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.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hudson Hawk (Michael Kamen and Robert Kraft)




Cat burglar Eddie 'Hudson Hawk' Hawkins (Bruce Willis) is barely out of the joint when he gets roped into a weird scheme involving priceless Da Vinci works, the CIA, a millionaire couple and the Vatican. Willis' much-maligned vanity project has its detractors after all these years, but I truly believe it deserves better. Ridiculous, though endearingly so and infinitely quotable. Do give it a shot.

Though best known as an action composer at the time, Michael Kamen got a chance to indulge his wacky side; in addition to clever interpolations of the title song, ambient music reminiscent of Die Hard and a combination love theme/flying theme, he also riffs on a number of musical quotes, from "Mona Lisa" and Beethoven's 5th Symphony to the theme from "The Addams Family".

Hudson Hawk
composed by Michael Kamen and Robert Kraft
conducted by Michael Kamen

1. Da Vinci's Dealings (Main Titles) 6.04
2. Hawk Flies the Coop 1.39
3. Super Mario Brothers, Too 1.47
4. By the Thumbs/Playing by the Pool 3.21
5. After Hours Tour 1.43
6. Hasty Getaway 1.01
7. The Butler Did It 1.23
8. Breaking News 0.41
9. Sweet Talk/Mayflowers Land 3.29
10. 1-800-GONNADIE 2.15
11. Lost in Candyland 1.26
12. Special Delivery 1.28
13. Board Meeting 0.16
14. Juicy Blackmail 0.17
15. Casing the Vatican 2.34
16. Shake Some Tails 0.49
17. Making a Date 0.40
18. Cardinal, Sin? 0.44
19. Reach Out and Punch Someone 1.23
20. Soft Spot for Rome 0.29
21. Open Sesame 2.25
22. Fishing for the Codex 2.50
23. Healing Touch 1.45
24. Trying Decaf/Classic Sting 1.57
25. Keeping Tabs/Confession 2.12
26. Abusing the Help 2.17
27. Cashing Out 0.44
28. All He Cared About 1.16
29. BFFL: Best Friends Fighting Loudly 1.38
30. A Very Special Night/Rude Awakening 0.58
31. Irrelevant Now 1.21
32. A Bad Migraine 0.59
33. To Castle Da Vinci 1.05
34. Double Crossbow 1.31
35. Blocked Exits 0.16
36. Briefing 0.12
37. Hawk vs. Kaplan/Runaway Limo 3.27
38. Falling to Pieces/Happy Ending 8.41

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Another taste.

Yep. I went to the Taste of Buffalo this weekend. Both days, as (much with film music) I use food as a substitute for companionship.

Well, let's get to the recapping:

Crab Dip (Joe's Crab Shack) - The spiciness of the chips nearly overpowered the dip, but I quite liked it.

Loaded Tater Tots (Bar Louie) - I heard about these at the Taste website and of course, as an avowed lover of tots, I had to try them. The peppers were a curveball, to be sure, but still, quite delicious. Glad I got the smaller portion.

Jack's Garlic Pan Bread (Jack Astor's Bar and Grill) - Definitely a dish made for the smaller portion option, with its garlic butter sauce.

Bleu Heron Burger (Riverstone Grill) - I still think this could've done with some condiments, but with the blue cheese and onion crumbles, that may have made a bigger mess. Very tasty.

Moink Balls (J & L Blvd BBQ) - First of all, it was a ball. Singular. Also, it was underwhelming, given the name. A meatball in barbecue sauce. Good, but meh.

Peanut Chocolate Cream Pie (Danny's Restaurant) - One of these days, I need to try this in-house. A wonderful dessert.

Crab Rangoon (Papaya Restaurant) - Not really an official Chinese dish, but still good, helped by the sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Lobster Crab Dip (Jack Astor's Bar and Grill) - If I had to choose a superior crab dip, this would be it.

