Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Movie Review- Let The Right One In

Let the right one in, let the old dreams die...beautiful lyrics of an amazing song by a favorite band of mine named Morrissey. A very suiting name for the title of a book that's equally as amazing and beautiful. That book (which you can read my review of below) has since been translated into a gem of a movie by the same name, Let The Right One In. Every once in awhile, a book comes along that I love so dearly that its painful for me to watch it be translated to the screen. This was the case for the majority of the Harry Potter movies as well as The Golden Compass. It's a very, very rare for me to ever be satisfied with a film adaption of a book I love. The point being this- the film Let The Right One In is a rare jewel that unfortunately doesn't come around often enough.

If you already read my previous post regarding the novel, you already know what my feeling are towards a certain hethenous woman who is famous for bastardizing the vampire genre in recent pop culture. It's been a painful ride for me to watch this cheeseball effect of new age vampire-mania take way. Okay, vampire stories has always had its trashy side, but its always been hidden away in the back of people's closets. Now this trash has seeped its away into the brains of the most annoying fan base in the world, teenage girls. Marketers saw their opportunity to capitalize and took this vampire garbage and turned it into the next trend- welcome to the new era of sparkling vampires. This whole thing came along almost immediately after the release of what I fear to may be the last great vampire story. The first Twilight movie was released only a few month after Let The Right One In and unfortunately buried it underneath its mania. I remember soon after the announcement of the production Let Me In's in American, I read on some board a girl complaining how "this cheap shit is copying Twilight"......I weep for humanity.

Okay I apologize for all my unnecessary blabbering! That's that last you'll hear of it...I hope. Let's talk about the movie. The synopsis of the film is pretty much the same as the novel. All the things I loved about the film are basically the same things I loved about the book so I'll keep this post short. If you want a more detailed synopsis, you can read my post below. The majority of the film is shot from Oskar's point of view. Oskar is a troubled 12-year old boy who is frequently tormented by bullies at school. The beginning of the film opens with Oskar playing out a murder fantasy in his room when he notices a young girl moving in next door with a older man that appears to be her dad. The small suburban Swedish town Oskar lives in soon becomes plagued with a series of mysterious murders. It's not long until Oskar meets the his new neighbor, named Eli, when she catches him playing out another one of his maiming fantasies outside their apartment complex. The two of them find that they can offer each other something they've never had but needed all along. Oskar helps Eli fill a deep void of loneliness thats always afflicted her, and Eli gives Oskar the strength to stand up against his tormentors. It's not long before Oskar discovers that Eli is actually a blood thirsty vampire and is the one responsible for all the murders happening around town.

This is the first movie I've ever seen my Tomas Alfredson but after watching it, I'll make its not my last! Everything...everything he did in the movie was brilliant! The screenplay was written by none other than John Alvide Lindqvist himself which I'm sure was a big factor in turning the film into such a great adaption. Because JAL helmed the screenplay, it's very similar to the original material. Just about everything in that was in the film took place in the book. The movie did leave out several parts but I'm just happy they go around and change things. The books was chuck full of several characters along with the parts they played throughout these sequence of events. The film decided to focus primarily on the love story between Oskar and Eli. Good move. Alfredson did a wonderful job adapting Lindqivst's haunting tone from the novel. The cinematography was absolutely goooooooorgeous! You could almost feel the frigid snowy landscape of the Swedish suburbs. I don't know what the 80's in Sweden were like, but I have a feeling the film hit that right on the head. Oskar and Eli in the film were almost identical to the images of Oskar and Eli I had in my head when reading the novel. I thought they did a great job making Eli appear grimy looking with her crusty hair and dirty fingernails. Movie Eli did seemed to be a bit colder than book Eli, but it I thought it worked out well for the film.

I've read a couple of reviews where people have complain on how slow the movie is, but I didn't find it to be slow at all. Alfredson doesn't bother being in your face about a lot of things. It's was the small, subtle things that sent chills down my spine throughout the movie. All of Eli's supernatural abilities were shot to appear organic- none of that sparkling nonsense. One of my favorite shots is probably when Eli and Oskar are in a dark room and it appears to be a pitch black screen, but if you look closely you can see a pair of cat-eyes staring at the screen, and when Oskar turns on the lights, Eli, for the briefest moment looks feral. I can go on all day listing the brilliant touches Alfredson threw into his film, but in an attempt not to bore you, I'll put a cap on it. Alfredson really handled the material he was given in a way that kept it faithful to the original source, but allowed him to put his own artistic stamp on it. The climax scene in the book is really left to the imagination of the reader to decide what happened exactly. Alfredson shoots that same scene in a manner where the audience can still use their imagination, but in a different way. It takes a close watch to piece together what happened in that final scene. I'm very curious to see how the American version is going to interpret this part.

