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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Random thoughts - vacation edition.

- I took a number of buses around the city. Pretty big place, which I still haven't seen enough of.

- I don't know if it's coincidence or what, but on Monday, I saw Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (just as funny as - if grosser than - the original), which featured the line "Donuts are awesome!" "They're delicious." On Tuesday, I saw Meet Bill, where the main character desires to run a donut franchise. Today, I headed for this donut shop. The chocolate donuts they make are unbelievable; they're glazed and frosted. In terms of donuts, this has to be the definition of 'not fucking around'.

- I managed to finish my script on Sunday. It's your basic 'young man tries to prove himself in Medieval times' story. Writing in chronological order is something of a bitch, but the script was easier to write once I passed a certain point.

- I don't wish to jinx it, but I have an especially good feeling about the events transpiring this weekend. They involve movies and comic books (but it has nothing to do with Iron Man; the first Spider-Man taught me - the hard way - not to attend an event movie on its first day).


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Green sky at night?" "Neighbor take flight."

As today is my birthday (and the only composer born today is Jack Nitzsche, so don’t worry about continuing that trend), I want to write about a score to one of my favorite films. However, this presents some problems. James Newton Howard’s flavorful score to Big Trouble never received a soundtrack release and, as it is a Disney production, I wouldn’t wager on one in the immediate offing. The Varese release of Hudson Hawk contains but a smattering of Michael Kamen’s delightful music. Even more, I don’t own it. I already wrote about Bernard Herrmann’s North by Northwest, and Mark Knopfler’s The Princess Bride could do with an orchestral reinterpretation (hint, hint). The underscore of Singin’ in the Rain is nice, but hardly substantial compared to the songs. Moving a little further down the list of favorite movies, I’ve found the perfect score to write about: Jerry Goldsmith’s The ‘burbs.

There’s an unusual (and virtually unseen) family that has just moved into the neighborhood and suburbanites Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks), Art Weingartner (Rick Ducommun) and Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern) want to know about their new neighbors...especially since another neighbor (Gale Gordon) disappears without warning. Though less fantastical than some of Joe Dante’s other films, this is, nonetheless, a highly amusing comedy, highlighted by some great lines (most of them from Dern) and some fine quirky touches.

Goldsmith’s score for the film is enjoyably off the wall, augmenting the fine themes with an array of peculiar sound effects, such as in the opening credits track, "Night Work", whose clanking electronics give way to the Klopeks theme on organ. Amongst the introduction of the Mayfield Place/suburbia theme, "Home Delivery" also features the sound of a barking dog, a nice bit of mickey-mousing if you’ve seen the film. (The doorbell sound that accompanied "The Note #2" in the film is missing on disc, but, hey, you can’t have everything.)

In such tracks as "Snooping Around", "The Window" and "Bad Karma", one can hear a quote of Goldsmith’s legendary Patton theme, a nice match for the militaristic Rumsfield. Ray Peterson gets a Western-sounding melody, introduced (with shooting guns) in "Let’s Go" and given a somewhat heroic treatment in "Something is Moving". As Ray is convinced that something is rotten on his street ("The Wig"), his theme is drawn-out and elaborated with churning electronics. The effect is quite amazing.

"The Sentinel" features gorgeous string work for the story of a neighbor who’d gone off the deep end. A spiritual offshoot of the clanking electronics, another motif is introduced in "My Neighborhood", the chirping strings reminiscent of "Bravo Link" from Link. Creepy tribal music and a wailing female voice earmark "Devil Worship" and "The Dream", as Ray believes that the Klopeks may answer to a dark power.

The "My Neighborhood" motif gets quite a bit of attention in cues like "Spare Key", "Walter’s Home" and "I’m OK", the strings taking on more of a pitter-patter character. "Ask Him" features an amusing, almost Star Trek: TMP-like piece for strings introducing the neighbors to Dr. Klopek (Henry Gibson).

The last reel of the film features some terrific scoring as well. "There’s a Body" utilizes more beautiful strings, while "Pack Your Bags" concludes an almost-Native American-sounding version of Ray’s theme, making for a peculiar bookend to the score.

The Varese CD Club release came out last summer and disappeared within weeks. The film is your best bet to experience the score, and it’s worth a look.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Still writin'.

Not much to say except I finally passed the halfway point of my script yesterday and that I am confident that I'll finish on time.

By the way, my progress can be charted here.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Learning something new.

Now, it's been a long time since I've been to high school. Ten years, to be exact.

I was quite intrigued to hear about an open house, allowing me to see what had changed in the last decade.

The school had been closed down for a while and I figured, maybe there was some work done.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, could've prepared me for what I saw inside.

Glass windows from nearly every classroom that allow one to see into the gym. Shortcut bridges. Some of the fanciest computers gracing the labs. Graphic novels in the library. The first floor cafeteria (which was once the basement band room and small gym; the floors were labelled 5-4-3-2-1 as opposed to 4-3-2-1-basement).

Needless to say, it was as if I'd stepped into an alternate world. I couldn't help but be envious. I can only imagine how lucky the students are to have such a modern and distracting facility in which to learn. I really don't think the me of today could've done as well as the me of the mid-90s...and I wasn't exactly an honor student, then.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Feeling (significantly) better.

The last few days, I've been feeling like shit. I've been tired at work and I just plain can't handle the job anymore. I'm gonna leave that place or I'm gonna take my life. Either way, I ain't working that job in '09.

Also, I've had to go to my doctor, because of my...pain issues (just look below, 'cause I lack the energy to link directly). Tuesday was me being hooked up so my heart could be looked at. Wednesday was to be my stress test, but the doctor was in a meeting...and it was scheduled for nine in the morning and I was promised that it would take a half-hour...and my shift for work started at ten! Needless to say, I'm pretty fuckin' miffed.

Given this bullshit, I needed to laugh. An empty theater and Superhero Movie allowed that in spades.

Also, I'm up to 17 far.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This is no joke.

The pain in my chest has been downgraded from 'potentially dangerous' to 'mildly annoying' to 'same old threat of cholesterol clogging'.

This morning, I met with a hypnotherapist to get my weight problem under control. I'm not sure if it's the cost or the needed level of commitment that scared me off, but I still need some time to consider it. No doubt about it, though: this guy was good. In an interesting bit 'o irony, I went to see Run Fatboy Run not long after my appointment.

Also, I started my script. I'm five pages in already (95 to go!), but I fear that I might not be able to top them. Still, I got to try.

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