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.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Cartoon Network, right?

If you're on the East Coast (like myself) and you follow TV schedules (like myself) then you know that Cartoon Network is airing the network television premiere of Dumb and Dumber. And if you have a triple-digit IQ, then you are justly outraged by this (like myself).

Some of the movies aired by the network in the last few months include: The Goonies, Snow Day, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and The Mask. If you can believe it, and keep your lunch down in the process, there are some people out there who actually try to justify this, mainly because of Mask's cartoony effects and Honey's amusing animated title sequence. We'll call these folks 'dee dee dees'.

A lesser problem with the network is its burying of classic cartoons. Apparently, the thinking is that if it's older than fifteen years, it's worthless. I don't think I'm too unreasonable in believing that that's how the network brass views a big chunk of its audience. Believe it or else, adults do watch cartoons.

The network needs a lot more variety in its current lineup. As amusing as "Billy and Mandy" can be at times, there is no reason for it to have 23 time slots a week. (I counted.)

Now, I can't explain how (or why) I've kept it for so many years, but I found a schedule of Cartoon Network's lineup, circa 1993. It may surprise you. Note: scheduling between the hours of 12:00am and 6:00am was not listed.

6:00am - 10:00am - The Morning Crew (don't really recall; might've been classic cartoons)
10:00 - 11:00 - Tom and Jerry
11:00 - Top Cat
11:30 - Fantastic Max
12:00pm - Snorks
12:30 - Paw Paws
1:00 - Shirt Tales
1:30 - Kwicky Koala
2:00 - 4:00 - Down wit' Droopy D
4:00 - Top Cat
4:30 - Yogi's Treasure Hunt
5:00 - 6:00 - Super Adventures (these were segments of shows like "Birdman and the Galaxy Trio", IIRC)
6:00 - Birdman and the Galaxy Trio (speak of the devil...)
6:30 - Centurions
7:00 - Jonny Quest
7:30 - Back to Bedrock (Hey, everybody! Remember the Shmoo?)
8:00 - The Flintstones
8:30 - The Jetsons
9:00 - 11:30 - Bugs and Daffy Tonight
11:30pm - 12:00am - Toon Heads/Down wit' Droopy D (I think...)

6:00am - 10:00am - World Famous Toons (this might also have been classic cartoons)
10:00 - 11:00 - Wacky Races
11:00 - The Huckleberry Hound Hour
12:00pm - 2:00pm - Super Adventures
2:00 - Galtar
2:30 - Birdman and the Galaxy Trio
3:00 - The Fantastic Four
3:30 - Dynomutt
4:00 - Thundarr the Barbarian
4:30 - Centurions
5:00 - Jonny Quest
5:30 - The Jetsons
6:00 - 7:00 - Wacky Races
7:00 - The Huckleberry Hound Hour
8:00 - 9:00 - Bugs and Daffy Tonight
9:00 - The Flintstones
9:30 - The Jetsons
10:00 - Back to Bedrock
10:30 - Jonny Quest
11:00pm - 12:00am - Toon Heads

6:00am - I didn't write anything in this spot. Sorry.
6:30 - Paw Paws
7:00 - Shirt Tales
7:30 - Dink, the Little Dinosaur
8:00 - 9:00 - Snorks
9:00 - 10:00 - The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley
10:00am - 12:00pm - Boomerang
12:00 - The Jetsons
12:30 - Jonny Quest
1:00 - 2:00 - Super Adventures
2:00 - Thundarr the Barbarian
2:30 - Birdman and the Galaxy Trio
3:00 - 4:00 - Magilla and Friends
4:00 - 6:00 - World Famous Toons
6:00 - 8:00 - Down wit' Droopy D
8:00 - 9:00 - Bugs and Daffy Tonight
9:00 - The Flintstones
9:30 - The Jetsons
10:00 - 11:00 - The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley
11:00pm - 12:00am - Toon Heads

Okay, so the variety of the olden days was only slightly more present, but there were classic cartoons from WB and MGM. (Unfortunately, they seem to have dropped off of the face of the earth. Thanks a lot.) The schedule is dominated by Hanna-Barbera programming, which, depending on your cynicism level, is pure fun or absolute torture. I lean toward the latter. For every "Flintstones", there are four "Kwicky Koalas" or (quite literally; trust me on this) four "Scooby-Doos". Just felt like sharing.

Who knows? This may yet be the post that gets me noticed.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My Favorite Themes - Part VI

Score: Warlock by Jerry Goldsmith

About the film: A warlock (Julian Sands) escapes capture in 16th century New England and travels to modern-day (well, as modern as you can get for 1988) Los Angeles. His plan: collect the pages of the Satanic Bible and destroy the world. Hot on his trail is a witch hunter (Richard E. Grant) who allies himself with a flip waitress (Lori Singer). Though it fell through the cracks in its limited release (in 1991!), this is an underrated little thriller from genre vet Steve Miner (Friday the 13th 2 and 3, House, Lake Placid). If you can get past the cheesy special effects and Singer's uneven performance, you may well come away entertained. Note to animation buffs: look for Rob Paulsen.

Title: "Main Theme". (Yep. That's it.) This is a creepy, predominately electronic six-note theme associated with the malevolent title character. (Interesting note: this score was recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. As good as this score is, maybe it's not the score one should show off when bragging about the MSO. The electronics are at the forefront, here.) However, in the climatic "Salt Water Attack", the brass blares the melody as the warlock comes close to achieving his goal.

Other themes of interest: There's a quietly noble theme for Grant's witch hunter, at its most beautiful in the finale, "The Salt Flats". In addition to the exciting action melody ("The Weather Vane", "Salt Water Attack"), there's a minor theme for Singer (the end of "Nails").

Availability: Released by Intrada Records in 1988, the CD is now out-of-print and goes for ridiculous prices on the online market. My recommendation is a cautious one. This is, by no means, one of the Goldsmith classics; I grew fond of it watching the movie. If you must have it, I wouldn't recommend eBay, although, if you have a friend with a copy and a CD burner, I say go for it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

"Silly customer! You cannot hurt a Twinkie!"

Now, it's been quite a while since I've eaten Twinkies. I ate them often when I was a kid, but my sweet tooth has taken me elsewhere in the intervening years, primarily to chocolate pastries. Of course, with Lent still in effect, I must get my sugar fix elsewhere.

During my travels today, I happen upon a pack of Twinkies. Banana-flavored Twinkies. I remember hearing a long time ago on "The Daily Show" (but not that long ago; Jon Stewart was on it) that Twinkies were originally filled with banana creme, until WWII caused the fruit to be rationed, replacing it with regular creme ("And that's why we had to drop the bomb."). Needless to say, given my love of banana parfaits, the prospect of a banana-flavored Twinkie excites me. It's kind of sad that it took a movie about a giant ape (don't make me have to tell you the name) to get the wheels turning on this again, but it was worth the wait.

Took longer than 72 hours...

...but it happened. Wankers.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lonely at the top, but crowded at the Bottom.

The frequenters of the Internet Movie Database, they are a funny race. (It was not my intention to rhyme just now. Believe me.) Every so often, I check out the list of the hundred worst films according to voters. Some of the choices, like Manos: the Hands of Fate, Troll 2, Son of the Mask and Eegah, seem pretty well justified. Others, not so much, like Annapolis, Madea's Family Reunion, The Honeymooners, In the Mix and Date Movie. What do these films have in common? It's certainly not their incredible badness; I refuse to believe that a single one of the above mentioned films is worse than Jingle All the Way, 40 Days and 40 Nights or (Christ help us all) Welcome to the Dollhouse.

It's this fact: each of these films was released in the last 12 months. It seems that some people have nothing better to do than trash and denigrate these innocuous if uninteresting films. I've been known to do that, but I don't go around voting them onto the friggin' bottom 100! And, given what I've read at the film's message boards, I fear that the guilty-pleasure-in-the-making Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector will join them within 72 hours. Kind of sad, really.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Random thoughts.

...had some corned beef and cabbage at a breakfast buffet restaurant today...those Irish sure know how to party...

...who knew that toothpaste had an expiration date?...the one on the tube being used (60% is gone): July 21, 2007...I shudder to think what will happen to it after then, if we hold on to it that long, that is...

...yet another PG-13 horror movie is coming's called Stay Alive, about a video game where the object is to...stay alive, for if you die in the game, you die for real...with all the violent video games out there, it's a shame that the makers of this film pussed out and ended up like the horror situation is either bland PG-13 tripe or ultra-violent, borderline-NC-17 snuff fests...doesn't anyone believe in a satisfactory medium, anymore?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The lucky ones walk out first.

Some new films out this weekend (the term 'new' is used pretty loosely here, I admit): one is yet another remake of an old (read: around 25-30 years old) horror movie, one is an amalgamated remake of two Disney films and one is a romantic comedy where a woman trying to put one over on Matthew McConuaghey falls in love with him, which may as well be a remake.

Allow me to bend your ear about the horror remake, The Hills Have Eyes. Some random points here:

- One review called it "Wolf Creek with Geiger counters instead of 'G'days'." Robert Rodriguez said of WC (if the ads are anything to go by), "As real as horror gets." Now, I think he's a fine filmmaker (the way he makes his films - doing as much as humanly possible - has me in awe and constant envy), and Sin City is perhaps the best film I saw last year, but, to me, one of the great things about horror is that it's not supposed to be real.

- The trailer. There seems to be this disease in modern film: cutting trailers of recent horror remakes that makes them as pretentious as possible. Selling stuff like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead (with its incongrously fast zombies, but that's a rant for another time) and The Amityville Horror like it's high art is, to say the least, laughable.

- One of my favorite online writers, Scott Bettencourt, made some interesting points about the previous film from Hills' director, Alexandre Aja, High Tension, so I wouldn't hold my breath for this one to be a classic...but then, I've never been much for horror. (It's none of my business, but if a man can't express an opinion, then what's the purpose of blogging?) They can be found here (scroll down) .

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"Yes, this man is some kind of farm animal. I don't know which one."

As a film music fan, I feel a little ashamed when I have to start begging for unauthorized copies of material. As of Monday, there's one less score to beg for.

It's not selling out as quickly as I had anticipated, so I may as well share the news with you: Elmer Bernstein's score for Ghostbusters has been released in a limited run of 3000 copies by venerable soundtrack label Varese Sarabande. If you enjoyed the main theme, the love theme and the appropriately spooky use of the ondes martenot, then this is a must-have. My copy is in the mail as we speak. Truth be told, my reaction to this was like that of a kid on Christmas morning.

BTW, the above quote is from the TV version of the film. Because it's so apropos of nothing, it's just funnier than "Yes. This man has no dick." Does anyone else agree?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"I'm out!"


If you can recognize that "Seinfeld" reference, then you can pretty much guess what happened. Needless to say, I had a rough day at work (morons blaming me for their idiotic mistakes) and I had to blow off some steam. Still, six days is a personal best for me.

At least I still have chocolate from which to abstain...and I still consider myself to be of a less questionable moral calibre than the schmuck who wrote 40 Days and 40 Nights.