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 26, 2016

Yeah, I probably could've made a birthday post, but it likely would've devolved into yet another rumination on how nothing seems to change with each passing year. I did manage to get the day off (I can't imagine anyone wanting to work on their birthday)...but when practically all you have are days off (but with far less money than you'd like), what's the point?

I just wish my life would get better.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Solarbabies (Maurice Jarre)


In the future year 41 (...work with me, okay?), water is scarce (so, what else is new?) and a group of youths follow a mystical sphere to freedom. This so-so assemblage of dystopian tropes is easily the lesser of 1986's Mel Brooks-produced forays into genre fare.

Maurice Jarre dabbled in all-electronic scoring for a time in the 80s. This synth effort is unique in that the composer also utilized the ondes martenot (employed to great effect in his Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome the previous year).

Solarbabies
music composed by
Maurice Jarre

1. Main Titles/In the Year 41 3.14
2. Night Game 3.37
3. Bohdi Appears/Back to Prison 2.56
4. Lines in the Sand 0.30
5. "How it used to be." 0.31
6. Water! 0.56
7. Recreational Skate 2.01
8. Jason Talks to Bohdi 1.47
9. Playing with Bohdi 1.42
10. Making a Connection 0.56
11. Going After Daniel 0.31
12. Daniel Rests 0.13
13. Bridge Out/As the Owl Flies 2.50
14. The Museum 0.49
15. The Massacre 1.09
16. Daniel Sees the Wreckage 0.43
17. Mourning/The Compound 1.10
18. The Symbol/On the Move 0.51
19. Arrival at Tiretown 2.27
20. "He's here." 0.11
21. E-Cops Charge/Tire Ride 2.40
22. Jason Misses Terra 0.15
23. Captured 0.30
24. Nomad Raid 0.04
25. The Cave 0.04
26. "It's not over." 0.22
27. EP Headquarters 0.59
28. Pole Vault 0.18
29. Escaping the Dogs 0.32
30. The Rescue 3.03
31. Thunder Cloud/Bohdi Ascends 2.43

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Available while quantities and interest remain.

(Note: this post was - mostly - written up earlier in the year. I could not have accounted for one of the labels actually releasing something from one of the composers listed here in the meantime.)

Don't let this get around, but I have an affinity for film music. I wait with baited breath at the latest announcements about specialty releases. With so few release slots and so many inter-label reissues, a number of composers get lost in the shuffle. Here are ten that I think the labels ought to look closer at:

Randy Edelman
Last specialty release: Pontiac Moon (Quartet; 2014)

Given his resume filled with silly comedies and his...shall we say, electronically-drenched music, I honestly thought it would've taken several years for a specialty release of his music to surface (clearly, I was proven wrong). Some may be clamoring for Ghostbusters II, which is fine, but there are stronger efforts to savor, such as The Chipmunk Adventure, one of Edelman's first scores, highlighted by its rousing overture and the underrated Down Periscope, featuring a stirring main theme that's almost like Edelman's take on the Police Academy march...and speaking of...

Robert Folk
Last specialty release: Police Academy (La La Land; 2013)

2013 saw an unprecedented three releases from Folk: Buysoundtrax's Beastmaster 2, Intrada's Can't Buy Me Love and La La Land's Police Academy. Another composer burdened with a risible resume of comedies, but there are many musical gems scattered about, like the heartbreaking horror of The Slayer, the jazzy parody of Loaded Weapon 1 and the orchestral shenanigans of The Adventures of Laurel and Hardy: For Love or Mummy (yes, this is a movie that exists).

Richard Gibbs
Last specialty release: nothing

Though he continues to work, I really believe that Gibbs' best work came around the early 90s, his successful run as a comedy composer cemented with his delightful score for the (underrated) spoof, Fatal Instinct as well as equally fine work for comparatively lesser films like Ladybugs, Once Upon a Crime, Clifford and Amos and Andrew. Don't believe me? Check out the clips at richardgibbs.com and get back to me. I'll wait.

Miles Goodman
Last specialty release: Dunston Checks In (La La Land; 2010)

It's said that comedy scores are poor sellers, which screws me blue vis-a-vis a lot of this list, but there's no law saying a boy can't dream. For example, the elements of one of Goodman's most entertaining scores - Real Men - are said to be lost. Even if this situation continues, there are many other works of his to consider, such as Blankman, Indian Summer and What About Bob?.

Rolfe Kent
Last specialty release: nothing

Unlike a lot of the composers on this list, Kent's had some pretty good comedies to work with (okay, 40 Days and 40 Nights was a raging dumpster fire, but let's not hold that against him). I'll shout it from the mountaintops until my throat is sore: Mean Girls and Election would make a perfect double bill and there are several other scores that deserve official exposure: Killers, Legally Blonde, Citizen Ruth...

Michael J. Lewis
Last specialty release: Theatre of Blood (La La Land; 2010)

This is something of a cheat, as a lot of his scores are available on self-produced promo CDs, but many of them are rather expensive. Still, fully-produced liner notes augmenting Lewis' lush music would be nice. Who wouldn't like to know about the production histories of The Medusa Touch, Sphinx, Ffolkes and The Passage while enjoying the scores?

Mark Mothersbaugh
Last specialty release:...I guess you could count 21/22 Jump Street (La La Land; 2014)

The Devo co-founder branched out into scoring TV and films in the late 80s yet, for all his credits, there are shockingly few releases of his work. Granted, his Wes Anderson scores were released, but what of It's Pat, Sugar and Spice, A Guy Thing and the Hotel Transylvania movies? Who will speak for them?

Amotz Plessner
Last specialty release: nothing

I've been championing Plessner for a good 15 years, but no one - from film music fans to soundtrack producers - seems to know (or care about) him. Pity. His scores for Deal of a Lifetime, Addams Family Reunion and Digimon: the Movie reveal an incredible talent. Of all the composers on this list, I get the feeling that he will be the last to be considered for any new releases.

Graeme Revell
Last specialty release: Titan A.E. (La La Land; 2014)

Much like Richard Gibbs, Revell's best work came around the early 90s. A number of terrific scores saw release, such as Street Fighter, Power Rangers and Hard Target, but there's still the likes of Child's Play 2 and Ghost in the Machine to consider.

Arthur B. Rubinstein
Last specialty release: Whose Life is it Anyway? (FSM; 2009)

Rubinstein got his start in the 1970s, scoring made-for-TV movies, but it was a collaboration with fellow Yale alumnus John Badham - Whose Life is it Anyway? - that got him started in features. For the following two decades, he bounced between features and television, writing distinctive scores all the way. He's all but retired now, but his music deserves to be heard on disc. Stakeout, Another Stakeout, Once Upon a Texas Train, Lost in America, The Heist, The Best of Times, Where the Hell's that Gold?!!?...the list goes on.

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

The poor man's Oscars.

Another year, another ceremony of diminishing returns. Let's do this:

best on-screen duo:
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, American Ultra
Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: the Force Awakens
James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, Victor Frankenstein

best action sequence:
leaving Mars, The Martian
going for a swim, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
the helicopter fight, Spectre
the New York Comic Con brawl, Ted 2
the airport escape, The Transporter: Refueled


best comedic performance:
George Clooney, Hail, Caesar!
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool
Jason Statham, Spy


best villain:
Adam Driver, Star Wars: the Force Awakens
Topher Grace, American Ultra
James Spader, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Corey Stoll, Ant-Man
Christoph Waltz, Spectre


best breakthrough performance - male:
John Boyega, Star Wars: the Force Awakens
Alden Ehrenreich, Hail, Caesar!
Shameik Moore, Dope
Milo Parker, Mr. Holmes
Ed Skrein, The Transporter: Refueled


best breakthrough performance - female:
Raffey Cassidy, Tomorrowland
Rebecca Ferguson, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Brianna Hildebrand, Deadpool
Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: the Force Awakens
Alicia Vikander, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.


best male performance:
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight
Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool


best female performance:
Lily James, Cinderella
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road


best fight:
Paul Rudd vs. Anthony Mackie, Ant-Man
Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Indominus Rex, Jurassic World
David Koechner vs. the gingerbread men, Krampus
Daniel Craig vs. Dave Bautista, Spectre
Daisy Ridley vs. Adam Driver, Star Wars: the Force Awakens


best kiss:
Lily James and Richard Madden, Cinderella
Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston, Crimson Peak
Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin, Deadpool
Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne, Paper Towns
Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino, San Andreas


best movie:
Ant-Man
Deadpool
Inside Out
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Star Wars: the Force Awakens

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Monday, April 04, 2016

Terry Plumeri (1944-2016)

It was the mid-90s. I was flipping around the television, as was my wont when I wasn't in school. I'd stumbled onto a movie on the Disney Channel: Stepmonster. I don't recall thinking much of the movie at the time, but I was struck by the music. Creepy, yet beautiful. As this was before I dove head first into the film music waters, this was something of a big deal.

That music was by Terry Plumeri who, because of a senseless tragedy, was taken from this world.

Years later, I sought out Plumeri's works. I'd found a way to attain a triple-feature of his that was out-of-print, featuring his scores for Final Judgment, The Terror Within 2 and...Stepmonster.

Some time after, Intrada began releasing his music on CD, starting with his debut score for the rather disappointing horror movie Scarecrows. Superb music achieved with very little resources. Even though I'd never seen the movies, more Intrada releases followed: Mr. Atlas and Raging Angels. (Much as I will always revere the man, the sound samples for Black Sea Raid just didn't intrigue me.)

Much like Shirley Walker (gone ten years this fall), I envisioned myself working alongside this genius, giving what I'd written so much more depth than I could muster alone.

Farewell and thank you for the music.

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Friday, April 01, 2016

No joke. Nothing much to say except I'm on the verge of taking a test that could get me a steady job and a way to get me out of debt. Cross your fingers. I really need this.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

So, Batfleck v. Superhunk: Yawn of Justice is getting toxic reviews. You hired the guy behind Sucker Punch to make this movie. You knew what you were getting into. 

Still a movie like this has serious mash-up potential. Behold:


This reminds me: I really should consider watching more "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia".

P.S. Gotta love Zod's neck snap over '...and friendship (ha ha!) for everyone'.

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