Top Film Score Soundtrack Releases of 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5, 2011 by jamesdrax

There are so many. So many!

Last year saw the release of more film score soundtracks from specialty labels than I think most collectors were able to afford. The fact that most of them are limited editions with a ridiculously high demand makes them items that you just have to have even if you didn’t think the music was the very best, they still hold the status of a coveted “Holy Grail”. I had the privilege of buying many of these in 2010 before they sold out (some are still available), but that’s the game of film score collecting since most of them are limited to only 1,000 to 3,000 copies, then there are the more popular releases that get 5,000 to 10,000 copies.

I’ll cover the very best ones here, and gosh-darn-it there were a lot! Sorry it’s such an arbitrary number as 26, but that’s how old I’m turning this year, so there’s luck for you.

26. Rocky IV

Composer: Vince DiCola
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: unlimited

One thing I love about the 1980s is that everything had to have some sort of Cold War intrigue or movies had to have synthesized scores, and Rocky IV has both, as well as montages! I think most fans have the song album, but I actually think DiCola’s 80s synth pop version of Bill Conti’s Rocky theme is even better than how it is in the original 1976 film.

25. Speed 2: Cruise Control

Composer: Mark Mancina
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 3,000 copies

The movie was a piece of junk, but this premiere release of the score was a revelation. The music itself is more accessible than Mancina’s other score to the first Speed flick. A very fun and lively 1990’s action score.

24. Alien Resurrection

Composer: John Frizzell
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 3,500 copies

Not the best Alien movie, but Frizzell’s brooding score makes for an interesting listen on this new complete and chronological release. Not in the highest demand because it already had a satisfactory original soundtrack release in 1997, so many buyers will probably put this one on hold in favour of other releases that they anticipate will sell out soon.

23. Patton

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: unlimited

With that repeating trumpet motif played into an echoplex, this is a score that really deserves to be unlimited. No Goldsmith fan or film score collector should be without this truly magnificent classic by the master. This 2-disc set is the definitive example of how a score for a biopic should be done.

22. Nightflyers

Composer: Doug Timm
Label: Varese Sarabande
Limit: 1,000 copies

The late Doug Timm, who was tragically murdered in the late 1980s was just beginning his film scoring career with Nightflyers, which gives it a notoriety that probably caused it to sell out so fast, since I don’t think many people have actually seen this obscure little sci-fi film. I believe it’s the only CD release of anything by the composer.

21. The Goonies

Composer: Dave Grusin
Label: Varese Sarabande
Limit: 5,000 copies

Never had a release of any kind until 2010, so it’s gained a cult following as one of those “holy grails” that some people wanted even though they might not have necessarily liked it that much if it did have an earlier release in the 80’s – or at least that’s what people say! Still a fun score and great to have.

20. Uncommon Valor

Composer: James Horner
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: 3,000 copies

A robust Horner score from the mid-80s that allowed many collectors to retire those old bootlegs they had for years.

19. Conan the Barbarian

Composer: Basil Poledouris
Label: Tadlow Music
Limit: unlimited

Unfortunately, the original masters for the score for this early Arnold Schwarzenegger film are apparently lost, so Tadlow went about in recreating the whole thing in crisp sound quality for this majestic fantasy adventure score. Highly recommended for those who love their heroic bombast.

18. SpaceCamp

Composer: John Williams
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: 3,000 copies

This is identical to a previous Japanese release from the early 1990s that was limited to only 1,000 copies, which had become valued extraordinarily high. I know a guy who actually paid $500 for the original release on eBay, but thankfully I was able to buy it for only $20 on the single day that it was available. It’s a quaint little score done in Williams’ concert style of the mid-80s.

17. Flesh + Blood

Composer: Basil Poledouris
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: 2,000 copies

I only ever had this one on LP, so it was nice of Intrada to give it a new CD release. I can only describe it as very rich and very lush. Grab any copy you can!

16. Krull

Composer: James Horner
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 3,000 copies

This already had a complete release by the Super Tracks label about ten years ago, but La-La Land cleaned up the sound a bit more and re-released it for those who missed it before. It sounds a lot like Horner’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only without the sea-faring bravado. It’s thematically rich, boldly written, and beautifully orchestrated. Fantastic presentation.

