Saturday, August 16, 2014

TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
If you got to know me a little, you would find out that I'm one of the few regular people that is on Twitter.

One thing that I like about Twitter is that you can get sent all kinds of interesting and funny and amazing pics, so I'm going to be posting those pics that I find interesting or funny or amazing.

So
without futher ado here is the
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
 
FALLING WATER FROM ABOVE
 
 
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
One of the things I would like to do on this blog is publish pics that I find interesting or just plain cool.
And one of the things I find most beautiful and one of my most profound interests is:  women.
Hey, what can I say, I'm single.
So, in the interest of keeping this blog as beautiful as possible, I'm going to be putting up pics of women that I think are beautiful.
Now, before anyone gets worried, there are a couple of rules:
1. No nudity - I will be displaying mostly head and shoulder pics that may show a bit of cleavage but will go no further but if I do show more, the woman will be clothed in a dress or in some other flattering manner.  No swimsuits or lingerie photos will be featured.
2. I will try to identify the woman featured.  Now, I may not be able to do this all the time as I have many pics that are not identified but on the whole I will try and provide a name to go with the beautiful face.
So, without further ado, here is the
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
THE FOUR LOOKS OF BEAUTY
I believe that beauty can be described in four different ways:   CUTE
                                                                                                       PRETTY
                                                                                                       BEAUTIFUL
                                                                                                       SEXY

To illustrate my contention I present four Beauty Pics for today of Playboy Playmates that exemplify these four aspects of beauty (you also may notice that all of them are brunettes - well, what can I say?  I like brunettes!)


CUTE - This is Playboy Playmate Raquel Gibson and I think she exactly epitomizes cuteness in this pic.



PRETTY - This is Playboy Playmate Allison Waite and she is pretty IMO.  She's not overly beautiful but by no means is she unattractive.



BEAUTIFUL - This is Playboy Playmate Penelope Jimenez and I think she is absolutely gorgeous so she would fit the description of beautiful in every way.



SEXY - And of course, this is Playboy Playmate Tiffany Taylor who is sexy through and through in this pic but I have to say that to me, Tiffany encompasses all the aspects and looks of beauty as she is all at once cute, pretty, beautiful and sexy each time I see a pic of her.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

 TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
If you got to know me a little, you would find out that I'm one of the few regular people that is on Twitter.

One thing that I like about Twitter is that you can get sent all kinds of interesting and funny and amazing pics, so I'm going to be posting those pics that I find interesting or funny or amazing.

So
without futher ado here is the
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY

The saying goes that "Money Can't Buy You Happiness!"
But it sure could buy you a long driveway to a big house!
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
One of the things I would like to do on this blog is publish pics that I find interesting or just plain cool.
And one of the things I find most beautiful and one of my most profound interests is:  women.
Hey, what can I say, I'm single.
So, in the interest of keeping this blog as beautiful as possible, I'm going to be putting up pics of women that I think are beautiful.
Now, before anyone gets worried, there are a couple of rules:
1. No nudity - I will be displaying mostly head and shoulder pics that may show a bit of cleavage but will go no further but if I do show more, the woman will be clothed in a dress or in some other flattering manner.  No swimsuits or lingerie photos will be featured.
2. I will try to identify the woman featured.  Now, I may not be able to do this all the time as I have many pics that are not identified but on the whole I will try and provide a name to go with the beautiful face.
So, without further ado, here is the
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY

 
Ok, so now that I've completed the Top 20 on my Playmate List, its time for a break from playmates and feature a few different Playboy Beauties.


This Erika Michelle Barre and she was Playboy's 1st Cyber Girl of the Year in 2002.  For the past twelve years or so, Playboy has maintained a fairly extensive presence on the net through Playboy.com and ever since 2001 they have featured a Cyber Girl of the Week each week of each month.  Then a Cyber Girl of the Month was chosen from the month's CGOW and then a Cyber Girl of the Year was chosen from the CGOM all with accompanying pictorials and videos (for CGOM and CGOY).
As already stated, Erika was the first CGOY (after being CGOM in October, 2001) with a mix of cuteness and sensuality that is hard to miss.

As a bonus I give you:
Cyber Girl of the Year, 2005 - Amy Sue Cooper


Cyber Girl of the Year, 2008 - Jo Garcia


Cyber Girl of the Year, 2010 - Tess Taylor Arlington



Also I would refer you to an earlier Beauty Pic of the Day post featuring Monica Leigh, Cyber Girl of the Year, 2006: http://mattstarr28.blogspot.com/2014/01/beauty-pic-of-day-one-of-things-i-would.html 



A LESSON UNLEARNED

 






















So I just saw the new X-Men movie, Days of Future Past.
Now this movie is based on one of Chris Claremont's classic story arcs from the comic The Uncanny X-Men in the early 80's and because of its iconic status it was one of the natural stories that would be chosen for Marvel Studios to bastardize in the disastrous X-Men movie franchise.
However, for this movie, the filmmakers, specifically Bryan Singer (the director of X-Men 1 & 2), have chosen to use this story as a vehicle to retconn the entire series and try and correct some of the mistakes of the earlier movies (specifically X-Men 3 and Wolverine Origins).
At least that's what I thought was the purpose of this movie.  And for most of the movie it does exactly that.
Except for X-Men:  First Class (which I thought was abysmal due to all the changes they made from the comics), all the X-Men movie continuity is wiped away paving the way for new movies to be made with James McAvoy (a terrible choice for Prof X - why isn't he bald?), Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence and a whole new set of X-Men (or old X-Men played by new younger actors) until...
the very end of the movie
when...

