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, June 30, 2006

Getting the bird.

There was a bird in the window of my house. Well, the rain started to pour, with a tornado warning chaser. I was getting ready for work when I got the aviary news from my mother. Near as I can tell, the window was open, the bird flew in and the wind trapped him.

It's hard not to be even slightly amused by this. Before opening the window (one of those crank-open deals, not the traditional kind), I had to get some pictures, which I'll upload as soon as a) I get them developed and b) I figure out how.

Just had to get this bit out while it was still fresh.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

"How the hell do we get those diamonds down again?"

Straight from the 'WTF?!' department...except for when I'm really bored at home or work (but mostly work), I've pretty much given up on crossword puzzles. I've moved on to the one-two punch of sudoku (usually the more challenging puzzles in the weekend papers) and kakuro.

However, in the (at my house) seldom-seen New York Times Monday, I ran across a bit in their crossword puzzle that was, to say the least, interesting:

8-Down - "Diamonds Are Forever soundtrack number, 'Bond Smells ____'."

Of course, the answer is 'A Rat', but I just found it stupefying that a score album cue title could ever end up in a crossword. This is even more unusual than a few weeks back when the following clue appeared in a local puzzle:

"'_____' Declassified School Survival Guide." (BTW, it's 'Ned's'; a funny show on Nickelodeon. Well worth checking out.)

Maybe if these clues of stunning peculiarity had appeared more often, I wouldn't have grown bored with crosswords. Maybe...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Such negativity!

Today marks yet another announcement of CD Club releases from the indefatigable soundtrack label, Varese Sarabande. Among the four titles is one that I was counting on forever: THE WAR OF THE ROSES/THE SANDLOT. Responsible for both scores is David Newman, one of the most underrated composers working in film today. And here I thought they wouldn't be able to top Ghostbusters. I will never doubt them again.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares my unbridled enthusiasm at this title, or the other three, for that matter, as you can see at Film Score Monthly's message board. Posting that they won't be buying these titles is benign enough, but compounding it with such needlessly cruel remarks as (actual quotes, mind you):

Surely one of the worst Club batches from Varese ever; unless one only favours third rate scores from third rate composers, whose only attributes seem to be to copy every known compositional device from the Golden Age masters.......whose scores Varese should be putting out anyway.

...and, of course...

Why do they torture us with this junk?

One can only assume that they're all whiny because many of them purchased a 12-CD collection of Golden Age music and by the time their bank accounts are solvent once more, these Club releases will be history, giving them unneeded ammo to piss and moan to their hearts' content...but that's just me. (BTW, here's a news flash for any of those jerks out there: no one is forcing you to buy product you don't want, so SHUT YOUR FREAKIN' TRAPS!)

Even so, those guys are saints compared to the (sorry, folks, but there is no other word for it) assholes at Ain't It Cool News.

Like I said before, the talkbacks are usually a source of amusement, but this is, perhaps, the first time that reading a talkback pissed me off. It is unbelievable (to say nothing of inexcusable) what people are saying about the late Aaron Spelling. Never mind the quality of the shows he produced. At the very least, you'd think that some of these people could cough up some goddamn respect. At least, he ended up with more money than those insensitive cocksuckers will make in their lives...put together.

People really suck, sometimes.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The worst o' "Kim Possible".

Now, there can't be good without evil. Light without darkness. Best without worst:


Now, when your villainess is an extreme stunts enthusiast who takes to uttering "Frrrreaky!" as a catchphrase, your episode is already in deep doo-doo, but, surprisingly, she's not the biggest problem with this time-waster, which not only pits Kim against the fraudulent rush junkie, amusingly (I admit) named Adrena-Lynn and well-voiced (under the circumstances) by "Saturday Night Live's" Rachel Dratch, but also rumors of her involvement with dum-dum football star Brick Flagg and (I hope you're sitting down for this, kids) aspiring school paperman Ron, who concocted the rumors to further his career! I'm not sure what possessed some of the first-season writers to, all of a sudden, forget that Ron was Kim's best friend, but, in all fairness, this episode was the lesser of two evils (keep reading).


