At my little ol' blog, I've already geeked out enough about the music of Michael Giacchino. Among his latest accomplishments is the score for Speed Racer. It hasn't been released in Canada yet. I ordered it out of the USA and it should be here soon.
Until then, here's the end credits music for Speed Racer that I found on YouTube. At its core, it's a huge orchestra cover of the end credits music for the original cartoon:
It is impossible to listen to this music and not smile. My copy of the soundtrack can't get here soon enough.
this summer, as I'm strolling down the streets of Athabasca with my MP3 player cranked up, and you see me dancing in the streets, this is what I'm listening to.
It's already been widely reported that Giacchino is doing the music for the next Star Trek film. Giacchino has also gone on record as saying that he's working the original Alexander Courage theme into his score.
If he does it like this, I will be very, very happy.
Those who have been reading this website for a really, really long time will remember something I used to do called Chaos in Print. Way, way back in university, I did my college radio show AND I wrote an opinion column for the school paper. When I graduated, I was suddenly deprived of a creative outlet and started getting bored out of my mind.
Then I remembered I still had the website. So, I re-launched my column at my website, and dedicated myself to writing a new column once a week.
I managed to keep doing it for seven years. From 1999 to 2006, every Sunday afternoon, you could find another column about my life. It could be my musings on my favourite TV show. It could be some deep analysis of my own neuroses. It could be anything...whatever I felt like writing about.
It charted that first year of unemployment after school. It charted two years of wasting my life at Extra Foods. I stretched a week-long visit to friends in Vancouver to three months of rants. It chronicled my year of teaching English in Japan...I had no shortage of topics that year. I jotted down my notes about returning to school to study broadcasting. And it charted that first year of unemployment after school...again.
When the term "blog" started entering our language, I'd get pissy whenever someone called it a blog. It wasn't a blog, darn it! It was a column! I was a writer! This was going to be the beginning of the Great Canadian Novel! But, taking a second look at it...yeah, it's a blog. it's the worst kind of blog...the kind where someone chronicles their bowel movements and tries to find the meaning of life in re-runs of Battlestar: Galactica. It's moody, angst-ridden, and way too personal. I kept thinking it would be the start of the Great Canadian Novel, but if it were to be published today, I'm certain I would die of humiliation.
So how come I haven't wiped it from the face of the Internet?
Mainly because, at one stage in my life, it was very important to me. Back when my life was confusing, in upheaval, and I was still finding myself, that was my one constant. The fact that I'd sit down sometime that week and write about it.
I once heard it referred to as "the second coming of age." I hear it's now called the "quarter-life crisis." It's that stage when you're done school and experiencing the culture shock of the real world. And it looks like I've kept a darn good record of mine.
I stopped doing it rather unceremoniously two years ago, when I got hired in Athabasca. I said I'd come back to it when I was settled in my new place, but here we are, two years later, and I think it's time to accept that I'm not getting back to it. Besides, most of my efforts are put into the podcast now, and that's pretty much what Chaos in Print has transmogrified into.
But I just didn't want to leave it hanging. For the last two years, it said, "Next one coming soon!" I had to do something about it. So I did.
I just re-designed the Chaos in Print section of my main website. You'll find I've divided Chaos in Print into sections. Each section has a brief summary of that stage of my life, and a few highlights--articles that are less embarrassing than others.
The dream has not died. I still write from time to time. Still kind of half-plan to write that novel someday. But until then, you'll have to make due with the rantings of man who thought he was much more talented than he really was.
These won't actually be in your change. They're going to be sold to coin collectors. $14.95 for a quarter. Ye-ha.
And this story's just cute.
so, here we are in Japan. This very small railway - just 14km of track - was on the verge of going under. Meanwhile, one of the stations along this railway adopted a little kitten named Tama. Tama made the train station his home.
The railway company made Tama its mascot. Now, people from all across Japan are flocking to see this cat/station manager and buy merchandise bearing the kitty's likeness. The kitty saved the railway!
As a bit of an update on this week's podcast, my copy of the Speed Racer score has been special ordered out of the States. But I didn't swing by Amazon.com. Instead, I learned that the score was put out by the record label Varese Sarabande...a label that specializes in film scores. So I decided to buy it direct from the record label.
It's actually really cool if you like film scores. Before I hit "check-out" and ordered my copy, I did a little more browsing and found another obscure film score that I wouldn't mind having...Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Acutally, I got a little miffed after I clicked the button and made my order official. They've got a lot of other obscure film scores I wouldn't mind getting.
"Crocodile" Dundee - The opening credit music for "Crocodile" Dundee has always stuck out in my mind. With a driving bass and a digeridoo, it's classic "venturing into the wilderness" music.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie - Want to get it mainly for the "Holy moly, they actually released this?" aspect.
