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Movie Review Jurassic World (2015)

October 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Jurassic World (2015) Movie Review

More dinos, more screaming and running and yeah, more of the same…

It's the same but different

It’s the same but different

Wasn’t that bad. I expected the worst by the reviews from most of my friends. I was only on board for the dinosaurs and basically the one shot of the marine-o-saur coming out of the water and eating the great white shark on the crane. Yes, I was planning on sitting through an entire movie for that one moment. I figured I could get past the silly humans doing silly things among the terribly dangerous beasts and roll my eyes when the ole ‘man should not mess with mother nature‘ speech occurred. I also saw that the raptors were going to be the good guys this time around. Interesting twist, I might survive this trip.

Jaws meets jaws...

Jaws meets jaws…

Jurassic World is directed by Colin Trevorrow (I didn’t see any other relevant movie credits to compare) and has writers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa (both involved with the writings of Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Own and Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation and Spider-Man 3) as Claire are the adults in the film. He is the ‘smart-survival-man’ and she is the ‘corporate-puppet-love-interest’. The two screaming kids are played by Ty Simpkins (eyes full of wonder) and Nick Robinson (too cool for life).

Tension and tense times

Tension and tense times

The big hook, this time around, is a new, genetically engineered, dinosaur called Indominus Rex. Claire, who plays a J.W. Operations VIP explains the reason for tinkering as people got used to regular dinosaurs and to maintain interest, a new more…everything attraction was needed. And, of course, it gets loose and all hell breaks…loose. It’s funny that this sentiment was included as it says so much about this movie. We need more as movie-goers too. More gore, greater peril, bigger effects and a nastier beastie that can (presumably) beat whatever we were running from last time around. There are head-nods to the previous movies and characters and familiar scenes repeated. We are still running with corporate greed, the love of dinosaurs and scientists willing to sacrifice all in the quest for knowledge. It also seems like we haven’t learned a thing from all the previous disasters and well, big monster movies.

some thrilling moments for sure...

some thrilling moments for sure…

As much as I see the repeated themes here, I am actually wondering why the ‘run from the dinosaurs’ theme hasn’t been given the standard Hollywood treatment. Why haven’t they just gone wild and full-on Transformers and Avengers and show a city-scale rampage and the cliché, if it breeds, we all gonna die end-game. You can see it clearly, skyscrapers crumbling as citizens run to and fro. We can wait 30 minutes into the carnage and still see people getting out of cars and frantically running into the…absolute… center… of danger- needing to be directed and saved by our heroes. Giant military vehicles flying low enough for raptors to leap onto them as humvees and tanks are crushed by the BIG DINO. Oh dear, I think I just gave them the idea for the next movie. Jurassic World Forever starring Dwayne Johnson and Meagan Fox. Directed by Josh Whedon and Michael Bay. And there’s a sequel already planned so standby.

There’s a lot to nit-pick, but really, the movie is about running from dinosaurs. Why worry every-time you want to say come-on! who does that? How is that possible, yeah right! The only thing I will say that’s missing is any fear factor. I just never felt like anyone was in real danger of dying. It was dead obvious who was going to die, when and how. So what we have are exciting action sequences and not much in the suspense department. The dinosaurs come to life on the big screen, but the execution is a rental.

See some more reviews and such…….

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Star Wars Trailer review and Speculation

October 20, 2015 Leave a comment

The trailers for Force Awakens leaves a trail….

1st round of trailers and what A New Hope I have for this movie.

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Dunno why I’m doing this. First time ever for a “trailer review”. Saw some other sites/videos doing it and if a fan howling and showing amazement is enough, then I guess this is overkill.

            Firstly, it looks like J.J. Abrams is going to repeat his Star Trek system (as Marvel does to a degree) of some for the old and some for the new. New viewers get the new story and new characters and long-time fans will see shadows and head-nods to the classic trio. Dirt-poor girl from a dusty planet sets off on an adventure that changes the whole galaxy. She even has a similar garb to Luke and seems just as enthralled when hearing stories about the good ole days. In Star Wars [A New Hope] Obi-wan was explaining the force and Han was skeptical, now we see the grizzled Solo doing the ‘oh yeah, the force is really real, kids’. It’s makes for a nice twist and hints at more repeated motifs throughout.

Han hands over the story

Han hands over the story

Secondly, I say be careful with these hints and spoilers. Abrams and company [writers, Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back), Michael Arndt (Oblivion)] love red herrings. That is, misdirection, you think the story is going one way and boom- big surprise. For those that saw the trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) it hinted at being based on an original series episode Where No Man Has Gone Before. Trekkers saw the similarities and even that damn bob haircut on Elizabeth/Carol Marcus and just knew they had an inside track or trek. Wrong. It’s Khan and also a complete change of who does what in this alternate timeline. And although I see a similar fake-out here, I do expect the story to mirror the first three movies released. so far….

