Friday, April 30, 2010

Highlighted Song! Signal to Noise

Possibly one of my favorite instrumental songs ever conceived, Signal to Noise was written and sung by former 'Genesis' lead singer, Peter Gabriel. The score was used for the 2002 film, Gangs of New York. The music itself is a dramatic epic of sorts. Below is the song in both its normal, and purely instrumental forms, along with two music videos that use 'Signal'. Finally there's the scene from the Gangs of New York opening that showcases the music as well.

BE WARNED!!! Rated R violence and language is contained within the 3rd and 4th videos. If you don't want to see possibly disturbing images, don't watch 'em.

Here's the instrumental version of 'Signal' and by far my favorite.

Here's the normal version with Peter Gabriel providing vocals.

Here's a link to a Serenity video that features 'Signal'. Unfortunately embedding has been disabled for this video.

(Content Warning!) Granted, some portions of this video don't quite seem to match up, especially with the added end piece, but it's still pretty awesome.

(Content Warning!) Lastly, here's the fight scene at the beginning of Gangs of New York.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Expanded Universe Gems: Dark Forces: Jedi Knight

Okay, so you may have read previously that I LOVED the Star Wars video game, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight. But what you may not know, is that the game was accompanied by a series of novellas. Now when I say novellas, I'm referring to a set of three short stories, written as if they were a single story, but simply divided into a trilogy of short, hardcover books. These stories coincide almost perfectly with the story of Jedi Knight, (with a few creative liberties thrown in) and add a massive amount of depth and back story to the already excellent tale.

The first novella, Soldier for the Empire chronicles the start of Jedi Knight's main protagonist, Kyle Katarn, as he discovers that his place as a Stormtrooper among the Galactic Empire is unfitting. Kyle's journey from his young, unwise self at the start of 'Soldier', to that of a Rebel Agent to Jedi Knight to galactic hero and Expanded Universe icon is a truly epic one.

Some of the most intriguing characters, who also happen to be the main villains of the trilogy, are the Dark Jedi; a group of Force-wielding Dark Siders who are attempting to locate and infuse themselves with the power of The Valley of the Jedi, which holds the spirits of both Jedi and Sith from the final battle of the Great Sith War, told in the Tales of the Jedi comic series. The Seven Dark Jedi are led by Jerec, former Jedi and survivor of Order 66.

'Soldier' and it's subsequent sequels, Rebel Agent and Jedi Knight are all aided by gorgeous full-color illustrations by three separate artists. The illustrations fully flesh out Kyle's story and draw deeply from the live action cut-scenes created for the Jedi Knight video game.

In addition to both the video game and the novellas, Dark Forces was retold
in an audio drama format. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to hear or acquire these audio dramas, but if anyone wants to send me a donation... :P

Besides it being a fan favorite, and the fact that not mentioning it in one of my 'Expanded Universe Gems' segments would be blasphemous, Dark Forces holds a place as dear in my heart as the Star Wars films themselves. With its wonderful cut-scene enhanced video game predecessor, an awesome storyline, and wonderful illustrations, Dark Forces is truly an EU Gem!

Katarn as he appears in on of the cut-scenes from Jedi Knight; played by Jason Court.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Last Airbender: New trailer & 3D

The Last Airbender, the live-action, feature film incarnation of the popular Nickelodeon animated epic, Avatar: The Last Airbender, is set to be released in the United States on July 2. Thanks to an update on the movie's official website,, we now know that the film will be released in 3-D.

In addition to that little piece of news, a new trailer has been revealed which seems to show more promise for both the story, and the bending we'll be seeing in the film.

I'm not sure if I'm excited about the 3-D news. Creating movies in 3-D has become a fad, once again... Also, as far as I know, The Last Airbender wasn't originally created with 3-D in mind. It was most likely adapted for 3-D similarly to Clash of the Titans.

But hey, I'm not complaining. There's still no way I'm going to miss this! :)

The Old Republic Update

The Old Republic is looking to be quite an exciting expansion to the Knights of the Old Republic series of video games. There have been multiple updates to the official The Old Republic website that I've not posted about.

New TOR Webcomic: Blood of the Empire is a prequel to The Old Republic's popular online comic series, Threat of Peace. Blood of the Empire will, like its predecessor, lead up to the events of The Old Republic.

New Planets: Three more planets have been revealed as playable locations for TOR. The first planet, Voss, is new to Star Wars lore. According to, Voss is a world populated by a species sharing its name with the planet and the Gormak, a race know for their incredible technology.

