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.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Just felt like getting this out there, after reading the tweet of Paramount defending their latest movie, mother!:

Audiences: "This movie is disgusting! It's distasteful! It's horrible!"
The blackmail material that got it greenlit: "Hold my beer."

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Pulp Fiction was seriously influential, wasn't it? Not so much in the obvious ways, but watching the Wolf sequence, I immediately spotted specific bits lifted for episodes of "The Penguins of Madagascar" (Work Order) and "How I Met Your Mother" (Arrivederci, Fiero). At least, that's how I saw it.

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Friday, September 08, 2017

Missing my dad.*

(Yes. I know how it looks; eulogizing a composer I've never met and not my own father. If laziness is a crime, you best have that electric chair ready.)

How do you...how can you say goodbye to someone you've known your whole life?

Not a few weeks ago, my father's birthday came and went. It felt beyond weird going through the day without seeing him or giving him gifts. He would've been 65 years old.

Towards the end of July, he succumbed to illness. Even now, it's impossible to believe I'll never see him again.

Even now, I sometimes think to myself, 'Dad's been in the hospital a while. I hope he gets out soon.'.

He was a big man with a big voice. I have no problem admitting that, even to the end of his life, I was scared of him. More recently, it was because of his sickness. It was scary to have to face him every day, as much for the illnesses as much as the fact that this man who I'd seen as nearly invincible reduced. This is not to denigrate him; even to the end, he still had a sense of humor and love for his family.

He was very devoted to us; my mother, my sisters and me. We were always taken care of.

I remember when I or my sisters would get out of line. He brought the hammer down, so to speak. It hurt at the time, but looking back, if he wasn't firm with us, I shudder to think how irresponsible and insufferable we'd have turned out to be.

For moments like this, there would also be moments when he come home with some kind of snack, or when he'd take me along on a trip with the kids he mentored, like when I went to a Toronto Raptors game.

Even earlier than that, I remember one day when he took me to the theater. The movie we saw was The Adventures of Milo and Otis. I enjoyed the film and I suppose that I could look at that as one of the moments that inspired me to pursue a career in movies. It may not have been the only one, but it was certainly the first.

I have more memories and feelings about my father than I can possibly express in a blog post. I just hope that one day soon, I can prove myself to be the man he expected me to be; the man he often saw me as.

* - It took all my strength not to use some kind of pop culture reference as a post title. There's a time and place for it and this is neither.

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Friday, August 04, 2017

Daniel Licht (1957-2017)

He started out as a protege of Christopher Young and that may have influenced his sound, but Daniel Licht had a way of providing just was needed for even the most disposable of movies (his resume including two Children of the Corn movies and two Amityville Horror movies).

It may seem hyperbolic, but I truly consider his score for the no-classic-but-better-than-its-reputation Stephen King adaptation Thinner not only his best, but it's in the upper tier of scores for King movies. The mood he established (aided immeasurably by the cimbalom) had an effect on me, enough to make me want to work with him on a movie*.

Another fine composer taken long before his time. It's just not right. He will definitely be missed.

* - Maybe this is a coincidence (and I apologize dearly for making this about me), but maybe I should be careful who I fancast as composers for genre projects from this point on. I've already missed out on Shirley Walker and Terry Plumeri. So help me, if anything happens to Richard Band before I get to work with him...

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gymkata (Alfi Kabiljo)



Stay with me, here: high above the nation of Parmistan is the perfect spot for a satellite to monitor all other satellites. The US government wants it, but the only way it can get it is with a mystical (and inscrutable) game, and the winner is granted one wish. The best man for the job ends up being...champion gymnast Jonathan Cabot (Kurt Thomas).

Once upon a time, a film directed by Robert Clouse helped launch a career for (and made a legend out of) a truly skilled athlete. Cut to about a decade later and, instead of a master of Jeet Kune Do, he tried to turn the same trick with a guy pretty good at jumping and flipping. This film tries to be Enter the Dragon, but (obviously) it's not. Still, the silly story is played refreshingly straight, making for a surprisingly charming bit of nonsense.

As the film was shot in Yugoslavia, it was likely required that a local composer be asked to do the music. Fortuitously, Alfi Kabiljo gave the film a lively score, with a driving action motif, exotic stylings for the (fictional) country of Parmistan and a cello-led main theme.

