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 29, 2008

"That's Hedley!"

Another talent leaves us. It ain't fair.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Duck season!"

...begins in the fall.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lowered Expectations?!

A pity that I have to waste my 300th post on yet another bitchfest, but I have to ask:

When did we just stop caring?

Transformers made $300 million last summer, even though it boiled down to 2 and a half-hours of uninvolving action and unfunny jokes.

The new episodes of "The Fairly Oddparents" are hailed by fans (if you count the mouthpieces at, I mean), even though the humor is as stale as one can imagine and Daran Norris' high-pitched and whiny voice for Cosmo is a lock for the Most Annoying Sound in the World.

Seriously, when did we stop caring? What happened that led to mediocrity becoming the status quo? How did we get to a point where people eat up whatever shit (and trust me, this is in no way a euphemism) is shoved under their noses? I remember a time when people actually put effort into the entertainments they produced. These entertainments gave off the impression that someone along the production line actually gave two halves of a shit about what they would be releasing into the world.

Also, I remember a time when people actually cared about what they wanted to invest such precious commodities as time and brain cells in. People demanded a modicum of quality in the entertainments they wished to view.

Nowadays, if it's a do-nothing baby or a series of half-assed jokes, people lap it up with a spoon.

Now, I'm no snob when it comes to being entertained. One of my all-time favorite movies is the debatably ridiculous but damned fun Hudson Hawk. However, I demand (and, honestly, shouldn't everyone?) a bit of professionalism and respect from the people delivering this stuff to us. After all, we could be reading books, and I know that they don't want that.

Getting back to "The Fairly Oddparents" and, I vented about the episodes and the people who liked them (that's what's known as 'friendly fire'). Needless to say, they were not happy. One of them even told me that my 'expectations were too high'.

After the infamous 'Cosmo insults the only woman who would have him - Wanda - for God only knows what reasons' episodes, my one and only expectation for these newer episodes was that they be good. If we've truly reached a point where expecting something to be merely good is synonymous with having 'quote-unquote' "high expectations", then, honestly, we deserve to be wiped out by global warming.

I just wanted to get this out. I'll let it go for now, but if someone shoves any of that 'mediocrity uber alles'/'expectations too high' garbage at me, more of that 'friendly fire' that I mentioned will be forthcoming.

And next time, I plan on using actual fire.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Your persistence surprises even me!"

For some bizarre reason (or, perhaps, the same bureacratic bullcrap that kept "Trapped in the Closet" off the air for a while), Comedy Central isn't airing the classic "South Park" episode "Free Hat" tonight. (And isn't this the most perfect time to show it?)

Does that mean that we have to suffer? Hell, no!

Here it is, direct from the show's website (I couldn't embed it like I wanted, but I can direct-link):

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Friday, May 16, 2008

And the nominees are...

I mentioned not being able to trust the MTV Movie Awards again some time ago, and I stand by that.

Even so, the good times couldn't keep me away from creating my own ballot, hearkening back to the heyday of the mid-90s. Here are my choices for the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, which are a darn sight better than the real thing:

best on-screen duo:
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Hot Fuzz
Bruce Willis and Justin Long, Live Free or Die Hard
Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, Superbad
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd
Peter Dinklage and Patrick Warburton, Underdog

best action sequence:
The attack on Sandford, Hot Fuzz
The battle on the abyss, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
The chase through the alley, Death Sentence
The tunnel fight, Live Free or Die Hard
Wasting the Burmese army, Rambo

best comedic performance:
Mike Epps, Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins
Jonah Hill, Superbad
James Marsden, Enchanted
John C. Reilly, Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story
Katt Williams, First Sunday

best villain:
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Paul Giamatti, Shoot ‘em Up
Al Pacino, Ocean’s Thirteen
Michelle Pfeiffer, Stardust
Susan Sarandon, Enchanted

best breakthrough performance - male:
Michael Cera, Superbad
Jonah Hill, Superbad
Shia LaBeouf, Disturbia
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad
Andy Samberg, Hot Rod

