Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Avengers: Infinity War

Here we go again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  Quick heads up, I had a brain fart last week and forgot to share the link to last week's entry, The Fisher King, on social media.  So give that one a read, if you haven't already.  And now, on to Avengers: Infinity War.  This is originally in my notes at August 26, 2018.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Fisher King

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  Watchin' movies and bloggin' about them, because I launched my blog in 1999, darn it, and I'm going to keep providing content for it until the day I die!  Today we do The Fisher King.  This is originally in my notes at August 5, 2018.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Ready Player One

Here we go again, Fishing in the Discount Bin.   You know the drill, I watch a movie and blog about.  "Just rant about why you like it," was how a friend told me I should do it.  Today we're doing Ready Player One, which I originally watched and blogged about on August 5, 2018.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Transformers

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  Watching movies and blogging about them.  What more could one ask for?  Today, we do Transformers.  This is in my notes at June 10, 2018.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

All The Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode X -- The Disney Era

Many years ago, I wrote a series of blog entries entitled All The Times I've Bought Star Wars, which details, well, all the times I've bought Star Wars on home media.  I figured it was finally time to add a couple new chapters, focusing on the Blu-Rays, and this new Disney era.  So here we go now with the Disney era.  

It was on a chilly autumn day in 2012.  I was just lounging at home, after work, watching some mindless daytime television, when my computer beeped with a Facebook message.  I took a look to see it was from a work contact.  The message read, “Disney just bought Star Wars.  Episode VII in 2015.”

I began googling in earnest, and soon learned the complete details.  Yup, George Lucas had decided to retire, and sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney for around $4 billion.  Legendary producer Kathleen Kennedy had just been hired on as the new president of Lucasfilm.  The crown jewel in the Lucasfilm empire is, of course, Star Wars, and Disney announced their first Lucasfilm production would be Episode VII in 2015.  

I whipped out my phone and texted the news to my best friend and huge Star Wars fan.  “Disney just bought Star Wars.  Episode VII in 2015.” 

And we are now in the midst of the new Disney era of Star Wars.  Of course, Disney made some controversial moves in the beginning.  Right away, they canceled the beloved animated series The Clone Wars to make way for their new animated TV productions.  But, they are starting to come around, as The Clone Wars will soon be coming back for a final, loose-end-tying-up season.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Mask

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  Today, I'm re-watching the 1994 epic The Mask.  This is originally in my notes at May 21, 2018.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

All The Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode IX -- It's New, It's Blu

Many many years ago, I wrote a series of blog entries entitled All The Times I Bought Star Wars.  The title is pretty self-explanatory.  I went through my closet and DVD shelf and chronicled...well, all the times I bought Star Wars.  I ended with the cryptic message that Star Wars would probably be soon released on Blu-Ray, and I could probably write another chapter about buying it on the format.

I’ve got the official Star Wars app on my smartphone, and one feature on it that I enjoy is “On This Day in Star Wars History.”  It showed up in the app not too long ago that we’ve just passed the seventh anniversary of the Star Wars Blu-Ray release.  A few days later, it showed up in my Facebook memories that it was the seventh anniversary of the courier delivering it to me from Amazon.  So with all that popping up in my social media feeds, I figured it was finally time to go back and add that new chapter.  Hell, as we’re currently in the Disney era of Star Wars, I could probably even add a second chapter about buying the new films.  

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Just Another Trip to the City

Well, holiday blockbuster season is about to ramp up, and that means trips to the city are probably about to become more frequent, as I head in to see the latest crop of superhero films.  As was the case this past Saturday, when I popped into town to see Venom.

I'd been hearing tales of a Venom movie ever since the Internet was new, and of course, the question always was, "How can you do a Venom movie without Spider-Man?"  The short version, for those not comic-savvy, Venom is pretty much the evil twin of Spider-Man.  Then, when he started becoming popular, he switched to the side of the angels and became a hero...the darker, more violent version of Spider-Man.  So, for years, the fans have said that the best way to do a Venom movie is, you'd have to introduce him in a Spider-Man film as the villain.  But, that's not what they did. 

Eddie Brock is on top of the world.  He's a much beloved cable news investigative reporter, engaged to be married.  But then, he goes to far in an interview with billionaire industrialist Carlton Drake, and Brock loses it all.  A few months later, when Brock is at rock bottom, he's contacted by one of Drake's top scientists.  Turns out one of Drake's space probes came back with alien life...symbiots, that require a human host to live.  And Drake's raking up quite the body count looking for suitable hosts.  Brock goes into Drake's lab to investigate, and winds up bonding with one of the symbiots.  Calling itself Venom, Brock and Venom soon form an uneasy alliance to take down Drake and stop a forthcoming invasion of symbiots. 

I will admit it, the film was a lot more lighthearted than I expected.  Brock and Venom get a kind of buddy cop thing going, and their banter is hilarious.  Venom is quick to violence, and despite being a bad-ass reporter, Brock is deeply apologetic when trying to reign in Venom.  Some great physical comedy, too. 

That being said, it really offers nothing new in the way of superhero films.  The plot is pretty cookie-cutter.  Venom's sudden love of humanity and decision to help Brock save the world seems pretty abrupt.  And when your hero and villain can both turn into CGI blobs, the climactic battle turns into one big blobby mess. 

But I came out of the theatre smiling.  I liked it.  3 out of 4 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

Other than that, not much more to write home about.  I needed underwear, so I bought some.  Found pants in my size on sale, so I bought some.  I need shirts, too, but I couldn't find any.  3XL used to be such a common size when I ballooned to it a few years ago, but now, it seems to be sold out wherever I go.  Oh, well.  Another reason to lose weight, just so I can start buying clothes again.

When I got home and wrote up my Venom review for the website, I tossed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom into the Blu-Ray player.  I caught a bit of it on TV as part of a Thanksgiving marathon a week ago, and I'd been wanting to revisit the whole thing.  I really wish Steven Spielberg and George Lucas would quit apologizing for it.  For years, they've apologized for how dark it is and how different it is from the other Indiana Jones films, but you know what?  I love it.  It came out when I was seven years old, and it was my first entrance into the world of Indiana Jones.

Man, I remember watching the "making of" TV special back in the day.  To film the famous mine car chase, they actually modified a regular 35mm still camera to hold movie film so they could fit it to a car and have it chase the models through their set.  When they had the Indiana Jones exhibit at Telus World of Science a few years ago, they actually had one of the mine car models used for filming that chase.  Very cool. 

In fact, the very first comic book I owned was the comic book adaptation of Temple of Doom.  I had issues 2 and 3 of Marvel's three-issue mini-series.  Not until I finally rented it on VHS a couple years later did I get to see how the movie begins. 

