Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Just finished watching the Oscars. Let's here it for Finding Nemo, taking home the Oscar for Best Animated Film!

But I do have a new column up. This week's is Every Four Years:

My first (and so far only) published work had to do with the Olympics. It was February 1994. The winter Olympics in Lillehammer had just begun, and several news stories were on TV about how, 10 years earlier, the Winter Olympics were in Sarajevo. The media was finding it delightfully ironic how this former Olympic host city was now in the middle of a heated war zone. After watching a few of these reports, I felt inspired. I dug out my notepad, and wrote an essay about how much war sucks and wouldn’t it be cool if one day the only battles were the friendly ones for Olympic gold. In November of 1994, my English teacher gave the assignment to write something for the Remembrance Day ceremonies. The winner would get to read it at the ceremonies. Rather than write a lame poem like most of my classmates, I just went and dug out my essay. But I added the clarifying line, “I wrote this a few months back.” I presented it to the class, my English teacher loved it, and I read it at the ceremonies. Then, my English teacher faxed it to the Edmonton Journal, and it ran in the Journal’s Remembrance Day insert.

Read it all!

Next Issue...the Games Begin
So, the big news right now is what's in store for the third season of Justice League. For season three, the show's name is being changed to Justice League Unlimited, and every episode will feature a guest shot from some other DC comics hero. Already announced: Green Arrow, Supergirl, the Atom, and Booster Gold.

I can hardly wait! I'm still waiting to see the big episode Wild Card, which features the Joker pitting the Justice League and the Royal Flush Gang against each other in the ultimate reality TV show.

next Issue...Mark Unlimited

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Argh. I was up way too early yesterday. When I have to do a 7:30 shift at the radio station, I've got to be up at 5 am and on the road by 6. And then it doesn't help that I was up until midnight watching reruns of M*A*S*H.

Those are the two TV shows I was literally raised with: reruns of M*A*S*H and The Flintstones. MASH (getting tired of typing the *s) was on weeknights at 6:30 on ITV, right after the news, and The Flintstones was on CFRN every day at noon when I came home for lunch. I'll still never forget the the hubbub that went on when each station stopped showing those shows.

When ITV decided to stop showing MASH, there was a huge public outcry. It was so huge, rival TV stations carried the news. In fact, I'll never forget. At the time of this public outcry, a Canada-wide newspaper chain was running a poll to determine what the most favourite TV show of Canadians was. At the end of this article was, "And the big surprise was Edmonton, where people are still devoted to their MASH reruns." ITV finally caved and simply moved MASH to weekdays at 12:30 (right after The Flintstones). It was there for a few months - just long enough for the controversy to die - and then was yanked.

CFRN stopped showing The Flintstones a few months later. This all came about when I was in Grade 12. MASH was canceled around Christmas, and The Flintstones in the summer; right after I graduated. Not wanting to have a similar public backlash as befell ITV, CFRN sent off The Flintstones in style! On the July long weekend, they had a Flintstones marathon from midnight to 6 am. It was so popular, that they did it again for the August long weekend. I stayed up and watched each one.

And now, it's all coming to DVD. MASH: The Complete Fifth Season just came out, and The Flintstones: Season One comes out next month.

Oh, and I have to pass along a little bit of movie news. Kevin Smith's next film, Jersey Girl, comes out in a month, and Smith has made one last-minute edit. He's cut the wedding scene between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Apparently, he didn't want to confuse his viewers. I don't see why he had to do this, seeing as to how J.Lo dies in the first 20 minutes anyway.

Next Issue...Off and Running

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Here's this morning's cool movie news! They're going to be making a movie about the making of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But not the one you're thinking of.

See, way back in 1981, a group of 12 year olds saw Raiders of the Lost Ark and were so inspired that they decided to do a shot-for-shot remake of the film starring themselves. This was when home video camera technology was in its infancy. It took them seven years to make it! They finished when they were 19! They wanted it to be as accurate as possible. Anyway, they all went to college and started getting on with their lives. But, their version of Raiders, which they showed to all of their friends and family, started getting passed around, copies were made, and soon it started to develop an underground following. Apparently, a copy even made it to Steven Spielberg, who congradulated the kids on their ingenuity.

