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.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A night at the Oscars.

Well, the magical night is here, at last. Let's get to it.

8:31 The ten Best Picture nominees set to the cover of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from The Social Network, still the one piece of music I remember from that film. I swear, someone's nuts will end up in a vice if it wins for Score...

8:32 Back to the old days of "putting the host(s) in the Oscar nominees".

8:34 "I loved you in Tron ...and this movie."

8:37 The Back to the Future thing, though funny, seemed a last-minute addition.

8:41 A look back at Gone with the Wind. One of several classic films i've yet to see...and at 4 hours, it's not at the top of the list.

8:43 ...and now we're into Titanic. Definitely going for a four hour ceremony--

8:44 Okay, Art Direction. Finally. The award goes to Alice in Wonderland. Perhaps the only nod that it could've received.

8:46 Holy crap, Tim Burton got a haircut! There's hope for him, yet.

8:47 The Cinematography award goes to...Wally Pfister for Inception. Fuck. Me.

8:52 Even with the canned jokes, it's nice to see Kirk Douglas.

8:55 I think the doddering old man thing is a put-on.

8:57 The Supporting Actress award goes to...Melissa Leo. (1/24) Didn't see The Fighter, but I had kind of a feeling. I'm sure that Hailee Steinfeld will get more changes to prove herself.

9:03 The Animated Short Feature award goes to..."The Lost Thing".

9:06 The Animated Feature award goes to...Toy Story 3. (2/24) Seriously, who thought it'd be anything else?

9:12 I just now got the awesome significance of Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem presenting together. Bardem so deserved that Oscar.

9:14 The Adapted Screenplay Oscar goes to...Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network. (3/24) Fuck. Yes!

9:17 The Original Screenplay Oscar goes to...David Seidler for The King's Speech. (4/24) Maybe I should give the film another chance.

9:23 Anne's doing a number that seems to be a callback to Hugh Jackman's hosting stint. You remember that, right?

9:25 James dressed like Marilyn Monroe. That's just ghastly.

9:26 Hey, it's the stars of the remake of Arthur! (In theaters April 8th)

9:28 The Foreign Film award goes to...In a Better World.

9:32 The Supporting Actor award goes to Christian Bale. (5/24) Even Shane Hurlbut has to be excited by this.

9:41 A fine suite of classic scores led by William Ross (who looks a little like William Hurt, IMO).

9:43 The Original Score award goes to...Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network. Fuck. My. Ass. First old lady I see tomorrow is getting dropped like a bad habit.

9:46 The Sound award goes to...Inception. It's a wonder I'm not still pissed enough to want to continue with this.

9:51 The Sound Editing award goes to...Inception again.

9:54 How weird is it that a hottie ends up hosting the special, untelevised effects ceremony every ear?

9:55 Okay, why was the orchestra still playing over Cate Blanchett's speech?

9:56 The Makeup award goes to...The Wolfman. (6/24) Awesome.

9:59 The Costume Design award goes to...Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland. Serves me right. Betting against Burton's collaborators in this category is like betting against the Harlem Globetrotters.

10:02 Very nice intro by Kevin Spacey, leading us to...

10:03 Randy Newman performing "We Belong Together".

10:05 Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi perform "I See the Light". I hope it wins. When I saw Alan Menken, I really thought it was Randy Newman, at first glance.

10:13 The Documentary Short Subject award goes to "Strangers No More".

10:16 The Live-Action Short Subject award goes to..."God of Love"

10:17 Okaaay. Auto-tuned scenes from movies passed off as songs...and so, we now have, perhaps, the one time a clip from a Twilight movie will ever be featured at the Oscars.

10:21 The Documentary Feature award goes to...Inside Job.

10:27 Billy Crystal's back on the Oscar stage! The years don't seem to have taken any of the edge off.

10:31 Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law (reprising their fine Holmes-Watson chemistry present the Visual Effects Oscar, which goes to Inception. (7/24)

10:35 The Editing award goes to...Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter for The Social Network (8/24). Splendid.

