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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And the Oscar goes to...

- Maybe I wasn't paying much attention at the time, but looking back, Jon Stewart had a lot of funny lines (My personal fave concerned newly-minted Diablo Cody: "From stripper to screenwriter. I hope you enjoy the pay cut.").

- Ratatouille won for Best Animated Feature...thus confirming my belief that they should’ve just FedEx-ed the statuette to Brad Bird and saved some trouble, even if it resulted in an amusing acceptance speech.

- In the performance of "Happy Working Song" from Enchanted, I just love how Amy Adams fell right back into character. Honestly, it's hard not to fall in love with her in that movie, though I don't lament the loss of a Best Actress nomination.

- Javier Bardem won for Best Supporting Actor, and his acceptance speech made for a nice contrast to the role for which he won.

- The intro for Adapted Screenplay wasn’t so hot, but the shot of the Coen brothers when the nominees were announced was hilarious.

- Brad Bird’s method of voting for the Oscars...I should’ve known.

- Whoa...Miley Cyrus at the Oscars?! Wait, what?

- Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen as Halle Berry and Dame Judi Dench...hilarious.

- Roger Deakins gets shanked again. Are you motherfucking kidding me?!

- Dario Marianelli won for Best Original Score. Haven’t seen Atonement, but his music from V for Vendetta has already assured me of his rich talent.

- Best Original Screenplay goes to...Juno’s Diablo Cody. No way in hell she’s topping this.

- What was with Viggo Mortensen’s Sebastian Cabot beard?

- And from the ‘even more inexplicable’ files: maybe it was just my neck of the woods, but there was a cut-out of the audio feed and I could hear people reacting to the Best Director win (for the Coen brothers)...and it wasn’t positive. A brief bit in today's news confirmed that I didn't imagine it.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

What's wrong with people today?*

The answer, of course, would take far too much time to create, so let me just narrow it down to three simple words: stupid fucking people. (And, no, this isn't an extension of my week-long smear campaign against "Fairly OddBaby"...even though those three words certainly apply.)

First, however, a little background before diving into the cesspool: every so often, a person will come into the store wanting to pick up money from Western Union ("The fastest way to send money worldwide." You've all seen the commercial.). To do that, the person will require a valid driver's license. Failing that, they need to contact the person who sent them the money to add a test question. That way, identification isn't needed when picking the money up. Furthermore, a person cannot use their benefit card (essentially a cross between food stamps and a credit card) to pick the money up. That rule was handed down from Western Union themselves, though even if it wasn't, it's still a good idea. At this point, you must be thinking, "It sounds so simple. Even a retarded chimpanzee could figure it out!" My sentiments, exactly.

And I would've gladly taken a mentally ill, crap-throwing, meat-beating primate over the two cunts I had to deal with over the last couple days. Saturday night, this girl comes in wanting to pick up some money. She's crying (honestly, though, I can't remember - nor can I be bothered to remember - if she was crying when she came in or if she started at some point during the time I was with her). She presents me with the form and a benefit card. I lay down the law (no benefit card for ID). She practically shoves the items at me. I'm thinking, and, looking back, should've probably said, 'You're a fucking adult, so act like one'. I tell her again. She wants me to call the manager (a common tactic among shit-eaters who don't get their way). I do so, but really, what the fuck is that supposed to accomplish?! The manager is just going to say the same thing! And she does. I tell the woman that she has to call in the test question. Fast-forward about a half hour. The woman, less weepy than before, gives me the form and (with a test question added) I print out the check and give her the money. As she walks out...I will never forget this exchange:

Me: "You're welcome."
Cunt: "I didn't thank you."

Firing and imprisonment be damned, I should've broken her cunt neck right then and there.

Then today rolls around. Things are moving pretty slow. Then this woman comes in with her daughter. She gives me a 'receive' form and a benefit card. Whoa! Am I going to see the groundhog? I tell the woman that a benefit card isn't valid. "But it's me." (it has a picture of the person on it...but is that supposed to make a difference?) She pulls out a driver's license...that expired last Beggar's Night. Her daughter fidgets with something and the woman roars at her. Wow. Somebody's on their rag today. I tell her once again. She starts to cry. Ooooookay. The only things missing here are "I Got You Babe" playing on the P.A. system and Stephen Tobolowsky popping up to sell me insurance. She tells me to call the manager. I do that. Someone in line gives her money to call in the test question (she didn't even have that). A little while later, she reappears. I get her the money and she's all apologetic. Meanwhile, I'm like, 'Fuck you'! While not as obnoxious as the pathetic excuse for a human being from the previous night, I was still aghast.

I feel obligated to point out that both women were black, and we all know of the wonderful experiences I've had with them.

Not to sound racist (but, really, should it be considered racism if it's against your own race?), but why do Black women have to be so obnoxious? I've never dealt with them in a dating environment (and that's less and less a likelihood with people like this coming at me), but, from my experience at work, most Black women are impatient, calculating, loud, rude and generally unpleasant. I could say that about any group of people but they fit this criteria more than any other. Much like Chris Rock's routine about Black people and niggers, there's women and then there's cunts. Cunts ruin things for women and pretty much bring down the general opinion of women in the eyes of men.