Anyway, now with the Internet, the fame of this film finally spread. The mainstream finally picked up on it when Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News screened it at his annual Austin, Texas film festival. These kids - who are all in their late 20s/early 30s now - are starting to become rather famous.

Now, Scott Rudin, the producer of such fine films of School of Rock, The Addams Family, and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut has bought the movie rights to their story! He's going to tell the tale of how these kids grew up making a version of their favourite film. (Lest you think Rudin can't do drama, he also did Searching for Bobby Ficsher and Wonder Boys.) The project is set up at Paramount, who made the Indiana Jones films.

I would love to see their remake. Hey, Mr. Anderson! Once you get your high speed Internet back, seek it out on Kazaa!

Now, to convince my friends to do that remake of Episode I....

Next Issue...Dibs on Jar Jar

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

So I'm leafing through this anime magazine that my mother occasionally brings home from work for me. I always laugh at their monthly costume contest. Not because the costumes are hideous, but because they refer to the entrants as "cosplayers." Now, when I was in Japan, I only heard that term associated with adult entertainment. For example, strippers who dress like nurses as part of their act. So, either the word has a broader definition that I'm not aware of, or it has a narrower definition that the magazine's editors aren't aware of.

It reminds me of Trouble telling me about her friends. Thery're die hard anime junkies, so, to sound worldly, they use the two or three words they gleam from anime. Once Trouble told me what the words are and how they use them, well, they were using them wrong.

Next Issue...When I Say Hai, I Don't Mean Hello

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

How I'm too smart for my own darn good #395:

In news class, we were given a sample press release and told to re-write it for broadcast, plus we had to think of 5 people we could contact to get more information about the story. The news release concerned a Liberal constituency announcing thier new candidate. The instructor suggested that we could talk to the head of the Liberal association, but because she suggested that, we couldn't use it. After class I asked, "The proper title for the head of the association is the president. Are you going to dock me marks if I list the president?"

She said no...and then launched into her latest tirade on how I'm just oh-so-perfect to go into news. He latest slant is I'm so good because I know "just enough about everything."

Anyway, as I sit here playing my computer mini golf, I am reminded of something. When it comes to mini-golf courses, I have never played West Edmonton Mall's golf course. What do they call it now...Professor Wem's Adventure Golf? I still think of it as Pebble Beach. That was its concept in the beginning: it was a mini-golf representation of the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course.

As I thought of this, I remembered how I'd also never been on a date. Doesn't that seem like a good date thing? A round of mini-golf, a movie, and dinner. Now, I just need a woman.

Next Issue...A Robot Girl
More Batman news!

Japanese actor Ken Watanbe will be playing Ra's Al Guhl. He's currently nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Last Samurai. Liam Neeson won't be playing the Demon's Head, as originally reported. Instead, he will be Henri Ducard, the billionarie industrialist who serves as mentor and surrogate father to Bruce Wayne.

And the rumor going around is that U2 will be doing the theme song for Spidey 2!

Next Issue...Lord of the Unknown Tower

Monday, February 23, 2004

Today's new addiction: computer mini-golf. I fished it out of a discount bin, and I've been glued to it all night.

I'm still lamenting over my promotions project. The people in my group.... Actually, the one thing that really gets me is it seems they've decided to run with my idea of a LAN party.

For those who don't know, a LAN party is when a bunch of computer geeks get together on a computer network and blast at each other in Quake, After Life, or whatever the lastest 3-D shooter is.

I only threw it out there because we were brainstorming and the instructor wanted us to think of "stuff that hasn't been done before."

The only thing is, because I suggested it, everyone in my group looks to me like I'm the expert in the field. Hardly. Stuff like LAN parties exist in a world of which I'm on the outer fringes of. I have no idea.

