Dark Souls II by Motoi Sakuraba.
Even though I haven’t and probably won’t beat Dark Souls II, I find myself constantly listening to its soundtrack. Like the game, this soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba is thrilling, intense, frightening and sprawling. It’s a bombastic collection songs that slow down here and there. To be honest, the song that I always play on a loop is “Majula”. Now this song is perfect. It calm and soothing yet you call feel the dread, that darkness that will consume you time and time again. It’s a great song that simultaneously eases you after a fight and gets you ready to depart once again.
Favourite Tracks: Majula, Fire Keepers.
Transfiguration by Austin Wintory.
The soundtrack for Journey is easily one of the best soundtracks ever. Austin Wintory brought such a richness to the soundscape of what visually distinctive and awesome video game. Transfiguration is the piano version of Journey, of six songs to be more specific. Now this is the way to make me fall in love with you even further. Piano is what I love most about music, and Journey is one of my favourite albums ever, so put those two together and I’m already cuming. The piano turns an already melancholic album into a straight up depressing one. There is an overwhelming sense of longing, of utter sadness that even the up-beat “Road of Trials” feels like a panic attack. It’s wonderful and compelling and haunting. Such beauty that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Favourite Tracks: Final Confluence, Apotheosis.
The Last of Us, Vol. 2 by Gustavo Santaolalla.
Similarly to Journey above, Gustavo Santaolalla’s soundtrack for The Last of Us is one of the best ever. One of the things I love about the first volume is that although focused and balanced, it still felt experimental. Santaolalla was clear trying a variety of things and they all worked wonderfully. That same magic is present in this second volume and in fact this one is even more experimental. This is a continuation that feels fresh and with interesting new things to say about these incredible characters. It’s much more chaotic, intense and scary than volume 1. Sadder too, but that’s to be expected from the very nature of this different story. The loss of innocence and the cruelly inescapable reality, the soundtrack touches on all these things masterfully. It truly captivates you from start to finish.
Favourite Tracks: Fleeting, Head Rush.
Nisekoi is rapidly becoming one of my favourite anime shows. It is hilarious so much so that I can honestly I haven’t laughed this consistently by a TV show since friends. I also like that the show can be very frustrating at times, making you feel like they just keep stalling and stalling, but then suddenly things progress a mile a minute. It’s awesome.
Rosemund Pike in W Magazine Cover Shot by David Fincher.
Even though in the beginning, most people disliked or even hated Sansa Stark, Sophie Turner always made you feel guilty about not liking her. Her performance is so genuine, vulnerable and innocent that whereas before you might’ve dismissed her teenage antics, Turner now makes you want to understand her. And let’s face it, Sansa Stark has endured more than most characters and she is still a good person. Sophie Turner has come a long way too. Her performance grows even richer in subtleties to the point where she is easily outshining the other actresses.
Is what I ask myself every single time a new superhero film comes out. Once I just want to not see the standard poster with all the heroes and villains photoshopped together. But apparently nothing says “epic adventure action film” like a bunch of giant floating heads, miniature bodies with weapons and explosions. It’s like all these posters come from the exact same “design” layout. It sucks and it makes it really hard to be excited for these films.
The worse offender this year so far is The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The film already looks like Spider-Man 3.2 but it’s the marketing that is telling me: “Actually, this might be worse than Spider-Man 3.” Say it ain’t so. I liked the first film if solely because Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are perfect together. They brought energy and youth to film franchise that desperately needed it. With the origin story out of the way, the sequel had a lot of promise going in. Whatever excitement I might’ve had died rapidly with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 first trailer, and then it was taken out back and butchered repeatedly by all of the film’s posters. Is the point of these posters to make me stay as far away from this movie as possible? Bitch, you succeeding.
