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.

Monday, July 31, 2006

My Favorite Themes - Part X

Score: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by John Ottman (Superman Returns)

About the film: After a heist gone bad, a petty thief (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an movie audition. Next thing he knows, he's in Hollywood, where he and a detective (Val Kilmer) investigate an unusual crime. To be honest, a mere summary doesn't do justice. This comic thriller (or should that be thrilling comedy?) was the best film I saw last year, thanks greatly to debuting director Shane Black's clever script and fine performances by (and terrific chemistry between) Downey and Kilmer. It's now on DVD. Be the first on your block to see it!

Title: "Harmony Lane". The movie's heroine (the breathtaking Michelle Monaghan) is a small town girl as well as a big fan of Jonny Gossamer detective novels. Both facets are reflected in the theme: saxophone riffs augmenting a repeating piano melody. There's no mistaking the tune; it's the first thing you hear in the film.

Other themes of interest: The "Main Titles" feature two different motifs: the first details the mystery at the film's heart (the beginning of "Surveillance Lesson"). The other underlines the light, hip side of the story ("They Took My Crickets", as well as a beautifully dark version in "First Kill".)

Availability: One would think that, following last month's entry, I'm just one of their publicist drones, but La La Land Records...they just plain put out fantastic scores.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Girlie in the pool.

So, M. Night Shyamalan's newest film, Lady in the Water had a decent opening this weekend. I'm not a great big fan of his work. Honestly, I've only seen Signs and The Village, and, having learned of the twist of the latter before seeing the film, I can only echo the sentiments of an Ain't It Cool News poster: I, too, would've incited a riot had I paid to see it.

I caught some of the reviews of Lady, and I can't pick between my favorites: Scott Bettencourt's or Moriarty's.

You decide.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Breakfast in dread?

This morning, I had planned to dine at a breakfast buffet restaurant. Much to my chagrin, they were closed. I had no idea what to do, but I soon figured that "I came out here for breakfast, and, dammit, that's what I'm getting." It was on the verge of noon, and a lot of other nearby places stopped serving that which I desired.

Walking down the street, I happen by a local coffee shop. Their menu was blown up and tilted in such a way that one could see it clearly from outside. I figure, "Why not?"

I go in and get an omelet (with everything, which happened to include banana peppers, which I didn't mind so much), a toasted sesame bagel and tea. British breakfast, to be exact. I had grabbed a straw for the brief period that I assumed that it was a drink that ended up belonging to someone else. I took a couple sips from it...with a straw. A real 'Tom Hanks in Big' moment, there. After waiting for it to cool - and adding some sweetener and cinnamon to it - I ended up enjoying it.

A good reminder to try new things.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Now that's what I call (a) music (store)!

Went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest today. As good as the first, though I didn't much care for the love triangle being set up.

I had decided to go a little far in seeing the film, namely Clarence, in the same theater in which I saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Before I went into the theater (technically, it was after; one of the showings had already started and I hate missing the trailers), I stopped off at what used to be Media Play (before they went under), but what is now known as FYE Superstore. Apparently, they had opened some time ago, so it was relatively new in there. It being a music store, my first impulse is to rush to the used soundtrack section.

There have been many times when I debated this principle, usually over childish and petty things, but, after witnessing the wide selection of soundtracks (real, score-based ones; not just songtracks inspired by the pursuit of money), I will never question this principle again: there is a God. Picked up the soundtracks of The Italian Job, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Kung Fu Hustle.

Who knew that Heaven was a mere three buses away?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Living for the weekend.

Yesterday was the third anniversary of the day I started at my job. That's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Today, however, was a much better experience. I headed down to a local festival of food: The Taste of Buffalo. This is where a number of restaurants exhibit their wares for the public. This is perhaps the sixth or seventh time I've attended. As you might expect for a July day, it was incredibly hot, though, even with the heat, I'm loath to imagine a 'Taste' on a rainy day.

Some of the dishes I sampled included a loaded fish sandwich (which includes fish, fries and slaw), something called 'pasta con vodka' and hottzzerella cheese sticks.

If you're ever in Buffalo during the second weekend of July, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fourth of July.

Guess who has to work today? Yep.

Sure, it's only four hours and sure people will, in their infinite non-wisdom, believe that we're closed, but it's the principle of the thing!

I'll be damned if this is what our founding fathers fought and died for.

Monday, July 03, 2006

My mid-year report card.

On the slight chance you missed it, I happen to love movies. I go out to see them as often as possible. Sadly, I'm on something of a fixed income, so I only go to see those films I expect to enjoy.

Now, for your perusal, here are the films I've seen this year and how I rate them (This wasn't easy, let me tell you. I hate rating things. But this isn't to say I didn't try):

Cars: B+
Curious George: B
Date Movie: D+
Dave Chappelle's Block Party: A-
Final Desination 3: C
Firewall: B-
Glory Road: B-
Ice Age: the Meltdown: B+
Inside Man: A
Last Holiday: B
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World: C+
Nacho Libre: C+
Nanny McPhee: B
A Prairie Home Companion: A-
Running Scared: B-
16 Blocks: B
Thank You for Smoking: A-
V for Vendetta: A-
The Wild: C+
X-Men: the Last Stand: B-

This has been yet another guided tour through the inner workings of my brain. Remember to keep your arms and legs inside the car and that question time will come at the end of the session...which is now.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Favorite Themes - Part IX

Score: The Punisher by Carlo Siliotto (Fluke...that's the only other credit I know from this guy)

About the film: The last mission of Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) results in the death of the son of crooked businessman Howard Saint (John Travolta). In retaliation, a hit is ordered on Castle and his whole family. Castle survives, however, and seeks to ruin Saint's empire. An uneven but fairly enjoyable adaptation of the Marvel comic, the directorial debut of screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh (Armageddon), with Jane's low-key work a nice contrast to Travolta's more empathic performance.

Title: "Mrs. Saint". The theme for Livia Saint (Laura Harring) is a melody on saxophone and winds that suggests seduction with a touch of danger...a perfect fit for the character. The reading toward the start of "God's Gonna Sit This One Out" is quite nice, as well as in "You Don't Understand..." Be sure to listen for a quick take on cello in "She Took the Train".

Other themes of interest: Much like Shirley Walker's Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, there is a theme, motif or idea lurking in every corner of this score. One starts to wonder if this score or that of Mask... could lend a couple themes to scores that don't have them. There's the noble-yet-tragic main theme on trumpet, the theme for Howard Saint (the end of "His Whole Family", "You Don't Understand..."), the piano motif for Quentin Glass ("The Torture", "Quentin's Glass Home"), the tentative string melody for the nameless goons ("The Thugs", the beginning of "She Took the Train"), the melancholic 'memories' theme ("Moving", "A New Family")...

Availability: It should still be available from the fine people at La La Land Records.