Music Break – TRON: Legacy score by Daft Punk

TRONLegacy_Lightcycle

My hubby was playing one of the tracks of Tron: Legacy soundtrack this weekend and I loved it so much I asked him to play the entire album. It’s been five years since I saw the movie (read my review), which was not quite as good as the trailer promised it to be, but two things I loved about the movie are those super cool light cycles and the awesome soundtrack by Daft Punk.

DaftPunkTRONLegacyPer its Wiki page, the score features an 85-piece orchestra, recorded at AIR Lyndhurst Studios in London, mixing orchestral and electronic music as director Joseph Kosinki intended. Joseph Trapanese, who apparently was a fan of the helmeted French techno-pop duo, arranged and orchestrated their score. “We were just together working throughout the whole process and there was never a point where the orchestra was not in their minds and the electronics were not in my mind. It was a continual translation between the two worlds and hopefully we put something together that will be something different because of that,” Trapanese said of their two-year collaboration.

Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, the two guys behind Daft Punk, actually had a cameo in the movie as DJs in the computer world’s after-hours hot spot called the End of the Line club. The music adds so much to the movie, especially during all the light cycle race scenes. It’s kind of an odd genre mash-up, electronic and classical, but it works so beautifully here. I really think the score surpasses the movie and one I like listening to over and over.

Here are four of my favorite tracks from the album, starting with the one I like best, Recognizer. As I’m a big fan of classical music, naturally adore the Adagio for Tron.

Here’s the music video of the track Derezzed which appeared in the special trailer for the movie, it features cast member Olivia Wilde at the end:


Hope you enjoyed this music break. What do you think of the TRON: Legacy soundtrack?

Hello again everyone, I’m baaaack!

Hello, hello!! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas break. I was blessed to spend time with family to celebrate Christmas and my mother in-law’s Christmas-day birthday. I definitely need to get back to the gym pronto as I’ve been eating soooo much yummy food all week, most of them were home-made Indonesian food that my mom’s friends cooked for us!

Thank the Lord we had booked a morning flight last night as the snow got worse as the day progressed. In fact, our flight was delayed for an hour due to a de-icing snafu and I got worried it could be canceled & we’d be stranded in the snowpocalypse North East! Take a look at this photo of Times Square where our hotel was at. We were just there a couple of days before this blizzard hit!

Dan Nguyen's Times Square Flickr Photo
Photo courtesy of Dan Nguyen

Well, suffice to say it’s been a slow movie-watching week as I didn’t get to the theater at all. The only thing I saw last week was Shrek The Third after a big Christmas dinner. The movie itself was ok, not horrible but definitely not as funny as the original Shrek, but no matter, it was indeed a lovely experience watching a movie together with family.

But last night I finally got to see got to see TRON: Legacy! I had been wanting to see that for ages, and despite the so-so reviews, I still had to check it out for myself. Well, the dazzling visuals certainly didn’t disappoint! I’ll try to get my review done later today for tomorrow.

Oh, before I sign off, I thought I’d share this video that was shown on the Christmas day church service. I thought it’s a poignant look at what would happen if Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Zechariah were using Facebook in the times of Jesus Birth.

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Well folks, it’s good to be back in the blogosphere and looking forward to catching up on your posts! Now tell me, what movie(s) did YOU manage to see during the holidays?

Weekend Viewing Roundup: Le Samouraï and 1982 TRON

Happy Monday, all! Hope you had a fantabulous weekend… or at least an enjoyable one. Well it’s chilly over here, but that’s hardly news obviously… it’s Minnesota folks, if it’s warm in December then we have some serious climate issues on our hands 🙂 Well, did you get to the movies this weekend? Perhaps you went to see Tangled, which finally dethroned the latest Harry Potter movie from its box office reign. Or some of you probably saw Black Swan, which had strong opening on limited release according to Box Office Mojo. After reading my buddy Vince’s excellent review, was hoping to see The Red Shoes (did you read it yet?) which is on Netflix Streaming, but didn’t get around to it. Hopefully next weekend.

In any case, the genre jumping continues. On snowy Friday night, hubby and I ordered in and snuggled to watch Le Samouraï, which I mentioned briefly in last week’s weekend roundup. I’ve been wanting to see an Alain Delon movie, and this description of Delon’s character Jef Costello in This Guy’s list of Top 20 Badass Characters of Early Cinema intrigued me:

This is badass perfected. Costello is exacting, precise, he has the cold hard stare down pat, a man of very few words. He has the suave chicness of Bond, but remains as dark as any Noir antihero. He’s mysterious. Jean-Pierre Melville’s film is hip beyond belief, and no one could bring as much badassery to Jef Costello as the impeccable Alain Delon.