THEY REESTABLISH THE OLD CONTINUITY!!!

Wait...  What???
I just spent two hours watching all the movie continuity wiped away only to see the original actors from X-Men return? 
That makes absolutely no sense!!!
Not only from a story perspective but from a film-making continuing movie franchise perspective.
Where does the franchise go from here?
Do they make new movies with the old cast?  Do they make new movies with McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence?  Do they make new movies combining both casts in some kind of dual story (perhaps involving Apocalypse, which they totally crucified in the end credits sequence - Since when can Apocalypse build pyramids with his mind or whatever?  It didn't even look like Apocalypse.  Terrible.)
The movie should have ended with the future timeline disappearing and Logan being rescued from drowning and captured so that he can get his adamantium. 
And why have Mystique be Stryker there at the end?  That makes no sense either because presumably she would rescue Wolverine and then he would get his adamantium some other way.  
And why does Logan wake up in that new timeline and can't remember anything?  Did his consciousness jolt from the boat in the past to the future where everyone is back alive and well.  It doesn't make any sense.
Time-Travel.  Yeesh.
Had they ended the movie with Logan waking on the boat with no memory of the future, they could have made a new movie where Prof X (James McAvoy, hopefully bald at this point) assembles the original X-Men along with Beast who would still be there. So you could recast all the original X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel) and perhaps have them go after Magneto (who Charles let go free at the end of Future Past which also doesn't make a whole lot of sense).
Imagine this in a new movie:
It begins with confused images of Wolverine getting his adamantium and metal claws 
Then you tell the story of the original X-Men (the original five) and how they go after Magneto whose doing some dastardly deed perhaps molded on X-Men #1 where he goes after nuclear missiles but they fail to stop him. 
Simultaneously, you tell another X-Men story with the older cast (Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, Sunfire (was that Sunfire in Days of Future Past or Sunspot, I couldn't tell), Cyclops, Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, and maybe Rogue) once more against Magneto but this time they succeed in stopping him with Wolverine saving the day making a triumphant entrance.
Or something like that.  I'm just kind of thinking out loud at this point.
I guess they are going to make an Age of Apocalypse movie next which could also work in different time periods because he is immortal.  You could have the young/new cast fight him and barely defeat him only to have him return to harass the older team where they win.
It seems to me that since they re-presented the older actors in the same parts and are once again stuck in the same continuity that they could also tell new stories with the same cast and not mess things up like they did with the original X-Men movies.  The way to not mess things up is to stay as close to the comics as they can which is why I proposed telling an origin story of the original team (except for Iceman which they can't fix now because its established in Days of Future Past that he is already there as a young man, so they can't make him an original X-Man - see, once you start changing things, you have to keep making changes until you are so far from the comics that nothing makes sense - like X-Men: First Class and then you have to reboot the entire franchise)
I don't know if any of this is making any sense but all I do know is that in an effort to correct past mistakes they made in story, casting, and characterizations they ended up not learning from their own past mistakes and therefore no lessons were learned and the X-Men movie franchise is still just as mired in confusion as it always was.
Too bad.


Monday, August 11, 2014


NIPPLES ON THE BAT SUIT?

 


