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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Favorite Themes - Part XX

Score: Spider-Man 2 by Danny Elfman

About the film: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) continues to struggle between his duties as Spider-Man and his personal life, particularly his relationship with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Meanwhile, the instability of an experiment results in four metal tentacles grafted onto scientist Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), turning him into the villainous Doctor Octopus. One of the rare sequels that tops the original, this film pulls off the difficult balance of action, humor and heart, making for one of the finest comic book adaptations of all.

Title: "Doc Ock". Somewhat appropriately for the character, this is an eight-note melody, representing the threat of the character (in the first four notes) and his personal tragedy (the last four notes). In addition to a fantastic read under the film's superb main title sequence (at 1:19), there are quietly menacing takes in "Doc Ock is Born" and "Saving May" as well as a number of delightfully distended versions in "Armageddon".

Other themes of interest: Outside of Doc Ock's theme (and a secondary stomping motif in "The Bank"), it's pretty much the same impressive collection of melodies from the first film: the driving four-note theme for Spider-Man, the quietly noble 'responsibility' motif, the love theme and a brief sampling of the slithering Green Goblin theme.

Availability: The score album was released on Sony Music Soundtrax and should still be available.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Movie time.

...Just so it's perfectly clear, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was a blast. A little long, but quite worthwhile; exciting, funny and it manages to sweep that ghastly Jack/Elizabeth nonsense from Dead Man's Chest under the rug where it belongs. Ignore the reviews that peg the film as 'convoluted' and 'boring'. They basically boil down to "we are enemies of fun". Once again, see Pirates. Don't think. Just do it...

...Also, before I left for work this morning (work on Memorial Day; we may as well have been closed for the lack of customers we received), I finished my script. At a good hundred and seventeen pages, it is (so far) the longest script I've written. I hope to spend the rest of the month polishing and refining it, but I think it's a fine effort. I'll definitely want to get it out of the way so I can start to work on a new one; a black comedy. You don't see too many of those anymore...


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just 'cause.

- I liked Spider-Man 3, though I won't argue against those who didn't; 'too many cooks' certainly applies here.

- Two regular features I hope to (however infrequently) bring to this blog: 'Forgotten Scores' and 'Short-Lived Comics'. Look for both to start next month.

- Read a review for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End that called it a "crashing bore". At nearly three hours, that better be a goddamn lie. I mean, how does one shoot and assemble three hours of nothing?! I ask this because, regardless of the buzz, I'll be seeing it this weekend.

- I'm a good ten to fifteen pages away from finishing a script. All I can say is that it's a sort-of inversion of a classic horror movie based on a book (not very many of those, right?).

- Was raring to see Shrek the Third, but that shot of the Gingerbread Man crapping a gumdrop (?) poked a hole in those plans...which is a shame, since Pinocchio's "I don't know where he's not" spiel from the teaser trailer is one of the finest pieces of writing I've heard in a while. On that same token, everytime I hear the line "He wants to rear you child", it makes me want to see Knocked Up that much less. I know it's only a few frames of film, but of all the bits to use in a trailer... Matter of fact, someone called me on it at the IMDb board for the film. Much like with the customers at my job, even the simplest of concepts requires an explanation. So many stupid people, yet not enough ways to kill them. Oh, well.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The 'Possible' and the restless.

...yeah, there were a thousand ways I could've phrased the title...

I want to bring some life back to this blog and, at the same time, avoid embedding YouTube clips during moments of incredible boredom.

A less obvious sign of my boredom would be amending old posts, especially in light of new episodes of a particular cartoon series.

For example, an addition to my best list (sorry, "Sick Day", but ten means ten):


Electronique, an old nemesis of Team Go, gathers its members and zaps them with the Attitudinator. Being out of the loop, the villainess is unaware of Shego's defection to the side of evil, so she becomes a sweetheart, while her brothers become Electronique's bickering, wrong-doing henchmen. Perhaps the closest to a first season episode that the fourth season has come, this is fun and charming, as Shego becomes a teacher, Mr. Barkin's love interest and the big sister Kim never had. Other highlights include Drakken's battle with a pickle jar (!) and the return of Evil Ron...wait. Team Go and Evil Ron in a good episode? Who'd have guessed?

And, of course, my worst list ("Triple S", I guess you weren't that bad):


Kim and Ron's first Valentine's Day together leaves Monique out in the cold. Wade's insanely convenient crush and attempts to woo her reach their most logical conclusion: invent a 'Love Ray' to make her fall madly in love with him. Meanwhile, the Seniors appropriate the technology to produce their own Rufie ray and create an army of screaming female groupies for Junior's pop star career. In other words, the same kind of intelligence-insulting pablum I had hoped the staff got out of their system with "Return to Wannaweep" and "Ron Millionaire". On the bright side, it makes several viewers glad to be single.

I wonder if I'll have to amend this post in the near-future...


Saturday, May 12, 2007

"You can't save 'em all."

Another sometime philosopher apparently celebrates a birthday today: George Carlin.

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Duck and coverage.

No real message here. Just my way of wishing a happy birthday to baseball legend and sometime philosopher, Yogi Berra.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The boys (and girls) of summer.

