Friday, June 29, 2007

From 50,000 to 12 million

First printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 50,000
First printing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: 12,000,000
First and the many subsequent times reading the series in full: priceless

It is a phenomenon. That is the only way to describe it. A phenomenon in which a little boy grows into a wizard. One that garners friendships that would last a lifetime and a seven year (ten years in real time) struggle of good over evil. The laughs, the tears, the curses and magical feats that are etched in every reader's mind are proof of that phenomenon. And it only gets better with each and every read. While I am a person who reads, watches, and listens to things again and again, the iteration of reading Harry Potter has become a universal hobby. I am ecstatic to be a part of it.

Vive Harry Potter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer fest

As a movie lover, it is very hard not to get excited when blockbusters arrive in the Summer. Sure, most of them are monotonous, vapid works but they provide just the right amount of distraction to the unbearable weather and monotonous, vapid piece that is my life. This Summer has already seen big money with the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean and those lovable thieves and their Ocean chronicles. More is yet to come with the third installment of Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum. Also Transformers and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix step up to bat looking for that treasured All Star. But most interesting of all, to me anyway, is Ratatouille which is looking very good so far. I always think after each of Pixar's film that the next installment can not live up to its predecessor. I thought that of Cars, which while entertaining and glorious to look at, did not have that extra element that is found in Toys, Monstors Inc., Finding Nemo, or The Incredibles. Judging from the response of Ratatouille though, it may just make the grade. On a similar but un-blockbuster note, I am very interested in Vitus, a Swiss-German film about a piano wunderkind trying to live as a normal boy. It looks like the perfect companion to these action packed flicks with very little character development.

I have said before I do not go to movies in the theatre much anymore. But as the temperature and more significantly, the humidity, increases those dark cool theaters look more and more enticing. I may make it out more than once in the coming months to check out these titles and more.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Gold Cup for the US

Congratulations to the US Men's team who defeated Mexico 2-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It was a clean match and an exciting game.

On a similar note, I have been to the past two Austin Lightning games and suffered through two 2-0 losses. I hope things improve. I make my way to Dallas next weekend to watch the top teams of the Western Conference of the MLS, FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo. There is no end to my excitement.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

This week on repeat, rhythm and rhyme

I have previously written that I love Gershwin. Well now this means both George and Ira. This week I have "Fascinatin' Rhythm" on repeat and it is a superior version sung by no other than Ella Fitzgerald. The epitome of George and Ira's collaboration, this song does no wrong. I especially think that Ira's lyrics are perfect in rhyme and accent. Lyricists, especially then get little respect but Ira was pure genius and had to deal with an egotistical brother to boot. I definitely know how that feels (love you boys!).

TMNT and my love of acronyms

Yesterday I was in Target and saw that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles, the original movie not the recent one, was on sale for $7.50. Seriously how can you pass that up? I have fond memories of this movie, watching in the theater with my brother and then again and again. I was in love with Casey Jones. Of course, I could not sleep and had to pop in the 90 minute flick. I was ecstatic to find I was laughing out loud, a rare feat these days it seems. It is amazing how little things can cheer you.

Michaelangelo: I love being a turtle!

Who the hell is Nicolas Hooper?

He is the unknown composer to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that's who. His clips of the score play at the movie's website and I have to say, I am pretty impressed so far. A fantastical feel, almost Elfman like to several clips with just the hint of the original Williams theme. In my mind, when a composer can hint at the theme with just a few notes and not beat you over the head with it, it usually works very well. I use Lord of the Rings as an example. By Return of the King, Shore had to play two notes and you knew to which theme he was referring. I was hoping Hooper could do this and the few bars we get seem to hold true. The official soundtrack release date is July 10, 2007.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tommy, can you hear me?

This weeks track on repeat is "Cousin Kevin" from The Who's Tommy. I love this production. Maybe its the simplistic chorus that fills the air when that guitar starts playing. Most likely it is the fact the its signature colors are yellow and black. Whatever the reason, I love to sing along and this particular song is excellent. I particularly enjoy the guttural British that Cousin Kevin speaks as he says "nastiest play friend".