In Defense of the Indefensible

A buddy of mine posited on his own blog that Joel Schumacher was the filmaker that "ruined" Batman with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin whereas I contend that Christopher Nolan's interpretation of Batman in his trilogy was far worse and "ruined" Batman (at least for me, and finding out that Ben Affleck is gonna be Batman in the next Superman movie has sent the caped crusader to his grave for me).
So, for discussion's sake, I'm going to try and justify why I believe the above statement.
However, before I begin, I have one caveat that has be expressed in no uncertain terms:
THERE IS NO DEFENSE FOR BATMAN & ROBIN!!!
Batman & Robin is one of the worst comic book movies of all time in a way that is almost indescribable.  It is such a wretched movie that it is painful to watch and it is undeniable that it sent the Batman movie franchise to a premature death (and made the studios so paranoid of another debacle that they turned to Nolan with a more realistic approach to Batman that didn't work for me at all).
But what about Batman Forever?
Well, Batman Forever is not a great movie either but I don't think it is as bad as many say that it is.
I grew up watching the 1960's Batman TV show and I remember loving it as a child.  I didn't really understand the "camp" element of the show and since I had never read any of the Batman comics, I didn't know any better or any different concerning Batman.
Simply put, I believe that Batman Forever is the TV series brought to the big screen.
Think about it, the movie features many aspects of the TV series including the bright colors, over the top villains, death-trap scenarios, non-sensible plot devices, deadpan humor, outrageous costumes, and a young man as Robin (as opposed to the Boy Wonder of the comics).  Its all there.  The only thing missing from the movie is the POW!! BANG!! stuff.
To elaborate further, lets first address the villains in Batman Forever.  Jim Carrey plays the Riddler straight out of the Frank Gorshin playbook (Gorshin played the Riddler in the TV series) and Tommy Lee Jones plays Two-Face as a Joker rip-off that Cesar Romero would have been proud of (Romero was the Joker in the TV series).  Now, its true that Two-Face isn't the Joker and shouldn't act just like him but that was the style that was asked of Jones and I think he pulled it off as did Carrey as the Riddler.  I thought they were both sorta hilarious.  Over the top, yes, but hilarious nonetheless.
The movie also featured Robin in the Burt Ward vein as a young man and he had a decent plot mixed with Two-Face that worked very well in the movie  (and I gotta say that when Robin first appeared in the movie in full costume I sorta freaked out in a childish way at seeing one of my heroes onscreen for the first time).
The real flaw with Batman Forever lies in the completely asinine plot that the Riddler concocts concerning the brainwave-drain-TV-signal-thing.  Not good, and it really distracts from an otherwise decent plot structure.  Had they left that out and just made Riddler envious and bitter with Batman for ignoring and firing him and then trying to prove his superior intellect over Batman, the movie would have worked fine and combined with the Two-Face/Robin plot, the movie would have been pretty sound (and speaking of sound - the music by Elliott Goldenthal is not too bad for this movie).
As a side note, after Batman Forever came out on video (before DVDs were born), I took two VCRs and made an edited version of Batman Forever that removed all of the Riddler's plotline of the brainwave-drain-TV-signal-thing.  I also removed a few lines of cheesy (or campy?) dialogue that I didn't find funny - 

Alfred - "Can I persuade you to take a sandwich with you, sir?"
Batman - "I'll get drive through." (he says as he's standing beside the Batmobile)

Batman - "Its the car, right?  Chicks dig the car."

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Batman Forever is a great movie, but if you view it through the prism of style of the TV series its really not all that bad.
Bottom Line - If you loved the TV series (and a lot of people do admit they loved that show), you should be able to appreciate most of Batman Forever as a kind of homage to that series.

Now, a quick word about the Nolan Batman trilogy.
If you know me at all, then you know that I fairly despise those movies and I have one main reason.
Aside from Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's score for Batman Begins, I don't like anything about the conception and rendering of those movies.  
Nothing - the sets, costumes, casting, characters, storylines, and most especially the Batmobile.  
The Batmobile in the Nolan movies exemplifies best why and what I don't like about those movies.  It doesn't look anything like any Batmobile that has ever existed!  And this departure of conception carries over to every aspect of these films.  To me its just not Batman.  
I heard a movie reviewer describe these films as what Batman would be in reality while the comics represent what he is in fantasy.  
Well, I want the fantasy!!
I want to see my favorite comic book heroes in their iconic stories onscreen with as little change as possible (updating technology is OK, like in Iron Man) and if that's not what is presented onscreen then I can just leave it where it is - playing onscreen to my absence.





Saturday, August 9, 2014

 

YOU TUBE FILM MUSIC CUE OF THE DAY

This feature on my blog showcases one of my great loves and personal hobbies:
FILM MUSIC.
I am a passionate fan of film music and my collection of film music is vast but I want to combine that with a visual aspect (which film music should be aligned too) so I'm going to use You Tube to accomplish this goal.
I will search through You Tube and find videos that feature film music and embed those videos on this blog.
So,
without further ado, here is the
YOU TUBE FILM MUSIC CUE OF THE DAY

So today, I bought a couple of Michael Jackson Cd's.  I've always thought that Michael Jackson was a really interesting pop singer with a very distinctive voice and incredible dance moves.  And listening to the discs got me thinking about what I think, IMO, is the best music video of all time and it is Michael Jackson's video to Smooth Criminal from the Moonwalker movie.  It showcases all the features of Jackson's oeuvre from  the vocal histrionics to the incredible dancing.  It is an iconic video that I don't think he really matched until the video for You Rock My World (which is similar to Smooth Criminal in conception and execution).
So, since the video comes from a movie, I present it for you here for the You Tube Film Music Cue of the Day.



And just for fun since I mentioned it above, here is the video for You Rock My World (which is kind of a mini-movie of its own).