Given the basic premise (serial killer fuses with dangerous chemicals one wintry night and is reincarnated as...a killer snowman), Michael Cooney's Jack Frost films were inherently stupid, but the writer-director sought to up the stupidity quotient by having the killer spout sub-Freddy Kruegeresque one-liners. I'm not sure if wisecracks would've helped, but they certainly couldn't have done any more to damage this ridiculous 11-minute entry, where the Possibles and Ron battle mutant snowmen. There's a slight nod to an earlier episode, so this gets a point for continuity, but overall, it's a disaster. If you're going to go to the trouble of producing a parody of horror movies, don't forget to add laughs. Just ask the makers of Scary Movie 2.


By the time this episode aired, there was a formula to this show - a very simple formula. It became overly simplified in this idiotic and irritating rip-off of the mediocre "Blush" (the first of two on this list!). Every scene seems like it was constructed by writers Thomas Hart and Zach Stones as a dare to change the channel: Ron freaking out (endlessly) about all things simian, Kim trying to conceal her regressing state, Ron's inability to tell the difference between his best friend and a monkey, the painfully sitcommy scenes with Josh and Mrs. Dr. Possible. If not for the amusing bits with Barkin, this would surely be the worst episode ever produced.


I can imagine how the pitch for this episode must have went: "Hey. We should do something like 'A Sitch in Time' that had a bunch of different villains in it. And we should do something like 'Blush', you know, with Kim in danger and Ron coming to her rescue? Even better, we can put them together! Don't worry, we'll find a way to make it fit. Wait, we've already done another 'Blush'? Oh, yeah, 'Full Monkey'. Who's gonna notice?" Despite the scene with Duff Killigan and the return of the Wade-bot, this is hardly a must-see, exacerbated by a needless, completely unfunny outburst from Ron (you'll know it when you hear it) and a totally predictable ending. The fact that it's only 11 minutes long is scant consolation.


As you can tell by the title, the Middleton cheer squad returns to the camp from "Sink or Swim". I have a question, though: Why?! Much like "Full Monkey", every moment in this unholy tribute to pointlessness feels like a dare to change the channel, if not throw things at the screen. No one in the episode does things because it's in their character; they do them because the script tells them to do these things. So, the name of the site of a creature's rampage was changed. Let's stay here and have a competition! Huh, Ron believes that the now-human Gil is up to something and tries to convince Kim. Why should she listen to her best friend who was absolutely right in "Sink or Swim"? Besides, she's got more important things to worry about, like rooming with Bonnie and sabotaging her before she sabotages Kim. Gil wants to be Ron's buddy. Nothing wrong with that, right? Oh, it turns out that Ron was right about Gill. Let's throw fruit at him! I swear, the characters in your average Friday the 13th sequel show more intelligence and believability. And, of course, there's the classic (as in Manos: the Hands of Fate classic) moment where Ron turns himself into a giant beaver to combat his mutated nemesis. Yes. That's what I typed. In short, "Return to Wannaweep" is to "Sink or Swim" what Speed 2: Cruise Control was to Speed. Actually, that's being a little Speed 2. After all, that film's co-writer went on to do Catch Me if You Can and The Terminal. And what of Matt Negrete? He is now a writer-producer on "American Dragon: Jake Long". Ouch.


There's a giant bug loose in town and one of the characters becomes a surrogate parent to it. As it turns out, it was the work of a raving loon who wants to take over using swarms of the overgrown insects. Wait, that was a "Teen Titans" episode! Sadly, it was also a "Kim Possible" episode. A very poor, 11-minute "Kim Possible" episode that assaulted the viewer with a stupid plot, ridiculous character actions (Ron running around like a little girl) and a villain that makes Fen ("Grudge Match") seem about as threatening as, at the very least, Duff Killigan. And I didn't even mention the attempt at creating a hot, happening new slang term (just like most of the third season's entries): Ron calls the bug-repulsed Kim a "roachist". Ha-HA! That's hilarious! Where's the bug spray?


