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, May 30, 2006

My Favorite Themes - Part VIII

Score: Gremlins by Jerry Goldsmith

About the film: Don't get them wet. Don't expose them to sunlight. Never feed them after midnight. The breaking of these three rules turns an adorable creature known as a Mogwai into a league of ugly, destructive creatures. Perhaps Joe Dante's most well-known film, an entertaining (if sometimes gruesome) comic thriller.

Title: "To the Rescue". Billy (Zach Galligan) must find a way to save his hometown. He does so, to the accompaniment of this exciting fanfare. It appears throughout the department store climax, but I really love the tentative string version as Billy manages to start his beat-up car, enabling him to rescue Kate (Phoebe Cates).

Other themes of interest: Of course, there's the (in)famous 'Gremlin Rag', which gets a number of treatments, as well as the beautiful theme for Gizmo (the mogwai), which he can be heard humming in this film and the sequel. Another element that must be mentioned: the truly odd use of electronics, like in the comic march for Mrs. Deagle and what seems to be a yowling cat noise throughout, perhaps to represent the titular meanies.

Availability: Unlike the other scores in this series, this never received a satisfactory release (four tracks on a hard-to-find 'mini-album' is not good enough). However, if you want a taste of this score, seek out the Silva compilation "Goldsmith Conducts Goldsmith". The seven and a half minute suite features the bustling opening music, a jazzy reading of the 'Rag' and other surprises (the aftermath of Mrs. Deagle's death has never sounded quite so threatening).

Monday, May 29, 2006

The composer rundown.

I am a film music fan (as if my 'Favorite Themes' column wasn't enough of a hint) and I just wanted to enlighten you (or remind myself) of who's doing the music for the summer movies:

X-Men: the Last Stand: John Powell (haven't seen the film - yet! - but from the samples I've heard online, I think he may have outdone himself...but Paycheck is, for my money, the brass ring)
Cars: Randy Newman (no real surprise, here)
A Prairie Home Companion: (arranged by) Richard Dworsky
Nacho Libre: Danny Elfman (happy birthday! and, if nothing else, this makes for a fascinating return to the type of films he did when he started out)
Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties: Christophe Beck
The Lake House: Rachel Portman
Waist Deep: Terence Blanchard (betcha it won't be as impressive as his Inside Man)
Superman Returns: John Ottman (with an assist from John Williams's original score...should be exciting)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Hans Zimmer (here's hoping that the music has a personality this time; I'm with the general consensus that Klaus Badelt's work on the first film could've been written for any movie)
A Scanner Darkly: Graham Reynolds
Clerks 2: James L. Venable
Barnyard: John Debney (would've been nice with Robert Folk; he's done every Oedekerk project but this and he hasn't done animation since the lean years of Don Bluth - nothing against Debney, but it's not like he's hurting for work...he's doing The Ant Bully, which opens the following week)
Miami Vice: John Murphy
Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby: Alex Wurman
Beerfest: Nathan Barr
Snakes on a Plane: Trevor Rabin (ever since I heard about this film, I was dying to know who'd score it...the thought of Jerry Bruckheimer's pet composer doesn't instill me with hope...then again, a closed-in place, killer creatures and Sam Jackson...Deep Blue Sea, and that had a pretty good score)
DOA: Dead or Alive: Junkie XL (I don't know who that is, either)

Call me an optimist, but here's hoping that at least half of these scores are released.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The obligatory 'Summer Movie Preview' thread!

"It's not new. It's not original. It isn't even very interesting. But it is coming this summer."
Trailer Announcer (voice of Tom Kenny) on the "Rocko's Modern Life" episode, "Popcorn Pandemonium"

The Mission has failed, Poseidon sunk and the Code is cracked. Here's my take on the summer movie season:

So the X-Men are returning for their Last Stand. As long as they don't tug too hard on Superman's cape upon his Return, I'll be happy. The Pirates of the Caribbean are also back and, apparently, they come bearing a Dead Man's Chest, which doesn't sound quite as frightening as the thought of Snakes on a Plane.

Apparently, the good people at Pixar feel safest of all in Cars, Steve Oedekerk brings a boatload of vocal talent to the Barnyard, Garfield heads to London for A Tale of Two Kitties and Jack Black steps into the ring as Nacho Libre.

Tyrese gets Waist Deep into trouble, Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx try out Miami Vice, Joy from "My Name is Earl" and Sin City's Miho are wanted DOA: Dead or Alive and many rotoscoped stars look through A Scanner Darkly.

The stars of Speed reunite on the much slower The Lake House and Robert Altman provides A Prairie Home Companion.

And on the lighter side, the guys of Broken Lizard attend Beerfest, Kevin Smith goes once more to the well for Clerks 2 and the team behind Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy take on NASCAR in the similarly-titled Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

I know there are other movies coming out this season, but these are the ones in which I'm even slightly interested. (Must-sees are in bold.)

And, I promise, no more "Entertainment Tonight"-style crap like this ever again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

'Idol' worship?!

Now, if you're a "Fairly Oddparents" fan, like I once was, you already know that the new episode "Fairy Idol" aired last week. All over the net, I've been hearing stuff to the effect of "What a return to form! This was a terrific episode!" First, what glue have those people been sniffing and second, is there some way to have it pulled from shelves immediately?