Carol...I mean...Elizabeth...

Carol…I mean…Elizabeth…

Had me fooled...even with the screaming for psychic powers.

Had me fooled…even with the screaming for psychic powers.

The Millennium Falcon being chased through another ship (Return of the Jedi)

fastest by parsecs..

fastest by parsecs..

Luke’s landspeeder, Anakin’s Swoop Bike and Rey’s rusty red Norelco razor.

Finn’s first dark side encounter before he is ready.

Awakens with a nightmare...

Awakens with a nightmare…

Death Star, Starkiller and planetary weapon. I think you get the idea(s)

What I Hope to see…..A New

1) I thought the hand that touches R2-D2 might belong to Mace Windu and not Luke Skywalker since he had a better hand in ROTJ. Why would he go back for the Terminator metal-work?

Dyson wants his hand back

Dyson wants his hand back

2) All the “my sister has it…” and references to force-sensitivity is probably also misdirection. Leia will probably not be shown as trained in any Jedi arts and will at most fire a blaster or two. And that is probably Rey being handed a lightsaber.

Far right alien head...

Far right alien head…

Hand off...hands off.

Hand off…hands off.

3) I’m still not sure if Finn is the Jedi and Rey won’t be. So far, she’s got the staff which hasn’t been shown to do anything yet and a funky looking speederbike that is rather bland. It is my hope that the bike opens to become the droid that follows them into the building in trailer 3. It would also explain how can she salvage anything (heavy enough or big enough to be worth anything) by herself.

I think that's meant to charge something else.

I think that’s meant to charge something else.

Almost an ABC robot.

Almost an ABC robot.

4) Rey is shown crying over a fallen comrade. I’m seeing the furry edge and the bandoleer so I’m really hoping that is not Chewbacca. I’m never a big fan of killing off major characters. I say… just… don’t…do…it. Unless there is some tribble-blood-mind-meld-force-resurrection by the end.

Don't chew Chewie

Don’t chew Chewie

5) I hope they explain where all the Clone troopers went and I do mean where the thousands of Jango Fett soldiers disappeared to.

Where did all the stray dogs in Greece go before the Olympics?

Where did all the stray dogs in Greece go before the Olympics?

6) Luke is not in the trailers, only his voice as narrator and I believe that’s a sample from another movie- at that. I hope he is a Jedi master, incredibly powerful, but not a deus ex machina.

7) As I said about Finn looking late in the movie and not ‘very forceful’. I’m also worried that whole sequence could be a force-induced dream like Luke had in Empire Strikes Back. Wouldn’t be surprised since Finn seems to always be caught sitting up, sweaty like he just had a nightmare.

Trailer #2 is my favorite for the combination of sequences and music. Now it’s time to sit back and wait for all the TV spots. Some people are torn over Abram’s work on Star Trek. I accept it and am glad a new generation gets a Star Trek that is not embarrassing and self-indulgent. The movies really began to feel like episodes and Star Wars was on the edge of falling off.

Still menaced by a phantom

Every property gets to a point where the creator no longer owns it. You’ve fleshed out the characters and worlds so fully, that there are known rules in place. We, as an audience and hard-core fans know what X-character would do. We know how things usually work and understand the motifs at play. That leads to higher expectations and the hope that we, as moviegoers, see what we came to see. Phantom Menace was a disappointment because too many rules were broken. We understood the force. Now you say it’s all in the blood. You’ve shown us epic battles in space, on a snow planet, on a jungle world and now a race that lives underwater….and the final battle takes place on a baseball field. Hint: The final battle should have been underwater.

You spent a lot of time establishing pod-racing and showing THAT as the supreme talent of the promised one. Okay, we end in space and the enemy ship is CIRCULAR like a racetrack and no…no relevancy to anything there.

Round-about the roundabout

Round-about the roundabout

Instead he does everything accidentally and clowns the entire way. Why couldn’t we see Naboo pilots trying to navigate the turns and twists and CRASH or not travel fast enough down the narrow corridors before the main generator’s internal shield closed. In this same movie, Obi-Wan raced down the hallway to assist Qui-Gon in his battle with Maul- and the shield bays closed up and he was separated. We would have gotten the point and as it is on the planet, so too in space. And, and then have Anakin step up and purposely take off to save the day. It’s as if Lucas is saying “no, no, it’s still all mine and I will show you stuff you’re gonna hate, nyah, nyah“. Abrams seems to get it- and more importantly respects the license and the big WHY we all go crazy over these franchises. There’s a reason why every cylindrical item looks like a light saber handle. Why every remote control is a phaser and every chair a captain’s chair. “Yours is superior.” I’ve got my fingers crossed that JJ Abrams can capture that old Star Wars magic and bring back the kind of movie experience we’ve all been waiting for. So far, it looks good. Can’t wait!

