Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's Binge-tastic!

I rarely do anything casually. It comes with having an obsessive personality (aka being a nerd [or geek. I don't care about your arbitrary definitions, I use those interchangeably]).

Instead, I binge. 

I watch an entire season of a show in a matter of days. I'll finish a book and find fan art for my screensaver. I'll read up for days on some pretty bizarre topics just because that topic is momentarily fascinating to me. I'll read 5 books by the same author in a row. 

Happily, I've generally learned to control this side of me. I'm still no casual observer, but I don't let something consume my life anymore. 


I'm in binge mode again right now. I've been binging on Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire, whichever you prefer. Books and series. I won't make many distinctions between the two in this post since they're both freaking amazing and the series follows the books really well so far. 

Also, I'll keep this spoiler free. At least I won't give away anything big. If you like to know nothing, you might want to skip this entire thing and start reading instead. I want to convince anyone I can to start reading these books. I like ruining lives like that. Cause chances are it'll ruin your life (in the best possible way, of course). 

First, a brief history of my experience with Game of Thrones (sorry purists, for better or worse, that's what people know it by). 

I read the first book a couple years before the show started. I started the second and faced a conundrum. I had been sucked into the Seven Kingdoms and I didn't see an end in sight. Normally this wouldn't have bothered me, but I had two reasons for stopping. First, I was starting graduate school and I didn't think I'd have time for leisurely reading (I was later proved oh so wrong on that point).  Second, I didn't want to get too far into the series until George R.R. Martin had finished it. At the time There were four books out of seven that had been published. I didn't want to climb further up the hill of adventure and war and incest until I knew there was going to be a summit. In short, I didn't want Martin to die on me before he finished the books. So I stopped. I then watched the first season, loved it, but decided I'd rather read the books first. Thus, I had decided to have nothing to do with Game of Thrones until the books were done. 

Then I saw the trailer for season three. And all the other advertising HBO paid for. 

I started watching season two. I was loving it so much but there wasn't enough Westeros in my life, so I started reading the first book again. I'm currently half way through the second (A Clash of Kings) and I've been keeping up with season three. Minus this last episode. 

That was more than brief. But now to my favorite part of all my posts. The in-no-particular-order List! This particular one is why I love the books and show so very, very much.  

1. The format of the books

Specifically, the chapters. Each chapter is told through the perspective of a different character. So far I've encountered 9 characters' chapters, and I'm still in store for more. Among other benefits, it prevents you from being bored (unless you're reading A Dance With Dragons, apparently). You read Jon's chapter and it moves to Tyrion. You're left thinking, "wait! What's going to happen to Jon?!" That makes you want to continue reading so you get back to Jon faster, but then you become engrossed with Tyrion and the cycle continues. First time I read Game of Thrones I couldn't put it down. I felt like a 13 year old again staying up WAY past when was good for me in order to keep reading. I had forgotten that feeling. It's a good one. 

2. Danerys Targaryen

The first of five favorite characters. I cannot overstate how crazy awesome this girl is. Her father was the Mad King years ago before he was overthrown (not unjustly - he earned his nickname) and she and her brother were exiled. At 14(ish) she's gearing up to take back the kingdom. She is the epitome of strength and bravery (not to mention a kick ass feminist!). Plus, she has dragons. 

3. Jon Snow

The second of five. Man of the Night's Watch, a basterd (there's just no nice way of saying that... illegitimate child?), a traitor, half-brother to a king, and one of the characters whose death would cause me to stop reading. I just can't not love him. It's always fun to have a crush when you're reading something.

4. Arya Stark

My favorite Stark and Jon's half-sister. Another character whose death I will not abide under any circumstance. As of right now, however, she's poised for great things. Like, really crazy awesome things. At least in the version I have playing out in my mind. She's the only one I really do that for since you can't predict anything that happens to anyone. She's pictured above pretending to be Arry the orphan boy. She's witnessed some terrible things and is all the more determined to seek revenge. Good grief, I love her. She totally had to White Fang her direworlf too. It was sad. 

