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 30, 2007

My Favorite Themes - Part XVIII

Score: Winged Migration by Bruno Coulais (The Chorus)

About the film: This Oscar-nominated documentary features footage of birds shot around the world...and even alongside the birds as some of them are flying! A truly unique and enjoyable viewing experience.

Theme: "The Highest Gander". This melody appears only twice - in the titular song and the haunting "The Swans Flight" - but it is such a beautiful, heartbreaking melody, especially when taken up by strings in the song or winds in the latter track, it is worthy of mention.

Other themes of interest: With the exception of the aforementioned melody and the song "Masters of the Field" reappearing in "After the Hunt", the score is essentially its own entity. It's still quite good, even with augmentation by rumbling clouds, flapping wings and (authentic, of course) bird calls. Witness the ethnic percussion in "Beating Drums", the chanting in "The Crossing" and the orchestral jauntiness of "Amidst the Factory Smoke" and "The Paper Parrot".

Availability: The CD should still be available from the label Higher Octave.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Darn right you're "Sorry".

The writers of "The Fairly Oddparents" are working on an hour-long special to kick off the new season. Astonishing. All this time to learn from their mistakes and, already, they've stepped in it.

The problem with the hour-long specials (and, now that I think of it, the half-hour specials) is that they so clearly and so often strain for story. Given the 11 minute, gags-first, everything-else-second nature of the show, this is inevitable, but it it still an irritation. Even clearer than the reaching for story is the fact that the makers seem to know they have problems with the story, but just don't care. Think I'm just pulling this nonsense out of nowhere? Two words, kids: "Fairy Idol". (In the interest of fairness, I won't even get into the "Jimmy/Timmy Power Hours". Their non-existent storylines and ghastly revisions of the characters perfectly emphasize the slapped together feel of them.)

None of this is helped by the insistence on big, splashy and completely boring musical numbers in every one of these episodes. The staging is lax, the lyrics are uninspired and the performances rely too often on sprech-stimming rather than actual singing. (Which wouldn't be so bad if the music didn't call for a few belters in the cast.) And as much as I love Tara Strong, her singing voice as Timmy is painful to listen to. Singing and maintaining a character isn't easy, I'm sure, but the 'mute' button could not seem a worthier innovation when the songs start up.

Also, the announcement came from one Kevin Sullivan. His credits include the later works "Oh, Brother" (the enjoyment of which came more from Jason Bateman's voice work than anything else) and "No Substitute for Crazy" (which replaced the now-tiresome Mr. Crocker with a hot but boring proxy).

Compare these not-so-specials with...hell, any episode of "Class of 3000". The Cartoon Network series has a stronger musical pedigree (Andre 3000...enough said!) and funnier jokes.

I fear that it's too late for the makers to learn their lesson from these episodes ("Stop making them!" seems pretty apt), but the failure of such will amuse us.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

"The one they can't resist."

In the last week, there's been a run on tainted pet food. As it turns out, the culprit is rat poison that somehow ended up in the mix. A handful of animals have died and many more are ill.

As an animal lover, this is truly a tragic event...though I can't help but be reminded of one of Saturday Night Live's best ever ad parodies. I would love more than anything to post a clip, but they don't exist, so here's a transcript.

Update: (7/12/09) - It may have taken a couple years, but I found a site that has the ad. It's cut off at the end, but the fact that someone uploaded it at all is a blessing:


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hello again.

No, I'm not dead. I just haven't felt like posting in a while.

It would seem that my voice is back to normal. I guess the infection did go away on its own. Well, back to...whatever.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I can't do this all on my own...

It's a viral infection in my throat. Found this out today at the hospital. It might go away on its own or not.

Apparently, the treatment is having to gargle with lidocaine, which happens to be an anaesthetic...and a little thicker than I could've expected. I'm not sure if I am to spit it out or swallow. The latter might help me a bit, I suppose. All I know is that it's hard to get in without it hitting my tongue.

I'm starting to miss when I thought it was the flu.

Sick as a dog.

In the last few days, my voice broke (it's a strain to attempt any high voices), I've felt a slight headache and I've been coughing up deposits of phlegm. Needless to say, I'm sick.

I thought it may have been tonsillitis, but after consulting with some people...okay, some people at Toonzone, I've found that it may be the flu. I'm not as upset as I was back when I thought that surgery would've been considered, but it's something of a strain. I can only hope that this breaks and I can get back to full strength. The weather has finally become reasonable and it would be a shame to have it go to waste.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Straight from the realm of 'WTF?!'

Kung Fu Hustle is available at YouTube. I've no problem with that. It's a pretty good action-comedy, bolstered by its deliberately cartoonish CG effects.

Here's the kicker, though: it, apparently, has been dubbed into English. I'm not going to go into some complicated analysis of dubbing vs. subbing. I'll just say that the part I watched (when the two assassins use notes from a giant string instrument to kill their victims - one of my favorite scenes) felt...very off. The scenery was as cool as ever, but hearing it in English as opposed to Cantonese (the film was released with subtitles) was quite jarring. Even more, the job didn't sound as professional as the dub work on Stephen Chow's previous Shaolin Soccer. It kind of felt like the wrong people were doing the roles (the VA for Brother Sum, in particular).

What's funny is that I don't ever remember hearing about a dub of this movie before this point. Odd. Anyway, judge for yourself.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

On the bad ship' Lollipop...

One thing I love about the internet is finding people with opinions similar to one's own.

Now, I've been pissing and moaning for years about how shipping in cartoons is unhealthy, such as recently at

By an insane coincidence, one of my favorite online writers, Jaime Weinman, has also recently made mention of this nonsense (albeit for live action programs), phrasing his distaste far better than I ever could.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Random thoughts.

- One thing I've hated dealing with these last few days: the Mega Millions Jackpot. It's now up to $370 million. (Yes, I bought tickets, thanks for asking.) What annoys me about it are idiots coming in from off the street, who've never even fucking heard of the game, much less have any idea how to play it, coming in and wasting money and my time. Besides, the big bucks never end up going to anyone in this state.

- So..."The Fairly Oddparents" is returning with new episodes. Butch Hartman promises they'll be better than what came before them in the last two seasons. I should hope so; I sent in a spec script. I hope to hear good news about it eventually.

- Remember when I said I was giving up two things for Lent? Well, I lasted a whole of four days on one of them; not out of frustration, but boredom this time. The vice I'm still abstaining from is the easy one. After all, there are plenty of alternatives to chocolate.

- Getting back to shows back from the dead, the romantic elements aren't ruining "Kim Possible" like I thought they'd be. There are still the minor script-level glitches (occasionally lame plots), but it's better than I could've far.

- Rented Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. Like American Splendor and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, it's one of those movies I regret not seeing in a theater.

- I recently saw a commercial for a Banana Pudding Shake at Sonic's. Has anyone else ever felt like this; utterly annoyed because something like that isn't even available in your neck of the woods? There has to be a place in town that, at the very least, serves banana pudding.