Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Old Video

One thing I remember from years back, when I lived in Crestline, was the Firefighters' efforts to save all our homes when the Old Fire broke out.

Once the fire was cleared, and we went up to clean out the rotting refrigerators (yikes !!!), we drove down the back side of the mountain, and I was playing Jerry Goldsmith's Main Titles from The Sum Of All Fears.

Seeing the burn area, and the incredible images captured on the web from the fire, I edited together a short video with the music, with some assistance and tweaks from my wife.

It's been on YouTube for a while, but I though I'd share it.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Indiana Jones Soundtracks Collection

At the end of last year, Concorde assembled a collection of all 4 soundtracks to the Indiana Jones soundtracks, with Raiders, Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade expanded and completely re-mastered.

In addition, unreleased cues from the first 3 scores and an interview are included on a 5th CD.

Crystal Skull is exactly the same as the standalone Concorde disk, but is a nice value-add, and everything matches up stylistically.

Score Completeness

It should be obvious that the scores are not complete. However, this is by design, and actually works well, and unless one is really intimately acquainted with the scores and movies, there is nothing that is missing to the ear.

The Temple of Doom is a real find here, with a lot of fantastic music added.

Also, the scores are rearranged into film order, with a couple of minor exceptions, and it is a great listening experience.

The only problem in terms of content is the fact that the Desert Chase cues is the original album edit, and not the complete cue as presented on the DCC release from 1995.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is absolutely stunning on this set, and is a joy to the ears. There are slight speed/pitch issues, but these are not even noticeable to my ears, and do not detract from the listening experience for me.

Cue Editing

It has been pointed out that cues that are often heard together are separated in this release.

I actually LIKE my soundtracks like that. It means I get to hear smaller snippets of music, and it becomes easier to skip to my favorite cues.


In many ways, the presentation and packaging is very good, though it could have been better.

I have had no issues with the DigiPaks instead of the standard Jewel cases, but I know some people do.

The lack of a detailed cue breakdown, ala the 1995 DCC Raiders disk, is disappointing, but what is there is very nice.

The bonus disk is presented within a simple slipcase, so I am very careful whenever I get the disk out. This is my only major issue with the presentation.

The set is contained within a very nice fake leather case that looks like an old book, with a very nice Fedora and Whip logo. This is very good, and it looks good next to my Lord of the Rings Complete Recordings sets.

Value for Money

In as of itself, this set is easily worth the $40-55 price tag it carries, and provides a nice collection of music, some of which is rare, unreleased or only available via Japanese import.

In addition, this is absolutely classic stuff, and sounds fantastic.

The CDs for the first 3 are becoming available as individual CDs in February 2009, though the additional material and interviews on the 5th CD is not included.

For those who want only one or two of the soundtracks, this might be an option, but there is some great material for all of the scores.


Much has been said of this release, to a point where a web site has been set up for those who must know what is missing, and what was on the other releases of these scores.

Classic scores at a reasonable price, despite the flaws, and a must-have. 4 out of 5.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Star Trek 2009: My Thoughts So Far *SPOILERS*

It seems a lot about this movie is being revealed before the release on May 8th, and based on what I've seen and heard, I'm getting an interesting picture in my mind's eye as to what we will see.


It appears that this movie is essentially a reboot, but not in the strictest sense.

It seems to me that the Nero's interference in the past, that leads to the destruction of the Kelvin and Kirk's father George, also leads to other changes in the timeline, including an awareness of the Romulans years before, which may change other details, like when/where the Enterprise is built, and many of the event of James Kirk's upbringing.

Since this is an alternate universe spawned by the Narada, the existing Canon is not violated.

However, things WILL be obviously very different in many ways.

To my mind, it is up to the fans to decide whether this movie is a Canon alternate timeline, or whether to regard this as a reboot, and this will be debated for a long time after it's release.


It appears that everything looks very different to the TOS style, and this movie is visually going to change things up.

However, the basics have not really changed. The uniforms have the same basic color scheme as the Original Series, Communicators look like they function exactly the same, as do Phasers and Tricorders, and with some differences, the characters are essentially the same ones we've known from the Original Series.

Everything seems to have a vaguely Apple iStore/Art Deco/50s Chrome feel to it, which makes things appear to have an essentially unified design base.

The Enterprise herself also looks very different, but is still instantly recognizable as the Enterprise.

The Bridge also is far more elaborate than the 60s set from the Original Series, and a lot larger.

Externally, we get a ship with mayn features taken from the TMP Refit Enterprise, some resembling the Original Series version, and again fitting the iStore/Art Deco/50s sensibility.

This is fitting for the point of view of rebooting the franchise for an audience who need to be taken out of the Trek-Is-Geeky mindset.


It appears to me that the movie will be quite the adventure, much faster paced that we are used to, and potentially more accessible to the non-Trek mainstream audience.

One does not need any familiarity with the original Star Trek to understand this film.

So far, I very much like what I've seen and heard, and look forward to opening night on May 8th 2009.