I haven’t been all that interested in music exploration for years now, letting that hobby languish in favor of others such as movies, videogames, television, and most recently Dungeons & Dragons. I’m not hip with the latest indie music releases, and I haven’t been to a show at the Echoplex in years. At this point, anything new I come across is strictly accidental. However, I’ve started taking an interest in older music, and I owe that completely to film. Case in point: From Here to Eternity, by Giorgio Moroder.
Came across this album via Gaspar Noé’s 2018 perverted Busby Berkeley fever-dream psychological horror film CLIMAX, which has an amazing soundtrack to go along with its delightfully alarming visuals. One track in particular stood out:
I quite enjoy the likes of Daft Punk, Justice, Ratatat, and The Chemical Brothers and all of my favorites from their works claim Giorgio as an influence, whether they explicitly state that or not. So, I decided to check out this album and start digging into this musical blind spot, and wow was I rewarded for my efforts.
From Here To Eternity came out in 1977, and it’s really cool to be able to connect the dots between the music I enjoy today with its influences. You should really check it out.
A LOOK BACK AT A DUMB, IRREVERENT SUPER HERO FILM THAT REMAINS MY FAVORITE.
Man, 1999 was such a vibrant year for film. You had movies like Being John Malkovich, The Matrix, 10 Things I Hate About You, Office Space, American Pie Fight Club, The Mummy, and even Kubrick’s last film Eyes Wide Shut. A veritable cinematic feast, if you will. I can’t think of another time period that such an impact on my taste, humor, and sensibilities.
We have a hard time letting go of our childhood favorites, and we’re worse off for it.
My geek and nerd history is filled with some wonderful firsts. The first time I saw Star Wars, sitting in front of a small TV watching the trilogy back to back on cable. Seeing Indiana Jones get chased by the boulder through the decrepit ruins for the first time. Witnessing The Delorean’s maiden voyage into the past. Seeing how far down the rabbit hole went in The Matrix. Experiencing Middle Earth for the first time, and then seeing it adapted for the screen. Discovering that Cowboy Bebop was merely the tip of the Anime iceberg. Playing my first tabletop RPG. Saving the galaxy from Reapers and breaking hearts as Commander Shepard. And yet, when I sit down and contemplate these firsts, I find myself wrestling with a desire to relive and repackage the greatest hits of my youth versus putting them to rest and moving on.
Today the media landscape has become a veritable King’s Feast of nostalgic geek and nerd content. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated the multiplexes since Iron Man in 2008, and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. We’ve had a Star Wars film come out every year since 2015, as well as comics and cartoons to fill in the blanks. We got a Blade Runner sequel, two more Jurassic Park sequels, a Ghostbusters remake, a Trainspotting sequel, a Beauty and the Beast remake, two Alien prequels, A Mummy remake, and so on. Stranger Things has even tapped into our collective nostalgia for the 80s, giving us familiar synth strings and exceptional set design to transport us back in time. What a wonderful buffet of memory! Grab another plate, stay awhile.
A Dark, Violent and delightful surprise, with a kickin’ score!
I hadn’t been in Los Angeles all that long, really. Wasn’t acclimated to the temperature, and still thought sixty degrees was “warm.” In-n-Out was a novelty for me, and so were all the movie theater options available (you mean I can go to the theater Tarantino owns whenever I want??).
Joe Wright as a director was on my radar, but I had only seen his Pride and Prejudice, which I thought “was fine.” Both Atonement and The Soloist were a skip for me based on the marketing, which made the trailer for Hanna a bit of a surprise when I saw it.
It was a gory, three-course meal with complicated start and a ravishing finish.
My favorite television show of all time is Hannibal, the surprising NBC adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon. The show focused on FBI Special Investigator Will Graham and his relationship to Psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a relationship that the internet would lovingly dub “murder husbands.”
As someone who enjoyed Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, found an amusing appreciation for Ridley Scott’s Hannibal, and found himself bored by Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon, I was interested to see how NBC (of all channels) was going to take a stab at the polite cannibal.
Batman Returns turns 25 this week, and to celebrate we’re looking back at the hype for the movie!
My introduction to Batman Returns wasn’t typical in that I came to it much later and played the video game first. As a young kid my Batman was the Adam West Batman, so this darker take from Tim Burton never really connected. It certainly looked cool, and piqued my interest thanks to its edgier tone, but it felt “other” to the goofier Gotham I was used to.
I decided to take a look back at the hype surrounding this movie, especially since I don’t remember much of the marketing for it compared to the ’89 Batman film.
For some this was probably “their” movie Batman, and the trailer definitely brought the hype for that. For me, I had much of the same reaction I had for the first movie: “It’s fine.” What I didn’t expect was that in the marketing for this movie (and for the movies themselves) Gotham would feel like a tangible location and not some dressed up “insert-city-here.” That’s unique, and in my opinion one of the legacies of the Burton era of Batman.
Do you remember the marketing for Batman Returns? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
Nostalgia is a big part of our current pop culture landscape, but maybe it’s keeping us from getting the next Star Wars, or TMNT, or Doctor Who.
I think it was either Universal Studios’ announcement of their DARK UNIVERSE franchise or the latest round of “Cowboy Bebop is REALLY getting a live-action series” news that I came to the realization that we’ve given the next generation a bit of a raw deal when it comes to entertainment. Much of the movies, television shows, comic books, and pop culture that have defined our childhood have undergone a revival to aggressively cash in on our nostalgia.
In some cases I’ve been very receptive to this; see 2012’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which struck a balance between reminding me what I loved about the 80s/90s cartoon, and making something new out of it for a younger generation of turtle fans. Still, it wasn’t new, and I’d be willing to guess that it won’t have the same impact on the new generation of fans that it had on me and my generation. They inherited the heroes in a half shell from us olds, but we saw its origin.
Cars 3 comes out this weekend and it’s only fitting we talk about the surprising first movie. Ka-chow.
Sandwiched between The Incredibles and Ratatouille, Cars at first blush feels like a bit of a misstep. It’s a movie where vehicles are the only lifeforms and…well…that’s where the marketing pretty much lost me. Lots of racing stuff that I don’t care about? Check. A sidekick voiced by one of the “kings” of blue collar comedy? Check MATER.
I mean, look at this trailer…
The movie turned out to be way better than I thought it would be, walking a fine tightrope between its themes and the ridiculousness of the premise. After I saw the movie, I couldn’t help but think the trailers, marketing, and toys didn’t do the movie justice. The themes of “respecting your elders” being a “good winner,” honor, and appreciating history are very compelling, complex, and not something you would expect based on the marketing. I absolutely loved the moment where Lightning McQueen gives up the Piston Cup to help The King finish his last race.
Cars may not be as good as some of the other films in Pixar’s filmography, but man is it worth a watch. And with the “final chapter” coming out this week, I find myself hyped to see what Lightning McQueen faces next.
Do spoilers matter in our movie marketing? Jonathan doesn’t seem to think so, and can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Hey Internet people! I’ve got a problem that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. Do spoilers in trailers matter? Does a trailer revealing a particular plot point or showing the last moment from the last scene “ruin the experience” for you? For me, the short answer is no. The longer answer? I don’t know. My arc as a moviegoer has gone from trying to avoid anything about a movie until I see it in theaters to being completely ambivalent. I have to be careful around my more spoiler-cautious pals these days because I forget that they might want to go into a movie completely fresh.
So, what changed? When did it change? Could this trailer for ATOMIC BLONDE (which I love) be the culprit?