Screen Junkies » the royal ten http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:23:15 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Soundtrack Studies – Wes Anderson http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/soundtrack-studies-wes-anderson/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/soundtrack-studies-wes-anderson/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 16:49:44 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261737 Music is Anderson's second-biggest calling card. Next to his unabashed love of the Futura font.

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While every Soundtrack Studies to date has focused on a specific album, it seems that focus is somewhat wasted on the works of Wes Anderson. While the true nature of variance among Anderson’s films could be debated (and surely is), it would be difficult to contend that Anderson’s style isn’t homogeneous.

Though I realize just by saying that, I’ve just readied a legion of Anderson fans for rebuttals. Oh well, they’re all probably wispy and weak.

Wes Anderson’s pursuit of a timeless (but certainly not placeless) quality to his films has gone from a quirk early in his career to a his calling card, to perhaps a crutch worth of mockery, as SNL’s The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders so artfully indulged in.

In his avoidance of contemporary technology in his films, he also brings an aesthetic to the costuming that doesn’t belong to any era, but rather seems to belong to Anderson himself. And the same is true for the music in his films.

Curiously, the music in his films is far from anonymous. While a car in a Wes Anderson film is essentially an unbranded, shapeless placeholder for a car, the music belongs to famous artists. The Kinks, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones.

These are among the most famous artists in popular music, albeit from an era that seems to vaguely jive with the costuming, technology, and production design. So why use the Stones when you could pick some unknown French chanteuse to sing them in her native language? It ups the quirk by a degree or two, and certainly would help keep the budget down by avoiding licensing the expensive originals.

It merits noting that Wes Anderson isn’t the sole gatekeeper of his soundtracks. I mean, he’s the director, and the de facto brand, so he certainly could exercise veto power, but he works hand-in-hand with Randall Poster, a music aficionado who, through his passion for music and film, landed a career soundtracking films. He’s worked with Anderson since Bottle Rocket, so if you’re looking for another reason for the alarming consistency, that’s one right there.

Another such indicator is that Anderson and Poster have what Anderson describes as the “vault,” which is a list of songs they have pre-selected with no particular movie or scene in mind. So, to that end, it appears that reason the duo picks some songs is simply because they like the song, and not because a particular scene is begging for its inclusion. To say that a song is “shoehorned” in would (probably) be dismissive, if only because the design DNA of the films and the muted emotion are so prevalent that the taste in music runs along the same lines, so perhaps there are handful of songs in the vault that are good contenders for a scene.

Or, what I believe more likely to be true, is that while audiences and critics may mock Wes Anderson, and the choice of music for his films, that doesn’t mean they don’t like it. They’re essentially pointing out a consistency, which is an odd thing to be critical of, in and of itself. The type of people who like, or even watch Wes Anderson films aren’t the type of people who object to a deep cut by The Kinks. So while these people may object to Anderson & Co. returning to the same well over and over, it appears that they say that despite really enjoying the water from that well.

Of the artists to enjoy several track listings in a Wes Anderson film, virtually none are American or English speakers. That shuts the naysayers up pretty quickly; criticize my heavy use of this artist and you’re a xenophobe. The most glaring and recognizable example of this would be the Seu Jorge tracks on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. They’re all David Bowie covers sung in Portuguese, which is so damn Wes Anderson-y it makes me want to run out into the streets and cast Bill Murray in something.

For all of his fans, and the acclaim his films get, Wes Anderson’s soundtracking with Randall Poster is rarely described as masterful, despite being so heavily stylized and recognizable. The people that like these films understand that they’re buying into the Wes Anderson brand, and that brand is rife with things like Portuguese covers of David Bowie songs, “Hey Jude” played by the Mutato Muzika Orchestra, or just some obscure Rolling Stones song while the characters are running down the street with suitcases.

Few directors have made as powerful and distinct a brand out of their style, and while Wes Anderson’s style has many facets, it’s hard to say that his choice in music doesn’t set the tone more than any other aspect of the film. It’s good-natured, not of this era, slightly odd, but very comfortable. And to that end, he chooses music that perfectly fits the tone of his films.

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‘Enter The Alpha Dog’ (Dabney Coleman Erotic Fan Fiction – Chapter 17) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/enter-the-alpha-dog-dabney-coleman-erotic-fan-fiction-chapter-17/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/enter-the-alpha-dog-dabney-coleman-erotic-fan-fiction-chapter-17/#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2012 20:45:41 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=244499 Our encounter makes us wonder who the REAL animals are.

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Screen Junkies is proud to present ‘Enter The Alpha Dog’, the latest chapter in an ongoing work of Dabney Coleman-themed erotic fan fiction written by our own Penn Collins.

Click here for the previous installment of Dabney Coleman erotic fan fiction, ‘More Than I Bargained For’.

******Chapter 17******

As I checked the rearview mirror, the nagging doubt overtook all three of us. Maybe our journey had reached its end. With Dabney Coleman and I exhausted of all leads in this case, we were operating on empty tanks. I don’t know how Dabney found the strength to face every day, having been forced at gunpoint to execute Evangeline Lily with a cinder block. I’m guessing that at this point, Dabney was operating as more animal than man.

