Just forget the words and sing along

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Night Rants

Just browsing through Wikipedia, as I'm bound to do when I'm bored, and I came across this interesting fact.

Now, about 6 or 7 years ago, when DVD first started getting mainstream, a lot of my friends were floored when I explained to them that the whole concept of the special edition DVD actually started with special edition Laserdiscs, going all the way back to the mid-1980s.

The very first running commentary was recorded for a special edition Laserdisc of King Kong back in 1984. It was by film historian Robert Haver. These were the first words ever spoken on a running commentary:

"Hello, ladies and gentlemen, I'm Ronald Haver, and I'm here to do something which we feel is rather unique. I'm going to take you on a lecture tour of King Kong as you watch the film. The laserdisc technology offers us this opportunity and we feel it's rather unique — the ability to switch back and forth between the soundtrack and this lecture track..."

Not quite "Watson, come in here. I need you," but it has its place in history.

Speaking of DVDs, have I ever mentioned that one of my favourite premiums these days is the free DVD?

I got Blast from the Past from Kraft Mac and Cheese. I got Spy Kids out of Fruit Loops. I don't like popcorn that much, but the other day, I bought a box of microwave popcorn for a free DVD containing episodes of Las Vegas, Miami Vice, Battlestar: Galactica, The A-Team and Magnum PI.

Now, even though these are freebies, I treat them with the same care and respect that I treat all my DVDs. I even buy empty DVD cases from Staples, and use my incredibly primative Photoshopping skills to make incredbily primative covers.

The first free DVD I ever got was from the final issue of Total Movie magazine. Total Movie was truly an idea ahead of its time. It was a movie magazine, and each issue came with a free DVD, loaded with theatrical trailers, featurettes from about-to-be-released DVDs, and some of the hottest independent short films circulating the 'net.

As I said, the DVD is from the final issue, dated April 2001. For theatrical trailers, there's Tomb Raider, Shrek and Memento. For DVD previews, there's a featurette from Gladiator and the blooper reel from Dogma.

Spectacular idea.

Most of you also know that I love trains. So here's a little bit of news I think is cool.

Via Rail has just launched a new service called the Snow Train Express. It's essentially a commuter train, running weekend skiiers out from Edmonton to Jasper and back.

You can buy all your lift tickets on the train, and it includes your reservations at Marmot Baisin.

Since it cuts right through Entwistle, I'm going to have to head home for a weekend to see if I can catch a glimpse.

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