And that led me down a rabbit hole of comic book adaptations of popular films.  Around the same time I had the Temple of Doom comic book adaptation, I also had the one for The Muppets Take Manhattan.  Somewhere, back home in storage, I still have the comic book adaptations of The Transformers: The Movie and the first two live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films. 

I wonder if comic book adaptations are still a thing.  I think the Star Wars films still get them.  And with all the superhero films these days, a comic book adaptation would be the easiest, most obvious piece of tie-in merch.  I'd got to my old comic book store in West Edmonton Mall - Comic King - but I think it's not there anymore.  The West Edmonton Mall casino is in the same part of the mall, and the casino recently claimed all that space to expand.  I still remember that store's original name -- Graphic Fantasy. 

And, that was that.  My latest day in the city.  Just a quick trip in and out.  Really, not much to write home about. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Black Panther

And here we are again, it's Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  Just that simple.  Today, we're looking at one of the biggest films of 2018, Black Panther.  This was originally in my notes at May 20, 2018.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Ghost World

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  I think you've figured out the formula by now.  This time out, we're watching the 2001 indie classic Ghost World.  This is in my notes at May 20, 2018.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hey! It's A Podcast!

Wow, I haven’t done this in a while.  It’s a podcast! 

I’ve been thinking about doing one all summer, and I just kept putting it off and putting it off, and then I saw that it’s World Podcast Day, and so I figured I’d go for it!

So, what’s been on my mind all summer that I felt I had to podcast about it?  Well, my thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story, of course!  That’s not all…I also mention what’s going on with me.  If you’re my Facebook friend, then you’ve seen my cryptic “health updates” from time to time.  So, I give you the full update on my health.

All that in Thanksgiving Special 2018:  A Thanksgiving Special!

Click over to the other site to check it out!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  This week it's...oh.  Oh my.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  This is originally in my notes at April 8, 2018.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Karate Kid

Rolling along on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  Really not much more to it than that.  This week, I'm re-visiting The Karate Kid.  I originally watched it and wrote this on March 25, 2018.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Justice League

Movin' right along on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own, and blog about it.  That's how it goes.  Today, we get to Justice League.  This is in my notes at March 24, 2018.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Thor Ragnarok

Still moving along on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, then blog about it.  Simple as that.  Dipping my toe back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor Ragnarok.  This was originally in my notes on March 11, 2018.

Thor: Ragnarok poster

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Coco

Here it is!  Fishing in the Discount Bin!  I watch a movie and blog about.  If you've been around for the seven years or so I've been doing it, then you know the drill.  Today I'm doing Coco.  Actually, I watched it and wrote this on March 4, 2018, because I tend to work a few months ahead.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Roger Rabbit Shorts

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own.  I blog about it.  Just like that.  You should know this by now.  Anyway, today I'm taking a look at the Roger Rabbit shorts.  This is in my notes at February 17, 2018.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  Simple as that.  This time out, we're doing Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  This is in my notes at February 17, 2018.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I think you know how it goes by now.  I watch a movie I own, and blog about it.  Simple as that.  This time out, I re-visit Crouching Tiger,  Hidden Dragon.  This is in my notes at February 18, 2018.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Marvel One Shots

Here we are again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  That's all there is to it.  Since I've been re-visiting Marvel's Phase I, I think the best way to close out would be to take one last look at the Marvel One-Shots.  This is in my notes at February 4, 2018.  

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Avengers (Again)

He we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  That's all there is to it.  I've been revisiting Marvel's Phase I, and I get to the logical end with The Avengers.  Now, I'd already done The Avengers before on this here blog, but I had to to do it again to bring Phase I to a close.  You'll find my original rambling here.  This newer rambling was written down on February 4, 2018.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Captain America: The First Avenger

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, and blog about it.  You know, it's kinda my thing.  I've been re-visiting Marvel's Phase I, and today I get to Captain America: The First Avenger.  I actually watched it and wrote this on January 29, 2018.

I've always had a soft spot for Captain America.  When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I got a Captain America action figure for my birthday, and he was my constant companion for that summer.  When Marvel announced that he was going to be part of their Phase I and that they'd be sticking to his World War II origin story, I was thrilled.  Two of my favourite guilty pleasure films are The Shadow and The Rocketeer, so it's given me a fascination with period piece superhero films.  Throw in that they got The Rocketeer's director Joe Johnston to direct, and I was sold. 

And the finished product is, well, good but not great. 

I mean, Johnston really loves his montages.  We get so many montages, of Cap's rise to fame as a symbol of American patriotism, of him kicking ass across the European theatre, a flashback montage to Red Skull's origin.  It would have been nice to have less montages and more ass-kicking. 

And there are some parts that do seem phoned in.  Like Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Phillips, Captain America's CO during the war.  Jones pretty much admitted to phoning it in, describing the role as "the crusty old general who barks orders.  What's to know?"  And also, Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull.  Fantastic casting, great make-up, but Weaving plays him as generic Nazi villain #742.  Red Skull is one of the most iconic villains in the Marvel pantheon.  He deserved better. 

But we do get some great, especially as Chris Evans instantly owns it as Steve Rogers.  And we also get those amazing special effects in the first act to shrink Rogers down to a literal 98 pound weakling.  It's the onset of World War II, and Rogers is desperate to enlist and do his part.  But, being a 98 pound weakling with a laundry list of medical conditions always gets him rejected.  His lifelong buddy, Bucky Barnes, is about to ship out, and at the 1942 Stark Expo (Ha!  Link to Iron Man 2!) he tries to enlist one last time (rejecting the woman that Bucky set him up with, Clara Oswald!), and after overhearing a conversation between Bucky and Steve, and after asking a few questions himself, Steve finally enlists thanks to Dr. Erskine. 

For you see, Dr. Erskine is heading up a special project for a branch of the army known as the SSR - the Strategic Scientific Reserve.  They hope to create a super-soldier, and Erskine is convinced that Rogers is the perfect candidate.  After our training montage, and proving himself to SSR superiors Col. Phillips and Agent Peggy Carter from the UK, Rogers undergoes the procedure, and becomes Captain America!

I remember listening to the running commentary on this film.  It's rare to hear directors name-check other superhero films on these commentaries, but Johnston talks quite a bit on how they tried to make Rogers' transformation into Captain America different from another super-soldier creation scene from a Marvel movie...Wolverine getting his adamantium bones in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  As Johnston describes it, Wolverine's origin was clandestine, and therefore done in dark places with cobbled-together equipment.  But Captain America's origin was done with the full might of government resources, and therefore meant to look more like "the Moon landing." 

