Hey, Check This Out: From Here to Eternity

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.

The Other Voices: Atlantics

Hey! It’s been a long winter vacation, but I’m back this week with French director Mati Diop’s supernatural indie drama ATLANTICS, now available on Netflix.

On New Year’s Day, for some reason, my partner put TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON on the TV first thing in the morning. That night, we decided to watch 6 UNDERGROUND, completely not intending to make it a full circle Michel Bay kind of day. And if there’s one thing I learned from that experience, it’s that if you’ve ever wondered what the opposite of a Michael Bay movie is, it’s ATLANTICS.

ATLANTICS tells the story of a young Senegalese woman, Ada, who despite being engaged to a rich asshole,  is in love with a construction worker named Souleiman, who, along with his coworkers, is not paid his promised salary for 4 months of work on a huge tower that looms over the town of Dakar. In order to find work, the men all hop on a boat and try to cross the sea to Spain, leaving their women behind. The men don’t reach their destination, and that’s when weird shit starts happening.

Continue reading The Other Voices: Atlantics

Endless Wonder: 10 Years of Warehouse 13

In 2009 the Sci-Fi Channel re-branded itself to SyFy to shift emphasis from harder science fiction series like Battlestar Galactica and the Stargate franchise. Along with the re-branding, a new series began that had a science fiction edge- mixing supernatural elements with comedy and a quirky feel that explored history in an interesting and unique way. This was not time travel (although time travel would feature in the series at one point); it was a modern day set series about agents whose sole mission was to retrieve items that were imbued with powers. These artifacts were things that ranged from the irritating to a world-ending weapon of mass destruction-but even the lesser powered artifacts had downsides to using them.

Continue reading Endless Wonder: 10 Years of Warehouse 13

2019: A list of favorites

A year and a half ago my entire life changed.  I became a dad. It’s the best thing that has ever happened in my life, and I couldn’t be happier.  But being a dad really takes a lot of time and work, and that leaves little room for things that I used to spend all my time doing, seeing movies, watching TV,  reading comics, playing video games, and digging through the internet for new music. With all of that in mind, I’m going to have to my end of year list a little different than the past.  This year, each category gets one winner and no runner ups. I’m also so out of the loop that I won’t bother saying what is the best, just my favorites. All set? Ready? Let’s go!

Continue reading 2019: A list of favorites

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai – 35th Anniversary

NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE!

In 1984, a film was released that was considered to be a flop at the time. It made very little at the box office, however, the film went on to become a cult classic. The reason for this is: nobody really knows exactly what the film is about. You can speculate; you can say what the story beats are,-you can even think that you know what the deeper meaning of the story is. The truth is- this is a film that is completely unique to everyone who watches it. It’s a film that could easily be dismissed as a cheesy product of the 1980’s. You would be so very wrong in your dismissal though. There is more to this film than it’s cheesiness- which there are moments of- there is no denying that. One of the biggest draws of the film is the fact that it dumps the audience into an existing universe and offers very little information about it up front. It tells the audience ‘this is the world, you’ll catch up.’ Treating the audience with respect, and treating them like the intelligent people that they are, was something that is very rare in film in general. It was especially rare in the early 1980’s.

Continue reading The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai – 35th Anniversary

The Other Voices: Mary Queen of Scots

Many years ago, I did a heavy research dive into Mary Queen of Scots with an idea of trying to find a good story where I could make her a badass hero. It became clear pretty quickly that this was impossibly without a lot of bullshit. She just wasn’t a great role model. She was almost always on the run either literally or metaphorically, she was easily manipulated by men specifically, she was so obsessed with her lineage that she never put the right amount of energy into being a good leader in the job she already had, and she ended up dying when she wouldn’t stop obsessing about Elizabeth, who she never actually met in person. I decided there just wasn’t a story there – not with her as the protagonist.

Continue reading The Other Voices: Mary Queen of Scots

The Other Voices: Tigers Are Not Afraid

I think we can all agree that children shouldn’t have to be warriors. They should have homes and parents and food and time to play without worrying about survival. Unfortunately, not all children get to have that. Mexican director Issa Lopez’ 2017 dark fairy tale, TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID, is the story of a group of orphans who have to wake up every day and fight the evil that grown-ups are too scared to face.

This is not some happy story of victory over evil. It’s about the cost we ask our children to pay when we don’t protect them, and I know I’ll be thinking about it for days. It may take place in Mexico, but we are not so removed from this world. We conduct active shooter drills in schools now. Police officers sometimes assault or kill black children instead of protecting them. Our loudest activists against gun violence have become teenagers. This is a burden they should not have to bear, but they do.

Continue reading The Other Voices: Tigers Are Not Afraid

Star Trek Picard: What Do We Know?

It’s still a couple of months away, but the hype for Star Trek: Picard is in full swing. At the 2019 Destination Star Trek, I was lucky enough to attend the Patrick Stewart talk and in that he discussed a few things to expect from the new series. For more on my experience at Destination Star Trek see my article here.

Continue reading Star Trek Picard: What Do We Know?

The Other Voices: Us

Obviously there are a lot of horror movies out there that are just meant to be fun, low-budget schlockfests to give you a good scare before bedtime, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Jordan Peele, it’s that he’s not interested in any of that. If he’s going to scare us, it’s not going to be with a creepy monster – it’s going to be with the truth of our own society. And his latest, US, is certainly in line with that trend.

Continue reading The Other Voices: Us

Destination Star Trek: My Experience Going Premium

WAS IT WORTH IT?

Last year, I attended my first Star Trek convention in Birmingham and I had an amazing time. I met the stars who-until then-I had only seen through the glass barrier that we call television. They were all so friendly and at the end of the convention I knew that I was going back, but I had decided that I needed to see what the more premium tickets were like.

Originally, I was considering the Admiral pass which costs a pricey £3,000 (which according to Google is currently worth $3851.02). After some deliberation , a trip to Los Angeles and another one coming next year I decided on the lower priced Captain’s pass which was only £800 ($1026.80). Only £800 he says- but compared to £3,000 it’s a significant reduction. So, was it worth it? What benefits did I get for the premium price? Well luckily for you I can tell you without it costing you £800.

Continue reading Destination Star Trek: My Experience Going Premium