Top 10 More Things I Hate in Movies

The more I thought about the things in movies that bug me, the more I was able to find an increasing amount.  Even after this, I’ll probably find more, so bear with me on that.  The second in these posts, here’s a link to the first.  There are so many things in movies that are just baffling to me, to the point where I wonder if filmmakers are deliberately stupid.  It’s a genuine thing to wonder, isn’t it?  Let’s waste no time, I got a lot to talk about.

10. Classical music is always associated with evil
You ever notice that all the heroes in big budget action films listen to the most down-home Americana music ever?  The worst of it is country.  How many action movies have heroes listening to country music?  Then you have the villain, almost always a pretentious intellectual, with classical music playing in the background.  Because no civilized, decent person listens to that stuff, right?

9. Good guys associated with down-home culture
This kinda ties into the last one, but there’s another angle to talk about.  You know what I loved?  V For Vendetta.  In that movie, we have a hero who is not only a terrorist, but he is well-spoken, eloquent, quoting Shakespeare, and driven by ideals rather than just because he wants to do the right thing.  You know what I get to see in almost all other movies?  Heroes who are bland, boring, and associated with all the things that you see in Americana.  Because how will people relate to someone if they aren’t a blank slate to wear as a skin?!  The irony is that Marvel made fun of that in how everyone poked fun at what a fuddy-duddy Captain America is.  Quentin Tarantino did too in Inglorious Basterds, where you have the upstanding British officer talking with Aldo about what a lunatic one of his men in his outfit is, and Aldo just brushes that off because he’s an uncivilized basterd in his own right.

8. Films blatantly shoving a political message down your throat
When I say this, I’m talking about modern movies that are not even remotely subtle about the message they are pushing, like a LOT of what Disney has produced in the last few years.  The biggest one that comes to mind is Black Panther.  Part of why I couldn’t stand the film was because of the politics being shoved in my face throughout the entire running time.  I’m just sitting there like “could this film be any less subtle?”  It’s ironic, because when I first got to see the character in Civil War, I liked him because of how he was played not to just be a walking stereotype.  Then he gets his own movie and it couldn’t be any more blatant.  Another film that comes to mind in walking stereotypes is Spider-Man: Homecoming.  MJ’s character was the personification of a Tumblr feminist.  She really was.  It was insufferable every time she opened her mouth.

7. Endless explosions/noise in space
Did you know that space doesn’t have oxygen?  Apparently Hollywood doesn’t know that, because space sure does have a lot of shit blowing up in big, bright ways.  Not even like some flash and then gone because the air that keeps the explosion going is snuffed out.  No, it just goes on and on and on.  Also, did you notice that space is noisy as fuck?  Yeah, I was noticing that too.  Because sound carries SO well in a vacuum, right?  That lack of oxygen doesn’t get in the way of all the sound out in the void.  The film that immediately comes to mind as the worst offender in this regard is Armageddon.  Everything was burning space for forever.  It took me out of the scene, every time.

6. The endless sequels/remakes/reboots
Hollywood is out of ideas.  That’s it, they are.  It’s impossible to argue at this point.  How do I know this?  Did you know there is a fourth Toy Story movie coming out?  I did.  The teaser for it dropped today, and I’m like – where can they possibly go with this?!  The narrative was wrapped up REALLY nicely in the last film.  It brought the arc to a nice, clean stop.  It truly did feel like saying goodbye to friends because of how most people who watched it had been kids when the first movie came out, and now they got to say goodbye to their good friends.  Oh, and did you know that they are rebooting Shrek and Puss in Boots?  Why?!  They aren’t even that old!  They’re rebooting Twilight, for fuck’s sake!  Who asked for this?!  I honestly want to know.  It is abundantly clear that they are so addicted to quick cash and so void of any drive to try something new that they will scrap the bottom of whatever nostalgia barrel they can find.  It’s infuriating

5. Guys with facial hair in the military
How does this one not bother more people?  For a nation that’s as big on “god bless ‘Murica” as this one is, you’d think more people would be bothered by this.  But nope!  Probably because you can’t have a manly man unless he has himself a manly beard.  When I see guys who are supposed to be legit soldiers and they have facial hair while they are serving, it bugs me.  There are rules about these things, people!  Uniform regs exist for a reason.

4. The death of 2D animation
Do you think there is anyone left in this country who knows how to do this?  Probably not, given some of the crap this country puts out.  I mean, did you all watch the trailer for Thundercats Roar?  That had some of the shittiest animation I’ve ever seen.  The death of 2D animated films just depresses me.  I think of some of my favorite films, and how much effort went into making them beautiful with some incredible animation.  There is Don Bluth, the absolute master of intricate environments, and old-school Disney.  Ah, for the days before Disney was pure evil and sucking the bottom of their own barrel for quick cash-grabs. *cough*Aladdin Live-action remake!*cough* It saddens me to realize that this art form has died an unceremonious death.

3. Using CG instead of practical effects
Oh boy.  Let me say before I get into this that I don’t just hate CG on the merits of it.  I get what it is and why it exists.  And for some movies, it does wonders, when it’s used well.  Then there are the films that are smart enough to mix the effects and it looks like it’s actually something real.  Then you have shit like Jurassic World and it’s shit-tastic sequel.  Where the effects are so bad it is OBVIOUS that people are interacting with something that isn’t in the room with them.  Thankfully, you have some directors who are rebelling against this.  I swear, I think a computer murdered Chris Nolan’s family or something, because he will go to EXTREME lengths to not have to use digital effects.  Some of the stories about things he has done will blow your mind.  But can we PLEASE have some directors who will give practical effects a go?  Asking for a friend.

2. Films being set in other countries, with everyone speaking English (usually with shitty accents)
I rewatched Hunt for the Red October recently, and I was invited by a friend to a special screening of Hunter Killer tomorrow, and as I saw both the movie and the trailer for those films (respectively), I couldn’t help but notice – why is everyone speaking English?  It bothered me more in the former of those listed, because it starts with them speaking Russian, and then they just stop.  Why?!  They clearly know what subtitles are, so why do that?  It immediately hurts my suspension of disbelief in a movie when I see character who are supposed to be in a country where English is NOT their primary language speaking perfect English with a shitty accent.  Definitely the worst offender in this regard is Enemy at the Gates.  Good movie.  I like it, but hearing everyone with terrible accents hurt my ears.  Speaking of that movie…

And my top thing that I hate in movies (part deux) is…

1.Being in the cold and not seeing a character’s breath
Am I the only person that this bugs?  One of the reasons that I liked Enemy at the Gates is because you actually believe that it’s cold in Russia.  Seeing everyone’s breath was a great tool for selling me of the film’s setting.  But then you have a vast plethora of movies where people are all in big coats, and you are told how cold it is, but don’t see anyone’s breath.  Are they just unable to film in cold places?!  Is that what’s going on?  If so, then they need to work on that.  Maybe don’t spend the money on big CG effects that probably look like shit anyway and instead focus on proper setting.  Am I asking too much here?  Immediately slashes my suspension of disbelief into thirds when it happens.