Dynamics Plus Gear Lust Remix Video and Lyric Study

October 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Buyers Remorse remix version video of “Gear Lust”

Gear Lust remix Video screen capture

Lust again for Gear

“Gear Lust” was written as a very personal song and I figured most of the references would fly over the average listener’s head. What might connect- is the numerous equipment, brands and hardware references. If you are into production or even been around studios long enough, you might have an aha moment. Mostly, the concept is centered on collecting equipment for the sake of enjoyment as opposed to creating/amassing tools to perform a particular set of tasks.

Gear Lust: To have an intense desire for equipment usually beyond any logical needs of the musician.

            My earliest studio days saw me doing very much with very little. My first sampler was my parents home stereo system’s dual tape deck. Yep, rewinding one tape and loop-recording on the second. When I bought an AKAI SO1, I thought I had it all. The first big purchase I made was an Ensoniq ASR-10 and the expense (when it was brand new) was enough to convince me I was serious and that this was an investment (or at least it better be).

GEAR LUST

VERSE 1

~I’m at Sam Ash, a credit card in a flash

     -little stash of spending cash soon as the salesman asks

       ASR in my grasp, quickly cashed out

then did the dash — maxed out

big black box carried out

first track I tracked out the First beat blacked out

and since seen the seeds sown

that I’d seek to

own a whole studio

and compose in a grove where fungus grows

(the original darkness of a basement studio)

and go all out for a Fallout Shelter

where time goes in reverse.

I’m so immersed in a verse and reawakened

to when first taken by the Gear Lust thirst

(being reminded of how it all started by this song)

 

There’s been continuous references to radioactivity and all things nuclear, which is all derived from my studio being called the Fallout Shelter.

VERSE 2

Then, then the M.P.C became the M.C.P.        

Master Control Program over quantized beats

(references the AKAI MPC 2000XL which served as the central MIDI box and beat-making starting bit. The movie TRON with the central computer)

Dispatch EMTs this patch bay EMP

Radioactive fallout rays irradiate my Rom Tray

It’s the space knight Rompler verse the titan

Triton astride a tide with his trident

Korg silver surf board

(This is about the big change and falling in love with workstation keyboards. The KORG Triton was the first purchase.)

~I’m Jean Luc Infected by the Borg my foresight

affords me more Cause to amplify chords and multiply

Scores.

(Now we are playing a ton of music and writing out bits of music as notes instead of album and records as sampled sources)

   I’m tied to the microKORG: It’s an applied

optical force brought forth from the visors of Geordie LaForge

less is more, none the less I’m poor, even when blood

pours from my pores I’m still at the store with more gear in store.

(Continuing the Star Trek references and a nod to the very first preset library I designed for the KORG microKORG for Producer’s Edge Magazine. I credit the microKORG as being the first synthesizer I bought. The seeing is about seeing the future because this is where I began to see the impact of adding more and more pieces to my studio – ugh oh here we go)

VERSE 3

The baby plays in his playpen the Rob Papen presets sits

and assists in the bank of the A6.

It’s the basics of a spaceship, in an analog grip equipped with

digital chips, conducting experiments

(I was always sampling the sounds from Sci-fi movies and wanted to tap into the source and generate those sounds myself. I researched analog synthesizers and saw the Alesis Andromeda as a monster addition. I studied the presets designed by Rob Papen and learned a new appreciation for programming and moved away from the ROMpler preset as a final destination.)

Rocket Science cast iron Voltron Black Lion.

Gear with brushed aluminum in all their glory. Well yeah, if we have a Voltron, then the A6 is the black lion sitting in the middle as the body of my studio.

Galaxy Alliance – LFO descends like a UFO

(I start generating the tones I was searching for)

pro tool to edit in Audition, extra exhibition.

I’m Roy Orbison with X-Ray vision

visit my Solar System

(Switching to computers with both Pro Tools and Adobe Audition was a huge change. And once you turn out all the studio lights out, you see a galaxy of stars.)

I’m a Projector wiz with the AV and with the

JP and the JD and the JV all Roland into one

Super Friends/ Justice League.

Greed’s the engine to feed, plus it’s the rush of gear lust.

(All references to Roland rack-synths. I felt like I had missed out on some real gems and began tracking them down one by one.)

VERSE 4

On Craigslist I can’t resist the endless

list of equipment and musical instruments.

I told my wife I need this

Every weekend someone was selling another “classic” at an affordable price. There were times I didn’t even think I needed the piece, but I didn’t want to miss out on a good deal.

