Sunday, January 31, 2010

Untitled Ancient Rome Project Gets Title!

A year ago, I wrote a little piece for a website called Ancientvine. I never heard back about whether or not the track was ever used. Turns out, it was! And the video has racked up a not-too-shabby viewership of almost 8,000! Take a listen, if you haven't already:

Sonic Unleashed OST - The World Adventure

Although the recently released Sonic Unleashed was panned by most critics for it's frustrating "werehog" gameplay sections, at least the soundtrack appears to be top-notch (and taking a few pointers from Super Mario Galaxy). I highly recommend this track "The World Adventure" to sonic fans and big orchestra fans alike!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Favorite Film Scene -- 12 Agnry Men

"12 Angry Men" is one of my favorite plays and movies of all time and Lee J Cobb's acting in this final scene is one of the reasons I love it.

I recently watched "12," the Russian remake directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. The acting is also pretty impressive and I enjoyed picking out some of the similarities (right down to cast lookalikes!) but I found the pacing a bit slow. I had almost given up ...when I got to the ending, which has been completely rewritten. If you decide to watch "12," make sure you wait around for the ending. It's worth it.

Be sure to check out this amazing reenactment:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Promise of Living -- Aaron Copland

If this song doesn't melt your heart, I'm not sure you have a heart worth saving! [update: okay, that sounds a tad too harsh lol] Anyway, leave it to a gay JewIsh man from the city to find the essential American symphonic character. I love it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bear Vs Lion

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cinematic Dreams -- The Train

Last night, I dreamed that two HR representatives from Blockbuster were waiting outside my house. As I went outside to meet them, I stepped onto a red-carpeted train, which began to move slowly. I had to decide: should I jump off or should I stay? I noticed my brother and his friend sitting in the back of the train. What are they doing here? Where are they going? I decided I should stay to find out.

"Mr. Fuller? Would you please come take a seat?" one of the HR representatives, a man, called me over. He sat next to his partner, a woman, at a table with a white tablecloth. I sat down and she pulled out some paper work. What is this about? Am I in trouble? Don't they know I quit?

"Do you know this woman?" she asked. I looked at a photo of a short woman with long black hair and distant eyes.

"Yes. She was my manager."

"Did you notice any suspicious behavior involving this person while you were employed?"

Before I could answer, the train came to a screeching halt. Where in the world were we? I looked outside and saw a pine forest covered in snow. Icicles hung from branches. On the ground, I could make out the faint outline of a second stretch of train tracks.

The conductor came on the intercom, "We're experiencing some minor difficulties. Please remain seated. Do not, I repeat, do not exit the train."

I realized I was already far from home and going the wrong way. Nuts to this, I thought, and began walking to the back of the train. I spied my brother and chided him.

"What are you doing on this train? If mom finds out you're all the way out here, she's going to be furious." I grabbed his hand. "Come on, let's go."

He pulled away from me and jumped out of the train. I followed him outside. The wind had picked up, swirling snow into a visionless white void. I raised my arm, shielding my face from the bitter cold, and shouted, "Come back! Where are you?"

I took a few steps and sank deeper into a snow bank. It was hopeless. Behind me, the train's whistle sounded off with a terrible screech and the lumbering machinery slowly began to move again. I looked out into the snow once more, searching for my brother, but seeing nothing. I ran as best I could, grabbed a hand rail on the train, and pulled myself back inside. Just as guilt was beginning to well up inside me, I found my brother once again sitting in the back of the train. Except now, he was alone, and the interior of the train had taken on a darker, more oppressive atmosphere.

"Where's your friend?"

"I don't know. I think the man took him."

"What man?"

My brother pointed down at the other side of the train. I squinted and saw a tall dark figure standing in the shadows. The glint of his crooked white teeth was clearly visible. They curled into a wicked smile.

"Who are you? What do you want?"

