Saturday, August 12, 2017

Shorts But Sweet

Short films can really pack a punch, if done well.

With little to no budget these mini-movies can deliver the goods.

Sometimes the directors of these shorts hit the big time and the material is adapted for the big screen. Two such lucky filmmakers are David F. Sandberg with Lights Out, which plays so well with our fear of the dark. His 2013 short film below was adapted into a successful big screen version in 2016, also called Lights Out. Sandberg has Annabelle: Creation out in theaters August 11.


Director Andres "Andy" Muschietti and his sister producer Barbara Muschietti created their extremely chilling short film Mama in 2008. It caught the eye of visionary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro who produced the 2013 big screen version also titled Mama. Andy Muschietti has the highly anticipated movie version of Stephen King's It coming September 8.


It's not just horror movies that work in the short film realm. Neill Blomkamp adapted his now-classic sci fi short Alive In Joburg (2005) into his acclaimed big screen District 9 (2009).





Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Music of Jonny Quest

One of the greatest, perhaps THE greatest, action adventure cartoons is "The Adventures of Jonny Quest".

Doug Wildey, working for Hanna-Barbera, created a mature, stylish series that is as thrilling now as when it first aired in 1964. The series is notable for many reasons: the incredible voice over work, the well-rounded characters, exotic locations (drawing Calcutta costs as much as drawing a generic Southern California mountainside or cityscape), the imaginative stories featuring robot-spiders, yetis, mummies, and lizard men.

One of the best things about Jonny Quest is composer Hoyt Curtain's incredible jazz-soaked music. If you watched Saturday morning cartoons in the last 50 years, you know the Jonny Quest theme. The incidental music, which producers Hanna-Barbera often chopped up and tracked into other adventure cartoons they produced, is still thrilling.

One of my most favorite Curtain/Quest pieces of music, with those amazing drumbeats accentuated by horn blasts, can be found at the 1:20 to 2:26 mark below. Another fun piece starts at 4:20 to 5:52.


We can't talk about Quest music without mentioning the amazing, thrill a minute main title theme which just screams "adventure!".



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Someone Had To Ask: Why, Japan, Why?

I believe that title says it all. Check out 20 sec to 45 sec.
You can watch the rest, the most bizarre thing might be the cup noodles/Tabasco/kabuki-
diapered-demons vignette which would have David Lynch scratching his head in a wtf manner.

What's on TV Today?

I got up at my normal time of oh-dark-thirty, but since it's Saturday, I'm off. So I tuned into over the air station Heroes & Icons, and The Green Hornet TV series was on.  GH and Kato were in the Black Beauty chasing some bad guys in an armored car down dusty studio back lot roads.
When they cut to Green Hornet and Kato inside Black Beauty, and you see Kato driving and GH in the backseat, it really hit me hard for some reason: the Green Hornet is a superhero who has a chauffeur. A. Chauffeur.   What. An. Asshole. Batman didn't sit in the backseat and have Alfred or Robin drive him around Gotham looking for supervillains and all-night Krispy Kreme stores. Green Arrow (while he was still a Batman ripoff in his early years) always had Speedy, his Robin-esque sidekick, sit beside him in the Arrow Car.  Hell, Hutch never sat in the back of the Grand Torino while Starsky tore down Bay City's mean streets chasing after the crooks and vampires (the John Saxon episode).  
But the Green fucking Hornet has got to have a dude chauffeur his wealthy crime-fighting buns around town. And an Asian dude at that.
I also now wonder if Kato was from Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump's "Djhina."

Friday, June 23, 2017

BABY DRIVER Posters Run The Gamut From Cliche to Cool

Great movie poster illustrations are becoming a lost artform.

Here is a quite standard Hollywood poster for the upcoming BABY DRIVER. It's not terrible, with its collage of characters grouped at the top and the slanted angle of the car in the lower half.


Here's an image that could be on a poster, but targets the film's sure-to-be-classic rock song soundtrack. Now THIS is a cool image. It grabs your attention with the graphic of the car zooming out of Baby's ever present iPod.


This next poster I absolutely adore. Simple, clean graphics. No collage, no clutter.






Baby Driver movie and images Copyright 2017 Sony Pictures Digital Productions Inc. No infringement of those rights is intended.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Adam West Is And Always Will Be Batman



Adam West will always be remembered by kids who grew up in the late 1960s and 70s for his winning portrayal of DC Comics' favorite character BATMAN in the series of the same name.

Mr. West passed from this world into immortality on June 9 after a battle with leukemia. He was 88.

The Batman series was famous for many things: it's big name guest stars, bright color scheme, the amazing Batmobile, "POW!" "ZAP!" and other superimposed sound effect/titles, but also for the understated performance of Adam West as Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne.

The series may have been campy, but Mr. West took his role seriously and was seen as a hero by millions of viewers. With respect to the many actors who have played the Caped Crusader over the years, Adam West IS Batman.

Batman character Copyright 2017 by DC Comics. Batman series Copyright 2017 by its respect rights holder. No infringement of those rights is intended.




Friday, May 5, 2017

BBC's THE MUSKETEERS Series Main Title Theme

The Musketeers is a great, old-fashioned romantic adventure series, something sadly lacking on American television in these times. Thank goodness the British and the BBC have not forgotten how to deliver. The series Main Title them by Murray Gold is a rousing, footstomping number. Engarde!


Shed a Tear of Joy Fellow STAR WARS Fans

We can all relate to Adam Scott's birthday wish - to meet his hero LUKE SKYWALKER (Mark Hamill) in the flesh - and his heartwarming reaction to having it fulfilled many, many years later.




Saturday, January 21, 2017

Miguel Ferrer, 1955 to 2017

"I fucking love that guy!"

That exclamation in the sci fi classic RoboCop (1987) forever cemented actor Miguel Ferrer into the hearts and minds of geeks everywhere.

Mr. Ferrer, the son of Hollywood legends Jose Ferrer (the Emperor in David Lynch's Dune) and Rosemary Clooney, and first cousin to George Clooney, passed away on January 19. He was 61. 

Mr. Ferrer had roles on the big screen and on TV: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, Miami Vice, Deepstar Six, Twin Peaks, and The Stand to name just a few.

However this blogger really grew to love Mr.Ferrer for his voice over work. His amazingly deep resonant voice gave life to the animated classic Mulan's villan Shan Yu and Aquaman in Superman: The Animated Series. Mr. Ferrer also had a thriving career as a movie trailer announcer, narrating the trailers for such films as The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, U-571, Rent, and Romeo Must Die.