Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Well, my podcast is still on its summer hiatus, but I've got a lot of musings about pop culture brewing inside me, and I feel like it's time to get them down on paper and share them with the world!  So share I will.

My heart is already turning to September...and fretting about how much it's going to cost me.  It's that time of year when all the summer blockbusters will start hitting Blu-Ray.  So, of course, as soon as they come out, I'll be picking up Godzilla and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Also coming out is the new 30th anniversary box set of Ghostbusters 1&2.  I'm actually looking forward to picking up that set just for Ghostbusters 2.  In addition to be remastered in hi-def, we're going to get a round-table discussion with co-writer Dan Aykroyd and director Ivan Reitman, plus some long-lost deleted scenes.  Ghosbusters 2 has grown to be so hated when compared to its predecessor, that it makes me more and more curious about its making. 

But the one that gives me the most pause is an boxed set called The Star Trek Compendium.  This is a new box set of the Star Trek reboot and its sequel, Into Darkness.  I already have both on Blu-Ray, why double-dip?

Well, when Star Trek Into Darkness hit Blu-Ray, it caused some controversy.  In the name of retail exclusives, all the bonus features were spread across multiple versions.  For example, if you wanted to see the deleted scenes, you had to buy it from Best Buy.  If you wanted to hear the director's running commentary, you had to buy the iTunes download.  If you wanted to see the "making-of" features, you had to buy it from Target, and for different "making-of" featurettes, you had to buy it from Wal-Mart.  It was nuts.  But, in this Star Trek Compendium boxed set, all of the bonus features will finally be in one set.

And that's not all.  Following the lead of films like The Dark Knight, Into Darkness had some of its major action sequences filmed in IMAX.  The Star Trek Compendium release will finally feature Into Darkness's IMAX sequences in their proper aspect ratio.

Plus, when I upgraded Star Trek to Blu-Ray, I got the "movie-only" version of the disc.  In this set, I'll finally get all of Star Trek's bonus features upgraded to hi-def.

Wow, it really sounds like I'm talking myself into it, aren't I?  We'll have to see what the price is when it comes out.

So what's going on with the Spider-Man franchise?  Sony's really starting to beat that rented mule.

The original plan was Amazing Spider-Man 2 this year, Amazing Spider-Man 3 in 2016, Amazing Spider-Man 4 in 2018, and then a couple of spin-offs featuring Venom and the Sinister Six.  Even though Amazing Spider-Man 2 made $700 million at the box office, that makes it the lowest-grossing Spider-Man film, causing Sony to rethink their plans.

Now, we're going to be getting the Sinister Six spinoff in 2016, the Venom spinoff and a new spinoff about a TBA female character (rumoured to be either the Black Cat, Silver Sable, or Spider-Woman) both in 2017, and Amazing Spider-Man 3 in 2018.

I'd be on board with a lot of this if it looked like Sony had a plan.  But it doesn't.  Instead, it seems like Sony is just being reactionary to Marvel.

"So, you like big, shared continuity universes, eh?  Well, look at all these Spider-Man spinoffs we're planning!"

"So, based on all the money Avengers made, you like seeing massive team-ups.  BOOM!  Sinister Six, baby!"

The #1 question that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was being asked during the press for Guardians of the Galaxy was, "So...when's Marvel going to do one with a female lead?"  And Sony said, "Us!  We're doing it first!  See?  Spinoff with a female character!"

See?  It looks like Sony is just trying to do what Marvel's doing.  There's no overreaching plan, they're just emulating.

Add my voice to the chorus crying for Spider-Man to be returned to Marvel, so he can be in the Marvel cinematic universe.  But, Sony won't give him back until the films stop making money, so I don't think it'll be happening anytime soon.

Had a dentist appointment the other day, and afterwards, I went to HMV to buy myself a treat.  Was finally able to upgrade to CD two classic film soundtracks from my youth:  Ghostbusters and Back to the Future.  Thanks to the resurgence of vinyl, HMV actually had Ghostbusters on vinyl, and I was tempted to get it, but no, went digital. 

When it comes to these soundtracks, Back to the Future was always my jam.  When I was a kid, my first paying job was as a paperboy, and I spent many an early morning, roaming the streets of Entwistle, delivering papers, and listening to The Power of Love on my Walkman.

Now that I have these two soundtracks, it's time for my grand plan.  Because I've discovered those record labels where I can get obscure film scores, I also own the complete, uncut scores for Back to the Future and Ghostbusters.  So the goal now, with each of those films, is to create a playlist that plays each and every note of music in the exact order it appears in the film.

Doing that with Ghostbusters will be interesting, as the complete uncut score features a lot of music that was ultimately unused, as they producers replaced it with the pop songs you find on the soundtrack.  With Back to the Future, it could be complicated.  How exacting do I want to be?  There are songs used in the film that don't appear on the soundtrack album...do I buy those odd songs on iTunes in the name of completeness?

Or do I go as hardcore as my friend?  He did this exercise with The Transformers: The Movie, only he edited the songs so they are the exact length and sound exactly as they do in the movie.

But in the short term, at least I've got a lot of great, nostalgia-inducing music.

I'm not much of a gamer, but this announcement came down the other day and it caught my eye.

Activision announced that they're relaunching the Sierra label, and even bringing back one of Sierra's most famous franchises, King's Quest.

Sierra pretty much invented the 3D, puzzle-solving-based, adventure game back in the 1980s, and it was a genre they dominated until the mid-1990s.  With the tech boom and the dot-com bubble, they were bought out, and traded hands many times over the past few years, becoming a shell of their former self.  Activision acquired the brand in the early 2000s, and quietly shut it down in 2008.

But with the recent announcement, sounds like Activision is planning to bring them back in a big way.  As one pundit put it, it sounds like Activision wants to make Sierra their label for indie and mid-budget games.  And as part of their first offerings, Sierra has contracted game studio The Odd Gentlemen to give us the first King's Quest since 1998.  It sounds like this new King's Quest will even be in continuity with the original games, with our hero, King Graham, now a grandfather, and his granddaughter Gwendolyn being the main character.

I am kind of excited about this.  Being a computer geek born in the 1980s, Sierra was THE name in PC games back then.  The first PC games I remember owning was a 3-pack of Mixed Up Mother Goose, King's Quest II, and Space Quest.  And then of course, junior high came along, and it was all immature giggling at Leisure Suit Larry.

I hope this new Sierra does the name proud.

And just so I have a picture when I post this to the social networks, here's that awesome Ant-Man poster from the San Diego Comic Con.

The Ant-Man Poster

Based on all the rumours floating around, it looks like Marvel's Phase III is going to give us:

No comments: