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, May 29, 2011

Been purusing the menu at Denny's for 'Baconalia'. Bacon with breakfast? Okay. Bacon meatloaf? Sounds intriguing. Bacon in pancakes? A little nutty, but all right. Maple Bacon Sundae?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Everybody knows, when the cold wind blows..."

It's taken me a long-ass time, but here it is. Instead of a big, involved write-up, here (just in time for the film's 20th anniversary, is a list of things I love about Hudson Hawk:

- The fact that William Conrad (in spite of what sounds like the result of an unfortunate stroke) did the narration. It's as if the filmmakers knew their movie was a live-action cartoon, so why not hire the narrator from "The Bullwinkle Show"?

- I'm not the biggest fan of composer Michael Kamen (it's not that I don't like his music; it's just that I feel that there are better composers), but his score is a delight, and the opening cue ("Leonardo" on the woefully brief Varese Sarabande soundtrack) starts things off nicely, interweaving the title song, an ascending melody for the soon-to-be-purloined treasures and another melody that I'll get to soon.

- The cut between the flying machine in action and the hawk flying outside the prison. I just love filmmaking tricks like that.

- The camaraderie between Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello. One can really believe they're long-time friends.

- You guessed it...Frank Stallone. ("Directions even your brother can understand.")

- "If the Mario Brothers weren't New Jersey's third-largest crime family, I'd say 'Kiss my ass', but, considering your status, I will say 'Slurp my butt'."

- A cappucino gets shot at and Antony Mario gets a bottle of vino over the head...and no one is fazed by this at all. Interesting neighborhood.

- "That's a hell of a lot of Wong numbers." and the accompanying music.

- "You know, they invented something while you were inside. It's called a watch." Seriously, that's a neat gag: timing the robberies to classic songs.

- The jump. From falling off a building to landing in a recliner in Gates' apartment. Did Hawk fall through a hole in the space-time continuum? If so, why would it lead to Gates' place? As I've said before, this is where most viewers would check out, but I found it amusing.

- The spinning POV of Alfred's knife. Again, I love tricks like this. Also, how much do you think weapons like that would cost?

- "So much for his cut." An obvious pun, but very funny.

- "I bet you went up to Mrs. Lincoln at Ford's Theater and asked, 'How was the show? Did I miss anything?'." Good line.

- That theme I failed to mention earlier? The flying theme, which doubles as the love theme. Don't know why, but it works.

- Awesome product placement for candy bars. I like how the suits of the Candy Bars match their respective candies.

- For all the contempt that Richard E. Grant has for this movie (and perhaps, justifiably; I haven't yet read "With Nails"), he and Sandra Bernhard are a riot, chewing up every last bit of scenery.

- Hawk getting smacked by the flying if Tri-Star knew subconsciously that this film would be a black eye for them.

- "Ewww. menthol." One of several great cartoony gags.

- Hawk, on the gurney, tosses exact change into the toll booth and gets through. Another terrific gag.

- The delayed response to the needles in Antony's face, like they forgot that the needles were in there.

- James Coburn as George Kaplan. His menace and gravitas makes a fine contrast to the (entertaining, don't get me wrong) hamming of Grant and Bernhard.

- "My employer wants a meeting." "Your employer? The President?" "No. Somebody powerful." Obvious, but very funny.

- The car with a fax machine and a paper shredder. Very convenient.

- The entire blackmail scene. So quotable and ridiculous ("Damn Fotomat assholes.").

- I love a good threat in a movie (Nine to Five, Greedy) and Hudson Hawk does not disappoint: "It's one thing to play hide-and-seek with the Mayflowers' pathetic staff, but we're sore losers. We blow up space shuttles for breakfast. You and your friend Tommy would be nothing more than a late-afternoon Triscuit."

- The Codex heist, mainly for the way Hawk pulls it off. Not exactly sure what the stamps were for, though.

- "Catholic girls are scary." Just a great, ridiculous line.