I'm almost embarrassed that my group's gone along with it this far. Every time we talk about some part of the planning, the ladies in the group just kind of roll their eyes. It's like they're only doing it to satisfy me.

Truth be told, I'd much rather get the theatre and have a screening of "UHF."

But it is strange, the way they look to me to explain it. When I hung out with all the computer science majors at Augustana, I was a mere mortal among gods. Now, my fellow mortals look at me as though I were a god.

(Hey, just trying to find a new way to phrase "big fish, little pond.)

Next Issue...Putt Putt

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Latest column's up! Tonight's gem is called Mail Call:

"People just like to get mail. Correction. People like to get mail that’s not bills. Sadly, that’s all the mail seems to be used for these days. When you check your mailbox, what do you have? Phone bill. Power bill. Water bill. Gas bill. Credit card bills. Nothing but bills! I remember a friend in university. Whenever he got no mail, he would proclaim, “I have escaped again!” He finally explained to me that he meant he escaped from the bill collectors. And that’s just not right. There’s no joy in going to the mailbox anymore."

Click Here to Read It All!

next Issue...Back Upstairs
Just finished watching Oliver Beene. It's a so-so Malcolm in the Middle clone, it's main novelty being it's set in the early-1960s. Well, I watch it for a different novelty. One of our heroes school friends is a girl named Joyce, the picture of 1960s girlhood. And who plays this ideal of innocense and childhood in 1962? Why, none other than Daveigh Chase, who one acclaim for her role of Samara, the creepy, spooky, murderous phantom on the videotape in The Ring. Hmm. Now that I've watched a whole episode of Oliver Beene, I wonder if I have only seven days left to live? No one's called to tell me....

Since I had so little homework, I spent my afternoon watching Dogma again. While I do love Kevin Smith, and I know that Dogma was his pet project, I do think it's the lesser of his films. No matter how many times I watch it, it's always nothing like I expect. Look at the premise: two angels who've been cast out of heaven have found a loophole to get back in. If they do get in, the universe ends. Now, a ragtag bunch of heavenly beings are the only thing standing between the angels and the end of the world. Sounds like a pretty spectacular fantasy epic, doesn't it? But what do we get? 3/4 of the film consists of the characters sitting around debating Catholicism.

Kevin Smith said he wanted to wait until he was "ready as a filmmaker" before making it. I think he should have waited a few more films.

But stuff like that makes me eager to do my fantasy epic about life, the universe, and everything. I don't have a plot yet, just a mishmash of ideas:

- God is a Japanese woman
- The rulers of the universe are three people (2 men, 1 woman) sitting under a tree along a country road
- Death is an 8-year old girl
- And we've got throw some creepy looking twins in there.

This all seems like stuff I've pulled out of my head just for the sake of being different, but trust me, in my warped logic, this makes sense.

And I've been planning a project, too. One of my ideas brewing in the back of my head since my broadcasting education began was to co-opt the equipment and produce a reading of one of my columns. Take a column I like, throw in some supporting background music and sound FX, and throw it all on tape. Only thing is, we've been focusing on making 30 second commercials so far. I read the column aloud this afternoon to get a feel, and I'm looking at 12 minutes. So, it's all the stress and urgency I feel producing 30 second spots right now, times 24.

I can hardly wait to start.

Next Issue...I Like To Hug People

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Wow! Such a sense of television completion in my life! Pokemon is preparing to undergo a big paradigm shift, as was indicated in today's episode. Here's the summary:

Gonna Catch Ya Later - After finsihing in the semi-finals at the Silver Cup Conference in the Jhoto League, Ash, Misty, and Brock are heading back to Ash's home of Pallet Town to take a sabbatical and decide where to go next on their Pokemon journey. But first, they're going to stop over and re-explore Veridian City, the city where Ash's original pokemon journey began. They stop at the Pokemon Center, where Nurse Joy tells them that Misty's sisters have been desperatly trying to get in touch with Misty. Misty places a call home. Her three sisters have won a trip around the world! They're getting ready to go, and they need Misty to come home and look after the family business: the Cerulian City gym. At this announcement, Nurse Joy brings Misty's bike out of the back room. Nurse Joy had been fixing it up all these years. (See, Ash and Misty first met when Ash stole Misty's bike so he could rush Pikachu to the Veridian City Pokemon Center. Ash totaled Misty's bike, and Misty said she'd follow Ash around until the day he replaces her bike.) Ash tries to be happy for Misty, telling her that now that she's got her bike back, she can get home in a hurry. But, choking back the tears, Misty charges off into the night. She doesn't want to end her journies with Ash and Brock.

While wandering the streets in an introspective mood, Misty runs afoul of a street gang and challenges them to a pokemon battle. The battle begins, but soon the bullies gang up on Misty. Three against one just ain't fair! Luckily, Ash and Brock show up to even the score, and our heroric trio trounces the gang. But then, Team Rocket shows up and traps our heroes and the street gang! The street gang was in league with Team Rocket! And now, the gang is pissed that Team Rocket double-crossed them. The gang escapes from the trap, and inadvertently frees our heroes in the process. Ash, Misty and Brock and their pokemon make Team Rocket go blasting off again.

At the edge of town, our heroes come to an intersection. Down one road is Pallet Town. Down another is Misty's hometown of Cerulian City. The third path leads to Brock's home of Boulder City. This is when Brock drops his bombshell. He got an e-mail saying there's some urgent business he's got to take care of back home. So, this is good-bye. Misty embarks down her path. Brock down his. As Ash watches them go, he lowers his head and begins speaking the words of love he couldn't say to his friends. He hears someone say, "What's that?" He looks up to see that Misty and Brock came back when they heard him talking. And they present their farewell gifts to Ash. Brock packed a lunch for Ash...complete with fork and knife. Misty gives Ash a cloth to bundle it up in. (Note: these cloths are quite common for people to carry their lunches in in Japan, and there's a proper name for it, but I've forgotten! Mr. Anderson...Yves...if you're reading...PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IT'S CALLED! Man, I watch Pokemon on a whole new level now.) And now, for real, our heroes go their seperate ways.

A few days later, we're in Pallet Town and Ash is chillin' at home. He decides to go up to Professor Oak's place to see his former rival Gary. (They're friends ever since Ash kicked Gary's ass in the Silver Cup Conference 2 weeks ago.) He arrives there, and Professor Oak and Tracy tell Ash that Gary left that morning. Gary didn't say anything, just that he "felt inspired." Ash goes sprinting down the road and catches up with Gary. Gary said that he's been on his pokemon journey for so long, that it doesn't feel right to stay still for so long. So, he's off on a new pokemon journey. Ash understands. Ash takes a pokeball out of his backpack, rips it in half, and gives half to Gary. (To get the significance, you had to be watching three weeks ago.) They say their good-byes, and Gary continues down the road.

Ash and Pikachu are sitting up in a tree, deciding what to do next. Ash tells Pikachu that it's weird, suddenly being alone. Ash looks up in the sky and sees Ho-Oh, a mythical pokemon! This Ho-Oh is flying towards the Hoenn region; a region filled with all manner of new, strange and wonderful pokemon. And this inspires Ash! He knows what to do next! He climbs down from the tree and begins sprinting home...only to fall into a hole dug in the ground. It's Team Rocket, once again using their patented pitfall trap to capture Ash and Pikachu. James uses his Wheezing to fill the pit with smoke. Ash and Pikachu sit in the pit, and Ash once again wonders how he can do this alone. He thinks back to when he said his farewells to Misty and Brock, and remembers! He reaches into his backpack and pulls out the cloth that Misty gave him. Ash gives it to Pikachu to use as a gas mask. Ash then starts using the fork and knife that Brock gave him to climb out of the pit! Ash now knows that his friends will always be with him. Ash and Pikachu make it to the top, and Pikachu sends Team Rocket blasting off again.

