Tag Archives: musical score

For the boys

Today’s blog is dedicated to guys — actors all — who deserve a little extra love today.

Tom HanksOscar Isaacrobert redford2

Tom Hanks. Oscar Isaac. Robert Redford — all denied Best Actor Oscar nods by the Academy.

Now, I could be talked down on Isaac if the Academy didn’t pretty much ignore Inside Llewyn Davis, save a couple of technical awards.  I mean, it didn’t even get nominated for its musical score.

And while Captain Phillips did get six other nods, how can you justify not nominating Hanks?

Did they watch the final scene??

And Redford?  He was the entire movie All Is Lost. Period. What more do you want?

Apparently anything by Martin Scorsese…and I do mean, anything.

On a more somber note, I want to pay tribute to Russell Johnson — the original and best nerd crush of my generation, who left the world today…

The Professor
We’ll miss you, Professor.

A load of hurt


I saw Man of Steel in IMAX 3D tonight — opening night.  A few folks were there with me, to say the least.

And, boy, did we get a show.

This movie is HUGE….and not just because it’s an IMAX print.  I saw Star Trek Into Darkness in IMAX, and everything in Man of Steel seems bigger by a factor of 10.

The musical score, by Hans Zimmer, is like a punch to the solar plexus.  It’s loud and driving (and kinda made my ears hurt, to be honest).

The physical fights and battle scenes are ginormous.  And exhausting.  The bad guys beat the hell out of Superman, but he just keeps on coming back.

Needless to say, it took a lot of CGI to make Man of Steel, and director Zack Snyder uses it to great effect to create a world worthy of our hero.  But the biggest and best part of this movie requires nothing more than a tight closeup to appreciate — Henry Cavill.

In the immortal words of annoying celebrity cook Rachael Ray —


From page to screen

I can’t believe it.

I’m actually excited about the premiere of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

After slogging through that relentless tome of a book, believe you me, it’s nothing short of a miracle.

Several factors have come together to make me want to be one of the first folks in the theater.

1.  Whereas most books are better than their on-screen interpretations, the Tattoo movie can’t miss.  The English translation of Stieg Larsson’s bestseller was front-loaded with the most mind-numbing tedium imaginable before getting to the action that propelled readers through the rest of the book.  Stieg even found a way to make the ending slow.

Based on director David Fincher’s reputation and the killer trailers I’ve seen to date, I think it’s safe to say he hasn’t adopted the author’s penchant for pokey pacing.

I’m also psyched to hear Tattoo’s musical score is the work of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who penned the brilliant, Oscar-winning score for The Social Network.  In fact, the score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has already been nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Of course, Tattoo has a great cast.  And I’ve already mentioned the intense trailers.  Some critics have even applauded the film for sticking closer to the book’s original plot line than the Swedish version did.

Closer to the book?  I don’t want to know!

Come again

I saw “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” again last night. ( I’ve seen “The Book of Mormon” twice, too…and it only officially opened March 24th.)

What can I say.  I like reruns.

I’m the same with books and movies and TV shows:  if I like something, I can watch it again and again and again.

It’s not that I don’t like new things…quite the contrary.  But let’s face it.  The first time you see anything, you’re busy absorbing the plot and the characters and — if it’s a musical like “Mormon” or “How to Succeed” — the score, and deciding if you like it.

In subsequent readings or viewings, you already know you like it.  Now you can take the time to notice all the little nuances that make you like it.

You can peek behind the curtain.  Get a glimpse of the wizard in books or shows that you love.  (It’s not a wizard in ones that you hate — more like a troll.)

Wizards.  Trolls.  Hey — it might be a good time to re-watch the “Harry Potter” films!

Once bitten

I have been conflicted about seeing Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.

Word of mouth on the show has been awful, and the first reviews unforgiving.  The only fan so far?  Glenn Beck.

(Yet another reason not to attend.)

But no one seemingly can deny the spectacle of the show.  So when a ticket became available for last night’s performance — fourth row center and cheap — I couldn’t pass it up.

Now I’m conflicted about what I saw.

The book is bad.   I won’t get much argument on that point.  When a show begins with a four-person Greek chorus — teens writing their own Spiderman comic book — that is your first clue.

Their attempts to explain the meandering action are annoying at best.  Thanks for trying.  It isn’t your fault.  And that ending?  Well, let’s just say, I literally threw up my hands at how they tried to tie up a dangling plot point.

The score by Bono and the Edge consists of a whole bunch of moody Bono ballads — not the most inspiring backdrop for an action-packed Broadway musical.   There was only one song that really got the audience going…and that was the second to the last one in the show.

That’s a long wait, people.

Visually, the show bears the creative stamp of Julie Taymor.   There are elements that are stunning, particularly in her manipulation of perspective.  She takes the audience to the very top of the Manhattan skyline with Spiderman and Green Goblin and again on the plunge to the streets below.

It’s amazing what she both conceived and brought to life on that stage.

But stylistically, the show is inconsistent.  Sets are slick and sophisticated one moment, cartoonish and high school drama club the next.  Did Spiderman really just wrestle a blow-up doll?  On a $65 million budget????

Oh yes, he did.

All that being said, the actors and stunt men who flew Spidey and Green Goblin all over the Foxwoods Theatre did an incredible job.  I feared for my life at every swoop — sometimes mere feet above my head — and was ever grateful for the triple redundant safety measures* now in place.

Who knows?  Perhaps everything you are reading here is a symptom of survivor syndrome.  Because I did survive the greatest flop in Broadway musical theater history.

Now, there’s a reason to see it right there!

*Those measures eliminated Spiderman’s final planned flight of the evening when a safety rope slipped before take-off, the only apparent tech diff of the night.