best breakthrough performance - female:
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Kat Dennings, Charlie Bartlett
Ellen Page, Juno
Sarah Roemer, Disturbia
Brittany Snow, Hairspray

best dance sequence:
“That’s How You Know”, Enchanted
“Good Morning Baltimore”, Hairspray
“Run Tell That”, Hairspray
Michael Cera, Superbad
the Black nightclub, Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story

best female performance:
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd
Keira Knightley, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Ellen Page, Juno
Queen Latifah, Hairspray

best male performance:
Russell Crowe, American Gangster
John Cusack, 1408
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Robert DeNiro, Stardust
Denzel Washington, American Gangster

best fight:
Hayden Christensen vs. Jamie Bell, Jumper
Bruce Willis vs. Maggie Q, Live Free or Die Hard
Clive Owen vs. assassins, Shoot ‘em Up
Tobey Maguire vs. James Franco, Spider-Man 3
Charlie Cox vs. Mark Strong, Stardust

best kiss:
Amy Adams & Patrick Dempsey, Enchanted
James Marsden & Idina Menzel, Enchanted
Elijah Kelley & Amanda Bynes, Hairspray
Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightley, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Linguini (Lou Romano) & Colette (Janeane Garofalo), Ratatouille

best movie:
American Gangster
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Sweeney Todd

I didn't have the heart to conceive of any nominees for "Most Desirable Male" and "Most Desirable Female", but this is a pretty good ballot, I think.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Life at a standstill.

(I'm pretty sure I used this title for a post a long time ago, but I don't feel like checking.)

I have a steady job. I have no criminal record. I have a secure savings account. I have two college degrees. I have a caring family. I have a vast soundtrack collection. I am a 27-year-old African-American male...and my life sucks.

The last time I've been out of my hometown was a school trip to Virginia Beach in the 8th grade. More often than not - but certainly, recently - I was struck with the wrist-slittingly depressing feeling that I am going to die in this town without having done...anything.

My routine consists of (depending on the kind of day) a) getting up and dressed for work, working and wasting the time at home on the internet or b) wasting time on the internet, working and wasting more time. Not exactly a constructive routine.

With nearly five years at said steady job, I am sick of it. I want nothing more than to quit. My parents tell me to get another job. I don't want another least, not immediately. I want to travel the country. I want to see the world. I want to try exotic foods. I want to sleep with strange women (hell, at this point, any woman is acceptable). I want...I just want.

The problem I have is that I'm scared. My routine (unfortunate though it may be) has made me too comfortable in this life to try anything else. Adding to that is the fact that I plan things out too much (and when they don't work out, I fall to pieces). I don't want to plan things out. I want to be stupid and reckless like everyone else.

I really don't know what else to say.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"I've got a monkey!"

Well, the time has come for Speed Racer, which, in spite of its Friday release date, already rates a '5.4' at the IMDb. (This voting down of movies is really getting under my skin. All of a sudden, every new release of the Larry the Cable Guy/African-American comedy (especially those made by)/Tyler Perry persuasion can't crack a 5.0...and, of course, Transformers has managed to elude the bottom 100 for roughly ten months, now. Seriously, we're headed for the world of Idiocracy, like it or not.)

I mentioned not being able to locate either "Speed Racer" parody many months ago...but, only this morning (!), some wonderful soul posted the classic "Dexter's Lab" episode, "Mock 5". Enjoy:


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Classic sitcoms...for fun.

Yesterday, in the midst of my bored surfing, I visited the blog of veteran sitcom writer Ken Levine. He was responding to an online list of the 50 greatest sitcoms.

