Showing posts from 2017

Album Review: 'Lights, Camera...Music! Six Decades of John Williams'

On June 23, 2017, BSO Classics, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's in-house recording label, released the CD edition of Lights, Camera...Music! Six Decades of John Williams. This 16-track album contains a selection of themes and cues from a mix of minor films (Heidi) or lesser-known projects (Goodbye, Mr. Chips) that John Williams scored in the late 1960s, as well as music from more prominent movies (The Towering Inferno, Dracula, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial) from the apogee of the composer's long, storied career. 
As many fans of Maestro Williams know, the orchestra featured in Lights, Camera...Music! is the world famous Boston Pops Orchestra, an ensemble comprised by members of the BSO that performs in the Boston area and on tours during the spring and summer months. Williams has a long history with the Pops; he was the orchestra's music director and principal conductor from 1980 till 1994; now that Keith Lockhart leads the Pops, Maestro Williams holds the title of  Laureate…

Talking Culture: 'The Last Jedi' bashing, angry fanboys, and the Star Wars franchise

Today's question is: 
Why do a lot of fanboys hate ‘The Last Jedi’?
I’m probably going to get a lot of flak from some of the angry fanboys that this question is about, but since I am a Star Wars fan of the 1977 Generation, I’ll give you my two credits’ worth. Star Wars fanboy angst is not a new phenomenon. It’s probably been around since the first movie premiered 40 years ago (Oh, See Threepio is too silly!). I first became aware of it when fans who were 10, 11, or even 12 when Star Wars came out in 1977 and didn’t notice some of the kid-friendly humor in it suddenly became aware of the kid-friendly Ewoks in 1983’s Return of the Jedi…and started grousing that Lucas had invented the “teddy bears” just to sell more toys. (There were other issues that fans groused about, but Ewok-hate was the trendy topic among the angry-fanboy crowd.)
Before Jar Jar Binks, Wicket and his pals were the targets of fanboys’ ire. Of course, back then the Internet was just something that only a relatively …

Book Review: 'A Bell for Adano'

In 1981, shortly after my maternal grandmother died, my Mom traveled to Bogota, Colombia to help her brother and sister clear out my grandparents’ apartment and divide some heirlooms among themselves.
My aunt Martha and uncle Octavio ended up taking way more than two thirds of the apartment’s contents; they lived in Bogota and had definitely more kids than Mom, so it just made logistical sense for my mother to only claim two pieces of Grandma’s antique furniture for herself, some family pictures and a ring for my older sister and a few books – in English – from my grandfather’s library for me.
Though two of the books were paperback editions of tomes published before 1977 (the year of my grandfather’s death), one of them was a small and thin hardcover with no dust jacket.  It looked – as many of my grandfather’s books did – well-cared for and had that indescribable but pleasant “old book” smell, and on the spine it said A Bell for Adano – John Hersey.  (It is, as it happens, a wartime ed…

Album Review: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'

On December 18, 2015, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures released Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh live-action film in the long-running series created by George Lucas and the first of three films that comprise the Sequel Trilogy.

This first Star Wars movie since 2005's Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac, The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events depicted in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. The film was a huge success at the box office (earning $2.068 billion world-wide, which makes The Force Awakens the third biggest earner in movie history) and introduced a new set of heroes (the Resistance) and villains (the First Order) locked in the conflict between good and evil in a galaxy far, far away.
On the same day that The Force Awakens premiered in wide theatrical release, Walt Disney Records also dropped Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Original Motion…