Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Well, the gentleman has agreed to send back the surplus of the money. Nice way to start my birthday.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A few days ago, I decided to make a few soundtrack purchases. Whilst scanning ebay, I stumbled upon the complete soundtrack of Escape from L.A. that La La Land released a few weeks back. The initial price was $9.95. Sounded like a good deal to me, as I've found the score to be 'all right'.

The auction was started by a European gentleman, which basically meant that the auction would end at around 4:30am EST on Sunday morning. I got up and made my way to ebay. As the clock ticked away, the price had jumped a few dollars. My desire to win held firm, so I entered my bid, only to find that someone else had outbid my initial bid. I tried again. I was the highest bidder. Awesome. The clock ran out and I had won. The price? $16.50 plus $3.00 shipping (at least, that's what it said at the top of the page, but more on that later). My thinking at the time was that a discount was a discount, even by a few bucks. (The list price for the item is $19.99 plus anywhere from $3.50 to $4.50, depending on the soundtrack retailer.)

Cut to about half an hour ago. I'm checking my e-mail. One message catches my eye: 'Your PayPal transaction has been refunded'. I click on it. It tells me that the shipping price was $12.00, not $3.00. Turns out, in revisiting the page, the '12 dollars shipping' notice was buried at the bottom of the page and not, say, advertised at the top next to the item where it said $3.00.

That, on its own, wouldn't be so bad. Here's where things get unpleasant. In addition to the auction price and re-adjusted shipping, I have to pay, on top of that, the original price I had assumed I'd be paying. All in all, a grand total of $48.00 for a score I consider 'all right'. This kind of situation (paying more than I probably ought for a CD, not getting outright conned by an ebay vendor) is not foreign to me. Jerry Goldsmith's Link and Max Steiner's Those Calloways cost a pretty penny, but I find myself enjoying those scores. Also, they were out of print.

I'm certainly going to be contesting this. And if this guy thinks that this is going to result in positive feedback on his page, he's obviously fucking high.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

As I sit at my computer contemplating one of the two scripts I'm working on to potentially sell, I think to myself 'Why have I not updated my blog?'. Of course, the answer is laziness. However, I have set in motion events that belie such laziness. I complain about my crappy job, but what if I were to tell you that, by the fall, I won't be working there anymore? Not sure what job I'll have, but I'm definitely getting a new job.

And all it took was a trip to Toronto.

It'll all make sense by Labor Day...I hope.

Oh, and Happy Easter.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

My own MTV Movie Awards.

The actual show airs this Sunday night. I won't be watching (between "Drop Dead Diva" and the return of "Mad Men", my schedule is booked solid), so here goes.

best on-screen duo:
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Escape Plan
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, The Lone Ranger
Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, R.I.P.D.
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, 2 Guns
Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, White House Down

best action sequence:
the destruction of the space shuttle, Gravity
saving Air Force One, Iron Man 3
the runaway train, The Lone Ranger
the bullet train fight, The Wolverine
the WHO infiltration, World War Z

best comedic performance:
Jim Carrey, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Danny McBride, This is the End 
Ron Perlman, Pacific Rim

best villain:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Star Trek Into Darkness
William Fichtner, The Lone Ranger
Mel Gibson, Machete Kills
Ben Kingsley, Iron Man 3
Michael Shannon, Man of Steel

best breakthrough performance:
Domnhall Gleeson, About Time
Margot Robbie, The Wolf of Wall Street
Eleanor Tomlinson, Jack the Giant Slayer
Antje Traue, Man of Steel
Ruth Wilson, Saving Mr. Banks

best male performance:
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks
Hugh Jackman, The Wolverine
Ben Stiller, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels' The Butler

best female performance:
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Rachel McAdams, About Time
Chloe Grace Moretz, Carrie
Mary Steenburgen, Last Vegas
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

best fight:
Chloe Grace Moretz vs. the kidnappers, Kick-Ass 2
Amber Heard vs. Michelle Rodriguez, Machete Kills
Gipsy Danger vs. level five kaiju, Pacific Rim
Channing Tatum vs. Jason Clarke, White House Down
the gang vs. the teenagers, The World's End

best kiss:
Domnhall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams, About Time
Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Armie Hammer and Ruth Wilson, The Lone Ranger
Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, Thor: the Dark World
Will Poulter and Emma Roberts, We're the Millers

best movie:
American Hustle
Iron Man 3
This is the End
White House Down
The Wolf of Wall Street

Saturday, April 05, 2014

There's an island off the coast of Japan. It's become something of a tourist attraction because of all the rabbits running around.
This, in a nutshell, is why Night of the Lepus failed: swarms of rabbits aren't terrifying. They're adorable.

I'd really like to go to there someday.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Random thoughts - "This is so going in my blog!"

Like a number of sitcoms that I grew to enjoy (cf. "Wings", "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), "How I Met Your Mother" was a show I discovered in reruns before catching it first-run. I liked the characters and the central ensemble gelled beautifully.

Tonight is the series finale and I think this is as good a time as any to take a look back in as best a way as I know how.

- While I like Ray Wise (thanks largely to "Reaper"), I've always preferred Eric Braeden as Robin's father. The soap opera-ish line delivery suited the character beautifully.