Gymkata
composed & conducted
by
Alfi Kabiljo


1. Main Titles 1.15
2. Ride of the Marauders 1.52
3. Jonathan Victorious 0.56
4. Training Montage 1.22
5. Up the Stairs 0.32
6. Relieving Tension 0.56
7. Bazaar Source 1.29
8. Finding a Body 0.37
9. Alley Fight 0.56
10. Storming the House 1.47
11. Escaping Bad Guys 2.54
12. The Mountain 0.25
13. Down the River 1.05
14. River Fight 1.21
15. Intro to the Game 1.08
16. Field Chase 2.15
17. Bridge Over Troubled Water 1.43
18. Banquet Source 1.27
19. "Take me to the Princess." 0.51
20. "Stop!" 0.28
21. The Next Morning... 0.28
22. Hunting Jonathan 3.34
23. Making it Across 0.51
24. The Forest 0.48
25. Jonathan vs. Thor 1.02
26. "He'll never get out alive." 0.31
27. Nest of Crazies 5.56
28. Fancy Footwork 2.39
29. Cornered 2.01
30. Farewell Father 0.55
31. Horse Chase 1.20
32. Jonathan vs. Zamir 2.20
33, Hero's Welcome/End Credits 3.20

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Cisco Pike. I truly hope that whoever told Kris Kristofferson, 'Nah, you look good clean shaven. You don't need to have facial hair.', ended up peddling for change in the streets.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Seriously, why is Seth Green not here?

There's a "Ninja Turtles" panel, a "Family Guy" panel and a "Robot Chicken" panel and he's not listed for appearing at any of them. Well, whatever's happening, I wish him well.

Now, to the nitty-gritty...

Thursday

The 5th Annual Musical Anatomy of a Superhero (10:00a - Indigo Ballroom) - The best part of waking up on the first day of SDCC is a panel of composers, especially if they're talking about what goes into making music for superhero movies.

Teen Titans Go! (10:00a - Room 6A) - Having grown surprisingly fond of this show over the last year, it would've been fascinating to see (hear?) what goes into an episode. It'd be mighty shameful if people paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars to travel to San Diego and deprive someone of the opportunity to truly enjoy the fruits of SDCC just so they could go to this panel and boo it.

Ghostbusters 101: A Ghostbusters Panel of Biblical Proportions! (10:15a - Room 6DE) - Speaking of needless triggering, the newest installment of the "Ghostbusters" comic is folding in the characters and universe of last year's reboot. I'm confident that the execution will be tighter and more focused. Lord knows the characters weren't the problem (and I sincerely mean that).

Behind the Scenes of Freeform's Hit Series Stitchers (12:00p - Indigo Ballroom) - Ordinarily, I wouldn't be much interested in a show airing on Freeform (formerly ABC Family, formerly Fox Family, etc.), but the premise has me slightly intrigued: "College student Kirsten joins an organization where they are "stitched" into the memories of the dead to solve their murders." (my paraphrase from the SDCC website)

The Writer's Danger Room (12:00p - Santa Rosa Room) - Writing exercises at SDCC? Hey, whatever gets me off my butt and actually doing stuff.

Rocko's Modern Life: Return to Earth (1:45p - Room 6A) - If ever there was a Nicktoon that needed to comeback with a brand-new story for its cast of wacky characters, it's "The Angry Beavers". I guess this wouldn't be far behind.

IFC's Stan Against Evil (2:00p - Room 5AB) - Anyone who doesn't believe that the world is big enough for this show and "Ash vs. Evil Dead" doesn't deserve either one. (Also, following that cliffhanger, I can't tell you how pissed I'd have been if this wasn't getting a second season.)

1987: Greatest Geek Year Ever (3:00p - Room 5AB) - So help me, God, I'm gonna go to one of these panels one day. Gabbing about movies and hearing about people's different experiences? What's not to love?

NBC's Timeless: Fan Tribute Celebration (3:30p - Room 6BCF) - I'm still not crazy about how the show Belvedered itself with the conspiracy nonsense, but if you eat around that, the show is a lot of fun and I'm glad that it's getting a second season.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Remastered and Ready for Blu-Ray (4:15p - Room 6A) - I can only imagine that it took a ton of blackmail to finally give one of the best Batman movies of all time the home entertainment treatment it deserves.

