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, January 27, 2009

Duckman - Seasons 3 and 4 (part IV of VII)

Been away from this, I know.

Dammit, Hollywood (w: Michael Markowitz and Jeff Reno; d: Peter Shin): At the same time a deposed Hollywood hotshot (a delightfully hammy Brendan Fraser) signs over control to the first idiot who happens along, Duckman demands a refund for the swill that the studio released. Achingly funny (and still quite pointed) satire of Tinseltown. The rampage of the (barely-disguised) mega-stars is a highlight.

Coolio Runnings (w: Bill Canterbury and Gene Laufenberg and David Misch; d: Jeff McGrath): There's a father-son relay race coming up and Duckman would rather adopt Coolio and run the race with him than klutzy Ajax. Nice title, but the story's sitcommier than one would expect from the show. Not bad, but no classic, either.

Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat (w: Eva Almos & Ed Scharlach; d: Peter Avanzino): Duckman's periodic destruction of Fluffy and Uranus has finally caught up with him, getting him shipped to jail...for ladies. (!) Part women in prison movie, part dance movie and part Lifetime original movie, this has something for everyone.

All About Elliott (w: Gene Laufenberg; d: Peter Shin): Duckman takes on an intern, Elliott (Chris Elliott...har har), who indulges his every vice, leading Cornfed to find out the truth. Elliott definitely gets under one's skin, but perhaps that was the point. Seeing Cornfed on the receiving end of the kind of angry mobs that his partner usually attracts made for an interesting change.

From Brad to Worse (w: Michael Markowitz; d: Peter Avanzino): Duckman recognizes a homeless man as an old classmate and feels compelled to help him...especially since the man's terrible state is Duckman's fault. Pretty good, helped by some hilarious flashbacks and Peter Scolari's fine voice work as Brad.

Bonfire of the Panties (w: Michael Markowitz; d: Anthony Bell): Duckman's been feeling edgy about his dateless streak, so Cornfed and the boys whip up a love potion for him, thus turning the living room "into an episode of 'Weird Science'!", as Bernice colorfully puts it. Starts out as a cartoony romp (don't miss the Wizard of Oz reference), then turns surprisingly sweet when Duckman runs into Courtney Thorne-Smith.

Role With It (w: Michael Markowitz; d: Anthony Bell): A trip to Las Vegas leads to group therapy for the family. Quite amusing (I'm a sucker for a good live-action in animation gag) and insightful (Duckman's deconstruction of friends and family). The ending number is a catchy one.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Witty Oscar title.


+ Dustin Lance Black was nominated for Original Screenplay for Milk. His work was touching and loaded with surprising bits of humor.

- Carter Burwell's score for In Bruges was shut out. A disappointment, to be sure, but I know it's a great score, and that's what matters. (+) However, it was nominated for Original Screenplay. That's something, right?

+ Amongst the nominees for Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger (one of the surest bets imaginable), Josh Brolin (who was quite good) and...Robert Downey, Jr...for Tropic Thunder! I don't know what to say.

+ Richard Jenkins was nominated for Best Actor for The Visitor. Haven't seen the film, but it's nice to see Jenkins get recognized, especially since he was misused in higher-profile films from last year (Burn After Reading, Step Brothers).

+ Danny Elfman was nominated for his score to Milk. I gotta be honest: though it was very good, it was (to my ears) barely recognizable as Elfman. Who knows? That might give it an edge.

+ The nominees for Best Animated Feature: Bolt, Kung Fu Panda and WALL-E. The rare occurence where I've seen (and enjoyed) every one of the nominees. It'll likely go to WALL-E, but Bolt would be a nice surprise.

+ Chris Dickens, whose editing I've enjoyed in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, is now an Oscar nominee (for Slumdog Millionaire).

? Anne Hathaway was nominated for Rachel Getting Married. Will Bride Wars be to Hathaway what Norbit was to Eddie Murphy two years ago? (Okay, I'm willing to concede that Norbit may have been a factor in his loss.)

