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We’ve got three new CDs from La-La Land Records heading your way!

First up is the next edition in La-La Land’s Expanded Archival Collection, lets all return to Gotham for this two disc remastered and expanded presentation of Danny Elfman’s magnificent score to the 1992 Warner Bros. motion picture blockbuster Batman Returns, starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito, and directed by Tim Burton. Composer Danny Elfman (Batman, Mars Attacks, Wanted, Alice in Wonderland) revisits his iconic theme and expertly weaves it into a sumptuous musical experience, bringing to life the film’s breathtaking action and rich emotional and psychological underpinnings. Produced by Neil S. Bulk, Dan Goldwasser and MV Gerhard and mastered by James Nelson from Shawn Murphy’s first generation three-track digital mixes, this limited edition release features more than 30 minutes of previously unreleased music, including alternate cues. The in-depth, exclusive liner notes are by John Takis and the art direction is by David C. Fein. This release is limited to only 3,500 copies, so get them while you can.

Next up is the world premiere release of acclaimed composer James Horner’s (Aliens, Glory, Titanic, Avatar) score to the 1995 Paramount Pictures feature film Jade, starring David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino and Chazz Palminteri, directed by William Friedkin. Previously unavailable in any format, this release of Horner’s erotically charged, Asian-tinged score finally takes its place in his soundtrack canon of notable 1990’s works. 1995 proved to be an especially successful year for Horner, having released scores to such films as Casper, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Jumanji and Balto. This release of Jade now fills the hole in one of his most important years as a composer! Produced for La-La Land Records by Dan Goldwasser and mastered by Mike Matessino from ½ inch Paramount vault materials, this release contains bonus tracks that include Loreena McKennitt’s “The Mystic’s Dream” and the classical piece “Le Sacre du Printemps,” both of which are featured in the film’s score. Exclusive, in-depth liner notes by Daniel Schweiger feature comments from the film’s director, William Friedkin. Art direction is by Mark Banning.

Finally we have another premiere release from composer John Morris’ (Blazing Saddles, Clue, Young Frankenstein) sumptuous orchestral score to the 1986 Orion Pictures feature flim, Haunted Honeymoon, starring Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner and Dom DeLuise, and directed/co-written by Gene Wilder. Produced by Ford A. Thaxton and digitally edited and mastered by James Nelson, this release finally makes available one of John Morris’ most technically spectacular and evocative scores, that’s brilliantly performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Limited to 1,200 copies, this release features exclusive, in-depth liner notes are by film music writer Jeff Bond.

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“Kung Fu Panda Holiday”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It seems like only a year ago that I was saying there should be a Kung Fu Panda holiday special, and one year later here we are. Wow, right?! The power I have in this town, even scares me at times. I not only love the fact that DreamWorks Animation is keeping the spirit of the holiday specials alive and kicking, but they also don’t just phone-it-in like a Disney straight to DVD film. Each special always enlists the talents of its respective films’ original voice talent, no matter how big the name. I really hope that other production houses are considering following in DreamWorks footsteps next year. Are you listening Warner Brothers? Between the Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbara, and DC Comics, you guys are sitting on a smorgasbord of material. One of my all-time favorite holiday specials from when I was a kid is Hanna-Barbara’s Yogi’s First Christmas. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend tracking it down. It was never officially released on DVD, but you can order a made-to-order copy from Warner Bros. directly. Just chick here. They might show it on Boomerang, or even finally release it officially on DVD this year with the upcoming Yogi Bear movie, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

In Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Po finds himself torn between spending the holiday with his new family the Furious Five and his fellow kung-fu masters, or with his father. It’s not until he tries his best to do both, that he realizes what is truly important. Yes, it’s clichéd, but DreamWorks Animation always seems to pull it off in a way that makes it enjoyable and fun at the same time. At one point Po’s father tells him he’s sorry for making him feel guilty, and Po just replies, “That’s what the holidays are all about.” There’s also this great bunny, played by 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer, who has been mistakenly dishonorably disgraced and wishes to die an honorable death, so he’s constantly trying to get Po to kill him. I know, not the type of subject matter you’d expect to find in a children’s holiday special. But, you know what? It’s funny. We also all need to chill out a little bit. We’re getting way too uptight. Three knuckle deep searches at the airport?! I know we want the world to be a better place, but we also need to relax a little bit. Okay, my rant is over for now. Where was I? Oh yeah, Kung Fu Panda. The artistic style of the film comes through masterfully, and the quick animation movements from scene to scene are here as well. I was a big fan of the Kung Fu Panda movie, and can’t wait for this summer’s sequel. Here’s my prediction for next year’s two specials, a Megamind Halloween special in October, followed by a How to Train Your Dragon Christmas. Place your bets now, and we’ll see you next year!

