing to take note of: all the Superman themes dating back to the original Fleischer cartoons have had some string of three notes as the main chorus, echoing the main character's name ("Su-per-man"). Zimmer's theme here is no different, playing around with different triplets of notes throughout to wondrous effect.

June 16th can't get here soon enough...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stream-And-Run: The Burning (1981)

    An early slasher offering from the Weinsteins before they were obsessed with buying Oscars…    

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Song-A-Day: Liberty Tree

    "Liberty Tree" by George Bruns and Tom Blackburn, from the film Johnny Tremain. After you've donated to the Red Cross, another way to pick up your spirits would be to watch this 1957 film, which is an old Disney classic and a great celebration of Boston's history.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

RIP Roger Ebert

    Not two days after posting a "leave of presence" from his website, Roger Ebert passed away earlier today. I could write at length about the effect Ebert's reviews have had on me, but suffice to say I wouldn't be posting infrequent movie reviews here if I had never come across the man and his work. For a film nerd who grew up in a nowhere town where even driving to the closest Blockbuster was a near-Herculean effort, Ebert's reviews (and At The Movies) were something of a godsend. It was through Ebert I learned names like Bergman and Fellini and Godard, and it was also were I learned the most valuable bit of information when analyzing film: "It's not what the film is about, but how it's about it."

    Ebert never stopped writing, even as his health deteriorated over the years and he found himself without the ability to speak; he was more productive in the last year alone than he had ever been. Even announcing his pseudo-retirement in the article linked above, Ebert laid out plans for revitalizing his website and starting a new venture (which I hope still happens). In memoriam, here's some of his pieces that I'll always remember:

Roger Ebert's Last Words, cont.
Apocalypse Now
Le Samourai
Tokyo Story
Pulp Fiction
Dark City 
The Tuxedo 

    Thanks for everything, Mr. Ebert.

    UPDATE: Now I find out that we lost Carmine Infantino today as well. Jess Franco, Ebert and Infantino all in the same week... What the hell, world...

Song-A-Day: Was It All In Vain

    "Was It All In Vain" by the Benjamin Franklin Group, from Lucio Fulci's Four of the Apocalypse, a super-weird, existentialist spaghetti western the Italian gore-meister directed in 1975. The movie is strange and violent and left me feeling more than a little dirty after watching it - there's also a revelation about a character towards the end that gives me the creeps to this day.

    Anyway, for some reason (probably the unforgettable theme to Django), it was popular amongst the spaghettis of this period to have folksy, somewhat bland songs playing on the soundtrack that pretty much describe the plot as it's happening (see Keoma for a particularly terrible/awesome example of this).

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