5. Tyrion Lannister

Fourth favorite character (I dare you to read these books and pick just one). Tyrion the Imp and the only Lannister I actually like. I find the other characters interesting (especially Jaime), but I actually like Tyrion. I want him to survive. He's probably the most interesting character I've come across thus far and he's got all the best lines and quotes. I'm not as concerned for his welfare as say, Jon or Arya, but the story wouldn't be half as witty without him. Plus, Peter Dinklage. In my opinion, he's the best cast actor in the entire show. He's just so good! 

6. Bran Stark

Final favorite character. Although not nearly the last character I love reading about. Bran is only 7 when the book starts and he's Arya and Jon's younger brother. I don't know how Bran and Arya became the two who I'm most interested to see how they turn out, but they did. Maybe because they're both so young, but they both are headed toward very unique and just crazy interesting paths. Bran's is a slower story at times, but the more you read the more intriguing his story becomes.  

7. Dragons

Dragons, man! DRAGONS! 

8. White Walkers

They're basically ice zombies. Only not mindless. And they don't limit themselves to brains. I've seen and read very little of them thus far, but enough to scare me half to death. Any idea I may have about how the war will go is basically thrown out the window because of these guys. Or so I suspect. 

9. Direwolves

As a kid I always wanted a pet wolf. As far as wild animals go, I'd probably pick a wolf over any other. Which is why I've always been jealous of the Starks. 

Jon found a dead direwolf who had six pups, one for each of Ned Stark's children. Well, five for his "trueborn" children and one albino for his bastard son, Jon Snow. 

This is Bran's direwolf, Summer. This is one of my favorite moments of Bran's in the show. Imagine waking up to this. It's awesome. 

Jon's wolf, Ghost. How can you not love that face? 

Also Ghost, and not yet full grown. I'm excited to see how big these guys get. 

Robb Stark has a point here. 

10. The Hound, Sandor Clegane

I had no idea what to make of The Hound when we first met him, but I love him now. Maybe love is the wrong word, but he's SUPER intriguing. You assume he's a ruthless brute of a man, but he's all sorts of layered. I'm also very interested to see how his part in all this plays out. Although, really the only two I don't care about are Stannis and Theon. Mostly Theon. I really hate him. Speaking of hate...

11. Joffrey Baratheon 

There is no expletive strong enough for Joffrey Baratheon. He is one giant douche bag of a boy, king, and person. He's just so perfectly evil but not cunning. He's not a smart one. Just evil. I can't wait to watch him suffer. 

12. No one is safe

Every time you make a prediction, Martin kills a character. Rarely is that character one who deserves it. 

13. I don't know how I want it to end

Probably the most exciting thing about this series is I don't know how I want it to end. Yes, I want certain people to die, but who do I want to see on the Iron Throne? Okay, that one is easy because I want Daenerys on the throne, but the idea of the Seven Kingdoms splitting up isn't bad. Maybe I want Mance Rayder to free everyone in Westeros. Do I want Jon to rise to some high position of power or live a simple life away from The Wall? Do I want the Starks to reunite and live together again or have them all go off and do their own awesome things? I just don't know! And I love it! 

Seriously, start reading. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Tale of Bryan Fuller

You may not know him, but he knows you.

No, I'm totally lying. Bryan Fuller has no idea who you are. And if for some crazy reason he does, you and I should hang out. 

Bryan Fuller has created some of my favorite television series. Sadly, all of them (so far) have been short lived. Very short lived. You think Joss had it bad? Let's compare. 

Joss Whedon                                Bryan Fuller
Buffy - 145 episodes                     Dead Like Me - 29 episodes         
Angel - 111 episodes                     Wonderfalls - 14 episodes
Firefly - 14 episodes                     Pushing Daisies - 22 episodes
Dollhouse - 27 episodes               Mockingbird Lane - 1 episode
S.H.I.E.L.D - TBD                       Hannibal - TBD

Bryan makes Joss look like the most desirable writer in television. Granted, he probably is now, but pre-Marvel Movie Boss Joss (totally just came up with that right now - I like it), that was not the case. 

Point being, Bryan Fuller has had some painfully terrible luck. Which makes no sense to me. He has his own unique style that he has mastered and it's a perfect blend of wit, charm, and whimsy. 

Let's take a look at Bryan's shows, since the only format I know is lists, apparently. 