As I've stated time and again, Ron is my favorite character given how much he reminds me of myself. One of the few things I honestly hate about this show are the moments when the narrative is brushed aside to pick on "me" (such as Kim's 'count to twelve' remark in "Naked Genius"). Unfortunately, picking on "me" is the narrative in this mind-boggingly stupid episode that takes a fantastic premise - Ron's naco royalties turn him into a materialistic snob - and puts holes in it through which you can drive a truck. Ron decides to carry his entire wad (99 million dollars, to be exact) on him, all the better to facilitate easy theft by ne'er-do-wells. After all, banks are so passe. Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable, who surely could've guided their son in his windfall, were nowhere to be found and the fact that the naco is still a good seller, implying further residuals, is never mentioned. Most inexplicable of all is that a Smarty Mart shopper like Ron would be so irresponsible with money. The few genuinely funny jokes (Iceland-Greenland, the birth of the naco) are swamped by how infuriated watching this episode (and talking about it, really) makes me.


Kim is running against Brick Flagg for class president when a mission pops up: to protect the uber-spoiled Prince Wally from an ancient prophecy which will mean his end, she brings him to Middleton, where he joins the school race. Four years on and this is still the worst "Kim Possible" episode ever, chock full of all the things that people could possibly dislike about the show: out-of-character behavior (Ron abandons Kim's campaign and friendship to support the prince in his candidacy), a lame plot and a character that makes you wanna reach into the screen and punch him out. Why this episode was produced is a mystery. Why the negatives haven't been destroyed (like those of the other entries on this list) is an even bigger one.


Kim and Ron debate Drakken and Shego on the dynamics of the universe and whether or not there is life beyond that on Earth. Sure, this description is misleading, but it sounds a heck of a lot more interesting than 'Drakken plans to shrink himself and sneak into Area 51 to steal a UFO, but the not-so-good doctor's mutt Commodore Puddles gets too close to the malfunctioning shrink machine and becomes a giant'. To be honest, I'm not much of a Godzilla fan and that's certainly what they're going for here, to much lesser effect. Hearing R. Lee Ermey and seeing Ron pursue an interest in filmmaking are nice, but I was bored to tears. And the final gag is even more repugnant than the one that concluded "Crush". One wouldn't think that so much...nothing could be packed into 11 minutes, but...


Now, when I see Nicole Dubuc's name on an episode ("Job Unfair", "Go Team Go", "Bad Boy"), the chances are good to excellent that I didn't enjoy myself very much (though she does seem to be proving her mettle on "W.I.T.C.H."). This theory has never been more true than here, as half a dozen story threads, not a single one of them interesting, dangle around with little effect: Ron tries to gain attention by going out for sports, Kim travels to the X-Games, Ron stumbles (literally) into X-Games stardom, the X-Games gets some needless publicity. Worst of all, even the Seniors, living off the land after being bilked by a business associate, are brought down to the level of dullness. An exciting mid-air battle and some last-minute backstabbing are too little, too late. However, the title (though it drains away the mystery of the thief), derived from xXx, was a nice touch.

They sucked, but not hard enough: Bad Boy and Downhill

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blogs, glorious blogs.

With all due respect to Lionel Bart.

Because I've nothing better to do (but keep your eyes peeled tomorrow!), I'm listing a bunch of blogs I've found:

Crazy 8 Opinions: Because lists kick ass!

Should've Asked Me: The blog of "Duckman" writer Michael Markowitz. A mite too political for my tastes, but I'm still glad I found it.

Some Ramblings from Mr. Gueguen: A talented fanfic writer and a pretty cool guy from Canada.

(Update - July 1st): Having an Average Weekend: YouTube'd "Kids in the Hall" sketches. Need more be said?

That's it for now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"Bueller? Bueller?"

Got called into the boss' office today. You know how that can be. Well, today, it turns out that I mistendered a money order (i.e. gave a customer one for more than they had wanted), causing my final total to be short. Apparently, company policy states that I can't be short more than a certain amount. The penalty: a one day suspension.

I had grudgingly been in a work frame of mind, so this came as a surprise.

I did a bit of bus traveling, visited the library and went to see Nacho Libre. It wasn't too bad, BTW. It's hard to feel anything but relief at something like this. Sure, I'm not fired (that I know of), but I'm also not working. Still need to look for a new job.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The best o' "Kim Possible".

As you may or may not have noticed, I've written quite a bit about the show "Kim Possible". Like I mentioned, it's not an all-time favorite, but I've written enough about the show (countless fanfics and episode reviews) to qualify me as a buff, if not an expert.