Ghosted (4:45p - Room 6BCF) - The premise reads as "The X-Files", but comic. If the writing is good, I can definitely see myself watching this.

ComiXology and IMDb: Kevin Smith's Comic Book Movie Trivia Mayhem (5:30p - Room 6A) - God help me, I can never resist a movie trivia challenge. Everyone needs to be good at something, right?

Superhero Family Feud (6:00p - Horton Grand Theatre) - It's got to be better (and less leeringly dirty) than the current incarnation of "Family Feud", right?

Adam West Celebration (7:00p - Room 6DE) - It would be interesting to hear about him and how he was so much more than 1960s Batman.

Name That Movie Meets Frankenstein (8:00p - Room 9) - This game sounds like so much fun. I really want to give it a try, someday.

Kung Fu Extravaganza 20th Anniversary Celebration (8:00p - Room 6A) - One of my (many) pop culture blindspots is kung fu cinema. I feel that this panel would help me to plug that hole and expose me to fascinating methods of ass-kicking.

Friday

The Black Panel (10:00a - Room 5AB) - As an African-American and someone with delusions of creating genre pictures, I'd really like to be considered as a panelist someday. Automatic in to SDCC!

I Know That Voice: the Series (12:00p - Horton Grand Theatre) - I caught the movie on Netflix last year, so I can't help but be fascinated by a spin-off series. (and just what would that entail; following around a different VA each episode? Sounds cool, though.)

Behind the Music: Fantasy, Fiction and Fandom (1:00p - Room 29AB) - Not as many known names as the Thursday panel, but might still be worthwhile, if only because Mac Quayle is one of the panelists and I'm in lesbians with his Emmy-nominated theme from "Feud: Bette and Joan".

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1:00p - Room 6A) - It's been a bumpy ride, but this show is getting better and better. I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

[adult swim]: Rick and Morty (1:15p - Indigo Ballroom) - Season 3 is finally almost on its way here and if the April 1st episode is any indication, it's gonna be insane. (Can't believe I slept on this show for so long.)

[adult swim]: Robot Chicken (2:15p - Indigo Ballroom) - The latest scuttlebutt is that there's gonna be a special "The Walking Dead" episode. Much as I like the show, how much you wanna bet it's not gonna be as entertaining as Frank Darabont's e-mails?

DisneyXD's DuckTales (3:30p - Room 6A) - Neat designs, interesting voice cast (for some reason, Margo Martindale as Ma Beagle sounds perfect)...honestly, I can't wait.

Bob's Burgers (4:15p - Indigo Ballroom) - A cookbook, a (finally available, if incomplete*) soundtrack and an eighth season. If there's a time that we reach peak "Bob's Burgers", I don't want to know about it.

Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski (5:30p - Room 6DE) - From "The Real Ghostbusters" to "The Twlight Zone" to "Babylon 5" to Ninja Assassin and Thor, with quite a few comics in between. Wow.

The Writer's Journey: Breaking In and Managing a Career in Hollywood (6:00p - Room 32AB) - Apparently, it's not enough to break in to Hollywood; you need to stay there, too.

Villains: Creating the Perfect Antagonist (7:00p - Room 9) - Is there a perfect antagonist? Who knows, but I saw a Vulture video not long ago that speculates that the best antagonists are the relatable ones. I'd have to believe that.

Writing the Wrong (8:00p - Room 32AB) - Experts reveal what not to do to ensure a long career in Hollywood. Should make for an interesting panel.

Super Geeked Up: Geeky Improv LIVE! (9:00p - Room 25ABC) - "Whose Line is it Anyway?, but filtered through a geek sensibility. Sounds like something I should try to see at least once.

ScreenJunkies: Honest Trailers and All-Star MovieFights Live! (9:15p - Room 6DE) - I can only assume that the crew is as entertaining in person as they are in the trailers.

Saturday

Inside the Writer's Room: From Script to Screen and Beyond (10:00a - Room 24ABC) - Given my inability to play well with others, why would I show interest in how a writer's room operates? No crime in curiosity, right?