What about you?  What things in movies bother you?  If you didn’t see yours on there, check out my first list, it might be there.  Let me know if you have additional ones in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“What do you know?  Haven’t you heard of suspension of disbelief?!” – Ed Wood, Ed Wood

Peace out,

Maverick

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Top 10 Questions About Cyberpunk 2077

I know that I wrote in a post that people shouldn’t get aboard the hype train too much because that’s where insane crunch like the 100 hour work weeks at Rockstar comes from, but I can’t help it!  This game has me on the line, and every piece of news that comes out is magic to me.  I’ve watched the 48 minute gameplay demo 1000 times by now.  I hang on every detail.  I could go on about it for days.  But there are a few things that really catch my eye.  Things that I cannot get out of my head.  Now, I know that I’m some rando WordPress blogger who once aspired to legit journalism, so the chances of getting these answered if virtually nil, but I’m gonna put them out there and see what, if anything, comes back.  Here are my top 10 questions about Cyberpunk 2077.

10. How is shopping with street vendors gonna work?
I couldn’t help but notice all the vendors in this game.  There was a pizza place, a guy selling defective equipment, but there is one in-particular that caught my eye – the dude selling vinyl albums.  Can I buy from that dude?!  How about pizza dude?  How much of the vendor culture am I gonna be able to interact with?  There was a bit where a dude is trying to sell you a camera, and you had the ability to say yes.  Does that mean that all sorts of people selling all sorts of stuff is gonna be open to the player?  Oh, and speaking of the vinyl…

9. Are you gonna be able to have a playlist at home?
Assuming that you can buy some of those vinyl albums, can you make your own music setup at home?  How many kinds of music will be represented?  I wanna make my character a pretentious net-runner, so some electronic or spin on classical would be rad.  Thinking Deadmau5 would go well in this universe, or some ATTLAS for the quieter moments.  Their style seems absolutely perfect for the kind of game that this is.

8. How much of the character’s back-story are you gonna be able to make?
During the intro to the gameplay demo, you saw that there is a personal history section.  In the pen-and-paper RPG days, you could fill in the backstory.  So my question is, since you have made very clear that you are keeping it as loyal to that old-school system and mythos as you can, how much can I put in?  I mean, the options probably have to be limited, since otherwise you’d have games crashing under their own complication, but I want to know.  And while we’re on the topic of the mythos…

7. Will there be an in-game codex for the lore?
I REALLY wanna be able to learn about the history of this game.  One of my favorite things in the Mass Effect games (at least the first three good ones) was the codex.  Anytime I wanted to learn something new about the world, the aliens, the tech, I could look at the codex and study.  Hell, everyone’s favorite part of the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC was reading the random entries about all the characters.  Will I have such a thing in the game itself?  I saw that we have a computer.  Will it be there?  Oh, which is a nice segway to…

6. When will we get to see the computer?
Given the HUD and how stuff all seems to be there, I’m curious how the computer is going to be integrated into the game.  On the touch-screen gizmo on your window, you could check your messages there.  How is this going to work?  Cyberpunk email sounds kinda fun.  Not to mention, give me a place I can go and pour over the codex while listening to my music and you have me all over your game.  No joke, I will learn everything there is to know.

5. How will relationships work in this game?
I saw in the trailer that V wakes up with a rando dude.  Way too much facial hair for my liking, but whatever floats her boat.  I notice that you didn’t seem to set up taking the dude to bed?  Since I am probably gonna have a bi character (true to myself), am I gonna have some sort of way of interacting when I want them to come over for a booty call?  Not to mention, is the game gonna choose for me as this seemed to when that happens, and with whom?  You’ve said that interactions with the people are gonna be broad, but in terms of this, I am looking for some specifics.

4. For those who wanna play quiet, what will the options be?
As previously stated, I wanna be a net-runner, and would prefer to have a play style where I can talk my way out.  Don’t get me wrong, violence is fun, and getting to have crazy weapons to do so sounds great.  In another play-through, I probably will have a character who is all about shooting everything until it’s dead.  But starting out, I wanna be able to play the clever character with tech being my first line of defense.  With that in mind, I am curious to see what the play styles will be and what kinds of upgrades I can do in order to play that way.

3. Is there gonna be some kind of system to keep track of the player’s relationship to the various factions?
You’ve talked about how what you do is going to leave a mark in the various factions of the game.  That’s great!  I loves it.  Get me some Fallout: New Vegas action going on in manipulating allegiances.  But I am curious to know if there will be a system of some kind to keep track of where I stand with various elements of the city, if at all.  Like those creepy Maelstrom gangers and the Corpo pieces of shit that I will be undercutting.  My net-running is gonna be used against them in a big way.  I love the idea that what I do will change the way the world interacts with me, but it would be nice to have some sort of way of knowing where I stand with X group before I have a mission where I have to interact with them.

2. How is the katana gonna work?!
I couldn’t help but notice that when you go into the armory in the game, one of the slots that is available is for a goddamn katana!  Wants!  But that got me to thinking – since this is a first-person game, how is it going to work with that?  Genuinely curious.  First-person blade weapons has been a HUGE area of hit-or-miss throughout the years.  I’m more than a little curious what your take is going to be.  Not to mention, can we upgrade the blade?  Make it all electric like Raiden’s from Metal Gear Rising?  Since I wanna be a net-runner, with a focus on being quiet and stealthy, big guns don’t do much for me.  But this caught my eye.

1. When am I gonna be able to download that song by Johnny Silverhand?!
Please, for the love of Groj, tell me that some of the music in this game is coming to iTunes.  It would genuinely disappoint me if it wasn’t.  That song featured in the trailer is part of the reason I am hooked.  I wanna let my inner punk go nuts to that!  I get the feeling that Johnny Silverhand might be my “Personal Hero” character, though Blackhand is in the running.  I know who those characters represented are.  I’ve been doing my research on the source material.  So yeah, when can I get my hands on that song?!

So yeah, those are my questions.  Gonna send these over to CD Projekt RED and Cyberpunk 2077‘s Twitter pages and see if I can get a response.  Not holding my breath, but you never know.  I got Focus Home Interactive to respond to me with my First Take on their new game, A Plague Tale: Innocence.  So maybe I can with these guys too.  I’m a firm believer in the rumor that the game is coming out in 2019, with all they’ve said about making sure it’s optimized with current consoles, it would have to.  2020 is gonna be the beginning of a new generation.  What are your questions?  Let me know in the comments.  If I can get a response from them, I will definitely keep you posted.