That said, here is my list of the ten best "Kim Possible" episodes (alphabetized, as I hate ranking stuff):


Ron is charged with spreading some sunshine to an inscrutable old man, only to find that he was once a great hero. Pretty soon, Ron takes to the streets as the Fearless Ferret "version 2.0", with Rufus as his sidekick, Wonder Weasel. A wholly entertaining compendium of "Batman" references, exciting action and series-best underscoring from Adam Berry. White Stripe may never go down as one of the show's great villains, but John C. McGinley's performance is terrific, and it's always nice to see Adam West poke fun at himself. This is my personal favorite episode and a feather in the cap of the show.


Drakken decides to get an edge on his nemesis which involves cloning, but, unable to get Shego's permission or DNA, he decides that the best way of defeating Kim Possible is with...clones of Kim Possible. A real winner from the first season, deftly mixing high school drama (Kim can't even enjoy the hot new look that she accidentally pioneered) with well-done action and some great dialogue (especially when Ron discovers his clones). And who can't love an episode where Kim and Bonnie (well, a clone of Bonnie, anyway) have it out?


A villain interrupts television broadcasts and threatens to destroy the internet unless everyone in the world sends him...a dollar. This is an engaging first-season episode, spotlighting Kim's 'discount-phobia', some delightful moments of eccentricity and, perhaps, the most unfairly maligned of the show's rogue's gallery, Frugal Lucre. Well-voiced by Richard Kind, Lucre is an effective menace, refusing to let a job at Smarty Mart or the fact that he still lives with his Mom stop him from carrying out his clever plan. The episode is a joy to watch.


The disappearance of a researcher leads Kim to Global Justice. The organization provides her with one of their top agents: Will Du, who, much to Kim's annoyance, is a) all business and b) intent on taking the lead in the investigation. This episode features a pretty nice contrast in its portrayals of saving the world and high school (Bonnie is intent on becoming captain of the squad). Fortunately, it's also funny, with some great moments from villains Big Daddy Brotherson (Orson Welles by Maurice LaMarche) and mad golfer Duff Killigan.


The theft of a rare diamond leads Kim and Ron to dog breeder Falsetto Jones. He's hosting a dog show and the only way they can get close enough to retrieve the jewel is with a Peruvian hairless - Rufus. A well-done plot, subtle bits of humor (the training lesson, the commentary at the dog show) and a good villain whose voice belies his criminal cunning help this to be the best of the 11-minute episodes and the one I wish was longer.


Jim and Tim are sick and their cold somehow manages to spread to everyone. A pretty good 11-minute episode that admirably and nimbly stretches its single joke. Despite some truly icky moments, like Wade's John Madden-esque recap of Kim catching the bug, this does deliver some solid laughs (Drakken and Duff Killigan quarreling, the groaner of an ending).


"Kim Possible" episodes have fit into the categories of action, adventure or mystery. "Sink or Swim", however, is perhaps the only one (so far) to try for horror. ("Return to Wannaweep" doesn't count; that one aimed for camp.) On the way to a competition, the Middleton cheer squad ends up stranded at Camp Wannaweep, where Ron had a nightmarish time in childhood. It doesn't seem to be over, though, as a creature watches from the shadows...waiting to strike. Blessed with some great lines, effectively frightening (as much as this show can get) moments, a good villain and an exciting Jaws-inspired climax, this rates as my second-favorite episode and a fine start (this was the second episode to air) to the series.


Kim lands in detention, under the watch of the "tough-but-fair" Mr. Barkin. What's more, she must retrieve some stolen technology from Dr. Drakken. Unfortunately, he's already used it to create a nanotick with explosive capabilities. Though it's not my all-time favorite episode, it is the one where everything clicks: funny banter (between and amongst heroes and villains), a good story, a real feel for high school and sharp character interaction. A model of what this show ought to be, I lament that future episodes weren't more like this one.


Because of unforseen circumstances, Kim has to take her intelligent (and mischevious) twin brothers along on a mission, where Dr. Drakken has appropriated mind control technology. A most amusing entry, this episode serves up a terrific two-on-one fight, some hilarious ranting from Drakken and the sight of Shego in an apron. And bonus points for spotlighting Jim and Tim, thereby rescuing them from dreaded Matt McGinnis territory.