I wish I could end this post on an optimistic note, but cunts (no matter what color they are) will always be around. I think it's about time I got a gun.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random thoughts.

- This has to be the longest I've gone between posts in some time (ten days!).

- Last Saturday, I tried one of those Smokehouse Bacon Burgers at Chili's (simply incredible) and went to see Jumper. Flawed, to be sure, but quite entertaining (Jamie Bell stole the film, in my opinion). However, the film is getting nasty reviews. Not bad, but nasty. I mean, it's not like this film is a slapped-together collection of film, TV and internet references, or even an empty hollow of a film with giant robots mired in one misfired joke after another.

- Speaking of one misfired joke after another...I watched the new "Fairly Oddparents" special "Fairly OddBaby" the other night. Jesus H. Christ! The word that can accurately describe how badly the writers (Butch Hartman and Scott Fellows - whom I used to trust - and Kevin Sullivan - whom I pretty much expected this from) screwed up this second chance has yet to be discovered and added to the English language. In fact, in this spirit, here's a math problem: take your age. Cut it in half. Now, cut it in half again. Cut it in half one more time. That is now the age of this show's target audience.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Released in 1982, The Secret of N.I.M.H. told the story of Mrs. Brisby, a mouse whose cement block home is in danger from humans. Leaving the home isn't an option - one of her children is deathly ill - so she must turn to a mystic society of rats. It's much better than it sounds, trust me. The first film from former Disney animator Don Bluth, and, arguably, his best feature, The Secret of N.I.M.H. comes from a simpler time; when animated films were more concerned with compelling stories than Happy Meal-ready characters and smarmy adult gags. The film is exciting, spellbinding and well-plotted and even the comic relief is smartly handled. The impressive voice cast included Elizabeth Hartman, Derek Jacobi, Peter Strauss, John Carradine and Dom DeLuise.

Also making a first-time foray into feature animation was Jerry Goldsmith (it's no coincidence that I'm starting 'pick a score' column on this, Goldsmith's birthday). I truly consider The Secret of N.I.M.H. to be one of the finest works of his career, and it is a genuine shame that it failed to earn an Oscar nomination (Poltergeist, which was nominated, is all right, but it has nothing on this).

The score gets off to an incredible start with the choral work of the Ambrosian Singers (who would later perform on The Mummy) lending an appropriately mystical feel to Nicodemus (Jacobi) recounting memories of heroic rat Jonathan Brisby. Haunting strings along with oboe, lead to the score's main theme, "Flying Dreams" (which appears twice in song form, performed by Sally Stevens and lyricist Paul Williams over the end credits).

"Allergic Reaction"/"Athletic Type" introduces two new themes: a minor motif of brooding cello for Dragon, the farmer's cat, as well as a playful melody for Jeremy the crow (DeLuise). Midway through the cue, the latter theme is freed from its primary woodwind orchestrations and given a soaring (almost ironically so) horn treatment. "The Tractor", meanwhile, is earmarked by racing strings, busy woodwinds and staccato horns.

"The Sentry Reel"/"The Story of N.I.M.H." and "Escape from N.I.M.H." ably reflect the mood of Mrs. Brisby (Hartman)'s discovery of the rats with their icy strings, winds, choir and horn work, ultimately introducing a new theme for the amulet, a noble melody on rising cello. As Jeremy meets Mrs. Brisby again while entangled in string, "In Disguise" builds on his theme with xylophone, strings and woodwinds.

"Step Inside My House" finds Mrs. Brisby talking with the Great Owl (Carradine). Staccato horn hits and low strings suggesting Poltergeist (with a quick, nervous horn reading of Jeremy's theme) give way to an almost tribal melody of drums, rising choir and trumpet. "No Thanks" is a brief cue that unites many the finest elements - horns, choir and a soaring take on "Flying Dreams" with quivering strings - before leading to racing strings and nervous horns.

"Moving Day" is quite a showstopping piece, as the rats attempt to move Mrs. Brisby's home while dealing with saboteurs. In addition to some fantastic action scoring on low-end piano and churning strings, a pair of motifs appear in the cue: one is a foreboding horn-based melody, while the other is a psuedo-march on strings.

"The House Raising", which sees the home sinking into the mud, sends the strings on a bender, chopping for all they're worth. However, Mrs. Brisby refuses to give up. Amulet in hand, she saves her home and family, to stirring choir and powerful horn and string playing, leading to an appropriately heroic take on "Flying Dreams".

"Flying High" reprises Jeremy's melody as he befriends another crow and the "End Credits" features another appearance of the amulet theme.

Released by Varese Sarabande, this score is a true masterpiece in Jerry Goldsmith's career. I do hope you agree.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Shadow boxer.

So (at least for the next few minutes) it's Groundhog Day. When your town sees as much snow as mine does, you're hoping for an early spring.

Unfortunately, the overgrown rat saw his shadow. More winter is on the way.

On the bright side, I'm no longer confused about what constitutes an early spring and what constitutes six more weeks of winter.