Taris, one of the main locales of the original Knights of the Old Republic video game will once again be visitable, though now it will be visualized as a planet of ruins. For anyone unfamiliar with the plot of the first game, Taris once featured a marvelous cityscape, which was later destroyed by the reigning Sith Lord Darth Malak.

The third planet revealed was Belsavis, another locale from previous Expanded Universe material, Children of the Jedi to be precise. Belsavis is to appear as a frigid planet covered in ice in TOR.

Holonet Updates: The Galactic Time line section of The Old Republic website is a wonderful way to reveal the backstory for the upcoming game. Its entries are a mix of narration in the form of a Jedi historian, and conceptual art for the game which has been transformed into moving works of art. If you've yet to see these videos, I highly recommend traveling to to check them out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Highlighted Song! Freedom Fighters

Like I said, some of Two Steps From Hell's finest works were created for the Star Trek trailers. Below is my personal favorite, Freedom Fighters, and possibly the most epic song ever created. Enjoy!

In other news; Chuck, my current TV obsession is continuing to rock.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Segment: Quick Movie Reviews

So as I'm sure you're aware by now, I love to watch movies, though I don't have nearly enough time to write reviews about each one I see. Therefore, I'm creating another new segment wherein I feature several reviews of movies, both old and new.Before I get into my first lineup, I'll introduce you to my rating system. It's quite simple, and almost doesn't need an introduction, but here goes. The rating system is on a 1-10 scale, 1 being a terrible movie, not worth seeing and sure to make you spew your last meal, 10 being a true work of art, a masterpiece in all realms of film, characters, visuals, and story.

So without further adieu, here's my first lineup of reviews.

Clash of the Titans
: A remake of the 1981 film of the same name, Clash of the Titans is a tale of Greek mythology, and while it has its moments, primarily in its action sequences, the film fails to deliver a compelling story. In addition, beyond the main character of Perseus, Titans doesn't have much depth to its characters.

Rating: 6.5 (Better than average)

DVD Review:

Sherlock Holmes
: Staying true to the Holmes stories and portions of its canon, Sherlock Holmes comes with plenty of laughs, character development and action. Its portrayal of the relationship between Holmes and Watson took center stage, creating a great comedic atmosphere throughout the duration of the film.

Along with the wonderful visualization of 19th century London, Holmes comes with plenty of surprises and portrays Holmes in a way true to the books and short stories. The movie itself seems to literally have come off the pages of one of the many Holmes stories

Rating: 7.5 (Close to excellent)

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Segment: Highlighted Song!

So I'm starting up a new ongoing segment wherein I highlight my favorite movie and TV show soundtracks. Or simply a random song that I see fit to mention. These posts will be intentionally short, but I'll also take the time to put in short news blurbs within each post. Enjoy!

Two Steps From Hell, the creators of a large portion of the music you hear in movie trailers, created such music for the 2009 release of Star Trek. Some of the companies finest epics where created for Star Trek's second and third trailers, with the first one, 'Down With The Enterprise' featured below.

Also, if you're into Horror films, check out Starcostume's countdown of the Top 15 Horror Movie Villains here;

Look for Two Steps From Hell's second score for Star Trek's trailers in the coming future.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Countdown: My Top 10 Favorite Movie Villains

1. Darth Vader- In my opinion, Darth Vader is the epitome of villains. He's powerful, foreboding and he's got a temper. His fall from grace chronicled in Star Wars' prequel trilogy was saddening to say the least, and for fans of the original trilogy, nothing compares to the moment where Vader revealed himself as Luke's father.

2. The Joker-While Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker was greatly hyped due to his death after the film's completion, his final performance was one for the ages. Ledger brought about a perfect interpretation of the classic comic book villain, while adding several small additions of his own to Batman's bane.

3. The Borg-The penultimate adversaries for the Federation and all its allies, the unstoppable force that is the Borg wreaked chaos throughout the Star Trek universe many a time, coupling their hive mind with their tenacity and impressive technology.

4. Colonel William Tavington-The personification of a coldblooded soldier, Colonel Tavington sowed death and destruction into the Martin family after killing both of the family's eldest sons during the Revolutionary War. believe it or not, Tavington was an actual Colonel during the Rev War. Google it if you don't believe me.

5. The Terminator-Yes, I did feature The Terminator as an 'Honorable Mention' on my list of Top 10 Movie Heroes (below), but as you may or may not know, he began as a villain; hence the name the Terminator. The unstoppable killer is a common theme in action, horror and suspense movies. One of the original examples is of the T-800, or the Terminator featured in the movie of the same name.