Fried Chicken Dumplings (Taste of Siam) - Least in show for me. Edible but bland, not quite redeemed by its ginger soy sauce.

Voodoo Chicken (Bar Louie) - God, these people love their spices. Chicken chunks, salami and peppers atop a bed of rice.

Brownie (Zebb's Deluxe Bar and Grill) - It's a brownie and they're always tasty. It's why I get two every year.

Okay. Definitely looking forward to doing this again next year.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Well, apparently, the Screenwriting Tips website is dead, and on the eve of San Diego Comic-Con (and as I am still working on that one script), I feel it's important to remember a good piece of advice from that site:

Imagine yourself on a Comic-Con panel one day, talking about your film. It's good motivation to finish your genre script!

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Yeah, it turns out that one of those writing projects I was working on needs a re-write. There was an aspect of the plot I hadn't thought through (hint: Revenge of the Nerds) and I would have to reshape quite a bit.

Strange post for the Fourth, I know.

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

"If this town has a beach, why is everyone so pale?"

Ah, San Diego Comic-Con. Went there in 2010 and haven't been back since. At this point, the only way I could possibly go back is as a panelist. (I want desperately to go; if only the money were there.) Wouldn't it be so cool to have some kind of costume to walk around in and no one would be the wiser?

It seems that a number of studios are backing out of the race this year. I guess that'll just leave more time for comics and animated series. Sounds good to me.

Here is some of what I could look forward to this year (panels I would absolutely go to have been italicized):

Thursday:

- Behind the Music: Crime, Death and Resurrection (the first of the Con's four - four! - panels centered around composers; I'm familiar with only a small percentage of the names here, but still, TV music)
- Studio Production Chiefs Speak (if nothing else, the Q & A is gonna be sick: 'Why greenlight a movie without a complete script?' 'Wouldn't it be smarter to make the movie, then announce the release date?' 'When can we see a bigger ratio of original movies to adaptations?' and so forth)
- Open Road (this entry currently reads 'TBA', so I'll just look up some of what they have cooking on IMDb...Max Steel, The Nut Job 2, Snowden, Fifty Shades of Black...yeah, why don't we move on?)
- Return to Gravity Falls (the mistakes of "Northwest Mansion Noir" were ably compensated for with "Not What He Seems"; can't wait to see where the show goes from there)
- Science Channel: Raiders, Raptors and Rebels (a look behind the curtain at Industrial Light and Magic)
- Trailer Park (trailers are a good part of why I enjoy going to the movies and seeing them on a Hall H screen would be magical)
- Class of 1985: The Greatest Geek Movies (living vicariously through others is not a healthy way to live, but sharing in on the experiences of people seeing these movies is too awesome to ignore)
- 3rd Annual Musical Anatomy of a Superhero (film music panel #2, with a more familiar grouping of names - Beltrami, Tyler, Beck, Neely, Balfe and XL)
- DC Comics Too Tough Trivia: Catwoman, Joker and Robin 75th Anniversary Edition (it may very well be too tough for me, but a good trivia contest at a Con is too fascinating to resist)
- Animated Effects in Live Action (my mind is going right to the likes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but I get the feeling it will be so much more)
- The TV Animation Story Editors/Head Writers Panel (there are some awesome cartoons on now, but I can't help but feel that most of them range from 'meh' to 'dear God, what is that thing?'; still, it'd be nice to get my foot in the door somehow)
- Hollywood Location Scouts (one can only wonder how particular locations are chosen in which to shoot movies - for example, my hometown was recently used for a shoot for a forthcoming action movie sequel)
- Fright Night: 30 Years of Screams (I caught the film on Netflix last year and found it a fun - if unscary - little feature; this would make an interesting companion piece to the 'Films of '85' panel)
- Creating Characters (an assortment of talents talk about how they create animated characters)
- Geek and Sundry's Trivia Game: How Geeky Are You? (I guess here would be as good a time as any to find out)
- Son of Name That Movie (again, trivia; I can't help but be reminded of the late thehorrorquiz.com)