However, this post stems from one of the comments made. One of the commenters, sephim, renamed the listed shows and, with all due respect, I'd like to re-post it here...just 'cause it's so damned hilarious:

50. My Family Hates My Wife.
49. Deadpan Comedian's New Show.
48. How To Make Markie Post Look Good.
47. An Ancient Television Concept Done Well At Last.
46. Black People In White Man's World.
45. Never Mind The Holocaust, Here's The Nazi Party.
44. Milwaukee's Most Stereotypical New Yorkers.
43. They Were Too Old For This Shit.
42. A Hard Kick In Leave It To Beaver's Balls.
41. How To Flog A Dead Horse.
40. Moonlighting In A Hospital.
39. Parallel Universe Beverly Hillbillies.
38. They Give That Boxer A Talk Show?
37. Newsradio Did It Better.
36. This Got Cancelled, But Seinfeld Didn't?
35. Only Poor Black People Are Funny.
34. Make A Show Worse, Set It In England.
33. I'm Sure The Woman Was The Real Genius.
32. What Sex And The City Wanted To Be.
31. One Groucho Marx Impersonation Too Many.
30. One Joke, Eleven Years.
29. I Guess The One Korean Killed All The Black People.
28. That Tall Guy Has A Woman's Name.
27. Robin Williams' Cocaine-Infused Comedy Hour.
26. Please Don't Let That One Guy Ever Host The Oscars.
25. Ugly Betty Gives This A Bad Name.
24. Laugh-In Meets Dragnet.
23. Stereotypes And Hyperbole.
22. They're Black, We Get It.
21. Horseface And The Fucking Obvious One-Liners.
20. Remove The Alec Baldwin And The Show Will Die.
19. The Ambiguously Gay Couple.
18. The Creator Of The Show About Nothing Makes The Show About Nothing Funny.
17. Buck Needed Mel More Than Mel Needed Buck.
16. When It's This Good It Can Be Drawn This Bad.
15. Smart People Are Only As Smart As Their Writers.
14. Why Can't America Leave Good Shows Alone?
13. Deadpan Comedian's Good Show.
12. If The Tonight Show Was Funny.
11. Spousal Abuse Is Only Funny When Implied.
10. The Spin-Off - Death For Some.
9. A Failing Marriage Makes Good Comedy.
8. Trailer Trash Makes Good.
7. The Whitest Black People You Know.
6. War Is Hell, War Comedies More So.
5. The Barman's Guide To Date Rape.
4. This Is Why Ugly Betty Happened.
3. Do Racists Dream Of Electric Comedy?
2. Three Wannabes And Their More Successful Friend.
1. The Hopelessly Grasping for Their Earlier Success Show.

By the way, the answers can be found here.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Comics make me wet.

I went to see Iron Man this morning. Well-acted, sharply written and generally exciting, it very much lives up to the hype.

However, it is the highpoint of a surprisingly disappointing day. Yesterday, I snag a free pass to see Speed Racer. Today, I head up to the theater, but the bus was running slow. I can't get in because no one will be admitted after the screening starts. (10:30 on the dot? That's unrealistic.) I piss, moan, fume and wait for my legs to stop aching as I sit outside the theater, cursing the incompetence of the people by whom I'm surrounded.

After the movie lets out, I head to a comic book store. At that point, it starts raining, but it's Free Comic Book Day (TM). I'm gonna let a couple drops stop me? Yeah, right! I get there, but the pickings are mighty slim. I snag a "Simpsons" comic and a discounted back issue of Evan Dorkin's "Dork" (not for all tastes, BTW, but pretty funny).

I take a bus across the city (as the rain becomes more insistent) hoping that the variety of free titles is wider at the city's other major retailer. As it turns out, this was not to be. In another example of how ludicrous the whole 'early bird-worm' theory is to everyone else, there was very little of interest. Even more, the latest issues of the titles I usually get (PVP, True Story Swear to God, She-Hulk) are not to be found. (By this point, I'm soaked to the bone. I didn't want to spend the ride home thinking, 'this is so going in the blog'; I didn't want to be dorky and anti-social. Well, fuck it. I'm going to be dorky and anti-social.)

Part of the joy of buying comic books is dying; the thrill of looking on a shelf in a store. I am now reduced (as with soundtrack shopping) to hunting on the internet. The impersonality of the situation goes without saying.

All told, this is a fuck of a note on which for my vacation to go out.

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