That evening, Ash tells his mother, Professor Oak and Tracy his new plan. He's going to set off on a pokemon journey to the Hoenn region! And he's going to leave all of his pokemon behind - except Pikachu, of course. He's going to start completely fresh! Ash's mother, Professor Oak, and Tracy all understand Ash's desire. Tracy promises to watch over all of Ash's pokemon. Ash's mother presents him with a new set of clothes to wear on his journey. (Yes, after 5 years, Ash is finally going to wear clean clothes.) And Professor Oak gives Ash the newest and latest Pokedex, complete with all info about pokemon in the Hoenn region. Ash decides that his first stop will be the Hoenn region city of Littleroot Town, where he'll meet with Professor Oak's colleague, Professor Birch. Ash resolves to set out in the morning, and we see those words that end every Pokemon episode: "To Be Continued..."

Know what this means? Very shortly, they'll start showing the episodes of Pokemon that I was watching in Japan. Somewhere along the way, Brock rejoins Ash, and they get a new female companion in the form of May, who makes Misty look rather tame. Plus, they're joined by another, a little, besepctacled kid. I never caught his name. These episodes have been airing in the States since November.

Yeah, I'm a geek. Just so we're clear, these are all the season of Pokemon

Season 1: Pokemon
Season 2: Pokemon (in the Orange Islands)
Season 3: Pokemon: The Jhoto Journies
Season 4: Pokemon: Jhoto League Champions
Season 5: Pokemon: Master Quest
Season 6: Pokemon Advance

And there have been six movies, the sixth of which hasn't come to North America yet. Pokemon coverage ain't what it used to be. I wonder if a Pokemon 7 is in the works. Or a seventh season.

Next Issue...Pokemark

Friday, February 20, 2004

My name is Mark Cappis, and I have lost my mind. What's the first symptom?

I have decided to run for the NAIT Student Association Presidency.

I'm still not sure why I want to do this. Maybe because it's just one of those things you do in college. You know, drink too much, experiment with drugs, lots of promiscuious unprotected sex, run for office. I've done all that in college except for the first three.

I'm hoping I'll sober up by Monday. Or, I'll just treat this like a cosmic joke and see how far it goes.

Next Issue...They're Coming To Take Me Away

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Reason why I need more money #3728. Another classic sci-fi TV show is coming to DVD. On June 8, be sure to run out and buy...

Quantum Leap: The Complete First Season

An official announcement detailing the bonus materials will be coming in the weeks ahead.

Next Issue...The Leap Home
The morning's movie news:

Batman: Intimidation - After months of rumors, it's finally official. The villain will be played by...LIAM NEESON. Neeson will be playing Batman's immortal arch-enemy Ra's Ahl Guhl. I always pictured Sean Connery, but oh well. Also official is MORGAN FREEMAN as Lucious Fox. Mr. Fox is the CEO of Wayne Enterprises and the guy who really runs the company. This is shaping up to be pretty good, I think.

Elektra - Let's not forget that she's getting her own movie. A director is finally in negotiations. It looks it will be directed by...ROB BOWMAN. Bowman is a veteran director of "The X-Files," and even directed the "X-Files" movie. His last feature was the humans vs. dragons epic "Reign of Fire." The script was written by Zak Penn, and is loosely based on the "The Elektra Saga" and "Elektra: Assasin" graphic novels. Filming is hoped to begin in May.

Next Issue...the Party

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

And the big movie news of the morning:

Kevin Smith, the maker of my favourite films, will be writing and directing a movie version of The Green Hornet! The movie is being made by Smith's home studio of Miramax. Smith figures he'll have a lot of freedom with than with other comic book adaptations, mainly because instead of being at the hands of committee (like when he wrote Superman Lives), he's now just answering to one guy: Miramax head Harvey Weinstein. Also, as Smith pointed out, a lot of people tend to remember the Green Hornet and his sidekick Kato...and that's all. Ergo, lots of room to reinvent.