6. Sauron/The Ring: The creator of The Ring of Power, Sauron gathered massive amounts of villainous creatures to him, creating a true force to be reckoned with for those inhabiting Middle Earth. Sauron also wreaked havoc in his postmortem state of being, as both the 'Eye' of Sauron and The Ring itself. Besides, his armor is so cool looking!

7. The Alliance-Everyone fears rule under a corrupt government. The Galactic Alliance is a shining example of such a government. With Serenity's exploration into characters and their freedom the Galactic Alliance became the adversaries of the crew after creating the madness that was River Tam, and attempting to dissolve of the evidence of their creation of the space savages, the Reavers.

8. The Klingons- A species of interstellar warriors with a barbaric mindset, the Klingons began as the Federation's original nemeses, but eventually created a fragile alliance with the Federation. I still prefer them as the enemies. *Crosses fingers for next Star Trek movie.

9. Emperor Palpatine- Known as the ultimate manipulator, the Emperor began as a politician, rising into the office of Supreme Chancellor, and eventually bestowing the title of Galactic Emperor onto himself. His manipulation of Anakin, the Jedi and the entire galaxy creates the focal point for the entire Star Wars movie saga.

10. Lord Voldermort-The tormentor of both Harry Potter and the magical world in which he inhabits, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had all the tendencies of a power hungry protege. Though his character doesn't make a true appearance until the fourth novel and its subsequent movie tie in, mere stories of his exploits had fans of the books and movies eagerly awaiting his return.

Honorable Mentions:

Grendel: Grendel was the reason that Beowulf traveled to Denmark in the first place. News of his terrible exploits had reached far and wide, and the movie adaption of Beowulf did a wonderful job of bringing the creature to life.

Viki and the NS-5s: Viki was an artificial intelligence that made all the NS-5s (new and powerful robots) turn on their human creators. In the end, Detective Spooner hit the nail on the head when he simply said, "You so have to die!" before putting an end to the computer.

Davy Jones: The antagonist of the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Davy Jones was loosely based off of the seafarer's legend of Davy Jones' Locker. In the films, Jones was beautifully created using motion capture technology.

Stay on the lookout for my Countdown of My Top 10 Favorite Movie Heroins & Villains, along with a new ongoing segment wherein I feature one of my favorite movie or TV soundtracks.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Countdown: My Top 10 Favorite Movie Heroes

Here's a countdown of my top 10 favorite movie heroes of all time!

1. Luke Skywalker: Sure, like his father before him, he managed to whine during A New Hope, but during the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, Luke truly came into his own, becoming a full fledged Jedi Knight, defeating and then saving his father and proving that the Light Side always prevails.

Samwise Gamgee: Sam, Frodo's valiant counterpart throughout the Lord of the Rings Trilgoy, and the only reason Frodo wasn't killed in the first movie. Lets face it, if it wasn't for Sam, Frodo would have died upon the first or second time he stared into the camera.

3. Data: The android Data and his search for humanity became the main focus of the Next Generation film quadrology with him discovering emotions, befriending fellow crew members Geordi and Captain Picard and briefly experiencing a twisted version of love. His endeavors to become more human ultimately led him to his death in Nemesis wherein he sacrificed himself to save Captain Picard.

4. Malcolm Reynolds: The witty Captain of Serenity always seemed bitter about his faction's loss during the galaxy's civil war, and that's why I love him. Through all his bitterness, he always came through with his powerful sense of right and wrong and could be relied upon to deliver a great one-liner.

5. Eli: Along with delivering a powerful Biblical message, The Book of Eli introduced us to none other than, Eli, whose determination, faith and fortitude where not to be trifled with. Eli completed his task given to him by God in the fictional post-apocalyptic world, and certainly drew my attention when he decapitated various road thieves and bandits with his signature knife.

6. Batman: Bruce Wayne is a rare example of a powerless superhero. All he has is his wealth and physique to go by. But anyone who's seen any Batman movie or comic knows that that's all he needs! Batman is by far, the greatest DC character to come about, and truly shines in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

7. Captain John Miller: Saving Private Ryan was a true dedication to the American soldier, and Tom Hanks couldn't have portrayed his character of the brave, emotional and stalwart Captain Miller in any better way. While the entire movie pulls my heart strings, Miller's death and final words at the end of the film creates a message everyone should take away from the movie.

8. Rorschach: One of six main characters in the ever popular graphic novel Watchmen, Rorscach with his mercilessness towards evildoers, troubled past and pursuit of justice quickly became the fan favorite of Watchmen and continued to draw my attention during the 2008 movie adaption of the classic graphic novel.

9. William Wallis: Braveheart as he is more commonly known by became a symbol for freedom throughout Scotland, and present day culture. Mel Gibson's performance of the character in the 1995 film Braveheart was superb. I promise, the vast amounts of battles and violence didn't sway me!

10. Beowulf: The ancient mythological hero known as Beowulf has been known to literature and the world for hundreds of years. It's only until recently that Beowulf's epic story has fully been told in the form of a film. And while the movie itself may have portrayed him in a less than heroic fashion, his tale is still one of honor and nobility.

Honorable Mentions:

Jake Sully: Sure he WAS a traitor to his own species, but who doesn't want to be blue and nine feet tall?

The Terminator: I've always enjoyed movies that pertain to a robot's/cyborg's search for humanity, hence Data above and I, Robot below. The Terminator franchise created a great variety of these stories through the last three movies, and the television show.

Edmon Dantes: Yes, technically his motives where fueled more by revenge then the need to perform heroic deeds, but I won't have it! He's a hero!

Del Spooner: I, Robot was a memorable movie, and the character of Detective Spooner with his prejudice towards robots created a wonderful realism and plot line.

Do you think I'm missing anyone? Perhaps you agree wholeheartedly. Either way, feel free to comment below. Also, look for my Countdown of My Top 10 Movie Heroins, followed by my countdown of my favorite villains.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A New Animated Star Wars Series

According to, a new untitled animated Star Wars series is in the works. The website sheds a small amount of info on the upcoming show, mentioning that the creative minds behind both Robot Chicken, and The Daily Show will be the creators of the series.

The website goes on to explain that the show will be a light comedy, however with Robot Chicken's creators, Seth Green and Mathew Seinrech behind the wheel of the new show, I can only assume that the age group that Lucasfilm will be targeting will be more of an adult audience, compared to it's current series, The Clone Wars which is aimed largely at children.

I really have no problem with this however, as long as the show doesn't step on any toes or delays the upcoming Live-Action show.

We'll have to wait and see how the show develops.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Clone Wars: Season II Finale Trailer

This season of TCW will be rapping up with an explosive three part story arc, featuring non other than Boba Fett. Though he's still in his early teenager years, he's backed by notorious bounty hunter, Jedi killer, and ex Jedi; Aurra Sing. Along with Sing's newest companions A Klatoonian whose name escapes me, and none other than Bossk, the Trandoshan bounty hunter first seen in The Empire Strikes Back!

This is heating up to be quite interesting. In related TCW news, two upcoming episodes will both feature the Zillo Beast, a massive creature awakened on Malastare's surface. According to Dave Filoni, the series director, the beast is the largest character model created for the television show to date.

Also, the recent post about Bib Fortuna and the Rise of the Dark Falls, was simply an April Fool's Day joke, just in case you didn't surmise that when you read the article.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Pacific; Opening Sequence

I was a huge fan of HBO's previous World War II series, Band of Brothers. The mini-series was pure gold! In honor of the epic, new World War II mini-series, The Pacific, produced by Steven Spielburg and Tom Hanks, I've decided to post the show's opening credits here on Memoirs. I simply can't get this song out of my head. Curse you Hans Zimmer!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

EU Gems: Bib Fortuna & the Rise of the Dark Falls

Largely forgotten by the Star Wars community, Bib Fortuna and the Rise of the Dark Falls is certainly an EU Gem, with its large portions of Senatorial discussions regarding the Empire's history and lightsaber fights between Bib Fortuna himself and the disembodied head of Kowakian Monkey-Lizard, Salacious Crumb.

This masterpiece was penned by Derek J. Reda who wrote it in 1984, a year after Return of the Jedi came out. It was unfortunately not published in the United States and was released in limited quantities in the United Kingdom.

The plot line follows; Bib Fortuna, Jabba's right-hand-man from Episode 6 travels to Coruscant where he argues with the Senate over how to stop a group called the 'Dark Falls', who hail from Cularin, from distorting the history of the Galactic Empire.

During these events however he is swallowed by a viper.

And there you have it. One of the best political intrigues Star Wars has spawned! The quote on the back of the book says it all! "Rise of the Dark Falls, The Forgotten EU Masterpiece of Derek J. Reda"

This work of art is truly an EU Gem!
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