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

YOU WERE OUT OF MY LEAGUE
ALL THE THINGS I BELIEVE
YOU WERE JUST THE RIGHT KIND
YEAH YOU WERE
MORE THAN JUST A DREAM

Thinking of Tiffany Taylor from my most recent Beauty Pic of the Day - http://mattstarr28.blogspot.com/2014/08/beauty-pic-of-day-one-of-things-i-would_6.html , I'm reminded of the song Out of My League by Fitz & the Tantrums from their album More Than Just a Dream. It seems to be especially fitting.

If you haven't heard the song or album, I would encourage you to do so because its actually really good.

Here is the video of the above mentioned song:


 
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
If you got to know me a little, you would find out that I'm one of the few regular people that is on Twitter.

One thing that I like about Twitter is that you can get sent all kinds of interesting and funny and amazing pics, so I'm going to be posting those pics that I find interesting or funny or amazing.

So
without futher ado here is the
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
 
In the last two Twitter Pics of the Day, I highlighted winter and space so let's now combine those aspects with this pic.
 
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
One of the things I would like to do on this blog is publish pics that I find interesting or just plain cool.
And one of the things I find most beautiful and one of my most profound interests is:  women.
Hey, what can I say, I'm single.
So, in the interest of keeping this blog as beautiful as possible, I'm going to be putting up pics of women that I think are beautiful.
Now, before anyone gets worried, there are a couple of rules:
1. No nudity - I will be displaying mostly head and shoulder pics that may show a bit of cleavage but will go no further but if I do show more, the woman will be clothed in a dress or in some other flattering manner.  No swimsuits or lingerie photos will be featured.
2. I will try to identify the woman featured.  Now, I may not be able to do this all the time as I have many pics that are not identified but on the whole I will try and provide a name to go with the beautiful face.
So, without further ado, here is the
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
Ok, so now that I've completed the Top 20 on my Playmate List, its time for a break.  
And it just so happens that today my father asked me, "Who is the most beautiful woman to you?"   
Without hesitation I replied - Tiffany Taylor.
To defend my choice, I present several pics of Tiffany from a few years ago, but, believe it or not, she still looks just about the same today.  Incredible!!!





It kinda makes me sad that I'll probably never meet "the most beautiful woman to me".  But, what can you do?  Life is just like that sometimes.

Monday, August 4, 2014

YOU TUBE FILM MUSIC CUE OF THE DAY

This feature on my blog showcases one of my great loves and personal hobbies:
FILM MUSIC.
I am a passionate fan of film music and my collection of film music is vast but I want to combine that with a visual aspect (which film music should be aligned too) so I'm going to use You Tube to accomplish this goal.
I will search through You Tube and find videos that feature film music and embed those videos on this blog.
So,
without further ado, here is the
YOU TUBE FILM MUSIC CUE OF THE DAY


 

For this cue I give you Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet delivering the Act IV, Scene iv speech "Now all occasions do inform against me - What is a man?".  It is a great moment from the film but I would direct your attention to the musical backing provided by Patrick Doyle which accentuates the speech and absolutely heightens this scene to the very best of high art and cinema.  This is what Shakespeare on film is supposed to be!!!

BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
One of the things I would like to do on this blog is publish pics that I find interesting or just plain cool.
And one of the things I find most beautiful and one of my most profound interests is:  women.
Hey, what can I say, I'm single.
So, in the interest of keeping this blog as beautiful as possible, I'm going to be putting up pics of women that I think are beautiful.
Now, before anyone gets worried, there are a couple of rules:
1. No nudity - I will be displaying mostly head and shoulder pics that may show a bit of cleavage but will go no further but if I do show more, the woman will be clothed in a dress or in some other flattering manner.  No swimsuits or lingerie photos will be featured.
2. I will try to identify the woman featured.  Now, I may not be able to do this all the time as I have many pics that are not identified but on the whole I will try and provide a name to go with the beautiful face.
 
So, without further ado, here is the
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
 
 
 
 Finishing the Top 20 on my Playmate List and in keeping with the winter theme from the Twitter Pic of the Day and also finishing out the decade of the 90's is Miss December 1999, Brooke Richards.  Wow!!  Now this is a buxom lady (all bundled up in this pic) with almost perfect feaures and... well you can probably guess the rest.  If I'm dreaming of winter, then I would want to spend it with her.
 
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
If you got to know me a little, you would find out that I'm one of the few regular people that is on Twitter.

One thing that I like about Twitter is that you can get sent all kinds of interesting and funny and amazing pics, so I'm going to be posting those pics that I find interesting or funny or amazing.

