Showing posts with label thriller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thriller. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Stranger Things to end after fourth season

Stranger Things is my most anticipated returning series this fall. And there's talk of two more seasons of Netflix's love letter to 1980s Americana. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer recently spoke to New York Magazine.

"We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out,” Ross told the magazine. “We just have to keep adjusting the story,” said Matt. “Though I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year.”

A four season story arc is compelling and should avoid the pitfall of diminishing returns in the wake of accusations of "Netflix bloat". This is where a season is stretched too thinly.

“They’re going to have to get the fuck out of this town!” said Ross. “It’s ridiculous!”

When the "Thriller" trailer dropped during SDCC, I likened it to the Duffer brothers downloading my dreams. Yes, I'm beyond excited.

Stranger Things season 2 will be available to stream from 27th October.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Generation Thriller

Thursday night witnessed an unprecedented sociological experience. A collective grief shared on social networking site Twitter!

During an advert break I checked Twitter, on my iPod touch, and noticed tweets alluding to Michael Jackson's admission into hospital. Startled, I switched over to various mainstream news networks to confirm the rumour... As the news, and tweets, escalated, I resigned myself to the fact that he was dead and even tweeted to the affect prior to any official confirmation! Followers replied contrary in the hope that it couldn't be true and, obviously, I wanted them to be right.

Alas. Michael Jackson died after suffering a cardiac arrest and slipping into a coma. His death eerily echoing my mum's, only two years ago, this month. I didn't sleep...

Michael Jackson was a childhood hero. Part of an illustrious pantheon that included fictional characters Doctor Who, Luke Skywalker, Kermit and Batman! Jackson, himself, embraced science fiction and fantasy in ground breaking videos such as "Can You Feel It", Disney's "Captain EO" and the prophetically titled "Thriller".

I've no intention of addressing any of the speculation surrounding his personal life. This is a tribute to a cultural phenomenon who, alongside American film composer John Williams, engendered a life long love of music and how it transforms the emotion of the moving image.

Before I heard "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough", at the age of 7, I would only listen, willingly, to classical music and orchestral film soundtracks. I'm sure MJ's enthusiastic reference to the Force in Star Wars, helped too.

Equal parts bizarre and poignant that the last time I should see Michael Jackson would be not at Wembley Stadium or the upcoming O2 Arena residency, instead it was Exeter! He was, briefly, an honourary director of the Grecians and I can still recall his clarion call to hold hands with the person next to you! This was in keeping with concert performances.

More myth than man. Michael Jackson was an enigma force. Combining consummately crafted songs and stellar, gravity-defying, dance moves, his concerts remain vivid and surreal experiences by which I judge all live performances. Indelible memories as my best friend tweeted, that I'll cherish forever. Thank you Moonwalker. That's all I'm going to say...

In death Michael Jackson proved, as always, unstoppable and an achiever of the impossible. RIP 'MJ' and say hello to my mum. She'll finally get to see you dance.

I'll sign off this post, in the manner that I did on my Twitter stream, with Michael Jackson's maxim: "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough".

You should follow me on twitter here.

Monday, 13 June 2005

Smooth Criminal

Watching Michael Jackson Moonwalk to freedom from the Santa Maria courtroom gave me pause to reflect on this once enigmatic, and revered, pop icon. Where does he go from here?

Second acts are rare and Michael Jackson's altered popular music forever with the release of Thriller (1982). Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1983) was a once in a lifetime moment and one Michael Jackson is unlikely to reprise. The success of Thriller, its singles and ground breaking videos was a landmark achievement and music producer Nile Rodgers was famously quoted as saying "There's the music industry before Thriller and there's the music industry after Thriller." An overstatement? I don't think so.

This commercial juggernaut had a negative effect on Michael Jackson who became obsessed with the notion of unit sales for Thriller's first sequel and surgical transformation (America is a shrine to solipsism). He expected to sell 100 million copies of Bad (1987) and crafted songs around the technology of the day (arguably inspired if somewhat dating). At the time I bought a CD player in order to own the bonus track (a concept taken foregranted now) Leave Me Alone.

Citing creative differences with Quincy Jones during the shelved recording of Decade (footwear giant LA Gear signed a $60 million endorsement deal, "Unstoppable", to promote the album and Love Hewitt starred in TV Spots), Michael enlisted Teddy Riley. Dangerous (1991) merged R&B, Rock and Pop with New Jack Swing. The influence of the 'Dangerous sound' can be heard in 2005.