- The whole scene of Hawk being chastised by Darwin and Minerva, capped off by a terrific line ("I always did want to sing like Frankie Valli.").

- "Alchemy is the business term of the nineties, my man. Minerva read about it in an airline magazine about four years ago." So, in 1987, it was predicted that alchemy would be the business term of the nineties. Ooookay.

- "I'll torture you so slowly, you'll think it's a career."

- "I really wish I could come up with this glib repartee the way you can..." So do we all.

- Snickers framing Hawk and Tommy like a picture after the curare takes effect. Just a weird, fun touch.

- The bomb launchers. Don't we wish we all had one?

- A trio of great lines, delivered beautifully by Bernhard: "Darwin, this is supposed to be torture, not therapy.", "The dolphin is dead. The dolphin is...come on, you bitch!" and "If you see the Big Guy, tell Him He's a loser."

- The five tones when Tommy punches Darwin. Another neat touch.

- "Dead!". There was actually someone at IMDb who wondered if this meant 'My best friend is dead because of you' or 'You're a dead man, Darwin!'. Obviously, it's the latter.

- The combined monologue the Mayflowers have. It goes from pointed ("Every schmoe has the fantasy that the planet revolves around them.") to absurd ("If Da Vinci were alive today, he'd be eating microwave sushi, naked in the back of a Cadillac with the both of us.").

- "Won't be attending that hat convention in July!" is up there with "I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum." as one of my all-time favorite movie lines.

- Hawk and Anna escape from Da Vinci's castle...and suddenly, it's daytime. That's weird.

- "Yeah! That's probably what happened!" A good way to wrap the movie up, I think.

- And two end credit tidbits: the camera assistant was Florian Ballhaus (The Devil Wears Prada), son of Michael Ballhaus (Air Force One), who was originally going to shoot this movie. Also, the visual effects camera operator was Pete Kozachik, who would shoot Coraline for Henry Selick.

Don't know what more to say than please give this movie a chance. It holds up very well.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Well...I guess we're all still here.

Seriously, as 6 o'clock rolled around last night as I was mowing the lawn, I felt like I was in a "Twilight Zone" episode waiting for Rod Serling's voice to wrap everything up.

Looks like I need to change things for the better. One of the ways in which this will be accomplished: revisiting a screenplay I had back-burnered some time ago. It's a romantic comedy with a twist that I once described as "My Best Friend's Wedding taken to its most logical conclusion". Funnily enough, I've managed to catch bits and pieces of My Best Friend's Wedding in at least 20 airings since the month began.

Okay, there's coincidence, and then there's a giant smack in the face.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Given that "no one will know the day or time", maybe we're all making too much of this 'the rapture on May 21st' thing.

If it does happen...fine, it happens.

If it doesn't...perhaps this is the kick in the ass I need to change my life.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So, dig this: I stumbled onto a theory that posits that the world will end on May 21st of this year.

Just like the world to end before I can get laid. Fucking cocksuckery.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

You ever have one of those days where, overwhelmed and frustrated with a) the insane workload and b) the stupidity of the people by whom you're surrounded, you use your break to go to the restroom and snap one off?

Sure you have.

Don't lie.

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Monday, May 09, 2011

"I can't believe my ears that look like fins on my back."

Today was something of a trying day (the kind of day where things actually got better when I went to work), but this nugget of news makes it worthwhile:

An actual DVD release of "The Angry Beavers"!

BTW, the subject line comes from a 3rd season episode, the uproarious "Slap Happy", but it seemed so perfect.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Summer movie preview.

Well...let's do it again.


Thor - Much like how Will Smith was the king of the 4th of July, now Marvel is the king of the first weekend in May...or something. In any event, this adaptation of the comic (directed by Kenneth Branagh, of all people) looks fun and I can't wait to hear Patrick Doyle's score (honestly, I thought he'd be replaced).

Something Borrowed - Ginnifer Goodwin rekindles the flames of passion with Colin Egglesfield. Unfortunately, he's engaged to her good friend Kate Hudson. Sounds less strident than most Hudson comedies, but it's still nothing I want to see.