They hope to begin filming near the end of the summer. Way back in the late-90s, it was rumored that George Clooney was going to play Brit Reid/The Green Hornet, and Jet Li was going to play his butler/sidekick Kato.

If you've never heard of the Green Hornet, here's what little I know. Bret Reid, billionaire playboy and publisher of a big city newspaper. By night, he dons a green mask and green trenchcoat and goes by the name of the Green Hornet, a shadowy vigillante.

And in a neat twist of "masked avenger" continuity, the Green Hornet's great uncle was...the Lone Ranger! It was the murder of Bret Reid's grandfather that drove John Reid to become the Lone Ranger. In fact, on the original Lone Ranger radio show, the Lone Ranger's search for his orphaned nephew (the Green Hornet's father) was a recurring plot line.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, "The Lone Ranger" and "The Green Hornet" were created by the same guy, and both originally as radio shows way back in the 20s and 30s.

Next Issue...Showtime!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Some late night movie deal news:

Disney has bought the Muppets!

It was announced today by both the Walt Disney and Jim Henson companies that Disney has accquired ownership of The Muppets and The Bear in the Big Blue House. Disney is also purchasing the copyright on all past Muppet products. So, if they're ever going to do a 2-disc special edition DVD of The Muppets Take Manhattan or a boxed set of The Muppet Show: The Complete First Season, Disney will be the one putting it out.

The Jim Henson Company, however, will still retain ownership of most of their other properties, such as the Sesame Street characters, Fraggle Rock, and the sci-fi cult classic Farscape. This deal was just for Kermit and the gang (and the Bear, which is a hit kids show in the US.)

Lisa Henson, Jim Henson's daughter and one of the heads of the Jim Henson Company, pointed out how, before his death in 1990, Jim Henson was close to signing virtually the same deal with the Walt Disney Company, and that Jim Henson thought that Disney would be the perfect home for the Muppets. "This is the realization of my father's dream," said Lisa Henson.

Disney axed their deal with the Jim Henson Company way back in 1990 because, at the time, they didn't want to look like graverobbers. Disney has already announced several TV specials for the Muppets.

And in other news...for the past few weeks, I've always been baffled by this billboard I always drove by on my way home. It featured a chicken with a machine gun. Today, I finally got to read what is printed on this billboard. "If the cows don't get you, I WILL! It's mad to eat any kind of meat. This message brought to you by P.E.T.A."

Next Issue...Harvey Finebeck Will Return!
Gotta write this down before I forget:

"There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who know binary and those who don't."

Next Issue...More Clever Quotes

Monday, February 16, 2004

Happy Family Day! I hope you've enjoyed the most blatantly manufactured holiday of all time.

Here's some Family Day Fun Facts:

- Family Day was invented by former Alberta Premier Don Getty as an excuse to go visit his coke-dealing son who was in prison.
- One of Premier Ralph Klein's big election promises when he was first elected was the abolishment of Family Day. Klein believed it was a blatantly manufactured holiday and that people could better spend their time working on that day and helping get the province out of debt. Klein's been in power for more than 10 years now and he ain't followed through yet.
- School boards in the province of Alberta have long fought for the abolishment of Family Day. Their logic is that teachers always have thier conventions in February, thus giving students a 4-day weekend. Families plan vacations around this 4-day weekend, so students don't really need another long weekend in February.

But enough of my cattiness. I celebrated Family Day by watching my James Bond DVDs. Now, I no longer have to wait for TBS to have their annual James Bond marathon every December. I wonder if they know how many students' lives they've ruined because of those James Bond marathons. Back in Augustana, every December, I always found myself saying something like, "OK, time to start on this paper...what? Octopussy is on? Well...it can wait another two hours."

I remember about a year ago when Die Another Day came out in Japan. Most of my middle-aged female students were swooning over Pierce Brosnan. Of course, I wound up recommending You Only Live Twice to all of them. I mean, James Bond in Japan. I figured they'd get a kick out of it.