10:40 Florence (of Florence and the Machine) performs "If I Rise".

10:43 Gwyneth Paltrow performs "Coming Home".

10:46 The Original Song award goes to..."We Belong Together".

10:52 In Memoriam. It's still weird to think that John Barry is no longer with us, but apparently, his passing made the cut-off point.

11:02 The Director award goes to...Tom Hooper.

11:07 Looking back at the highlights of the Governor's Awards (lifetime achievement, to you).

11:16 The Best Actress award goes to...Natalie Portman. (8/24) Yeah, big shocker.

11:25 The Best Actor award goes to...Colin Firth. (9/24) Again, big surprise.

11:36 Best Picture goes to...The King's Speech. Well, that's that.

Another Oscar ceremony down. I'm sorry, but the Original Score win just pissed in the punchbowl for me. A good, hummable score better win next year.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

This year's predictions.

Because everyone is so interested in my opinion on these matters, there are my picks for tomorrow's Academy Awards:

Picture: Toy Story 3 was enjoyable, but, really, do you honestly believe it will capture this honor? Black Swan, for its impressiveness, might be a little out there for Oscar voters. For different reasons, you could say the same of Inception. True Grit was a fine Western, but is the Academy in the mood for Westerns? I, personally, think that The Social Network deserves the prize. The themes of success and betrayal are universal, transcending any feelings of 'too-of-the-moment'. Still, I think they'll give it to The King's Speech. For me, this was a fine actor's showcase first and a compelling story second. Maybe I'm being generous, but I didn't respond as well as everyone else did to it.
Actor: I thought that Jesse Eisenberg was fantastic as Mark Zuckerberg, but (whatever my misgivings about the film) this is Colin Firth's award, no question.
Actress: I'm still kind of serious about Annette Bening having a shot since Hilary Swank was passed over...but, really, they may as well FedEx Natalie Portman the statuette.
Supporting Actor: Surprising that The Town received only one nomination. Jeremy Renner was good, but I think it really comes down to Christian Bale vs. Geoffrey Rush. It'll be Bale. I can feel it.
Supporting Actress: It kind of sickens me how people bitch about Hailee Steinfeld being nominated in the 'supporting' category. Maybe because they knew she'd get smoked in the 'leading' category? Doi! It'll probably go to Melissa Leo, but I'm pulling for little Miss Steinfeld.
Director: Fine work all around, but consider the fact that he made a movie about talking and net surfing interesting and how could it not go to David Fincher?
Original Screenplay: I already made my case about The King's Speech, but David Seidler worked for 20 years getting this film made. Perserverance like that ought to be rewarded.
Adapted Screenplay: I call ultimate bullshit if Aaron Sorkin loses this.
Editing: The Social Network. The switching between the trials and the main story was incredible.
Cinematography: Substitute 'Roger Deakins' for 'Aaron Sorkin', and those are my thoughts. Some chowderhead at a message board I post at felt that Deakins' True Grit cinematography nod was his quote-unquote 'least deserving'. I'd rather he won for something 'least deserving' than not at all.
Art Direction: The interiors in The King's Speech impressed me with their understated quality, but Inception could eke out a win here.
Costume Design: Much as I liked what Colleen Atwood did for Alice in Wonderland, Mary Zophres's designs for True Grit left a bigger impression on me.
Animated Feature: It's Toy Story 3. It was always Toy Story 3.
Animated Short Subject: A few weeks ago, I found myself in the interesting position of watching all of the nominated shorts in a theater. I wasn't as engaged by "The Lost Child" as I probably should've been, and I was more impressed with the various media used in "Madagascar" than I was with the short itself. However, "Let's Pollute" was very funny, but I doubt that it will translate to a win (the Academy hates comedies, you know?). "Day and Night" was a truly impressive Pixar short, so if it or the incredibly charming "The Gruffalo" wins, I'll be happy.
Live-Action Short Subject: I didn't stay for the live-action shorts. However, the story from The Crush intrigues me.
Foreign Film: There isn't a single damn movie that sounds appealing to me. Let's give it to the one from Canada...Incendies.
Visual Effects: Let's see: stuff exploding around people, cities getting folded over, 360-degree think Inception might win this one?
Sound: It could really go to anyone (I don't pay much attention to this when I watch movies), but let's just say...True Grit.
Sound Effects Editing: See previous category.
Makeup: I've only seen The Wolfman and even with the unfortunate CGI augmentations, Rick Baker still has the gift.
Original Score: I feel that, of the nominated scores, Powell's How to Train Your Dragon is the most the Academy will, of course, puss out and give it to The Social Network, the one nomination it does not deserve. Then again, cooler heads prevailed last year in a similar 'ambient score for a likely Best Picture vs. a lovely score for an animated movie' situation.
Original Song: I'm going with "I See the Light". A very pretty tune, even if Alan Menken has enough Oscars.
Documentary Short Subject: Apparently, The Warriors of Qiugang was co-directed by a Thomas Lennon. Probably not the one I'm thinking of (he of Reno 911 and The State), but it's interesting to think about.
Documentary Feature: I'll say Restrepo. I like the title.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Where you headed?