Rating:



Two new CDs from La-La Land Records are heading your way!

First up is acclaimed composer Bear McCreary’s (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Eureka) original orchestral score to the first season of the Warner Bros. television series Human Target, starring Mark Valley, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley. McCreary’s robust, Emmy-Nominated score to this action-packed series featured an average of 60 live players per episode, making it the “largest group of musicians to play on a live-action television series in years,” according to Variety. Four of the tracks included on this deluxe 3 CD-SET are from the first season finale, which features an unprecedented 94 musicians. This limited edition set, produced by Bear McCreary and mastered by Patricia Sullivan at Bernie Grundman Mastering, features a 3rd disc of bonus tracks with alternate cues and demos, exclusive only to this release. Human Target Executive Producer/Writer Jonathan E. Steinberg, Bear McCreary and actor Mark Valley contribute liner notes for the CD set’s amazing 20 page booklet. This is a limited edition of only 2,000 copies, so act fast these babies won’t last long!

Next up is composer Christopher Young’s (Love Happens, Drag Me To Hell, Spiderman 3, Hellraiser) original motion picture score to the 1988 Cannon Films period drama Haunted Summer, starring Philip Anglim, Laura Dern, Alice Krige and Eric Stoltz, directed by Ivan Passar. Mr. Young’s hauntingly beautiful score manages to be both contemporary to the time of the film’s release, yet strikingly effective in underscoring the film’s “summer of 1816” setting in which the film’s famous real-life characters (Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelly, Mary Shelly, John William Polidori and Claire Clairmont) gather for a summit of minds and passion, resulting in two literary works of note, Frankenstein and The Vampyre. Produced by Ford A. Thaxton and mastered by James Nelson, this special release includes both the original album soundtrack presentation as well as never-before-released film versions of cues as heard in the film. Film music writer Randall D. Larson takes you behind the scenes of the film and its score with his exclusive, in-depth liner notes. This is a limited edition of only 1,200 copies.

Here’s a new CD from La-La Land Records!

La-La Land Records presents the premiere CD release of composer John Scott’s (The Final Countdown, Shoot to Kill, North Dallas Forty) magnificent orchestral score to the 1984 Warner Bros. feature film Greystone: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, starring Christopher Lambert, Andie MacDowell, Ralph Richardson, Ian Holm and James Fox, directed by Hugh Hudson.  Scott’s brilliant score bursts with the violence and vitality of the jungle, yet is also heart-moving and surprisingly gentle.  This re-issue was produced by MV Gerhard and remastered by James Nelson from the original Warner Bros. ¼ inch album masters. While no elements were secured to give this wonderful score the expanded treatment it deserves, we were able to pull the Overture and End Credits off the original magnetic track and present it here as Bonus Material.  CD Booklet features in-depth liner notes by film music writer Jeff Bond.  This release is limited to 3,000 copies, so order your copy now.

“Cop Out”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Now, I’m not going to make some cheesy pun about Cop Out being a cop out, that would be… Well, a cop out. Here’s the most confusing thing about Cop Out. No, it’s not the fact that Kevin Smith chose this to be the first film he would direct that he didn’t write. Although, that is rather odd and we’ll come back to that. No, the most confusing thing about Cop Out is that it’s about fifteen years too late to the party. What do I mean by that? Well, this is the sort of buddy cop comedy you would come to expect in 1996, but it’s 2010. I don’t know about you, but I would call that late to the party. Even in 1996, this would not have been considered a good movie by any means, but it might have been able to fly under the radar a little better at the time. Now it just sticks out like a sore thumb, and stands no chance of making it. Here is the confusing bit; I wouldn’t say this is a bad movie. I wouldn’t say it’s a good movie either. No, I wouldn’t really say I cared either way. The truly confusing thing is that when I left the theatre I knew it was bad, but the more I thought about it, the more funny moments I recalled. Overall, the movie is a train wreck, but there are some really funny scenes in the film, and part of me thinks that they might be worth seeing. I sort of think this is the type of movie that if I see it again, I might like it more the second time around. For right now, I’m on the fence. When it comes out on DVD, I’ll be sure to let you know if my opinion has changed, but until then you can find me over here on the fence.

