Tag Archives: film

The magic of James Horner: Casper (1995)

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the blogathon so far. Today is the last day and here is my contribution. Enjoy!

It’s been two years since James Horner was ripped away from us, his passing left a void that may never be filled. He had a gift for creating magical themes that stuck in the head for hours after the movie was over. And one of my favorite examples from the mid-90s was the main theme from Casper (1995).

Loosely based on the comics character Casper the Friendly Ghost, Casper follows a paranormal therapist, Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter “Kat” as they travel from state to state in an attempt to make contact with the spirit of Harvey’s deceased wife Amelia. The pair come to Casper’s former home when the spoiled heiress who inherited the home wants the ghosts (Casper and his uncles) removed so she can claim the “treasure” hidden inside.

Casper’s Lullaby

Casper’s theme, listed on the soundtrack as “Casper’s Lullaby”, is a haunting piano melody that comes to the forefront particularly when Casper remembers the events of his death, and also during the Halloween dance when Kat realizes she’s dancing with Casper (who’s alive for one night).

How Casper Died

It’s such a haunting melody, one that highlights the tragedy of Casper’s short life, and the fact that he “didn’t go where he was supposed to” but stayed behind instead. Actually, ever since Horner passed away, I’ve had a hard time listening to this theme, as it reminds me that one of the greatest film composers is gone before his time. I hope you enjoy listening to Casper’s Lullaby, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the blogathon today.

New developments with the Han Solo film

Wow, things have gotten weird with the Han Solo film!! First came the news that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had been let go from the project due to “creative differences” with the powers that be at Disney and Lucasfilm. As if that wasn’t shocking enough (having two directors let go from such a high-profile project during filming no less), today the news has come down that their replacement will be none other than Ron Howard himself!!

That’s right. Ron Howard is officially directing a Star Wars film. And…I’m not sure how I feel about that. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite films are directed by Ron Howard: Apollo 13, Cocoon, A Beautiful Mind, all of these are films I enjoy. In fact, it is entirely feasible that Howard will do a fantastic job and the Han Solo film will go off without a hitch a la Rogue One. And yet…his recent efforts do not inspire me with confidence. I mean there was Inferno (2016) which hit theaters with a dull *thud.* And then there was In the Heart of the Sea the year before that, and it didn’t go over well either. I’m not saying Howard can’t do it, but I don’t feel as confident about the film now.

What do you think about Ron Howard being chosen as the new director of the Han Solo film? Is the project doomed? Or are we all fretting over nothing? Let me know in the comments below. Tomorrow marks day 1 of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon!! Don’t forget to tag my blog at the start of the post (this post is part of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Film Music Central) so I can include you in the daily summary that I will keep updated as best I can 🙂

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Movies I may (or may not) see this summer

So unbelievably, today marks the official beginning of summer (I say unbelievably because it’s been in the high 80s pretty much since the start of May). And with summer comes even more movies to enjoy! While I got off to an insane start with movie-watching earlier this year (especially March), the growing chaos of my work load means that I must be exceptionally picky with any movies I watch this summer. So on that note, here are a list of the big movies that have caught my eye and I may (or may not) go to see them. Let’s run down the list!


First up is Despicable Me 3, coming out on June 30th. To be fair, I haven’t seen any of the Despicable Me films to date, but this one looks really funny, and you know me, I’m always up for a good laugh. I’m also intrigued by Gru’s twin brother.


And then on July 7th comes the movie we’ve all been waiting for, Spider-Man: Homecoming!! This is a movie I WILL be seeing one way or another (unless it bombs, in which case forget it), and yes it may have everything to do with seeing the Iron Man interacting with Spider-Man awesomeness. Also Michael Keaton is the villain, so how can it go wrong?


The next week, on July 14th, will see the latest installment in the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes. Believe it or not, I have never actually seen any Planet of the Apes film in its entirety (I once saw the first ten minutes of the original film, and the ending of the 2001 film, which weirded me out). I have an idea of how this film is going to end, and I might be persuaded to go see it just to see if I’m right. Also, this may be the film that connects back to the original, as the little girl has been confirmed to be Nova, a mute female that appears in the original 1968 film.


The week after THAT is a movie I’ve personally been looking forward to and that’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I’m all for new science fiction films and I’m praying with all my might that this film isn’t a dud. The visuals look stunning, and if the film pulls it off I’m sure there will be sequels to come.

Now for a movie that I’m NOT looking forward to in the slightest (though I’m curious to see how it performs) and that is The Emoji Movie, which premieres the last week of July. I can barely imagine the pitch meeting that led to this film being created outside of a conversation that went something like “Hey, let’s make a movie where emojis are alive!” It is without a doubt the stupidest film concept I’ve seen recently (at least since Pixels). This is one of those films that will be badly dated in ten years (if not sooner).


Thankfully, Atomic Blonde is releasing the same week as The Emoji Movie and will likely blow that stupid film out of the water. I hadn’t heard about this film until recently (I saw a preview when I went to see Alien: Covenant) but it looks really good and I’m definitely going to see this one. It’s a spy-action film set shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall and Charlize Theron plays a spy who must investigate the murder of a fellow agent. Of course nothing is what it seems.

And since there isn’t really anything I want to see in August, that’s about it for my list. What are you looking forward to seeing the rest of this summer? I can’t wait to hear all about it in the comments below 🙂 Have a good Wednesday, we’re halfway through the week!

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Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

One thing that never fails to get to me is when a wonderful film score is attached to a terrible film: a recent case in point being the most recent box office bomb, The Mummy (which I ripped to shreds earlier this month).

