Ask 411 Movies for 01.13.14: Rub My Golden Globes for Luck
Posted by Chad Webb on 01.13.2014
What did actor Masi Oka do for Industrial Light & Magic? What popular theme did Quentin Tarantino use in Kill Bill Vol. 1? What are the Top 10 Albums of 2013? All that and more in this week's Ask 411 Movies!
An "Ask 411 Movies" column would be nothing without questions, so please toss them my way. Why should you ask me instead of using Google? Well, perhaps I'll tell you something you can't find there, or maybe you just like my conversation and soothing words. You can post any questions or thoughts below in the comments section, email me at email@example.com, or send me a tweet using the links below:
This week the column changes a bit to music. I'm always looking for a random spot to slide my Top 10 Albums of the Year in and this column allows me some filler to do just that. So that's what you get this week. Next week you can look for my favorite TV character names, but of course keep asking questions. This Wednesday you will see my Editor's Note article for Top 10 Best & Worst Films of 2013. Stay tuned!
Recently I've been catching up on a few movies I missed and numerous albums I neglected to listen to. But as I write this I'm as caught up as I need to be and I'm anxious to share my lists with people. This is the one time of year where I truly look forward to reading people's lists. As for what I watched, I did re-watch The Italian Job remake, which isn't quite as good as the original but is still a fun flick overall.
If want to know more about my movie tastes, check out my page on Letterboxd by clicking right here. Also, make sure to look at all the great articles and writers at 411, particularly in the Movie-zone because that's where I predominantly am, but all of the zones.
Larry D. Mann died recently of natural causes. He was 91 years old. Mann was a Canadian actor who is perhaps best known for voicing Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. His career spanned more than four decades and he appeared in upwards of 20 films, including The Sting and In The Heat of the Night.
Japanese actress Keiko Awaji passed away on Saturday January 11 of esophageal cancer. She was 80 years old. Awaji was notable for having been in Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog, not to mention The Bridges at Toko-Ri. She had three children, two of which died.
In case I forgot to mention a notable death this week, you can always peruse the list yourself by clicking here.
Hey Chad. Couple of queries for you.
1.) Prior to his breakout role on Heroes, Masi Oka made a living as an effects artist at Industrial Light & Magic. What did he do for them specifically, and what movies did he work on for them?
2.) Who performs the music in Kill Bill Vol. 1 in the scene in which the Bride (Wearing the yellow Bruce Lee tribute costume) stalks Sophie Fatale through the streets of Tokyo on a motorcycle?
1) When Masi Oka graduated from Brown University in 1997, his first job was with Industrial Light & Magic, George Lucas' motion picture visual effects company. His hope was to one day earn an Oscar for technical work on a motion picture. His first credit for ILM is Mighty Joe Young in 1998, followed by the entire Star Wars prequel trilogy, and all of these titles: Mission to Mars, The Perfect Storm, Dreamcatcher, Hulk, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, War of the Worlds, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest as his last task to date for them in 2006.
As for his positions, the names changed frequently. He started as "CG Technical Assistant," then was "Visual Effects Production and Technical Support," then just "Technical Support," followed by a combination of "CG/Digital Effects Artist" for a few films. It appears that his highest position was as "Technical Director" for Ang Lee's Hulk. If you want to know exact moments he was involved with, take a look at this clip of an interview with Sirius XM in which he addresses just that topic:
2) I believe you're talking about the "Green Hornet Theme" by Al Hirt. I've posted a video below. Al Hirt was an American trumpeter and bandleader. He is best remembered for his million-selling recordings of "Java" and the accompanying album Honey in the Horn (1963), and for the theme song to The Green Hornet. His nicknames included "Jumbo" and "The Round Mound of Sound". Hirt was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in November 2009.
If you're talking about the music where The Bride unloads Sofie from the trunk, the tune would be "Flower of Carnage (Shura No Hana)" performed by Meiko Kaji. This is the theme from Lady Snowblood (1973) a heavy influence on the Kill Bill movies. Lady Snowblood is a 1973 Japanese film directed by Toshiya Fujita and starring Meiko Kaji. It is based on a manga called Shurayukihime. It is the story of Yuki, a woman who seeks vengeance upon three people who raped her mother and killed her mother's husband and son. The word is that Tarantino made the cast and crew watch DVDs of Lady Snowblood during break times.