Examples! The Romance Poster. If the superhero film has a romance element, then there will be a version of this type of poster. First question: this being a multi-million dollar film production, am I to believe that this is the best showcase for the hot romance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2? I would think it strange that, again in a 100plus million dollar production, no one suggested that maybe Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone should perhaps have a photo shoot in-character for the required romance poster. Before, between or even after shooting. Also, isn’t it customary to do screen tests, because I would think that grabbing a screen-grab of that would be infinitely better than that photoshop monstrosity of a poster. Even worse offender, this poster from Iron Man 3. The film had been doing well in the poster department until then. Also if you will note, the background colour/style in all the Iron Man 3 posters is very similar in the main posters for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But then again, Marvel is adamant on making all of their films look like the exact same film just with different titles.
Speaking of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this film gave us a totally insulting and awful array of posters. The Scarlett Johansson poster got a lot of heat and deservedly so. But the worse poster I think is The Group Poster. I understand the need for an epic action poster featuring all the characters, but again is it really that difficult to schedule a photo shoot with your principal cast? Taking individual character posters and photoshopping them together is a shitty and lazy idea. It rarely works, and for the last 30 years it hasn’t worked. It looks fake, boring and underwhelming. It undermines the film so much, but it is a staple. People aren’t bothered by it or if they are bothered, they shrug it off because shitty fucking posters is expected of superhero films. Perhaps we all gave up after seeing the posters for X-Men: First Class.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is another recent offender. I’m excited for this film though. The trailers might be giving too much away, but I’m already there just take my money. With such a high concept and awesome looking film, it astounds me how insultingly hard the marketing is making me hate X-Men: Days of Future Past. Before we get to the double bacon with splashes of misogyny, the first posters from the film were actually cool. Not terribly inventive, but an exciting tease nonetheless. Then came the Empire magazine covers. Now you might say that with magazine covers you can’t get creative and the film directors have nothing to do with it. *COUGH*. These covers weren’t bad, but they paved the way for the latest posters which are just so lazy and boring. C’mon! This film deals with time travel and superpowers we all want, is it so difficult to have a poster that fucking reflects the anticipation and excitement of and for the film?
You know whose superhero films have cool posters? Christopher Nolan. Batman Begins had okay posters, but with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises at least 90% of the posters were awesome. They also felt singular to their specific movie. Just because it’s a sequel, doesn’t mean you should repeat your approach to the first film. This is something Marvel refuses to learn. With the Batman films, you can tell Christopher Nolan was involved with everything. Nolan knows that the marketing campaign is key, so let’s make the audience who are already excited even more so. Granted, all the Dark Knight posters are essentially a variation on the standard superhero film design poster. But like in everything else Nolan does, it’s always his interpretation on a established theme or genre and it almost always works. Why can’t more superhero film directors do the same? I suspect it comes down to the studio and that most directors have no control of how their films are marketed. Marvel needs unplug that giant stick they have up their assess and start re-thinking their approach to poster design.
I look at all these posters and what I see is a communal fear of taking risks, which is ridiculous since the films themselves are already a gigantic risk. Again, these studios spend 100plus million dollars every time they do one of this films. If everyone involved is working their best to deliver a kick-ass, memorable, entertaining and profitable film then why half-ass things wen it comes to the marketing? Whole-ass it. There is a great opportunity here to take a risk and deliver a marketing campaign that distinguishes itself from the rest. With the popularity of superhero films rising, I think this is the best time to break off from the standard designs and to show us you actually give a shit about how we, the audience, should perceive your film.
I think it’s great that David Fincher won’t be directing the Aaron Sorkin penned Steve Jobs film. The premise was interesting, but everything about it screamed: “been there done that.” I don’t know about you, but it feels to me like David Fincher has been playing it relatively safe for the past couple of films. I love them all don’t get me wrong and they are fantastic. I just think it’s time for Fincher to tackle something different. Loosen up with a dark comedy like you did with Fight Club. An adaptation Chuck Palahniuk’s “Tell-All” would be interesting or “Doomed.”