In Cop Out, Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan play partners that have been suspended for their unorthodox police methods. Imagine that. And, when Willis realizes that being suspended means he won’t be able to pay for his daughter’s wedding, he decides to sell his rare baseball card to raise the money. You’ll never guess what happens next. That’s right! When the baseball card gets stolen, the suspended officers find themselves smack dab in the middle of New York’s biggest bust. Hellooooo, 1996!

Let’s get back to the mystery that is Kevin Smith directing this film. Let’s be honest, you don’t go see a Kevin Smith movie for the directing, you go see it for his writing. Now, I personally like Kevin Smith. Sure he’s had a few misses along the way, but overall I think he’s done a great job of staying true to his style of filmmaking… Until now of course. And, why is that? My guess would be, he wants to get into the game. And, who could blame him? With Peter Jackson going from Bad Taste to Oscar, and Jon Favreau finding his way to mainstream blockbusters, it’s only natural that Kevin would one day want to do the same. A studio like Warner Bros. is not going to just hand a project to someone like Silent Bob. No, their going to want to make sure that he is willing to play ball first. If I had to guess, I would say Cop Out wasn’t something Kevin asked to do, as much as it was assigned to him. A hazing if you will, to test the View Askew waters for Warner Bros. I’m really hoping that this is the case, and if so, I’m not going to rush to judgment just yet. I’m going to wait to see his next project before doing so, but until then we’ll just have to wait and see.

Rating:


“Trick ‘r Treat”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s Halloween night, a night full of tricks and treats. Well, mostly tricks. But, the real treat is finally getting Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat released. I know it’s not the theatrical release we were all hoping for, but it is finally out on DVD. In the spirit of Creepshow, Trick ‘r Treat takes four tales from one Halloween night and intertwines them into one fantastic story. It’s like Robert Altman and Wes Craven had a baby, and named it Trick ‘r Treat. Take a high school principal moonlighting as serial killer, a young woman searching for the perfect date, a childish prank that ends with disastrous consequences, and an old man that learns the true meaning of trick-or –treat, and what you have is one hell of a ride. Trick ‘r Treat was made in 2007, and spent two years just trying to get into theatres. It was receiving rave reviews at all the horror festivals, but for some reason Warner Brothers just didn’t believe in it enough to put it in theatres. It’s sad really. Great movies like this have to fight to see the light of day, but pieces of shit like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, have no problem finding their way into theatres. You know, there was another little horror film that was made in 2007 that couldn’t seem to find distribution. It was a little movie called Paranormal Activity. Ever hear of it? Maybe this will finally make Hollywood wake up. Most likely not, but it would be nice if other little movies like these would finally be given the chance they deserve, and not have to fight for two years just to see the light of day. I know. I know. It’s never going to happen. But, let’s get back to subject at hand. Trick ‘r Treat is a must see. With an amazing story, some brilliant cinematography, and fantastic performances, Trick ‘r Treat is a guaranteed Halloween classic. Oh, I haven’t even mentioned little Sam, the trick-or-treater demon that oversees the night’s events. He is a greatly welcomed addition to the Freddy and Jason’s of the horror community. I really hope they make more of these. I can’t wait to see Trick ‘r Treat 2! I just hope next time it’ll be in theatres on Halloween night, and not just a straight to DVD blow-off. Warner Brothers is sitting on a goldmine. They could make a new Trick ‘r Treat movie every year like the Saw franchise, but I guess we’ll just have to wait for them to realize that on their own. Until then, we’ll just have to keep fighting the good fight.

Rating:
5 Little People


DVD Special Features:

Sadly, that’s it. One bonus feature, if you can call it that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to see the animation short that became this movie, but come on! This movie had an incredible journey for two years, and you’re not going to do a commentary track for the feature film?! How about some behind the scenes footage, or maybe some deleted scenes? Hell, I’d be happy with even a trailer at this point! My only guess is that Warner Brothers was really on the fence about putting it in theatres, but at the last minute pushed it to DVD, and wanted to get it out before Halloween. If that is the case, we’ll hopefully get a Special Edition DVD at some point, but until then it’ just sad.