Dead Like Me, 2003-2004, Showtime

George (aka Georgia) dies. She gets hit by a toilet seat from space. We then get to follow her on her morbidly whimsical adventures as a grim reaper. For George and her coworkers, it's a job and they each have an unknown quota to fill before they can cross over or move on or whatever terminology they use. 

This had two short seasons and a terrible move that Fuller had pretty much nothing to do with. I don't love this show as much as his other creations, but it's still fantastic and one that I recommend. 

I should warn you, this is Showtime so if you don't like strong language, don't watch this show. Or the following clip, for that matter. 

Quick backstory, everyone at this table is a reaper. 

Wonderfalls, 2004, Fox

I can safely say that this is my favorite Bryan Fuller show. I identify just so much with Jaye. I'm over-educated and under-employed, I hate people, and I totally want to live in her camper. One of the many fun things about this show is inanimate objects talk to Jaye and tell her to do things in very cryptic ways. 

This one only lasted 14 episodes and I think only 9 of those aired. It did wrap up, but this show wasn't meant to be a 14 episode show. 

Pushing Daisies, 2007-2009, ABC

This is probably the most popular of Fuller's creations. I miss The Pie Maker and his ability to touch a dead thing to bring it back to life (only to kill it forever once touched a second time) with occasional musical numbers by Kristin Chenoweth and Jim Dale narration. 

The sad thing is I think this show would have had a good run if it weren't for the writers' strike of 2007-2008. The show was gaining momentum, but lost it during the hiatus. I don't blame the writers, it was just a very inopportune time. The show did wrap up some things (not the thing we all wanted fixed), but it did so in about 30 seconds in the very last episode and left a pie sized chasm in my soul. 

Fun fact: Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies exist in the same universe. We just ignore the fact that Lee Pace plays two different characters. 

Kristin Chenoweth's first musical number (I can't inbed this one, but it's well worth a watch):

Then there's this: 

Mockingbird Lane, 2012, NBC

This one makes me the saddest, in a way. They filmed the pilot (a crazy expensive one, apparently) but the show was never picked up. The pilot was aired as a TV special in October of 2012 so NBC could make back some of its money. I was thrilled that they were finally going to air it, but it might have been worse this way because it was just so freaking good. It's a remake of The Munsters for those of you who don't know, and it would have been fantastic.

There isn't much of this to be had on YouTube, so here's the trailer.

It doesn't do it justice. I also found this clip.

You should just watch the entire thing on Hulu. You won't regret it (unless you end up loving it so much that it makes you sad because that's all you're ever going to see of it - EVER!). 

Hannibal, 2013-?, NBC

Oh, NBC. You screwed up Mockingbird Lane. Don't do it again, m'kay? Don't screw up Hannibal.

The first episode aired last week. When I heard Bryan Fuller was doing a Hannibal series, I was at a loss. Hannibal Lecter and the creator of The Pie Maker. It made no sense. However, I still had faith in Bryan Fuller so I allowed myself to be cautiously optimistic.

I was not disappointed. A friend of mine texted me before I had a chance to watch the pilot and said it was "Fuller through and through." First thing I did when I got home from work that day was watch Hannibal. My friend was not wrong. Everything is different - the colors are more muted and akin to real life (save the blood) and the whimsy is replaced by an anxious and disturbing undertone. Still, it's Fuller through and through.

Please, go and watch this show. Do it for Fuller. Assuming you have the stomach for it, that is. I'm actually pretty surprised at how much network television is showing us. Then again, I really only watch comedies on network television. They could show all this and more on police procedurals for all I know. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

And the winner for hands down, the best film score composer is...

I really don't have to tell you, do I?

It's John Williams.

Even if you don't listen to all the music, just scroll through this so you can see all the work he did. You'll recognize most of the music here. 

This guy. Good grief, this guy is amazing. And I'm only familiar with his film work. He has a body of not film work that I know nothing about and still he's amazing. My head would probably explode from awesomeness if I knew much about his not film work. 

