The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #326: Toymaking Updates, Watching The Crow Part 2, and Reading The Howard the Duck Movie Novelization Part 13

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #326: Toymaking Updates, Watching The Crow Part 2, and Reading The Howard the Duck Movie Novelization Part 13

https://archive.org/download/podcast-326/Podcast%20326.mp3

This week, we’re discussing new toymaking updates, reading the next section of the Howard the Duck novelization, and watching and discussing the second part of the 1994 film, The Crow.  

Toymaking stuff first: I have a handful of Logan and Aurora 5 POA Kenner-style action figures that are ready for priming, painting, and final touches:

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We are are reading the next section of the Howard the Duck from the movie novelization.

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Then, we are wrapping up talking about The Crow:

As mentioned in the episode, the score by Graeme Revell provides a haunting backdrop to the film that sets the tone perfectly.  You can find both the regular and deluxe editions on Youtube:

Although I believe there was a Crow skin you could download for the game Max Payne (which was very Crow-like in many ways), there were not video games made of the first film.  There was one made of the sequel, though.  Check out the hilarious AVGN review. 

 

If you want to stay within the world of the first film, checking out the TV series, which is different from the film in some ways, is not a bad way to do it.  The first episode is basically a retelling of the film with some adaptations to make the series continue.

Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #325: Toymaking Updates, Watching The Crow Part 1, and Reading The Howard the Duck Movie Novelization Part 12

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #325: Toymaking Updates, Watching The Crow Part 1, and Reading The Howard the Duck Movie Novelization Part 12

https://archive.org/download/podcast-325/Podcast%20325.mp3

Welcome to the second part of the Halloween editions of The Thirteenth Hour podcast!  This week, we’re discussing a few toymaking updates, reading the next section of the Howard the Duck novelization, and watching and discussing the first part of the 1994 film, The Crow.  

Toymaking stuff first: I have some working prototypes of the Logan and Aurora 5 POA action figures: 

Another slightly related thing and a preview of coming attractions (hopefully helpful for this winter) is there will be some Thirteenth Hour masks for kids and adults coming soon:

We are are reading the next section of the Howard the Duck from the movie novelization.

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Then, we are wrapping up Halloween by starting a two part segment on The Crow:

There is some great free running that happens on the rooftops in this film, as evidenced by this scene.

This is one of my favorite solos of all time and such a great example of how you can use music to convey heartfelt emotions without resorting to verbal exposition.  This solo was inspiration for one of the tracks on a upcoming Thirteenth Hour soundtrack, entitled “Mourn of the Midnight Phoenix.”

The score done by Graeme Revell is great.  One of my favorite tracks on the score is this one.

To be continued next week!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #288: Fight Scene Analysis with Jeremy from Whistlekick – Brandon Lee vs. Dolph Lundgren in Showdown in Little Tokyo

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #288: Fight Scene Analysis with Jeremy from Whistlekick – Brandon Lee vs. Dolph Lundgren in Showdown in Little Tokyo

This week’s episode is the third in a series about Brandon Lee (episode 286 on Laser Mission for Brandon Lee’s birthday and episode 287 on Legacy of Rage).  Today, I am working with frequent collaborator Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick to discuss another fight scene, this time from one of my favorite films (and a guilty pleasure), Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991), just in time to ring in the year of the ox. The scene we’re watching is where Brandon Lee and Dolph Lundgren officially meet on screen, and naturally it ends up as a fight, though not without justification.  This is one of those scenes that is so wildly implausible, you can’t help but smile (totaly fits with the tenor of the film, though), and today, you can watch it with is in 1/4 time.  As before, please check out Jeremy’s version of the show as well on Whistlekick Martial Arts Radio (episode 587, coming in a few weeks), since it has a video portion as well, so instead of just listening to the clip, you can actually watch it with us commenting on it.  But, for now, if you want to follow along, choose the playback speed in the lower right corner (the gear) to 0.25, and you can follow along with the comments.  We start the clip below at 0:46.

 

If you haven’t seen this film, there are a ton of familiar faces if you were ever into action movies of this time and a great Hollywood screen debut for Brandon Lee, who provides a great counterpoint to Dolph Lungren’s stolid modern samurai personality. 