Well, that description is positively spot on. Costello is a free-agent assassin who brought the silent-but-deadly type to a whole new meaning. His glazed expression perfectly complements his impeccably tailored trench coat and stylish fedora… it’s as if they’re tailor-made to match his killer looks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man wore a classic trench coat as flawlessly as Delon here, in fact, the style of this movie can spark a whole new blog topic on its own. Not just for Costello’s clothes and his spartan-like lifestyle, but also Jean-Pierre Melville’s stylish noir direction. Right from the beginning, we’re told that the main theme of this movie is solitude… “There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle… Perhaps…” so says the quote attributed to an ancient samurai writing Bushido (though the quote is by Melville himself).

The French auteur is widely recognized for his tragic, minimalist film noirs (per Wiki), a genre I’m not too familiar with but always curious about. Le Samouraï is a fascinating look of that genre. Not sure I’d say that I enjoy it immensely though, I’d be lying if I said that. There were more than one occasion where the movie felt repetitive and tedious, overindulgent even. On the other hand, it’s also a nice break from the hurried pace of today’s movies where dizzying camera work and all kinds of special effects often ‘clutter’ the story and lessen the impact. In fact, the measured pace give the few action sequences more impact and Melville established plenty of tension in an effortless kind of way.

The gripe I have about it though, is the lack of character development. There’s little attempt to explain why Costello is the way he is… his reason for being a loner and his relationship with the girl who’s willing to risk her life to help him. It’s tough to feel any sympathy or any kind of connection with the character. The way the supposedly-perfectionist hit man conducts his business also leaves my hubby and I scratching our heads… a lot of them seemingly defy even the most basic common sense and there seems to be no real motive on his part — or any other character in the movie for that matter. In the end, Le Samouraï feels more of a style over substance and feels as distant and cold as Delon’s deadpan stare. Still, it’s worth a watch though once is definitely enough for me, but I might check out other Alain Delon movies, such as Purple Noon, which is his first major role.

The second film we saw this weekend, 1982 TRON, is practically a warm-up to one of my highly-anticipated movies of 2010, TRON: Legacy. I never saw this movie nor was I even remotely interested in it but my husband, who’s big fan, kinda sold me on it. He encouraged me to watch original before the movie comes out in 2 weeks, as the new one is a direct follow-up from the original story (one of the new posters even paid homage to the original).

The 1982 version showed hacker/arcade owner Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and his friends’ quest to take back the concept that’s been stolen by a former colleague, which led him to a virtual world to battle with a ‘Big Brother’ type of program called MCP. TRON is an independent system security program created by Flynn’s ally Alan (Bruce Boxleitner), which holds the key to destroying MCP. In the new trailer, it shows that Flynn’s been missing for decades and now it’s up to his son to find his father and restores his legacy.

Y’know, I actually quite enjoyed this one, though towards the end I kinda became numb a bit from all the neon lights of the video game world 🙂 Sure it looks dated but this was made nearly three decades ago, where there was no such thing as graphical user interface and computer mouse wasn’t even invented in this pre-Internet era. So at the time, this was unlike anything they’ve ever seen and the concept is definitely intriguing and interestingly enough, still relevant to this day.

It’s pretty amusing to see the then 30-something Bridges and Boxleitner (who was the star of one of my favorite 80s show Scarecrow & Mrs. King) so young and fresh-faced. Bridges especially has that mischievous playfulness about him that’s so fun to watch. Both actors are reprising their roles in the new  movie, but of course the real star of the new show is the spectacular visuals, especially of those glowing lightcycles! 😀 A few street-legal replicas of those are apparently for sale. But before you shell out $55 K, keep in mind that these things—like Batman’s Batpod—only looks cool if you ride ’em fast (even better if you have a cape on you, too :D). The guy in the video is barely able to mount the thing, kinda looks ridiculous if you ask me 😀

In any case, just for fun, check out this fan-made original TRON trailer:


Well, that’s the roundup, folks. What movie(s) did you manage to see this weekend?

Welcome to September! What’s your favorite 2010 movie so far?

