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, March 31, 2009

And so, the end of the month is here.

I managed to get roped (or, rather, rope myself) into another Script Frenzy competition.

This story, unlike last year's entry, is set in the present. I'm a little excited about what I plan on doing.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Maurice Jarre (1924-2009)

I was a) too lazy and b) too tired to post this last night, and I apologize. Maurice Jarre passed away early yesterday morning.

To be honest, his passing doesn't hit me quite as hard as when Jerry Goldsmith and Shirley Walker left, but it is quite tragic (though, at 84, he wasn't long for this world).

I knew him primarily as the guy who wrote the Lawrence of Arabia theme. Then, a couple years back, I happened upon the soundtrack of No Way Out. I still think of it as a nice bit of synth scoring, with the best moments in the opening and closing titles.

Then, last year, a very talented YouTube poster, benydebney, assembled a collection of Jarre's best scores. Repeated listenings have converted me. On a whim last fall, I picked up a collection of Jarre's scores. It's really helped me to appreciate what I've been missing out on. Another Jarre piece (and, perhaps, my favorite piece of music to emerge from his pen) came from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome:

As I love the ondes martenot, I was quite surprised to find that Jarre used it so extensively, from A Passage to India to Jacob's Ladder, making it all the more unfortunate that I didn't discover him sooner. He will be missed.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Before I forget...

Had to work today. Thankfully, the time just flew by.

That's all.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Compare your lives to mine and then kill yourselves!"

I very nearly forgot, but thankfully remembered, that today marks the 10th anniversary of the premiere of "Futurama". I'll be straight with you: though I liked the characters, I think it took a while for any really great episodes to break out. The first season is full of funny moments, but, overall, nothing I'd consider noteworthy.

My picks for the ten best "Futurama" episodes:

10. Where No Fan Has Gone Before - With the head of Leonard Nimoy, the crew goes into forbidden space to retrieve the episode tapes of "Star Trek". One doesn't need to get all the references to enjoy this episode...but it helps.

9. Love and Rocket - Bender falls for the new voice (Sigourney Weaver) of the Planet Express ship. Unfortunately, she's not going to be ignored.

8. Bender Gets Made/Bendless Love (tie) - These may not be top ten material to others, but, hey, I love the Robot Mafia. The episodes are still pretty good, though. In 'Made', Bender blinds Leela and joins up with the mob (one of my all time favorite scenes on the show: "Forgive me, Donbot. I'm unable to make this week's loan payment. Look into your hard drive and open your mercy file." "File not found."), and in 'Love', Bender falls for a shapely scab at a bending factory.

7. Raging Bender - Bender floats like a float box and stings like an automated stinging machine as the newest member of Ultimate Robot Fighting.

6. A Head in the Polls - Bender sells his body for money (literally), but he can't get it back, as Nixon's head has appropriated it for a Presidential run. The post title is but one of many great lines in this episode.

5. Roswell That Ends Well - The crew ends up in Roswell, New Mexico circa 1947 and, while trying to get back, Zoidberg is captured, Bender's body is confiscated and Fry meets his grandfather. Fry's morning after scream is still one of the funniest things I've ever heard.

4. Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television - Despite his cancer-causing thespian skills, Bender stumbles into a role on "All My Circuits", becoming its most popular - and imitatable - character.

3. The Sting - A dangerous mission leaves Fry dead and Leela stricken with guilt...but is he really gone? For my money, the strongest combination of humor and pathos the show's ever done. Look no further than the funeral scene for a skillful mix of the two.

2. War is the H-Word - Fry and Bender want to take advantage of a military discount, so they sign up. Unfortunately, war were declared leading them into battle with enemies possessing brains and chutzpah.

1. Xmas Story - Fry tries to get Leela an Xmas gift...and nearly falls from a digital clock in the process. Bender, meanwhile, rips off an old lady and free booze from a shelter for homeless robots. And Santa (John Goodman) goes berserk. One of the best holiday specials ever.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

You havin' a laugh?

Right, so there's this column at the AV Club where the staff members answer the question:

Is there a piece of pop culture that absolutely, 100 percent never fails to make you laugh? (Or at least smile?)