The shadow stepped forward and revealed itself: a massive Roman soldier, with a shaved head, wearing brown civilian robes and a rope belt. His face was dirty and black grime was smeared across him in streaks. His smile stretched wider and he answered.


As I screamed, "Get away!" my brother's stuffed bear fell from his hand and sprang to life, striking a menacing pose. My long-loved, stuffed tiger jumped out from behind a seat and joined my brother's bear. It turned its head and spoke to me.

"Quickly! Take your brother and get out of here!" Our two animal guardians charged the Roman soldier and tackled him to the ground. My brother and I seized the moment and ran past the fray, toward the front of the train. Once we had made it into the adjacent car, I looked behind and heard a sound, an echoing THUNK! like a boulder dropped into the sea. Ripples surrounded the Roman soldier, permeating through the air, and knocked our animate animals unconscious.

"Run! NOW!" I commanded and pushed my brother forward. The Roman got to his feet and gave chase. He laughed maniacally. Shadows danced across his ghoulish face as he got closer and closer. He reached out with one of his giant hands and nearly grabbed my collar! But before he could grab me, over head compartments began to pop open and living, breathing stuffed animals began to pour out. Turtles, lions, dinosaurs, and birds swarmed the soldier, pressing him to the ground, covering him until he was no longer visible beneath a mountain of plush toys. My tiger and my brothers bear leapt on top of the pile, jumped down and joined us by our side.

"They won't be able to hold him long. Hurry! We must continue!" The hollow THUD! sound from before began to ring again as stuffed animals were flung in large groups up into the air and across the train. The four of us ran from car to car until we reached the engine room. The conductor had disappeared. Our guardian animals tried to pull the break, but they were too weak to do it alone. My brother and I lent our hands and together we pulled with all our might until the lever gave way and the train slowed to a stop.

I opened a door to the outside and was surprised to find the snow had gone, replaced by warm sunlight, and the edge of the pine forest was far in the distance. Before us, a vast suburban neighborhood sprawled out in all directions. Despite the sunny atmosphere, an element of gloom pervaded everything. The houses were old and crumbling and strips of white paint dangled from the walls of homes. It was desolate. There was no one there, not a soul.

We jumped off the train and ran to the nearest house....

[To be concluded...]

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Conan SMASH!

Finally, the Conan vs. Leno debacle in terms I can understand!

Carl Sagan's Apple Pie

Don't forget to listen to this song while you bake.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Song is Germinating

Here's the opening to a song I've started work on. It's actually an old melody. Family members may recognize it as "The Phone Song," a ring tone with lyrics that I made for my mom and dad's cell phones. Despite that goofy version, I've always imagined the song played with a bit more dignity. I've started to arrange it and I'm so pleased with my progress, I thought I'd share my work thus far.

If you like it, be sure to leave a comment. A few kind words go a long way in motivating me to finish. I'll also take suggestions (an instrument too loud? Too much reverb? Not enough? etc.)

Scott Brown Elected!

Congratulations, Massachusetts! You've elected a Republican senator who plans to use his vote to block national health care.

Democrats, oh democrats, why are you so ineffectual, timid, and stupid?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Creation Trailer -- Darwin Biopic Releases 1/22/10

Everyone going to see it? Looks like the filmmakers are playing up the drama between Darwin and his wife a bit more than is historically accurate. Even so, I'm excited to see it, if for no other reason but to celebrate one of the greatest minds to have ever walked the earth.

UPDATE: Damn it, I guess when they say release, they mean limited release, as in ONLY IN NEW YORK.

Someone grow some balls and pay for a wide release! I want to see this movie. The story is endlessly interesting! UGH these times we live in. :(

There Will Be Lobster

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Be Like Me!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Favorite Film Scene -- The Land Before Time

Well, unfortunately, I couldn't find a video of one of my favorite scenes from the Land Before Time. It starts with Littlefoot falling asleep in a crater after his friends abandon him to sleep with Cera. However, as the night grows colder, Littlefoot's friends return to him, one by one, until even proud Cera must leave her spot and seek the warmth of the group. The next morning, they awake to find Sharptooth sniffing the very spot where they almost camped for the night.

