Midnight Ramblings X

Chaos in Print

NOTE: Oh, c’mon, do I have to do this? You all get it by now. I e-mail my buddy Neelix just to get whatever’s bugging me off my manly chest. If you don’t know this, where have you been?

Hey Neelix!

I hope you don’t mind, but before we get to the good stuff, I’d like to take a moment to bitch about the cancellation of one of my new favorite TV shows: Now and Again. If you didn’t watch it, here’s what it was about. The show followed the adventures of Michael Weissman, a happily married family man and insurance executive. He was killed in a freak subway accident in the pilot episode…or so his family thought. What really happened was a super-secret government organization rescued his brain, and put it in a genetically-manufactured 26-year old body, with “the strength of Superman, the speed of Michael Jordan, and the grace of Fred Astaire.” (or so the opening narration said.) And so, each episode chronicled the adventures of Mr. Weissman as he went about with Dr. Theodore Morris, the quasi-mad scientist who created him, on all kinds of adventures. Each episode was juxtaposed with a sub-plot about how his wife, daughter, and best friend were coping with his “death” and rebuilding their lives. One little wrinkle: Mr. Weissman is still madly in love with his wife and daughter, and if he reveals his true nature to them, they will be killed. The best episodes were when their paths crossed, and the extremes that Mr. Weissman (or, Mr. Newman as he adopted as his alias) would go through to keep her from knowing the truth. Oh, this show rocked! It’ll forever be remembered along side The Flash and Space: Above And Beyond as a show too cool to last.

Actually, I hope they do something to resolve the season finale cliffhanger that the final episode had. The Eggman, the villain that Mr. Weissman put away in the pilot, busted out of prison and went out seeking revenge. Roger (Mr. Weissman’s best friend) officially left his wife by looking for an apartment and sleeping with his real estate agent. Lisa (Mr. Weissman’s wife) stumbled upon some evidence that there was something funny about her husband’s death. Mr. Weissman, fearing that his wife had discovered the truth about him, escaped from the military facility where he resides and went to rescue his wife and daughter. I’ll never forget that image. Lisa and Heather (the daughter) are sitting around talking over her latest strange encounter with “Mr. Newman.” Then, Mr. Weissman busts in and yells “Run! They’re right behind me!” “Who?” they ask. “Men with guns!” Mr. Weissman yells. They storm out the back door. Then, we see the house at peace. A goldfish swims in it’s bowl. We see out the window at the beautiful day it is outside. A soldier crashes through that window. More soldiers bust through the front door. Dr. Morris enters, and barks the order: “FIND THEM!” Fade to black.

Actually, possibly spurned by this ending, my mind has lately been turned to what my favorite movie ending is. Now, I know what you’re thinking: movie ending? Wouldn’t the best movie ending be a case where the movie sucked, and you’re glad to be getting out of the theater? Not necessarily so. When you think about it, the end of a movie is your final impression of it. It is/should be the lasting imprint in your mind. As I stop to think about it, there are three movie endings that really stick out in my mind:

Back To The Future – I love the end of this film! Doc’s final line. (“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need…roads.”) The way the car levitates 10 feet into the air. The jets fire and it flies off into the horizon. The music swells. The car does a 180. It flies straight into the screen. There’s a brilliant flash of light, and things fade to black. Then, those words appear on screen: “To Be Continued….” I love it!

The Blues Brothers – This ending always makes me laugh. Our heroes, Jake and Elwood, standing in the County Commissioner’s Office. The clerk (cameo appearance by Steven Spielberg) stamps their receipt and hands it to them. It’s a close-up on their hands as they grab the receipt. Shortly after they grab it, a third hand appears and slaps the cuffs on them. The camera pulls back, and we see they are surrounded by an army of cops, sheriffs, National Guardsmen, and other law enforcement officials. The opening bars of Jailhouse Rock play. We cut to Jake and Elwood, in prison, and giving a concert.

The X-Files – Yes, the movie based on the hit TV show made my list. It just leaves you with a sense of direness that, despite their efforts, the heroes didn’t win. Also, in my opinion, this is the only movie I’ve ever seen where the song that’s played during the end credits perfectly captures the mood of the end of the film.

So, I just watched The Iron Giant for the zillionth time. I think I told you this, but Michael Kamen, who did the music for Iron Giant, is doing the music for X-Men. The more I listen to the music for Iron Giant, the more I think that maybe he won’t completely suck. So far, all he’s revealed about his X-score is that each character has his/her own theme, and Mystique’s theme is “erotic and cello-based.” Now, as much as I’d love a full-blown orchestral, “classic” score, I think it would be better if he just let loose and used the full musical spectrum to score this. I don’t know, I just have this vision that Wolverine’s theme should be fast, angry, and heavy metal based, kinda like the theme for Batman Beyond. I am so curious about how this score is going to turn out. I just hope I can enjoy it along Danny Elfman’s Batman and John William’s Superman.

Oh, one last thing. As I’m writing this, I’m watching the James Bond movie Moonraker. Remember when I said that the music in The Black Hole seemed to much like left over James Bond music? Well, you should see Moonraker! Everything in there is left over Black Hole stuff! Especially at the end, when Bond goes up to the villain’s space station. The sets, the uniforms, the special effects, even the music, could have just been lifted from The Black Hole. You told me once you haven’t seen any Roger Moore Bond films, but you should just check out this one.

Oh, well. That’s all for now!