And, as mentioned last episode, the patches I mentioned a few weeks ago are now ready and available for purchase here!  They come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

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If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #287: Watching Legacy of Rage from 1986 – Brandon Lee’s First Lead Role

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #287: Watching Legacy of Rage from 1986 – Brandon Lee’s First Lead Role

This week’s episode is kind of a continuation of last week’s episode for Brandon Lee’s 56th birthday.   I am watching the first film Brandon Lee starred in, the 1986 Hong Kong production, Legacy of Rage, one of the early heroic bloodshed films (John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow is better known but came out the same year and is usually the one typically credited with being one of the influential films that sparked that genre; however, Legacy of Rage has a lot of the same elements).   I never saw this film before but am glad I finally found it.  Although there is not a ton of pure martial arts action in it (see below for a little cameo with Bolo Yeung), what scenes there are give Brandon Lee a chance to shine not only through showing his martial prowess but also in terms of creating his character, an earnest, somewhat naive everyman who is wrongly accused of murder by a double crossing friend and loses not only eight years of his life in prison but also his livelihood and fiancee.  If it sounds like The Count of Monte Cristo, it kind of is, if, of course, the Count had access to an arsenal befitting a small army, courtesy of his prison buddy, a gun runner played by Mang Hoi, who is frequently found in Hong Kong action and kung fu films.

In the clip above, Brandon Lee and costar Mang Hoi arm up and deliver some large caliber justice, sometimes while driving, sometimes while diving over tables, one gun in each hand. Although that style would later become associated with this genre of Hong Kong films, this is a solid early example of why. 

You can listen to Brandon’s thoughts on this style of Hong Kong action film here (about 9:20 into the interview):

You can also watch the full film free on Daily Motion.

Stay tuned for more Brandon Lee in time for lunar new year!

And, as mentioned last episode, the patches I mentioned a few weeks ago are now ready and available for purchase here!  They come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

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If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #286: Rewatching Laser Mission (1989, a.k.a. Soldier of Fortune) + Remembering Brandon Lee

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #286: Rewatching Laser Mission (1989, a.k.a. Soldier of Fortune) + Remembering Brandon Lee

This week’s episode will be released on 2/1/21, an interesting number pattern date by itself, but it also would have been Brandon Lee’s 56th birthday.  As I discuss in the episode, my first exposure to Brandon Lee had nothing to do with movies.  It didn’t even really have anything to do with martial arts.

No, my first exposure to Brandon Lee was occasional childhood details I remember my mother telling me – of Bruce Lee and that he’d had a son who was also of mixed Caucasian – Asian ancestry.  That may not seem like a big deal now (and to be honest, it really shouldn’t have been then, either), but until my brother was born when I was eight, I don’t recall meeting anyone else with a similar racial mix.  I might have, of course.  Memory is faulty that way, but I can’t remember anyone else in my grade school classes, in Little League, or any of the other things I did as a kid.  And aside from my brother, it probably wasn’t until maybe high school that I met one or two folks with similar backgrounds. 

Although we still have our fair share of racial issues today in the US, I get the sense that things were more rigid in the 80s, and as an adult, it’s not hard to spot the entrenched racial stereotypes and issues in a lot of the films of the time, even in some of my favorites.   That doesn’t make me like them any less for what they meant to me as a child, but they are what they are.   That said, we still live in a fairly unilateral world when it comes to racial identity, and sometimes I think it makes people a bit unsettled when you don’t pick a side. 

Sometimes my mother would tell me that Brandon Lee also struggled to reconcile both Eastern and Western parts of his identity, but looking back, I was never sure how she knew that (Chinese newspapers, I think) or if that was even accurate.  Regardless, that’s how I was introduced to Brandon as a kid – not though movies, not through kung fu, not even so much as the son of Bruce Lee, but as an older sort of kinship soul. 

I was straddling the fence between East and West in my own little way as a grade school kid growing up in a largely working-class New Jersey suburb made up of families of Irish and Italian descent that did strange things like go to Sunday school and visit Ocean City in the summer.  The teasing, the comments about hot Chinese food lunches my mother sometimes packed that were labeled “weird” since they weren’t sandwiches in those little brown (supposedly disposable) paper bags, the wide eyes and frowns of disbelief if I mentioned I went to a school on Sunday (for a time, my father took me to a Chinese language school about a half an hour away in hopes I would learn something), the internal debate about which racial demographic should I check on standardized tests … all these things registered, but I was too young to really make much of them.  In a way, that’s the great thing about being a kid.  Things happen to you, sometimes good things, sometimes bad things, but you don’t really understand them as fully as you will later, so you just move on.  However, even if the adolescent and adult questions of identity were still years away for me, I think in her own way, telling me about Brandon was my mother’s way of preparing me for them.  “See, there’s someone else out there that’s like you” was what I think what she was trying to say, and I’m glad she thought to do it. 