But alas, it seems that Rogers will be the only super-soldier, as the entire facility is promptly destroyed by one of the Red Skull's agents, and Dr. Erskine is murdered, taking the secrets of the super-soldier process to his grave.  Now this, many have picked up on.  When they made these films, there's some striking similarities to Iron Man, specifically how the relationship between Rogers and Dr. Erskine mirrors the relationship between Tony Stark and his fellow captive, Yinsen.  Hell, even the death scenes are shot from similar angles.  What can be said?  Marvel already knew what was working for them. 

So, is Rogers deployed to the front lines to start taking down Nazis?  No!  With the death of Erskine, he's kept back in the States, so scientists can try to reverse-engineer the process.  Still wanting to serve, though, a senator brands Rogers as "Captain America," and he goes on tour to promote the war effort.  Eventually, he does wind up on the front lines...as part of a USO show.  There, he reunites with Agent Carter and Col. Phillips, and  he's despondent.  While he made it to the front lines, it's not exactly what he signed up for. 

But fate intervenes!  Cap gets word that his buddy Bucky has been captured, and with Agent Carter's help, goes rogue and launches his own rescue mission.  Cap saves Bucky (from being experimented on by HYDRA, thus setting up Bucky's transformation to the Winter Soldier), slugs it out with the Red Skull for the first time, proves his worth to Col. Phillips, and becomes the SSR's top commando. 

With Captain American on board, they finally take the fight to HYDRA -- the SSR's counterpart in the Nazi regime -- and its leader, the Red Skull.  The Red Skull's disfigurement is attributed to the Red Skull subjecting himself to an earlier version of Dr. Erskine's formula before Erskine defected. 

I should mention the Red Skull's plot.  He's come into possession of the Tesseract...a jewel of immense power.  In the comics, it was known as the Cosmic Cube.  In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's the first Infinity Stone we've come across.  Using its immense power, the Red Skull has developed a whole cache of futuristic weapons, and is ready to split off from the Nazis and form his own world-conquering unit. 

And so the fight is on between Captain America and the Red Skull via the ultimate weapon...the montage!  Before it all comes down to a final battle on the Red Skull's massive flying wing of world domination. 

But yeah, I kind of dismissed it before as lots of phoned-in parts, but there's lots of good stuff, too.  Chris Evans immediately owns the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America.  Thanks mainly to Haley Atwell's wonderful performance, Agent Carter went on to become one of the first breakout characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, eventually getting two season of a really good TV show.  There's some spectacular production design, as we see all kinds of futuristic weapons of war that seem quite at home in the World War II setting. 

And let's not forget the music.  I know the Marvel movies get a lot of flak for their scores, but I think Alan Silvestri's Captain America theme is the first truly memorable score of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Of course, Silvestri went on to do the music for The Avengers, too, and whenever Silvestri worked into the Avengers score (most noticeably when Cap confronts Loki in Germany), I couldn't help but smile a little. 

But yeah.  Captain America: The First Avenger was a great introduction to Cap in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Oh, and one last thing.  When the Red Skull first gets his hands on the Tesseract, he matters, "And the fuher digs for trinkets in the desert."  This has long been interpreted to be a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Nazis that dug up the Ark of the Covenant.  And now that Disney owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm, you just know they can make the Captain America/Indiana Jones team-up happen. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

July Shenanigans

Well, things finally cooled down enough that I could have a little leisure time.  Summer is a busy time for us radio folk, with a multitude of festivals and events to go cover, and small market is no different.  Luckily, while things were busy in June, it appears as though, this year, things peaked on Canada Day, and now July is relatively quiet, until the fairs of August.  So when I was done covering all the various Canada Day celebrations, I finally had a chance to run into the city and see Incredibles 2.

Incredibles 2 Movie Poster

At the start of this decade, when Pixar started cranking out sequels to their hits, #1 at the top of everyone's wish list was Incredibles 2.  Yeah, Finding Dory was nice and Cars 3 was certainly a movie, but we all wanted to see the further adventures of the Parr family.  Well, it was kind of tough, as writer/director Brad Bird wandered off to try his hand at live action, giving us Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland.  But once that was out of his system, he went, "Ya know, I think I finally have an idea for Incredibles 2."  And here we are.

Picking up immediately where the first film left off, Incredibles 2 opens with our heroes...being detained, because, in this universe, being a superhero is still illegal.  On top of that, the government agency that used to relocate them after such outbursts has been shut down, so they're on their own.  But then, enter the billionaire industrialist twins Winston and Evelyn Deavor.  They're big superhero fans, and want to launch a PR campaign to start lobbying the government to legalize superheroes.  Their plan:  send Elastigirl back into action to show what good she can do in the world.  Mr. Incredible, who doesn't get to go back into the field just yet because the numbers show he causes way too much collateral damage, becomes a stay-at-home dad to look after the kids.  So while Elastigirl does battle with a new super-villain called the Screenslaver, Mr. Incredible does battle with young Violette's adolescence, Dash's math homework, and baby Jack Jack's emerging powers.

Brad Bird once again brings it.  What made the first film so amazing (and what made Bird a fan favourite to do Fantastic Four someday) is he perfectly nails the family dynamics in a family of superheroes.  The action scenes are bigger and bolder than the first film.  And the characters in new and brilliant ways.  And Michael Giacchino once again knocks it out of the park with his music.

But, of course, I have a quibble.  Just about every animated film I've seen lately has the big twist of "trusted friend and ally being the REAL villain," and I'm getting pretty darn tired of it.  Even Incredibles 2 falls back on that, so it was mildly annoying.

In the end, Incredibles 2 is a very worthy sequel that's just as good as the first film.  Highly recommended.  3.5 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

And then, a few short days after the Canada Day weekend, comes that other momentous July holiday...my birthday!  I celebrated in the traditional manner...dinner and a movie with my folks, because I'm cool like that.  And I knew exactly what I wanted for dinner.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is now open in West Edmonton Mall.

Ah, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  A delightful throwback to the 1990s, and the heyday of gigantic theme chain restaurants like The Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.  They all kind of imploded in the early 2000s, but Bubba Gump Shrimp survived.  The restaurant is themed around the film Forrest Gump, and since Forrest Gump made his millions running a shrimp boat and having a shrimp company, about 90% of their menu is shrimp.

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

And, needless to say, because they've only been open for about a week, it's busy AF in there right now.  I hit the mall at around 4PM and started chatting with the hostess.  Here's how it works, when you're venturing to Bubba Gump.  Go talk to one of the hostesses standing around outside.  They'll put your name on the list and get your phone number.  When your table is ready, they text you.  I figured I may as well put my name on the list right away, rather than wait for my parents to show up.  So I did, and the hostess told me it would be about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Perfect!  We wanted to eat around 5 anyway.