Given that I have a yen to see the world and a decent bank account, I'm interested in traveling. Then I stumble on this article:

Best Places to Travel Alone

I'm interested to see that New York City is on the list, for two reasons: a) they say it's a great place for singles and b) I'm planning on going to New York Comic-Con.

Slight edit: it's nine hours later and I only now realize how contradictory those last two reasons are. Oh, well.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meant to post this last night, but I got caught up.

I had something unusual in mind for Valentine's Day. Instead of staying home, I would, for laughs, go to an Anti-Valentine's Day party.

Two things: a) I am, by nature, a very shy individual. It would take a cattle prod to get more than a few words out of me and b) I'm not as bitter about Valentine's Day as most; I treat it like any other day.

Little did I realize that this party was held at a bar. I feel awkward and out of place at a lot of functions., but throw a non-drinker like me into a bar and the awkwardness flies off the charts. Still, I tried to have a good time, making conversation with the few people that were there with me, especially this cute redhead in glasses that (of course) I didn't try to get with.

I think it would be better for me in the future to enter a situation like that with at least one friend. Now to find one of those.


Monday, February 14, 2011

"A riut...isan ugly sinc!"

Just now heard about Kenneth Mars' passing. Damn.

I can't even mention all his memorable roles, but I'll try: Franz Liebkind ("I am the author. You are the audience. I outrank you!"), The Little Mermaid's King Triton, Otto on "Malcolm in the Middle" (in fact, one can't help but wonder if the producers were huge Young Frankenstein fans, given the casting of Mars and Cloris Leachman) and, of course, Inspector Kemp:

He will definitely be missed.

P.S. I've long felt that Kenneth Branagh's look in Wild Wild West was modelled after that of Kemp. Seriously, compare the 'A riut...' scene in YF to the kidnapping Grant scene in WWW. Uncanny, no?


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Well, yesterday, impulsive buying set in, leading me to do two things that, purchase-wise, I never thought I'd find myself doing.

The tail-end of January brought with it a re-release of Jerry Goldsmith's Gremlins-like score to Link from the good folks at Intrada. A 2000 unit release, I was sure that it would stick around for a while. (Witness the inexplicable - in my view - way that Varese has managed not to sell out of the 3000 copies it pressed of Goldsmith's rejected Alien Nation score.) Nope. Within a day, Intrada's site posted a notice of 'SOLD OUT!'.

Copies disappeared from soundtrack retailers across the web. The ghoulish way that the copy I purchased from Screen Archives disappeared somewhere between placing the order and receiving the e-mail about it still haunts me. What does one do in a situation like this? Scour e-bay, of course! However, the jack-holes I was bidding against liked to jack up the price, even with a fair starting price of 99 cents (If only...).