15. Islands in the Stream

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Label: Film Score Monthly
Limit: 5,000 copies

For years, collectors had to be content with Goldsmith’s own 1986 re-recording of this score, but FSM finally gave the original score a decent release it deserved. It’s a very mellow, dark, and heartbreaking score from the composer. I’d describe it as highly masculine sensitivity.

14. First Blood

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: unlimited

I’m not sure if I can recommend for anyone to get this straight away since it’s an unlimited release, and especially if you already have any of its adequate previous releases, even if they were incomplete. The biggest surprise about this new edition is the pop orchestral version of the main theme, which doesn’t even sound appropriate for the film’s tone or subject matter, but I guess it was a trend to record stuff like that back then.

13. The Edge

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 3,500 copies

At first glance, it seems like any other old 90s action score that Goldsmith signed on to, but it’s unique in that it’s the first time in years that Goldsmith had to avoid using synth elements, so in the orchestrations, you can actually hear where he might have put those elements. Not an immediate pick-up if you already have the OST, but it deserves a second look.

12. RoboCop

Composer: Basil Poledouris
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: 3,000 copies

After two tries by Varese, Intrada finally got it right. Poledouris’ music seemed a little fragmented on previous editions, but it’s all nicely rounded out by that glorious end credits suite at the very end. Remarkable marriage of orchestral and electronic elements in this awesome action score.

11. Predator

Composer: Alan Silvestri
Label: Intrada Records
Limit: 3,000 copies

Subject to controversy because of its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it release, Predator sold out before anyone actually knew it was available. After so many bootlegs, Varese gave it a 3000-copy release in 2003, which sold out and became a highly sought after CD for some years, fetching prices upwards of $500 on the secondary market. The speculators gobbled up the new Intrada version so they could protect their investment. What is it about this score that attracts so much niche market attention? I suppose it’s because it has an intensely high geek-factor attached to it and those action/adventure scores from the 1980s make for big sales.

10. Home Alone

Composer: John Williams
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 3,500 copies

I have to admit, I was never really into this one all that much even on the OST. I always preferred Williams’ score to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, which was a masterful presentation by Varese. Though I should say that this new presentation is an eye-opener and I can’t recommend it enough as a piece of Christmas ambiance at that time of the year.

9. Batman Returns

Composer: Danny Elfman
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 3,500 copies

I was always a little disappointed by the OST, the sound was harsh and tinny, and the track titles were difficult to understand. All of that is solved and mended on this new 2-CD release, with boosted sound quality, where the acoustics are given better range, and the added music is handsome, dazed, and to die for. I was waiting for this one for years.

8. Poltergeist

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Label: Film Score Monthly
Limit: 10,000 copies

It’s heeeere! The main reason to get this new release is the significantly improved sound quality, and to hear the original album presentation on Disc 2. The Rhino expanded release from 1997 might do for most casual listeners, but hardcore fans will want to get this new edition eventually.

7. Black Sunday

Composer: John Williams
Label: Film Score Monthly
Limit: 10,000 copies

A thriller from Williams that never had a release before 2010 at all, so it was like listening to a new Williams score since I’ve never seen the film.

6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Composer: James Horner
Label: Film Score Monthly
Limit: unlimited

After FSM’s phenomenal release of Horner’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, it was inevitable that they’d give his second score for the franchise a similar treatment. The complete score on Disc 1 contains many previously unreleased tracks, but I still find myself drawn to the OST presentation on the second disc because I find the performances more eargasmic for some reason.

5. Family Plot

Composer: John Williams
Label: Varese Sarabande
Limit: 5,000 copies

An unusually quirky score by the maestro for Alfred Hitchcock’s final film. Aside from one track on a previous Varese compilation for Hitch’s movies, this has never had a soundtrack release before. Bravo on filling the gap, Varese!

4. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 5,000 copies

This new complete and chronological presentation is a revelation as to how diverse this score is, and really shows the thematic development that the OST never did. I particularly like how this is so complete, it even has a source cue of Spock plucking what sounds like a sitar or some exotic sounding Vulcan instrument. Row, row, row your boat… gently down the stream…

3. Batman

Composer: Danny Elfman
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 5,000 copies

I actually didn’t think Batman really needed a complete and chronological presentation because it already had a rather strong OST release from 1989 with decent sound quality. Yet I caved in an bought this anyway because I’m such a Bat-fanatic, and even though the sound quality on the complete score on Disc 1 is a little degraded, there’s some interesting new material, plus the alternates and source music on Disc 2.  La-La Land has had me eating out of their hands this year.

2. Independence Day

Composer: David Arnold
Label: La-La Land Records
Limit: 5,000 copies

I didn’t think it would ever happen. I actually expected Intrada to give ID4 a complete release someday because I was so impressed by their 2007 presentation for Alien. Never mind that now, La-La Land gave this score a similar treatment to how they tackled David Arnold’s score to Godzilla in 2007, and I was as giddy as an alien with a city blaster. It is two discs of complete and chronological patriotic action adventure nirvana, and nearly blew my speakers out when I wasn’t careful.

1. Spartacus

Composer: Alex North
Label: Varese Sarabande
Limit: 5,000 copies

Great, merciful, blood-stained gods! This release by Varese was a labour of love by producer Robert Townson, and I cannot think of a more comprehensive release of any one single film score ever. The stereo version of the expanded score is wonderful, the mono version is all that exists of the complete score but it’s worth having, plus all of those interpretations of the love theme are delightful. Then there’s the DVD documentary on the score, and that gorgeous booklet. It’s a little pricey, but I think it’s reasonable for what it is. Spartacus isn’t my favourite film score of all time, but its influence gives it a must-have status, especially given how thorough this release is. It’s a boxset like no other, and they want to phase out CDs? Noooooooooooooo!

~~~

Funny that the Top 5 were all limited to 5000 copies each. It seems La-La Land was the champion of having the most awesome releases of the year, even though Varese had the No. 1 spot for Spartacus.

Anyhow, there were (shockingly) some new good scores to come out of Hollywood in 2010, so here are what I thought were the best. Not necessarily the best in terms of presentation, editing and music selection, but the best in terms of the quality of the music itself. I just hope the creative bankruptcy in Hollywood is soon exhausted.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Composer: Alexandre Desplat
Label: Watertower Music

I was a little disappointed by the score overall, but it’s the most John Williams-sounding score since the composer left, so it has its merits. There’s a beautiful theme in there that appears during “Godric’s Hollow Graveyard” and “Ron’s Speech”, which I believe is Desplat’s friendship theme, a rather melancholy motif without being too melodramatic.

4. Tron: Legacy

Composers: Daft Punk
Label: Walt Disney Records

An unexpected hit. This sort of stuff usually isn’t my cuppa tea, but it makes for some interesting electronic ambiance.

3. Predators

Composer: John Debney
Label: La-La Land Records

It’s more of an adaptation of Silvestri’s original themes from the first film than something that wanted its own identity. That said, it’s probably the best action score of the year. Some really wild and propulsive tracks in this score.

2. Alice in Wonderland

Composer: Danny Elfman
Label: Walt Disney Records

Reminiscent of many of Elfman’s previous scores from the early 1990s, but assembled in a manner that sounds original. A real departure from the composer’s coma-inducing noodling from the last few years.

1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Composer: David Arnold
Label: Sony Records

This was a long-anticipated score from David Arnold because everyone expected that he would return to his very bold and bombastic orchestral style of the 1990s, and so he did. After a swath of frenetic, techno oriented 007 scores from the composer for many years, it was so refreshing to almost think I was listening to something from Stargate all over again. Delicious.

~~~

Rounding things off, what limited edition scores would I like to see in 2011? Many speculate that La-La Land will be working on Hook by John Williams, but I fear that being a Spielberg/Williams project, mainstream producer Laurent Bouzereau will just have to get himself involved and invite Williams himself for input, then we can kiss a complete and chronological presentation goodbye, knowing how Williams just loves his bizarro “listening experience” that annoys the hell out of collectors. I’d really like to see Gremlins by Jerry Goldsmith, as well as a complete presentation of his final score to Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which I’ve heard rumours that his score had many rejected alternates. La-La Land also wanted to release Batman & Robin by Elliot Goldenthal, but that might become more unlikely if Warner Bros.’ new label Watertower wants to give it a go. But we’ll see.