So
without futher ado here is the
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
 
A DREAM OF WINTER
 
 
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
One of the things I would like to do on this blog is publish pics that I find interesting or just plain cool.
And one of the things I find most beautiful and one of my most profound interests is:  women.
Hey, what can I say, I'm single.
So, in the interest of keeping this blog as beautiful as possible, I'm going to be putting up pics of women that I think are beautiful.
Now, before anyone gets worried, there are a couple of rules:
1. No nudity - I will be displaying mostly head and shoulder pics that may show a bit of cleavage but will go no further but if I do show more, the woman will be clothed in a dress or in some other flattering manner.  No swimsuits or lingerie photos will be featured.
2. I will try to identify the woman featured.  Now, I may not be able to do this all the time as I have many pics that are not identified but on the whole I will try and provide a name to go with the beautiful face.
So, without further ado, here is the
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY


At #19 on the Playmate List is Miss July 1994, Traci Adell.  Now this is true beauty and she probably should have gone much higher on my list but I guess I was distracted somewhere along the way.  (She kinda has a Lynda Carter-thing going on here, doesn't she?).  Rumor has it that she was the front-runner for Playmate of the Year but since she had once been in the company of O.J. Simpson, that idea was scrapped to avoid negative publicity for Playboy.  Wrong call on that one, Hef!  A truly special playmate.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

YOU TUBE FILM MUSIC CUE OF THE DAY

This feature on my blog showcases one of my great loves and personal hobbies:
FILM MUSIC.
I am a passionate fan of film music and my collection of film music is vast but I want to combine that with a visual aspect (which film music should be aligned too) so I'm going to use You Tube to accomplish this goal.
I will search through You Tube and find videos that feature film music and embed those videos on this blog.
So,
without further ado, here is the
YOU TUBE FILM MUSIC CUE OF THE DAY

As I said in an earlier post about Star Trek: The Motion Picture having a lot to be desired as a movie, the score was Jerry Goldsmith's crowning achievement of the 1970's.  There are parts of this movie that consist of nothing but the characters starring at a viewer screen in wonderment and to the music of Jerry Goldsmith.
That said, the best moment of the film is when Kirk and Scotty are doing a flyby of the starship Enterprise in spacedock (and keep in mind that this is the first time anyone had seen the Enterprise on the big screen) and it consists of sweeping camera shots of the ship and Jerry Goldsmith's transcendent music.  It is a magical movie moment and I present it here from YouTube for your enjoyment.


TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
If you got to know me a little, you would find out that I'm one of the few regular people that is on Twitter.

One thing that I like about Twitter is that you can get sent all kinds of interesting and funny and amazing pics, so I'm going to be posting those pics that I find interesting or funny or amazing.

So
without futher ado here is the
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
 
In keeping with my post about Jerry Goldsmith and his great score for Star Trek in the 1970's.
 
TO BOLDLY GO...
 
 

FILM MUSIC MUSINGS

 

Here is the  feature on this blog that is akin to the You Tube Film Music Cue of the Day, in that it deals, once again, with one of the great passions of my life:  FILM MUSIC.
I have a huge document called My Top Scores List in which I have picked the Top 5 Film Scores for each year since 1980 along with some commentary on my choices.
You can imagine that by now the list is fairly long and contains a lot of info that I think is blog-worthy so I'm going to start publishing excerpts from the list right here on my blog.
So,
without further ado
Here is Film Music Musings

JERRY GOLDSMITH IN THE 70's

 

Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams dominated the decade of the 1970's (especially the latter half) producing classic scores that were some of the best of the decade and of all time. Williams won two Academy Awards in the 1970's (Jaws in 1975 and Star Wars in 1977) and Goldsmith won his one and only Oscar for The Omen in 1976. Although it maybe true that Goldsmith was always overshadowed by Williams, it still does not detract from the amazing scores that he produced in the 70's and more praise should have be heaped upon him for these scores than he ultimately received.
As a prelude to his output of the 70's, Goldsmith composed Planet of the Apes in 1968 utilizing a terse, ultra-modern atonal sound that was perfect for the topsy-turvy future world where apes dominated the planet. The score was nominated for an Academy Award but didn't win facing stiff competition from Nino Rota's score for Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet and the eventual winner of the Oscar that year, John Barry's The Lion in Winter.
In 1970 Goldsmith gave us Patton. It is easily one of the best scores of the 70's (I put it at #7 on my Top Ten Scores List of the 70's) and it should have won the Academy Award as the movie was highly praised taking home Best Picture honors that year. However, another picture that year which was highly praised and a runaway hit was Love Story (it was the highest grossing movie of the year for 1970) with a score by Francis Lai which featured a beautiful main title theme which is still performed today.
In 1973 and 1974 Goldsmith produced Papillon and Chinatown respectively. Each was a sparse affair with unique instrumentation but seemed a bit lacking as the tendency toward larger scores was beginning to pick up steam especially for such disaster films as Williams' The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno.
In 1975 Goldsmith composed one of his biggest scores for The Wind and the Lion which featured rousing adventure music and big instrumental forces. It was nominated for an Academy Award but was up against a little score called Jaws by John Williams.
In 1976 Goldsmith finally broke through the glass ceiling winning the Academy Award for The Omen but it was not a sure thing and some viewed it as an upset as it was up against Bernard Herrmann's Taxi Driver score which was highly acclaimed.
In 1977 John Williams dominated the scoring world once again with Star Wars and everyone else should have just stayed at home as it scooped up every major award in sight. To add insult to injury, Williams also produced Close Encounter of the Third Kind in '77 which is also a classic.
In 1978 the Academy went a little nuts and gave the Oscar to Giorgio Moroder for his score to The Midnight Express, but the Award should have gone to Williams' Superman of that year as it was clearly the best score of the year and one of the most iconic scores of all time. Goldsmith composed The Boys of Brazil in 1978 which was nominated but didn't win and has been mostly forgotten except for extreme fans of Goldsmith's work.
Then came 1979 and what a year for Goldsmith!! The best of the decade for him as he produced two scores that were of the best of the decade. The first was the score for Ridley Scott's Alien which captured perfectly the feeling of this haunted house movie in space. It also utilized a lot of atonal writing that hearkened back to Goldsmith's Planet of the Apes score (I placed this score at #10 on my Top Ten Scores List of the 70's).
But then came the grand finale of the decade in Goldsmith's score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Now while the movie left a lot to be desired, the score was a magnificent achievement and should have been a shoe-in for the Academy Award (I have it at #4 on my Top Ten Scores List of the 70's, see my list of the Top Ten here: http://mattstarr28.blogspot.com/2013/08/film-music-musings-i-want-to-start-new.html
but for some reason the Academy blinked and gave the Oscar to George DeLerue's A Little Romance (a score that has been completely forgotten). Whoops, Wrong Answer on that One!!!
Truly, Goldsmith is one of the greatest film composers ever and it is a shame that he wasn't more recognized for his accomplishments in his lifetime and particularly in the 1970's.