The Top 10 Albums of 2013
I'm as much a lover of music as I am movies, and I listen to anything and everything so I love making a list of my favorite albums. I have reviewed a few CDs and concerts in the past, and hope to do more in the future. I gather my list of best albums similar to that of my list of films. The goal is to incorporate many different styles of music. Yes, I know I have a lot of honorable mention albums this year, but I couldn't help myself. There were so many great releases that I loved that need to be heard in their entirety. I'm always eager to hear new stuff and discover bands that I have not heard of before, so if you have any suggestions that you think should have appeared below, feel free to let me know. What's most shocking is how many pop albums I put on my list this year. That hardly ever happens.
10.The Lion's Daughter & Indian Blanket - A Black Sea - I saw this as a recommendation on another sight and it was very high on that particular writer's Top 10 list so I decided to give it a shot. I was instantly hooked. This is a truly great album. I knew NOTHING about this band, but then I discovered that this is indeed a collaboration between two groups, which I suppose should have been obvious. The Lion's Daughter are a doom metal trio and Indian Blanket are a folk group. They planned to do one song together, but that blossomed into a full LP. For some reason, the sounds mesh brilliantly. If you're a fan of unique combinations, this is one you need to seek out.
9.Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience - I'm not sure what everyone thought of this two-part release, but I really enjoyed it. I thought Justin Timberlake's previous outings as a pop musician were ok, but generic at times and too heavy on radio catchy tunes. His return in 2013 showcased a more mature artist, one who unleashed two albums filled with tracks over 5 minutes long. This is not entirely unheard of in this genre, but rare. I dug both efforts and screw it, I'm cheating and putting them on here together. The 20/20 Experience has mainstream friendly singles, but they blend well with the other songs. The whole project was a win for me.
8.Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City - I have found that this is a group you either love or hate. I've liked them from the get go. I forget now how I first heard them, but I definitely passed along their music to friends. They keep improving with each record. "Diane Young" admittedly has an annoying part, but this album is fantastic. They continue to remain consistent to their indie sound while also trying new stuff. They still mix various genres effectively, but here they became more ambitious. Who knows where Ezra Koenig and his band could go now. Their future is promising.
7.Lorde - Pure Heroine - If I'm being honest, the first time I heard New Zealand's Lorde and her single "Royals," I was indifferent to it. I had heard the positive buzz surrounding her and perhaps that overshadowed that initial listen. But the song stuck with me and so did her haunting vocals. I quickly became a fan and searched for everything I could prior to her full album release. When it hit stores I bought it right away and loved every minute. While her voice and the pop stylings she's incorporates are terrific, it is the lyrics that complete the package. Lorde is without a doubt the best new artist of the year. I can't wait to see what she gives us down the road.
6.Deafheaven - Sunbather - I really started to expand my metal horizons in 2013, branching out and listening to many different styles of metal bands. One group that I checked out was Deafheaven. The same old type of black metal can be fine, but I do like when metal groups toss unexpected ingredients into the mix. With this sophomore album they incorporate their own brand of black metal with a bit a shoegaze and even standard rock tones. This is more poetic and contemplative than people might realize. There is some calmness and tranquility to aspects of Sunbather that certain metal followers might scoff at. These aren't groundbreaking or anything, but they do push the envelope and the result is one of the best metal records of the year.
5.Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2 - Most critics seem to be praising Kanye West's Yeezus in their Top 10 lists. That offering sported some catchy, inventive tracks, but I wasn't nearly as fond of it when I revisited it around the holidays. To me, this was the year's finest rap album. Relapse and Recovery were solid, but it felt like Eminem didn't have his edge. This is guy I miss. I would call it a return to form, but that would be outright dismissing the music that came before it. This is fabulous from top to bottom. Yes he does a track with Rihanna again for radio play, but Eminem hasn't sounded this aggressive and passionate in years. Album sequels are odd birds usually, but this one was a success.
4.The National - Trouble Will Find Me - I love The National more and more with each album they release. I first learned of them through High Violet, which was great, but I called it a day. When I realized they recorded a song for HBO's Game of Thrones, I said to myself "Ok, I need to hear more of their stuff." Trouble Will Find Me is more superb tunage from one of the elite indie rock groups. The mix fast and slow numbers on this sixth LP and it all clicks. If you've never heard of this group, do yourself a favor and check them out.