- Another year, another nomination for Roger Deakins (shared with Chris Menges for The Reader). They better get it right this time.

? Milk was nominated for Costume Design. I'm even more speechless at this than I was at the nod for Robert Downey, Jr.

+ Presto was nominated for Animated Short. I really hope it wins.

+ As expected, The Dark Knight was nominated. The categories: Supporting Actor, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Editing, Make-Up, Sound, Sound Editing and Art Direction, but not Picture (yeah!) or Original Score (fuck yeah!).

All this and Hugh Jackman is hosting. February 22nd can't get here fast enough.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TV on DVD...for 2009!

A lot of great shows have been coming out on DVD. Unfortunately, none of the ones that I listed. Here's hoping that things change for this year, with these three titles:

It's Your Move: Jason Bateman on a funny, sharply-written (if short-lived and underappreciated) sitcom. It happens more often than one would think. Teenage con artist Matthew Burton (Bateman) meets his match in struggling writer Norman Lamb (David Garrison). From the creators of "Married...with Children".

Malcolm in the Middle: It's so easy to write this show off because of the boys' antics and Lois's screaming...but it's not really fair. Watching the reruns have opened my eyes to one of the finest sitcoms of the decade. It truly sucks that Fox gave up on season sets after the first season (Paging Shout Factory...).

Parker Lewis Can't Lose: I don't remember the show as well as I'd like to, but I did catch the first episode recently, and I've found that "Malcolm..." (and, for that matter, "Scrubs") owe a debt to this show, with its enjoyably surreal humor.

Here's hoping...

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random thoughts - movies of 2008 edition.

- The House Bunny was a charming movie (with my favorite poster of the year), but it managed to make a critic's ten worst list. (What, did Kirsten Smith and Karen Lutz refuse to blow you after a screening of Legally Blonde or something? Grow up!).

- The fat dude in Sex Drive was a straight-up pimp. Seriously, what the hell?

- Also, is it just me, or was Sex Drive overstuffed with too many ridiculous jokes which came out of freakin' nowhere (once you see the addition to the donut suit toward the beginning, you will never forget it)?

- One last Sex Drive note: Ian's little brother, who seems to disappear after the first couple reels, looked just like a young Clint Howard. Watch the scene where he smiles. It's uncanny.

- A review of Burn After Reading in my alma mater’s magazine summed it up pretty well: "These characters are...funny. Unfortunately, when [the] characters are required to be something other than funny, the grotesque and exaggerated portrayals are jarring." What’s more, the deaths of the only likable characters left a bad taste in my mouth (and be advised that I’m no Coen newbie. Having seen Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, The Ladykillers and No Country for Old Men, I knew what I was getting into, but still...).

- What the fudge was up with the second half of Hancock?

- The barely-released comedy The Promotion had been getting some bad buzz online. It's not one of those movies where I think, 'How could people hate this? People are morons!' (you know, like Speed Racer). I could, sort of, understand how people would dislike this. If they've never worked a job like this, of course, people would have an adverse reaction. In spite of a poorly-edited trailer, it's an entertaining, if minor, film. There were moments - perhaps, too many - that felt uncomfortably real to me. (In one of those coincidences usually reserved for fiction, I saw it only days before seeing another film that detailed a 'Kafkaesque work nightmare': Wanted.)

- I saw Step Brothers...unfortunately. The premise was pretty good, but I just couldn’t get into it. Dale and Brennan’s antics grew increasingly irritating and the addition of the obnoxious brother and his psycho hose beast wife only made things worse. Is it too much to ask that characters in comedies be likable?

- Surprisingly, no matter where you turned, there was some collective of pinheads crying 'rip-off!' on something: WALL-E stole the design from Johnny Five! Yes Man is a rip-off of Liar Liar! Nothing Like the Holidays is just a Latino Family Stone! Seriously, did thinking for oneself collapse along with the Twin Towers?

Goggle eyes and treads were bound to surface in another robotic character. This is, I must say, a rather sad exhibition of sour grapes...or maybe, the whole 'fat people on a spaceship' segment turned people off. In any event, it was nice to see Short Circuit brought back into the public consciousness. In Liar Liar, Jim Carrey couldn’t lie because of a magic spell. In Yes Man, Jim Carrey could say no, but chose not to. The trailers for Yes Man made it look rather conflict-free, but the film, though ultimately lesser Carrey, played better than Liar Liar’s trite and schmaltzy 'family-comes-first' subtext. Having seen Nothing Like the Holidays, I can honestly say that, even at their worst, none of the characters were anywhere near as punchable as Rachel McAdams’ character in Family Stone. (I purposely omitted Made of Honor and its striking resemblance to My Best Friend’s Wedding. Seriously, it’s like they were separated at birth.)

- I saw The Dark Knight in a packed theater this summer (I know; who didn’t, right?) and found it to be well-made in most respects (So what if the post is outdated?! It makes me happy.), but also, rather dark and pretty joyless. Yet, people consider it one of the best movies of the year. I don’t know about everyone else, but I go to the movies to enjoy myself; to have a good time. My enjoyment of The Dark Knight (besides Heath Ledger, who, like Hedley Lamarr before him, is risking an almost-certain Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor) came from the apparently whimsical spirit of the casting director (That mob’s Spawn! Holy shit! Farmer Ted as the reporter! Batmanuel is the commissioner?! Whoa! Deebo threw away the detonator!).

In fact, for a while, it was considered the best movie ever made, according to the IMDb, and what is the IMDb but a large proliferation of film geeks? It was a pretty good movie that, as far as I’m concerned, buckled under the weight of its own hype...but those film geeks I mentioned? They’ll fight tooth and nail to uphold the film’s near-mythic status. [I get the sense, especially in visiting Ain’t It Cool News, that when the subject of The Dark Knight comes up and you’re not on your knees - eyes closed, mouth open, gag reflex disabled - ready to pay tribute, you’re some kind of Communist. It doesn’t seem right.]

The last thing geeks want to be considered, in real life or online, is uncool, so they apparently established a rule for film in 2008: to not consider The Dark Knight one of the best movies of the year is to be uncool.* Jim Emerson made a similar point. (Rule of thumb: someone who doesn’t care about being cool is much cooler than someone who tries like hell to be cool.) Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss, God bless him, opted not to place the film on his ten best list. He’s cool in my book. Even factoring in the fact that he rated Transformers higher than Speed Racer in his latest Movie and Video Guide, Leonard Maltin is kinda cool for not slobbering over the film.

* - One can just imagine the inner thoughts of some of the people who put The Dark Knight on their top ten list: Oh, man. Everyone’s putting The Dark Knight on their best of the year list. I liked the film, but not enough to put it on my top ten list. What do you mean, if I don’t put Dark Knight on my top ten list, I won’t be considered cool? I’m cool! I’m cool! I’M COOL!!!!!!!

- I'm going execution-style on my credibility with this statement, but I really don't care. This ties right into what I said about thinking for oneself, and, even for the internet, there's a shocking dearth of it. Here it is: I liked The Spirit. To be more accurate, I was entertained by it. Let me be clear: in spite of what I may post here, I'm somewhat discerning when it comes to movies. I don't blindly plunk down hard-earned cash for every Bride Wars that gets passed into theaters ($21 million opening and people are starving overseas? What...the...fuck?!). I expect to enjoy what I spend money on.

It had a shaky start with Our Hero (Gabriel Macht) conversing on a rooftop with a cat, but once The Octopus (a scene-swallowing Samuel L. Jackson) came on and raved about not wanting egg on his face, I was totally digging the film's vibe. It may be hard for others to do since the film can't decide on a tone. It seems that Frank Miller wanted to make two films, one a somewhat serious romantic drama and the other a ridiculous, glorious tribute to camp, but he couldn't pick which one he liked better and handed it to the editors, telling them, 'You figure it out. I'm going for a smoke.'

If I could make a comparison, it's this generation's Hudson Hawk, the difference being that The Spirit, in spite of its copious silliness, only occasionally realizes how silly it is, whereas every other scene in Hawk knew that and just went, 'To hell with it. We're having fun.' It's a guilty pleasure. If only the majority of film fans remembered what that expression meant.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009


...has passed.

Perhaps, his coffin will be lined with 'rich, Corinthian leather'. (Lame joke, I know, but this is, maybe, the only place I could get away with it without derisive/hostile reactions.)

Seriously, he did have a terrific voice. One of the finest I've ever heard, anyway. His casting as bored billionaire and aspiring (if gentlemanly) villain Senor Senior Senior on "Kim Possible" was a masterstroke. Even if, sometimes, the writing made one think that they were wasting perfectly good animators and actors (like in "The New Ron" or "The Cupid Effect"), Montalban's voice added dignity and weight. He shall be missed.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Duckman - Seasons 3 and 4 (part III of VII)

You know how it goes...

They Craved Duckman's Brain!: (w: Michael Markowitz; d: Donovan Cook) Duckman gets left in an MRI machine, which leads to a potential cure for cancer within his head. Very funny, especially the Trek conversation. Ron Perlman shines as a health care smoothie that doesn't want the cure to get out.

The Road to Dendron: (w: Bill Canterbury & Gene Laufenberg and Michael Markowitz and David Misch; d: Peter Shin) While chaperoning Ajax on a class trip to Dendron, Duckman and Cornfed get wrapped up in a scheme involving a princess and murder. Unabashed homage to Hope/Crosby road movies that's bound to entertain even if you're not familiar with the source material.

Exile in Guyville: (w: Ellen L. Fogle; d: Jeff McGrath) Duckman's new design for lingerie leads to a rift between men and women, literally separating the genders. Shifts from good points about the genders to over-the-top stereotypes, but is quite amusing.

The Longest Weekend: (w: David Misch; d: Raymie Muzquiz) The higher-brow residents of Duckman's neighborhood have all kinds of regulations made, leading to all-out war. Funny, though it's enough to make one wish that its points on the futility of war were dated.

The Amazing Colossal Duckman: (w: Bill Canterbury; d: John Eng) Thanks to an unusual cocktail (which includes battery acid!), Duckman gets a rare disease that causes him to grow whenever he gets upset. This leads to a lot of slapstick involving Duckman trying (and failing) to keep cool. The scenes at home are the best.

Cock Tales for Four: (w: Doug Chamberlin & Chris Webb; d: Donovan Cook and Bob Hathcock) Duckman and Bernice go to meet Ajax's girlfriend's parents...who happen to be King Chicken and his boozy wife, Honey. I think this episode plays better now than when I first saw it. It's more sedate than a regular viewer is used to, interspersing plentiful amounts of drama amongst the humor. It grows on you.

Disc four...later.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

The film music of 2008.

My favorite scores of 2008:

Bolt (John Powell - Disney): A wonderful score, and proof that Powell still has his mojo.
Burn After Reading (Carter Burwell - Lakeshore): The amusing though uneven film benefitted greatly from Burwell's fine music.
Igor (Patrick Doyle - Varese): Doyle's delightful music was a vital component to the underappreciated animated feature.
In Bruges (Carter Burwell - Lakeshore): Burwell's lovely music for the entertaining dramedy may well be my favorite score of the year.
Leatherheads (Randy Newman - Varese): Big-band stylings and a wistful main theme are what Newman gave the underrated period comedy.
Speed Racer (Michael Giacchino - Varese): My favorite film of the year (yes!) was treated to Giacchino's suitably bouncy score.
The Spirit (David Newman - Silva Screen): Newman provided a brassy main theme and enjoyable action music for the guilty pleasure.
Street Kings (Graeme Revell - iTunes download): The cheesy but fun cop thriller featured one of Revell's finest scores since the mid-90s.
WALL-E (Thomas Newman - Disney): Typically eclectic Newman brew for the animated marvel.
Wanted (Danny Elfman - Lakeshore): Some catchy melodies in this busy - and exciting - score.

Other good scores:

Charlie Bartlett (Christophe Beck), Hellboy II: the Golden Army (Danny Elfman), Horton Hears a Who (John Powell), Milk (Danny Elfman), Pineapple Express (Graeme Revell), The Promotion (Alex Wurman), Son of Rambow (Joby Talbot), The Tale of Despereaux (William Ross), Transporter 3 (Alexandre Azaria) and Tropic Thunder (Theodore Shapiro)

Favorite new CDs of 2008:

Batman: the Animated Series: (Shirley Walker, Lolita Ritmanis & Michael McCuistion - LaLaLand) Eleven complete episode scores. Danny Elfman's pulse-quickening title music. A suite of character themes. The late, great Walker explaining her craft. Need I say more? (BTW, anyone who listens to the Joker's theme in the track "Joker Loots Gotham" and still thinks that the character received superior musical treatment in The Dark Knight does not deserve the privilege of hearing.)

Heavy Metal (Elmer Bernstein - Film Score Monthly): Bernstein's eclectic score was treated to a lengthy release. Here's hoping for a similar release of his other foray into animation - The Black Cauldron.

Jingle All the Way (David Newman - Intrada): If only because it's free from the dreadful film, it's so nice to see this released.

Masters of the Universe (Bill Conti - LaLaLand): Conti's boisterous score received the deluxe treatment with this release.

Matilda (David Newman - Varese Club): The underrated Roald Dahl adaptation was treated to one of Newman's most colorful and delightful works.

Meteor (Laurence Rosenthal - LaLaLand): Rosenthal recruited the orchestrational elite (Hayes, Morton, Spencer) to bring this score to life. An exciting work, but the Russian march is just beautiful.

Nine to Five (Charles Fox - Intrada)/Short Circuit (David Shire - Varese Club): As I mentioned earlier, these were two of the first film scores I ever noticed. I don't have them (yet), but it's just gratifying to know that the respective labels fulfilled my dreams in this manner.

Parasite (Richard Band - Intrada): Not one of the Band masterpieces, but worth hearing for the '-isms' that he'd develop throughout the following decade.

Tiburon (Morton Stevens - buysoundtrax): This was released with the first 100 copies of the not-bad One Man Jury. It's a concert recording of Stevens's score for Great White (aka The Last Shark and l'ultimo squalo). It's only 18 minutes long...but Stevens packs more punch, variety and bite into 18 minutes than most modern composers do on longer albums. If you're lucky enough to find a copy online, do not hesitate. Get it!

WarGames (Arthur B. Rubinstein - Intrada): I listen to this CD (particularly "A Game of Chess?" through "NORAD") at least three times a week. It's no stretch to call this one of my new favorite scores. I hate to dredge up a hoary cliche, but they really don't write them like this, anymore.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Duckman - Seasons 3 and 4 (part II of VII)

Here we go again...

Clear and Presidente Danger: (w: Doug Chamberlin & Chris Webb; d: John Eng) Duckman wins a vacation to a Latin American country and his ranting leads him from one throne to another (it makes sense when you watch it). Amusing, as Duckman goes mad with power, forcing Cornfed to find a way to overthrow him.

The Girls of Route Canal: (w: Brian Kahn; d: Donovan Cook & Raymie Muzquiz) Charles and Mambo are in love and seek advice on winning the girls of their dreams. Unfortunately, they must settle for Duckman, who tells them how he met and wooed Beatrice. Some surprisingly wistful moments shine through the humor. Also, one has to like Beatrice's former husband, Richard (voiced by - and drawn to resemble - David Duchovny).

The Mallardian Candidate: (w: David Misch; d: Peter Shin) Iggy Catalpa ("Joking the Chicken") comes to Duckman with a case: that sock that disappears in the laundry. There is the possibility that this could be a front for a darker purpose. The mastermind of the scheme is a little off-putting, but this is a terrific episode, highlighted by a hilarious dinner scene.

Pig Amok: (w: Spencer Green; d: Jeff McGrath) Cornfed suffers from a rare genetic disease that will kill him unless he loses his virginity. Uneven, with some funny moments (the funeral, the historical film) and some interesting if superfluous guest appearances.

The Once and Future Duck: (w: Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel; d: Peter Avanzino) A hole in the space-time continuum finds Duckman meeting various alternate versions of himself with differing opinions on whether or not he should attend Charles and Mambo's tuba recital. I won't lie; it's all about the alternate selves. Every one of them is a riot (favorite: Max Cady Duckman). There's also a neat cameo from Rhonda Shear.

Planet of the Dopes: (w: Monica Piper; d: Raymie Muzquiz) A neglected Ajax is abducted by a race of aliens, while his family searches for him. Officially titled 'The One with Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role', this is a decent outing, especially in its depiction of the planet least, before it adopts the teachings of 'Dod'.

Aged Heat: (w: Bill Canterbury & Gene Laufenberg; d: John Eng) Psychotic criminal Agnes Delrooney (Brian Doyle-Murray!) needs a place to cool her heels following a robbery. She decides to hide out at Duckman's place. Oh, and she looks exactly like Grandma-ma. One could quibble about the predictability of the inevitable 'which one's which?'/'this person isn't who they say' schtick, but it's so likably absurd.

Disc for it.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

The movie year that 2008.

(Stole that from a local paper.) Anyway...

My ten favorite movies of 2008:
Charlie Bartlett
Iron Man
Kung Fu Panda
Speed Racer
Tropic Thunder
Zack and Miri Make a Porno

As I've seen more movies than ever this year (let's just say a little over a movie a week), I've decided to allow five more slots in the 'honorable mention' category:

Ten more great movies of 2008:
The Incredible Hulk
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Nothing Like the Holidays
Role Models
Street Kings
The Tale of Despereaux

(That’s right. The Dark Knight didn’t even place. Crucify me!)

My favorite things in movies - 2008:

Aaron Eckhart’s 'working sucks!' monologue in Meet Bill

The action scenes in Transporter 3, especially the bicycle chase

The all-too-rare feeling of expecting nothing from, yet being hugely and pleasantly surprised by, a movie - Bolt

Anton Yelchin in Charlie Bartlett

Carter Burwell’s scores for Burn After Reading and In Bruges

The chase through the baggage carousels in Eagle Eye

The clip of Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death in Religulous

David Newman's score for The Spirit

The direction and production design of The Tale of Despereaux

Everything in Speed Racer, especially Michael Giacchino's bouncy music and the antics of Spritle (Paulie Litt) and Chim-Chim

The fairy-tale opening of The House Bunny

Harris Savides' cinematography (especially the shot reflected in the whistle) and Dustin Lance Black's script for Milk

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

Hugh Laurie in Street Kings

The interview with journalism student Jack McGee in The Incredible Hulk

James Marsden in Sex Drive

Jamie Bell in Jumper

Jason Bateman in Hancock

Justin Long in Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Kat Dennings in Charlie Bartlett, The House Bunny and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

The lighting of the cigarette in Son of Rambow

The many classic references in Get Smart, especially, "Shtarker, this is KAOS. We do not 'ka-frickin’-boom' here."