Fantastic Four - Around five years ago, when every Marvel character started getting their own film, I started collecting the scores for most of them, mainly because there's nothing like a great superhero theme. But, sadly, most of them don't have great superhero themes, so I gave it up. (John Williams' Superman theme and Danny Elfman's Batman theme are still the gold standard.) However, I do like John Ottman's Fantastic Four theme, as it's got a great "charging to the rescue" vibe to it.
So, yeah. I might be blowing my next paycheque. Might give it a few more paycheques before doing so, though.
As you're probably aware, Speed Racer was brought to the big screen by the Wachowski Brothers, the same guys who brought us The Matrix Trilogy. When the Matrix first came out in 1999, some of the more cynical geeks I hung out with went, "yeah, well The Matrix only impressed people who haven't seen enough anime."
With Speed Racer, the Wachowskis have truly made a live-action anime.
Everything is there, from the colour schemes to the editing to the very upbeat music...all the key elements of anime are there. In live action.
So trust me. If you were ever a member of your high school or college's anime club...if you ever rolled your eyes because a friend of yours saw a clip of Neon Genesis Evangelion and said "Is this Astro Boy?"...if you get the joke when I mention Sailor Jupiter's talent....
then you'll enjoy and appreciate Speed Racer.
I'll even go out on a limb and say I liked it more than Iron Man.
So go see it! So I guess this is year that I'm finishing getting all of Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD.
I got seasons 1 and 2 six years ago when it was first released. Then I went to Japan, started saving my money to go to NAIT, and, well, life got in the way.
I always meant to finish the collection, but as any trekkie will tell you, it's tough. Whereas the average season set for a TV show runs $40-$50, Star Trek's season sets go for $80-$100. It really is gouging the fans.
So a few weeks ago, when I was seeing Iron Man, I was browsing in Best Buy and found season 3 marked down to $50. I figured, "What they hey?" and bought it.
And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with season 3. When I watched seasons 1 and 2, I would roll my eyes at how many bad episodes were in those early years. But with season three, the ratio of good to bad was definitly on the side of good.
Anyway, today I was browsing in Future Shop. I found season 4 marked down to $60. Since I hadn't really touched my tax refund yet, I decided "What the hey?" and grabbed it off the shelf.
I went to the till. The clerk rang it up. But it didn't come up as $60. It came up as $40.
Me>> It's $20 cheaper? Nice!
Clerk>> Yeah, we just got a new shipment and we're trying to move them, so all our Star Trek is on sale right now.
Me>> I'm almost tempted to go back and get season 5....
Clerk>> I'm not sure if we have season 5.
Me>> You do have it. I saw it right on the shelf next to this. Give me a minute....
And I ran back and got season 5.
Two more and I can start on DS9. Hey! Pokemon 10 comes out in a week and a half. If Amazon.ca is to be believed, it's going to be the first one to boast the original Japanese language track.
And hey! As we all know, Pokemon games come in threes. There was the original Red/Blue/Yellow, leading to Gold/Silver/Crystal, and Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. We now know what's going to complete the trinity of Diamond/Pearl/__________.
Coming this fall to the Nintendo DS...Pokemon: Platinum Edition.
Tuesday! New DVDs! And the day is filled with double-dips.
Here's a trivia fact for you: Twister was the first movie released on DVD. Now, all you Bill Paxton completionists can get a brand new, 2-disc special edition of Twister. This new edition has a whole slew of documentaries about the making of the film, the real world of tornadoes and storm chasers, and all the fun stuff like running commentaries and cut scenes.
Hey! Did you know that there's a new Indiana Jones movie coming out next week? To celebrate this event, all of the Indiana Jones movies are re-released on DVD today. This time, each film in the original trilogy gets its own individual 2-disc special edition, full of new featurettes about the stunts, the special effects, and all the stuff that makes Indy so darn cool. And, you can get them all in a special gift pack called as Indiana Jones: The Adventure Pack.
Hey! Did you know that there's a new Incredible Hulk movie coming out next month? There was also this Incredible Hulk TV series in the late 1970s, and that spawned three reunion movies in the late 1980s. Well, the first two reunion movies are out on a single DVD today. The first film was called The Incredible Hulk Returns, and actually featured the Hulk teaming up with Thor (in his first live-action appearance). The second film was called The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and actually featured the Hulk teaming up with Daredevil (in his first live-action appearance). And the great thing about this DVD is that it's discount-bin-priced. Suggest retail price is $10, so it just might be worth a laugh. Fraggle Rock is being turned into a movie!