Whether I'm at work, at a movie, traveling, or whatever, there are a shit-ton of bits I think about that make me laugh. Here are a few (relative term) of them:

Marlon (Dom DeLuise) yelling "That man's nuts! Grab 'im!" in The End
Turk screaming like a woman and ripping out his hair after missing out on a Michael Jordan game on "Scrubs"
"If this were an After-School Special, you'd pay a dear price for your deceit, like getting a big zit, or...eating from the same plate as David Lee Roth!" - "Freakazoid"
the game shows that Heffer appears on in the "Rocko's Modern Life" episode, "Heffer in a Handbasket" ("Eye-talian donut holes!")
the "MacBeth" scene from "Blackadder the Third"
Patton Oswalt's Robert Evans spiel - though, honestly, I do a better Evans than he does ("Shove 'em up there again, Dennehy! I'll try to just solve the reds!")
out of a bunch of "Arrested Development" moments, Mrs. Featherbottom trying to imitate Mary Poppins
I love "Kids in the Hall", but, off the top of my head, the "Mad with Power" sketch; Kevin McDonald rocks!
several of Bruce McCulloch's monologues, as well (especially, "Love" and "How to Break into Showbiz")
the "Mighty Hercules" sketch from "Saturday Night Live" (one of the most underrated sketches)
the "Petchow Rat Poison" sketch from the same program (one of the most underrated ad parodies)
the digital clock gag from the "Futurama" episode, "Xmas Story"
the "M*A*S*H" references on the "Futurama" episode, "War is the H-Word" ("This isn't a war, it's a moider!")
Chico Marx in Duck Soup, especially his report on shadowing Firefly
the guys playing each other in the "Young Ones" episode, "Bambi" ("Right, like the one person said to the other person who was getting fed up, 'I'm getting fed up!'.")
not from a comedy, per se, but David Doyle dressing down Elliott Gould in Capricorn One is just brilliant, humorous writing
from the charade scene to "He boyfriend!" in Young Frankenstein ("Sedagive?!")
the escalating shenanigans from that "Wings" episode; can't remember the name but here's a hint: "Davis!" Dinner's not ready." "Stall him!"
The "'Cause they're (insert occupation here) (hilariously insistent guitar twang)/Identical (insert occupation here)" sketch from "SCTV"
The A Few Good Men references in the "Simpsons" episode, "Sideshow Bob Roberts"
too many moments to name from "Malcolm in the Middle"
"Won't be attending that hat convention in July." - Hudson Hawk
the police station scene and "It's a bomb!/"What?!"/"Wait for my birthday." - Addams Family Values
"Why did I bring helium instead of air?" - Hot Shots! Part Deux
"Ah, mango juice!" - the "Tiny Toons" episode, "Kon-Ducki"
The "Samuel Jackson Beer" sketch from "Chappelle's Show"
the Cairo sequence in Team America: World Police
"Yoiks...and away!" - "Robin Hood Daffy"

Like I said, a few.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

In honor of Alan Silvestri's birthday, here's what I consider one of my best posts at the blog, a track-by-track analysis of his fantastic score for Mouse Hunt.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

At work today, a customer asked me how to spell 'John Smith'.

On the bus ride home, a couple ran in front of the bus and were offended that the driver called them on it.

Idiocracy is happening, folks. Don't deny it.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Free as a bird.

As I sat on the bus and watched it pass the remains of a seagull that lost a fight with an oncoming vehicle, I was reminded of what I'd love to come back as: a bird.

While the cuisine would leave much to be desired, I would greatly enjoy the freedom; the (literal) ability to spread my wings and travel the world, seeing all kinds of people and places. Nesting in various spots all over the place. Conversing, so to speak, with other birds.

Hell, I wish I had that life now.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Despite the dearth of the latest issue of "Creative Screenwriting", this was a pretty good day: a good breakfast (IHOP's Loaded Hash Browns...they practically dared me to stop in), a couple more $9.99 soundtracks (Get Smart and Quantum of Solace), some double chocolate donuts, and a stopover at a supermarket, but not the one I work at. This one has so much more than the chain I work for: more departments, more variety in the prepared foods...and promise of a 'burrito bar' in the future. Truly, they are the Goofus and Gallant of this town's supermarkets.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

I really need to stop waiting until the end of the day to post stuff.

I don't, but I should.

Just pretend I wrote something hilarious.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who watches the television on Saturday mornings?

Even if I hadn't seen the movie (which I have) or read the graphic novel (which I haven't), this would still be off-putting...but a great deal of fun:

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Friday, March 20, 2009

I submitted a script of mine to a couple of screenwriting contests. One of them offered free analysis...which can throw a writer off, since he's so used to the script that he can't (or won't) see the mistakes. However, the analysis I received the other day was very concise and, I believe, could help me in the contest.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's the point?

Sometimes, I wonder...what's the point?

What's the point of helping people, if they won't acknowledge you or if they openly scorn you? What's the point of working toward something when so many others want it? What's the point of doing things if they have to be done a certain way? What's the point of doing anything if it doesn't make your life better? What's the point of dreaming if you're forced to, eventually, wake up? What's the point of speaking when you know that the wrong people will listen?

Seriously, what's the point?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"I feel like a kid in some kind of store."