Have a happy 2011!

Harry Goes Splat

Posted in Harry Potter, movies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2010 by jamesdrax

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 | Dir: David Yates | 2010 | 7/10

After the dastardly Harry Potter Meets Porky’s, we get Harry Potter Needs Prozac Part Infinity.

Being the first part of a two-movie arc based on one book, Warner Bros. dreamed of avarice by charging us full price for half a movie. You’d think Gringotts goblins were running the studio. Yet, it’s such a labour of love that was indeed better than the original novel, which wasn’t all that difficult to achieve since it was a mediocre book to begin with.

Our battered teenage heroes Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), all have to gear up once more to fight evil baddie Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his screechy minions who are all out to kill the bespectacled one, but like poor marksmen, they keep missing the target. All the while the three leads are looking at each other as if to say author J.K. Rowling must really hate them. If Emma Watson ever said she felt “trapped at Hogwarts”, she should have at least been grateful that instead they spend a great deal of time in a fifth-dimensional tent on loan from Doctor Who. She even deletes herself from photographs in her parents house like she’s Marty McFly. Whose movie is this again?

Unlike the cure of insomnia Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), this film actually raises the stakes and kills off several well-loved characters within minutes of each other. This new turn of urgency actually makes it feel like a suspensefully well-paced motion picture rather than obligatory filler like the previous film. Remarkably, director Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves actually take liberties that are likely to infuriate hardcore Potter aficionados into hissy fits of werewolf rage.

Stretching out over what felt like ten hours of miserably mournful gazes, Ron chucks a tantrum and storms out in a fit of jealousy over Harry and Hermione who shrug him off with a really heart melting dance scene, which is destined become the most controversial snippet of film in Potter history among nerdy factional canonbots and devoted shippers. If these two have been having almost eternal eye-sex over several films, then this scene must have been the metaphorical orgasm – a veiled expression by the filmmakers by saying “UP YOURS!” to Rowling and her one big happy Weasley family. It was a glimpse of what might have been for all those Harry/Hermione tragics out there like yours truly. Ginny who?

Ron gets to play hero for one scene by destroying the horcrux locket (which contains a piece of Voldemort’s fun-loving spirit) with the Sword of Gryffindor after two ghostly images of Harry and Hermione torment him and start making out like its Woodstock at Hogwarts in front of him. There, there, Ron. Was that necessary? At least Voldemort knew what the audience wanted and you crashed it, you pathetic little party-pooper!

The shiver-me-timbers You-Know-Who is up to his evil plan for world domination by seeking out the Elder Wand, a weapon so powerful, he’ll finally be able to distribute his Nazi Germany-style anti-Muggle propaganda to school children without that meddling Potter ruining everything over and over again. Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) looks a bit haggard and worse for wear; did his cellmate in Azkaban make his life a living hell?

Alexandre Desplat’s score is so depressing, it almost makes you want to make a sharp turn off a bridge. Who was the target audience, Christopher Nolan geeks? Nevertheless, the tone fits like a glove even though John Williams’ presence is still sorely missed.

We better be in for a grand ole’ finale come 2011, then finally we can all sing “Ding Dong, the Snake is Dead”.

Violence and Sadism in Green Propaganda

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2010 by jamesdrax

This video showed the true colours of the green movement, displaying a shockingly homicidal attitude towards those who disagree with them. It’s an extreme religious movement that’s gained more traction as the looney-left has acquired more power in the public sphere, and now it seems they’re not afraid to make themselves look like brutal fascists in the process.

For all those little snots who keep calling this “parody” or “satire” (you would think the self-proclaimed “brainy” and “intelligent” would be able to sense propaganda for what it really is, but end up leaving this state-produced depiction of barbarism left unchecked), this does not show what would happen to people at the hand of nature if they didn’t act to preserve “the climate”, rather it shows people in positions of power coldly and methodically murdering others who display any ounce of dissent or doubt on what the establishment deems as almost biblical truth; albeit in a polite manner, so people can be snuffed out easier.