Yup, the classic, Jim Henson created TV show from the late 1980s is coming to the silver screen. The plot will follow Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red as they venture into outer space (that's our world) to rescue Uncle Traveling Mat.
This'll be a co-production of the Weinstein Company and the Jim Henson Company. Rock legend (and son of rock legend Frank Zappa) Ahmet Zappa is going to executive produce. And now, the bad news. Corey Edwards, director of the very lousy computer animated film Hoodwinked! is directing. The Electric Company is making a comeback!
For those who've never heard of it, The Electric Company was the Children's Television Workshop's attempt to duplicate the success of Sesame Street. It was aimed at kids who had grown too old for Sesame Street, and was designed to promote literacy and reading skills. It was a huge success, developed a huge cult following. It originally ran from 1971-1977, and was on in re-runs on PBS well into the late 1980s.
Well, the Sesame Workshop (the re-named Children's Television Workshop) decided its time to bring it back. It'll be targeted for kids aged 6-9, and once again focus on reading and literacy.
I remember catching a couple episodes when I was a kid. This show was trippy.
The nerd news has been piling up here at home, so it's time to unload it!
First, the news of Wednesday. On the left, you see the movie poster for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which hits theatres on August 15.
For those who haven't heard, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is George Lucas's latest attempt to keep the Star Wars universe going. Set between Episode II and Episode III, it's going to show us the epic Clone Wars that we all hoped would wind up becoming an actual film in the prequel trilogy. It's fully CGI, it's the first TV show from Lucasfilm's animation division, it premieres on the Cartoon Network this fall.
And George Lucas decided to edit the first three episodes together into a film and put it into theatres.
The trailer is going to be unveiled tomorrow night on various Time-Warner cable stations. Rumor has it it'll be shown theatrically in front of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
That's one of the weird things. This is going to be put into theatres by Warner Brothers, meaning it'll be the first Star Wars film that doesn't open with the 20th Century Fox fanfare. The news of Tuesday that I forgot to share.
Spaced: The Complete Series is finally coming to North American DVD!
Spaced is one of those TV shows that I've been dying to check out. I have friends who are bigger geeks than me who have seen it, and have told me, quite simply, "It's a TV show made by geeks for geeks."
According to Wikipedia, the show is about Tim and Daisy, two 20-somethings who have to pretend to be married in order to get an apartment. Sounds nice and sitcomy, right? Well, what makes this so geek-tastic is that ALL the characters are geeks, so the pop culture references come fast and furious.
Plus, the creative team went on to make the very funny films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
Besides getting all 14 episodes (I love how British comedies are short and to the point), you get these for bonus materials:
- Skip to the End: A feature length documentary about the making of the show. - a 2007 reunion of the cast and crew - bloopers - deleted scenes - the "Homage-o-meter," a pop-up counter that keeps track of all the pop culture references.
But that's not all! They got a whole pantheon of supergeeks to do running commentaries. Ladies and gentlemen, your supergeeks:
- Quentin Tarintino (no introduction needed) - Kevin Smith (no introduction needed) - Matt Stone (Trey Parker's significant other and co-genius behind South Park) - Patton Oswalt (stand-up comic and the voice of Remy in Ratatouille. Ever hear his stand-up act? Half of it is about Star Wars) - Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live cast member and star of Superbad) - Diablo Cody (writer of Juno)
Oh, and of course, running commentaries from the original creators: Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes, and Edgar Wright.
July 22 is when this hits stores, and it might become the second time I ever bought a TV show on DVD without having ever seen an episode. (The first time was Robot Chicken: Season 1 and that worked out pretty good.)
The news of Monday I forgot to share.
So, Iron Man made a buttload of money, so that means more Marvel Comics movies! On Monday, Marvel announced what they have planned for more movies based on their characters.
May 2010 - Iron Man 2.
July 2010 - Thor. Thor is currently being headed up by Matthew Vaughn, the man who brought Neil Gaiman's Stardust to the big screen. Vaughn has already said that his take on Thor will be an epic fantasy film.
May 2011 - The First Avenger: Captain America This was considered a longshot for Marvel characters. People are afraid that such an overtly patriotic hero would be a "tough sell" overseas, given the current global political climate. I don't care, I'm a canuck, and I think the Cap would kick-ass on screen.
July 2011 - The Avengers Marvel's supergroup gets a movie! Zak Penn, who wrote X-Men 2 & 3, is hammering out a script. No director yet.
My upstairs neighbours/landlords have a new baby. That's great and all, but it's kind of throwing off my schedule.
I like to do my laundry really early on Sunday mornings, because I'm up really early and the washing machine is free, but since the baby got them up early they decided to do the laundry early, and now I'm sitting and waiting for the machine to be free.
So I find myself devoting my early morning time and energy to getting the Targ up early!