Riverdale Special Video Presentation and Q&A (11:00a - Ballroom 20) - Archie Comics, but gritty and "Twin Peaks"-infused? 'What a croc of crap.' God, did I fall and fall hard for this show. So entertaining. Hopefully, season 2 doesn't get too dark.

DC's Harley Quinn: Celebrating 25 Years (12:30p - Room 6DE) - From "Batman: the Animated Series" to Suicide Squad. What a long, strange trip it's been.

Archie Comics Forever: Riverdale and Beyond (1:00p - Room 4) - In the last year, I've been reading "Afterlife with Archie" and, once at Barnes and Noble, I perused a fairy-tale crossover digest. Sweet zombie Jesus, there is no comparison. More like the former, less like the latter.

Cartoon Voices I (1:00p - Room 6BCF) - A panel of voice actors performing and impersonating their way through a pre-existing script ought to be on the to-do list of any Con goer.

Lucifer Special Video Presentation and Q&A (1:50p - Indigo Ballroom) - Hey, as long as this show doesn't fall headlong into the bottomless pit of 'Lucifer and Chloe hook up', I'll keep watching. (I'm not adverse to the pairing; it's just such a cliche at this point, you know?)

Writing for Television, Film and Comics with J. Michael Straczynski (2:00p - Room 11) - Another Q & A panel. How does one break into the business? How can you balance working in so many media? (I'd like to think that I revised my questions by the time the panel rolled around.)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: the Return (3:00p - Horton Grand Theatre) - As I don't currently have Netflix (but I'm working on it), I've missed the newer episodes. Perhaps, I should get a list of essential Comedy Central and SciFi Channel episodes watched before jumping in, huh?

Supergirl Special Video Presentation and Q&A (3:30p - Ballroom 20) - Yeah, it's hard as hell to get into these Ballroom 20/Hall H panels, but I would really love to see where season 3 takes us ahead of time...especially since I'll have to choose between this and "Lucifer" (yeah, I know, DVR, but it's the principle).

The Orville (4:15p - Room 6A) - A pseudo-comic take on "Star Trek" created by and starring Seth MacFarlane. The trailer was mildly amusing and, if nothing else, we get full orchestral scores for each episode by Bruce Broughton and Joel McNeely. Sold!

The Arkham Sessions: Psychology of Batman: the Animated Series (7:00p - Room 25ABC) - Apparently based on a real podcast that applies real-world psychology to Batman and his Rogues Gallery. With the input of Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, this promises to be one of the more fascinating panels.

Sunday

Spotlight on Paul Dini (10:00a - Room 7AB) - Been a fan of his as far back as "Tiny Toon Adventures" and having discovered "Dark Night" in the last year or so, I want to know even more about him.

Spotlight on Bruce Timm (11:00a - Room 7AB) - Another architect of "Batman: the Animated Series" (and a fellow "Tiny Toons" vet). If nothing else, it'd be nice to know how he got his start in character design.

Cartoon Voices II (11:30a - Room 6A) - One more chance to hear talented VAs goofing around.

Then, I'd probably hit up the convention floor to take advantage of any sales (if my experience at New York Comic Con is any indication, some vendors will be desperate to lighten their loads on the last day) and just walk around; maybe, see the city before I have to catch my flight. Yeah.

And some random thoughts...

- ABC moved "Once Upon a Time" to Friday nights. Most of the core cast is gone...and yet, there's still a panel. "Oh, wake up, Norma. You'd be killing yourself to an empty house! The audience left twenty years ago!"

- There's a panel for a Lifetime remake of Disney's The Watcher in the Woods produced by Melissa Joan Hart and starring Anjelica Huston in the Bette Davis role. See, this is what Disney ought to be doing: focusing on the lesser entries in their catalogue in terms of remakes (still waiting on The Sword in the Stone).

- "Rocko's Modern Life" isn't the only Nicktoon returning in a movie; there's a "Hey Arnold!" movie coming, too. Not sure what else to say beyond I'm still not crazy about the romantic pairing that threatened to engulf the show.

- A panel for how to create a cartoon series. Hopefully, there's room enough for a guy who can't draw worth a damn.

- There's a panel on costume design for the movies. One of several aspects of film I don't quite understand, but am curious about.

- Whoa. Terry Crews created a comic? Why wasn't I notified?

* - Over 100 tracks and no "Candy Randy"? Unacceptable.

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