DVD Special Features Rating:
1 Little People


“The Lost Boys”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, with all these Lost Boys reviews, I figure it was only fair to re-watch the original. Now, I haven’t seen The Lost Boys in at least 15 years, if not longer, and I’m sad to say it doesn’t quite hold up. It’s not that it’s a bad movie; it just isn’t the movie you remember. But, for those of you that might not remember, let’s recap shall we.
When the Emerson family moves to Santa Carla, California to live with their grandfather, the last thing they ever thought they’d have to adjust to was vampires. Sam Emerson, played by Corey Haim, stumbles upon a comic shop, and the Frog brothers. Edger and Alan Frog are not only horror comic experts, but also the town’s first defense against the town’s vampire infestation. Watching Corey Feldman play Edger Frog, back in 1987, just makes you realize that Feldman has always been trying too hard to act. Was Feldman really so big in the late 80’s, that no one could have told him that a 15 year old boy does not talk like a Vietnam vet that smokes four packets a day? But, let’s get back to those pesky vampires. Michael Emerson, played by Jason Patric… What’s that? No, Michael Emerson is the character’s name. No, it has nothing to do with the Emmy award winning actor Michael Emerson from LOST. I think it’s just a coincidence. Can I get back to the review now? Okay, thanks. Like I was saying, Michael, whose last name just happens to be Emerson, makes the classic 80’s mistake of making eyes at the lead vampire’s girl. He quickly gets mixed up in the wrong crowd, drinks the head vampire’s blood, eats some maggots, and slowly starts to turn into a vampire. When Sam discovers his brother is becoming a blood sucker, it’s up to him and the Frog brothers to find and kill the head vampire, before Michael makes his first kill.
As with most movies you grew up with, this one doesn’t quite playback as bad assed as you may remember, but one thing is for sure, Kiefer Sutherland’s mullet is scarier than his bite. The pacing in the original movie is much better than that of Lost Boys: The Tribe. I think the whole point of The Lost Boys, is what would you do if you found out that vampires are real, and your brother was becoming one? The movie really isn’t about the vampires. I think when they made the sequel, all they wanted to do is show bad ass vampires, but if they hadn’t sacrificed the story they would have had a shot at a good movie. If you haven’t seen The Lost Boys in a long time and love the way you remember it, I would suggest replaying the memory, and skipping the rental.

Rating:

3 Little People



DVD Special Features:

I didn’t get to watch any of the special features yet, but I will at some point. I’ll post an update hopefully in the near future.

That’s right true believers, the Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Comics today, for a mere $4 billion dollars! Wait, What!? Disney? Marvel? What?! Well, I guess it’s a good day to be DC Comics.

I was flipping through the channels this weekend, and came across a channel called “Disney XD.” I have no idea what that means, but I thought it was weird that they were playing nothing but Marvel cartoons. Now it’s not so weird. Well, no it’s still pretty weird. I’ve never been a big Marvel fan, but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Disney has been nothing but bad new for the Muppets… Not once but twice! It looks like we’ll be getting that “Spider-Man: The Musical” sooner than we thought. That’s right, Zack Efron will be playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Miley Cyrus will be Mary Jane Watson, in Spider-Man 4 next summer. Can’t wait for that! I really hope that Warner Bros. and DC Comics take full advantage of this mistake, and green light some really edgy kick ass comic book movies.  Boy, and I thought X-Men Origins: Wolverine was bad before, I can’t even imagine it now with a “G” rating. I hope it was worth it Marvel, because it’s too late now. Have fun in the kiddie pool.


Warner Bros. Drops the Ring!