I can sometimes be a sucker when watching movies and get all emotional and maybe shed a tear or two. While watching Let The Right One In, I found myself getting choked up quite often and it took me awhile to figure out what was triggering it. The film has a beautiful and almost subliminal score written by Johan Soderqvist. It compliments the alluring, dark cinematography so well, you can barley notice the music, but at the same time you do. My favorite piece has got to be Eli's theme (listen here!). I understand Michael Giacchino (who won the Oscar last year for Up) composed the score for the American version. I think Giacchino is a fantastic composer and I'm looking forward to see what he came up with for Let Me In. Time will soon answer all these itching questions that I have. In the meantime, I'll re-eatch Let The Right One In and weep at the glorious feat Alfredson and Lindqvist have achieved.

Final Score- 10/10

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review- Let The Right One In

As you can see, I'm only a little bit excited about the release of Let Me In this Friday. I should give credit to the guy who created this background- thank you David Park! You can probably expect many of the posts that go out over the next week to be somehow related to Let The Right One In/Let Me In. Today, I'm posting my review on the book, then I will post a review on the Swedish film within the next few days, and then of course, I'll have my review on Matt Reeve's version Let Me In once I see it. I'll go ahead and say right now that Let The Right One In is probably my favorite book of all time and I read A LOT! Here's why I love this book so much. Oh, there are some spoilers ahead so you've been warned!

So Let The Right One In is a, well, vampire romance. In more recent popular culture, vampire romance has taken on connotations such as cheesy, trashy, tweens, teeny-bopper and other blasphemous words like that. I've been a fan of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles since I was in high school so I've always had a great amount of love and respect for the vampire genre. Much of the sub-text that comes from vampire lore can used as a powerful story telling tool. The dark and gritty nature of vampire legends, the emotional implications one could suffer falling victim to such a fate, and of course supernatural themes one can play with. Lately, a certain felonious woman has abused the use of vampire tales and turned it into porn for little girls. Let The Right One In was a like a light of hope for me that proved the entire vampire genre wasn't turning into shit in the shit hole.

Let The Right One In was written by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist and was publish back in 2004. The novel is set in a small, working class suburban town named Blackeberg back in the 1980's. The setting of the novel does a superb job in giving the audience feelings of isolation, helplessness and a chill from that infamous Swedish snowy front. The adults and children in the book are living in completely different worlds from each other. The adults are powerless, lonely, middle aged folks who are either working on minimum wage or unemployed. They are too concerned with their own miserable lives to notice the cruelty that happening among the children of the town. The children in the book seem to live within a complicated hierarchy kind of like in Lord of the Flies. It consists of young bullies, older and even more ruthless bullies, the unfortunate bullied, then there's the goods/hideout supplier.

So our book begins with 12-year old Oskar who is viciously bullied at school. Oskar often fantasizes about extracting revenge on the bullies by committing mass murder. The kid is obsessed with cutting out newspaper articles about grisly murders and keeps an entire scrapbook with his clippings; he's basically a serial killer in the making. One night, Oskar notices a beautiful young girl moving in next door along with her guardian. Oskar catches the girl's attention one night while he's playing out his murder fantasy outside. The girl introduces herself as Eli and the two become friends after Oskar lets her borrow his Rubiks Cube. Oskar sees Eli's fascination with puzzles and teaches her Morris Code as a way the two can communicate through the walls with each other.

Oskar eventually admits to Eli that he's tormented at school by bullies and she encourages him to stand up for himself by fighting back. The interaction between the two kids is very touching. The bigger part of the book is written through Oskar's point of view and its very cute when you read all the concerned emotions he has towards Eli. Eli often appears very sickly looking and Oskar is determined to find some way to save her. Oskar eventually tries some irrational notion he got into his head as a way to possibly heal Eli. This idea ends up revealing the vampire side in her. So yeah, If you didn't know that already, Eli is the vampire in the book. Even though Eli has been alive for 200 years, her mentality is stuck as a 12-year old child. She is still immature kid and will not think twice about killing an innocent person in order to feed. The guardian that Eli lives with is actually a pedophile named Hakan who she basically seduces into doing all her dirty work. Hakan, though he doesn't like doing so, goes out and murders young children in order to collect their blood and bring it back for Eli. It's not long before the town's police begins investigating all the murders committed by Hakan and Eli and it's only a matter of time before Eli is caught.