Friday, August 1, 2014

FILM MUSIC MUSINGS

 

Here is the  feature on this blog that is akin to the You Tube Film Music Cue of the Day, in that it deals, once again, with one of the great passions of my life:  FILM MUSIC.
I have a huge document called My Top Scores List in which I have picked the Top 5 Film Scores for each year since 1980 along with some commentary on my choices.
You can imagine that by now the list is fairly long and contains a lot of info that I think is blog-worthy so I'm going to start publishing excerpts from the list right here on my blog.
So,
without further ado
Here is Film Music Musings
So I just did a post on Empire magazine's 301 Greatest Movies of All Time and in the Top 10 were 4 movies that featured music by John Williams (Raiders of the Lost Ark #9, Jaws #8, Star Wars #6, and The Empire Strikes Back at #1).  The time period of the late 70s and early 80s was remarkable for John Williams as he went on an unprecedented roll of film score accolades in terms of Academy Awards and Grammy Awards.  So, for this post of Film Music Musings, I would like to chronicle those years and showcase Williams' amazing run of awards.
As a prelude of things to come, in 1975, John Williams, of course, composed the music for Steven Spielberg's Jaws which won the trifecta of scoring awards winning the Golden Globe, Grammy, and Academy Award for Best Score.
It would be just the beginning.

Grammy Awards
1977
Star Wars (Best Pop Instrumental Performance) 
Main Title from Star Wars (Best Instrumental Composition)
Star Wars (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture)  
1978
Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Best Instrumental Composition) 
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 
1979
Main Title Theme from Superman (Best Instrumental Composition)  
Superman (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 
1980
The Empire Strikes Back (Best Instrumental Composition)
The Empire Strikes Back (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 
1981
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture)
1982
"Flying" (Theme from E.T.) (Best Instrumental Composition)
E.T. (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture)
"Flying" (Theme from E.T.) (Best Arrangement on an Instrumental Recording) 

Every one of these scores was nominated for an Academy Award as well as Return of the Jedi in 1983 and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984 with Star Wars and E.T. winning in 1977 and 1982 respectively (both these scores also won the Golden Globe in their respective years duplicating the trifecta another two times for Williams during this time period).

Academy Award Nominations and Wins
1975 - Jaws  - Winner
1977 - Star Wars - Winner
          Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1979 - Superman
1980 - The Empire Strikes Back
1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982 - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - Winner
1983 - Return of the Jedi
1984 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Amazingly, as seen below, Star Wars was also nominated for Album of the Year in 1977, a feat that is almost unheard of today.

Grammy Nominations
  1. Star Wars (1977) (Album of the Year)
  2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978) (Best Pop Instrumental Performance)
  3. Theme from Superman (Main Title) (1979) (Best Pop Instrumental Performance)
  4. Yoda's Theme from The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Best Pop Instrumental Performance)
  5. Yoda's Theme from The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Best Instrumental Composition)
  6. Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Best Instrumental Composition)
  7. E.T. (1982) (Best Pop Instrumental Performance)
  8. Adventure on Earth from E.T. (1982) (Best Instrumental Composition)
  9. Return of the Jedi (1983) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture)
      
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
If you got to know me a little, you would find out that I'm one of the few regular people that is on Twitter.