It was announced last week that Ryan Reynolds has been cast as Green Lantern in the upcoming Warner Bros. feature film. Man, did they screw-up! Look, a lot of people are upset because Reynolds played Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and will be reprising that role in the upcoming Deadpool movie. I could care less about that. Marvel can have him as Deadpool. The reason this casting choice pisses me off, is because Reynolds should be cast as The Flash (Wally West) not Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) in the DC Universe. The best choice for Green Lantern is Nathan Fillion. Hal Jordan is a test pilot and a man without fear. I think Nathan would be more convincing in that role than Reynolds. Wally West is the funny, fast talking, nephew of Barry Allen, a role almost tailored for Reynolds. Not to mention, did you not see that fan made trailer with Fillion as Green Lantern? I’m guessing Warner Bros. didn’t. I really want to see that movie. But, of course with Warner Bros. casting Reynolds as Green Lantern, we’ll never get to, but also he’ll never be able to play The Flash now. It’s no secret that Warner Bros. is dying to make a Justice League movie, and I don’t think they’re going to let Reynolds play two parts in the same movie. Although, this is Hollywood we’re talking about. After releasing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, anything is possible. Look it’s not too late. Let’s get Warner Bros. to realize their mistake. I say, cast Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern and green light a Flash movie with Ryan Reynolds. Then you’ll have two kick ass summer blockbuster movies on your hands, and you’re also two more characters closer to a JLA movie. Let’s start writing those letters and emails, and get Warner Bros. to do the right thing. I know they won’t. But hey, maybe Ryan Reynolds would rather play The Flash. Has anyone asked him? They should.


The Hangover
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, I went to see “The Hangover” last night… I think. To be honest I can’t remember. What the hell happened last night?! Okay, let’s see. Met up with Wayne and Kathy around… nine o’clock? We picked up Karen from work… went to the theatre. The Arclight, right? No! It was in Woodland Hills. We went to a late show, or maybe we had dinner? Come on Darby! Check your pockets. Maybe there’s a ticket stub in there. Let’s see, a pen cap, some change, and a wooden nickel? Where the hell did I get a wooden nickel? Here we go. A ticket stub to “The Hangover” at eleven fifteen at AMC. And what else do we have here? It’s a fortune from a fortune cookie? Where did that come from? I remember now. We got to the movie early and went to have dinner at P.F. Chang’s. Oh man, no wonder I can’t remember anything. I’ve seen “The Food.” I know that P.F. Chang uses M.S.G. Okay, fun time is over; let’s get on to the review.

“The Hangover”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Hands down the best movie of the summer! No, really. I went to see an advanced screening of “The Hangover” back in March and wanted to see it again immediately. Unfortunately, I had to wait three months before I could see it again. A long three months later, I’m pleased to say I enjoyed it just as much, if not more. The movie really is air tight. It’s just a non-stop laugh-fest. Zack Galifianakis steals the show, which is fantastic because I’m a long time Galifianakis fan. I have been waiting for him to get a project that would bring his genius to the masses, and I’m happy to say this is the one. But if this is your first time seeing Galifianakis in action, and you think he’s hysterical, please do not hold “G-Force” against him when it comes out in July.  The only performance that comes close to upstaging Zack is that of his baby co-star. The faces this kid makes are unbelievable. I mean it. That baby has to be CGI, there’s no way that’s a real baby.

Okay, let’s get to the plot breakdown; not that I have to tell you what the movie is about, I’m sure you’ve seen the trailers that give away everything. If you haven’t, here’s a breakdown that doesn’t give anything away. Three buddies, played by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zack Galifianakis, take their best friend Doug (Justin Bartha) to Las Vegas for his bachelor party, and a night they’ll never remember. With no memory of the events that took place the night before, the guys wake up to discover that not only is Doug missing, but they only have 40 hours to retrace their steps and find Doug before his wedding.

This movie really does have it all. The script is hysterical from beginning to end. I’m not even going to hold the screenwriters’ last script, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” against them. Director, Todd Phillips, keeps the pace of the movie moving, almost to a fault.  At times you actually feel exhausted because you truly don’t stop laughing for such a long period of time. The locked-off camera shot of Ed Helms, when he first wakes up is fantastic. Heather Graham stands out; with a charming performance that reminds us why we fell in love with her as Mercedes Lane in “License to Drive.” The cast works so well together that it was of no surprise to me that Warner Bros. green-lit a sequel more than a month before the film’s release. “The Hangover” is destined to be a comedy classic, with the likes of “Animal House,” “Caddyshack,” and “Bachelor Party.” I just hope the sequel can live up to the incredibly high standard set by the first film.

Rating:

5 Little People