I, on the other hand, was feeling all too human. After taking down the Croation mob and their American contact, J.J. Abrams, I knew I would spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder. I didn’t need to ask for trouble to know that I was going to find it sooner or later. Dabney was my best friend in the entire world, but we were going nowhere fast, even with the expert computer-hacking skills of Dabney’s right-hand man, Gene Hackman.

Gene had taken some time off after The Royal Tenenbaums wandering around Far East Asia, working as a gun for hire for those few that could afford him. He’d been out of the game a couple years now, but, like me, decided that he couldn’t sit idly by while Dabney saught vengeance. No, we wanted to help him.

Driving in from the private airfield in Savannah, Georgia, it looked like someone had been expecting us. Two black Range Rovers were following us. Without letting them know I was on to the tail, I discreetly sped up and sped down, while the tail cars did the same, only more slowly. I realized then that these cars were slower because they were armored. Someone important was in that car.

But who?

I tossed Gene the binoculars. “We got company.”

Gene peered at our tails and read out the following:

“X-Ray, Tango, Romeo, Romeo, Four, Nine, Bravo, Six.”

Dabney wrote the license plate number down with his one good arm. Using a NexTel CommStat backdoor patch, Gene was able to access the Georgia DMV. The cars were registered to TelDyne Industries, the same TelDyne industries that Meghan Coleman was investigating before she was kidnapped. The same one that we suspected of forcing Dabney to beat Evangeline Lily to death.

“Change of plans,” Gene said, buried in his computer screen. We’re going to pay the CEO of TelDyne, Augustus LeDoux, a visit.

For the next five minutes, on the drive to Augustus plantation manor, we rode in silence. Though Dabney was cool on the surface, I could feel him seething underneath. I could still see the blood on his knuckles for God’s sake. Someone had to pay.

As we pulled up to the gate of the estate, we were faced with an intercom and a camera. Before I could turn to the backseat for advice, the speaker crackled.

“Dabney Coleman, I presume?”

Dabney muttered with his teeth clenched, “That’s right you son of a bitch. I’m gonna bury you. The same way I buried Abrams.”

“By all means then, enter. I would like to straighten this mess out as much as you would, I’m sure,” the intercom said, coldly. “Please pull through.”

A black butler in a tuxedo greeted us at the door. The LeDoux family had run all of the deep south’s criminal activity since Reconstruction, and they were treated with equal parts respect and fear by the residents. As we walked in, we were stunned to see Augustus walk down the spiral staircase to meet us.

“But…but…but your bio said that you were paralyzed in a boar-hunting accident over 15 years ago,” Gene said, slowly reaching for the knife strapped to his left ankle.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Mr. Hackman. Do you really think I would let you in if I didn’t feel 100% secure that I could kill you?” Augustus asked rhetorically. “Come with me. There’s something I’d like to show you.”

As we walked through acres of land behind his house, we came to a corrugated metal structure. Once LeDoux began to slide the door open and enter, dozens of dogs barking echoed out over the land. I knew what we were walking into.

A captain of criminal industry, LeDoux was nonetheless a southern boy, through and through. Consequently, rumors and innuendo’s abounded about the LeDoux’s family involvement in dogfighting. However, no one breathed a word of such allegations after Janet Hotchkiss, a reporter for the Miami Herald, disappeared while working on a dogfighting expose.

If that wasn’t suspicious enough, we had the proof right in front of us.

Over 60 dobermans, and pit bulls barked incessantly in their cages as we passed through the foul-smelling room. Dabney, a very outspoken animal lover, looked visibly shaken. He certainly didn’t need this piled on top of his problems.

“I’ve put myself in a bit of a quandary,” LeDoux said with a slow southern drawl. A victim of my own pride, I wanted to show you my animals, but you know as well as I do that since you’ve seen them, I can’t let you leave…alive.

No sooner did I see that than two of LeDoux’s henchmen took Gene Hackman and hung him upside down, painting his arm with barbecue sauce. He had a look of abject fear that quickly turned to resignation as he knew to expect the worse. If LeDoux had his way, we were all going to die in this building.

With a slight nod from LeDoux, the thugs grabbed Gene and slammed him up against the last cage in the row. “This is my pride and joy. A purebred pitbull named Esteban. I’ve seen him take apart a pig in 45 seconds. What do you think he’ll do to Mr. Hackman’s arm? Need that hand for typing, Gene?”

Gene sat their stoically as the dog came over and started gnawing away at his hand. It was only when I saw Augustus LeDoux put the pistol in Dabney’s hand that I realized this was an exercise to torment Dabney, and that Gene’s suffering was incidental.

The parameters were unspoken, but very clear. Dabney can shoot the innocent dog, trained to be a killing machine by man, or he can watch his friend’s arm be taken off in extremely painful fashion.

No sooner than the gun touched his palm than Dabney spun around and put one shot in LeDoux’s head. The henchman immediately fired on us, allowing Gene to break free, though the damage to his hand was evident. We all headed into the maze of dog crates, affording us temporary refuge from the gunfire.

LeDoux had only put one bullet in the gun. He was no idiot. So we weren’t going to be able to shoot our way out. We were going to have to use diplomacy.

“Hold your fire!” Dabney Coleman said to our pursuers. “I think we can reach an understanding…”

******Chapter 17******

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