Oddly enough, even when I started practicing martial arts at age 13, it was through the occasional newspaper article or martial arts magazine that I read about Brandon, not through movies or video clips (there was no internet, we didn’t have any of his movies; everything is harder to find as a kid without a bank account, driver’s license, or credit card).  I’ve attached scans two articles from the 9/1994 issue of Black Belt magazine here – one is a reprint of an interview of his from 1986, and the other is about his films.  There was awhile when this issue was the only martial arts magazine I had, so I used the read the same articles over and over again.   Aside from eBay, finding these old magazine articles is not especially easy.  They deserve to be out there.  You can download the articles here or clicking the cover below.

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I don’t know he’d have been especially proud of today’s choice of movie or not, but Laser Mission from 1989 (sometimes titled Soldier of Fortune) is pure gold in so many respects.  Critics probably panned it, and it gets like a 3 point something on IMBD, but what do any of those people know?

One look at this photo of Brandon Lee kicking this chap with two feet …

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… or the introductory theme song, done by David Knopfler of the Dire Straits, entitled “Mercenary Man” (which basically plays every time an amped up cue is required) is all I needed to know this film was destined for 80s movie greatness.  So, as a bona fide 80s US action film, you have to remember a few things – it will be loud, there will be explosions, plot holes large enough to throw a donkey through, unlimited ammunition, unlimited lives, gratuitous T ‘n A, overall misogynistic attitudes towards women, lasers involved, communists on every corner, and yes, an overall feeling at the end that the world was made safe for truth, justice, and Capitalism through guns, guts, and some good ‘ol asskicking, not bumbling bureaucrats shuffling papers and rubbing stamping documents that no one knows how to fill out correctly.  However, there are enough subtle jabs at these stereotypes inserted into the film (either consciously or not) that suggests it was done in a self referential, humorous way that pokes fun more than perpetuates old tropes.  You can watch the full film free on Youtube (thanks, kind souls) or Tubi (more legit but ad supported).

Shannon Lee maintains the social media platforms for the family, including an Instagram profile for Brandon.  She also does a regular podcast (highly recommended) about her father’s teachings and how his philosophy applies to aspects of day to day life.  Check out this past episode about Brandon.

Stay tuned for more Brandon Lee in time for lunar new year in a few weeks!

And, as mentioned last episode, the patches I mentioned a few weeks ago are now ready and available for purchase here!  They come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

img_2898

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #112: Creating “Mourn of the Midnight Phoenix” Part 1

Episode #112: Creating “Mourn of the Midnight Phoenix” Part 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast112_201710/Podcast%20112.mp3

Today, we’re going to create some music together.  It’s a short atmospheric piece to accompany the third Thirteenth Hour book and centers around Aurora, who has assumed the part time role of someone called “The Midnight Phoenix,” a name generated by the local papers from the legends of old after she unwittingly saves a man while on a brooding nighttime walk above the city’s skyline.

At this point, she is supposed to be learning magic, which she can’t really do or control, and she misses the home she created, far away across the Western sea, on her island with her husband Logan.  She supposed to learn magic since her family essentially needs another set of hands to defend against a new mysterious threat.  But all she can really do is make flaming blue fire when she gets stressed or angry.

Here is Aurora doing a meditative exercise to try to help herself control her fire making ability rather let it engulf her (what usually happens, making her kind of a danger to herself and others around her).

Her one real solace is playing a magic lute on the rooftop outside her window, high above the city, allowing her to see the sea, the horizon over which her home lies, and even if she can’t get back there, see an exit to her current trapped state.

I was inspired by the rooftop guitar solo scene from the movie The Crow when thinking of this scene:

You can find the track as “Inferno” on The Crow score by Graeme Revell.


My favorite part of that track was always the slow, melodic intro part, so I was channeling that in marking today’s track.  To be continued in a future episode!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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