Feb. 11, 2013 | 2:14 p.m.
Is this a sign of good things to come for “The Hunger Games” franchise? “The Hunger Games” took home a Grammy on Sunday night for “Safe & Sound,” a song on the film’s popular soundtrack. The honors went to Taylor Swift, T. Bone Burnett, John Paul White & Joy Williams in the category of song written for visual media. Now you might be thinking, “Hey, I watched the Grammys. I don’t remember that.” That’s because the honor was given out before the show began on CBS. Many fans found out via Swift’s tweet: WE JUST WON A GRAMMY FOR SAFE AND SOUND!!!!!!!!!!— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 10, 2013 The win comes as “The Hunger Games” and its star are on a roll. Jennifer Lawrence (who stars as Katniss Everdeen, of course) has been cleaning up this awards season, racking up dozens […]
Feb. 06, 2013 | 1:52 p.m.
Sasquatch the music festival, scarcely as elusive as its namesake, has unveiled its lineup, and topping the bill at the annual alt-music event are folk-rock stars Mumford & Sons, the Postal Service (reunited) and rap act Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. There are 108 artists and nine comedians scheduled to appear at the festival, from May 24 to 27 at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Quincy, Wash. But as fans are busy flipping through the Sasquatch lineup, we’d like to point out some performers that the geek crowd in particular can appreciate. Here are some intricately produced videos created by some Sasquatch performers that touch on sci-fi, horror and animation. Twin Shadow, which is on the bill, created the video for “Five Seconds.” It is inspired by frontman George Lewis Jr.’s own foray into science fiction, a novel titled “The Night of […]
Jan. 10, 2013 | 4:05 p.m.
“The Wizard of Oz” features some of the most beloved songs in movie musical history: “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead.” But with Disney’s March 8 release, “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” director Sam Raimi and composer Danny Elfman were quite conscious of putting a wholly unique stamp on a project inspired by author L. Frank Baum’s original books, not the Oscar-winning 1939 movie. In one instance, though, that directive proved especially tricky — when writing a song for a sequence in which a group of happy Munchkins welcome James Franco’s Oz to the Emerald City, Elfman found himself in something of a predicament. “These Munchkins are little people in a joyous town of fantasy singing an up-tempo welcoming song. There really aren’t that many ways to apply that,” Elfman said during […]
Nov. 01, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
Call it a case of life imitating martial arts. On the Shanghai set of the kung fu saga “The Man With the Iron Fists” last year, muscle-bound pro wrestler David Bautista and tae kwon do expert Rick Yune had come to loggerheads over how to best enact a fight sequence. The actors, portraying mortal enemies, seemed about ready to trade ax-hand strikes. Only one person could steer the action back toward the peace path: the movie’s writer, director and costar known as RZA, a hip-hop renaissance man who was the musical brains behind the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum-selling rap collective Wu-Tang Clan. No stranger to transforming chaos into chi energy, RZA (government name: Robert Diggs) regaled Yune and Bautista with stories about his nine-man hip-hop crew’s legendary infighting. “I used some of the Wu-Tang stories to defuse situations,” RZA recalls. “I told […]
Oct. 25, 2012 | 4:36 p.m.
Kirk Hammett is known to most people as the guitarist in the world’s greatest metal band, but when he’s not devoting his time to Metallica, he’s pursuing a lifelong passion: collecting horror movie memorabilia. It’s a hobby that dates back to his childhood days in San Francisco, when he’d spend hours with Gary Arlington at the San Francisco Comic Book Company in the city’s Mission District. There, Hammett developed a love for horror and underground comics that dovetailed with his fascination with the Universal canon — Boris Karloff’s monster in 1931′s landmark “Frankenstein” was a personal favorite. In the new large-format coffee table book, “Too Much Horror Business — The Kirk Hammett Collection,” the musician showcases the treasure trove of cinematic artifacts that he’s amassed over the years, chatting at length with interviewer Steffan Chirazi on a range of issues […]
Oct. 11, 2012 | 6:01 p.m.
Long before Ramin Djawadi penned the score for “Iron Man,” the German-born composer was one member of a three-person audio team banging out sounds and music for the arsenal of PC games produced by the now-defunct Looking Glass Studios. He had a single instrument at his disposal. “It was a good challenge,” he recalled recently. “I had to work with what I had in front of me, which was one keyboard. This wasn’t even that long ago. That was 1998.” Things have changed dramatically for the Berklee College of Music graduate, whose soundtrack for Electronic Arts’ “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” was released last month in advance of the game’s Oct. 23 release. The 100 minutes of music in the game allowed Djawadi to experiment with symphonic and rock flourishes; Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda also contributed to the score. Djawadi first signed up for […]
Oct. 04, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. Over the last half-century, the actors who have played James Bond have come and gone, and so have the type of villains that the sexy, martini-drinking 007 thwarts before the final credits. But there’s been one constant in the Bond films: “The James Bond Theme,” penned by British songwriter Monty Norman and arranged by composer John Barry for the first Bond film, 1962′s “Dr. No.” And during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “The Music of Bond: The First 50 Years” celebration Friday evening — which also will mark the 50th anniversary of “Dr. No” opening in England — at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, guitarist Vic Flick, who supplied the famous guitar lick for the jazzy theme, will be playing that music on […]
Sept. 28, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
Ramin Djawadi always dreamed of composing a film score, and the Berklee College of Music graduate has done plenty, including 2008’s “Iron Man.” But this week saw the release of one of Djawadi’s most ambitious soundtracks to date — “Medal of Honor: Warfighter.” Not in a theater near you? That’s because “Warfighter” is not a movie, it’s a video game. “My goal was always to do music for movies,” Djawadi says. “But having said that, the way things have developed today have made games like giant movies.” For a cadre of top composers, the action isn’t in film but video games. Djawadi’s score for “Medal of Honor: Warfighter,” for instance, boasts 100 minutes of music, much of it downright experimental by film composition standards. It’s alternately symphonic, electronic and rock ’n’ roll, and it’s emblematic of an industry that’s providing […]
June 28, 2012 | 8:44 p.m.
If you haven’t heard Gotye’s No. 1 hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” in the last five minutes (as unlikely as that seems) and you like to bemoan the digital revisionism of George Lucas we’ve got a treat for you. Check out this video that takes the Jedi universe into the echo chamber of pop parody… For fans of a certain age, Lucas seems like a painter who won’t let go of his most famous canvas — instead of treating the original “Star Wars” trilogy as a piece of fixed history, he scrapes off the appealing pigments of the past (like Han Solo’s outlaw ethics and unsportsmanlike decision to preemptively murder a green guy named Greedo) and then digitally paint right over our collective moviegoing memories (the Blu-rays show us now that it was Greedo who fired first). Lucas has said that he […]
June 26, 2012 | 12:15 p.m.
So what exactly is Grant Morrison building out there in the Nevada desert? This September the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas will host ”a once-in-a-lifetime” event called MorrisonCon, which sounds not that different than, say, last month’s Comicpalooza in Houston, Megacon every winter in Orlando, Fla., or the recently launched Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, a brand that will meet the public this September in Los Angeles (and soon be cloned for China). But on closer examination, the plans for the Sept. 28-30 MorrisonCon are quite different than the standard comic book convention — just as the 52-year-old Morrison is the most distinctive voice in comics today with his Dada superhero excursions and carefully cultivated trickster-shaman persona. The writer, who splits time between Los Angeles and his native Scotland, describes his event in a way that sounds more like a TED Conference with a dash of Nocturnal Wonderland, The Bowery Poetry Club and, um, […]