I just got back from Jurassic Park (3D was terrible, but Jurassic Park!) so I'm on a bit of a John Williams high right now. I also watched the last 20 minutes of E.T. the other day. And listened to Empire of the Sun. I'm pretty much constantly reminded of how brilliant this man is. It would be a shame for me to not share it with all you Russian spammers who read this. (Seriously though, how is it that I get so much traffic from Russia?) 

And I'm sorry (I'm so, so sorry), but most of these videos have to be watched on YouTube. It's a price I'm willing to pay to give you the versions I want. It's just one extra click, though. Don't be lazy. 

I think a chronological list seems the best method for this. Let's go ahead and start with yet another Peter O'Toole movie. 

Don't ask me why I'm so obsessed with Peter O'Toole lately. I've always thought he was attractive, but finding him this sexy is fairly new. 

How to Steal a Million - Simon Says

I had no idea he wrote this music until I looked up all his films on Wikipedia. It sounds nothing like the John Williams I know now, but it makes sense since I always enjoyed this music. It's perfect for a 60s romcom caper. When I think of 60s romcom music, I think of this. ("Music by Johnny Williams")

Jaws - Main Title and First Victim

All the best film theme songs belong to John Williams. Those two notes... So simple, yet the perfect sound to create tension, anxiety, and fear. 

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - Main Theme

Seriously. Man, seriously!

Superman: The Movie - Main Theme

The man is a god when it comes to writing a heroic fanfare (and the woodwind runs are super fun to play). I think it wise that this theme won't be used in Man of Steel (it won't be as far as I know, at least) and I am looking forward to seeing what Hans Zimmer comes up with, but I doubt it will compare with this. 

1941 - The March from 1941

I haven't seen this movie and this is the only song I know from it, but this was probably the funnest march I ever played. Marches were not usually my favorite, but I loved this one. 

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - The Imperial March

I know this is cheating because the Main Theme and the Imperial March are in all three films, but the Imperial March is more prominent in The Empire Strikes Back and I may enjoy this more than the Main Theme. It's just too good not to include. 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (and all the Indiana Jones films) - The Raiders March (aka The Indiana Jones Theme)

This was another fun one to play. I think at some point my junior high or high school band did a John Williams medley. Anyway, if you didn't know much about film music, are you in love with John Williams yet? I want to have a John Williams marathon now... Although it would probably just end up being a Steven Spielberg marathon. I wouldn't mind that either. 

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - Closing Credits

The strings playing the main theme still gives me chills. Doesn't matter what context I'm listening to it in, and I haven't seen this movie all the way through in about 18 years. A YouTube commenter said this is what God plays when you die and go to Heaven and I'm inclined to agree. 

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Ewok Celebration 

For two reasons. First, I couldn't resist. Second, I get happy whenever I see this end sequence without Hayden Christensen's stupid face. 

Empire of the Sun - Cadillac of the Skies

If you've seen this movie, we should be friends if we aren't already. If you haven't, you should watch it. Unless you hate sad things or WWII. Still though, give it a shot. It's got a 12 year old Christian Bale, a crazy young Ben Stiller with maybe two lines, and an always brilliant John Malkovich. 

This entire soundtrack is amazing. One of my favorites. This song gives you a sense of the majesty, the fear, and the longing in this film. 

Hook - The Ultimate War

Love or hate this movie, it's got a great soundtrack. This particular song is my favorite because I can see the entire thing play out as I listen. That's what a good score does. Or maybe that's what watching a movie countless times as a child does. This one is just fun though. It adds together a lot of the themes from the whole movie and it takes me back to being a kid. 

Jurassic Park - Theme From Jurassic Park

Okay. I know I say I love a lot of things. I know I've said in this and other posts that certain songs or soundtracks are among my favorite. Throw all that out. Nothing, no film theme or individual piece can compare with this one. If I wasn't going chronologically I'd save this for last because it's the best. This piece has never failed to give me chills all over my body and make me tear up. Without fail, every time. I'm sure it's tied with my childhood, but so are a lot of things that don't get me emotional like this does. Forget film scores, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. 

Schindler's List - Theme From Schindler's List

And of course, right after Jurassic Park, he writes a song that floods sorrow into my body. 

Sabrina - Theme From Sabrina 

There was a lot of music in this movie that John Williams didn't write, but I've always loved this song so I wanted to include it. Cause it's pretty. 