Wanting Kim to spend the holiday with her family (and hoping to make up for the Bueno bucks of Christmas past), Ron sneaks away on a mission to stop Drakken. Unfortunately, they end up at the North Pole. Kim learns of Ron's deed and sets out to find him, her family at her side. One of the show's funniest outings, this episode deserves to be a holiday classic. I'm not sure if writer Mark Palmer meant for this episode to be so quotable, but he certainly succeeded (Drakken's holiday rant, Kim's apt description of the...unusual ending, Drakken's promise for the New Year).

Honorable mention: And the Molerat Will Be CGI, Attack of the Killer Bebes, Mind Games and Pain King vs. Cleopatra

Monday, June 12, 2006

Confessions of a dangerous mind.

I am as bored as bored can be, so here's what's bouncing around in this head of mine:

- I'm waiting to hear back about a position I applied for at a bank. The hours are a bit more rigid than what I'm used to from the job that ate my brain, but if it's less stressful, that's great.

- Several scripts are in the 'stuck on a page' stage.

- Been gaining weight. Nothing too extreme, like you'd see on "Maury", but it's making me a bit self-conscious.

- My CD is filled with scores that I hardly ever listen to. I feel like I should write reviews of them, but the energy just isn't there. What's more, I keep on buying them. I'm reminded of a lyric from the song "Stuff" by Lonestar: "It's treasure 'til it's mine/then it ain't worth a dime."

- I just get the sense that I've wasted my life (and given my crap job and the fact that I'm pouring my heart out on a blog, that's not far from incorrect). I want to change, but I'm a little lost as to how.

That's pretty much all I can think of...for now.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Getting your sitch straight.

As you may or may not know (or care; I can never remember), today is the fourth anniversary of the premiere of the animated series "Kim Possible".

As I've stated in the past, the show is not one of my favorites. It is a good show, no doubt, but it can be maddening at times (occasionally stupid plots, uber-witch Bonnie and the misfired humanizing of said uber-witch, the mistreatment of Ron, who is like a freckled, mole rat-owning doppelganger of me, the rather obnoxious bits of shippiness). The first three episodes that aired were "Crush", "Sink or Swim" and "The New Ron". The middle episode was good enough to keep me watching.

I have written reviews for the now defunct TV Tome and and have posted my opinions of the show on several message boards. Given that the last episode produced (at least until the fourth season appears), "And the Molerat Will be CGI", airs this Saturday, I will soon have the inspiration to post two top ten lists: favorites and least favorites. If you've ever paid attention to what I've said elsewhere, the lists shouldn't be too surprising.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What can make me feel this way?

I've never seen the movie My Girl, but, like a number of people with nothing better to do, I am slightly curious of what became of its young star, Anna Chlumsky.

Wonder no more.

If nothing else, she has a hell of a future as a magazine columnist.

Addendum: Some of you may be thinking, 'Tor, why didn't you do a 'six-six-oh-six' post today?' Honestly, I thought about it, but decided not to. Isn't there enough negativity on the internet as it is?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

What marks the spot?

...or "Random thoughts: X-Men: the Last Stand edition.

+ People may have had doubts about this, but I bet they're kicking themselves now; Kelsey Grammer as Beast...just terrific.

- Whole lotta deaths, each more surprising than the last.

+ Though strategically hidden for a PG-13, Rebecca Romijn...naked! Need I elaborate?

- That day for night shot of the otherwise cool moment of Magneto moving the Golden Gate Bridge. What the hell was that about?

- Just about everything that Vinnie Jones said was hilarious...and I'm sure that a couple of those lines were intentionally so.

+ John Powell's score. Kickass. Definitely want to pick it up (although, in terms of his overall resume, Paycheck still owns my soul).

+ Halle Berry had much more to do as Storm. I dug it.

+ Was I the only one jazzed hearing R. Lee Ermey's voice in that one scene? I didn't see him, but there's no mistaking the voice.

Now, I admit I don't follow the comics, but I've pretty much seen geek reviews flaying this film on the basis of lack of faithfulness. As I mentioned before, the talkbacks at Ain't It Cool News are good for some hearty laughs. This one confirms my above statement, although there is a pretty strong defense of the film, courtesy of the ironically-handled Negative Man.