OMG, it’s September already!! Where did the Summer go?? It sure went quick isn’t it… once we enter the ‘_ ber’ month, brrrrrr temperature isn’t too far behind for us here in the Upper Midwest 😦

But let’s not think about that shall we? We’re here to talk about movies after all, and to start off the new month, why not talk about the movies we’ve seen so far this year and those we’re still anticipating. I wish I had seen more new movies this year, but so far, here are my favorites:

Remember Me | Iron Man 2 | Robin Hood | Toy Story 3 | Inception

Clash of the Titans and The Ghost Writer didn’t meet my expectation. The first one turned out to be utterly bad (read FC’s full review) and I found the Roman Polanski movie quite dull despite its promising premise. The Other Guys was pretty funny, but I probably won’t remember much of it later. I also got an advanced screening to see the action comedy RED which boast an excellent cast of, it was pretty entertaining, but a lot of what I remember was how gorgeous Karl Urban was 😉

And here are at least five I’m looking forward to in the next four months:

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I – released Nov. 19
    As I just started watching the series a few months ago, no doubt I’m curious to see the final two installments.


  2. Never Let Me Go (view poster & trailer) – released date Sept. 15 (limited)
    First the poster piqued my interest, then I saw the trailer, which intrigued me even more. Then I read more about Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel and WOW, I’ve got to see this one!
  3. Tron: Legacy (view details) – released Dec. 17
    I’ll see it for the awesome visuals and SFX, but I hope the story doesn’t disappoint.
  4. The Tourist (view details) – released Dec. 10
    I’m more excited about seeing Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell in the big screen than the two leads. I seriously hope this is just the beginning of Dalton’s return to the big screen!
  5. The Debt (view trailer) – released Dec. 29
    I’m fond of Helen Mirren and the rest of the cast – Sam Worthington, Ciaran Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson – aren’t too bad, either. The premise about an ex-Mossad agent in charge of tracking down the Nazi war criminal seems like a good recipe for a taut thriller.

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Ok, now your turn to share. What’s your best or favorite movie(s) you’ve seen this year? And what movie (s) are you looking forward to the rest of the year?

Upcoming Flix Spotlight » TRON: Legacy

I wish I could be in San Diego this week, ComicCon sounds like a lot of fun, and it’s increasingly becoming as much for movie lovers as comic book fans. One of the most buzzed about upcoming movie this year is Disney’s Tron: Legacy. I’ve become increasingly intrigued by this movie, and the new trailer just shot my excitement up through the roof. Check it out:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As I said in my previous post, this is the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film Tron, starring a much younger Jeff Bridges. Instead of a dream world a la Inception, this time much of the movie takes place in a digital world created by Bridges character Kevin Flynn, a former premier video-game developer. Flynn’s been missing for 25 years and his estranged son is pulled into the virtual game world as he searches for him, a mesmerizing cyber universe full of neon lights and shiny objects! LOVE that Lightcycle, forget Batpod, I want one of those! According to the Collider, this movie’s broken a record for being present at the conference three years in a row! But this year’s the first time Con-goers are shown actual footage from the film (the previous two years they were presented with only the 2D and 3D test footage, probably to test people’s interest?). The cast and crew were present in the film’s panel Q&A session, including Joseph Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, TRON creator Steven Lisberger, and stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, and the dude himself, Jeff Bridges! I’ve never heard of Kosinski before, but according to this FastCompany article, sounds like he knows what he’s doing despite his lack of filmmaking experience. He apparently has a master in architecture design from Columbia and also founded a Web-design firm where he created short-films made entirely on the computer.

Kosinski directing his cast on set

As for casting, Bridges actually plays the same role twice, well, kind of. When I saw the trailer, there’s a guy who bears an uncanny resemblance to him but looks half his age of 61, and I wondered who the actor is. Well, guess what, Matt Goldberg at Collider is saying that character is actually CGI, “…I don’t want to jump the gun, but from what I saw today, it looks like they’ve cracked the technology to de-age actors digitally.” THR HeatVision also mentioned about the ‘de-aging’ technology, here’s what Bridges himself thought about it: “One of the things that always bothered me as an actor was when you have to play your self at different ages is that you have an other actor playing you. Now that’s no longer the case. You can play yourself at any age. To be in this groundbreaking movie, where it’s done for the first time, is cool.”

I’m not sure the story will be a compelling one, but visually speaking I’m hooked. I was practically ooh-aah-ing as I’m watching this trailer, like a fly mesmerized by bright lights 😀 Now this is one that’s meant to be seen in 3D come December 17th.

How about you, is this one in your must-see list?