Despite the film being an abysmal failure (and hopefully the death knell of the Dark Universe before it really gets going), the score, composed and conducted by Brian Tyler, is really beautiful. An amazing thing about Tyler is that on his Facebook page he will release footage of himself conducting pieces from his film scores (I have a confession, that’s where I find most of Tyler’s material to share with you). And when I saw that he had posted video of himself conducting the score at a special premiere, I had to watch.

Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

It was beautiful!! Brian Tyler is a very talented composer and it shows in this excerpt. The music begins relatively subdued, with an iteration of a particular theme (I suspect it is Ahmanet’s). But as the music goes on, this theme gains intensity and power, until the full orchestra and chorus is backing it.

Unfortunately, I fear the abysmal reviews of the film will prevent many people from experiencing the beauty of this film score (a similar thing happened with Gods of Egypt; Marco Beltrami composed a great score, but the bad reviews meant that many people never heard it). Thus, I am sharing this performance with all of you and I hope you enjoy it. On a side note, when I commented on Facebook that I loved how the theme built in power, Brian Tyler liked the comment!!

If you feel that I should give this film a chance when it’s available to rent on Redbox, let me know in the comments below (I’ll consider it if enough people think so). Don’t forget that the Remembering James Horner Blogathon begins Friday, this is the absolute last day to sign up, after midnight tonight I will consider the submissions area closed.

If you’d like to learn more about the film scores of Brian Tyler, see here

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The Remembering James Horner Blogathon begins this week!

Hi everyone, it’s Monday once again and unbelievably the 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon begins this Friday!! If you’re still interested in joining the blogathon but haven’t signed up yet, I am keeping it open until midnight tomorrow, after which I will not be accepting any new submissions.

I can’t wait to see everyone’s submissions to the blogathon!! This week may be a little hectic before then (as I’m working on several projects at once) but I will do my best to blog normally (and return to Disturbing Disney, which is full to bursting with unwritten entries!!)

I hope you have a good Monday!

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Disturbing Don Bluth: An Introduction

So for the past number of months I have been regaling you with tales of ‘Disturbing Disney’, finding the most disturbing Disney film moments I can remember and breaking them down in minute detail. Rest assured I have no plans of ending that series anytime soon (in fact I’m making plans to turn that series into a book, though that won’t come to pass for a while), but given how I still feel under the weather today, I thought I would take some time to introduce the subject of Disturbing Disney’s sister series: Don Bluth.

If you found any part of Disturbing Disney remotely disturbing or messed up, believe me when I say, you’ve seen NOTHING yet. It dawned on me somewhere around entry #10 that Don Bluth would require a series all his own to highlight the psychological torture he unwittingly put me through as a child.

For those who may not have seen the..imaginative…works of Don Bluth, allow me to make introductions. Don Bluth is, to be fair, a talented animator who originally worked for Disney, his first job as an assistant on Sleeping Beauty (1959). He returned to Disney full time in the 1970s and worked on Robin Hood, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, The Rescuers and he directed the animation for Pete’s Dragon. Not long after this, Bluth took 9 fellow Disney animators and set off to start his own animation studio, one that he hoped would rival Disney itself. Bluth was frustrated with how Disney was run at the time, and he wanted to revive the traditional animation that originally made Disney films famous.

Starting with The Secret of NIMH in 1982, Bluth directed a series of films that, though spectacularly animated, became the stuff of nightmares for children all over the world. And the biggest reason for this is due to Bluth’s philosophy on film: Bluth believed that children were capable of witnessing just about anything onscreen so long as the story had a happy ending that (in theory) cancelled out the previous trauma. In other words, Bluth wanted to go in directions that the Disney studio would not, considering that way ‘too dark.’

Disturbing Don Bluth will break down each of Bluth’s major films, all of which are full to the brim of Disturbing moments that, I assure you, will make Disturbing Disney look TAME by comparison. This series will look at films such as:

The Secret of NIMH (1982)

An American Tail (1986)

The Land Before Time (1988)

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

Thumbelina (1994)

That may seem like a short list, but in those films is contained more disturbing moments then I can count. For example, you’ll hear about how a young dinosaur nearly drowns in tar, a mouse is terrorized by a sea monster, a dog has a vivid nightmare of Hell (demons included) and one of the most traumatizing “death of a mother” scenes that I can remember (with one heck of a secret behind it).

I hope to be starting on this series very soon, and Disturbing Disney will also continue. I’m already feeling much better, so hopefully by Monday I will be able to resume a regular blogging schedule.

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Black Panther (2018) trailer


So I will be the first to admit that I don’t know that much about Black Panther except what I gleaned from the animated series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. I know that his real name is T’Challa, he’s the ruler of Wakanda, and Wakanda is where vibranium (what Captain America’s shield is made of) comes from. That’s pretty much all I know, so when I saw the first poster and trailer/teaser for the Black Panther film coming out early next year had been released, I decided to check it out.

Black Panther (2018) Teaser


Even though this was only the first teaser, I already love the look of the film. The idea of Wakanda having this hidden advanced technology and the outside world has no idea (well, except for Andy Serkis’s character) sounds super-interesting. I’m excited to learn more about the culture of Wakanda and how exactly this film ties in to the overall story (because there’s going to be a tie-in somewhere, there is ALWAYS a tie in somewhere).

What do you think of this first look at Black Panther? Is it already on your “must-see” list for next year? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

There’s just about a week left to sign up for the 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon here , it should be a great time!!

For more Quick and Random Thoughts, see here

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