The book is very much a coming of age story. Eli helps Oskar stand up against his tormentors and eventually makes him drop the whole soon-to-be serial killer thing. Oskar provides Eli with love and comfort after 200 years of being alone and motivates her to change her way of obtaining blood. The love between these two kids is truly love in its purest form. Eli later reveals to Oskar that she is, well, in fact a he and his full name is Elias. Eli fell victim to some sort of sadistic vampire ritual 200 years ago where he was castrated and turned into a vampire. I thought this was a brilliant twist on the story because it takes out any sort of sexual implications that could have been in their relationship. Oskar is initially freaked out when he learns about Eli's origins and runs for it, but after a close brush with death he realizes the extent of his love for Eli. I really see this book as a love story above all else. Yes it is a vampire novel, but I found all the supernatural elements of the book to be something secondary used to enhance the love story. Even though I said this book is a coming of age novel, I believe that that fact is also auxiliary to the love story. You read coming of age novels all the time that deal with a young kid being bullied, but I'm sure none of them ended the way this one did (now that's something I don't want to spoil for you if you don't already know).

As amazing as Let The Right One In is, it's not a book for everyone. There are very, VERY dark themes all throughout the novel; some that a lot of people won't be able to stomach including child prostitution and pedophilia. There are also many horrific elements that are in the book, one in particular that wasn't included in the movie. John Ajvide Lindqvist has such a way of creating suspense in his novels, along with drawing out the most horrific images in your mind. Regardless, the novel is beautifully written and makes me wish I knew Swedish so I could read his direct version. If you're looking for the next Twilight, please look elsewhere. This isn't a book for you. If you are looking for some bloody, disgusting horror novel, again, look elsewhere cause this won't be it. If you're looking for a haunting love story that is unpredictable, original, complex and heart aching with a bit of supernatural themes sprinkled on top, this is the book for you. The word "masterpiece" is often over used and has lost some of its original significance, but going back to its original meaning, I can say that Let The Right One In is nothing less than a masterpiece.

Final Score- 10/10

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Movie Review- Legend of the Guardians

This past weekend, my mom and I went to theater to check out Lord of the Rings Owl Edition aka Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. Being as obsessed with animated movies as I am, I've been excited to see this film since the beginning of this year. Legend of the Guardians is based off of the first three books of Katheryn Lasky's series titled Guardians of Ga'Hoole and is directed by Zack Snyder. You may know Snyder as the director of Watchman and 300 along with his upcoming film Sucker Punch. With those movies in mind, you can see how Synder has a very visually unique style he uses in all his movies. To be honest, Legend of the Guardians is probably by favorite film by him to date. Watchmen and 300 were both films that were beautiful to look at but fell short in a lot of other areas. Even with that said, I have a strange feeling that Legend of the Guardians will be his least successful film box office wise. Here's why.

Legend of the Guardians is Warner Brothers second full length animated film since Happy Feet came out back in 2006. The studio partnered with the visual effects company Animal Logic once again to produce this movie and wow! They've come a long way since producing Happy Feet. The graphics in Happy Feet were great but Legend of the Guardians takes it to a whole different level. It's almost impossible to tell that these owls are animated at all! Not only the owls, but the scenery shots of the oceans, skies and trees look as if they were filmed instead of digitally produced. The amount of study that went into observing owl flight and all the different species of owls must have been insane! I really like this unique style of animation that Warner Brothers has decided to take on. I feel like ever since Pixar came along with its CG animation style, many other movie studios have just tried to copy it in their own way. Dreamworks Animation changed from hand drawn animation to CG almost immediately after the success of Toy Story. Now it seems like Dreamworks Animation just creates a whole bunch of bad knock offs of Pixar's film (except for How To Train Your Dragon, but that's a whole other story). We also have Disney Animation Studios who also dipped into that CG style, dipped out for a little bit after a attempt by John Lasster to bring the animation studio back to its roots, but now its dipping back in with the soon to be released Tangled. The third major studio would be Sony Animation Studios who, just like the other two, seems to be trying to do the Pixar thing as well. I'll admit, Sony's CG animated movies are probably the best effort out of those three but their movies still don't quite meet my standards of a good animated film. I never saw Despicable Me but I'd be willing to check it out.