One thing that I like about Twitter is that you can get sent all kinds of interesting and funny and amazing pics, so I'm going to be posting those pics that I find interesting or funny or amazing.

So
without futher ado here is the
TWITTER PIC OF THE DAY
In keeping with my discussion of The Empire Strikes Back and love of all things Star Wars

IRON VADER
 I think the cape would complete this outfit.  Imagine Iron Vader flying around like Superman with that black cape.
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY
One of the things I would like to do on this blog is publish pics that I find interesting or just plain cool.
And one of the things I find most beautiful and one of my most profound interests is:  women.
Hey, what can I say, I'm single.
So, in the interest of keeping this blog as beautiful as possible, I'm going to be putting up pics of women that I think are beautiful.
Now, before anyone gets worried, there are a couple of rules:
1. No nudity - I will be displaying mostly head and shoulder pics that may show a bit of cleavage but will go no further but if I do show more, the woman will be clothed in a dress or in some other flattering manner.  No swimsuits or lingerie photos will be featured.
2. I will try to identify the woman featured.  Now, I may not be able to do this all the time as I have many pics that are not identified but on the whole I will try and provide a name to go with the beautiful face.
So, without further ado, here is the
BEAUTY PIC OF THE DAY


At #18 on the Playmate List is Stacy Sanches, Miss March 1995 and Playmate of the Year 1996.  This tall Texan (5'10") has to be seen to be believed.  Not only does she have captivating eyes but the rest of her is just as arresting.  Definitely a tall drink of water and I am thirsty.

Bonus Pic:

EMPIRE MAGAZINE STRIKES BACK!!!

 


OK, here goes nothing...

So, Empire magazine just put out their July, 2014 issue featuring a list of the 301 Greatest Movies of All Time.  301 movies!!!
Now this list was compiled of a reader's poll so it basically could be viewed as the 301 Most Popular Movies of All Time but that's not the name that the editors of this British mag give it.  They call it the 301 Greatest Movies of All Time.
And I must say that it is quite a list.
First of all, it is impressive that the list contains 301 movies.  When Entertainment Weekly did their movie list last year they only did the Top 100.  This is over 300 movies.  
Now, with that many movies, there are bound to be some stinkers in there just based on the sheer volume of movies needed to fill out the list and that is certainly true but you might also expect that all the great classics are included (as they are included on every list) and that is also true but the rankings that these movies are given is downright mysterious and deserves some comment (aka ranting).
For a few days, I've wondered how to approach this list and last night I was looking it over and I suddenly found it so here goes...
You start the list off and there are a few non-descript movies that could be interchangeable but then you reach #295 and what is there?  WEST SIDE STORY!!!
Now wait just a minute.  Hold the phone.  "Now cool it, Action!"
West Side Story is one of the greatest movies of all time and an easy argument could be made that it is the greatest musical film of all time.  It's in my Top 25 (please see my post on this subject because I may be referring to it often: http://mattstarr28.blogspot.com/2013/08/top-25-movies-of-all-time-recently_13.html )
And Empire has it at 295??!!!??
Immediately this list has gone off the rails.
Especially considering that as the list goes on they have Iron Man 3 at #242 which IMO is not only one of the worst comic book movies of all time but one of the worst movies I've seen in the last decade or so.
Into the top 200 are films like Ben-Hur (barely making it at #200??!!!??), The Sound of Music (#194), The Great Escape (#181), Amadeus (#137), The Exorcist (#136), and The Wizard of Oz (#123). All of these are either in my Top 25 or would definitely make a Top 50 list if I made one, but here they don't even make the Top 100.
And speaking of the Top 100 of Empire's list, it begins with, at #100 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Ok, maybe there's hope...
Nope.
The very next movie is...  get ready...
The Blues Brothers.
WHAT?
Blues Brothers?  Really?
Well, lets keep going because Singing in the Rain is at #96 and Rocky is at #95 but then at #92 is...
Whitenail and I.
WHAT?  I've never even heard of that movie. And it's better than Singing in the Rain?
The Top 100 quickly starts to devolve into a morass of bad movies featuring directors such as Scorsese, Tarantino, and Kubrick.  Ugh!!!
However, Hitchcock also begins to appear especially with Psycho at #70 (another one of my Top 25).
Titanic sinks in at #62 and we are heading for the Top 50 when lo and behold at #52 is...
GONE WITH THE WIND!!!
WWWHHHHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT??????????????
Gone With the Wind is, arguably, THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!!!
And it's at #52 on this list?  
There is something seriously wrong here.
OK, take a breath and let's keep going.
At #45 is Skyfall.  But wait a minute, you're telling me Skyfall is the best James Bond movie of all time with this ranking.  What about Goldfinger?  Oh wait, Goldfinger is at #221.  