If this was produced by a group who wanted to show the ramifications of green fanaticism mixed with government and corporate power, I could see its merit, but since it was actually produced by a group advocating crazy green laws, they portray this as a good thing! They act as though because they are “defending and preserving nature”, therefore “they are mother nature” or that their actions speak for the “natural order”. They’re almost like Poison Ivy.

In a way similar to George Bernard Shaw, it was an attempt to send the message out loud and clear that if you disobey, we will kill you. Obviously not in the sensationalized way this commercial depicted, but death in a polite manner at least. They got caught with their britches down and pulled the commercial along with issuing an empty apology, but it’s too late – we know what they really think of the rest of us plebs.

Bat-a-Rama Coming Soon

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2010 by jamesdrax

This blog is bringing a revolutionary set of film reviews to the World Wide Web. On a peaceful afternoon web surf, millionaire James Drax has been summoned back to Drax Manor by an urgent but anonymous call for help; to cover a franchise that’s been neglected by this blog! Never one to shirk responsibility, Mr. Drax, with characteristic charm and wit, descends promptly into The Blogcave, and then, as he has done before, as Moonraking Drax, obnoxious reviewer of trashy cinema and observer of random absurdities, is off once again to the review!

Expect reviews of Batman (1966), followed by Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), Batman Begins (2005), and finally a new review for The Dark Knight (2008).

Stay tuned!

The Competitive Lifestyle of a Film Score Soundtrack Collector in 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 by jamesdrax

More than two weeks ago, film score collectors who frequent websites like FSM, Filmtracks, and JWfan were thrown a bone that Alan Silvestri’s classic score to the 1987 action film Predator would get a re-release by Intrada Records. It was originally released by Varese Sarabande in 2003 at a limited run of 3000 copies.

So as predicted, Intrada did re-release it, but I suspected that it probably wouldn’t last very long, due to its cult-like status commanding ridiculous prices up to $500 on the secondary market. There was no way greedy online speculators were going to let their precious investment from the Varese Club release become devalued by this pesky little bugger, so it didn’t take much foresight to know they’d gobble up every last copy from every vendor just so they could still own the market on this charming little title. There really ought to be a film score version of Monopoly.

I was wise to order it as quickly as I did because all 3000 new copies completely sold out in 21 hours! Surely, a world record and great for the label, but a bitter disappointment to collectors and enthusiasts who might have missed out the first time and said “stick around” to its inflated eBay price tags. Some may call this robbery, others may call that free-market capitalism; the latter I’m a firm believer in, but the so-called Predator situation has given the film score community a wake-up call to re-assess itself and to be on alert for new releases.

I know it’s bloody irritating to have missed out on something like this, but some of the excuses I’ve read online go like Jake pleading to the “Mystery Woman” in The Blues Brothers – “I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD.”

Rather than complain to the labels that they should have been more discriminate to who they sold their items to, people need to practice vigilance and work around the quirky market conditions of film score collecting. I don’t like this any more than you as a collector would, and I know there’s no way we can make a 36-hour day, but instead of  complaining that you don’t communicate with others on message boards, you’re just going to have to get involved and read what others have concluded from the labels’ sometimes frustratingly vague pre-announcements on what their next title is (the websites I listed above, and the Intrada forum are all great places to start). Unfortunately, that’s how narrow and cliquey the market has become, and I’m afraid you’ll just have to adapt to it for now since that’s the only way you’ll be able to set the required money aside for a score that you want. Some self-managed budgeting won’t hurt at all.

In the 1990’s, before the internet was as common as it is now, film score collectors were more likely to be able to find what they wanted in CD stores with a selection as wide as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In 2010, it’s different – it’s now become an online dog-eat-dog world where it’s every man, woman and nerd for themselves to beat the clock just to make sure you’ll manage to get a copy of a new release at all. It’s become something akin to a lifestyle choice to park yourself in front of your computer in the hope that you don’t miss out on a long sought after “holy grail” that you probably heard in an old favourite film from way back. You have your credit or debit card on stand-by because you need to own it for a reasonable price by the retailer before a swath of speculators snatch it up and hold it to ransom on eBay.