Now that Warner Brothers has decided to take a plunge into the animation department, I'm glad they decided to take a different direction. The obviously want their films to have a more serious tone so it can be appealing to adults and kids alike. I love the photo-realistic animation style they decided to go with as well instead of another Pixar CG knock off. I'm wondering if they will stick with talking animals in all their animated films. It seems to be what the visual effects studio they use specialize in. I can see that Legend of the Guardians was the film that WB was hoping would establish them as the next studio competitor in the animated films industry. The film began with a animated short, just like all Pixar films, and it was a Coyote and Road Runner short no less!! A bit of a homage to Warner Brother's classic animated characters. Enough of my blabbering, let's talk about the movie itself.

So Legend of The Guardians begins with a young owl named Soren who loves hearing stories from his father about the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, a band of owls who protect the innocent and vanquish evil!! So basically their a Knight of the Roundtable for owls. Soren's brother Kludd is unlike Soren and dislikes hearing about the legends and is jealous of Soren's natural flying abilities. One night, the two of them get into a small brawl and fall out of their tree. Right before the two of them are about to get mauled by a of badger or something, two bigger owls swoop them away and take them to the lair of the Pure Ones; a band of evil owls who kidnap orphaned owlets and turn them into either soldiers or miners for their cause. The Pure Ones are led by the evil Metalbeak and his mate Nyra who seek to rule the entire owl kingdom. The Pure Ones go off the belief that Tytos are the superior breed of owls and so they train them to become soldiers. All the other kidnapped owls are made to become pickers. Soren displays some outspoken behavior when he and his brother arrive and so is thrown in with the group of pickers. His brother on the other hand is chosen to train to become a soldier and he gladly accepts the offer. The owls chosen to be pickers are forced to mine some sort of magnetic element that could be used as a powerful weapon. Soren meets a young elf owl name Glyfie and the two of them decide they will learn to fly and escape from the Pure Ones. A owl named Grimble who works for the Pure One, notices strange behavior from Soren and Glyfie and reveals to them that he only stays because his family is being held captive and tells them that the Gaurdians do exist. Grimble begins to train to two of them to fly so they can escape and alert the Guardians on what's happening. Eventually Soren and Glyfie escape while Kludd decides to stay behind with the Pure Ones. The two of them run into two other owls named Twilight and Digg on their journey who help them find their way to the Sea of Hoolemere, where the Great Ga'Hoole tree is located.

In an effort for me to keep this summary short, I'll leave it off with the Guardians preparing for a big epic battle. The entire film takes a lot of concept and pieces from many of those classic midevil fantasy stories such as Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. What makes it different though is the whole owl concept that was thrown into the mix. As cute as owls are, they're pretty scary and vicious birds. The movie just makes them all the more bad ass by adding armor and weapons on them. There are many instances where the owls are literally killing each other with these talon claw/sword thingys that they wear. This sort of violence not something you would find in a animated family movie by a major movie studio. Props to Warner Brothers for taking such a risky move. I saw this movie in 3D because it was the only version my local theater offered. The last movie I saw in 3D was Toy Story 3 and after being disappointed by its use of it, I lost interest in seeing any more films in that format. All I can say is, holy shit I glad I saw this movie 3D. I've decided that any movies that have flight sequences must be seen in 3D. If you're familiar with Zack Synder, you know he looooooves to slow motion shots and the flight scenes in this movie mixed with slow-mo made the 3D experience all the more better.

Okay, lets get back to my originally point. I read a article this morning stating how Legend of the Guardians is the first film by Zack Synder that didn't debut as number one in the box office opening weekend. What a downer, but I was honestly expecting that. I remember the audience reaction in my movie theater the first time a trailer for Legend of the Guardians played. I remember hearing some snickering and murmurs of confusion. Well first off, I don't think the general public likes to watch animated animals that look too real. They enjoy very cartoonish, goofy acting animals in their animation. Second, these owls are wearing battle armor and weapons- a concept that's too weird for the general public to accept. Third, at first glance, this doesn't look like a movie that kids would enjoy. It looks very dark and complicated so most parents will probably over look it as a film to take their kids to. Now for the few parents that do take their kids to see it, they will probably freak out over the fantasy violence and tell all their other parents not to take their children to watch it. Happy Feet had an advantage because it came out during penguin mania and people just wanted to see cute little penguins dance around. The owls in Legend of the Guardians doesn't really have the cute factor to play off of and I think you can forget about WOM.