I understand that, after the unfunny and unpleasant seasons five and six, fans may latch onto something that eschews the stupidity of what has come before. Unfortunately, the fans have traded in unwatchable for awesomely mediocre.

Maybe I've been spoiled by the earlier, funnier episodes...what am I saying? There's no 'maybe' about it. The first season is, by far, the best, not only because of the humor, but because of the character interaction and touching moments which felt genuine, unlike here where a few pretty words somehow equal instant forgiveness. I'm forced to trot out my 'pod person' theory on Butch Hartman and Steve Marmel; there is no friggin' way that the same guys behind the first season also concocted "School's Out" (which "Fairy Idol" resembles to a certain degree), "Channel Chasers" and this. It's just not logical.

One thing I've been hearing about is the return of Cosmo. What return?! He's just as stupid (and his voice as high) as ever, nothing like the first season. Sure, there was that 'magical' comment to Wanda, but a much better scenario would've had him apologizing profusely for his inexplicable nasty comments and actions ("I've been going through a rough patch", "Acid reflux", "The writers' brains are the size of chickpeas", something!).

Also, this episode saw the return of Norm the Genie. The crew was unable to get Norm Macdonald (for whom the character was obviously created), making me wonder just what the point was in bringing him back. Somehow, he managed to get on my nerves here. This is, in no way, a sarcastic remark; he was genuinely funny in the two episodes from - get this - season five.

And I must harp on the title of the episode. Calling it "Fairy Idol" and waiting until the halfway point to live up to that wasn't exactly the brightest idea.

Some people called this a fine curtain call. If anything, it's one more nail in the coffin of this once-hilarious show. If there's anything I want settled before this show lands in rerun purgatory, it's why Butch and Steve felt the need to demonize Vicky and cast her parents as fearful wimps.

Perhaps I'm asking too much from a show designed simply to make me laugh. Then again, in this case, it didn't make me laugh, so I believe I'm completely justified.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wait, scratch that.

Ghostbusters is now sold least, if you don't know where to look.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Music notes.

Remember what I said in March about Ghostbusters not selling out so fast? Apparently, there are now less than 500 copies remaining. Ah, the power of positive thinking.

And for fans of The Witches of has been reissued! And here I thought it was an over-elaborate April Fool's joke. (It was, after all, announced in mid-March.)

Could it be?

Did the noxious, negative noodleheads voting "bad" movies onto the IMDB's bottom 100 finally get one right?*

You bet your sweet bippy, they did!

* - Note: this is for more recent (esp. released this year) films. I have no qualms about the older stuff already on the list.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Snap' returns.

What could that mean? It, alas, does not refer to the restocking of my favorite Snapple flavors Fruit Punch, Snapple Apple, Grapeade and Go Bananas!, all of which seem to have evaporated from the face of the earth. That, or it's God giving me one more reason to shake the dust of this town from my boots.

In spite of my earlier thoughts on Snapple experimenting with new things, I forgive them ten times over for their latest innovation: White Tea. Spurred by a very charming ad, I tried the Green Apple the other day. If you like subtlety in your drinks, get it. It is splendid.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Phun with "Phantom".

This is the actual summary of the newest "Danny Phantom" episode, "Double Cross My Heart":

Sam’s got a new crush: Gregor, a goth transfer student from Europe. And Danny’s jealous, although he won’t admit it. Instead, he convinces himself that Gregor is an undercover operative for the Guys in White, out to get Danny Phantom. When Sam finds out Danny has been spying on her, she’s furious, but Danny’s suspicious grows when the Guys in White show up in Amity Park. The mystery deepens as Tucker tries to help Danny uncover Gregor’s intentions. Is Danny right? Is Sam truly in danger from Gregor and the Guys in White, or is Danny just jealous of Sam and Gregor’s growing romance?

In spite of the fact that the episode won't air for another two days, reviews are already up for it at

First of all, I miss the good old days of TV Tome, where you had to apply to be a reviewer for a series. At, they're much looser with the rules. The good news is that anyone can be a reviewer. The bad news is that, well, anyone can be a reviewer, leading to this shipper nonsense.

Which brings me to my next point: as I mentioned before, one of the things I don't like about "Danny Phantom" is how the show would a) openly flaunt its shippy intentions, thereby holding the narrative hostage from the audience and b) indulge the audience with said intentions. While not completely terrible, the episode "Flirting With Disaster" is painful to watch due to its fourth-wall puncturing; I find it hard to believe (to say nothing of insufferably self-conscious) that the minor characters' lives, as well as that of villain Technus, are so dull and uneventful, that they have time to comment on whether or not Danny and Sam will figure out their feelings for each other. (This episode turned the word "clueless" into a four-letter word, which is appropriate as I feel that stuff like this is a big f--- you to people who watch this show for reasons other than shipping.) And this is a couple that I admire; if Craig Bartlett ("Hey Arnold!") summoned the testicular fortitude to pull this crap with Arnold and Helga, animation's most laughably incompatible couple, his head would be on a stick.

Once again, this is a poor reason to watch a cartoon, and if (God willing) I create an animated program, I sincerely hope that my show's fans will not be this retarded.