– We explore the
wonders of Ramin Djawadi’s musical score through the lens of Light of the Seven
Today we are starting out the first entry in a series about modern cinematic composers. For me at least, one of the factors that emotionally connects me to a piece of visual media, whether that be, a video game, a television show, or a film is the music. The right musical choice can make or break scenes and can be one of the factors that make these moments resonate across the media landscape. We all remember that first time we heard the Imperial March or The Avengers theme explodes onto the screen. They help us get lost on the high seas, traverse galaxies far, far away, or in our first example help us delve into a world of fire and ice. Because this is an article about music, I have added links to the songs in question so you can listen along.
Ramin Djawadi is a German/Iranian composer and the key musical voice of Game of Thrones, the hugely successful HBO series based of George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series. As a composer, Ramin has been working for a long time in the musical world starting first as an assistant and then creating addition music for films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Ned Kelly, working under one of the defining voices in modern composition Hans Zimmer. Before moving onto working on his own films like Iron Man and Pacific Rim.
Back in 2018 we had a look at ranking all the current Marvel Cinematic Universe films from best to last. We at least, what ranking they were for me. Well I have just walked out of Endgame and as there are no more films (that we know of) left for 2019 it is time to revisit the list.
With these lists, I don’t rank them 1-10 as I feel that does not adequately reflect my feeling about each of the films and where they fit in relation to each other. As you can see in our X-Men countdown (see here) what we do is the group the films into categories Fantastic, GreatGood, Ok, and Trash.
Fantastic are those films which get as close to perfect as we can on this side of Heaven, with compelling characters stories and visuals. Great are those films which I thoroughly enjoyed but they did not move me emotionally. Good are solid films that while they have some issues they still work and are still enjoyable. Ok are films that work, they have some good moments, but you can start to see some of the flaws that almost scuttle the film. Trash are those films which just don’t work, whether it is the story, the characters, the visuals, or a combination of all three, they are simply letdowns.
Also within those categories, I have listed the films not in a ranked order but in chronological order of when they were released.
So let’s dive into a world of gritty spy thrillers, fun heist films, moral tales on not watching your AI experiments as you steal alien technology, high school drama, a Technicolour Dreamcoat, and the greatest collection of Chris’ since the invention of the word Chris.
Also be warned, at the time of writing two of these films are still in cinemas, so be careful with [SPOILERS].
TL;DR – Infinity War brings everyone together and then tares them apart leaving you with a foreboding as to what will happen next, but also an excitement as they try to work it all out.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars (this is a tentative score, it might change after Part 2)
Post-Credit Scene – There is an end credit scene
It should be no surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the new Avengers film. In preparation not only did I map out the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) but I also ranked every film released in the build-up (see here). However, if I am to be perfectly honest, part of this stemmed from a nervousness, could they stick the landing, could they create a story that would give justice to all the desperate characters they were involved, could they actually bring on Thanos? Well as you can probably tell I have seen the film now, so I can now answer those questions … sort of. Now a quick note today, there will be [SPOILERS] for several of the recently released Marvel films including Thor: Ragnarok (see review) and Black Panther (see review). As well as this, I will try to avoid most of the major spoilers until a paragraph at the end when we discuss the ending, but because of how quick the film moves this is just a general [SPOILER] warning if you have not seen the film yet.
When I was putting together my map of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) as a way of ignoring the fact that Infinity War is coming this week and I’m not ready, I knew that at some point that I would have had to look at the MCU as a whole. There is always trepidation when looking at lists like this because first how do you actually nail down your top five and then not want to change it moments later. As well as this, these are deeply personal films for people and my list is not going to look anything like your list, maybe, maybe not.
TL;DR – Today with the next Avengers release imminent we take a look at where on Earth we have visited during Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three
I like I think a lot of people have been sitting around with nervous excitement/suspense for Infinity War that drops next week at the time of writing and I thought it best to funnel that nervous energy into something productive. So since I like maps and I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I thought it would be interesting to map out where the MCU has visited during its three phases up to this point.
TL;DR – Today I explore and muse on the current Marvel Exhibit at GOMA in Brisbane
One surprisingly warm winter day I went for a walk from the Central Business District across the River and down to Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct nestled along the river front. Among the brutalist style buildings that include the Lyric Theatre, State Library, and State Museum is GOMA or the Gallery of Modern Art. Now I am not just here because winter in the subtropics is a beautiful time of year to go for a walk, no I’m here to explore one of the exhibits they have on at the moment, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’. Before we start just a heads up that there will be more than a few images in this article so you may want to double check that you have your phones on wifi, not mobile data. Continue reading →
TL;DR – A brilliant relaunch of a much-loved character, which tells an origin story without telling an origin story
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a Mid and Post Credit scene.
So here we are with our first big standalone Spider-Man feature now that he is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before we go on, we should probably take a moment and talk about how amazing it is that we actually got Homecoming at all. Indeed a lot had to fall into place to make this work. I’ve not seen companies work like this, and as well as this since, well maybe since Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Props have to be given to both Sony and Marvel to being able to put aside their differences and making this work, because that would not have been an easy set of negotiations, but they have made the integration almost seamless. So let us begin as we swing into the world of high school proms, alien weapons, explosions, and award conversations about life changes when you become a teenager.
So within the space of a month, we have two films from two competing companies based on the same premise and one was amazing and the other was a bit crap. So the question is what Captain America Civil War do better than Batman v Superman, and why did this make such a big difference?
The first thing is Captain America is the 13 film, and only now are they starting to get their main characters to fight each other. With BvS it is literally the second film in the series, Batman and Superman might be classic characters of cinema but you have never really had them interacting with each other before. Because of this, there is no history that gives the battle between Superman and Batman any weight, meanwhile, we have gotten to know Captain America, Iron Man and the whole cast so when they fight it means something.
TL;DR – This is without a doubt the Marvel film so far, it gets the action right, the story right, the characters right, it is a fantastic film that I highly recommend.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
P.S. There is a mid and end credits sequence
Ok wow, what a film and so far the best film for 2016 and indeed the only one so far to get a 5/5 score. After the recent poor outing of Batman v Superman, I was wondering if Marvel could actually pull this off. Can they contrive a plausible reason these characters would be fighting, actually manage all the characters in a movie that is totally not Avengers 3, but let’s be honest, this is totally Avengers 3. However, I needn’t have been concerned, the Russo Brothers are masters of their craft and they show it here in spades. Ok to lay out how this review will go, the first part will just give a general spoiler-free analysis, and then in the second part we will be going full spoilers, there will be a warning so you can skip it if you have not seen the film.