Jumping the Broom - You know how it is: two people fall in love, but their families don't get along for whatever reason, like class differences (such as here). A lot of fine performers here, but I'm not very interested.

The Beaver - In a role I'm sure he had to stretch for, Mel Gibson is a man who - after having lost everything, namely his mind - finds his way back to the light via a beaver puppet.

Bridesmaids - Kristen Wiig stars in (and co-wrote) this story of bridesmaids prepping for Maya Rudolph's wedding. Looks amusing enough.

Priest - From the director of Legion comes an adaptation of a graphic novel. Given certain moments in his films (namely the 'conducting while shit explodes' bit), I'm forced to ask: does this Scott Stewart guy not know the meaning of 'camp'? I mean, really.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Jack Sparrow is back, vying with Blackbeard (Ian McShane!) to find the Fountain of Youth. This promises to be the shortest Pirates movie yet, clocking in at a brisk two hours and twenty minutes. I liked the first three and I doubt the streak will be broken.

The Hangover Part II - The guys don't lose Doug, but they do lose Stu's fiancee's Thailand. Oh, the wackiness! I found the first film overrated, but this looks okay, though I fear that this will subscribe to the 'more is more' law of sequels (that used condom gag from the first movie still makes me cringe).

Kung Fu Panda 2 - And speaking of sequels... The continuing adventures of Po and the Furious Five. Can't wait.

Everything Must Go - Will Ferrell has lost everything: his job, his marriage, his home. What can he do? Looks to be a fascinating return to Stranger Than Fiction territory.


X-Men: First Class - The prologue to the X-Men saga set in the 1960s. From the director of Kick-Ass and Stardust, so my ass is as good as there.

Super 8 - In between Star Trek movies, J.J. Abrams hearkens back to the 1980s with a Spielbergian tale of mystery and wonder...or something.

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer - A girl hopes to get the most out of summer, aided by her brother and her kooky aunt (Heather Graham). Not really my thing, but it looks okay.

Green Lantern - In brightest day, in blackest night, Ryan Reynolds embraces the lantern's light. Looks better and better the more I see of it.

Mr. Popper's Penguins - Jim Carrey surrounds himself with animals once again, but it's not an Ace Ventura sequel? There's a Chinese riddle for you.

Cars 2 - How can there be a sequel to Cars, but not to, say, The Incredibles? "Moichandising! Where the real money from the movie is made!" This looks like fun.

Bad Teacher - Despite coming from the jackholes behind Year One, this film looks hilarious. The cast of ringers (including Marshall from "How I Met Your Mother", Hot Fuzz's Eve Draper and Gibby from "iCarly") helps.


Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Given that Megan Fox is out and a new chick (a foreigner, much like the 'other' girls from the first two films) is in, this might be the first Transformers movie I pay money to see...emphasis on 'might'.

Larry Crowne - Tom Hanks returns to the director's seat (and comedy) with this story of a man who goes to college and falls for one of his professors (Julia Roberts).

Monte Carlo - Presumably a remake of How to Marry a Millionaire, with Selena Gomez and the crazy chick from The Roommate filling in for Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall. No, I don't know how that works.

The Zookeeper - To win veternarian Rosario Dawson, titular zookeeper Kevin James gets schooled by the animals of whom he watches. Somehow, I think this Happy Madison production will be closer to Racing Stripes than Babe.

Horrible Bosses - Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day are at their wits end with their...unpleasant job supervisors. The script made me laugh, and hopefully, the film will follow suit.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 - The very last chapter of the series. That's all I got.

Winnie the Pooh - Yet another Disney feature about the silly ol' bear in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Captain America: the First Avenger - Marvel's last strike against our wallets this summer gives us the story of...the first avenger. News that Alan Silvestri was scoring this was just the antidote to this year's pathetically rigged Best Score Oscar.

Friends with Benefits - Even though it shares the same plotline and stars Jackie instead of Kelso, this is definitely not No Strings Attached.