This week, it's Episode 95: Comics, Yo!. I lament the loss of Lex Luthor from Smallville, try to figure out what comes next for Marvel Comics movies, and I do something I haven't done in a long time. I give you a "live from the movie theatre during the end credits" review of Iron Man!
Ah, a Saturday at West Edmonton Mall! There's nothing finer.
Of course, the main reason for today's trip was to see Iron Man. It was a great film, but.... there were no moments that blew me away. There were no moments that gave me goosebumps. There were no moments that made me geek out completely.
I blame the fact that all those moments are in all the trailers and TV spots, so by the time I saw them on the big screen, I had seen them many, many times.
But all in all, it was really good. I give it 3.5 nibs. I'll have a complete review in the days ahead. And since I was there, I thought I would partake in Free Comic Book Day. Usually the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day is a comic book industry wide event in which comic book stores give out free comic books in an attempt to attract new readers.
I stopped in at my usual haunt, Comic King, and I have to say it went much better than my Free Comic Book Day experience at Comic King last year.
This is how it went down last year. I walked up to the front counter....
Me>> Hello. Clerk>> How can I help you? Me>> Is it true that today is Free Comic Book day? Clerk>> (annoyed sigh) Yes. Me>> May I have a free comic book, please? The clerk muttered under his breath while he randomly grabbed a comic from a box behind the counter and tossed it to me. Me>> thank you!
But this is how it went down this year. I walked into Comic King, and was greeted by a clerk who'd been working there forever. He gave me a great deal on a Star Trek action figure many moons ago.
Clerk>> Good day! How are you today? Me>> I'm doing good. Clerk>> Can I help you find anything? Me>> Nope...just browsing. Clerk>> Hey! Did you know that today is Free Comic Book Day? Me>> (flabbergasted that he was freely offering this information) Umm, yeah, I think I read something... Clerk>> Well, we've got all the free comics spread out on a table at the back of the store. Just head on over there and grab yourself one. Me>> Um...thank you. Clerk>> Ya know what? Grab yourself two! Me>> Uh..wow! thank you very much!
Even though Free Comic Book Day would be the prefect opportunity to grab something new and different, I wussed out and went with the big two. DC's offering is a reprint of #1 of All Star Superman, and Marvel's offering was Secret Invasion Saga, which is everything you needed to know about Skrulls but were afraid to ask.
Although, I was sorely tempted to get Archie Comics' offering, which was a special issue of Jughead. I also managed to drift by the mall's petting zoo. I took a moment to stop and take a look at the animals.
Petting zoos make me feel sad. Being kept in a pen and put on display is one thing, but what's got to be worse is being kept in pen, put on display, and poked and prodded by hundreds of screaming kids. Not much of a life.... I hope that petting zoo animals eventually get retired to a nice big farm where they can run and be free from any screaming youngsters pulling on their ears.
I swear, I'm just two steps away from going vegetarian. Vegetarian, not vegan. I don't think I'd ever be able to give up starting my mornings with a nice cold glass of milk.
I can't believe it took me so long to blog about this.
If you're a big geek like me, then you were completely blown away by the end credits of Cloverfield, and piece of music that accompanied the end credits.
It was just a mindblowing piece of music. It was perfect pastiche/tribute/re-creation of the music written for the most classic Godzilla films.
That piece of music is called ROAR! (Cloverfied Overture), and it was written by Michael Giacchino. Giacchino is a rising new star in the film composing world. He started out doing the music for video games (most notably the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series), and from there the music for TV shows (most notably Alias and Lost), and he finally broke into feature films by doing the music for The Incredibles. He went on to do the music for Mission: Impossible III and picked up an Oscar nomination for his music for Ratatouille. He does the music for Speed Racer coming out next week, and it's also been announced that he's doing the music for the upcoming new Star Trek film.
But I digress.
I wasn't the only one who geeked out over ROAR!, and soon all the geeks were clamoring for the piece to be released in some form.
Well, it was finally released back on Tuesday. Only on iTunes. Which is more evidence why I need a new computer: need more hard drive space for buying music online.
And here's the cool part. ROAR! as it appears in the end credits is 9:45 long. When you buy it, you get the complete, unedited 12:15 version.
I want it bad.
Hey, remember 9 years ago, when all the Episode I action figures went on sale and nerds were lined up outside the toy stores and the toy stores opened up at midnight and there were mad rushes of people wanting to get all the Episode I toys?
Well, sadly, there was no recreation of that today for the Indiana Jones figures. That's right, the Indiana Jones figures are now available at your local Toys R Us!
And here's a fantastic piece of 1980s nostalgia.
The Gremlins doing a commercial for a British IT firm!