Seven Years in Tibet - Leaving Ingrid

Another one of my favorite movies of all time. It's about the Chinese invasion and destruction of Tibet so of course it's super depressing. It changes my life a little every time I watch it. The music is perfectly attune to the feel of the movie. Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello solos in this soundtrack and it's perfect. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - End Credits

I'm not a huge fan of these movies. However, John Williams did a great job with the music for the first three. Not sure who did the others... It's not one of those soundtracks that I would listen to just for kicks, but it is one of those soundtracks that punches you in the face with perfection when you watch the movies. 

Catch Me If You Can - Catch Me If You Can

Knowing now that he composed for actual 60s movies, it makes sense that he'd do such a good job scoring for a modern movie set in the 60s. Plus this song sounds like secrets. My favorite thing about this is the vibraphone. I do love a good vibraphone. 

Memoires of a Geisha - The Chairman's Waltz

Again, cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma on this soundtrack. It's like they run in the same super famous musician circles or something. And again, a fantastic film. There isn't a lot of particularly Japanese sounding music in this score, but there aren't a lot of Japanese actors in the movie either... 

The Adventures of Tintin - The Adventures of Tintin

I'm now noticing the similarities between this and Catch Me If You Can. Tintin just has a bit more whimsy. Also I totally want to play this clarinet solo. 

Lincoln - The People's House

All through this movie I kept thinking about how phenomenal the music (and the movie) was and I was not even a little bit surprised to see at the end John Williams' name in the credits. 

One of the best things about his music (as my dad just pointed out) is he doesn't just write movie scores. Most of his music can be played as an orchestral piece at the symphony and it wouldn't sound like a movie. 

I'm going to be super sad when he dies. 

Listen, Don't Watch

A long, long time ago (about 10 years) in a high school far, far away (about a mile from where I am), I wanted to be a musician. Not just any musician, I wanted to play the music of the silver screen and eventually compose said music of the silver screen. This career choice combined my two great loves: music and film.

Life obviously didn't turn out like that, and four years of political science dried up any and all creativity needed to write music, so that path isn't even a blip on my radar (even though it makes me sad that I can't think of a single female composer off the top of my head). I do however, still appreciate film scores as much as I did at the height of my musical career, which, if I remember correctly, was around age 17.

Music is one thing that I always notice when watching anything, and it can make or break a movie for me. Usually decent movies will have decent scores, but every now and then you get that gem that has a phenomenal score. Although, based on the length of the initial list I made, it might be more than every now and then. Either that or I'm not very critical. Or I only watch good film. Yeah, that's got to be it.

Because I can make arbitrary decisions like this, I'm going to keep scores heavy on the songs with words out of this list. That might be for another day.

Also I won't include anything composed by John Williams. "What?!" you ask? I know, but if I included John Williams this list would be at least twice as long and my posts are always long winded anyway. My next post will be dedicated exclusively to John Williams. Promise.

Now, for your aural pleasure, I give you examples of my favorite original scores written by someone other than John Williams.

Gone With the Wind - Tara's Theme, Max Steiner 

I've only seen this movie once. A couple years ago I was assigned to teach my fellow classmates about Histrionic Personality Disorder. While preparing my presentation, I read that Scarlet O'Hara is a perfect example of HPD. I saw a clip and decided to watch the entire thing. I had been meaning to for a very long time and watching a four hour movie was much more intriguing than homework.

I hated this movie. That being said, I'm going to watch it again because I don't think I gave it a fair chance. Listening to the music alone makes me want to watch it again, but I think when I watched it the first time I was so focused on Scarlet's HPD and how annoying she was that I missed pretty much everything else. I think I'll still find her to be a terrible person, but maybe with a bit more tenacity. After all, she rebuilds her life like eight times.

This is probably the most recognizable song from Gone With the Wind. Tara is the plantation Scarlet grows up on and eventually goes back to, and this is Tara's theme.

The Fellowship of the Ring - Lothlorien, Howard Shore

I love all three of these soundtracks. Howard Shore hadn't done any scoring like this until Peter Jackson hired him for Lord of the Rings, and I still think it was a perfect choice. Middle Earth is full of different races and cultures and different as real Earth and Shore does a fantastic job of giving each culture (not just race, but culture within a race) its own distinct sound. 