Until next time, a quote,

“Got the chrome in the bloodstream
Got a hot red metal soul,
I’m out looking for action,
Guess I’m on a roll.” – Johnny Silverhand, Cyberpunk 2077

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Halloween Specials

Once upon a time, I used to do posts for the holidays each year.  However, as time went on, I found I had less and less to say on the matter.  I try to do a yearly Thanksgiving post.  It’s important to remember what one is thankful for in life, after all.  Groj knows, some years it’s hard to know.  However, a person who regularly comments on my site posed a rather interesting thought on my Top 10 Christmas Specials post – what are my top 10 Halloween specials?  I liked the thought, and while it is a little early to the holiday, I figured that I would post this.

As with my Christmas special post, I will say that not all of these movies are specifically about Halloween.  Some of them are either using the imagery or the time of year, but when I think of this holiday, these are the pieces of fiction that immediately come to mind.  Let us begin this mostly-frightful voyage.

10. The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror
Some of you are probably asking – why is this so low on the list?  I’ll tell you – because the fucking show is still going!  The most common refrain is that it is high time for The Simpsons to end.  This is a criticism that is not without merit.  This series has gone on so long that even some of the cast members are dying.  When I saw that they were making a film, I thought that that was where it was going to end.  And given that the movie was funny, it would have been a good place.  However, it still goes.
That being said, while not all of these yearly specials are great, some of the most memorable moments from the franchise come from these episodes.  They are creative, weird, got more violent as the showrunners found they could get away with more stuff, and while the series was good, told some engrossing stories.  One even got James Earl Jones to narrate Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.  It was pretty great stuff.  Were it that this series had had the good sense to end when it was creatively bankrupt, it would be so much higher on this list.

9. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Carlie Brown
There’s something so charming about the Charlie Brown animated specials.  Each of them is memorable in its own way.  The story of Linus believing in the great pumpkin, while all Charlie Brown gets in his bag for trick or treating is a rock, is charming.  However, the thing which always sticks with me about this special was the story of Snoopy as the Red Baron.  The narrative is fun, and the imagery is good.  These shorts are never the best, but the quirky animation and the cutesy aesthetic sticks with me, even to this day.

8. Monster House
This is a movie which debuted without a lot of fanfare, but it really is an underrated gem of the holiday. Telling the story of a mysterious house that gobbles up whatever enters the yard, it becomes a mystery of two young boys and then later on an unlucky Girl Scout trying to solve the mystery of what evil force has possessed the home and then stopping it.  A CG film, the animation is cute, the characters are fun, the dialogue is great, and the narrative is engaging.  I remember seeing this in theaters with a girl I was into when it came out, and it still sticks with me.  Most of you probably haven’t heard of it, but you should check it out.  It’s a good scary film for kids.

7. Donnie Darko
The only good movie ever to come from this director.  The story of the titular character, his dark visions, and the meaning of it all is set around Halloween.  The story ends on Halloween night.  Donnie Darko is an interesting character.  Depressed, he wants to find out the answers to what’s happening.  The thing that really engages me is the world of his visions, and how it affects all the characters in his life.  This is a very downer movie, but that isn’t a bad thing.  You keep with the narrative all through it, until Donnie gets to the end.  Not a scary film, but a dramatic one.  Unraveling a mystery of greater forces at work in the life of a teenager and how his unraveling brings so much to light around him.  Worth watching, in my opinion.

6. The Crow
The tragic tale of Brandon Lee, whose career in action films was stopped before it could even start.  Something a lot of people don’t seem to acknowledge is that this film is set in the Halloween season.  The climax is leading up to a series of fires that is going to be started on Devil’s Night.  The night before Halloween.  Telling the story of Eric Draven, a fallen rocker who is brought back from the dead to get revenge.  By far one of my favorite superhero movies, this dark film and Lee’s amazing acting brings this story to life like none other.  I love it.  Really sucks that Lee didn’t get to go on from here.  I can only imagine what a bright future he would have had.

5. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure
I could make an entire list of my favorite of the animated Garfield specials.  The late Lorenzo Music gave his voice to a character who is so iconic.  There will never be another who can do the voice quite like him.  This tells the tale of Garfield being an asshole and getting Odie to help him get more candy, while planning on taking most of it for himself.  However, after a terrible idea of his causes him to end up at an island on the river, he finds that this night has more than just a little bad luck for him.  It’s cute, it’s fun, and Music is in top form.  What more is there to want?

4. Ginger Snaps
One of my favorite horror movies, this low-budget film tells the tale of two sisters.  The first is Ginger, domineering, mean-spirited, and cold.  The second is Bridgette.  She’s kind-natured, loyal to her sister to whatever end, and infinitely more submissive.  After being attacked by a werewolf, it is the submissive sister who tries to hold things together as his dominant sister is slowly turning into a monster.  This is a very well told story of family, loyalty, and how far you will go to protect the ones you love.  It all hinges on the relationship of the sisters, and I’m glad to say that they do amazingly in their respective roles.  Ginger grows more sassy and sexy, while there is a charm to Bridgette’s kind submissiveness.  The creature designs are cool, the tension is great, and the violence is so hardcore.  And since it all ends on Halloween night, the time is perfect to see it if you haven’t already.

3. Sleepy Hollow
While this film isn’t set on Halloween, the imagery associated with it is all over this movie.  It’s pretty great stuff.  When it came out, a lot of critics didn’t know what to think of it.  The gore effects are silly, the acting is almost-universally over-the-top, but it tells an engrossing who-dun-it narrative where you already know part of it.  As for me, when this movie came out, I was in love.  The same girly-mate I saw Monster House with used to own this movie, and I loved seeing it.  Johnny Depp was in form here.  Ah, for the days before his weirdness in movies was typecast.  It seems like so long ago, doesn’t it?  Telling the tale of a headless horseman who is cutting the heads off everyone, Depp is on a mission to find out why this is happening, and who is responsible.  Neat fact: for whatever reason, Christopher Walken wasn’t credited in the movie as the Horseman.  I will never get why that was the case.  It’s distinctive cinematography, kooky gory violence, and Christina Ricci in her best years.  There isn’t much about this film I don’t like.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Perhaps this is kind of cheating, since I put this on my Christmas Specials list as well, but the beauty of this movie is that it works for both holidays.  Here’s a movie that has kind of gotten lost in its own popularity.  People seem to forget that this is a simple story.  A fairytale about the Pumpkin King becoming disenfranchised with his own holiday and wanting something new.  It’s a very cute story, telling Jack Skellington’s tale.  The visuals are amazing.  The stop-motion animation was the best in its class.  This film has aged so well, and the music was Danny Elfman at his best, especially for Jack’s singing roles.  It got insanely popular because of the nostalgia age we live in thanks to the Internet, but I still love this film for exactly what it is.

And my favorite Halloween special is…

1. Trick ‘r Treat
Another neat fact: the same guy who directed the Christmas horror classic Krampus first directed this, and holy shit!  This guy has a real eye for capturing the spirit of a holiday in his movies.  Kinda makes me hope he does more holiday-themed horror movies.  Or at least does horror with clear inspirations that can show how much due diligence was done to capture it.  This movie is a masterpiece of its genre.  There is no film that I can think of that captures the nature of Halloween better than this movie.  Telling a series of stories, all tied together by a creepy child, each story is unique and twisted in its own way.  If you want a good movie that you can watch with your friends telling an anthology of horror stories that make the most of this holiday setting, you genuinely can’t go wrong.  This director has a gift, and I hope to see more of his works in the future.

What about you?  What are your favorite Halloween specials?  Let me know down below.  Until next time, a quote,

“Halloween’s my kind of a holiday.  It’s not like those other stupid holidays.  I don’t get pine needles in my paws.  There’s no dumb bunnies.  No fireworks.  No relatives.  Just candy!” – Garfield, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Hero Guns

While there are some heroes in film, anime, video games, what have you, that are able to use all manner of weapons, then you have those who have a very signature weapon.  Their own personal death-dealing device that they have spent years perfecting the use of.  I did a post a while back of the top 10 hero vehicles, so now I figured I would do one for signature firearms for heroes in various mediums.  Keep in mind, I am not talking about weapons that are seen being used by other characters.  It has to be unique to this specific hero in their own respective media they appeared in.  So weapons like the assault rifle from Halo, even though it is associated with the Master Chief, are out.  Because that weapon is seen being used by the likes of ODST and jarheads in the same franchise.  Let’s get to it.

10. Ebony and Ivory
Devil May Cry
The signature pistols of Dante, these pistols are used to supplement his other weapons in the endless goal of keeping the combo count rising.  Think of them as your back-up trick, to keep enemies hurting at a distance.  These guns have been with Dante through the entire series.  Even though some of the less popular iterations (like DmC: Devil May Cry, which I actually happened to like).  He has a definite affinity and as we saw in 3, likes to play with these guns maybe a little too much.  But that’s our Dante for ya.

9. Jericho 941
Cowboy Bebop
This Israeli pistol is wielded by Spike Spiegel.  While we do see him using all manner of other weapons, the gun we most often see him using is this.  Spike is a crack-shot, and we get to see this weapon in all kinds of ugly battles.  My favorite bit is when you have the gangster holding Fay hostage.  With the same cold, detached look on his face, he blows the man’s brains out with absolute precision.  Whether it be facing his past, or taking out some low-life punks robbing a convenience store, this gun is never far from Spike’s reach.

8. Dominator
Psycho Pass
This is a bit of a cheat, but here’s the thing – this weapon is only able to be used by the inspectors and enforcers in the police.  It only fires when they are approved to fire and the weapon can be used by them alone.  This weapon is connected with the system that runs the entire city.  When it reads your Crime Coefficient, it determines if you are a danger to society, and after that whether you deserve to be stunned or killed.  This weapon is the absolute authority of the system, and if you are deemed deserving of death, it will kill you without a second thought.  What’s more, it is also in charge of keeping the enforcers in line, as the inspector can use it against them at any time.  A symbol of the dystopian world of the series, and a cool gun to boot.  What’s not to love?

7. Lawgiver
Dredd
Another weapon in the vein of the Dominator, but this one has a much uglier purpose.  The Judges in Dredd are the face of absolute authority, and they are judge, jury, and more often than not, executioner.  In a city where crime is out of control, their role can be understood.  This gun is a marvel of engineering.  It has everything a weapon can ask for.  It can go silent or loud, semi-automatic or automatic, incendiary single rounds or bursting thermal rounds to light up multiple targets, armor piercing or even stun.  This gun can do it all.  In the hands of Judge Dredd, it is a marvel of efficiency to do its job.  But don’t you talk about the one from that shitty Stallone movie.

6. AMT Hardballer
Black Lagoon
I thought about the Hardballers that are the signature weapons for Agent 47, but in the hands of Mr Chang from Black Lagoon, these weapons have a whole new light.  This guy is just awesome.  He has a cool and coy demeanor, but underneath the bravado is a cynical and very detached man.  Which makes his preferred style of fighting that much more interesting.  He uses gun fu, which is modeled after John Wu films, which makes sense, given the name and ethnicity of the character.  When you have the badass Revy Lee saying that he is better than her, you know this dude is not to be fucked with.  I also thought about his customized Desert Eagles with the dragons on them, but decided that these guns are just a little bit cooler.

5. Walther PPK
The Wire
This choice is also stretching my rules a bit, since the character for whom this gun is his signature weapon is initially fighting for the major antagonist of the series.  It’s wielded by Brother Mouzone.  He’s a soft-spoken and well-educated enforcer for Avon Barksdale.  He wields this gun with an iron grip, and after he shoots Cheese, he explains that the bullets are of his own making.  This man is cold, calculating, and a perfect shot.  However, when Omar Little puts a bullet in him, he is able to convince him that the murder of his boyfriend was not his doing.  After healing, he returns looking to find the person who put Omar up to it.  What follows is one of the most badass team-ups in HBO history, when him and Omar go on the prowl.  It ends with a vicious, violent finale where both he and his companion get revenge that was so sweet.  He may wear a suit and bow tie, but any man who steps to the Brother is going to die.  It’s a fact.

4. Cutlasses
Black Lagoon
What do you get when you have a deranged woman with no moral code, a penchant for shooting, and the sensibilities of a pirate?  You get this pair of pistols.  As Revy shoots with a weapon in both hands, hence her nickname Two-Hands, these guns are her go-to death dealers.  A pair of custom Berettas, she puts them to work against anybody who happens to cross her path.  Revy is a damn good shot, and since she has no ability to hold back, she has lightning-fast reflexes to take out many targets as fast as she can.  Whether it be her deranged smile, or a black deathly stare as she massacres Aryan soldiers, this woman will fuck you up with the guns that have the pirate symbol etched on their ivory handle.

3. Caster Gun
Outlaw Star
The signature weapon of Gene Starwind, this weapon has a fascinating backstory, and is used by the aforementioned character to inflict hardcore justice on his enemies.  Made when a bunch of wizards came together to try and put their powers in a more portable form, their final creation was one of an incredibly rare series of guns that require special shells to fire.  You never know where Gene found this gun, but he has tamed the beast and now puts it to work.  But as he finds out, the weapon has a dark side.  A series of shells with magic so powerful that using them requires a sacrifice by the wielder.  One that Gene gets to find out might be more than he can manage.

2. The Good Samaritan
Hellboy
When you are a giant hellspawn with a massive arm, what kind of weapon do you shoot?  Why, a weapon that no human being could ever hope to wield.  Only able to hold four bullets, this gun will fire through anything and everything that it hits.  The name is taken from the Bible, and the bullets can be loaded with weapons that have religious elements integrated, such as the explosive rounds that are filled with, among other things, holy water.  Since his right hand is too big to be useful when wielding this gun, Hellboy has to fire and load it with his left.  Thankfully, if he needs more than four bullets for what he’s going after, it clearly is too big a problem for this pistol anyway.

And the best hero gun of all time is…

1. Hellsing ARMS “Jackal”
Hellsing
Another weapon created because of the fact that the wielder is one who can handle weapons that no human could ever hope to, the Hellsing organization made this weapon specifically for their best warrior, Alucard.  This gun, at 13mm, fires explosive rounds that have one purpose – killing the undead.  The weapon was designed to kill the inhuman Iscariot agent, Alexander, but Alucard has put it to work against any number of his foes.  Watching it make the undead blow up is cathartic, and it’s all paired with the witty coldness of the character it was made for.  Whether he’s blowing the arms off a mutated freak, or the legs off a half-breed vampire pretender, Alucard always gets the job done.  And the inscription on the side is so damn cool.

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s perfection, Walter!” – Alucard, Hellsing

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Michael Crichton Books

I don’t know how many of you reading this know, but my favorite author is Michael Crichton.  This man had a gift at taking real world concepts and taking them to the next level.  Or finding things that were in the zeitgeist and looking at them from another way.  Then there were his books about medicine, for which he graduated from Harvard.  As well as his books about crime and corporate espionage.  The man even took a stab at historical fiction, and with the exception of the lost manuscript that just got released (I genuinely didn’t like Dragon’s Teeth.  At all.  I thought it was boring as fuck.  Perhaps there’s a reason it was a lost manuscript), he nailed it!  Crichton was a master of the craft, and while I didn’t always agree with everything in his novels (such as in State of Fear, where he makes clear his belief about climate change and what he believes in mankind not being involved in it), I could always read them and be engaged, left with things to ponder.  Here is my list of my 10 favorite.

10. The Terminal Man
It’s so interesting to read this book.  It was written in 1972, and the concepts within it are more terrifying now than they were then.  But Crichton says outright in the beginning that while these concepts are scary, they’re real.  A story about a man who has seizures that cause him to be both violent and stronger, he is brought into a hospital for a new kind of treatment.  It will put wires into his brain to stimulate the parts of his mind during a seizure to stave it off.  However, this man has a twisted psychosis that leads him to escape after the procedure, with a dark plan.  This book is violent, tense, and the concepts within it terrifying.  Mind control is a concept that people talk about today, and mechanisms that could cause it existed then.  Think about that.

9. Rising Sun
A combination book of two things that Crichton does very well – crime novels and corporate espionage.  A story about two detectives who are investigating a murder at a Japanese corporate party.  This book looks at Japanese business, in a way that is not always flattering.  You have two different perspectives on it, so you can see the juxtaposition in approaches to how people treat the Japanese.  It’s also interesting with this stuff and the time period that it was written in, vs how things are now.  The west likes to believe that we get things, but in reality, the countries that aren’t our own are often as alien to us as life on another planet would be.  This is a book of intrigue and culture, and only Crichton could get skate on ice this thin without falling through.

8. A Case of Need
It’s ironic the timing of this.  During a new Supreme Court nomination, where countless people are wondering if Roe v Wade is going to be overturned.  This book also looked at abortion, but during a very different time.  Published in 1968, this book tells the story of a man who is framed for a botched abortion which results in the death of a young woman.  He gets a dear friend to investigate and find out the truth, saving both him and his reputation.  Before abortion was legal, where unsafe abortions killed countless women, this book took a look at the concept with an eye of critical skepticism.  It’s clear that Crichton was on the side of those who wanted legal abortion for women, but he decided to give this book a hard medical approach, along with a decent mystery.  In today’s climate, this book is definitely worth checking out.

7. Airframe
A corporate espionage story through-and-through, this book holds a special place for me because of the subject matter.  Neat fact – I’m afraid of flying.  I hate it.  It ties nicely into my fear of heights.  A fact that many have sniggered at due to how unfathomably tall I am.  Yes, this fact does amuse me to some degree.  Telling the story of an airplane manufacturing company (do they even have these in this country anymore?  I figure all that shit was outsourced years ago) who is tasked with investigating the cause of a horrifying accident, it is a story of corporate greed, corruption, and why people REALLY should be more afraid of being in airplanes.  It’s mired in corporate speak, but Crichton takes you through it.  He loves to have little digressions to talk about whatever subject matter is in his books.  Partly to help you understand, and partly because he clearly wants to show off how much research he did to write them.  This book is among the best in this genre, and if you aren’t afraid of flying, it will help with that.

6. Pirate Latitudes
When I was given this book, 1st Edition, for Christmas one year, I was unsure what to think.  A historical fiction book by Michael Crichton?  I mean, Timeline was great and all, but this just seems a little outlandish.  Then I started to read, and all my doubts evaporated.  Telling the story of a privateer who is given a task to raid an island that has equal parts danger and opportunity, this story is mired in Crichton’s ability to show off his research, and the adventure factor of a great pirate story.  It genuinely shocked me how good this book is.  These characters and their adventure feels so grounded in what could actually happen.  It doesn’t have the rosy view of pirates.  No, these people are gross, immoral people.  But Crichton has a gift at making those you shouldn’t like feel so fun to get to know.  A trip to the high seas you won’t forget.

5. Sphere
This novel is a little bit different.  Instead of Crichton showcasing his research, he wanted to show off his ability to use mood and setting to his advantage.  Telling the story of a man who once made a plan on how to deal with first contact with aliens, he gets a chance to do just that as a craft has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean.  What follows is a supremely suspenseful novel about terror at the bottom of the sea, and a device that has powers that defy all comprehension.  Crichton is able to make the deep ocean seem more threatening than anyone though possible.  Telling a story with tons of The Abyss before that film was a thing, it’s a novel to make your skin crawl.

4. Disclosure
This novel really seemed ahead of its time, looking at where we are now in terms of gender politics.  Combining a VERY touchy subject with his corporate espionage style, this novel tells the story of a man who works for a computer company.  A woman is hired that he used to be involved with.  After she tries to make a move on him and he rejects her, she comes after him with a sexual harassment suit.  From there, he does something that would be ballsy even to this day – files a sexual harassment suit right back, getting a lawyer who is a big-time feminist.  Taking on the concept of gender politics in the time when this was written could EASILY have blown up in his face, but Crichton doesn’t back down from his perspective.  He shows that it is possible for women to abuse their power and sexuality as a man, along with be corrupt and vile.  He doesn’t shy away from the implications.  It’s a daring novel, and I think that it has more relevance now than it did when it came out.

3. The Andromeda Strain
The novel that helped put Crichton on the map.  The first work of his to be adapted to film, and probably the only one done right.  This story was revolutionary for its time, and it has aged exceptionally well.  It takes the perspective that what if alien life that comes to our world isn’t some big monster, but rather something so small that you can’t see it with the naked eye?  A probe crashed back to Earth after having gone to find alien life, and it came back with something in tow.  An alien pathogen that kills the entirety of a small town.  Now, a group of some of the best scientists in the world comes together to try and figure out how to stop it.  This novel is tense.  The process of learning about this infection and what it is will leave you on the edge of your seat.  It’s a mind-bender, to say the least, and I am still shocked by it even to this day, because of how it takes concepts from time gone by and takes the next step in terms of technology.  A first contact story unlike any other.

2. Jurassic Park
Definitely the most famous of Crichton’s books.  A novel that tells the story of an eccentric billionaire who used cloning to create an island full of dinosaurs.  However, there are several things about the novel that separate it from the movie and make it far better.  For starters, this novel builds up the reality of dinosaurs existing in a way that the film doesn’t.  It’s a process of the world getting hints about them, only for a small team of people to be given the full reveal.  Not only that, but it looks at the creatures themselves, and what they would be like.  This isn’t just some monster movie.  It’s a tale about animals from 65 million years ago being brought back to life, thrown in the mix with mankind.  It’s a story where survivors are trying to get everything sorted out, and learn what they are up against.  The parts of the story examining what these animals are are fascinating.  It’s a shame the film didn’t take the time to really dive into that.  But you gotta entertain the dim-witted American audience (I do like the movie, by the way.  However, my point stands).  Not nearly as violent and creature-feature as the film, with some amazing science every step of the way.

And my favorite of Crichton’s books is…

1. Prey
Some of you saw this coming if I have any readers who read my post about my top 10 favorite books.  Not only is this my favorite book by Crichton, it’s my favorite book of all time.  This is him at his best.  Him taking real science and going the next step the way that only Crichton could.  It’s a nightmarish, fascinating, tense story about a corporate that creates nanomachines and how swarms of them get out into the wild.  Now, an out of work father who wrote the code that these machines are governed by has to get back into it, to solve the mystery of what his wife was doing away from home, and to save the family he has worked so hard to cultivate.  This book is a masterpiece, plain and simple.  It has Crichton showing his research like never before.  Though, if you find that stuff self-indulgent, you will hate this book.  There are long sections where he gets into some scientific or philosophical concepts and will carry that on for some time.  It’s pretty great stuff.  These machines, how they are created, and what they become, is a story that will have you spellbound, turning pages like it’s nobody’s business to get to the end.

What are some of your favorites?  Let me know in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“They didn’t know what they were doing.  Sometimes I wonder if that will be humanity’s epitaph.” – Jack Forman, Prey

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Hero Vehicles

You know something you don’t see much of anymore?  Hero vehicles.  There are plenty of cool cars and stuff in movies, but distinctive vehicles that a certain character or series can be known by.  It becomes part of their personality, helping to define who they are and what kind of character they are.  Now, for this list, I had to define some rules.  First, it can be from any genre.  You’re going to see a lot of anime here, but that’s just because they have cooler vehicles than other genres.  Blame the fact that Hollywood is out of creative ideas.  With that in mind, no mobile suits or pieces of technology designed as weapons.  It has to be a method of transportation first, potential for combat second.  Let’s get down to this.

10. Trans Am 20,000 WR
Redline
If you haven’t seen this movie, go see this movie!  Stop reading this post right now and go watch it!  That’s not a request!  That is an order, sailor!  With that in mind, JP’s car is so damn cool.  In a film that has some vehicles that run the gamut from absurdly-fast tanks to weird fembot mechs, JP decided to get a vehicle that has one gimmick and one alone – speed!  He weapons, just speed.  He wanted a car that can blaze past anything and everything.  And that’s what he got.  A vehicle that goes so fast that they he nearly dies when he pushes it past its potential.  He does that a lot.  Such an awesome car for such an awesome movie.

9. XGP 15A-11
Outlaw Star
Naturally, the vehicle for the hero of the series can be one that they don’t drive alone.  This vehicle is the central hub of Starwind Enterprises and their ill-fated mission to seek fame and fortune.  Not only does it do badass mech combat, but has a hilarious AI that is such a smarmy douche, and some of the funniest bits are them having to do simple shit like land the damn thing.  When those grappler arms come out, you know shit just got real.  Plus, the whole series is named for it.  That says something.

8. Light Cycle
TRON
A film that is a cult classic, this vehicle helped define what so much of the 80’s looked like, historically speaking.  Neon colors, and the light wave.  These things are just so cool.  I thought about putting the ones from the horrible sequel, but while those do looks pretty damn cool, they wouldn’t exist if not for the original.  These things are complicated.  The thing about them is that you have to defeat your opponents by using the light wave and strategy.  I really dig that.  Speed, strategy, and 80’s cheese.  What more could I ask for?

7. Fahrenheit
Final Fantasy X
What’s cooler than being part of a civilization that is full of atheists, and are absolute masters of technology?  Retrieving an ancient airship from the bottom of the ocean and putting it to work.  When Yevon soldiers attack the Al Bhed home, Cid brings this monster up from the depths and blasts it to high heaven, as this airship is equipped with a vast plethora of missiles.  From there, it becomes the center of your operation as you use it to get all around Spira.  It’s a pretty chill place to work, and eventually you use its upgraded cannons to take on the ultimate enemy of all Spira – Sin.  What’s not to like?

6. 1965 Aston Martin DB5
Skyfall
I miss the days where James Bond movies were partly defined by their cars.  Not since the early Pierce Brosnan films have we seen that.  Each film had a very cool car.  But one vehicle has a special place in the history of Bond films, and that is the Aston Martin.  This vehicle has been the center-piece for five different films, and getting to see it in Daniel Craig’s masterpiece Bond film was pretty damn awesome.  This is a car with class, history, and style.  I do love that.

5. Vespa SS 180
FLCL
What do you get when you combine an evil space alien who smashes her guitar on people’s faces with a vehicle that has no right to be this cool?  You get her absurd Vespa that defies the laws of reality.  Much like everything to do with Haruka.  This vehicle is her chief mode of transportation, and she has no problem smashing into whoever she has decided to latch onto with it.  This series hold a special place in my childhood, and so does this vehicle.

4. ex-US Navy PT Boat
Black Lagoon
I thought about going with Benny’s car, but the more I thought about it, the thing that really felt like the hero vehicle in this series was Dutch’s boat.  The former Vietnam vet has this as his primary means of getting around the South Pacific for his dirty business.  It’s where we get to see him at his absolute most awesome.  Some of the best dialogue moments come down to Dutch on this boat talking to people.  Since he added a couple torpedo launchers to it, he has a bonafide ass-kicking machine that he decides to be the ultimate boss in and use a sunken ship as a launch pad to fly it into the air, then launch the two torpedoes at a helicopter.  Groj how I love this show.

3. Ecto-1
Ghostbusters
In the realm of classic cars, you don’t get much more iconic than the Ghostbuster’s chief mode of transportation, the Ecto-1.  Taking a 1959 Cadillac and turning it into an absurd, totally impractical vehicle that probably is illegal because I would think that having lights and a siren on a vehicle that isn’t emergency services is illegal.  But that doesn’t matter, this car is just so cool that you go with it.  In a way, this was my put on this list for all the huge classic cars that you know of from movies, so you’re welcome.

2. Swordfish II
Cowboy Bebop
I thought about putting the Bebop itself on the list, but then I realized – that’s not what everyone thinks of when they think of this series.  They think of Spike’s signature craft, the Swordfish.  A former racer that Spike was able to get his hands on, this beat-up old monster is part of the history of a tragic character, and he views it as something that he just can’t get rid of.  He describes it as something that has traveled with him, yet also then bad-mouths it.  They are like an old relationship.  And then you see that beam weapon go off, and you realize that this thing is badass with a capital B.

And my favorite hero vehicle of all time is…

1. Batmobile
Batman: The Animated Series
Don’t any of you talk about that bullshit Batmobile in Arkham Knight!  That wasn’t a car.  That was a tank.  I hate that game so much because of the inclusion of the Battank.  That’s what I call it.  But when I think about hero vehicles, the first thing that came to my mind is one of the most iconic vehicles in all of modern culture – the Batmobile.  Then it came down to which version I think of when I think of that vehicle.  Well that wasn’t a difficult pick – the one from the flawless Animated Series.  This thing is classic.  It’s classy.  It’s got that perfect Art Deco aesthetic the series has going for it.  It’s got every gadget in the world, all while still being a badass car to boot.  This thing is awesome, from a series that was awesome.

What are some of your favorite hero vehicles?  Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“We’re taking the Batmobile?  We’re taking the Batmobile!” – John Doe, Batman: The Enemy Within

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Classical Pieces I Want to See in a Fantasia-esque Film

I’ve made no secret that my favorite Disney film is Fantasia.  I saw a video saying that it was part of what they called the animation Dark Ages.  I couldn’t possibly disagree more.  Animation will NEVER be as good as it was then.  The risks they could take, and the level of detail and freedom have never been what they once were.  Not to mention Disney became a company that is pure evil and ruined destroyed 2D animation because it didn’t make enough money for them anymore.  So yeah.

But this movie shaped my love of 2D animation and classical music.  I lament with every fiber of my being how 2D animation died in this country.  It breaks my fucking heart.  The original idea behind Fantasia is that it would be an ever-evolving piece, showcasing all kinds of animation and music, with no two showing being the same.  Walt Disney’s ambition is commendable, but the film itself nearly bankrupted the studio, so the idea of making another one right after that was a little beyond them.  There was a sequel made so many years later, but it failed to capture the magic of the original.

I was at work one day when I heard a piece of music come on.  See, I hijacked the radio there and we play classical music all day.  It probably drives my coworker nuts, but since they said nobody has control over the radio and I was told to play whatever I want, and the oldies station plays the same stuff over and over again, I decided to go with music that would keep my attention and wouldn’t annoy me.  This beautiful piece came on and immediately I knew what to write about – what pieces I would include if the concept behind Fantasia would ever be taken up by another studio and run with.  It’s a small dream, but here we got.  These are the top 10 pieces I want to see in another film that uses the same concept as Fantasia – taking classical music, and putting animation to it.  Letting animators hearts run free and seeing what they come up with.

I will be attaching images with each of these choices to show what comes to my mind, but I am all over letting other creators have free reign to have their own ideas.  I will also have all the pieces linked on their name, so listen to them and tell me what you come up with.  Let’s do this!

10. Cuban Overture
George Gershwin
Gershwin had this interesting thing where he would write music about the places I figure he must have been.  An American in Paris was a close contender to this spot, but Cuban Overture won out because it.  This piece is so energized!  And for my own idea, I wanted to make a bit being about Latin America.  More of one from antiquity, since modern Latin America has problems.  Is it romanticizing the area?  Perhaps.  But I won’t apologize for that.  The truth about the world is ugly.  We all want to make the world a prettier place in our minds.  Instead of this being a flowing narrative, having it be a spectacle of all the things a character we follow coming across sounds even better.  Then it all ends with them taking part in some festivities and closing out the first of what will hopefully be a lot of fun days.  Or maybe be a story of their journey across a period of time and them flying home at the end, thinking about coming back.

9. Moldau
Smetana
Listening to the soft, gentle rhythms of this piece, what comes to mind is a very fantastical place.  This is a world of magic, mystery.  I thought of the piece in Fantasia with the fairies.  In the process of getting a piece of art to go with what I saw my vision, I stumbled across a brilliant moment – a human entering this world!  I know, about as original as a ham sandwich, but the way I see it, nothing is original.  It’s all in the execution.  Just like the last piece, the narrative here is what the person sees.  And I don’t just want it explained at all.  The idea behind this format is no words.  The audience has to come to their own conclusions.  Maybe have some absolutely absurd things, with the character and yourself wondering what to make of it all.  Then, like any good Nutcracker story, it has them going back to the real world, not knowing what to think of it all.

8. Spirit Garden
Toru Takemitsu
Something that doesn’t get enough credit in the very academic music community is some of the stuff that comes out of other countries.  Japan has a history of very interesting music, along with some haunting classical pieces.  This is one of them.  I also figure, since we’re representing Japanese classical music, why not represent their art style?  This piece is dark.  I like that.  The cold tones make me think of an alien realm.  For this, I would want there to be NO central character.  This is all about imagery for the audience.  A strange, bizarre world.  Too much like the last piece?  Perhaps.  One may have to be sacrificed for the other.  Or maybe another idea for this.  But it’s weird, off-putting darkness is too good for me not to want it on this list.

7. Afro-American Symphony
William Grant Still
Something people seem to think about me, because I have railed against forced diversity so much is that I hate diversity on its merits.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  In reality, there are some incredibly diverse things that I absolutely love.  And a piece of music about the black community that has a great beat, clearly gets some inspiration from jazz, and seems to perfectly tell the story about a person’s day fits so well.  That’s what I imagine this to be.  Some black kid and the story about their day.  The ups, downs, and messy bits.  So long as it could avoid becoming preachy or having the same forced diversity I rail again, then I am all in.  It’s a little dream.

6. In the Hall of the Mountain King
Grieg
Time to break up the fantastical and get into some of the darker stuff.  This is one of my favorite pieces that goes SO well with creepy visuals.  This piece would be short, but my vision for it is crystal clear.  It begins at the entrance to an old castle.  The camera guides you through the dilapidated halls.  Moonlight shines in, painting shadows everywhere and having you feeling on edge.  I want to creep all the people out!  The dark shadows move with the camera, heading ever inward, toward the central chamber.  The closer you get, the more off-putting it becomes.  Eventually, you can see the shadows moving in.  Lights start turning on.  Strange lights with blue flame.  It has you feeling nervous.  Very, very nervous.  Then, the huge door!  This is it.  The central hall.  Right as the music swells up, it bursts in.  Then, all manner of creatures and persons are in there, with madness and eclectic dancing all about.  At the head of the table, you see a king who looks boistrous, with a mad look in his eye!  He laugh and gets in on the merriment.  Lights and shadows everywhere.  Finally, the camera is backing out fast, and the door slams shut!  Oh yeah…

5. Triumphmarsch und Chor
Guiseppe Verdi
This piece has come to mind specifically because of a girly-mate of mine who is in the Navy, who I don’t get to see nearly enough.  Trying to find artwork to go with this was horrible.  SO much artwork surrounding the military is all about sucking the military’s dick or showing off how badass America is.  And that’s not the military I am picturing.  I want these people to be regal!  I want it to be a march of a military who is in dress uniform that looks like the kind you can hang sword from.  Marching through the streets of a very well-to do city.  Wanna fuck with the sensibilities of America?  I do.  Let’s have there be newspapers where the headlines are all in German, so only those who speak German will know what they’re getting on about.  Have it be that there was a war won.  Don’t worry, this isn’t Nazis.  I’m not an edgelord.  Regal troops running triumphant from a campaign, marching in tune.  If you really wanted to get into the dark stuff, have them thinking about battle.

For this piece, I was thinking about animation which actually goes with the style in the pic I have attached with this.  Bright, colorful, and personable.  Since the piece becomes more cordial later, have there be a couple characters we follow, and their part in all the festivities.  But I want to keep this all about them coming home, with everyone cheering their name.

4. Piano Concerto #2
Rachmaninoff
In addition to wanting to run the gamut of various cultures that have given us classical music, I wanted to run the gamut on emotions as well.  This piece is very, very sad.  It tells a story of loss, pain, and trying to find one’s self.  I like that.  Maybe it’s just my depression that I have had to and will always have to live with that’s taking, but I like it.  But don’t go thinking that I want to have you, the audience, feeling miserable with me.  I want this piece to be about the person and the legacy of feeling loss, mourning, or just the grim reality of life.  With that in mind, here’s what I came up with for the visual element – an old man.  Someone who has had a long life, and seen many things.  Maybe have it be about the love of his life and the life they shared.  Remember how Up had us seeing a couple growing up and then growing old?  Well, I like that concept, and instead of there being a silly Pixar movie attached, I want to run with it all the way.  Have the film showcase this man’s life, his loves, his passion, and then how it all comes to an end.  Maybe have it be a metaphorical and literal journey of him walking a path to where his journey ends.  Oh, and because he is old, let’s give him a cat to take that last journey with.  An old timer that has shared the last 20 years with him on his journey.  It would end with them reaching that destination, and the music and visuals coming to show it all coming to an end.

3. Clair de Lune
Claude Debussy
This is my favorite piece of classical music of all time.  Now, Disney had done a version of this for their original Fantasia film, but it had to be cut.  Why?  I’ll never know.  The original version of it did get released, but I wanted to do my own take.  In the original Fantasia, they opened with a piece that had you thinking about the music first and then going into the visual style.  It opened with the audience being conscious of the orchestra, and then subsequently getting into abstract animation.  I like that idea.  But instead of it being an orchestra, I want it to be someone at a piano.  This would initially involve rotoscoping animation, but over time it would get more fantastical as the piece goes on.  Where would the animation go?  Who can say.  I just know where I want it to start.  Where it finishes is entirely up to the animators who bring it to life.  That’s just my thought.  I love this piece.  Makes me think of my grandmother on my old man’s side.  She loved it too.  I think she would like that too.

2. The Planets Suite
Gustav Holst
Now, here is a piece that could be it’s own film.  In fact, I kind of want it to be.  Have each planet’s section be a different showcase of a different kind of animation and a different vision.  Lots of ideas here.  Tons.  Too many.  But the reason I put this on the list is because there’s one more that I want to showcase on here.  Several years ago, someone decided to write another piece to be added to Holst’s vision.  See, he never wrote one for Earth.  So they called it “Earth, the bringer of life.”  I like it!  Not only does it go with his style of composition, but it rounds it all out nicely.  I want to have it featured as well.  I guess this was more about telling you about this addition than what I want done with it, but I think its worth bringing up.  This Suite has so much potential, and as I said, I genuinely do think it could and should be its own film in this vein, with each part serving to accompany its own ideas.

And the piece that I want most, that started all of this is…

1. Daphnis et Chloe
Maurice Ravel
As I said this is the piece I heard on the radio.  The one that I couldn’t stop thinking about.  It was magic!  I think it still is.  It runs the gamut of tones, emotions, and even has choral elements inside it as well.  I love it.  This piece is one I have grown to love almost overnight.  Should I ever get to hear it in person, my life may be complete right then.  Uncertain.  So, with that in mind, what animation elements do I want here?  I’ll tell you.  I want to go big!  Something sweeping, large, and epic!  In my mind, that means one thing – dragon riders!  With that, we can have a sweeping landscape.  Have it be the story of a person who is looking to join the ranks of the riders.  Or the story of a day in the life of one.  Whatever the case, that’s what I want to see.  The visuals need to be a cut above the rest.  It has to be detailed and sublime.  I want to see a ton of riders.  I want to see their world.  This has to be a place I can damn-near touch!  Yes, that’s what I want.

What about you?  What do you all hear in any of this?  What pieces would you like to see if you could do this?  If I had tens of millions of dollars, I’d bring it to you.  Hand to Groj, I would.

Until next time, a quote,

“Walt Disney once described animation as a voyage of discovery, into the realms of color, sound, and motion.” – Angela Lansbury, Fantasia 2000

Peace out,

Maverick