Amazingly, one seller had a 'Buy it Now' option, where he was selling three copies for the (comparatively) rock bottom price of $47.99. Hey, I said comparatively. I jumped on it. The issue here is...did I buy it because I enjoy the score or did I buy it just to have it? While I like the score, I'd hardly consider it a Goldsmith masterpiece (strangely, the far-more electronically based Warlock and Alien Nation hold bigger places in my heart). I had hoped to find the liner notes online, but no dice. (If there's the promise of thorough liner notes on a release I wouldn't otherwise acknowledge, chances are I'll want to have it. c.f. Intrada's RoboCop and Varese Club's North by Northwest)

$47.99 is the most I've ever paid for a single CD in my life, and God willing, that record will stand. (This is the 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' curse of the soundtrack collector: A CD comes out from a label, worth $20 plus shipping and handling. You can a) snap it up immediately and savor it or b) wait until the price gets lower/supplies begin to dwindle. The downside of this being that, in the case of a), it sticks around and you see it go for around $10, while in the case of b) you wait too long and it runs out from under you, forcing you to pay $47.99 for one CD.)

I suppose I can get rid of my CD-R that I've had these last few years and try to put the best face on this by saying that the money would've been wasted on something else, anyway.

The other thing I bought yesterday was a T-Mobile 3G smartphone. The offer to get a free one was for Friday and Saturday and I only learned about it Friday night. Clearly, action had to be taken. I often imagine that I'd end up getting one anyway, so why not speed up the process? (Now that I think about it, can you really say I bought it if it was free; I still need to send away for the rebate.) I think I need to take some time one day and figure out just how the hell it works. Unlike with Link, I'm pretty damn sure I got this just to have it. 'Free' is a powerful thing, folks.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Okay. I think I'm sufficiently over the unpleasantness of the last post. Just got to work harder to improve my life is all.


Saturday, February 05, 2011

I don't know. Maybe, I've been snippy with the wrong people, cut the wrong person off in traffic or challenged the wrong person on an internet message board. Whatever the reason, karma fucked me in the ass hard here.

I lost an auction for the expanded soundtrack to Clash of the Titans (the original) not too long ago. If that had merely been enough, I suppose I could let it go. After all, losing internet auctions is a part of life, albeit a tiny one.

I did a preliminary tax return yesterday. I usually do my own taxes, but this year, my mother decided to claim me as a dependent. My refund will end up substantially lower than what I'm used to. If this had been enough, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe, it'll help her in the long run.

Like a number of geeks, I was eagerly awaiting to purchase tickets to Comic-Con. I'd hoped to get them in November, then in December, then in January, but they weren't available. The promised sell date for the tickets, after all that waiting, was February I figured that I'd have some time to get a four-day pass upon my return, as the site was overwhelmed before I left. I got back from a trip of buying comics and lunching at Applebees to hear my father say that tickets were sold out. I feverishly booted up my computer, hoping that he was wrong; believing that, if there is a God, he is wrong. Sure enough, the four-day passes are sold out. Maybe, probably, I could get day passes for Thursday, Friday and Sunday, but I cannot believe that, after having a carrot like this dangled in front of me for so long, I get to this point without anything.

Add this to a particularly grueling work week and I can only conclude the post with the following:



Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Encore aired a marathon of Groundhog Day today. Finally, one of these all day marathons makes sense. (I'm well-aware of the annual A Christmas Story marathon on TNTBS, but you think they'd take a break.)

Sleet fell today. It covered my windshield faster than I could scrape it off, which made my morning commute somewhat dangerous. I seriously considered Ace Venturaing it, but then I turned a corner and tried again. Winter, huh?


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's the damnedest thing, but, for the first half of my work day, I had this craving for barbeque to the point that I could actually taste it in my mouth. I picked up some Barbeque Pringles. That seemed to kill the craving. Still, it's strange.

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