Random assortment of movie musings and news – July Edition

Ok, about 72+ hours after I wrote my Inception review and my mind’s finally able to think about something else! A bunch of us obviously went and saw it this weekend as the blogs are all abuzz with Inception-related posts, and it’s been a trending topic on Twitter for at least four straight days! Christopher Nolan’s gutsy mind-bending thriller seems to have paid off, it’s made over $70 million in the last five days domestically. Though it pales in comparison to The Dark Knight‘s opening take of $158 million, but it’s still impressive considering it’s an original story and it didn’t have the boost from Heath Ledger’s sudden passing.

Anyways, here are just some random stuff I noticed this past week:

  • Apparently teen heartthrob Zac Efron was at the Mall of America a couple of nights ago. The local radio tipped me off and I got a chuckle out of the reporter who was covering the event as she had to bring several earplugs! He’s promoting his new tearjerker drama Charlie St. Cloud. Man, I’m glad I wasn’t there that day (my office is relatively close to it so sometimes I stopped by after work), I mean check out this massive crowd! The reporter said there could easily be 10,000 people there. That’s just mind-boggling to me, ok so we MN folks don’t get to see Hollywood celebs very often but still! Anyhoo, I personally think the dude is practically a living breathing personification of a Ken doll, but I’m obviously not his target market. To be fair though, Zac just might be a decent actor (he earned some raves in Me & Orson Wells a couple of years back), though he probably ain’t going to shed his matinee idol image with his new flick. And apparently the marketing department was too busy framing Zac’s face just so in the poster they didn’t bother thinking about the slogan. LIFE IS FOR LIVING? Seriously, why bother!
  • On a related note, according to FirstShowing, Efron reportedly wished he had been cast in Zack Snyder’s upcoming fantasy thriller Sucker Punch. Not sure if the reason is because his main squeeze Vanessa Hudgens is in it, or he just likes Snyder’s work. With a tagline “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns,” it’s bound to appeal to most Comic-Con attendees, and even more so after they see this provocative first official photo. Snyder seems to have had a lot of luck at the San Diego convention, his last two flicks (300, Watchmen) got a big boost from it, especially the first. I thought that this is another graphic novel adaptation, but it’s actually Snyder’s own idea that was converted into a screenplay, which marks his first project that isn’t based on another person’s work. The plot per IMDb: A young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility.
  • Read this one briefly on my daily IMDb fix, and I felt compelled to comment on it. It appears that Katherine Heigl is hellbent on further derailing her career. After the disastrous The Ugly Truth and the equally dismal and utterly pointless Killers, she’s now teaming up with Andy Tennant for her new movie, the guy who brought us The Bounty Hunter (hence my open letter to Gerry Butler, who’s as guilty as Heigl in having any part at all in TUT). Oh well, who cares, I won’t be seeing it anyway.
  • What I am excited for is this upcoming Israeli-themed thriller The Debt. I first heard about it last year but then I was a bit worried this might end up becoming a straight-to-dvd flick when Disney closed down Miramax. Well, this week Entertainment Weekly‘s released the first still of Sam Worthington as a Mossad agent, and we’ve got a release date of December 29, 2010. Yay! Worthington’s surrounded by an excellent cast of Helen Mirren (every flick with her in it gets my attention lately), Tom Wilkinson, Ciaran Hinds, Jessica Chastain and Marton Csokas.

    The trailer’s also just been released, which I’ll post later today. I’m curious to see how Worthington’s performance pan out here. So far I haven’t been overly impressed with his acting, but then again his flicks has been more about the special effects (Avatar, Clash of the Titans) than anything else. Though he showed something promising in Terminator Salvation, I really want to see his dramatic side when he isn’t hidden under all that blue makeup and cat-like eyes. Acting is much about expression and an actor ought to have more than two or three ‘look’ to choose from. Sounds like he’s adopting an Israeli accent too, so we’ll see if he does that better than his American one 🙂
  • There were a bunch of trailers shown in front of Inception, it went on and on endlessly and the movie itself is already 2.5 hours long! Well, one of them that I liked was the Tron: Legacy trailer, which have been making a splash in Comic Con for the past couple of years. Y’know, this movie wasn’t really on my radar until my husband enthused about it, saying how much he liked the original (I never saw it) and proceeded to show me the original trailer. Well, now I’m intrigued, apparently Jeff Bridges starred in the original called Tron in 1982 and is now back for the sequel.

    From its IMDb page, the summary goes like this: Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Bridges), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant, father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous. I’ve never heard of Hedlund before, but apparently he’s from Roseau, Minnesota! In any case, I’m curious to see this now, and Rockerdad is going to lend me the Tron dvd so I can see how outdated it is now and how far we’ve come in CGI 🙂

Well anyways, happy Wednesday folks. Any thoughts about any of this topic, please chime in below.