Luckily, The Land Before Time is filled with great scenes, some of which have been uploaded to youtube. Here are two of my other favorites:

Baby Littlefoot

Mother's Death (this still tugs at my heartstrings)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Banapple 4 -- Castaway

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Banapple 3 -- Boink!

Remember kids, Banapple is not safe for work (NSFW)

Banapple 1

Banapple 2

Who Else Misses the 80's?

Yeah, me neither. O_o

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Oh Hai!

Is Randy Newman an Atheist?

Brushing aside singer/songwriter/composer Randy Newman's catchy music and his utter disdain for short people, I think I may have found yet another reason to love the guy. It seems he's something of an atheist.

It's interesting because there is a line in one of his songs from Disney-Pixar's "A Bug's Life" that always gave me pause. It goes:

It's the time of your life,
So live it well.
We may only go 'round just one time,
As far as I can tell.

[Click here to listen]

However, he is quickly undercut by a chorus that answers, "He could be wrong about that!" I think it's amusing. You can almost imagine Randy trying to sing a little personal truth only to be challenged by the family-friendly demigods over at Disney. (In truth, I think it may just be Randy inserting his own personal touch of humor).

Randy's new work on "The Frog and the Princess" includes a line that sounds even more delightfully subversive. Prince Naveen sings:

Life is short,
When you're done, you're done,
We're on the is earth to have some fun,
And that's the way things are.

[Click here to listen]

Is that Randy Newman coming through again? Or is it just an insight into Prince Naveen's selfish, carefree desires? "When you're done, you're done" seems especially definite. Kudos to Randy for throwing a little realism into a Disney fairytale film!

As far as verifying Randy Newman's religious belief, I haven't found anything too solid yet. He is on a few "Famous Atheists" lists, which lends evidence to the idea. This anecdote comes from one such list:

When Newman was a child, a local parent uninvited him from a dance, explaining: ‘I’m sorry, Randy, my daughter had no right to invite you because no Jews are allowed.’ Newman had to ask his dad what a Jew was. He then studied comparative religion and became a devout atheist 'except when I'm sick."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Blogging to you LIVE from TV!

Well, maybe not LIVE, per say... More like I'm using the living room tv as a computer monitor because my laptop screen's backlight died out on me. I made it back to Boston after a long, travel-filled break. I wish I could have spent more time at home seeing friends. Such is life.

Christmas was lovely and small. My parents did a great job transporting the experience and delivering something that resembled the usual gluttony-fest on little more than a shoestring budget. It was great seeing family, of course.

Orlando was fun, but surprisingly cold. We stayed at a resort complete with a large pool, two water slides, 4 jacuzzi's, paddleboats, rockclimbing, and a pitch and putt! We managed to sample a few, despite the weather. We could literally see Disney from our hotel window. Unfortunately, we lacked the funds and general interest to make it to the park (although we did get swept up into their confusing highway system and nearly entered Epcot!)

The reason for the trip was primarily for a soccer tournament being hosted by Disney. My brother played wonderfully, managing 3 goals even while wearing a knee brace, sustaining an injury, and possibly a broken pinky toe...that I may have accidentally had something to do with...

Disregarding a very turbulent landing, my trip back to Boston was fairly uneventful. My trip out to Indy, on the other hand, was a nightmare filled with delay after delay, cancellations, and sleeping over night in the philly airport. In short, it sucked. Hardcore. But that's over now and I'm looking forward to doing a little more substitute teaching and, hopefully, landing one of two solid opportunities coming my way.

Once I land a steady job, I plan on buying a nice, cheap netbook or desktop. In the meantime, I imagine blog posts will be sparse. Stick with me as I trudge through this difficult time!


Friday, January 1, 2010