While nothing can ever touch Batman: the Animated Series, this is a legitimate version of Batman and lots of fun. There are often nods of and echoes to Batman's lighter side, such as the Batman camp TV series from 1966 (and some of sillier Batman & Detective Comics from 1950's and 60's), as well as Batman's darker side, from his beginnings in the 1940's to even hints of things like Frank Miller's Dark Knight (a lot less of that, as this show was meant to be kid-friendly, even though there's plenty there for adult comic book geeks.
The tone of this movie, is darker and very different from all of the other X-Men movies, including the two other Wolverine movies. As I said, this is almost like a film noir. Yes, there is action and some of that very brutal (which also makes it somewhat different from all of the other X-Men movies). But the center of the film is on the people, the characters, and their relationships. It also deals with issues like Alzheimer's, aging, and caring for the aged, losing one's vision (both literally and figuratively), and family.
This guy, Tatsuya Takehshi, is "The Man", in terms of re-opening "The Gate" (pun intended. Synth nerds will get it) of analog synths to the average gal & guy (his first one for Korg, the Monotron, of which I've purchased four, and given two of those as gifts, cost less than most concert tickets!).
His making these analog synthesizers both affordable and hackable: Korg began making the schematics online, *and* actually labeling modifiable patch-points on the circuit boards! Unheard of in the modern commercial electronic instruments marketplace before this. Now, many (including industry leader, Moog!) have done this.
He recently stepped down from his position heading up the development team for these everyman's synths, and into the role of advisor only.
He created a huge legacy and big shoes for his successor to fill.
His work changed my life and re-immersed me into the addictive world of analog synthesis, for which I'm eternally grateful to him.
One of the best. Story of an already flawed and troubled cop going bad. The incredible Dana Andrews, along with the Ben Hecht-polished script, Preminger's long takes, and cinematographerJoseph LaShelle, Cyril Mockridge's score (but see below re the use of the ubiquitous Fox "Street Scene" theme, composed by Randy Newman's Uncle Alfred - who also composed the 20th Century Fox fanfare) really sells this.
There are so many fascinating details about this movie, which I'm learning about on the disc. For example, it was a dangerous movie to shoot, and even Herzog marvels on one of the two commentaries, that he was able to do it at all. He calls it "a miracle" and "a mystery".
It's very flawed, but enjoyable. But not for the squeamish nor for people turned off by gun-fu. There are a *lot* rounds fired in this film. It's a bit gratuitous, but due to the nature of the characters and the setting, it didn't bother me.
Mad Max remains fresh. It put Australian cinema on the map. And now finally, we get to see it with the original Australian voices on it.
Yeah, AwDF is corny, but also classy, beautifully shot by Sol Polito and directed by Michael Curtiz (The Adventures of Robin Hood, White Christmas, Captain Blood, Casablanca ), with some great performances from Cagney, Bogie, The Dead End Kids, Ann Sheridan and Pat O'Brien. Also awesome musical score from the legendary Max Steiner (King Kong, Casablanca and Gone With the Wind among many others).
I put this spanking brand new Netflix Original series in my Watch List as soon as I watched the two trailers early last week, and I think they were only released last month. I mean, they had me at Winona Ryder, but the trailer seemed to promise something creepily scary. Horror, but of the more subtle variety.
That promise seemed to harken back to things like the Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone but with an over-arching show length story arc, with a strong Dean Koontz or Stephen King science fiction/horror feel, and yet also a kind of Steven Spielberg glow or ambience. Or at least a sparkle.
Also has a whiff of shows like the X-Files, or Eerie, Indiana (maybe more of the latter).
As soon as it dropped, the entire series was in my queue and I just watched the cold opening of episode 1, until the opening theme finished. And a great theme it is too. It also harkens back to themes of yesteryear, but more like 70's through 80's electronica - think Tangerine Dream or Jean Michel Jarre.
Which is appropriate, because the show is a "period piece", set in the 1980's. And I think it's the early 80's. We see someone use a dial phone! And something about that just feels so long ago and far away now.
And so far, it is keeping the promise of the trailers.
I'm going back to watch more of this first episode, which has been calling to me since the entire first season dropped on Friday.
Stay tuned: to be continued...
The Killing on Netflix: Deceptive Theme About Deception
This show has such a tortured production and "broadcast" history. I *almost* shy from watching it for fear of the massive disappointment so many critics and viewers reported.
But I think that I won't be due to the almost certain persistence of what is to me, the most important element of this show:
Not the plot.
But here's what I'll say about the second series of Marvel & Netflix's Daredevil so far (basically spoiler free. No plot giveaways here, anyway): As hard an R as the Deadpool movie is, this is even more so. What humor is to Deadpool (with a little horror thrown in), horror is to this 2nd season of Daredevil (with a little humor thrown in).
D's guys (see what I did there?) Daredevil and Deadpool are two of my favorite characters in media right now.
And interestingly, I come at them from two very different directions: Daredevil is a character I have been following since I was a kid. And I have loved the character in many different incarnations, written and drawn by many different hands, over a period of almost 50 years.
Deadpool, is a character I just discovered by watching the new movie, released only about a month ago. For various reasons, I never read any of the comic books featuring this character until after I already saw the movie three times.
But both of these D's, have crushed it recently: Daredevil, in the first season on Netflix last year, and now again in the second season which just dropped today. And Deadpool, released in movie theaters just a little over a month ago today.
The differences in the approaches to these characters in the two different mediums could not be greater. Where Daredevil is dark and gritty, rooted in very realistic world, yet with shades of film noir, Deadpool's world and characters are absurd, Fantastical, Bigger than life, almost like a cartoon.
Yet, these two characters and the two works that feature them, have more in common than merely their red suits.
The thing that stands out for me right now, which they definitely share in common, is the sheer chutzpah, the nerve of the filmmakers (and in the case of Daredevil, the production company and means of presentation, Netflix itself) in bringing these creations to life.
In so many ways, the odds of either of these creations coming to life at all, let alone as artistically and brilliantly as they have, were weighed heavily against them.
Yet, both the Daredevil series on Netflix, and the recent Deadpool movie, not only exist now, but they both are crushing it in every way possible: artistically, financially, critically, and what maybe even more surprising, in the way they're pleasing the diehard fans of these characters in their source material (i.e. the comic books).
I'll have more to say on this in future posts, and I will review the Daredevil series and the Deadpool movie on the review page, and in The Rabbi Geek Show podcast.
Stay tuned and don't touch that dial!
Writing my first blog post