So then I started hanging out at the Mall.  Then my parents showed up.  Then I started hanging out at the Mall with my parents.  Because I'm 41 and cool like that.  We wandered around, Mom and Dad caught me up on the family gossip, and before you knew it, my phone beeped and it said our table was ready.

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

We went back to Bubba Gump, I showed them the text, and then they told us to go stand in line inside the restaurant!  But, to be fair, once your reach this stage, the line moves pretty quick.  Chatted with the inside hostess for a bit, where we shared our knowledge of Forrest Gump, and I let her vent a bit about the people who didn't know the system and tried to cut in line and would cuss out the hostesses.  Calm down, people!  Enough shrimp for everyone.

We got to our table, and it's in the bar section.  Which is cool.  We're all adults.  As is to be expected, the walls are covered with stills and promotional pictures from the film.  Above the bar, there were three TV screens:  one showing the World Cup, one showing that night's CFL game, and the third, of course, showing Forrest Gump.  Our very friendly waitress soon came by to take our orders.  But I didn't need to see a menu.  I've been studying the menu online ever since the Edmonton Bubba Gump was announced back in December.  I immediately blurted out, "Shrimper's Heaven!"

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

Four kinds of shrimp:  grilled, fried, tempura, and coconut.  Served in four overflowing cones, and with three dipping sauces.  And oh, it was so good.  The grilled shrimp was OK.  It had kind of a generic chain restaurant BBQ sauce flavour.   The coconut shrimp was nice and crispy.  The tempura shrimp was the biggest of them all.  I tell ya, man, it was a heck of a lot of shrimp, but I managed to get it all down.

For my drink, I had this mango peach slushie concoction which was very sweet.  And because I mentioned it was my birthday, I got a free cupcake.

In the end, I quite enjoyed my trip to Bubba Gump Shrimp.  I'll probably go again...in about six months, once the crowds have died down a bit.

And then it was time for the movie.  For the annual tradition of my birthday movie, this year, I had chosen Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  To me, it made perfect sense.  I always loved those dinosaur movies, and for my birthday movie 25 years ago, I saw the first Jurassic Park.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom poster

It's a few years after Jurassic World.  Claire, the former manager of Jurassic World, now heads up a charity dedicated to preserving the dinosaurs and letting them live in peace.  But, it looks like the dinosaurs are going to die out all over again, as the volcano on the island has begun to erupt, and will soon destroy the entire island.  Claire is soon approached by Eli Mills, who represents John Lockwood, John Hammond's original partner and one of the original investors in Jurassic Park.  They want to save the dinosaurs and re-locate them to another island.  And, they need Claire's help to re-activate all the old tracking implants in those dinosaurs so they'll be easier to track down.  They also want Blue, the last surviving velociraptor, for Reasons, so Claire also recruits former raptor wranglers Owen.  And they return to Jurassic World...only to be promptly betrayed my Mills' men.  Turns out he wants the dinosaurs for his own sinister plans.  What are those plans?  And will Claire and Owen be able to stop him?

This is probably the most horror-oriented of the Jurassic films, as there are a heck of a lot of jump scares.  There's some surprising emotion, as well, as we're forced to watch the extinction of the dinosaurs all over again.  Claire and Owen, again played by Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt, are again some very likable heroes, and they work well together.  And if that ending is to be believed, looks like the next film will finally be the "dinosaurs rampaging on the mainland" that we've been promised ever since the T-Rex got loose in downtown San Diego in The Lost World.

So, yeah.  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was fun, and for me at least, the novelty of the dinosaurs hasn't worn off yet.  I give it 3 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

And that was about it with my latest big city adventures.  Not much more to add.  Just, as always, thank you to my parents for the lovely time. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Thor

Rolling along on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  Simple as that.  I'm working my way through Marvel's Phase I, and today I get to Thor.  Actually, I got to Thor back on January 21, 2018.  I'm just now posting it.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Iron Man 2

Here we go again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know how it is, I watch a movie and blog about it.  I'm working my way through Marvel's Phase 1, and today we get to Iron Man 2.  Well, I actually got to it on January 21, 2018, which is when I originally wrote this.

Iron Man 2 poster

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Incredible Hulk

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  It's just that easy.  I'm currently doing a run through Phase I of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and today we land on The Incredible Hulk.  I did my run through and originally wrote this on January 14, 2018.  

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Iron Man

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own then blog about it.  Easy as pie.  I figured it was time to revisit the origins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so let's kick it off with Iron Man.  This is in my notes at January 14, 2018.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Lego Ninjago Movie

Fishing in the Discount Bin!  I watch one of my movies, and then blog about it, because I really need to get out more.  Today, I'm giving The Lego Ninjago Movie a spin.   This is in my notes at January 7, 2018. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Talkin' Trailers: Bumblebee and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I occasionally lament that I don't blog about trailers the way I used to.  I've shared this lament before.  It's become so much easier to just throw up the link on my Facebook or Twitter and go, "OMG!  Check this out!" rather than sit down at the blog and write out, "Oh my gosh!  Check this out!"  I've thought about maybe doing something like "Trailer Tuesday" where every Tuesday I blog about a trailer that caught my eye, but then the problem becomes content.  Trailers seem to come in surges.  We'll get a week full of really, really good ones, and then we'll hit a dry spell for a while.

And this past week, well, it was a week of good ones.  For animated sequels, we got our latest look at Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and our first look at The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.  For Oscar bait, there was a thrilling one for First Man, a biopic on Neil Armstrong from the creators of La La Land.  And there was much buzz about the trailer for A Star Is Born, the latest remake of the oft-remade tale of a famous singer who begins romancing and mentoring a young ingenue, only for the relationship to start crumbling when her star starts taking off as his starts to fade.  In this latest remake, Bradley Cooper is the singer and Lady Gaga is the ingenue.

But there were two in particular that made me feel like dusting off the blog and jotting down a few thoughts.  The first one is Bumblebee.

Yes, Paramount and Hasbro want some of that sweet, sweet, cinematic universe action, and so they're trying to build one out of Transformers.  First out of the gate, Bumblebee, a solo film for everyone's favourite little yellow Autobot.  A prequel to the Michael Bay films, Bumblebee takes place in 1987 -- 20 years before the first Bay film -- and follows Bumblebee's adventures as he begins settling into his life on Earth.  Hailee Steinfeld plays Charlie Watson, the teenage girl who winds up buying Bumblebee as her first car, and WWE superstar John Cena plays Agent Burns of Sector 7, whom you may remember as the secret organization monitoring Transformers on Earth.

Michael Bay takes the producer's chair on this one.  Directing it is Travis Knight, who gave us the stop-motion animated film Kubo and the Two Strings.  (And he's also the son of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike.)