Getting into the Top 35, we find Forrest Gump at #34 and Citizen Kane at #33 (Thank God, one movie poll that doesn't put this over-rated film at #1 - see my post on this: http://mattstarr28.blogspot.com/2013/07/i-just-kane-stand-it-recently.html )
And then Lawrence of Arabia at #31 (I have Lawrence at #4 in my Top 25) and then Casablanca at #26 (how is this movie not even in the Top 25).
At #22 is the worst movie ever made IMO - 2001: A Space Tragedy er... Odyssey.  Yuck!!
And heading into the Top 20 and bookended by Alien at #21 and Aliens at #19 is Apocalypse Now at #20.  Now I like Apocalypse Now but that could be because I only recently saw it all the way through for the first time and I gotta say it is a disturbingly brilliant film.
We start to get some blockbusters from the past 35 years or so from here including Jurassic Park at #18, Back to the Future at #17 and Avengers at #16.  Solid enjoyable films, but Top 20?  No.
We get the worst of the Lord of the Rings movies, Return of the King at #12 and after a hiccup of Blade Runner at #11 we go now to the Top 10.
At #10 is Inception, the first of two Christopher Nolan movies in the Top 10 (that statement right there should be enough for you to consign this list to the trash heap of time) but more on that in a moment.
We get two Spielberg classics (and in my Top 25) in Raiders of the Lost Ark at #9 and Jaws at #8 (both with John Williams scores, I might add).
Then Fellowship of the Ring at #7 which is a movie that for a long time I really admired but then I figured out that it wasn't a complete movie but more on that in a moment.
Then comes my favorite movie of all time (it may not be the best movie of all time, that honor goes to Gone With the Wind, but its my favorite nonetheless) - Star Wars at #6 (you're trying to tell me that there are five movies better than Star Wars - not in this universe).
Next comes a Tarantino movie that everyone seems to love but I can't stand in Bad er... Pulp Fiction at #5.  Oi vey!!
Then comes a movie whose appeal I also don't get and that is The Shawshank Redemption at #4.  It's not a bad film.  It's actually a good film. But it's not a great film.  (And BTW, where is Glory on this list?  That is a far superior Morgan Freeman film with an iconic performance by Denzel Washington - "COME ONNN!!!!")
#3 - The Dark Knight
I just don't get it.  I hated the Christopher Nolan Batman movies (I didn't even see Dark Knight Rises at #72 on this list).  Nolan seems to be the golden boy of the moment (with two films in the Top 10 along with Spielberg) but he just doesn't impress me too much (I was impressed with the practical special effects in Inception because I'm not a huge fan of CGI and to me CGI hasn't improved and has never been surpassed since Jurassic Park). 
This list has, once again, officially gone off the rails. 
But wait a minute...
An offer you can't refuse.
The Godfather is at #2.  
OK, now we're talking, maybe there is redemption.  
Let's get to #1

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

I was shocked.  I had no idea that this was coming.  And it is a mistake of the greatest proportions and reveals a deep misunderstanding of what a great film is.
Now don't get me wrong, I love The Empire Strikes Back.  It is a great sequel, scratch that - it is the greatest sequel ever.  But in and of itself, it is not a complete movie.  You can't have Empire without Star Wars.  Nothing would make sense if you had not seen Star Wars before seeing Empire (the same is also true of The Lord of the Ring movies, they are not complete independent movie entities, you have to see all of them to get the complete story).  
Imagine you were to sit someone down in front of a screen and show them Empire and they had never seen Star Wars.  They would be totally lost.  They wouldn't know any of the characters, concepts, relationships and then the ghost appears in the snow and they would be like, "What the hell am I watching?"  It's not a complete movie.  Star Wars is a complete movie.  You can watch Star Wars and never see the other sequels (or prequels) (btw Return of the Jedi is at #120 and Revenge of the Sith is at #224 on this list).  It is a complete movie-watching experience (sure Darth Vader flies off into space at the end but you don't need to know what happens to him because the good guys have won and now they get their medals - great John Williams music btw).  Empire (is it a coincidence that the #1 movie is also the name of the magazine this list is in?) is a good sequel but Star Wars is a great movie and my personal favorite.

So, what to make of this List?  Well, it's just a list and seems to skew strongly to more recent films that will not stand the test of time.  A buddy of mine maintains that no film of the 21st century can be evaluated as one of the greatest of all time because not enough time has passed.  I would agree with that assessment even though I do recognize that a few very good films have come out of this century such as The Passion of the Christ (a shattering movie experience), Phantom of the Opera (a heart wrenching movie experience), Alexander (an epic movie experience), and Aliens vs Predators (just kidding, heh-heh).
And where are some of the other best films of all time (and those in my Top 25) such as Patton, Spartacus, and Gandhi.  Great films all.  

But as I said before, to name the Top 300 films of all time is an epic undertaking (I know I couldn't do it) and inevitably it is an endeavor fraught with the perils of irrelevancy, incongruity, and intelligent decisions and I just couldn't let this one go until I had said my peace.

OK, end of rant.