Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

A Primer on Extreme Ghostbusters

Over on the official Ghostbusters YouTube channel, they've begun doing something wonderful.  Every Saturday, they post an old episode of the classic 1980s cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters.  But that's not all!  They also announced that, every Wednesday, they're going to start posting an episode of the 1990s cartoon, Extreme Ghostbusters.  I see lots of people nerding out about this.  One of my best friends, a huge Ghostbusters fan, even expressed his excitement because he had barely heard of it, let alone watched it.

So that encouraged me to copy this over to my blog.  Back when this pandemic began, one of the projects I began doing with all my extra free time was a series of blog entries called "My Best Remembered History of the Ghostbusters in Animation."  Loving cartoons and loving Ghostbusters, I've googled a lot about the various animated series over the years, and I was going to compile them all into a kinda complete history of Ghostbusters cartoons.  I eventually lost interest and moved on to other things.  But, if you're like my friend, curious about this Extreme Ghostbusters, I figured I'd post what little I wrote on the Extreme Ghostbusters as a primer for you, before you dive in.  

Extreme Ghostbusters Logo

A popular fan theory for a reboot is to have one of the original Ghostbusters mentoring a new team, and that's exactly the direction this 1990s reboot went.  

Another downtick in paranormal activity has caused the Ghostbusters to go their separate ways.  Egon is keeping the dream alive by living in the firehouse, monitoring the Ecto containment unity, and teaching courses on the paranormal over at the local community college.  About the only friends he still has from the old days are Slimer, who still haunts the firehouse, and Janine, who still carries a torch for him and comes by to check on him once in a while.  But when a new spike in ghost activity comes along, Egon recruits a new team from his top students!  Well, his only students, and given the time this was made, they're as 90s as you can get:

Roland - Our level-headed nerd.

Eduardo - Our sarcastic Gen X slacker

Kylie - Our goth GF

Garrett - Our TOTALLY EXTREME! sports dude.  

To give voice to these new Ghostbusters, Sony gathered a phenomenal roster of talent.  Roland was voiced by Alfonso Ribero Jr, fresh from playing Carlton on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Eduardo was voiced by Rino Romano, who I believe still holds the distinction of being the only person who's ever voiced both Spider-Man and Batman.  Kylie was Tara Strong, in one of her first big Hollywood roles.  And Garrett was Jason Marsden, currently Disney's official voice of Max Goof, a.k.a Goofy's son.  

The whole show was designed to take place in-continuity with The Real Ghostbusters (indeed, producer Richard Raynis worked on The Real Ghostbusters back in the day), so it just made sense to invite the original cast back to reprise their roles.  The only one who answered the called was Maurice LaMarche, the original voice of Egon.  Of course, LaMarche's most famous role is the Brain on Pinky and the Brain.  In an interview I read with LaMarche years ago, he said that voice acting legend Frank Welker was offered the chance to reprise his role of Slimer, but Welker turned it down, saying the recording sessions interfered with his regular tee time.  So, taking over for Slimer, we had the voice of Ren and Stimpy and Fry from Futurama, Billy West.  Welker, however, did reprise the role of Ray Stanz for their epic 2-part final episode, which also brought back Dave Coulier as Venkman and Buster Jones as Winston for the Real Ghostbusters and the Extreme Ghostbusters to team up.  It was the biggest of many callbacks to The Real Ghostbusters.  

The show didn't last long, but it did have its lasting impact on the greater Ghostbusters universe.  Fans really took a liking to Kylie.  She had, perhaps, the most fleshed-out backstory.  We learn that she was once every stereotype the blonde and bubbly cheerleader, but she went goth following the death of her grandmother.  That led to her fascination with the paranormal, and she just wants to know that her grandma is OK on "the other side."  In the premiere episode, she's the only one of the new team who's in awe of Egon, as, needless to say, the Ghostbusters became legends in the paranormal community.  She's been worked into some of the newer Ghostbusters comics.  For comics continuity, she starts as a regular at Ray's Occult Books before the Ghostbusters hire her on as an intern.  