This movie unfortunately falls into that horrible trap of not being able to reach the audience that it would most appeal to the most. I hope this doesn't deter WB from the animation industry. I really look forward to see what else the studio can come up with. We need a better mix of animated films in Hollywood! Rumor has is that Animal Logic (perhaps in partnership with WB again?) will be producing a remake of the classic animated film Watership Down. I wonder if they'll show the bloodied up General Woundwort and Bigwig just like in the original. That will help bring more children to the theater.

Final Score- 7.5/10

Friday, September 24, 2010

Misc. Reviews- Criminal Minds Season 5

So this past week was the Season 6 premier of Criminal Minds....well actually it was more like the finale of Season 5. I do not understand why they decided to play the second half of Season 5's final episode to kick start Season 6. The episode wasn't all the great in the first half and I'm sure most people forgot what happened four months later when they finally got to see the second half. What a let down. This finale/premier was so lame, it made me forget why I love this show so much. Season 4's finale was done well because they were able to wrap up the case in two episodes but still left a cliffhanger that would go into Season 5 AND it was an incredible episode. To tell you the truth, all of Season 5 has just been a big let down for me. My review will go over why I think Criminal Minds is a great show and why I think Season 5 fell short.

Among the mist of a whole heap of Season premiers this past week, the only one I was looking forward to was Criminal Minds. This is probably the only show I've ever kept up with on T.V. When it comes to T.V. shows, I typically wait for the DVD set to be released, and then I snuggle in my bed and rot for the next four days. Criminal Minds actually makes me feel eager each week to see it, so I make sure my 9:00 hour every Wednesday night is open. Anyways, if you're not familiar, here's what the show is about in a nutshell. Criminal Minds isn't your everyday police crime drama on T.V. Unlike shows like Law & Order or CSI, the show doesn't focus on one particular crime itself, but rather on one criminal committing a series of crimes; so yeah, it's a show about serial killers. The team that the show centers around is a group of FBI profilers who have a almost god-like knowledge on human behavior. Together, they observe acts committed by the "unsub," as they call it, and compile a "profile" based off of these observations. The team uses this profile to determine the unsub's physical and mental characteristics in order to determine what their next move might be.

One of the reasons I love this show so much is all of the dark, disturbing content it does not shy away from. For a major television network like CBS, it doesn't seem likely for it to take on a show like this; I mean, watching a show with axe murders and cannibals isn't really mainstream. Think of every single serial killer story you know of, real or fake. Think of Saw, Hannibal, Changeling. Whatever you think of, there's probably a CM episode that is very similar to it. Not every episode revolves around a serial killer though; sometimes they throw terrorists, kidnappers, or religious fanatics into the mix but no worries, it's still as good as the Hacky McHack episodes. I could go on and on all day about individual unsubs that were so creepy and terrifying that they gave me nightmares for days, but I'll try to keep this as short as possible so I don't bore you to death. In case you were wondering, my favorite unsub was Tobias Hankle.

I'd say, probably the strongest muscle this show has is it's cast. The ensemble in this show is stupendous! The characters are all very likeable, each with their own unique traits, and their interaction with each other is even better- almost like a family. The team is the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit and it consists of seven team members. First there’s FBI Unit Chief Aaron Hotcher, better known as Hotch, who’s an uber serious, work obsessive guy who cares dearly for his team. Then there’s second in command SSA David Rossi, who honestly, is my least favorite and I think most boring character. He replaced the legendary profiler Jason Gideon, who was much like the father of the team, back in Season 3 much to my much disappointment. Then there’s SSA Derek Morgan, the smoking hot hottie who does all the man handling on the team, SSA Dr. Spencer Reid, the adorable genius kid on the team, and SSA Emily Prentiss, the only woman profiler on the team who’s adept in several languages. The other two team members are in fact not profilers but the team’s Media Liaison, Jennifer Jareau, or JJ, and the team’s Technician, Penelope Garcia, a quirky, fun loving hacker girl. I love the interaction the team has with one another especially the platonic, flirtatious relationship Morgan has with Garcia and his big brotherly relationship with Reid. My favorite episodes tend to be ones where the case gets personal with one of the team members because these tend to show how far their colleagues will go to help them and the amount of love and devotion they have for one another.

