“It is a beautiful thing for us to be so deeply interested in each other. You have to write about something.”
This was a quote from the late, great singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. I came across it while reading about him. It comes from a video of clips taken from his 1979 world tour. I found it relevant to my little newsletter here in that (1) I think it is humbling that there are people out there that read my random nonsense, and (2) the way I use this writing forum. Sometimes I get these bad cases of writer’s block. This is bad because I am a freelancer writer for several music and pop culture sites and when I get writers block, I often can’t think of interesting things to say about the topics I should be writing about. So I use this newsletter as a way to just jot down random things as I think of them and then, later, I put them into some sort of readable format. My point being, I’m a writer and I “have to write about SOMETHING!”
Recently, I started (another) re-watch of my favorite sitcom Parks and Recreation. I hinted at that with the title of my last newsletter. At the time of this writing, I’m somewhere in the middle of season 3. That is the season where Chris and Ben basically become show regulars. It is the season that focuses mostly on the Harvest Festival. Great season. As are most of them.
This past weekend I went out with my two youngest kids and watched The Batman. Yes again. I have talked about it on a few podcasts but earlier this week, I decided to write a review of it. You can check that out at The Future of the Force.
Speaking of movies, the Academy Awards just happened a few days ago. And no, I’m not going to talk about the slap. What I am going to talk about is some of the winners. Out of the plethora of movies that were nominated for best picture, I have only seen two of them; Dune and Belfast. The winner this year was CODA. This is a film that a few people have told me is worth watching. I’ll probably get around to it at some point but I’m in no hurry. To be honest, the last time I saw a movie that won the best picture award was the 2014 film Birdman. Regarding the two movies that I have seen Belfast won the award for best original screenplay and won quite a few technical awards such as best original score, best sound, best cinematography, best film editing, and best visual effects. I don’t typically watch the Academy Awards presentation show. If I’m being completely blunt, I actually don’t physically watch any award presentations. I just don’t really have the time nor the desire to sit and watch it. I do, however, try to keep up to date on the winners and such.
And just in case you didn’t know, the first episode of the Disney Plus show Moon Knight aired this week. It looks like this show is going to be pretty cool and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.
For this week’s list, in honor of the recent Academy Awards, I decided to go with top 5 movie soundtracks. This one came at the suggestion of a friend. So here are my favorite movie soundtracks listed in random order as they came to me.
The Crow - This album was released in 1994 and is the soundtrack to the 1994 superhero/comic book film of the same name. The film was based on the James O'Barr comic of the same name and was about a musician that was murdered and comes back to life to avenge his death. The title role is played by Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) who was accidentally killed during the filming of the movie. The movie was good but the soundtrack was absolutely amazing. It contained songs from The Cure, Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails (covering a Joy Division song), Rage Against the Machine, Rollins Band, Helmet, Pantera (covering a Poison Idea song), The Jesus and Mary Chain, and others. The album hit #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
Judgement Night - The movie itself was okay. Nothing really special. It was released in 1993 and starred Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jeremy Piven, Stephen Dorff, and Denis Leary. It's about a group of friends that are out for a night on a town and their attempt to escape a drug dealer after they witness a murder. Although the movie itself was just okay, the soundtrack is nothing less than phenomenal. Each song is a collaboration of hip hop and rock artists. Some of my favorites from it are "Just Another Victim" by Helmet and House of Pain, "Judgment Night" by Biohazard and Onyx, "Disorder" by Slayer and Ice-T, and "Another Body Murdered" by Faith No More and Boo-Yaa Tribe. This album peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200.
Singles - This Cameron Crowe directed movie was released in 1992. It centers on the lives of various characters living in the Seattle area during the grunge movement. It included performances from Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, and Kyra Sedgwick, among other actors. It also featured cameos from members of Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. I like a lot of grunge music so that is kind of why I wound up liking this soundtrack. It contains one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs "State of Love and Trust," as well as some other really great music by folks such as Paul Westerberg ("Dyslexic Heart" such a great song), Chris Cornell, Mudhoney, and many more.
Grosse Pointe Blank - This 1997 comedy starred John Cusack (one of my favorite actors) as an assassin that finds himself attending his high school reunion while on a job. Fun film that also starred Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd, Hank Azaria, Alan Arkin and John's sister Joan. Fun little film that takes place in Grosse Pointe, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. There were actually two soundtracks released for this movie. Music from the Film and More Music from the Film. This movie was jam packed with great tunes hence the necessity of 2 soundtracks. It included songs from Violent Femmes, The Clash, David Bowie, Faith No More, The Specials, Echo & the Bunnymen, Pixies, and others.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - While I prefer the 2014 predecessor to the 2017 sequel, I prefer the soundtrack to the sequel over the original. This one included tunes from Electric Light Orchestra, Fleetwood Mac, George Harrison, Jay and the Americans, and Cheap Trick, among others. This soundtrack reached #1 on the US Billboard 200 and achieved gold status from the RIAA.
I’m sure that are plenty of movie soundtracks out there that I’m probably forgetting but these are the 5 that came to mind as my current favorites.
Around the Ring
This week, Justin and I did not watch a whole lot of wrestling. In fact, the only things that I watched were AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage while he only watched AEW Dynamite. We did not have much to talk about in regards to those shows so we wound up talking about some of the wrestling events that will be going on this weekend, which is Wrestlemania weekend. While we barely talked about Wrestlemania itself, we did talk about things like the Ring of Honor SuperCard show, Impact Wrestling’s Multiverse of Matches, and other events that will be taking place during the weekend. You can check out the episode on Apple Podcasts here:
Rogue One Radio
This week we finished out our Batman series with a discussion of our favorite characters from Batman’s supporting cast (allies and such). We were joind by Joker Voice. We also played some tunes from One Hidden Frame and Rotten Mind. It was good times. You can check out the episode on YouTube here:
Here is what my pull list consisted of this week:
Star Wars Bounty Hunters #21 is part of the current Star Wars crossover event Crimson Reign. Shadow War Alpha is the beginning of a new Batman crossover event that is starting. From what I have read about the event, it has something to do with the assassination of Ra’s al Ghul. Beyond the White Knight is a continuation of the Sean Murphy Batman: White Knight series. I quite enjoy these books and this one is bringing Terry McGinnis (from Batman Beyond) into the series.
As far as what I’ve been reading outside of my pull list, I’ve been doing some catch up. I finished reading Batman Vol 5: Fear State and then I read the Detective Comics tie-ins to that story arc. I think I’m going to go read the other Fear State tie-ins as well because I really like this story arc. Those would include Nightwing, Catwoman, Batman: Urban Legends (which is a title that I’ve never read), and a couple of one-shots. I also re-read Batman: Dark Victory. As if you haven’t guessed it, I’m in Batman mode as far as comics go. Even though I have a lot of graphic novel/trade paperbacks to get caught up on that have nothing to do with Batman, I have been working on getting caught up with the two Batman titles that I read (Batman and Detective Comics). So far, I am caught up on Batman but I’m about eight issues behind on Detective Comics. Hopefully, I will get caught up on those by the end of the week. UPDATE: As of Friday, April 1, I am caught up on Detective Comics.
This week’s track comes from the New Brunswick, New Jersey band The Gaslight Anthem. They just announced that they are coming back from an extended hiatus and I’m pretty stoked about it. They have been gone for too long. The track is “National Anthem” and comes from their 2012 album Handwritten. This could very well be my favorite TGA song.
That is it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week and remember to be more kind.