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, August 30, 2007

My Favorite Themes - Part XXIII

Score: Stay Alive by John Frizzell (Alien: Resurrection)

About the film: A group of friends play a video game called "Stay Alive", and soon find that when their characters die in the game, their own deaths are not too far off. Given the violent video games in the marketplace today, this could've been an exciting ride. Unfortunately, it was watered down by the studio for the teen market. As it stands, this is a decent time-waster, but one can't help but lament the incredible botch of the film's interesting premise.

Title: "The Countess". The film's villainess (who, in a rarity for horror films, actually existed, as Elizabeth Bathory) is treated with a lovely piano melody augmented with electronic noises, a clever melding of the character's tragedy and the creepiness of the game. A terrific, tentative version starts off "Playing the Game", whereas the aforementioned rendition of the theme appears about 1:37 into the track. It recurs throughout in abbreviated guises (and is expanded upon in "Investigation"), but gets a superb, melancholic read in "Final Encounter".

Other themes of interest: One thing about John Frizzell is that he can get downright experimental with his use of electronics, and, being set around a video game, this score is no exception. However, there are a couple of melodies that work their way through: a secondary piano melody for the mourning of fallen players and a scratchy, slashing string motif for when a character is about to bite it.

Availability: Released on the label Nicabella Records, it should still be available, however limited, at


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Feeling better now.

Maybe I'll add a witty post title to that last entry, but don't count on it.

...I recently fulfilled a New Year's resolution that has been several years in the making: I finished two screenplays in one year. The other one is a dark comedy set at Christmas. There aren't too many of those; just Bad Santa and...this...

...I don't want to overegg the pudding, as it were, but I've seen a number of fine films recently: Stardust, The Simpsons Movie, Hot Rod and especially Superbad...

...Getting back to writing, I have quite a few fanfics in the pipeline (as in planned, not written), as well as two more screenplays. Nothing more to say than that they're romantic comedies for people who hate romantic comedies. It's gonna be fun...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Coincidence has to be one of the scariest things ever inflicted on humanity. Do I have proof? Well, yesterday at work, this old woman comes in putting bottles into the machines. She pushes the button, but her receipt doesn't come out. Even though she likely could keel over at any moment (being old and all), she doesn't believe in patience, so she rapidly pushes the button, likely causing damage to the most certainly not inexpensive machinery. I remark that she should refrain from pushing the button like a crazy person and damned if she doesn't go off on me (and this isn't even the first time that this cunt has given me trouble). I'm later called up to the manager's office and he tells me that, given my quote-unquote history of customer complaints, the next one will be my ouster. It's not like I engage in shouting matches with customers; you can't last four years if you do. I do hard work in my department and what do I get in return? Nothing more than fake sympathy and a big bag full of jack. And tomorrow, I get to go back for another fulfilling day of work.

Getting back to coincidence, what do I find on Yahoo's front page but this?


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Back to school.

Watching "High School Musical 2". What can I say? Boredom. Curiosity figures in there, too. It's pretty charming; I see why kids fell in love with this.

My high school experience, save for the occasional insult and thrown book, was a rather anonymous one. As with right now, I'm still trying to figure things out.

There weren't any song and dance numbers and there certainly wasn't anything like this:

Of course I'll be seeing it (if I didn't have to work today, I'd have likely been at the theater, laughing my balls off) and wishing that I had anything nearly as interesting happen during those four years of between the gales of laughter, of course.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Life at a standstill.

This is how bored I am; posting a blog entry about how bored I am. Sad. (But God forbid I go for longer than a week without posting something.) What a fudged-up coincidence that I web-surf every day, only to find that, of all my favorite sites, only a small portion of them regularly update. And so, I'm stuck doing five or six hours of nothing every day. Perhaps, it's time for me to really buckle down and write more than surf whenever I'm on the computer. I'm already 2/3 done with another script and ideas for more of them, as well as two new fanfics are bouncing around upstairs.

Maybe, I'm not as bored as I thought. Maybe.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Baby's first rejection letter.

That screenplay I finished some time ago...well, I sent a query letter in to a renowned production company requesting that they took a look at it. If the title of this post wasn't enough of a hint...they passed.

Now, they get a lot of queries for scripts. (They said so at their website.) They also said that that they can't answer every one. The fact that they answered mine within 24 hours gives me a fair amount of hope. If not with this company, then certainly with another.

If at first you don't succeed...

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Silly drawrings?

"I can't believe we're paying to watch something we could see on TV for free. If you ask me, everyone in the theater is a big sucker. Especially you!" -
Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta)

As you can probably tell, I recently (yesterday) saw The Simpsons Movie. (Sidebar: this has been - so far - a pretty damn good year for theatrical animation. If, by some miracle, this, Meet the Robinsons and Ratatouille are all nominated at next year's Oscars, it's gonna be next to impossible for me to choose between them.) Homer's amusingly ironic statement (made after viewing an "Itchy and Scratchy" feature) has reminded me of a number of films coming out based on cartoons.

Yes, I know this isn't anywhere near a new trend (never mind product based on live-action shows); The Flintstones came out in 1994 and the late 90s/early 2000s saw the releases of Inspector Gadget, Mr. Magoo, Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle and the underrated (here goes my credibility, I just know it) Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, but recently, we've seen the likes of Fat Albert, Scooby-Doo One and Deux (someone in marketing missed an opportunity with that), as well as two Garfield movies. Yesterday, Underdog landed in theaters and this December gives us (at long last!) an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. I don't really count Transformers or Bratz, as they were toy lines first and cartoons second...though - credibility draining - the Bratz cartoon was an immense guilty pleasure (Wendie Malick voicing the villain and a character named - I kid you not - Byron Powell have a way with me).

Everywhere I go, people are slamming these movies, throwing about the expression 'raped my childhood' and so forth. Bringing back the words of the illustrious Mr. Simpson, one would wonder why people don't watch this stuff at home (notice that I used "was" in referring to "Bratz"). With the exceptions of "The Flintstones" and "Scooby-Doo", the shows above are a little (read: very) hard to find on TV schedules. So because we can't watch it on TV, we're supposed to pay money to see it on the big screen? I can only assume that studios have excess money to burn on these sometimes interesting, sometimes mercenary projects (or in the case of Albert and Garfield producer John Davis, incredibly bratty children).

Some of you might wonder what right I have to gripe about stuff like this, having produced nothing in the cinematic field. Those rights are, in this order, a blog, the 1st Amendment and an overwhelming curiosity to learn what goes on in the minds of people who greenlight films like this. I don't hate any of the films mentioned here, but I can't help but wonder why more original projects aren't financed. Does anyone really expect a movie based on a line of stylishly dressed, noseless dolls to break the bank?

Funnily enough, though, the films, more often than not, result in DVD releases of the original source material (the Garfield films may not be world-beaters, but they did get the ball rolling on the complete series of "Garfield and Friends" on DVD, so there's a silver lining). I can only assume that this is some sort of clever plan by execs: "Produce misguided cartoon movie. People are sick of it and want to see the originals. Make a deal to get the original show on DVD." But why produce the movie in the first place? Movies still cost money, don't they?

People make such an ado about these movies (myself included), but are they forced to see these movies? To quote another animated schlub, "The Critic's" Jay Sherman, "If the movie stinks, just don't go."

And getting back to the studio heads...maybe it's some kind of crazy pyramid scheme. I don't know.

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