All I can say is...wow.  I'm almost taken aback at how this lacks the bombast of the Michael Bay films, and instead looks to be almost a smaller and quieter film.  I'm especially picking up a strong E.T. vibe between Charlie and Bumblebee in those garage scenes.  Which is weird, because that's how Bay and Steven Spielberg sold the first Transformers film, before Bay made them all explody.  Oh, yeah, didn't you know?  Spielberg has been a producer on every Transformers film.

And from a nostalgia standpoint, I love that Bumblebee is a Volkswagen Beetle again, Starscream is in his original red and white colours, and Bumblebee's general robot design tends to have a smoother, sleeker, G1 inspired look.  While the commercials alone for Transformers: The Last Knight made me give up on the franchise in exasperation, this is actually kind of getting me excited again.

Bumblebee hits theatres December 18.

Next up, we have Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  I will never not get excited for a Spider-Man movie.  Way back in college in the 1990s, when I discovered the Internet late one night in the Augustana computer lab, the first words I ever typed into a search engine were "Spider-Man movie," because I wanted to know if the rumours I'd heard for years were true.  And that's when I discovered the lawsuit.  There had been some shenanigans over the years over the movie rights to Spider-Man, which led to a long and drawn-out court case to figure out who owned them.  But it was in Y2K when it was finally determined that belonged to Sony, Sony fast-tracked the first Spider-Man movie for a summer 2002 release, and the rest is history.

That was also a time when we were coming off a period in animation known as the Disney Renaissance.  I'm a guy who's always believed that animation and superheroes are a medium and a genre just made for each other.  Whenever there's an animated superhero movie coming along, I'm there.  Loved The Incredibles, loved Big Hero 6, and I still believe that the 2007 animated Ninja Turtles film is the best Ninja Turtles film.  So when Sony announced they'd be expanding the Spider-Man franchise by doing an animated Spider-Man film, I was in.

To set it apart, though, they decided to focus on Miles Morales.  For those who haven't been keeping up with the comics, Miles Morales started off as the Spider-Man in a parallel universe...the Ultimate Universe.  Morales was also bitten by a radioactive spider, but he was too frightened of his powers to use them.  When the Peter Parker Spider-Man made the ultimate sacrifice in his final battle with the Green Goblin, Morales was guilt-ridden that he didn't help out in the battle.  Learning the lesson that with great power comes great responsibility, Morales took on the mantle of Spider-Man.   Since then, the Ultimate universe has been merged with the regular universe, and Peter Parker has taken on a mentor role to the young Morales.

And that looks to be the general plot they're taking with the animated film.  When Morales starts discovering his powers, Peter Parker steps in to start mentoring him and teaching him the ways of the Force...er, I mean, spider-powers.  Shameik Moore voices Miles Morales, and Jake Johnson is voicing Peter Parker.

The script was written by The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and they also take on a producer role.

Ok, so when the first teaser premiered back at Christmas, I wasn't quite sold on the animation style.  But now that I get a better sense of it in this trailer, I'm starting to come around.  I get what they're going for now, in making it look literally like a comic book come to life.  And I may have let out a little  yelp when Spider-Gwen showed up at the end.

OK, Spider-Gwen.  For those who haven't kept up with the comics.  In yet another parallel universe, Peter Parker's longtime girlfriend Gwen Stacy was bitten by that radioactive spider on that fateful field trip instead of Peter Parker.  So she became that universe's Spider-Woman and started fighting crime.  But because there have been like, eight people to carry the mantle of Spider-Woman, the fans dubbed her Spider-Gwen to set her apart.  And, looping back to Bumblebee, that's Hailee Steinfeld voicing Spider-Gwen. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits theatres December 14. 

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a DVD I own and blog about it.  Simple as that.  I know it's summer, but I wrote this down on January 7, 2018, because that's when I finally got my DVD copy of He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special.  Let's dive in!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol

Welcome, all, to another installment of Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the many movies I own and blog about it.  Why?  Because a friend told me many years ago he thought it'd be neat to see.  Anyway, I know it's May, but this is for a Christmas special, which is why I always indicate the date I actually watched these and wrote these entries.  When did I watch this?  January 6, 2018.  What did I watch?  Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Monday, May 28, 2018

How I Spent My Staycation

Well, I'm just coming off a week's vacation.  I always get in trouble with the HR department near the end of the year, because I never use up all my vacation time, and I've resolved to do that this year!  One week down, three to go.  So I wasn't planning on doing much.  Just hangin' out at home, binging some Netflix.  I'm actually getting low on entries for Fishing in the Discount Bin, so I should probably watch some more movies and blog about them.  Or, with the summer blockbuster season upon us, I should head to the city and check out some of the blockbusters.  Like Deadpool 2.

Deadpool 2 Movie Poster

Yup, rather than rush out on opening weekend, seeing as to how it was the May long weekend and would no doubt be crowded, I decided to wait until the middle of the week and catch a weekday matinee, when it would be just the seniors looking for an outing, kids skipping school, and me.  And it was a good strategy.  The theatre was only about half-full. 

Following the events of the first film, Wade Wilson has settled into the life of a superhero, traveling the world, taking down the worst of the worst.  But then, tragedy strikes, as the worst of the worst come seeking retribution, and they take out Wade's beloved Vanessa.  Seeking new meaning in his life, Deadpool soon runs into a trouble young kid with fire powers named Russel.  And for some reason, Russel is being hunted down by the time-traveling mutant Cable.  Deadpool makes it his mission to save Russel from Cable, in order to do so, forms his own team, X-Force.  Will X-Force be able to save Russel, and find out why Cable is hunting him down? 

So Deadpool 2 has got to be as funny as the first film.  There's some spectacular set pieces, such as X-Force's first outing, which goes spectacularly wrong.  And the post-credits stinger is also hugely meta.  If I do have one quibble, it does kind of drag in some places as Deadpool wallows in self-pity for a little too long as he mourns Vanessa.  So, yeah.  While the highs are high, the lows get pretty low. 

I liked it, though.  In the end, 3 Nibs.  Complete review on the website. 

After that, as much as I was looking forward to just hanging out around the apartment, had to run home to see the folks for a few days.  They had a few chores that needed doing, and needed an extra set of hands.  Actually, that was the best thing to do.  I went home during the height of last week's heat warning.  As I live in a top-floor apartment, it usually gets ungodly hot, but when I head home, I choose to sleep in my old childhood bedroom, in the nice, cool basement.  So I got some really good sleep out the deal.

Friday, I decided to head home to Westlock, but not before making a stop in Edmonton to check out the latest Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story.  

I was actually kind of sad.  I saw it in the North Edmonton Cineplex, instead of West Edmonton Mall, where I've seen every Star Wars film.   Well, to be fair, for opening day for Episode I all those years ago, I saw it in Camrose, but I saw it for the second and third time in West Edmonton Mall.  Why the WEM boycott for Solo?  No big reason...they were only showing it in IMAX, and I didn't want to pay extra.

So when Disney first announced that they'd be doing these Star Wars stories outside of the regular saga, Han Solo's secret origin was not one I was chomping at the bit to see.  I had no desire to know how he met Chewbacca, or see that game of chance in which he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian, or how me made the fabled Kessel run in 12 parsecs.  And then, throw in its now legendary production problems, ooo.  Didn't know how to proceed.

Solo: A Star Wars Story movie poster

Well, I proceeded the only way I knew how, which was see it on opening day!  Again, caught a weekday matinee.  Even on release day, the theatre was only about half-full. 

On the shipbuilding planet of Corellia, we're introduced to young street rat named Han.  Han is living a life of indentured servitude to Corellia's crime lords, but dreams of getting off that rock, seeing the stars, and being in charge of his own destiny.  He thinks a way to do that would be enlisting in the Imperial forces, but he doesn't take orders so well.  When he discovers a smuggler and rogue named Beckett has infiltrated his unit as part of a bigger heist, Han joins Beckett's crew.  When the job doesn't go so well, and Beckett and Han are now deep in debt to the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn, Han proposes another risky heist to get Crimson Dawn off their case.  But they're going to need a crew:  Chewbacca, a Wookie that Han rescued from Imperial captivity; Lando Calrissian, who can provide them with the ship they need; and Qi'ra, the girl Han left behind on Corellia, who found her own way off the planet by enlisting in Crimson Dawn.  Can this ragtag bunch pull off the heist?

Firstly, Donald Glover is awesome as young Lando.  He is just so spot-on perfect.  In fact, a lot of the supporting cast shines, like Lando's droid L3-37, who's a crusader for droid rights.  There's some great action sequences as well.  I mean, who ever thought we'd see a train heist in a Star Wars film?  But here we are.  Oh, and there's also some great cameos from beloved Star Wars characters. 

My big quibble, though, has to be Alden Ehrenriech as young Han Solo.  I had trouble accepting him.  I found him to be a little too chipper as Han Solo.  Who knows?  We might need a sequel or two to see him fully evolved into that embittered cynic who shot first in the Mos Eisley Cantina.  Maybe it was purposeful.  Maybe young Han's story isn't finished yet. 

All in all, though, I still quite enjoyed it.  It was fun.  3 Nibs, full review on the website. 

And then I headed for home.  Didn't do much shopping or browsing.  I still can't find any Solo: A Star Wars Story action figures to save my hide.  And now, as I sit back on this Sunday, getting ready to enjoy the last day of my vacation, I ponder what to do.  I'll probably go binge something.  Season 2 of one of my favourite Netflix originals, The Toys That Made Us, is now online.  It's a fantastic documentary series about action figure lines.  It's just so great. 

Now that summer is here and rerun season is upon us, I'm sure my binging on streaming video services is about to significantly increase.  Still haven't gotten around to binging Netflix's Lost in Space reboot, or its last big sci-fi series that dropped a few months ago, Altered Carbon.  And I'm also on Crave TV and Amazon Prime Video.  I see Crave TV has the first six season of Game of Thrones now, so it might finally be time to see what the fuss is about. 

Or maybe I'll just stay here, in my second bedroom/home office, where I do all my blogging.  I gave it a long-overdue tidying up, spruced it up with some new curtains, and now I kinda like it in here.  Crank up some tunes on Spotify, curl up with a good book, and just relax.

I dunno.  It's the last day of vacation.  Gotta do it right.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, I blog about it, as is the Circle of Life.  Today, we get to a classic bit of 1980s animation, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  I originally watched this and blogged this on December 31, 2017.  Happy new  year!

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero -- Original 1980s VHS Cover!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - White Christmas

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know the routine, I watch a movie and blog about it.  Because of how far I work ahead, we now get to that awkward part of the summer where I do Christmas movies.  It's May, but this entry is in my notes at December 30, 2017, when I finally had a chance to sit down and watch White Christmas.  

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Rollin' along on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it, because why not?  Here we get around to Kingsman: The Golden Circle.  I originally watched and blogged about this on December 30, 2017.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Princess Mononoke

 Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it, because it's something to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  This time, from my collection, I'm grabbing Princess Mononoke.  This is in my notes at December 10, 2017.

Monday, April 30, 2018


It has always been said that good things come to those who wait.  Having taken this advice to heart several times in my life, I'm usually content to sit back and wait for a lot of things.  Sometimes it'll mean the lines are shorter and things are less crowded, but other times it means the store is all sold out by the time I get there.  Such was the case when Nintendo released their NES Classic in the fall of 2016.

I never had a Nintendo Entertainment System when I was kid.  It seemed like all my friends and all my cousins had one, but I didn't.  It's probably why I never grew up to be a gamer.  it was common for my brother and I to rent one on rainy Sunday afternoons, but owning one was something that was never in the cards.  Every Christmas, I tend to tell the story of how I almost got one.

I was in junior high.  It was the time of the great console wars, when Nintendo and Sega were fighting for dominance in the toy aisles.  One morning, over the breakfast table, Mom was talking about how Christmas was coming, and that Santa was thinking about bringing us a video game console.  But Santa was having a tough time deciding between Nintendo or Sega.  To me, the answer was obvious.  Nintendo.  All my friends had one.  All my cousins had one.  It was the one we rented on rainy afternoons.  Nintendo was the clear choice.

But my brother, on that day, stood up and declared his affiliation for Team Sega.  See, in his youth, my brother was all about aircraft, especially military aircraft.  Top Gun was his favourite movie.  G.I. Joe was his favourite toy, and he had every G.I. Joe aircraft.  He even got the legendary G.I. Joe personalized figure just so he could fly those planes and helicopters himself.  And it turned out that Sega had a very popular and well-received flight sim called After Burner that he would spend countless hours playing over at a friend's house.  He just wanted a Sega for After Burner.

The discussion between the merits of Sega and Nintendo grew heated.  The heated discussion soon turned into a screaming match.  As the screaming match was about to become a fistfight, Mom finally broke it up and said, "Hey!  If you're going to be like this, NO VIDEO GAMES FOR CHRISTMAS!"  And thus my home went Nintendo-less.

Until I decided to do something about it myself.  I was already working my first job.  I was a paperboy, back when that was still a thing.  I remembered that, when I was younger, my parents got me a thing called a "bank account."  If I took the money I made off my paper route, and put it in this "bank account" instead of always blowing it on pop and comic books, I would eventually have enough money to buy my own Nintendo!  And that's what I did.  Even made a special trip down to Red Deer to buy it because I had an aunt who worked at Woolco and could use her employee discount to save me a few bucks.  But in the weeks leading up to that Red Deer trip, I decided to go with Nintendo's hot new console at the time, the Game Boy.  I still have it...and the second one that my parents got me for Christmas a few years later, because I played it so much I wore out the buttons.