The show also managed to pick up several awards for representation.  Garrett was in a wheelchair, and many disabled advocates at the time called Garrett one of the most positive representations on television.  The chair didn't dominate his character, and they never did any "very special episodes" detailing how he overcame his disability.  He was just always accepted as one of the crew.  That's not to say it was outright ignored.  The show was on Amazon Prime a couple of years back, and I revisited a few episodes.  In one, Garrett is getting ready to charge into a haunted house, proton packs blazing.  Kylie stops him, urging caution.  Garrett dryly, sarcastically responds, "Yes.  I might hurt myself and never walk again."  

Extreme Ghostbusters premiered in the fall of 1997 and ran for just one season of 40 episodes.  While it wasn't around long, it did make its mark on the Ghostbusters fandom.  

Now head over to the Ghostbusters YouTube channel and start watching!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Code Names of Star Wars Films

 So over on my social medias -- that would be Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram -- I started doing this thing called Trivia Tuesday.  Every Tuesday, I post an info-graphic about a trivia bit I picked up over the years.  Today, I posted this one.

 

Trivia Tuesday!  The code names of Star Wars movies.  Return of the Jedi - Blue Harvest.  The Phantom Menace - The Doll House.  The Force Awakens - Avco.  The Last Jedi - Space Bear.  Solo - Red Cup.  Attack of the Clones - Jar Jar's Big Adventure

I just wanted to ramble more about it, because it's just one of those things that I always found interesting.

When George Lucas was making The Empire Strikes Back, he noticed that two things would happen when word got out that the new Star Wars movie was filming in town.

1)  Fans would start coming by, hoping to get a glimpse of the proceedings.

2)  Local contractors would price gouge.

So, when it came time to start work on Return of the Jedi, he decided to give the production a code name.  This way, word wouldn't get out, or at the very least, be slow to get out.  The code name he came up with was Blue Harvest.  But this was more than just a code name.  A fake logo was made up that adorned all the crew jackets, and crew members were given a cover story to tell people about how it was just a slasher film.  But, word still got out, and the name Blue Harvest became part of Star Wars mythology.  It was eventually used as the title of an episode of the 1980s Ewoks cartoon, and of Family Guy's 2007 Star Wars spoof.

It has since become tradition for, not just Star Wars films, but all manner of event pictures to have a code name.  I'm thinking about doing another one of these info-graphics for the Marvel movies, or just other blockbusters that had code names that interested me.  

Anyway, since I found all the code names when I researched this, I figured I'd share the complete list.

The Phantom Menace - Both "The Beginning" and "The Doll House" were used at various points

Attack of the Clones - Jar Jar's Big Adventure

Revenge of the Sith - The Bridge

The Force Awakens - Both "Foodles" and "Avco" were used at various points

The Last Jedi - Space Bear

The Rise of Skywalker - trIXie

Rogue One - Los Alamos

Solo - Red Cup

The Mandalorian - Huckleberry 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

This Week, Episode 10.32: Bundle Up

U62: The Targ -- The Chaos in a Box Podcast

 

 It has been a massive week with a lot of stuff going, particularly, with all the Marvel and Star Wars announcements that came out of the big Disney investors meeting. Naturally, it’s one of my biggest Nerd News Headlines segments as I recap it all. But that’s not all! I also head out to sample Dairy Queen’s Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blizzard in another Mark Tastes Random Things, and in The Streaming Report, I check out The Grinch and Noelle.

All in Episode 10.32: Bundle Up!

And where to subscribe:

 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Summing Up Today's Big Disney Announcements


 My social media feeds lit up this afternoon because Disney had their annual investors meeting.  This is where Disney pretty much laid out their slate for the next five years, and because COVID cancelled all the cons, this is where all the big announcements they would have made throughout the year were made.  There was a ton of stuff, especially in the realm of Star Wars and Marvel.  Since I was rapidly texting it to all my friends, and there's far too much to tweet, I figured I'd fire up the ol' blog and share everything here.  

Firstly, the Star Wars announcements.  The TV shows.  Let's start with the one that made me squeal:


Obi-Wan Kenobi - Hayden Christensen is back as Darth Vader!  And the show is officially titled Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Takes place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith


 


Ahsoka - Live action Ahsoka Tano show starring Rosario Dawson



Rangers of the New Republic - Soldiers of the New Republic, taking place during the time of the Mandalorian


Lando - Lando's getting a show!  Justin Simien, creator of the Netflix show Dear White People, has been hired to develop it.