- Punchy. The "It's Always Sunny" people were incredibly patient (and non-litigious) about this wholesale rip-off of Charlie Kelly, but - cards on the table - I wouldn't have been.

- I never liked Ted and Robin as a couple. In the first episode, she was referred to as Aunt Robin, and yet, a couple times every season, the writers dredged it up, as if sticking their fingers in their ears, yelling 'La-la-la-la!' over and over and believing hard enough was going to make it so. I'm not that keen on Robin and Barney together, either, but this is very much a 'lesser of two evils' situation.

Here are 20 of my favorite episodes:

The Best Burger in New York - Marshall drags the gang around the city looking for the perfect burger.
Highlight: "And you got our wedding vows off the internet?"

Blitzgiving - Joined by an old acquaintance, the gang heads to Zoey's to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Highlight: Barney suffers the curse of the Blitz

The Bro-Mitzvah - Barney expects the best bachelor party ever. Unfortunately, Ted and Marshall deliver the exact opposite.
Highlight: the turning point

46 Minutes - Marshall and Lily set up their new place in the 'burbs, leaving the others free to follow Barney.
Highlight: the revamped title sequence(s)

Girls vs. Suits - MacLaren's hot new bartender can't stand fancy dressed guys, forcing Barney to 'suit down'.
Highlight: "I know what you're thinkin'/What's Barney been drinkin'?/That girl was smokin' hot..."

Hopeless - Barney wants to impress his father, leading to a wild night.
Highlight - The 'Who's on first?' tribute.

I Heart NJ - If Ted hates being in Stella's place in New Jersey for one night, he's really not gonna like her news.
Highlight: (tie) Robin's phone call and the NYC vs. NJ debate

Intervention - The gang confronts each other on a number of flaws.
Highlight: Robin gets 'super-Canadian'

The Naked Man - Robin's new beau illustrates a fascinating way to pick up women.
Highlight: Ted and Barney suggesting various poses

Noretta - Barney won't quit in salvaging his perfect night with Nora.
Highlight: the seduction scenes between "Marshall" and "Lily"

Not a Father's Day - Marshall's work schedule conflicts with Lily's desire to have children.
Highlight: the lineups of the undateable

The Possimpible - Facing deportation, Robin agrees to have Barney produce a video resume to get a new job.
Highlight: Barney's video resume

P.S. I Love You - The gang discovers that 'Robin Sparkles' exhibited a dark side.
Highlight: the Tim Hortons montage

Say Cheese - An uninvited guest casts a pall over Lily's birthday.
Highlight: the running gag of Robin trying to catch Barney off-guard

The Sexless Innkeeper - Lily and Marshall come on too strong on their double date with Robin and Barney.
Highlight: What isn't a highlight, here? The double date, Marshall's videos, the titular poems, the music for the trail of egg timers...

The Stinsons - The gang finds that Barney's been hiding a family from them.
Highlight: Barney's unusual priorities while watching movies

Subway Wars - A wager leads the gang on a mad chase across Manhattan.
Highlight: Barney's trek

Trilogy Time - Every three years, the guys watch the Star Wars trilogy, and every three years, one of their lives is in disarray.
Highlight: Ted's 2015 flash-forward

We're Not from Here - Ted and Barney pretend to be out-of-towners to pick up girls.
Highlight: "We are on the cusp of going from out-of-towners to in-their-pantsers."

Woooo! - Robin hangs out with a group of party girls.
Highlight: The translated 'Woooos!'

The final curtain has fallen and even if what's on stage hasn't met our satisfaction, it's still nice that it happened, right?

BTW, 1000th post (which includes drafts and actual posts)!

Monday, March 24, 2014

We all have movies we grew up watching, mainly whilst watching HBO. For some, it was Super Fuzz. For others, The Beastmaster (inspiring the Johnny Carson gag, 'Hey, Beastmaster's On!'). There are very few details I clearly remember from it, but I do remember watching Saturday the 14th Strikes Back. That I recall, the story revolved around this teenager (Jason Presson, aka the kid from Explorers that didn't have a huge career afterwards) having to ward off all kinds of monsters that emerged from a crack in the basement floor. Living in a house that had a crack in its basement (okay, laundry room) floor, you can imagine the mental havoc this would occasionally play.

Many moons ago, out of curiosity, I decided to look the film up on YouTube, daring myself to watch to see if it holds up (if it ever did in the first place) or if it's just as stupid as every single review ever written about the film makes it sound. Surprisingly, it's nowhere to be found, at least in its complete form. YouTube, Netflix, Epix, Hulu...bupkis! On the former site, all there is is a trailer and this...music video. Not a music video tie-in with the film, but a sequence in the film where one of the characters breaks into song, because why the hell not?

Seriously.
To be honest, though, the song (penned by the film's writer/director Howard R. Cohen and the never-heard-from-before-or-since Norman Sacks) is fairly catchy. Its singer, Pamela Stonebrook, is pretty good...and not bad to look at, either. Which is to say...will someone put this movie on YouTube? It may be bad, but I'm sure I've sat through worse.

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