Yesterday, as I perused the soundtrack section of FYE, as I am wont to do, and my eyes drifted toward the tag on the Pride and Glory soundtrack that read $9.99 (I wasn't interested in that particular soundtrack, but what a great deal!), and I found that that selfsame tag was on just about all the other CDs in the section, I could just imagine the call I would place to my friends. Side note: Let's assume that a) I have friends and b) they're as frugal and soundtrack savvy as myself (To quote Max Bialystock, "Assume away."). The first part of the call: "You are never going to fucking believe this."

I picked up Eagle Eye, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and the Tropic Thunder score album. Checking out, I had to ask the cashier how long the sale was going on for. His response? "I don't know. It's a day-to-day thing."

I just might return for more. Yeah. "What do you mean, 'might'?"

BTW, I actually uttered the post title when I scooped up the aforementioned discs.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I remember the good old days of when I first got into collecting. Around this time, I discovered the internet and I've yet to look back. One of the ways I tried to build up my collection back then was taking advantage of Intrada's 99-cent deletions: titles that, apparently, couldn't be moved with a hurricane. Some of the titles I picked up (then sold for cash before picking them up again) were Mark McKenzie's Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde and Kevin Kiner's Leprechaun.

Warwick Davis has a ball in the title role, terrorizing and killing innocents for his gold. Also known as 'that movie that Jennifer Aniston did before "Friends"'.

Even though the cover reads 'composed and conducted by Kevin Kiner' (BTW, I miss that about Intrada releases; 'original motion picture soundtrack' and 'composed and conducted by...' placed inconspicuously over the cover art. Several examples can be found here.), the score sounds predominantly synth-based.

The "Main Title" introduces the main theme, a melody that manages to be playful and menacing at the same time, much like the title character, with the piccolo taking the lead and giving the score its Irish color. "O'Grady" introduces a sub-melody of rising strings (at 1:10) that Kiner would reuse in his score for Freaked. "The Crate" emphasizes what I said earlier about the synths; amongst some real, chopping strings, the rest of the orchestra, from the winds to some of the horn parts, sounds very synthetic.

"Ozzie Attacked" takes a break from its suspense to showcase a galloping version of the main theme (at 2:00). A hopeful string-led melody figures in "Rainbow" and "Ozzie and Alex".

Kiner works in some action music for the scenes of the characters trying to outwit the Leprechaun. "The Truck" and "Rambo", save for the strings, are purely electronic. (I doubt the music budget was a big one, but the use of synths, though accomplished, is pretty distracting.)

There are moments, like in "The Gold", where Kiner leaves the electronics alone and provides beautiful, almost mournful string work. It makes one anxious to hear what Kiner could do with a full orchestra.

If you liked the music in the film, fine, but it's not worth $174.98 (actual price quoted from

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Monday, March 16, 2009

In an attempt to get some life back into this blog, I will be posting every day for the rest of the month. It doesn't matter what I'm posting about; there will be an update every day.

Today, let us celebrate the birth of actor/director/humanitarian/recent Oscar-winner Jerry Lewis:


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Et, tu, Brute?

Maybe I'll edit this post one day about how I feel that people are against me; making things difficult, when I bend over backwards to make things easy for them, since that's how I like it, but I just don't feel like it right now.

BTW, pretty funny that we got the Ides of March and Friday the 13th within days of each other, right?


Saturday, March 07, 2009

(Going to see Fanboys today - very hilarious, by the way - reminded me of the need to do a post about the nature of moviegoing...but something else that happened to me today is far more pressing.)

I'm not what you might call a confrontational person. I generally like to be left alone. I may get into verbal scrapes at work, but that's not too bad, since a) I'm protected by a counter, cameras and other people all around me and b) nine times out of ten, the person I'm having it out with started it. Physical confrontations are a whole other animal. To quote Daffy Duck, "I can't stand pain. It hurts me." My fight-or-flight response is just about stuck in the latter position and if someone approaches me with a less-than-friendly demeanor, I get skittish.

On the bus to the train station, I'm approached by this guy wanting change; a couple of dollars. All I have are tens and twenties, but he's insistent about needing the money so he can go to the hospital. Two things: 1) if he can afford bus fare, then surely he can obtain a couple of dollars and 2) the bus passes the hospital, yet the guy is still there. I try to let him down gently about my cash situation (read: lie), but the guy follows me from the bus to the train station. [Today's lesson: if my life somehow becomes more interesting than that of another person, that individual fucked up royal.] I don't see him after dashing toward the bus that takes me near the theater, or on the ride home (where I nearly lost the use of my hands thanks to the freezing rain), but I, honestly, can't imagine that guy not getting whatever it is he thinks he needed from me from another person. I was truly scared for my life, and I'm nervous about seeing that guy again. It's not that big a city I live in, so I really don't know what to think. As I've said before, people are stupid, and he struck me as the kind of guy who would beat up an innocent for a few bucks, so we'll see.