The Acolyte - This is the mystery project from Leslye Hedland, creator of the Netflix show Russian Doll.  It's "a mystery thriller set in the time of the High Republic."  The High Republic is 100 years before Phantom Menace


 

Star Wars Visions -  An animated series.  Japanese animators giving us some anime short films set in the Star Wars universe. 

And here's our first trailer for the Cassian Andor series, titled Andor

 



Films:

A Droid Story - An animated film about R2-D2 and C-3P0 mentoring a young droid.  Going straight to Disney+.

The Taika Waititi Film - Still nothing is known, just that they confirmed it's still happening.

 And the showstopper that ended the Lucasfilm presentation.

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is doing a Rogue Squadron film.  The first Star Wars film to come to theatres, coming Christmas Day 2022.

 

And now on to the Marvel stuff.  Let's get the trailers out of the way first.

New trailer for WandaVision.  Hitting Disney+ on January 15.


 

First trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  Hitting Disney+ on March 19.


 

First trailer for Loki.  Hitting Disney+ this May.


 

First trailer for What If...?  Hitting Disney+ Summer 2021.


 

First look at Ms. Marvel.  Hitting Disney+ late 2021


What else we got?


 

It's finally official!  Sam Raimi, director of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy, is directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and it will directly tie-in to WandaVision and the next Spider-Man film.  March 25, 2022.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has officially wrapped.  Coming on July 9, 2021



Captain Marvel 2 is coming November 11, 2022.  After being introduced in her own show on Disney+, Iman Villani will be reprising her role of Ms. Marvel in the film.  And after being introduced in WandaVision, Teyonah Paris will be back as Monica Rambeau.


It's finally official:  Hailee Steinfeld is Kate Bishop in Hawkeye.



It's finally official:  Tatiana Maslany is She-Hulk in She-Hulk.  Mark Ruffalo is back as Hulk and, the announcement we've been waiting for since 2008, Tim Roth is back as Abomination.  


The title of the Nick Fury series is Secret Invasion.  Samuel L. Jackson is back as Fury, Ben Mendehlson is back as the Skrull Talos.



Riri Williams/Ironheart is getting her own show on Disney+!  Riri will be played by Dominique Thorne


War Machine is getting his own show on Disney+!  The title?  Armor Wars.  Don Cheadle is back as Jim Rhodes/War Machine.



In addition to Guardians of the Galaxy 3, James Gunn will be giving us the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.  Dropping on Disney+ Christmas 2022.


 


Batman himself Christian Bale has joined the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder.  He's playing the villain, Gorr the God Butcher.


The title of the third Ant-Man is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.  Jonathon Majors is Kang the Conqueror.



And the final announcement:  once he's done the MCU Spider-Man trilogy, director Jon Watts will be giving us the MCU's Fantastic Four.


I love Pixar, so let's sum up the Pixar announcements, too.  Firstly, they've got a bunch of new shows coming to Disney+:

Dug Days - Dug, everyone's favourite talking dog from Up get his own show as he explores suburbia.  Coming fall 2021.

Untitled Cars Series - Mater and Lightening McQueen go on a road trip.  Coming fall 2022

Win or Lose - Pixar's first original series (i.e. not based on one of their existing properties.)  We follow a middle school baseball team as they work their way to the championship.  Each episode will be told by a different player on the team.  Coming fall 2023.  

And the films:


 

Turning Red - From director Domee Shi, who picked up the Oscar for best short film for her Pixar short Bao.  Following the adventures of Mei, a teen girl who turns into a giant red panda when she gets overexcited.  Coming March 2022.

And the one that made the Internet sit up and take notice


 

Lightyear - The "true" story of the "real" astronaut who inspired the action figure.  Starring Chris Evans as the "real" Buzz Lightyear.  July 2022.   