Some commentators have held Intrada responsible for what happened with Predator, but it’s absolutely pointless suggesting to them to limit orders to one item per customer because it makes no logical business sense to them as sellers to make that move because keeping the stock apparently is very costly and it makes them happy if a title sells out in a day, regardless if speculators bought up 20 copies each to flog on eBay for a fortune, because they’ve actually saved money on stock space.

To readers unfamiliar with score CD releases these days, a pressing limited to 3000 copies may seem like an unfairly arbitrary number since many mainstream music CDs might get a pressing of 50,000 to 100,000 to 1,000,000. However, it’s to do with contractual deals with the studios and often a relic of union musicians’ sky-high re-use fees. With some soundtracks it depends on the projected popularity of a score, so it may have a pressing of 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, and starting with Intrada’s 2008 release of The Boys from Brazil (1978), some scores have been given a bit extra with 5000 copies,  with recent deluxe releases such as Independence Day (1996), Star Trek (2009), Batman (1989) The Goonies (1985), and Spartacus (1960), plus FSM’s release of Black Sunday at 10,000 copies. Some limited scores like Back to the Future (1985) don’t even have their number of units revealed, just a text on the cover saying “This volume is a Special Limited Edition”. I hope this trend continues because they seem to last a bit longer at 5000, so people will have extra time to buy one later if they’re short on funds.

On the other hand, most limited soundtracks don’t normally sell out in a single day like Predator did. Even the label itself underestimated its high demand because it already had a previous release. The only other times I remember this happening were with Intrada’s Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985) and Inchon (1981), but with the amount of releases that go on every other week, these are exceptions to the rule, but that doesn’t discount my assertion that collectors need to be more vigilant and take more responsibility for themselves when beating the speculators. I’ve missed out on so many great limited scores too but I’ve learned not to complain about it, and simply move onto other scores that are still available and I know I need to get. If Predator is any indication, many other sold out scores will get another pressing somewhere down the line.

Finally, to those of you who did miss out on Predator, don’t despair! The popularity and demand for this score is very high and I’m certain that it will get a third pressing some time in the future. It’s just like I said, you can’t make the labels change their sales policy because it works for them, so you’ll all have to beat the speculators yourselves.

I know you all have lives and it’s frustrating to see how hyper-competitive film score collecting has become, but I’ll be eagerly waiting for a re-release of The ‘Burbs, Inchon, Baby, The Fury, The Great Escape and The Blue Max… oh wait, wasn’t that already re-released about six times already? Meh, I’ll find it somewhere.

Funny Things You Can Find in a Bible

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2010 by jamesdrax

I’ve never really been a Bible guy.

There is actually no easy way to get me to read any form of pious text and take it seriously, and the Holy Bible is chock full of all that. I just look at texts like this and think “well, people look at this book like it’s the number 42, and they’re hypnotized to think it’s the literal answer to everything in the universe (it must be the pseudo-poetic writing style that suckers people in), and somehow ancient people from thousands of years ago could seem to talk to God in the form of a burning bush with absolute ease in two-way communication and get credit for it in a sacred scripture, but if you claimed you could do the same thing these days, they’d throw you in a mental asylum. It makes me think they were actually right in the last two seasons of Stargate SG-1“.

Good luck ever getting me to read the Koran; unless, of course, it has a lot of funny full-colour pictures to look at!

Thus, my brother went to a funeral out near Dubbo in NSW last week, and he brought home one of the deceased’s possessions that took my interest, and it so happened to be a rather nicely bound Holy Bible, but full of a lot of nice pictures. Take a look at this…

It’s probably one of the nicest looking Bibles I have ever seen, and that’s coming from some uptight rightie who thinks Ayn Rand has a point.

Oh, now here’s the owner’s page. This Bible obviously belonged to a kid who didn’t get whacked with a cane enough. Look at this, it’s barely legible, and people think we have a literacy problem in 2010, this was from 1971! I mean, “NeViLLE Barry SWan. Easts to win”, is there a quip for that? I also like how it says “CATHOLIC ACTION BIBLE”, like this Bible has bigger and better action and adventure than someone else’s Bible. Great marketing!  Anyhoo, moving onto the technicolor pictures.

