Monday, January 26, 2009

Hisaishi's Ponyo

Studio Ghibli released Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea in Japan in 2008. While still not released in the US (let's hope for the rumored June 2009), the soundtrack can be imported. The glorious Joe Hisaishi and Hayao Miyazaki pairing is continued and I had a chance to hear the score in its entirety. Hisaishi is at the top of my list of best composers ever. I have all his scores and I place Princess Mononoke at the top of that list with Spirited Away a close second. Maybe I still need a couple more listens but I was not as in awe as I usually am with his scores. The themes are not well developed and it sounds like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro put together. The orchestrations were wonderful, full and romantic, at times reminiscent of Anne of Green Gables by Hagood Hardy. For me, it does take a few listens for things to grow on me but usually Hisaishi comes right away. How very disappointing.

definitely dark

I got a hold of the audio versions of the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I am now on the second book and have fallen in love with the Gunslinger. He is just my kind of character, dark, tough, the faulted hero and expert killer. After the first book where most was in Roland's world, this book is now in our world and the contrast is very appealing. New characters arise, ones also with faults but somehow the right pieces to fit Roland's heart, however made of steel it is. I so enjoy the intelligent dialog and Frank Muller's reading is excellent. I especially like his Eddie Dean, that New York accent just brimming with sarcasm. Audio books are a great way to pass the time in long drives but these books are the best way.

finally brisingr

Paolini's Brisingr. I finally got around to reading the more than 700 page tome, dreading it after the ever boring Eldest. But Brisingr was devoid of moony Eragon and fraught with wonderful Eragon - Saphira banter. I love their relationship and after this book, it is even more coveting. Not to mention numerous battles and little of the politics that I detest. The title was more apropos, clever even. All the races were involved and Eragon has grown into an admirable rider. The inheritance is further explained and while there is not the intrigue of Harry Potter, the series is still a wonder to read, rich in its world and detailed in its landscape. I look forward to the final book, finally eager to once again become part of Alagaƫsia.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Himura Kenshin the battousai

So I had plenty to do this weekend.  Instead of doing it, I put in the first season of "Rurouni Kenshin", the anime based on Himura Kenshin's time as a wondering samurai, pledging his sword for good to attone for his deeds as the manslayer, battousai.  This year marks 12 years since this anime was created but the story holds.  While the art dates itself, the man has no equal.  Kenshin is my epitomic hero, one with a sword fighting for good and along the way attracts friends and foes.  The red hair, cross scarred white knight captured my heart again for a few hours, taking me away from reality.  How much more can you ask for?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beat that prince!

It took me longer than expected, which is a pleasant surprise. But I finally beat Prince of Persia, my wonderful Christmas gift (thanks Mom!). This was a great game. Loads of acrobatic fun, Elika and Prince banter, with puzzles and light seeds to find. The scenery was gorgeous and the music awesome. I had such a blast. Now if they would just release Inon Zur's soundtrack...

BTW, they are making a movie based on the Sands of Time game. Mike Newell, who's directing credits include Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco, and couple of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" is signed. The film is in production with Jake Gyllenhal as the prince.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

my eyes on repeat

"Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" has been released on DVD. Did you know it made Time's top 10 tv series of 2008? I suggest buying the $9.99 thing exclusively on Amazon because it is hilarious and there is 45 minutes of commentary which is sung too. Fan-freakin' tastic. I own the soundtrack too, of course. It is funny, I am not a fan of Nathan Fillion's songs however much I loved him in "Firefly". But Neil Patrick Harris definitely makes the series and the songs. The song that Penny and Billy sing called "My Eyes" is on repeat this week. Evil inside of me is on the rise...

Felicia Day, who plays Penny, is also on a web series called The Guild about a bunch of online gamers. Also incredibly funny though you have to sort of understand the culture. Just lookup any slang you do not know.

Update: Dr. Horrible commentary lyrics are now available.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

THE congregation

Even those of you who are not into soundtracks should be impressed by the congregation of composers that Hollywood Reporter gathered.  A good article about how film scoring has changed.