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.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My Favorite Themes - Part XXII

Score: Game of Death by John Barry (Somewhere in Time)

About the film: A martial artist refuses to play ball with the gangsters threatening him. Their attempt to kill him fails and he comes back for revenge. Before his death, Bruce Lee had an idea for a movie, utilizing some of the most impressive fights ever captured on film. To even think that this represents his vision is almost as much of an insult to his legacy as the film itself. The fights (including an impressive showdown with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) are there, but unfortunately, one has to slog through a rather uninteresting and amateurish first 75 minutes, where outtakes from previous Lee films, doubles and cardboard masks (don’t miss that mirror shot toward the beginning) try to create (badly) the illusion of a coherent Lee film.

Title: "Main Theme". Judging from the end product, Barry seemed to see this as the worst Bond film never made, and if there is one constant about Bond films, it’s that even the worst of them have good music. The main theme, as in many Barry scores, appears quite a bit, its three parts forming much of the score. The 'A' section is a wonderfully kinetic melody on blaring brass and popping percussion. The 'B' section is somewhat more reflective, again spotlighting the brass with string backing (a slightly militaristic take - with harpsichord! - begins "Billy‘s Funeral Dirge"). The 'C' section, with its sweeping and rising strings, could easily be mistaken for a love theme. There is also a building sub-theme on strings and drum hits (possibly to reflect the pagoda that figures into the film’s climax?), featured in "The Big Motorcycle Fight".

Other themes of interest: "Will This Be the Song I’ll Be Singing Tomorrow?", for which Barry wrote the lyrics, was a pleasant if unremarkable attempt at a Bond-type ballad. The song was performed by co-star Colleen Camp who, in terms of acting and singing, did quite well given the circumstances. It was worked into the body of the score as "Billy and Ann’s Love Theme".

Availability: It was released in the '90s, then re-released a couple of years ago on Silva Screen Records. In both instances, it was paired with Barry’s lovely score for the dire-sounding Night Games.


Monday, July 23, 2007

"Gonna make the good times last."

Check out the circled nugget of good news in this Teletoon flyer:

If this is true (and here's hoping), then I say it's about damned time.


"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, we diet."

It was bad enough when I started gaining weight, but the various comments of jack-off customers who ought to know to hold their tongues because, let's face it, they're no prize pigs, either...only made things worse.

I had planned on going on a diet this month. It was to be a liquid diet, but then I found out online that this kind of diet is strictly for those recovering from surgery. Needless to say, I'm still gorging...and I'm fine with that.

If and when I choose to lose weight, it should be because I want to, not because I'm changing for someone else. A woman should love me for me. And if I can't find a woman like that? Well...that's why God gave me two hands.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nice going, Elias.

Gift from God, my ass.

Went to see Transformers today. Somehow, for a film that's as well-hyped and celebrated as this, it shouldn't leave you the same way it found you, but damned if that's not what happened. The action, the robots, the humor (usually, you have to turn on a "Danny Phantom" marathon for this many attempts at jokes) just went right through me.

It's not like I hated this film, certainly not as much as this guy (incidentally, the review and ensuing talkback are screamingly funny), but it had no lasting effect. In case there are any of this film's acolytes out there who think I don't know fun, know this: Live Free or Die Hard and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End were kick-ass rollercoaster rides that held me and didn't let go until the last frame. Transformers, by comparison, was little more than a merry-go-round; it doesn't really take you anywhere or rouse your interest.

At least, if and when Judgment Day gets here, I won't have to say that I paid to see this.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dishing the dirt.

A few months ago, my folks dumped the old cable hook-up and had Dish Network installed.

However, this required a few sacrifices (farewell to Starz and NickToons, though the latter is perfectly unmissed; no "Angry Beavers", no tears to shed over not seeing it).

More often than not, I run across ads for various networks that, at their ends, state the channel number. This is somewhat helpful; I usually forget the channel order, even with near endless flipping through the guide. The remote is also something I struggle to figure out from time to time. It's just hard to adjust to this.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Another taste.

As with last year (and several years prior), I attended the Taste of Buffalo.

Among the items I ate:

- Blackened Chicken Pasta (pretty damn tasty)
- Potato Pancakes (quite good)
- Fried Ravioli (tasty if unconventional)
- Crab Cake and Bruschetta Combo (I'd seen it for years and finally decided to try it; I can't believe what I've been missing)
- Cheddar and Jalapeno Cornbread (if nothing else, a good palate-cleanser)
- Bite Size Brownie (a little thick...but it's a brownie!)
- Junkyard Dog (fish and fries wrapped in a pita; so good, I plan on going to the restaurant and having it officially)
- Banana Surprise Pudding (see above; they're from the same place)

Time was short (I had to go to work), so I had to choose a bit more carefully.

Again, if you're in the city, I cannot recommend the Taste highly enough.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Visions are worth fighting for."

For a long while, I've noticed something unusual about a particular piece of music in Howard Shore's score for Ed Wood.

The piece (on the soundtrack) is called "Ed Takes Control". The strange thing is...just how damned patriotic it sounds (and now, the Fourth of July connection comes into play).

It starts with a combo of portentous horns and militaristic snare drums, seemingly heralding the arrival of a soldier come home from war. Bells and winds follow, upholding the parade-like feeling. The snare drums continue as the film's love theme (at about 1:26) works its way in. The horns and drums resume, now joined by a pipe organ. The melody can't be stopped or slowed down, not even by the opening narration of Plan Nine from Outer Space ("We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives!").

BTW, I may be one of the few people not bothered by the presence of dialogue on the CD. It's amusing stuff, quoted (and/or adapted) from Ed Wood's films.

A little peculiar, but I think that the piece inspires true emotion for and love of this country. It's even weirder when you consider that it was written by a Canadian and performed by Brits.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Half a year in the dark.

Much like I did last year, here's my mid-year report card:

Alpha Dog: B; a little harrowing, but rich with entertainment and fine acting
Black Snake Moan: A-; sensitive (if unconventional) drama
Catch and Release: B-; decent comedy-drama, if not really my thing
Disturbia: B; okay thriller
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: B; fairly engaging, if unremarkable, sequel
1408: B+; delightfully spooky chiller
Grindhouse: B+; long but fun throwback to bygone era
Hot Fuzz: A; exceptional take-off of buddy cop movies
(The) Invisible: B-; interesting premise, but (nearly) botched execution
Live Free or Die Hard: A-; just what it should be: exciting, fun
Meet the Robinsons: A; underrated Disney feature
Norbit: C+; has its moments, but I've seen better
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: A-; long but amusing, hugely enjoyable
Ratatouille: A-; another charmer from Pixar
Reno 911!: Miami: B+; if you've seen the show, what can I tell you?
Smokin' Aces: B+; well-done ensemble actioner
Spider-Man 3: B; has its moments, but...what the hell happened?
Vacancy: B; solid (and surprisingly brief) thriller

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