There’s almost a whole gallery of Father John giving Brother Jack who looks like Liev Schreiber instructions on how to be a respectable priest. It is of course a prophecy that shows how the actor’s life might have turned out had he not starred in that dreadful remake of The Omen (2006). At least he got a pretty blonde.

But here’s the gallery that amuses me the most. We’ve got a line of paintings of Jesus and the twelve apostles (I’ve decided to exclude some), complete with name and editorialized bios.

The old messiah dude looking exactly as he does on the Shroud of Turin, along with piercing blue eyes, as most Jews looked in the first century A.D.

Now here are the apostles. Bit of an odd group of people.

St. Peter looks like Steve Reeves playing Hercules.

St. Jude actually looks like Jude Law, or how Mr. Law will look very soon.

But get ready for this. This is actually the funniest picture I have ever seen in a Bible.

Oh my god, look at this guy! It’s supposed to be a portrait of St. Philip, but he looks like John Derek! It’s like a glamour photo for a Hollywood movie star for some deleted role in Ben-Hur or King of Kings! If this is a kids’ Bible, I swear they must have looked at this and laughed. Even the blurb about him is particularly funny because it doesn’t make him out to be terribly bright.

Philip was evidently a matter-of-fact sort of man with the advantages as well as the defects of such a character. His literal mind, for instance, dwells more easily on the calculation that two-hundred pennyworth of bread is required for the five thousand, than the possibility of the Master feeding the crowd miraculously. Again, on the evening before the Passion, Philip asks, much to Our Lord’s disappointment “Show us the Father”. Had Philip so little spiritual insight? Had he not learned, after all this time, that He and the Father are one?

No wonder! This himbo was too busy bleaching his teeth to go in a corner and contemplate his enlightenment.

But that isn’t all, folks. Meet Judas Iscariot.

If Judas was the supposed traitor, whose actions led to the Crucifixion of Christ and his apparent Resurrection, and finally the saving of all your damn worthless souls, then why did the artist think it was appropriate to portray Judas as some dark, villainous character with messy black hair who looks like Rasputin? Was that the look they were going for? If he was an animal, he’d look like Scar from The Lion King (1994). He looks like he’s scheming for more than “thirty pieces of silver”, I’ll tell you that much! Can’t Christians forgive the guy already? You wouldn’t have your religion if it weren’t for this guy with hair like Cosmo Kramer.

Well that’s it with this Bible, but it was fun just looking at pictures for a change. Let us pray.

“VROOOOM!”… I’m Not Impressed

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 by jamesdrax

So I was walking my dog this evening, minding my own business, when some idiot car-hoon decided to speed his modified bomb up the hill of my street. As he sped up past me, I could have sworn the loudness of his exhaust pipe reached the decibel level of The Who at The Valley. They all seem to come out like cockroaches on Saturday nights.

I had to cover my ears because it hurt! It really did. I tend to avoid discos and night clubs because of the absurd noise levels those places have, and I can’t hear what people are talking about anyway and I’m not interested in losing my voice by shouting at everyone throughout the entire night, but just a few seconds of some drunken boofhead in his hot-rod on a Saturday night is enough to have my ears ringing like the Liberty Bell for a few moments.

What do these guys think? If they make enough loud noise with their car, there’ll be a chance of some hot babe walking along the footpath thinking “wow, his car is so loud, that means he has a big cock!”

Dream on, fellas. Girls are not thinking that. At least not the sane ones I know. Although, I’d bet there are a legion of bimbos out there who actually think there is a correlation between the loudness of a man’s car to his penis size – and the louder it is, the bigger it is.

That mentality actually puts the mindset behind this RTA commercial to question.

The idea behind this ad is noble, but ultimately futile. The low-lives it targets will continue to think if they have an exhaust pipe that blows peoples eardrums as if a pile of TNT just ignited, girls will think their appendages will be the size of the Washington Monument, and some ditzes will always fall for it.

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