Blog Archives

These Sounds Will Not Be Silent

Batman or Superman?

Fortunately, there’s a cinematic battle between these two DC Universe icons in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice¬†that will finally answer this age old question. This movie of epic proportions premieres in theaters today and the hype, expectations and immediate future of both characters is on the line.

Henry Cavill gave moviegoers an introduction to his Superman in 2013s Man of Steel and Ben Affleck is following the damn-near perfect (if not arguably perfect) portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman with The Dark Knight trilogy that concluded just 4 short years ago.

No pressure there.

I have not seen Batman v Superman yet, but there have been plenty of teasers and trailers lately (too many?) that, visually, the movie’s look has been pretty well revealed. How about the soundtrack? This movie is interesting in that it has two very familiar composers. Hans Zimmer composed a brilliant Dark Knight trilogy score and he also did Man of Steel’s wonderful soundtrack with assistance from Junkie XL.

Playing on his expertise with both superheroes, Mr. Zimmer collaborated with soundtrack veteran Junkie XL and crafted the sounds of Batman v Superman.

Here’s the opening taste from the soundtrack.

Once again: Batman or Superman?

“Coming Soon” Redefined

2015: Welcome back dinosaurs and the epic battle of good vs. evil.

Reflecting on last week’s treasure trove (however small) of movie trailers slated for mid-late 2015 release dates, it’s clear that audience engagement and connectivity is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Jurassic World and Stars Wars: The Force Awakens are already two of the must-see movies of next year. Not this year, but next year. In fact, the soonest one of the aforementioned films will be released is in seven months.

Why mention this marketing strategy now?

Because movie studios and directors are continuing to forge relationships with their fans during the speculation phase of their projects right through the development of the plot, filming in the various settings/locations and character leaks and special social media reveals several months and even a year before its theatrical premiere (ie – Interstellar’s first teaser was last November). And let’s not forget about the DC Comics Universe announcing that seemingly endless list of future superhero movies that give fans years upon years of movies to look forward to. Marvel also does its part as well in this department. This modern, evolving dynamic in the film industry is fascinating because it connects movie makers with its fans on a surprisingly constant basis. Some in Hollywood, understanding the incredible interest in amazingly sublime and complex stories with popular actors, actresses, writers, producers and directors, have created an investment in cinema.

Are the days of going to see a movie as a spontaneous weekend fling going away?

No. However, for the most ambitious and popular movies/stories (live action and animated), the trend is moving towards more involvement/persistent awareness between movie producer and fan. This can be viewed as good because the interest and connection is voluntary and exciting to its willing participants (sans spoilers). But this can also be viewed as bad because of intrigue fatigue. We live in a minute-to-minute and even second-to-second world. Few secrets are held for very long these days. Eventually, widespread speculation or new information will be released to the public. With that in mind, how many seconds and/or minutes are in seven months? One year?

While the movie going experience is becoming, well, more of an experience, it does work. Interstellar was undeniably worth the wait (I saw it twice in IMAX), as was The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel, serving as just a few examples. It’s likely that Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be as well. It should be noted that the films that are promoted with such surreal longevity are films that reward its dedicated fans with an unforgettably rich movie experience.

In the age of information, driven through the lightning fast digital medium, the questions are whether this epic marketing strategy of teaser trailers and perfectly placed clues/special reveals can continue to sustain and produce epic results without the eventual exhaustion of an epic journey before making it the theater? Is too much being revealed in the trailers?

For now, I’m entranced by the new lightsaber, in awe and suspense of a genetically modified dinosaur (and story 22 years in the making) and delightfully eager to witness James Bond’s 24th cinematic adventure in a finely tailored suit.

2015 is setting up to be legen-wait for it…

Dawn of a Soundtrack

“Zimmer will only be scoring the Superman parts of the film, according to an interview he gave to Comic Book Resources, while Junkie XL is going to handle the Batman side of things, also scoring the movie. The idea of having two composer working against each other and together over the course of the film feeds directly into the nature of the film.”

–Drew McWeeny, Yahoo’s HitFix

Zack Snyder is proving to be a thoughtful and creative director of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, expected to be released in a year and a half in the middle of 2016.

Snyder is thoughtful because while he is again working with famed composer Hans Zimmer in a follow-up to Man of Steel (which Hans composed and Snyder directed), Snyder is respecting the mesmerizing and unforgettably epic soundtrack Hans created for Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy. This yet-to-be-release movie will feature a new Batman with a new creative team (except for David S. Goyer). It would have been easy (and quite frankly) expected for Snyder to reenlist Zimmer to scribe a new Batman theme. But, out of respect to the stand-alone trilogy and to Zimmer himself, Snyder has excitedly asked him to expand the already praised modern soundtrack to the current Superman: Henry Cavill.

Dawn of Justice will star a new Batman in a new story. And Superman’s story is just beginning, with the origin chapter now complete. So, well done Snyder, well done.

Snyder is creative because he is challenging and, in effect, daring a musical maestro, which has the thrilling potential to result in something quite magical. The process will likely be partly uncomfortable, and yet exciting for both composers. The battle royale of all battle royales in superhero culture will not only have an epic stage, but it will have an epic, multilayer musical journey. This arrangement of competing composers appears to be unprecedented, therefore its creativity reading is rightly off the Richter scale.

Still more than a year off into the horizon, it’s reassuring to read that the director of an upcoming cinematic adventure for the ages starring the two most storied superheros in history understands the gravitas of these characters and seems to be rising to the immense expectations of its dedicated and anxious fans.

That’s music to everyone’s ears.

A Super Future

First and foremost, my Captain America had a successful open-heart surgical procedure yesterday and this person is resting comfortably!

One certainty from this experience (though a lengthy recovery awaits) is that, from what I was told, this person was brave throughout the whole process. This individual combined a scary reality with the universe that stars Captain America to remain calm for the major surgery.

Quite a super mindset, wouldn’t you say?

For the foreseeable future, Marvel and DC Comics will be relentlessly writing and producing summer blockbusters that feature its best superheroes. It’s true. Though the most recent “Age of Superhero Movies” started several years ago, the imagination and intriguing dynamics from all of these films is unmistakable. It’s increasingly weaving itself into mainstream culture with t-shirts worn by virtually every type of person these days, more energized conferences, relevancy to real world events and dilemmas, along with the admiration of the cinematic quality from top-shelf directors and cinematographers. Also, note the popularity of The Big Bang Theory.

What does this mean?

In an era where institutions and its leaders are continually (and sadly predictably) letting us down, there is an empty vacuum to be filled for over-arching societal guidance. It’s becoming more and more apparent that characteristics of famed-superheroes are being adopted and relied upon by us to help react to the chaotic events of our personal lives and the world around us. Instead of looking up for leadership, we’re looking next to us at our fellow men, women and children. The varying exercise of the power of the individual in our highly publicized, social media-driven culture is generating a collective pulse of inspiration (remember Batkid?) that all of us can admire and reach to for our own struggles.

Maybe, just maybe, we’re building the foundation for a super population and culture in the 21st century.

“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.”
–Batman