3.David Bowie - The Next Day - I remember when this album was sprung on the public. I was interested, but have never been a die-hard Bowie fanatic. I recognize his importance to music, but he is a very hit and miss artist in my view. That being said, this album is really magnificent. Before this, Bowie had not been so consistently satisfying on his albums in a long while. This is a very melodic, committed piece and you can hear The Thin White Duke giving each song 110%. One of the traits I adore about David Bowie is that you never know what to expect, sound and style-wise, from his compositions. This only reaffirms that as each song is bizarre but fulfilling.
2.Ghost B.C. - Infestissumam - Speaking of bizarre, you can get no weirder than Ghost, who is fast becoming that hard rock/metal band everyone buzzes about. They are far from unanimously popular, but their blend of doom metal, regular metal, and rock is distinct and lingering. The best way to describe them is a mixture of Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath, but they have definitely developed their own unique approach to the genre. Their stage shows are infamous as well, as everybody in the band sticks to their characters, unless you're the singer, who changed his name from Papa Emeritus to Papa Emeritus II. They are strange, but memorable and we need more groups like this in the music scene.
1.Daft Punk - Random Access Memories - The simple explanation for why this is my #1 can be summed up by telling you that I did not listen to any other album as much in 2013. My wife had heard Daft Punk songs in years past, but was not overly familiar with them. When I heard Random Access Memories I knew she would love it and I was correct. This is a masterpiece from start to finish. I know "Get Lucky" was played out the wazoo wherever you went, but despite that, I still feel like dancing when I hear it or anything else on this. And for me to say that, someone who is not a fan of dancing, is saying something. The album is saturated with infectious hooks, beats, and lyrics. In my mind there is no better example of a future classic.
*Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks
*Pretty Lights: A Color Map of the Sun
*The Ocean: Pelagial
*Arcade Fire: Reflektor
*Janelle Monae: The Electric Lady
*Stomach Earth: Stomach Earth
* The So So Glos: Blowout
*In The Silence: A Fair Dream Gone Mad
*Atoms for Peace: Amok
*Elton John: The Diving Board
The Editor's Compilation
1. Chvrches "Tether"
2. Caught a Ghost - "Sleeping at Night"
3. Clutch "Earth Rocker"
4. Day Joy - "Talks of Terror"
5. Fleetwood Mac "Sad Angel"
6. Fiona Apple "Pure Imagination"
7. HAIM "Forever"
8. Jamey Johnson, Twiggy Ramirez, & Shooter Jennings "You Are My Sunshine"
9. John Grant "GMF"
10. Jonny Lang "Fight For My Soul"
11. Kanye West "Black Skinhead"
12. Lady Gaga "Gypsy"
13. M.I.A. "Bad Girls"
14. Newsted "Soldierhead"
15. A Pale Horse Named Death "Day of the Storm"
16. A Perfect Circle "By and Down"
17. Prince "Screwdriver"
18. Tom Odell "Hold Me"
19. Zac Brown Band "Day for the Dead"
20. The Strokes "One Way Trigger"
21. Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite "Blood Side Out"
22. The Winery Dogs "The Dying"
23. Iron & Wine "Joy"
24. Deep Purple "Vincent Price"
25. Deerhunter "Sleepwalking"
26. Ghostface Killah "Twelve Reasons to Die"
27. Surfer Blood "Demon Dance"
28. Palms "Tropics"
29. Johnny Marr "New Town Velocity"
30. Rhye "Open"
31. Ka "Jungle"
32. Van Dyke Parks "Dreaming of Paris"
33. The Civil Wars "Sacred Heart"
34. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats "Mt. Abraxas"
35. Anvil "Hope in Hell"
36. Fu** Buttons "Hidden X's"
37. Alter Bridge "Cry of Achilles"
38. Revocation "The Hive"
39. Capital Cities "Safe and Sound"
40. Robbie Fulks "I'll Trade You Money for Wine"
--Thanks to Misty for my banner.
"The plural of Chad is Chad?"
--From the movie Recount