 

And the last one that caught my eye...in fact the one that opened their presentation.  Disney is finally going to add a "mature audiences" section to Disney+.  Called Star, this is where you'll find some of the more mature franchises Disney has thanks to the Fox buyout.  You know, stuff like Deadpool, Die Hard, and Alien.  That launches on February 23, and you won't have to pay extra for it.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

News from Markworld: December 2020

 

News from Markworld: The Chaos in a Box Newsletter

As is my custom, I am blogging my annual Christmas card letter, for those I may have drifted away from and are googling my name out of curiosity.

Good day! Mark Cappis here, updating you on how his 2020 is going.

I like the picture I included this year. It’s the last known photo of my radio career. 

The picture:  a selfie of me, wearing a green shirt, standing before the logo of the radio station I used to work at

St. Patrick’s Day, 2020. I bought a snazzy new green shirt for the day. Thanks to watching my weight, it was the first time in years I’d confidently bought a 2XL shirt. I decided to take that “selfie in front of the station logo” that so many radio folks do. When that was done, I went back on the air to read the latest update about the COVID-19 pandemic. The station’s salesperson rolled his eyes at my newscast. “Look at me!” he said. “I just got back from Mexico, and I don’t need to self-isolate because I’m feeling fine! This COVID-19 is just a bunch of fake news.”

My doctor didn’t think so when I saw him a few days later about a prescription. I was ordered in to two weeks self-isolation for coming into contact with a foreign traveler who was refusing to self-isolate. At the end of the first week was when I got the call: a temporary layoff notice. 

(As I copy-paste this over to my blog, I realize that some may infer I was laid off because I was self-isolating.  That's not the case at all.  I was one of ninety people the Company laid off at the end of March.  The pandemic has not been kind to radio.  It seems that every month another broadcaster is announcing another round of mass layoffs.)

I figured, “Hey, it’s temporary. I’ve got CERB. $2000 a month is pretty much my salary, so I’ll enjoy this paid vacation.” Yup, I’m one of those guys the politicians warned you about. I was living high on CERB, eating cheezies and watching cartoons. Although, if I knew I could have cheezies, I wouldn’t have blown it on my rent. The notice said the temporary layoff would end in six months, and at the end of September I got the call: the temporary layoff was being upgraded to permanent.

And that brings us to the now. Haven’t tried on that green shirt in a while. Stress eating (and Westlock’s new Dairy Queen) kind of threw my diet out of whack. With CERB done, I’m on EI. Fourteen years with the Company resulted in a not-too-bad severance package, and with the economy being the way it is, I figure I’ll coast through the holidays and start job hunting with a passion in the new year.

Not gonna lie...I’m scared. I’m 43. That’s too old to start over. But then they also told me I was too old to start over when, at the ripe old age of 26, I went back to school to fulfill my dream of being on the radio.

I’ve done it before. I can do it again.

Anyway, I hope your 2020 treated you a lot better. Merry Christmas, and all the best in 2021.

Mark Cappis


Sunday, December 06, 2020

This Week, Episode 10.31: Zeroes Across the Board

U62: The Targ -- the Chaos in a Box Podcast

 

Had a pretty busy week gathering stuff for this here show. The viral sensation this past week was Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped, where they told you your music preferences in the past year, so I share mine. We’ve got another Mark Tastes Random Things, where I sample KFC’s Cinnamon Dessert Biscuit. In The Streaming Report, I’m diving into some obscure Christmas specials. And the Nerd News Headlines brings you the latest casting news on Marvel’s Hawkeye TV series.

All in Episode 10.31: Zeroes Across the Board!

Where to listen:

 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

This Week, Episode 10.30: $10 Treats

U62: The Targ -- the Chaos in a Box Podcast

 

It’s getting to be that time of year! Holiday preparations are in full swing. So, I tell you about my adventures Christmas shopping, and finally checking out West Edmonton Mall’s new Lego Store. I’m 100% absolutely finished reading The Lord of the Rings, so now I wrestle with the decision of what to read next. Over in The Streaming Report, I tie into my favourite Christmas specials. Nerd News Headlines tells you all about the latest films going straight to streaming. And I wrap things up by sharing my thoughts on Baby Yoda’s name.

All on Episode 10.30: $10 Treats!

Where to listen: