My Favorite Movie Scenes and Set Pieces

When watching a movie, nothing make me happier than seeing a well-executed scene or set piece.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to post movie scenes that either gave me chills, made my heart race, or made things a little dusty.  You’ll notice most of these clips involve a really good soundtrack.

A couple of parameters though.  I tried to avoid any iconic scenes (“You can’t handle the truth!”) or climactic endings.  Additionally, I’m no movie technician so I can’t really break down any of these scenes from any other point of view than that of a fan. Continue reading

Review: Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks

What can be said about Captain Phillips? Well, for a start, it’s directed by Paul Greengrass; the man behind gut-punch 9/11 docu-drama United 93. It stars every man’s favourite every man, Tom Hanks, and it is based on a true story. One so high profile, I’d wager that 90% of those who watch the film will already know the ending. So how on Earth, even with such widely chronicled details of the event, does Captain Phillips manage to remain so bloody tense and stressful until the final credits!?

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How are you discovering new music?

Maybe you’ve read the article David Byrne wrote for the Guardian about how the Internet will suck all creative content out of the world. I’m not sure I agree with him. I think creativity can be really enhanced by the Internet. I think creativity will take new forms because of the Internet. The old model of the music industry obviously no longer applies. But there are artists like Macklemore and The Weeknd using the Internet to reach audiences. I think in general, the Internet has made audiences much smaller–there’s so much content out there now. But is that a good or a bad thing?

David Byrne is down on Spotify, and I don’t blame him. But I use it to listen to music these days, for one reason–it makes it really easy to find new bands. Not only does it recommend bands to me based on what I’ve already listened to, but I can follow my friends and even music artists to see what they’ve been listening to. You can share playlists with people. There’s probably more it can do that I haven’t figured out yet.

My two favorite discoveries via Spotify:

Rival Schools

Joe Pug

How are you discovering new music?

Best anime EVER in the history of the world EVER

We are a family of otakus. Every week, Shonen Jump (manga) gets downloaded to our tablets; I am currently reading Death Note (all 108 volumes); my daughter writes her own Sword Art Online stories; my son is in the Manga-Anime Club at school; my other son wishes he was Naruto; my wife has a Totoro purse; we have watched everything ever made by Hayao Miyazaki, including his 1978 TV series, Future Boy Conan; and we think that Ghibli’s Joe Hisaishi is the best film composer in the world.

However, I fully understand why anime doesn’t work for some. You either stop at Pokemon or roll your eyes at the Meido fetishes. Too many robots, too much whimsy . . . just too weird.

Fine.

But you have to give Space Brothers a try. We are absolutely in love with this series. As I said to Rebecca today — and I really mean it — I would choose Space Brothers over GoT or Sherlock right now. Yes. It’s that good.

Funny, sweet, epic, Space Brothers tells the story of be-afroed, hapless genius Nanba Mutta, who wants to be an astronaut. Alas for Mutta’s self esteem, his brother Hibito beat him to it.

That’s all I am going to say. Watch at least the first episode and fall in love. We subscribe to Crunchyroll and stream over the Xbox. I am sure there are unofficial ways to get it too.

Best Songs About Death

Don’t know if we’ve ever gone down this morbid highway to discuss the very best songs about shuffling off the mortal coil, but it seems like as good a time as any. So dredge the lake for the very best of them and make your nominees. Mine is this one from Elbow: Switching Off.

Best Episodes

Are there episodes of your favorite shows that really stand out in your mind? I was just recently rewatching Mad Men and the episode “The Suitcase” (season 4, episode 7) came up. That is truly a perfect episode, right down to the song that plays over the closing credits. If you knew nothing else about the show other than that episode, you would still recognize it as a truly exemplary television series. Continue reading