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, September 30, 2012

Back to 'New York'.

Nope, I'm not returning to New York City (and certainly not for New York Comic Con, where I could've met, among others, Christopher Lloyd and Carrie Fisher), but the Simpsons are in tonight's season premiere airing roughly twelve hours from now...or exactly twelve hours from now. I mean, this is Fox Network in the midst of football season. Dig this:

The family travels to New York in search of Bart's long-lost love.

The whole 'long-lost love that we've never seen or heard about before tonight' aspect aside - two things: a) If people must put Bart with someone out of the many girls he's been involved with, I've always preferred Laura Powers ("New Kid on the Block") and b) how is it that this punk is pulling down more ass than people three times as old?! - I'm not too keen on the Simpsons going (back) to New York City. I can spot a slow day in an animation writers' room at twenty paces (cf. about a sixth of "Kim Possible's" entire run) and this reeks of 'Let's get this shit knocked out. The Chinese food is almost here!".

I'm not one of those knee-jerk jerkoffs that pooh-poohs every remake that Hollywood pukes out (matter of fact, two of my favorite movies from last year - Fright Night and Footloose - were remakes), but really, fuck this shit.

Tonight's premiere a remake? Of what? Let me point you in the direction of a little classic called "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". The family travels to the Big Apple, despite Homer's (somewhat justified) protestations (and how much you wanna bet that those will be forgotten about in tonight's episode?).

Ten things I love about "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" (recalled from memory):

10. The ending. There's nothing quite like hearing Sinatra's "New York, New York" over a shot of Homer driving behind an open garbage truck.

9. "Look at all those shoes." "If only I didn't already have a pair of shoes." "Speaking of shoes, I don't care about shoes." Amen.

8. Bart taking a trip to Mad Magazine. This bit packs a lot of funny in a mere 60 seconds, from everyone else on Bart's elevator going to a methadone clinic to the sassy secretary ("No, we're Mademoiselle. We're getting our logo on the installment plan.") to the reveal of Mad's inner workings.

7. Homer's flashback to 70s New York. How many of us regular folk can say that they had an encounter with the Woody Allen?

6. Barney having to be the designated driver, if only for the dancing bowl of peanuts when Duffman and company arrive on the scene.

5. It's kind of nice to see the Twin Towers, even if "they put all the jerks in tower one."

4. "You will be assessed the fine, plus a small--" "Large lateness penalty." "Your parking officer's name is Steve--" "Grabowsky."

3. Homer's escape from the city. From trying to drive with a boot on his car, to (especially) "Everything is Beautiful" playing on the radio, Murphy's Law was on fire.

2. The Khlav Kalash vendor. The man knows how to push product and Homer's interactions with him are a riot. ("Now, what do you have to wash that awful taste out of my mouth?")

1. The "I'm Checkin' In" musical number. A delightful tune and, all these years later, I could swear that the celeb en route to the Betty Ford Center was supposed to be Robert Downey, Jr. A little dated now, but, oh, well.

Two more things: a) None of this (my praise for "City of New York..." aside) matters much; I'm gonna be watching "Once Upon a Time" and b) Looks like I figured out how to post like in the good old days. Screw you, Blogger!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

And as if the whole 'Blogger's new posting design sucks the big one' wasn't enough of a headache, the wire connecting the upstairs modem to my computer has (apparently) shorted out.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

May I just say that I really dislike Blogger's new system of creating posts. If you thought my blog posts were scarce before, let me tell you: they're sure to be even more infrequent now.
It's gonna take me a while to figure this out and if I can't, fuck it. I'll just get a tumblr.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Random thoughts - doing Los Angeles.

- With all the places I wanted to go to this time out, I knew for certain that I would need a car, so I rented one. It came with (for a few bucks more) a GPS. Made the trek so much easier.

- At the get-together of film music fans (and the Fans of Film Music panel), I met film editor Marshall Harvey (The 'burbs, Matinee, Small Soldiers). Nice guy and, in typical 'me' fashion, I never thought to ask how someone would become an editor or, Heaven forbid, if he needed an apprentice.

- Also, I must mention the house the get-together was held at. The owner has a mind-boggling collection of soundtracks (disc and vinyl), as well as a passel of movie memorabilia. Needless to say, I was envious.

- However, his house was at the bottom of a very steep road. I parked the car at the top of the street and I was genuinely afraid that the brakes would disengage and slide down the street, incurring damage to the car and other vehicles. As I made my way back up the street, all I could do was walk because, hey, it was a hill. Therefore, if a coyote or serial killer marked me for death, I seriously would've just lied down and let nature take its course.

