All posts tagged: The Empire Strikes Back

Dw. Dunphy On… Killogies: When Sagas Turn Soggy

There is no specific term for a film franchise that is directly undermined by later installments of itself, but there should be. If there are so many trilogies out there that have crippled themselves by simply not walking away while the getting was good, there ought to be a name for the phenomenon. I nominate: Killogies. A Killogy is, part-and-parcel, a product of diminishing returns, and except for only the most committed of fanboys, is easily dissected, one film from another, so that the offending bits can be ignored. Before we delve into what doesn’t work, it’s important to understand what does, and I have three examples to illustrate this. The best way to make a trilogy is to have a full grasp of a three-picture, three-act story mapped out. Peter Jackson knew the best way to adapt the three books of The Lord of the Rings was to do them all concurrently. It is murder on a film crew to commit to five or more years of an individual’s life to a single storyline, …

DVD Review: “Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side”

Spoiler Alert: Some key jokes of this release will be discussed. If you intend to view this DVD, you might want to consider avoiding the rest of this review. A long time ago, blah, blah, blah. There are two franchises that owe an extreme debt of gratitude to the loyalty of their audience: the Star Wars empire (sorry) and the Family Guy television series. For the former, 30-plus years of marketability has made George Lucas a lot of money and given him plenty of prestige, but just as surely robbed him of a clear vision of his own creation. From the three awkward prequels that steadily winnowed down all but the most die-hard fans, to the current Cartoon Network animated series The Clone Wars, to novels including the recent horror entry, Death Troopers involving zombies (I kid you not), it seems safe to say that Lucas lost the thread a long, long time ago. The same goes for Seth MacFarlane’s personal universe. After the show was canceled, fans protested, demanding Family Guy‘s return. Fox Network …

Mix Six: “Super Soundtracks”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE Hiya, kids! This week’s mix is brought to you by Jeff Johnson, who’s been a friend of mine since high school. Ever since I’ve known him, Jeff’s tastes in music have skewed toward the soundtrack side, specifically orchestral soundtracks. We attended film school together (I changed majors at the end of my junior year), and he went on to write and direct a feature film called Holly vs. Hollywood. Nowadays Jeff is happily ensconced as the online store manager at the ever-popular soundtrack store (and record label) Intrada in Oakland, California. Intrada is one of those rare record stores where they not only exclusively stock movie soundtracks, they also restore and reissue them. Jeff also cohosts the podcast Filmed, Not Stirred with his gal pal Lisa. It’s unique because they review a new movie and compare it with an older movie in a similar genre or director. So you see? There is life after film school! —Ted You’re about to discover six pieces of music you’re not even really supposed …

Dw. Dunphy On… Drawing

There was a period of time during junior high and high school when I was convinced music wouldn’t be a part of my life. I couldn’t afford to get a guitar or a keyboard, I didn’t have the outsize personality the other rock kids had, and I found it terribly difficult to put across my ambitions to even the few people I entrusted with my goals. I focused more on the possibility of going into comics. Just as some of my earliest recollections are of songs, I also have an undiminished affinity for Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. In those high school years my attention was fixed on the artist Al Williamson, whose superrealistic, detailed style was so perfect in the notorious EC science-fiction comics of the late ’50s and early ’60s. In my mind, his work on Marvel’s adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back and his subsequent work on the Star Wars newspaper strip are the epitome of great comic book art. In the past month I’ve been rooting through the boxes in …