I was torn whether to post the theme for Lothlorien or Rohan here. I love both of them so much and I can never decide if I like Galadriel or Eowyn better. I go back and forth a lot when I daydream about who I would want to be. Tolkien didn't do much to promote the female gender in any race, but the two women who are actually in the story (cause let's face it, Arwen really isn't a real or memorable character in the book) are totally kick ass. Anyway, because I couldn't decide, I'm posting both. 

Braveheart - The Legend Spreads, James Horner

Ah, James Horner. Pick any memorable music score and chances are it was written by him (after excluding any John Williams music, that is). This guy did Braveheart, Willow, Apollo 13, The Wrath of Khan, and so many more that I can't think of right now. I love this guy. 

The score for Braveheart has always held a special place in my heart because I love Celtic music. Love so much. I have no idea why, but even as a kid I loved listening to the bagpipes and no kid likes that. I chose this particular piece because it not only features our hero's theme, but the uilleann pipes as well. The uilleann pipes are one of my very favorite instruments. I first noticed them when I saw Riverdance about 12 years ago and my obsession has only grown in recent years. Someday when I have a real job and I start playing music again, I'm going to buy myself a set of uilleann pipes. 

Lawrence of Arabia - Overture, Maurice Jarre

Let's just take a moment to appreciate how sexy Peter O'Toole was.

Confession, I haven't actually seen Lawrence of Arabia. At least not all the way through. I've seen bits and pieces growing up, but I never sat down and watched it from beginning to end even though I have wanted to for a very long time. Hmm. I've got time... maybe I'll do that now. 

Okay, DVD is in, Overture is playing. 

On that note, I'll let you listen too.

The Last of the Mohicans - Promentory, Trevor Jones & Randy Edelman 

This soundtrack as a whole isn't among my favorites, but it has some fantastic stand out pieces. This particular piece has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. As a teenager I remember going lazer tagging one evening and we were allowed to pick our own music. I can't remember who I went with, but someone chose the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack. It may have een been me for all I know. I can't remember being that scared in my life up to that point. For some reason playing lazer tag while music to wich people were slaughtered was played freaked me out. 

The Dark Knight - Why So Serious, Hans Zimmer (et al.)

Technically Hans Zimmer collaborated with others, but he kind of took the lead on this score, so I'm only going to credit him by name. Zimmer is another one of my favorites. I'd say maybe my third favorite film composer. Although maybe I only have three favorites... Anyway, he wrote all three of Nolan's Batmans, Inception, The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Power of One, and Sherlock Holmes. 

I love all three of the Batman scores, but The Dark Knight is probably my favorite. This may or may not be related to the fact that The Dark Knight is my favorite of the trilogy. The music draws you in and is perfectly tied to any emotion we're meant to feel. I'd say this is most prevalent in the Joker's theme. That one cello note that just goes on and on makes you immediately tense and kind of hate whatever that sound is tied to. This piece goes on to become more and more chaotic and there are points where I just have no idea what is going on. It's perfect.

Amelie - La Valse D'Amelie, Yann Tiersen 

My love affair with this movie and its soundtrack has lasted far longer than any relationship I've ever had. Probably put together, actually. I can't tell you why exactly, but I love this kind of Parisian cafe music. I don't even know what to call it. It's just awesome and I have a playlist dedicated exclusively to this kind of music. Amelie was the beginning of that playlist. Even when I go years without watching the movie, I'll listen to the soundtrack a few times a month at the very least. Generally when I'm reading on the train, I'm listening to that playlist (Sounds of France, I call it) and it never fails to make me in a better mood. 

And I'll leave it there. If you're at all curious, I watched the first half of Lawrence of Arabia the other day when I typed that paragraph and I fully intend on finishing it this weekend. Yes, it's a lot of walking through the desert, but if you know that before hand, it's not bad. Plus, Peter O'Toole! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Let's all go to the lobby...

...and be back by the time the credits start.

I should stop trying to be clever when I come up with titles.