As much as I enjoyed that Game Boy, it still wasn't a proper Nintendo Entertainment System.  So the NES Classic sounded like it was right up my alley.  Of course, I could see online that many hardcore gamers were poo-poo-ing it, saying that you can already enjoy many classic video games thanks to emulators and the like.  But the NES Classic was definitely geared for the nostalgia market, and folks like me, whose yearning never really went away.

But we all know what happened next.  The NES Classic sold out almost immediately.  It was the hottest toy for the holiday season of 2016.  I thought, "No worries.  We've seen this with the hot Christmas toys before.  Come February, all the stores will be re-stocked and I'll be able to buy one with no hassles."

But the stores never did restock.  Nintendo didn't anticipate it being so popular, and made it in very limited numbers.  It was a one-time only, limited edition thing.  But, Nintendo soon announced the SNES Classic.  Same thing, but with a Super Nintendo.  It came out in the fall of 2017, and did similar business to the NES Classic.  It looked like it would be good enough, but still no NES Classic.  I figured I'd take the same strategy.  Maybe Nintendo learned their lesson, and they'll actually restock in the spring.

About a month ago, I'd made a quick trip into Edmonton after work to pick up Thor Ragnarok on Blu-Ray, and to my surprise, there was one SNES Classic left on the shelf.  I thought about getting it, but, if you've been reading this blog for the past year or so, you know that I've become quite worried about my financial situation as of late.  So, I mustered up all my willpower, and said no.

Back on Saturday, I was back in the city, back at that same store.

Now there were three left on the shelf.

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

It had been a rough couple of weeks at work.  The short version is half the office was on vacation, so I was burning the candle at both ends, covering for a lot of people.  I had paid bills earlier in the week, and was pleasantly surprised that I had actually, somehow, managed to come out a little bit ahead for the first time in a long time.  I looked at that SNES Classic and said, "Screw it.  Let's do it."

Even the clerk was surprised that they had some on the shelf when I waved her over to unlock the video game cabinet.  We wound up having a nice little chat about classic video games and sharing rumours.  Nintendo has already announced they'll be bringing back the NES Classic this summer.  The clerk heard the persistent rumour that Nintendo will be moving on to the next console and giving us an N64 Classic this Christmas.  Time will tell.

That was a really good trip to the city, and I had yet to accomplish my primary reason for hitting the city, which was to see Avengers: Infinity War.

Marvel Studios -- the movie studio arm of Marvel -- is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and Avengers: Infinity War is being billed as the climax of 10 years of movie-making.  Marvel has redefined the concept of a film franchise these days, by reintroducing the concept of the cinematic universe.  Having heroes from one film show up in another film to help out more heroes?  It sounds revolutionary, but as many moviegoers will say, Universal did it first with their classic monsters back in the 1940s.  And as Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said in a recent interview, they weren't trying to revolutionize anything.  They just wanted to replicate what you see in the comics...that feeling that the Hulk might smash his way into the latest Iron Man adventure.  And now, it's all led up to Infinity War, where pretty much every hero that Marvel Studios has introduced to the big screen since Tony Stark declared "I am Iron Man" is teaming up to take down the Mad Titan Thanos.

Avengers: Infinity War poster

Bruce Banner falls from the heavens and crashes into the Sanctum Santorum of Doctor Strange, causing Strange to reach out to Tony Stark for help.  Banner has a message:  Thanos is coming.  Out in space, the Guardians of the Galaxy respond to a distress call, where they rescue Thor from the wreckage of the Asgardian rescue ship.  Thanos has laid waste to the remnants of Asgard.  Back on Earth, the disciples of Thanos attack Vision, attempting to extract the Infinity Stone from his body.  This brings Steve Rogers and his secret Avengers out of hiding.  While they may be scattered across the globe and galaxy, they being plotting against their common foe:  Thanos.  He is in search of the six Infinity Stones.  With all six, he seeks to wipe out half the population of the universe…an act, he believes, that will bring about a paradise.  Will our heroes succeed in defeating Thanos and save the universe?

Well, I hope you're up to speed on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because there is very little in the way of recaps.  We hit the ground running.  But the plus side to that is, pretty much the only new character introduced is Thanos.  As such, there's a lot of time dedicated to establishing him and developing as the villain.

But man.  We just move from one big superhero action set piece to another, with barely a moment to give us a chance to breath.  Plus, there's some nice callbacks and even a few surprise re-appearances from some characters that are nice rewards to long time fans of the franchise.  And it's got one hell of a cliffhanger ending to set things up for Part II, coming next year.

Avengers: Infinity War is a spectacular payoff to 10 years of film-making.  4 out of 4 nibs, full review on the website.

After that, it was time to head home and fire up my SNES Classic.  First I had to do some minor re-wiring to my home theatre set-up so I'd be about to route the audio through my stereo.  And then, I put my feet up, and started playing.

I haven't become completely wrapped up in it yet.  I just spent most of Saturday night exploring.  A little Super Mario World, a little bit of Donkey Kong Country, just kind of exploring the console.  As the weather outside right now looks kind of grey and rainy, I'll probably start having more fun with it.  Already getting tripped up on just the second level of Donkey Kong Country.

It almost makes up for the fact that I did have one major strikeout on this city trip.  No matter how hard I looked, couldn't find any of the new action figures for Solo: A Star Wars Story.  But if there is one thing Nintendo has taught me, it is patience.  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Fishing int he Discount Bin - Spirited Away

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  Simple as that.  This time out, we tackle the modern day animated classic Spirited Away.  This is in my notes at December 10, 2017.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Men in Black

Rolling along on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, I blog about it, because I'm nostalgic for the joys of writing book reports in elementary school.  Today, I file my report on Men in Black.  I originally watched it and wrote this report on November 26, 2017, because that's the kind of keener I am.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Thaw

I've mentioned it to friends, and I even tweeted about it.  I was feeling a little off in March.  March was a month that was full of movies that should have been right up my alley -- A Wrinkle in Time, the Tomb Raider reboot, Pacific Rim Uprising -- but my desire to go see them was non-existent.  That did change, though, with Ready Player One.  I'd been reading about the book online for a while, I was hoping to read it before going to see the movie, but I never got around to it.  I wasn't able to see it the weekend it came out, because that was Easter and I was doing family stuff.  Last weekend was no good, because I was on location.  But this weekend...this weekend, I was ready.