Friday:

- Behind the Music: SyFy Thrills and Chills (even though it's another composer-centric panel - seriously, is this a record?! - I have no desire whatsoever to watch anything these guys are scoring)
- Cartoon Network's Regular Show and Uncle Grandpa (I've kind of fallen out of love with these shows, but the panel might be nice)
- Geek Wars: the Nerds Awaken (more trivia, more awesomeness)
- The Black Panel (hmmm, I would imagine that there is a shortage of Black nerds in popular culture; someone needs to fill the void...)
- My Little Pony (...yeah, I still watch...)
- Lucifer Pilot Screening and Q&A (the Devil moves to Los Angeles and helps solve crimes...sounds gimmicky as hell, but I would DVR the crap out of it)
- Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (currently, the network's best show...and yet, they've been trying their damnedest to louse it up - Bebop...that whole 'farmhouse' arc)
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever and Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell (two amusing shows from basically the same creative team; you can't imagine how weirded out I was to find that Gary on '...Pretty Face...' was Ginsberg's annoying best friend on "A to Z")
- ILM 40th Anniversary (not seeing much difference from 'Raiders, Rebels and Raptors', but could be fun)
- [adult swim]: Mike Tyson Mysteries (this show is ridiculous, but amiably so)
- Disney XD's Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero and Star vs. the Forces of Evil (two charming Disney XD shows in one panel)
- Lost in Space: 50th Anniversary (not much of a fan, but what kind of nattering ninny would dare miss a panel like this?*)
- Marvel Television Presents (can't wait to hear about the next season of "Agent Carter")
- [adult swim]: Robot Chicken (still hit and miss...and still hilarious when it hits)
- Bob's Burgers (the show keeps getting better and better; I would love to see where it goes)
- More Greatest Movies Never Made: the Sequel (it's always fascinating to find out what could have been...but given a script review I read of "One Saliva Bubble", I'd say we dodged a major bullet)
- Spotlight on Jerry Beck (a look through the amazing career of this animation historian)
- The Visit (this film isn't on my must-see list, but I kinda feel sorry for M. Night Shyamalan, at this point; he's a talented guy, but in need of some self-awareness)
- The Writer's Journey: Breaking into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting (breaking into screenwriting...a perpetual goal of mine)
- Starz: Ash vs. Evil Dead (what more can be said but 'groovy'?)
- Going Back in Time: A Discussion and Q&A with the Filmmakers Behind the Back to the Future Documentary (with the recent news that there will not be a remake of Back to the Future as long as Robert Zemeckis is alive, I'm sure this look back at the film will get people intrigued)
- Starship Smackdown: The Geekspert's Court 007: Bond vs. Bond (a panel debating the strengths and weaknesses of the Bond movies...neat)
- Cartoon Network's Clarence and Friends Pajama Party (been getting into "Clarence" recently; likably goofy)
- This Looks Like a Job for... (I've been working on a 'what superpowers would I like to have?' post for what feels like a year - spoiler warning: shapeshifting - and this seeks to analyze how certain powers can influence career paths)
- Screen Junkies: Honest Trailers and Movie Fights Live (behind the scenes of Honest Trailers; I imagine I'd get the same sense I felt when I attended the Rifftrax panel five years ago)

Saturday:

- Let's Create a Cartoon Series (part improv session, part behind the scenes panel)
- The Last Man on Earth (not sure why people turned on this show, but I thought it was hilarious all the way through and I eagerly await a second season)
- Once Upon a Time (I can only wonder where the show will go after the cliffhanger)
- Warner Bros. Presentation (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Pan and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice...quite the potential mixed bag)
- TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites (a sampling of stars from various shows giving the lowdown on what's in store for their respective seasons)
- Blindspot Pilot Screening and Q&A (interesting premise, but was it thought out enough to justify the execution?)
- Inside the Writers' Room: The Pilot: Part One (how to sell a TV pilot; I'm more of a features man, but, hey, could be educational)
- The Simpsons (you think that if enough attendees start a chant, Fox will get the hint and end this?)
- Sci-Fi/Fantasy Family Feud (so, will this be "Family Feud" or just an excuse to throw out the lewdest, most ridiculous answers like they think they're Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly on friggin' "Match Game"?)
- The Production Designer: Architect of Imagination (how does one design those amazing sets in the movies?)
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (so, this is really still happening; from the director of 17 Again and Charlie St. Cloud, so does this mean a Rolfe Kent score?)
- Cartoon Voices 1 (I wonder what classic story the selected cast will pervert this time...)
- Seth MacFarlane Animation Block (not even the promise of new "American Dad" footage would be able to wash away the toxicity of "Family Guy" footage)
- The Hateful Eight (Tarantino's Western...enough said)
- Spotlight on Stan Lee (the one at last year's Fan Expo Canada was entertaining enough)
- High Def Horror: Hammer Horror Meets Harryhausen (would be nice to watch some of these movies; I still maintain that I was born too late)
- Legendary Pictures (Warcraft, Crimson Peak and Krampus...wow)
- The Muppet Show Coming to ABC (I liked the recent movies and the preview made me laugh)
- Entertainment Weekly: Women Who Kick Ass (just like the title says; featuring Hayley Atwell and Kathy Bates...neat)
- Childhood Dreams Come True: Writing Licensed Characters (how to take on beloved characters in new media)
- Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski (I'm willing to bet that he has some interesting stories to share)
- 20th Century Fox Presentation (TBA...just gonna check IMDb and see what could be talked up...The Martian, Fantastic Four, Kung Fu Panda 3, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse...the mind boggles)
- Inside the Writers' Room: The Series: Part Two (okay, the pilot has gone to series...now what?)
- We Are All Heroes: The Changing Landscape of Comics, Geekdom and Fanboy Culture (apparently, minorities are fascinated by geek culture...you don't say?)
- Warner Brothers Television and DC Entertainment Screening Block (a look at DC's many recent shows; been enjoying "Gotham" and I can't wait for "Supergirl")
- The Character of Music: Classic Horror Special Edition (the last and best composer panel, featuring Charles Bernstein, Harry Manfredini and Richard Band...needless to say, I'd wrestle my own mother to see this)

Sunday:

- Cartoon Voices 2 (another panel of voices)
- Illustrators: the Hidden Gems of Film and Television (creators of storyboards to help visualize the movies)
- Raising Future Fans: Geeky Parents and Children Speak Out (yeah, I'll probably never have children, but I would certainly want to raise them up right; i.e., like this)
- Where Do Ideas Come From? (how to advance your stories; I think of new ideas every day)
- DC Comics Too Tough Trivia & Pro/Fan Trivia Match (what can I say?; the bug bit hard at C2E2)

Once again, I'm truly envious of the people who get to go. I hope they have fun.

* - I'm really not much of a fan, but how could I resist a chance at a Dr. Smith-style alliterative insult?

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

This is the John Ottman who scored X2: X-Men United:


This is the John Ottman who scored Astro Boy:


This is the John Ottman who scored Jack the Giant Slayer:


Now, feast your ears on the John Ottman who scored X-Men: Days of Future Past:


Depressing, no? And this score is actually getting a longer release for the film's 'Rogue Cut'. Fucking body snatchers.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

James Horner (1953-2015)

I know I said no more obituary posts, but as a film music lover, I hope I can be allowed this exception.

No matter what one could say about him (his appropriation of the work of other composers, his whole cloth recycling of his melodies, the danger motif), one cannot deny that James Horner was an incredibly skilled composer and craftsman whose work could excite you, bring you joy or move you to tears.

Of course, he will be missed.




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