Yep. Pretty much what I did last year:

Spider-Man 3: Christopher Young (...of course, there's been something of a brouhaha about what music is being used; how portions of the film have been tracked with cues from the first two movies)
Lucky You: Christopher Young
Delta Farce: James S. Levine (yes, I plan on seeing it, thanks for asking)
Shrek the Third: Harry Gregson-Williams
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: Hans Zimmer (the bits I've heard are rather interesting
Mr. Brooks: Ramin Djawadi (split personality stories intrigue me and Dane Cook - yes, that Dane Cook - may have found his calling as a character actor)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: John Ottman
Ocean’s Thirteen: David Holmes (didn't see the first two, but the trailer for this one made me laugh)
Nancy Drew: Ralph Sall (good trailer, but...I remember a time when Andrew Fleming made good choices vis-a-vis his composers)
Fido: Don MacDonald (crazy premise that just might work)
Black Sheep: Victoria Kelly (see above)
Ratatouille: Michael Giacchino
Live Free or Die Hard: Marco Beltrami (I'll be seeing it, even with the controversy surrounding it)
1408: Gabriel Yared (creepy trailer, two fine actors and the spectacle of seeing Yared take on a horror movie)
Hairspray: Marc Shaiman (even though he's filling in the cracks between the songs, it's so nice to see him doing movies again)
The Simpsons Movie: Hans Zimmer
The Ten: Craig Wedren
Hot Rod: Trevor Rabin
Rush Hour 3: Lalo Schifrin
Stardust: Ilan Eshkeri
The Invasion: John Ottman
SuperBad: Lyle Workman (it doesn't really matter who's scoring this; the red-band trailer is one of the funniest I've ever seen)
Fanboys: Mark Mothersbaugh
Penelope: Joby Talbot

Again, hoping for releases of these potentially interesting scores.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

First Saturday in May! Free Comic Book Day!

...for those of you still reading past that lopsided "Simpsons" reference, yes, I took part in Free Comic Book Day, stopping off at one of two local shops before I went to work. The only downside was the limit of six titles per customer. I had to put back half of the dozen titles I picked out. I think I came away with some fine stuff:

Love and Capes: A very funny story of a superhero, his girlfriend and how their relationship tries to mesh with his life of excitement.

Bongo Comics Free-for-All: A collection of short "Simpsons" and "Futurama" comics. Fave bit: "Why Robots Make Great Roommates".

keenspot spotlight 2007: A collection of web comics. "Something Happens", "CRFH!" and "Todd and Penguin" were my favorites, but the comic "Wicked Powered" (on the other side of the book) is best: funny and exciting.

Comic Genesis: Another collection of web comics. The stories are uniformly enjoyable, but "Phil Likes Tacos" help me God, it's like my life was drawn and smacked onto a comic page.

Family Guy: I had mulled over purchasing 'Peter's Guide to Parenting', but this book saved me some trouble, as it's basically the same thing. Pretty funny, but if you miss the cutaways and drawn-out gags that have become de rigueur on the show, you'll be shaking your fist in rage. Also, the publishers at Devil's Due Publishing sure have a strange way of defining 'double bill'. The B-side of this is a compellingly nasty tale known as "Hack/Slash", about a young woman with a harsh life who fights evil creatures. I don't know whether or not I should act surprised at seeing that this will become 'a major motion picture from Rogue Features'.

Unseen Peanuts: Basically those "Peanuts" strips that no one sees or much talks about. Fascinating stuff if you're a fan or Schulz disciple. The comments before each of the strips is a delightful bonus.

I've collected comics for a few years now. Not quite superhero stuff (excepting the current run of "She-Hulk"), but just quirky/humorous - and usually short-lived - material that I hope to review sooner or later. Some of the titles I've collected really deserve to be better-known.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

One more prayer answered.

Had a rough week a work, hate my job, my existence, blah, blah, blah...

In lighter news, I just now stumbled onto a discovery.

Composer Amotz Plessner is someone who I've admired for a long time, ever since that stretch in 2001 when I heard his fantastic music in the excreable Addams Family Reunion, the cheesy-but-funny Deal of a Lifetime and the guilty pleasure Digimon: the Movie. I'd long hoped that he would hit the big time. Sadly, this has not yet happened; stuff like Road House 2 doesn't exactly set people's hearts alight.

In the meantime, he (apparently) has a website. Finally, I can tell him how much I think he freakin' rocks.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sympathy for the devil?

(Couldn't think of a wittier title. Sue me.)

Today at work, I was taking care of customers by myself, as usual. There were about five of them. A woman (and who, I presume, was her mother) handed me some bills to process. To my surprise, she noticed that I was working by myself (my immediate superior had taken lunch, which seemed longer than usual). She remarked on the unfairness of the situation and asked to speak to someone in charge. With as much politeness and energy as I could muster (which is to say, very little; it is the beginning of the month, after all), I brushed off her potential protestations.

Now, it's nice that someone can recognize (in a calm manner as opposed to shouting 'Why you the only one working up here?' or some variant thereof like a spoiled child) the ordeal I find myself in at least twice every work day, but I could hear it in her voice (and the way she kept mentioning it every fifteen seconds) that she didn't really care about me or my problems. She, like everyone else, was there to take care of their business, not to chat.

Even more, she would forget me the second she stepped away from the counter. (Granted, I'm the same way toward the customers, but fuck if it's not the principle of the thing.) This experience has taught me a valuable lesson:

Fake sympathy is even worse than no sympathy.

It's a lot like those criminally depressing ads asking you to send money to starving children in Third World countries. Do you think people are sending those companies money because they want to? They're essentially guilted into it, and I know you are, from time to time, dear reader. Even if not a penny is sent off, the painful feeling in your stomach demands that you consider it, right?

If the emotions that people expend toward your problems aren't even remotely genuine, what's the fucking point?!

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