Category Archives: Film / Tv / Theater Review

Song of the Day #1866

Song of the Day: Raiders of the Lost Ark (“Soundtrack Suite”) [YouTube link] was composed by John Williams and is performed here by the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s hard to believe … but on this date—forty years ago—in 1981, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” debuted in theaters. Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman, the film starred Harrison Ford, and gave birth to the Indiana Jones film franchise! This action-packed adventure never lost its sense of humor, and won five Oscars in the process (for Art Direction, Film Editing, Sound, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects). It also gave us a memorable Oscar-nominated score by the maestro, who won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.

The Mandalorian Finale!

After having finished season 1 of “The Mandalorian” just four days ago, I knocked out season 2 and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I won’t say anything to those who have yet to see it, but the finale was so rousing that the moment the “first” of the last scenes was over I expected that triumphant John Williams music to engulf me! But I don’t think it’s a spoiler to tell folks not to fast forward through the credits because there is one extra scene that is quite obviously a set-up of things to come!

Finally, no matter how much George Lucas‘s Industrial Light and Magic has forever altered our cinematic experiences, the one thing that this particular show never sacrifices is the wonder of storytelling. You don’t have to be a hardcore Star Wars “nerd” to appreciate the mythology of these stories and the universal thematic content they express. Two Thumbs Up!

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (IV)

The fourth in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is another one from the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock: The Shower Scene from “Psycho” (1960), with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, with the proviso that if you haven’t seen the film, this is a bit of spoiler (and the same proviso comes with virtually every scene I’ve picked!). And a special acknowledgment to Bernard Herrmann for providing the iconic shrieking strings!

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (III)

The third in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites is this classic moment in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959): The Crop-Duster Scene! Check out this tense showdown between Cary Grant and a crop-duster on an empty cornfield:

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (II)

Following up on yesterday’s “challenge”, today I post the second in a series of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes among my all-time favorites. Little surprise here … from my all-time favorite film, director William Wyler’s 1959 version of “Ben-Hur”: The Chariot Race (though this segment was actually directed by Andrew Marton and stunt legend Yakima Canutt). There’s only a highlight of this action-packed cinematic gem on YouTube. NO CGI here! Nothing like seeing it, however, in all its widescreen glory in a theater equipped to handle it! But this will do:

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (I)

As part of a new “summer” challenge (even though the Solstice doesn’t arrive until June 20th), I will post one image and/or film sequence per day for the next ten days, of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes. There are plenty more than that, but these ten are among my all-time favorites. And, no, I’m not going to tag anyone… but folks are free to add their own to the mix. I’m not wavering though. My ten have been picked and their fate is sealed! 🙂

First up, the scene that gave birth to what I would call a “Red Sea Moment” in reference to an epic-scale special effect—the parting of the waters in Cecil B. DeMille‘s classic 1956 rendering of “The Ten Commandments“:

“The Mandalorian” Finally!

So, I’m coming late to “The Mandalorian“, and just finished the finale of Season 1. The final scenes of Chapter 8 gave me a chuckle though. The Armorer states that until that Baby Yoda-like foundling “is of age or reunited with its own kind”, the Mandalorian is “as its father.” She adds: “By Creed, it is in your care.” Standing right there is the character Greef Karga, played by Carl Weathers, who—duh—was Apollo CREED in the “Rocky” franchise. LOL

Better still, I was totally surprised when Moff Gideon showed up. It was Gus Fring! I’ve been waiting for “Better Call Saul” to come back, but there he was! Well, it was actually the actor Giancarlo Esposito. This is the Way** … forward to Season 2! I have spoken!

🙂

** Given all the interconnections noted above, I was tempted to say “This is the Dialectical Way”… but held back my instincts! 😉

Song of the Day #1864

Song of the Day: I Could Fall in Love, words and music by Keith Thomas, was a promotional single off of Selena‘s fifth and final studio album, released posthumously, “Dreaming of You,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 Album chart. Tragically shot and killed at the young age of 23, the Grammy-winning singer was dubbed the “Queen of Tejano Music.” This song is played over the final credits to the very last episode of the recent two-season Netflix series on the singer’s life, giving it a special poignancy. In episode 7 of the second season, her brother, “AB” Quintanilla, sees that his sister is having difficulty putting some things together as her career is blazing forward. He tells her: “Sel, you’re very organic. Everything in you is connected to everything else. That’s who you are. Not just pieces. It’s a whole life. All at once. You’ll figure it out.” A little dialectical insight in a Netflix series! Who knew? In any event, since I finished streaming this wonderful series, I decided to highlight this as today’s Song of the Day. Check it out here [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #1863

Song of the Day: Come on-a My House features the words and music of Ross Bagdasarian (yes, “David Seville” of “Chipmunks” fame) and William Saroyan. Based on a traditional Armenian folk song, it was performed in the off-Broadway production of “The Son” (1950) but became a huge #1 hit for Rosemary Clooney the following year [YouTube link]. Check out some other renditions by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Prima (with a few Italian delicacies thrown in), Kay Starr, and Julie London [YouTube links]. Today is Moderna Second Dose + 14 Days, which means that if you too have the proper paperwork, you can “Come on-a My House” and—as the song says—I can give you candy and figs and grapes and cakes and everything, even a Marriage Ring! Well, I’m not that easy. 😉