Subsequent album releases were overshadowed by the Jordan Chandler scandal and Michael Jackson's marriage to Lisa Marie Presley. This culminated in a serious financial dilution of Jackson's hits collection (at one time more valuable than any other artist) and the rush release of HIStory Past, Present and Future Book 1 (1995). Disc 2 spawned the classics Scream, They Don't Care About Us and Stranger In Moscow.

Invincible (2001) was hailed as the comeback album. Yet, the inclusion of too many producers (including Darkchild) culminated in a stagnant sound and at great expense to Sony ($20 million). Michael's mantra became "Sony sucks", which recalled George Michael's "Phony"!

After a period of R&R, he will need to sort out his finances and begin to liquidate his assets (perhaps selling his remaining investment in the Beatles catalogue to Sony). His Sony recording contract expires in December, but better the devil you know Michael. He'll have to renegotiate, but with far less generous terms than in 1991. Mariah Carey and George Michael discovered virtual obscurity following splits with Sony. The latter artist, ironically, returned to the fold in 2004.

Jackson should consider performing again. A new studio album produced by Quincy Jones backed by those alluring greatest hits, showcased either on tour or join fellow Sony artist Celine Dion in Las Vegas (the perfect setting).

MJJ as 'celebrity brand' is dead. Yet, the gloved-one may get the last laugh with the power of song (his unique selling point) and see his back catalogue on UMD (Universal Media Disk).

Tuesday, 5 October 2004


With Halloween only a few weeks away, my pixel-pushing friends over at The Iconfactory have unleashed their ghoulish GUI goodness in the dark n' dank form of Web Attic!

Really looking forward to a late night screening of Michael Jackson's Ghosts and Thriller on the 31st.

In the meantime and in keeping with the Halloween theme. Whilst I'm still suffering post console sale withdrawal, here's the in-game logo taken from Super Castlevania IV (released on the Super NES, 1991).

Holiday season 1992 I hooked the newly unwrapped PAL Super NES to my home AV system (pre multi-channel) and was startled by the quality of the Castlevania IV soundtrack! Sonic detail was in abundance (a maximum of 8-channels were available to sound designers) with excellent 2-channel separation. A peerless platformer (it featured dancing specters Paula Abghoul and Fred Ascare), which still endures to this day. If you're so inclined, I'd recommend hunting down the original 'uncensored' Japanese Super Famicom cartridge entitled Akumajou Dracula (Demon Castle Dracula) - blood and nudity - all the trappings of the vampire genre.

Konami's Castlevania series, one of my favourite video game franchises, rarely disappoints and I've followed the Belmont family cross-platform (no pun intended) from MSX to Arcade and Genesis to GBA.

Saturday, 15 May 2004

Summer Sunshine

Jennifer Garner's first headline picture, 13 Going On 30, looks like a family friendly Generation X romp! The trailer conveys Garner's charisma, sense of comedic timing and effortless charm! There's even an homage to Michael Jackson's Thriller! Jennifer's come along way since a guest role on Felicity (also created by Alias' JJ Abrams).

Universal's postmodern romantic comedy Love, Actually utilises the narrative structure of George Lucas' superior American Graffiti (1973) and connects the various sub plots via a commercial soundtrack. It is a pleasing diversion, that stars several of my favourite UK actors and a cameo from Dido too! Lookout for Rowan Atkinson's shop assistant - priceless! Blackadder how I miss thee!

After taking a ride on the Dungeons And Dragons Roller Coaster at their local theme park, a group of kids are thrust into an unusual world and given magical weapons which they must use to try and find their way home, ever pursued by the evil villain Venger... Marvel's animated series Dungeons & Dragons (1983) is now available on DVD. Cool! It'll be worth investing in the 4 disc box set, which is released in the Autumn/Fall.

In addition to my very fond recollections of viewing D&D on BBC television. Atari's arcade gem Gauntlet (1985) will be forever associated with my childhood! Generous amounts of pocket money financed the adventures of Thor (the Warrior), Questor (the Elf), Merlin (the Wizard) and Thydra (the Valkyrie). Mac gamers with a predilection for retro coin-op gaming may want to visit MacMAME, developed by Aspyr's porting maestro Brad Oliver.

In stark contrast to the fearce thunderstorms of the past few days. Today the sky is clear! And it's time for a weekend bike ride.