This brings me to my first point regarding the let down of Season 5. The Season started off with some good stuff. The end of Season 4 left off with Hotch being cornered by The Reaper in his apartment. The Reaper is a serial killer in Boston who went off the grid awhile back but came back and developed some sort of obsession with Hotch. Anyways, without getting into details, The Reaper ends up stabbing Hotch, throwing him in a hospital, then haunting him for the next few episodes. Season 5’s episode “100” (titled for being the 100th episode) is when the shit finally goes down between Hotch and the Reaper and it’s a nail biting episode! Whoo wee! So what now? We’ll, everything goes kind of downhill from there. Truth be told, after episode 100, it seemed like all the personality was drained out the characters; like the show shifted positions and focused not on them anymore but on the cases. It’s not like the series has never done this before, but the problem is, the cases and unsubs were boring in this season! None of the serial killers were very interesting. I feel like the show has hit this point where the writers have thought of any and every type of serial killer there is and now they can’t come up with any good material. One episode, for example, was about some financial con-man who was doing away with some of his “clients” because they were catching on to his sketchiness. The whole thing reminded me of something my mom would like to watch on CSI Miami or something. I don’t care about idiotic con-men! I want to see Dexter out there saran-wrapping people and cutting them! Blah, and that unsub in the Season finale. Tim Curry plays the unsub who breaks into people’s home during blackouts and rapes and murders them. He does this because his mom was a hooker and it disturbed him as a child. Okay seriously guys, can you get any less creative than that, especially for a whole TV show that’s about serial killers and on top of that, it’s the season finale?? Oh and the actors too in the finale! What’s wrong? It’s like everything was being forced out of them. Just seemed so odd.

I’m just curious now on what the future holds for this series. You may have heard word that the show’s producers are making some changes regarding the female cast in the show. A.J. Cook, aka JJ’s contract wasn’t picked up for Season 6 so we won’t be seeing her anymore. I think this was done because the show’s producers felt she was the weakest and least liked character on the show. In all honesty, JJ’s character is the weakest and most uninteresting one on the show, but seeing that she’s just the team’s media liaison, I don’t think it really matters. I’d rather keep her character then introduce a new one! I don’t want this tight knit family to change! The second change is regarding Emily. Apparently her episode numbers are being cut! Boohoo! I love Emily! It’s hard to find a female character on a crime show that is written well and Emily is one of those few! Why, why are they doing this?? And now a spin off is coming and as I understand it, Garcia will be the Technician for this other team as well. Mehhhmehhhhh! I don’t want no spin off!! I feel like the show is just becoming more and more commercial. Now I’m just scuuurd to see this new female cast member. Please don’t make her some hot chick who’s a total bitch with a IQ of 200 and a black belt in Tae Kwon Doe. I see too many of those in Hollywood films. Oh, and word in the wind is Justin Beiber may be coming on the show......I'll stop right there (and I'm being serious). Nevertheless, with the show’s previous track record, I still think it’s one of the greatest shows on television right now.

Final Score- 9/10

Cool Sh*t!!- Top 10 Songs For Testing A Car Stereo

Today, GM came out with their list of top ten songs to play when testing your car stereo. The list was complied by the Chevy Cruze's lead audio engineer, Matt Kirsch; a man who spends more than 500 hours a year listening to car sound systems, so the guy certainly knows what the fuck he's talking about. Have look at the list below, it's quiet good. Click the bold text to listen to the song. Enjoy!

Listen for the punch from the percussive bass, and the ring of the steel drums

Listen for the clarity in Johnny’s distinctive voice, and his guitar to sound natural and free of any coloration

Listen for the ambience and staging as the children’s chorus is offset by powerful bass

Listen for the enveloping ambience of the song, building on the openness and dynamic vocals

Listen clear, intelligible lyrics over the powerful, persistent bass beat

Listen for powerful, accurate bass beats, even at full volume

Listen for the clarity and dynamic range during the opening guitar solo, and of course the powerful drum beat

Listen for clarity in Alicia’s vocals and spacious background sound

Listen for strong vocals, and for the instruments to be set across a wide sound stage

Listen for Norah’s voice to sound natural, and centered in front of you

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cool Sh*t!!- Youtube Play Shortlist

Guggenheim together with Youtube are conducting the Youtube Play contest- the search for the world's most creative video. Contests from any country were invited to submit their videos; the videos they were to submit had no requirements or guidelines so applicants were allowed to use whatever creative freedom they wanted. After 23,000 submissions from 91 countries, 125 of those videos have been shortlisted and can now be seen on the Youtube Play channel. You can visit the Youtube Play channel here! A jury will be selecting their favorite choices which will be revealed at a event at the Guggenheim Museum on Oct 21 and live on Below is a bit of a teaser of some of the finalists, and you can see from this brief clip below that there is some fucking fantastic work going on. Can't wait to see who the finalists will be! I'll be sure to post the finalist videos when they are announced!!