Cowboys and Aliens - In yet another one of those cases of an inexplicable, obsfucating title, Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig go up against an unusual menace.

Crazy, Stupid, Love - Romantic drama starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling. From the directors of the underrated I Love You, Phillip Morris.

The Smurfs - The director of Scooby-Doo attempts to work the same magic on the little blue creatures with the maddening theme song. And Hank Azaria as Gargamel? Total Nightmare Fuel.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes - A prequel that posits how the damn, dirty apes came into being.

The Change-up - Michael Bluth switches bodies with the Green Lantern to pursue Olivia Wilde. 'Bout time we had another body-swap comedy, but imagine how much more interesting this would be if it was a gender-swap comedy.

30 Minutes or Less - A plot summary doesn't really do justice, so suffice it to say that a lowlife ropes a pizza delivery guy into his scheme of making it in the world. One of the most entertaining scripts I've ever read.

The Help - Emma Stone does drama as a young woman in 1960s Mississippi who befriends housemaids Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Peculiar release date for an awards-bait picture like this.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - The remake of the TV movie was pushed back some time. Who knows if this will start a trend? (TV-movies remade for the big screen, not movies being pushed back; that will always be in fashion)

Fright Night - Yet another horror remake, but this one holds great promise, if the script I read is anything to go by. Also, how can one do better than Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Evil Ed?

Conan the Barbarian - A new adaptation from the director of the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, starring some model and with music by Tyler Bates. I can't help but be unenthused.

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World - Though I enjoy Robert Rodriguez's adult fare more than his kids' movies, maybe this latest chapter will turn out good. After all, there's a '4' in it.

Final Destination 5 - Yes, they're making it and it's in 3D. God help me, I'll probably end up seeing it.

Our Idiot Brother - In an interesting change of pace, Paul Rudd is the title character, a layabout who upends the lives of his photogenic sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer). Amusing trailer.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

The other awards show on the Jersey Shore network.

Because the actual nominations for this year's MTV Movie Awards are so goddamned stupid (A nomination for the Grown Ups line, "I wanna get chocolate wasted!"?! Really?!), here's my annual ballot.

best on-screen duo:
Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, Hall Pass
Asthon Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, Killers
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, The Other Guys
Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, Unstoppable

best action sequence:
flying the tank, The A-Team
storming the compound, Kick-Ass
"Outstanding.", The Losers
attack on the lake, Piranha 3D
escaping Fenway Park, The Town

best comedic performance:
Jemaine Clement, Dinner for Schmucks
Sharlto Copley, The A-Team
Rob Corddry, Hot Tub Time Machine
Kieran Culkin, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Will Ferrell, Megamind

best villain:
Ned Beatty, Toy Story 3
Walt Dohrn, Shrek Forever After
Danny Huston, The Warrior's Way
Mickey Rourke, Iron Man 2
Jason Schwartzman, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

best breakthrough performance - male:
Jay Chou, The Green Hornet
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Armie Hammer, The Social Network
Oscar Jaeneda, The Losers
Aaron Johnson, Kick-Ass

best breakthrough performance - female:
Rooney Mara, The Social Network
Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland
Ellen Wong, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

best dance sequence:
the Futterwacken, Alice in Wonderland
Nina does Swan Lake, Black Swan
the knife tango, The Warrior's Way

best female performance:
Helena Bonham Carter, Alice in Wonderland
Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Emma Stone, Easy A

best male performance:
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jim Carrey, I Love You, Phillip Morris
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Harrison Ford, Morning Glory

best fight:
Sylvester Stallone vs. Steve Austin, The Expendables
Robert Downey Jr. vs. Don Cheadle, Iron Man 2
Jeffrey Dean Morgan vs. Zoe Saldana, The Losers
Danny Trejo vs. Steven Seagal, Machete
Michael Cera vs. Jason Schwartzman, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

best kiss:
Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Zac Efron and Amanda Crew, Charlie St. Cloud
Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried, Chloe
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page, Inception
Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

best movie:
Black Swan
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The Social Network
Toy Story 3