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In addition to The Andy Griffith Show, Griffith created a darkly iconic character in the 1957 film, A Face in the Crowd, and won fans in the long-running whodunit series, Matlock. But, in the end, it was Mayberry that put him on the map. From 1960 to 1968, Griffith’s kindly sheriff raised a son, Opie, played byRon Howard, and a high-strung deputy, Barney Fife, played by Don Knotts. That Taylor, a white lawman in the Civil Rights-era South, became a model of fairness was a tribute to the series.
Born June 1, 1926, in noplace else but North Carolina, Griffith tapped his country roots for laughs in a popular 1950s comedy monologue that begat TV appearances, which begat Broadway and film work, via the Army comedy No Time for Sergeants. Griffith traded on his aw-shucks persona as two-faced populist Lonesome Roads in Elia Kazan‘s A Face in the Crowd. Now considered a classic, the film “didn’t make a dime” back in the day, its star once recalled. “I’d struck out on Broadway, and I’d struck out in the movies, so I kinda had to go to television,” Griffith said in 2008.
From the start, The Andy Griffith Show, with its classic, catchy whistling theme, was an audience and critical favorite. Griffith, however, never won an Emmy for the series, nor was he ever nominated for it. Knotts, who won five straight Emmys as the fumbling Fife, would say people thought mistakenly that Griffith wasn’t acting, that he was just acting natural. Griffith would return the compliment, saying the show owed its early success to Knotts, who died in 2006.
Among latter-day roles, Griffith rated Oscar buzz for playing the sage if exacting diner owner in 2007’s Waitress, and stumped for President Barack Obama in a 2008 campaign ad directed by Howard, his TV son turned Oscar-winning filmmaker. (More controversially, he appeared in a 2010 TV ad that promoted the Obama-backed health-care law.)
Prometheus is Director Ridley Scott‘s return to form. The story takes place before 1979’s revered sci-fi classic ALIEN. Set in 2093, 30 year’s before the Nostromo. It’s written by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) and Damon Lindelof (LOST, Cowboys & Aliens). Prometheus manages to stand on it’s own maintaing a unique look and feel while building worlds on top of the existing Alien mythology with out feeling out of place in terms of technical or creature design. It perfectly balances a strange but familiar atmosphere…
Being a fan of the Alien franchise, I had certain expectations going into this film. I’m happy to say that Ridley Scott took those expectations flipped them on their head and shattered them.
Right from the opening of the film, what I’ve come to call the “Genesis” scene, Ridley Scott makes his intentions clear… what you are about to watch is complex, beautiful, terrifying and facinating.
Prometheus isn’t just a return to form for Ridley Scott but for the sci-fi genre itself. Today, science fiction is more known for it’s lite hearted, brain disengaging story lines and eye popping special effects. Growing up in the late 80’s early 90’s, science fiction was better known for introducing strange new “ideas” and the serious “exploration” of possibilites. Prometheus refreshingly engages this concept.
The movie, besides it’s entertaining value, brilliantly asks the heavy questions. Where do we come from? Are we alone in the universe? Do we have a creator? What happens after we die? The movie explores those questions through the impeccably casted crew of the Prometheus and is the underlying motivation for the principle characters, who’s points of view range from Christianity, Creationism, Darwinism, to Atheistic. Needless to say, the movie doesn’t pretend to know all the answers instead leads our curiosity down a perpetual path of questions.
For example there was a small but interesting scene after the crew discovers the existence of the “Engineers” where Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) is sharing an intimate moment with Charlie Holloway (played by Logan Marshall-Green).
(More or less the way I remembered it)
Charlie (to Elizabeth): “You can take off your fathers cross now.”
Implying that they now have the answer to who created the human race, proving Shaw’s religious beliefs false.
Charlie: “Because we found our creators.”
Elizabeth (unwaveringly): “and who made them?”
Prometheus starts with an overwhelming sense of discovery and wonder but promptly hits a slippery slope of terrifying events that progressively increase in shock and intensity. The “Caesarian” scene comes to mind. Which reminds me, this morning the news reported that in Australia a 13 year old boy suffered a seizure during that scene. So you can add Prometheus to the infamous list of movies that killed/almost killed an audience member (Pulp-Ficiton, Jaws).
The Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger returns to create the new creature designs for the film and as you would expect they’re completely faithful to the Alien-verse. Fresh and new but indicative of what the species will inevitably evolve to.
Supporting that sense of exploration and foreshadowing terror is the films soundtrack composed by German composer Marc Streitenfeld which features two supplemental pieces by English composer Harry Gregson-Williams. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for a week now (I’ve been avoiding the song titles until I saw the film lol) and my 3 favorite tracks are “Life”, “Going In” and “Space Jockey”. Symphonically those 3 tracks sum up the movie for me.
The movie has a running time of 124 minutes and I’ve heard complaints about the films pacing, but in all honesty I didn’t find it to be problematic. To the contrary. Once the story takes a turn for the worst the films pacing induces a feeling of falling down a horrifying rabbit hole. Every climatic moment in the story immediately leads you to the next, twisting your expectations along the way. From the Xenomorphic microbes, the phallic shaped creature, to the “Space Jocky’s” exo-suit. It got to the point for me that I just had to stop trying to outthink the movie and let it resolve itself.
The main characters in the film felt hefty and believable. David the synthetic (played by Michael Fassbender) was creepy, cold, but fascinating to watch. Meredith Vickers (played by Charlize Theron) was rigid, authoritarian but alluded to something more. Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) was surprisingly good and well fleshed-out, worthy of being Ripley’s predecessor. Charlie Holloway (played by Logan Marshall-Green) wasn’t the most intriguing of characters but I don’t think he was meant to be. He’s was pretty straight forward in his pursuits throughout the film. Janek (played by Idris Elba) is the Captain of the Prometheus and delivers a calm and cool-headed performance. The rest of the supporting cast do a good job adding to the ambience of the film with some memorable moments sprinkled throughout.
As I was leaving the theater my mind started to run wild with all the numerous questions the film leaves you with and I bantered back and forth with my brother and sister-in-law.
Shortly after I came to the conclusion that Prometheus has to be the best summer movie so far. Few movies manage to get me excited with anticipation and leave me with a renewed sense of excitement afterwards. I’m well aware that The Dark Knight Rises is just around the corner. But I honestly don’t see The Dark Knight Rises being better than Prometheus, not that TDKR will suck, God no. But Nolan has to wrestle with the bar he set with The Dark Knight… so theres a giant Texas-sized hurdle he has to over come.
Ridley Scott proves that he still has his movie making mojo. Prometheus is nothing short of spectacular. It more than succeeds in intriguing, entertaining and scaring you. I’m sure the Bluray/DVD of Prometheus will be one of those discs you watch over and over again, dissecting each scene and discussing minut details with your fellow movie-going friends.
As an Alien fan I give it a perfect 5 Crosses out of 5, it gives you more than what you want and leaves you wanting more. As an average movie-goer I give it 4 out of 5 because it leaves you holding a few loose ends.
Sets the bar for the 2012 summer season! IMAX/3D is highly recommended!
The world famous composer, Hans Zimmer rises to the task of scoring the third and final Dark Knight film. Zimmer’s approach to the Dark Knight Rises has been called unusual by the film’s director. And if that’s any indication, this will be one hell of a soundtrack.
“The thing about Chris and myself is, what we try to do, is treat each one with the autonomy it deserves, to try and invent and reinvent, not just go over old ground,” he said. “I think that’s what was most exciting for people on ‘The Dark Knight.’ They knew we were doing the ‘Batman’ movie, but they had no idea it was going to be that kind of ‘Batman’ movie.”
In an other interview with Collider, while promoting Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Zimmer talked about coming up with an unorthodox idea to not only create a new sound for the 3rd film but to open the project up to the fans as well.
“Well, before I started on Sherlock, I had an idea for Dark Knight. I said to Chris [Nolan], “Would it be okay if I got the most outrageous orchestra together and tried this experimental thing?” It involved chanting and all sorts of stuff. And, if I decided that it was just complete rubbish, then we could just throw it away and nobody would ever mention that Hans went and spent all that money. So, I went off and spent weeks writing it. I recorded the piece, and Chris came by and said, “Well, you’ve done half the movie now.” I said, “Well, I don’t think that’s quite true.” But, I think I figured out my cornerstone to the thing. I’m hellishly ambitious on that. The chant became a very complicated thing because I wanted hundreds of thousands of voices, and it’s not so easy to get hundreds of thousands of voices. So, we Twittered and we posted on the internet, for people who wanted to be part of it. It seemed like an interesting thing. We’ve created this world, over these last two movies, and somehow I think the audience and the fans have been part of this world. We do keep them in mind. And I thought it would be something nice, if our audiences could actually be part of the making of the movie and be participants in this. So, we’ve got this website up, www.ujam.com, where you can go on and be part of it. It was fantastic. The first Tweet that went out just melted our server because we had tens of thousands of people a second, trying to get onto the site.You always want to create a sound that nobody has ever heard, but I think, this time, we might be doing that. As a musician, I think about what environment things are recorded in. Now, you have hundreds of thousands of voices, all recorded in their own individual environment. Up until now, that’s been impossible to do. There’s a lot of people doing a lot of editing, as well.”
When asked if he cared about online reviews and criticism, Hans said
“I read it. My character is flawed, and I read it and suffer terribly when people don’t like what I do, or misunderstand it, but I learn things from it. Every and any conversation you have about the thing that you’re most interested in – which in my case, happens to be the movies I’m working on – might not be a novel conversation, but somebody’s point of view does make me think about things. Other than the really bitter and twisted stuff, I think people, especially with The Dark Knight franchise, are very interested in us making a good movie, and they’re trying to cheer us on, and they’re trying to make suggestions that are actually helpful to us. So, I am very aware of what’s going on out there.”
Zimmer elaborated on the “chant” used for the big Bane reveal. He said
“It’s nice to have the whole world join in on a chant. My only problem is that they’re so well-behaved on the chanting right now. If anybody goes onto UJAM right now, I need a little bit more. If you want to be heard, get a little louder, get a little more aggressive. It’s not necessarily his through-line; it will be an aspect of it. Right now we’re all focusing on the chant because that’s all you guys are hearing. It’s a very small part of the score, but I think there is something wonderful about finding a way of having the people who really care for this movie be participants in this movie.”
YES! Those things we held in our hands as kids, full of color, dramatic story lines and mind blowing art called “Comics” have a day to call their own.
What is Free Comic Book Day? Free Comic Book Day is a single day – the first Saturday in May each year – when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores. *Check with your local shop for their participation and rules.
The only reason why people across the world are flocking to theaters to see The Avengers this weekend is because… many years ago, back in 1963 there existed a comic book by the same name.
Comic books are as important to the arts as classical music, literature or paintings. And today you could argue that the only reason why Hollywood still manages to make any money is because of the stories found within these printed and bound works of art.
Comics are modern day Greek Mythology. They are older than books or even words all together. If you walk into any historical cave site today you are sure to find drawings of mass hunts or bonfires lining the inside walls. And to top it off Comics aren’t limited to words, they transcend language barriers. You could pick up a comic book printed in a different language (i.e. Manga) and still know whats going on.
Wether you’re into Sunday funnies, Graphic Novels, Manga, Comics or Digital Comics, they all need to be appreciated by the young and old, the fanboy and the casual reader alike.
So take your kids, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your friends, your nieces and nephews to a participating comic book shop in your area for a day of discovery (or in some cases re-discovery) of inspiring art and entertainment.
And if you’re on the fence about comics in general Free Comic Book Day is the perfect opportunity for you to dive in head first to see what it’s all about without it costing you a dime.
It’s been almost a year since Geoff Johns and Jim Lee took the comic book world by storm with the “New 52’s”.
As you can imagine, this bold move stirred things up a bit. Everything from the new costume designs to the whole idea of reseting the universe. I for one was all for it.
See, I always loved some of DC’s heroes but I never read many of there comics except for some of the Batman titles along with some graphic novels. But with the New 52’s it was easy for me to jump right into the DC Universe head first without feeling that weight of not knowing all the back stories and multi-verses and whatnot. And I’ve been a DC reader ever since. Now it’s just a question of finding time to read.
Here’s a little sneaky-poo to the additional material being put into this weeks JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME ONE – ORIGIN.
(Side Note) Jim Lee is by far one of my favorite artists since I was a wee-child collecting X-Men trading cards. The man is a surgeon with the pencil (he actually studied to be a doctor before he got into comics).