- Took the Starline Tours around Hollywood. See the city, hop off if you wanted to stroll around, then hop back on. Pretty sweet deal for $20. (However, if you take this tour - which I recommend highly, by the way - and you decide to see more and get some air on the upper level of the bus, don't forget to duck. You'll know when to do it.)

- Comic book stores are awesome #1: At one point, I was forced to hop off as I was running low on juice for my cell phone (can't take pictures if there's no power) and finding nowhere to charge it up. I happen upon Golden Apple Comics ("If you don't shop here, you are not a nerd." - "Writing Movies for Fun and Profit"). Not only was I able to pick up some cool titles, including "Fanboys vs. Zombies" #5 that I managed to miss back home, but the nice girl behind the counter agreed to charge up my phone. The odd thing about her? With her red dress and reddish hair, she was very resemblant of the title character of Ruby Sparks. I didn't dare push the issue, though.

- Comic book stores are awesome #2: Emerald Knights Comics (which used to be across from Dark Delicacies on Magnolia Boulevard) was hosting a signing of talents from "Green Lantern: the Animated Series", including composer Frederik Wiedmann. It was at 1:00, but the people running the place allowed me to hang around for some 45 minutes prior. Good thing, because the sunny weather was murder. I managed to pick up a handful of titles, including the nearly-impossible-to-find 3rd and 4th issues of "Supurbia".

- Of course, I had to go to Amoeba Music my first night out. Still a mindblowing experience. The soundtrack selection was as incredible as ever and on the second level of DVDs, there were still more soundtracks to be found.

- The Fans of Film Music Panel (or Panels, I should say) was a blast. Informative and entertaining. The highlight: George S. Clinton mentioning a disagreement he had with Zalman King on "Red Shoe Diaries". I dare not spoil the details, though.

- Roomed at the Ramada Burbank as I did three years ago. Still a very nice place.

- One more note: as I was driving home Friday night, I found that there was a Toyota Corolla behind me. So far, so unimpressive, right? Behind the wheel of said Corolla was...I'm still not sure, but it was either David Strathairn or Alan Rickman. He was behind me for quite some time. I couldn't help but feel giddy that I had encountered a celebrity, if only for a brief time.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Fall movie preview.


The Cold Light of Day - Henry Cavill's family goes missing while on vacation abroad, but who can he trust to help: John McClane or Ellen Ripley? Decisions, decisions...

The Words - Bradley Cooper as a struggling writer...again. No mind-expanding drugs, though. This time, he becomes a success due to a pilfered story. The original author may have something to say about that.

Branded - There's something influencing and controlling society. The culprit? Dodgy CGI effects, apparently.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - High school freshman Logan Lerman falls in with misfits Ezra Miller and Emma Watson. Would that I had friends like these in high school...

Resident Evil: Fuck You, You'll See It Anyway! - At this point, they may as well be using this title, don't you think?

House at the End of the Street - Even if it looks to be Silent House without the ill-advised childhood rape and ripping-off of Haute Tension, this thriller still looks unappealing.

Dredd - If one can ignore the story structure's rather blatant resemblance to The Raid: Redemption, this could well be as good a guilty pleasure as the Stallone movie.

Trouble with the Curve - Embittered baseball scout Clint Eastwood is losing his sight and needs his estranged daughter Amy Adams to be his eyes. Sounds interesting.

End of Watch - Huh. It looks like Found Footage has gotten its hooks into the gritty cop drama genre. This will not end well.

Bachelorette - Three self-destructive friends (Lizzy Caplan, Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher) are asked to be bridesmaids for a girl from school that they barely remember. The very funny script struck me as a mix of Sorority Row and The Hangover.

Looper - Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a hitman who is marked for death when he is unable to kill his latest target: his future self (Bruce Willis). From the writer/director of The Brothers Bloom, so fuck yes, I'm seeing it.

Hotel Transylvania - A hotel especially for monsters is stumbled upon by a backpacking human. Looks quite charming, but will it make people forget about That's My Boy? (Its two stars reunite on this project.)

Won't Back Down - Oscar nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis refuse to settle in pursuing good educations for their children.

10 Years - Sort of like my reunion, only with more beautiful people and even more change of someone getting lucky. Not me, though.

The Master - Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film may or may not be about the founding of Scientology. Who's to say?


Taken 2 - All those guys that Liam Neeson wasted in the first don't think they had relatives, do you?

Sinister - Ethan Hawke's new home contains a ghostly presence. I'm willing to give this the benefit of the doubt for two reasons: a) it may well be the least stupid-looking of the year's horror movies and b) it marks the screenwriting debut of Ain't It Cool News reviewer Massawyrm.

Pitch Perfect - Competing singing groups at a college. Don't know what to make of it, but the trailer looked okay.

Frankenweenie - Tim Burton remakes his 1984 short film in stop-motion animation. As one of the few people who didn't completely dislike Dark Shadows, I'm hoping this turns out really good.

Seven Psychopaths - The writer/director of In Bruges corrals a fantastic cast for this tale of the chaos following a dognapping.

Cloud Atlas - The Wachowskis return with this...why don't I let IMDb take this: An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. Yeah. I'll stick to my slavish love of Speed Racer, thanks.

Here Comes the Boom - To save his financially-strapped school, teacher Kevin James becomes a mixed martial artist. Really. Looks far more appealing than one would expect from the director and star of Zookeeper. (And while I'm on the subject, what was up with Maya Rudolph's third-rate Wanda Sykes impression in that movie? Could they really not get the real thing?)

Butter - A butter carving contest in a small Midwestern town. There must've been something in the script to attract so much talent...or maybe, they're just cholesterol junkies.

Paranormal Activity 4 - Boooooo! That's not my attempt at scaring anyone; it's my reaction to these movies.

Alex Cross - Tyler Perry is Alex Cross, on the trail of a psychotic (and pumped-up) Matthew Fox. Unusual way for Perry to expand his horizons, but if it keeps him from making his own movies, I think we should give it a chance.

Silent Hill: Revelation - Because another Resident Evil movie wasn't enough of an insult for the fall...

Killing Them Softly - Badass hitman Brad Pitt is on the hunt for a pair of ne'er-do-wells. Neat trailer.

Argo - The incredible true story of the unusual plan the U.S. Government concocted to free trapped hostages in Iran.

Fun Size - 80s style teen movie shenanigans with Victoria Justice. If nothing else, it'll be nice to see her in a project where she and her castmates don't have to spout out nonsense because that's the best the writers can do when it comes to dialogue and jokes.

Chasing Mavericks - Inspirational surfing movie where Gerard Butler mentors a young upstart.

The Paperboy - More overbaked melodrama from Precious director Lee Daniels. Interesting cast, though.


Wreck-It Ralph - Disney's about a couple years late to the 'villain becomes a good guy' party, but this film still looks appealing...and I'm not that much into video games.

Flight - Was pilot Denzel Washington drunk when he performed a daring landing that saved a planeload of passengers? Robert Zemeckis's first live-action film since Cast Away.

The Man with the Iron Fists - For those who found Kill Bill: Vol. 1 too subtle...

Skyfall - Given that it's directed by Sam Mendes, scored by Thomas Newman and photographed by Roger Deakins, this could be the artsiest James Bond movie yet.

Anna Karenina - After a peculiar left turn with Hanna, director Joe Wright returns to costume drama with this adaptation of the Tolstoy novel.

Lincoln - Daniel Day-Lewis is our 16th President in Spielberg's latest. Somehow, I don't think he'll be killing any vampires, though.

The Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn, Part 2 - Moving on...

Red Dawn - Long-shelved remake of the 1984 actioner finally sees release, likely to capitalize on the heat of Chris Hemsworth and Johs Hutcherson.

Rise of the Guardians - A number of mythical figures unite to combat an evil spirit who wants to cover the world in darkness. Quite ambitious for a Dreamworks animated feature.

Life of Pi - A boy from India is stranded on an island with animals. Ang Lee's latest looks visually stunning, but I'm not sure about the story.

Silver Linings Playbook - Emotionally disturbed Bradley Cooper finds love with emotionally disturbed Jennifer Lawrence.


Playing for Keeps - Another long on the shelf movie. Gerard Butler is a former soccer star coaching a soccer team.

The Hobbit - Maybe it's time for me to finally see The Lord of the Rings trilogy. How the hell else am I going to follow what happens here?

Hyde Park on Hudson - A little slice of history with Bill Murray playing FDR. Looks quite charming.

Les Miserables - The musical that was once a book is now a movie, starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe.

This is 40 - It's a Judd Apatow movie, which likely means more lines that sound like jokes to a small pocket of people and an unwieldy running time.

Jack Reacher - This Tom Cruise actioner seems like a Mission: Impossible movie spliced with Collateral.

The Guilt Trip - A road trip comedy featuring the unlikely dream team of Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand.

Parental Guidance - Billy Crystal and Bette Midler get to know their grandkids. (Looks like that speech from City Slickers is coming true.)

Django Unchained - Slave Jamie Foxx becomes a bounty hunter. Another stroll through the past from Quentin Tarantino. Can't wait.