So remember my last post? About how it was about TV openings? And how I said I'd do a movie one later?

This is that movie one.


This movie is first only because I'm watching it as I type this. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of James Bond. Don't get me wrong, they're usually entertaining enough, but the whole uber-sexism thing is...distracting. I mean, come on. Pussy Galore? "Turning" a lesbian by raping her? Yes, I know I'm talking about the same woman with those two statements, but uber-sexism and the hyper-sexualization of women is more than a little bit common in Bond films.

Anyway, enough about Bond in general. This intro also gives some fun examples of hyper-sexualization, but besides that, it's awesome. Plus But mainly, Adele.

Sorry for the cut off half way through. There isn't an official version on YouTube and it was either this or something recorded in someone's living room.

The Great Escape

Probably my very favorite war film ever and one of the greatest theme songs of all time. Really, it's uncanny how perfect this song is. And even if you haven't seen this movie, I'd be willing to bet $50 that you've heard this song before. 

Please excuse the water mark. 

Midnight in Paris

You can quit watching after the song ends if you want because that's the part I love. This movie's soundtrack in general is phenomenal. One of my favorites of all time in fact, and this opening song is by far the best. It's called "Si tu vois ma mere" written and performed by Sidney Bechet, one of my favorite jazz saxophonists/clarinetists. Well, I guess my favorite jazz saxophonist/clarinetist. I can't think of any others off the top of my head who were famous for playing both instruments. 

I remember sitting in the theater with my two friends and smiling throughout this entire opening scene (I may have smiled through the entire movie, now that I think about it). About two years after this movie came out I went to Europe for a few weeks and spent about 5 days in Paris. I had heard horror stories of the people and the waiters and the smell, but I was still hoping for a Midnight in Paris kind of magic (without the time travel, of course). I was not disappointed. If people were rude or if it ever smelt like urine, I didn't notice because of the magic of the city. (Granted, we did have one rude waiter, but the food was so good I didn't care.) Watching this introduction reminds me of that trip and I still smile all the way through. Plus, you know, Sidney Bechet. 


This movie has been in my top 5 (maybe even 3) since I first saw it and the soundtrack trades places for first with Midnight in Paris depending on the day. The opening credits are equally charming. We get to see the joy of being a child. 

A Hard Day's Night

No explanation needed.  

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Another one of those fantastic movies. One you must watch. Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler-Moore, and Carol Channing?! How could you not?! And if you haven't seen this before, you'll want to stick with the video until the end. Or at least about 20 second from the end. 

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

My reaction to the movie up to this point was pretty much exactly what Knives Chau's reaction is. There's a little bit of extra at the beginning of this clip, but it's a good little bit of extra so I saw no harm in posting it as is. Not that I'd be able to do anything about that anyway...


Let's first of all agree that this is one of the greatest films of all time. Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, I'm going to share with you all something I learned. The guy who designed these credits, one Saul Bass, is apparently the king of opening credits. Before him credits were the boring things I used to skip as a child on movies like Christmas in Connecticut or Bambi. Saul Bass (from what little I've read on the topic since starting this entry) changed all that. I'd like to thank him. Thank you, Saul Bass. 

On to Psycho. These credits exude tension. A lot of that is due to Bass, but I'd also like to point out the obvious anxiety in the music. Another thanks to Bernard Hermann for that. These two brilliant creators set the perfect tone for the movie. My palms start to sweat even before we're introduced to the first character. Or at least they probably did the first time I saw it. I doubt they sweat at all anymore since I know what happens. 


Another Saul Bass/Bernard Hermann masterpiece. And I'm wondering right now why I don't own any Alfred Hitchcock movies. I might have The Trouble with Harry, but then that might belong to my parents. Again, I'd like to point out the music. If dizziness were a melody, it would be this. And the eye...that eye freaked me out as a child and it's still getting the job done. 


This one was a man named Maurice Binder who, I have it on good authority (aka the Internet), is responsible for the Bond gun barrel openers. Again though, I have to point you toward the music. What can I say? I'm a music nerd and a film score can make or break a film for me. This score was written by one of the greatest composers of his time: Henry Mancini. 

Hope you enjoyed. I think I'm going to start a post about my favorite theme songs now.