   She said get your Focusrite it’s a sounbank that amounts

   A new track to bounce, a few checks bounce,

a new age pronounced, the old sounds drowned out,

moving the crowd, removing any doubts, setting up my debit accounts

my debt mounts, I moved out, first record comes out,

my credit runs out, a few fans ran out.

(And part of the addiction is the music being made. With every new piece it feels like something is changing or growing and the lust begins to feed itself based on output. A new hot track validates the purchase. ‘See, I couldn’t have made this if I didn’t buy...’)

Shots rang out, CD sales count and I surmount

and insert a new serving; this my new album announced

   Rush my Rocket Science – a crush is a crutch,

and hear a bust, – down for the count from the Gear Lust.

(The reality is, it doesn’t take a mound of gear to get the records made. And leaning on new purchases is an excuse to not be productive. I can’t do this until I get this…If I only had a…

I was extremely productive when I had one piece of gear and people starting calling my living room a studio when I put a mixboard in it. I call much of this the difference between working in a studio and owning a studio. You can spend a lot of time and be easily distracted by minor details which really don’t increase your productivity. You may feel better [and that counts too right?] but as far as getting work done, it can really reach overkill quickly.)

Chorus

Closed Captioned a bust, so close to the clutch

It’s Technique over touch- so close to Gear Lust

     It’s at most a Rush, a new plug is a plus

As it grows so Composed In the throes of the Gear Lust

Closed Captioned a bust, so close to the clutch

It’s Technique over touch- when so close to Gear Lust

(Lastly I do want to mention the line a ‘ a new plug is a plus’. In the remix video I was able to better illustrate that line because it’s a play-on- words. I’m talking about a plug as VST Plug-in and the plug as in a hardware power cable. And of course Closed Caption is always my reference needing to see my lyrics written down so you understand my word choice [homonyms and such]) I fell in love with software instruments, but still leaned towards the VSTs that were powered by hardware samples. And yep, we had a ton of those too. For now, it’s a stripped down studio that is more about work than works- lots of pieces abound, but the focus is only on a few bits of kit.

Before I forget, there is a cameo from WUSB 90.1 Battlezone radio host Richie Ruckuss (https://www.facebook.com/richie.rukkuss)

https://www.facebook.com/WUSB-901-FM-Studios-404478346370121/

And that’s Centri and Dok Strange during a station visit.

You can see the original video here.

https://twitter.com/DynamicaMusic

Website http://www.thedynamicuniverse.com/

You Tube https://www.youtube.com/DynamicaMusic

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dynamics-Plus/112125078834120

Movie Review: The Martian (2015)

The Martian (2015)

The Martian movie poster

Survive until….

There is Gravity on Mars, no really, it’s exactly that.

Well okay, I’ve always had that problem with my imagination, where I mix movies together when I see actors…er…acting the same way in multiple roles. So when I see The Bourne Legacy [2012] (starring Jeremy Renner as a skilled super agent) and then Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation [2015] (starring Jeremy Renner as a skilled super agent) I can’t help but think ‘that’s the same guy’.

And so, for Matt Damon, my first thought was Interstellar (where he plays Dr. Mann) ….yeah, that’s the back-story to what he experienced being stranded on an alien planet and figuring out how to survive. Swap the red rocks and sand for blue and you have the same planet….sorta. At any rate, there is the feel of Gravity [2013] where it is one mishap and near miss after another. There is the singular (mostly) focus on one character and their thoughts being our true guide through the story.

Matt Damon The Martian

What do you think? Is this too similar?

Matt Damon, Matt Damon. Man, we wanted to bring him home in Saving Private Ryan. We wanted him to find us a new home in Interstellar and now as the poster commits…

The Martian movie poster

Saving private…Watney

Story wise, we are seeing the book written Andy Weir translated by screenwriter Drew Goddard (World War Z, Cloverfield) and directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien, Black Hawk Down). The visuals and vistas are top notch as are all the effects. Matt Damon is engaging as astronaut/biologist Mark Watney who is mistakenly presumed dead and left behind when his team must abort their Mars mission due to a severe storm. From there, it’s a race to extend his supplies until help arrives.

There aren’t too many surprises as NASA is cast as a life-loving organization and spares no effort in getting their man home. The world population is cast as a caring mass-entity that actually cares about a single US astronaut. There are lots of live broadcasts and streaming (worldwide) moments that NASA would NEVER let happen, but hey…   There’s China (I think) that comes to the rescue which also gives us a happy world where politics is forgotten for the sake of this one man’s life. Interstellar showed us a very dark side of humanity and space exploration as a desperate option. The Martian has an optimistic angle, where space travel and colonization is dangerous, but worth doing when human life retains its value. Watch the trailer. You’ll get exactly what you expect.

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