Headed off to the city bright and early on Saturday morning.  Before heading off to the movies, though, I had to hit the department stores to get some of that grown-up stuff.  I can never seem to find pants in my size, so when I find some in my size, and on sale to boot, I pick 'em up.  So I have new pants.  Can't go to work without pants!  I learned that one the hard way....

Of course, had to check the toy section, too, as we're getting closer and closer to Wookie Weekend.  For those just joining us, ever since Disney bought Star Wars, Disney has had massive retail events for the when the new Star Wars toys that tie in to the next Star Wars movie go on sale.  For our main saga films (that's Force Awakens and Last Jedi), they called it "Force Friday."  For Rogue One, they called it "Going Rogue."  And, for Solo, they've called it "Wookie Weekend."

Now, Wookie Weekend is this Friday, April 20, but you never know.  Clerks have been known to make mistakes and get the stuff on the shelves early.  Which is what I found at Toys R Us.  They had the LEGO sets out, they had the vehicles out, but they didn't have any of the figures out yet.  So it looks like I'll still be making a quick trip into the city on April 20 after work to see if there's anything left.

Then I made it to West Edmonton Mall in plenty of time for my movie.  Sometimes, I just like to wander around West Edmonton Mall, do a little people watching, and take in the ambience.  Plus, I've also recently discovered this cool YouTube channel called Best Edmonton Mall that's dedicated to telling the history of West Edmonton Mall...closed down attractions, editorials on recent changes, stuff like that.  I had to tweet them my appreciation because, in their video about West Edmonton Mall's bronze whale, they used my pictures of the whale being dismantled, and gave me proper credit.  Those pictures are from this ancient blog entry, in case you're wondering.

Anyway, one of their videos was about some recent changes to Galaxyland, so I decided to take a wander through Galaxyland and just take it in.  As always, when I go through Galaxyland, I take a moment to stop at the former location of the Drop of Doom and sigh wistfully.  About my only regret when it comes to West Edmonton Mall was I was took chicken to try the Drop of Doom back in the day.  According to one of my friends at school, if you wanted to see something really neat, you'd put a penny on your knee at the start of the ride.  When they dropped you from the top, thanks to the differing terminal velocity of the penny, the penny would slowly rise from your knee until it appeared to be floating in mid-air just in front of your face.  And then, when you curved at the bottom to coast to a stop, the penny would smack into the ride car, just past your head.

The last time I actually did Galaxyland -- like,ride the rides and stuff -- had to be in the early 2000s.  It was those hazy days when I'd just finished college and hadn't figured out what to do with my life yet.  It was my nephew's birthday, so I was meeting up with my brother's family and my parents for a birthday celebration.  I noticed one of my old friends from college working there, and since there was no line at the ride she was staffing, I excused myself for a bit and went over to say hello.

I remember chatting with her, and our conversation was interrupted by one of the loud airhorns or bells or something like that that signified the start of the ride.  "How can you stand working here?" I asked her.

"I can't," she replied.  "Gave my two weeks notice this morning."

With that trip down memory lane finished, I left through Galaxyland's main entrance and back out into the mall.  Wound up doing a little more reminiscing.  I remembered when West Edmonton Mall first opened back in the mid-1980s, the mall boasted that it had three McDonald's.  And we're not talking food court kiosks, we're talking full restaurants.  There was one right across the main entrance from Galaxyland, one was on Bourbon Street, and the third was in the Phase III food court...the one closest to the Deep Sea Adventure.  Now, the mall has only one...a food court kiosk in the Phase I food court.  That's the one closest to Galaxyland.

Now that I was done being nostalgic, it was time for the nostalgia-fest that is Ready Player One.

Ready Player One poster

In a dystopian not-too-distant-future, the main escape from the drudgery of real life has become OASIS...a virtual reality MMORPG where imagination is your only limit.  When the creator of OASIS, James Halliday, passes away, he announces in a pre-recorded video message that he hid an Easter egg in OASIS, and you need to find three keys in order to access it.  The first to find the Easter egg will win Halliday's personal fortune and complete control of OASIS.

Our hero is Wade Watts.  In OASIS, he goes by Parzival.  Like many, he's dedicated his life to tracking down the Easter egg.  When he's the first to find the first key, he draws the attention of allies -- like fellow egg hunger Art3mis -- and enemies, particularly the corporation IOI, who wants to dominate OASIS so they can ramp up its monetization.  Before long, all out war is brewing between Parzival and his allies and the IOI corporation in both OASIS and the real world for control of OASIS.

I really enjoyed the film.  You've probably seen the commercials and TV spots, where see OASIS is crammed full of pop culture references and is a mash-up of all kinds of pop culture stuff.  "Forrest Gump for Gen X" is how I saw one blogger describe it.  But I'm pleased to report that, much like Wreck-It Ralph, the nostalgia is merely sprinkles on top, and not necessary to understand the plot.  That being said, the plot is a pretty routine "hero's journey" kind of tale, with heroic heroes and slimy villains.

Oh, and the Iron Giant fought Mechagodzilla.  Which was awesome.

So,  yeah.  I really liked Ready Player One.  I give it three out of four nibs.  Full review on the website.

And before departing from the mall, I made a quick stop through Sunrise Records.  They finally had a Blu-ray in stock that had been on my Amazon wish list forever, and I finally thought, "What the hey?" and picked it up.

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Ghost World.  The critically acclaimed 2001 movie, based on the indie comic by Daniel Clowes.  It's the movie that pretty much made Scarlett Johansson famous, which is kind of weird, because Thora Birch is the star.

Birch is Enid, recently graduated from high school, what modern society would call a hipster, and is kind of drifting through summer, trying to figure out what next to do with her life.  Johansson is her best friend Rebeca, who's going through a similar malaise.  Enid soon falls in with a super-nerdy record collector played by Steve Buscemi and...that's all I know, really.

I've actually never seen Ghost World.  I just know that, when it came out in 2001, most of my friends at the time were raving about it.  It seemed to perfectly capture that post-college confusion of "What comes next?" that we were all going through.  So when I saw that Criterion released an edition back in the fall, I just looked at it and thought, "I want this."

 Grabbed it off the shelf, went up to the clerk...and I swear, this clerk was Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.  He sees that Blu-ray cover and he starts going off about some little Brazilian animated film that he describes as being super-weird, and I'm like, "Yeah, thanks, can you finish ringing me up please?"  When I left the store I started wondering about it.  I wonder if he, too, has never seen Ghost World, and based on the Clowes' artwork on the Blu-Ray cover, assumed it was some indie animated film?

Anyway, as I finish writing this up on Sunday morning, sitting down and watching Ghost World is my Sunday afternoon plan.  So if you'll excuse me, it's off to the rest of my weekend!