Mike Epps and Mo'Nique in Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins

Mos Def figures out Danny Glover's message in Be Kind, Rewind

Neil Patrick Harris as 'Neil Patrick Harris' in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, especially the line, "I’m gonna rock out with my cock out and you’re gonna jam out with your clam out."

The opening phone call in Yes Man

"Prepare to suck the cock of karma!" - Pineapple Express

The quote of the Ark theme in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Randy Newman’s cameo in Leatherheads; his score’s pretty good, too

The 'sweded' movies of Be Kind, Rewind

The 2-D sequences in Horton Hears a Who! and Kung Fu Panda; not to knock the skilled CG animation, but they were delightfully unexpected

The visual effects of Wanted, especially the keyboard attack and the flying bullets

I'm pretty sure I'm missing a few more things, but here it is. Look for a rambling essay on some of the films I've seen.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Duckman - Seasons 3 and 4 (part I of VII)

Goodness. Is it January, already? Well, time to get to work.

Noir Gang: (w: Eva Almos & Ed Scharlach; d: Raymie Muzquiz) In this self-acknowledged "film-noir parody", Duckman and Cornfed both fall for their latest client, the lovely - and dangerous - Tamara LeBoink (Bebe Neuwirth). Filmed...okay, drawn in black-and-white, this episode is very amusing in its film references with a well-worked plot.

Forbidden Fruit: (w: Jeff Astrov & Mike Sikowitz; d: Paul Demeyer) A pretty French nanny comes to stay with the family and though Duckman tries to stay on his best behavior, he ends up in the middle of a harassment firestorm. Some good points about how women ought to be treated are undercut by some really stupid wordplaying ('mailman to personperson'?!). Still, this is a good episode, worth savoring for the scenes with Fluffy and Uranus.

Grandma-ma's Flatulent Adventure: (w: Bill Canterbury & Gene Laufenberg; d: Norton Virgien) Grandma-ma's constant excursions into danger lead to a stay in a nursing home. Unfortunately, Duckman loses her on the way there. Pretty enjoyable (especially in detailing Grandma-ma's journeys) and surprisingly touching (the flashback and Duckman's eulogy). By the way, this is the episode that originated 'The Funky Duckman'.

Color of Naught: (w: Michael Markowitz; d: John Eng) Angela (from "About Face") returns and with her is a new miracle cream that makes one attractive...but it doesn't seem to work on Duckman. The fourth wall is smashed quite appealingly in this episode, with perhaps, the best ever reveal of King Chicken's motives.

Sperms of Endearment: (w: Bill Canterbury & Gene Laufenberg; d: Jeff McGrath) Bernice's desire for her own children leads her to a sperm bank...and a rather surprising donor. Not too bad, with some funny moments thanks to Bernice's failed dates and Cornfed's obligatory appearance.

A Room with a Bellevue: (w: Joshua Sternin & Jeffrey Ventimiglia; d: Peter Avanzino) Duckman's been having a particularly rough day and a bit of blowing off steam lands him in an insane asylum. However, life is so wonderful there, he doesn't want to leave. Let's face it: life can suck, sometimes. The solution in this episode, though unconventional, is entertaining, helped by some choice ranting and the aftermath of Duckman's electroshock treatment.

Apocalypse Not: (w: Bill Canterbury & Gene Laufenberg and Michael Markowitz and David Misch; d: Raymie Muzquiz) A disaster-preparedness drill leads the entire town underground. Duckman, however, believes that he has free run of the now-deserted city. The disaster movie cliches are a howl, as is Duckman's wanton destruction. A side-splitter, from beginning to end.

Disc two coming soon.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

"The circle is complete."

I don't know if anyone else was still collecting the specialized state quarters that first came out in 1999, but I managed to collect the last one today. I even still have the collectible album from, if I recall correctly, the post office.

Will I sell it off years down the line? Will I keep the collection to admire? Who's to say?

(Trust me. Posts more interesting than this one will soon appear at the blog.)

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