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Star Wars’ Film Score Ranked Best All-Time

Posted by Greg on Sep 23, 2009 in Movies

John Williams’ score for the original 1977 Star Wars movie has been declared the best science fiction movie soundtrack of all time in a poll conducted by popular sci-fi website Total Sci Fi Composer John Williams won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award and a Grammy Award for his work on Star Wars, and helped define the much-loved saga with scores for all six Star Wars movies between 1977 and 2005. His score for Close Encounters of the Third Kind also made the Total Sci FI Top 10, coming in at number 8.

Matt McAllister, editor of Total Sci Fi said: “With his score for Star Wars, John Williams created one of the most iconic and unforgettable soundtracks of all time. Most people could identify the movie from just a few bars of the main title music, and Williams’ work across all of the Star Wars movies really does create a palpable sense of intergalactic space battles and galaxy-spanning adventures. For many moviegoers, this is now the definitive sound of science fiction.”

The score to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, composed by James Horner, came in second place, while Vangelis’ haunting electro soundtrack for Blade Runner – recently voted the best sci-fi movie of all time – completed the top three.

Final Top Ten:
1. Star Wars (John Williams)
2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (James Horner)
3. Blade Runner (Vangelis)
4. Star Trek the Motion Picture (Jerry Goldsmith)
5. Flash Gordon (Queen)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Richard and Johann Strauss, György Ligeti)
7. The Day the Earth Stood Still (Bernard Herrmann)
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (John Williams)
9. Aliens (James Horner)
10. Transformers the Movie (Vince DiCola / Stan Bush)

 
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Michael Phelps is a Loser

Posted by Greg on Sep 9, 2009 in Op-Ed

Michael Phelps appeared on ESPN2’s coverage of the U.S. Open last night sporting another Fu Manchu mustache. He looked in a few words: greasy, sleazy and unkempt. To take it even farther, he makes “Eastbound and Down” actor Danny McBride look refined. If this comes across as harsh, let’s look at the anointed one’s rap sheet in the last few years: Pot smokin’, drunk drivin’, failure to comply with DMV restrictions. Is it just me or is this guy a little too prone to mistakes? Now granted everyone is prone to foibles and missteps, but at the rate he’s going, who knows what’s next. This hayseed, insolent loser goes about life as if laws and societal norms don’t apply to him. Perhaps this is cruel, but he seems to show a lack of judgment on more than one occasion. You mean to tell me since this guy got back from Beijing he hasn’t taken it upon himself to get a Maryland license. Oh, please. He’s an arrogant, aloof, egomaniacal athlete who has had everything handed to him on a silver platter.

Baseball superstars Derek Jeter and David Wright both handled the media circus of New York at young ages without ever once getting their noses dirty. You mean to tell me it’s too hard for Phelps to follow their example? I don’t buy that for a second. He just doesn’t care. And everyone knows it.

I realize the merits of his accomplishments and I think it’s terrific what he did in China. This is not about him as an athlete, but rather where he seems himself in the public sphere. Truth be told, I was worn out from the Olympic coverage, and since he returned, it just keeps continuing. There were plenty of newsworthy stories and special accomplishments from U.S. and non U.S.athletes and no one seems willing to give them a share of press. This is just over the limit. Michael Phelps is a loser and he doesn’t deserve this much attention.

 
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I <3 Pure Country. There, I Said It!

Posted by Greg on Sep 8, 2009 in Movies, Op-Ed

As far as films go, there’s nothing entirely breathtaking or awe-inspiring about the 1992 George Strait-fueled Pure Country, and yet for reasons unknown it remains one of my most favorite films. A heartwarming and inspirational yarn about Wyatt “Dusty” Chandler, a country music megastar who drops off tour and returns to his Texas hometown, the film features a veritable no name cast (save for Strait, the only other big star is Friday Night Light’s Kyle Chandler and X’s John Doe) and a by-the-book script.

But for all its simplicity, there’s a good chunk of charm, too. Strait doesn’t stray too far from his now-legendary superstar persona and has a down-home, folksy charm that’s engaging and warm. The support cast is all believable as well and save for a couple corny scenes, there’s little that’s contrived or overblown. A fixture on CMT, Pure Country was a flop at the box office, but has remained at the top of my list for the past 10-15 years.

The film’s real appeal is in its depiction of the Texas landscape and the small towns Strait find himself visiting. When Dusty strikes up a romance with a barrel racer, the plot elevates a little and the subtle turn has a conviction and sincerity that really allows the film to shine. Said barrel racer, played effectively by Isabel Glasser, is a strong and empathetic character, which allows Strait do dig into the role towards the end. Aided by a stellar soundtrack (by none other than Strait himself) and a script with only a couple profanities, it’s as harmless as a declawed kitten.

Pure Country’s director Christopher Cain is the foster father to actor Dean Cain and was the man behind the lens for the Joe Pesci comedy Gone Fishin‘, the Hillary Swank-fueled The Next Karate Kid, 80s triumph Young Guns and the woeful Jon Voigt film September Dawn. With those ho-hum credentials its entirely obvious why Pure Country didn’t win awards or make Ebert and Roeper fawn. But every movie critic, deserves their one guilty pleasure and for this one, its always Pure Country. Always.

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