I also sent another postcard to Trouble in China. She always says that her students get a real kick out of them. Of course, that makes me wonder what her students think about me. When another postcard comes, do they say to each other, "Dude, he sent another one? Man, he must have it bad."

Oh, and a quick tidbit of movie news. Comic book uber-artist Alex Ross has been commissioned to do some artwork for Spider-Man 2. Ross's artwork will depict scenes from the first film and be used in the opening credits sequence, for a whole "in our last exciting issue..." thing.

Next Issue...Next Issue

Sunday, February 15, 2004

As I was walking around town today, I stopped in at the corner store to buy a snack. I really do miss the convenience stores in Japan. I miss looking at a pop cooler and seeing a dozen different kinds of iced tea.

Shortly before I left Japan, I was asked, "What are you going to miss the most, Mark?" I took a deep breath and said, "The convenience stores." She laughed at me and said, "But we've got 7-11 back home!" I said, "Yeah, but you can't buy clean underwear at the stores back home."

I briefly did attempt a sub-series of columns called "What I Like About Japan." Convenience stores was on the list. I only wrote two editions before the catastrophic failure of my laptop. I keep wondering if I should go back and attempt to write the rest of the series; depend on my fading memories.

Tomorrow's the last day of my reading week. I'm hoping I can pump out a couple of columns. At the very least, I should try to finish my column about going to the Studio Ghibli museum. It's a 2-part affair and I've had part I in the bag for 6 months.

Speaking of columns, this week's is posted. It's a fairly mediocre piece called Idol Worship:

"Quick! Name five people you admire in your field. Pretty easy, isn’t it? I ask this question to someone like Mr. Anderson, who wants to write and draw comics, and he can rattle off five names with no problem. But, sadly, it is a task I have great trouble doing in my chosen profession. An upcoming assignment sounded rather simple at the outset. We have to do a profile on a DJ we like. Naturally, this means talking to said DJ. The instructor asked us which DJ we each were going to contact. She didn’t want us all swamping the same one, after all. She went around the table, and each of my classmates proudly yelled out the name of the DJ they were going to talk to with nary a thought. And then she came to me, and I was left struggling to find a name."

As always, please read the whole thing!

Next Issue...Vacation's End

Saturday, February 14, 2004

You know, as much as I love Michael Moore, I find the anti-Moore websites to be a lot more fun. Truly, one of the best and most obsessive has to be Moore Watch. Here's what Moore Watch is currently doing.

See, Michael Moore was endorsing a presidential hopeful by the name of Wesley Clark. Moore had a little square on his website saying this and provided a link to the Clark website. Well, Wesley Clark lost a few of the primaries and decided to bow out. Naturally, since his boy wasn't running any more, Moore took down his little endorsement and link to Clark's website.

And Moore Watch is all over this! They love pointing out now how Moore is "backpedalling" and trying to conceal the fact that he was/is backing Wesley Clark. I don't think Moore is trying to cover up anything. I think Moore just realizes the futility in endorsing a man who isn't running anymore.

I tell you, 10% of the time, Moore Watch is good for providing the other side of the story. The other 90%, they're the raving loonies that they claim Michael Moore is.

Next Issue...Bowling for Burgers
Oh, something from the latest ToyFare I forgot to mention. I only mention this because I have a few classmates who obsessivly loved this movie. Get read for...PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN action figures. I saw the movie. It was good, but not 4 nib material.

Speaking of 4 nib material, great shake-ups happening on Pokemon, as the end of the fifth season starts coming to North America. Ash has finally defeated his rival Gary in Pokemon battle. Gary has decided to hang it up and become a researcher like his grandpa, Professor Oak. Having made it to the semi-finals of the Jhoto League Championship before losing out, Ash is now heading home to Pallet Town for a sabbatical. Where is he headed next? Well, there's a lot of hinting towards the Hoenn region, which is where the Pokemon Advance video games take place. And where all the episodes I saw in Japan a year ago took place.

Next Issue...JLA Forever
Boy, did I have a fun and relaxing day off in the city! I finally got out to see Big Fish. Who'd have thunk that Tim Burton could make a sweet movie? It's really two movies going on. We have our modern day tale, which is the son trying to discover the truth behind his father's myths and thus learn the truth about his father. And then, we have the myths themselves. And when we're watching one of the myths, it's classic Tim Burton. Great movie! 3 nibs.

And then, I had to go spend way too much money. Future Shop finally had The Critic: The Complete Series, so I finally bought that. I loved this show way back when it was on!

Hey, have you ever wondered why every crappy TV show that only lasts 6 episodes or so manages to get released on DVD right away? This was explained by a big Hollywood producer in the paper a few weeks ago. You've got your TV show. Say, only 4 million people watch it. That makes your TV show a bomb, so it gets cancelled. Now, release it on DVD, and half the people who watched it on TV buy it on DVD. That's 2 million units! So suddenly, your mega-bomb TV show has become a double-platinum DVD. It's all rather fiendish.

And then, while browsing through HMV, I finally succumbed to my baser desires. Ever since I bought my DVD player, I said that I'd eventually buy some James Bond movies on DVD. I'd limit myself to only my favourite ones of each Bond actor! Well, HMV had the Bond movies on sale, 2 for $30, so I finally bought Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me. Each one truly a classic.

And that reminds me. Exactly how many versions of a film do we need on DVD? I'm talking about things like "director's cuts." Why do they have to go messing with these classic films when they put them on DVD? What's wrong with the original theatrical version? I know, we need some kind of "value added" for the DVD. But, c'mon! My "T2" and "ID4" DVDs allow you to watch either the original theatrical versions or the DVD director's cuts at the push of a button. The technology does exist for us to have our cake and eat it too. So, c'mon!

That reminds me. I still have the morbid curiosity to see the special edition of E.T..

And in all of my excessive spending, I of course bought the latest ToyFare. They have the preview of the next series of Marvel Legends! This is the new smash-hit toy line where we get highly-detailed, super-posable renditions of classic Marvel Comics characters. Here's who's on tap for Series 6:

Wolverine (Brown Costume)
The Punisher (Thomas Jane likeness; Jane, of course, plays the Punisher in the upcoming film)

And now I think I'll go to bed

Next Issue...Spring Vacation con't

Thursday, February 12, 2004

I was thinking about what I said in my earlier post about Mr. Anderson banging his head against a wall complaining about how I don't get it because I have a Disney page on my website. I mean, he's my best friend, and it's good that he's got strong beliefs and all that, and I really shouldn't make fun of him.

I guess it all goes back to about a year ago. We were having some pretty heated arguments, especially about McDonald's. He'd say, "Any reasonable man who spends 10 minutes reading about McDonald's will never eat there again!" I'd shrug and say, "I spent 20 minutes reading and I still eat there." He'd just get so angry, and something about me just wanted to push it a little bit further. You feel almost a sadistic glee when someone outlines their whole belief system and you just say, "Ehh, whatever. I'll just stay here and keep violating your beliefs."

I really should stop that because, in the end, it just makes me a really crappy friend.

Subject change.

So, I don't know if you've noticed, but Canada Post now sells these things called "Tickelopes." They're evelopes made out of a foam, and in a really silly shape. I spent my day off from school writing a letter to a former student in Japan, and figured I'd get one of these Ticeklopes to mail it off in. After puzzling over the many shapes, I decided that the lobster shaped one had a particular cuteness to it, and that brought back something I'd always wondered.

Do you know if they make lobster sushi? I never saw it at any sushi places, and Japan really isn't in the middle of lobster waters. I'm certain though that a creative chef could make it.

Next Issue...Friends Forever?
Over at my official website, I just dusted off and did a new revision of my list of Disney animated films. And I'm sure Mr. Anderson is once again banging his head against a wall frustrated at how I just don't get it.

And here's some DVD news for my sister. My sister's all-time favourite movie is finally getting the 2-disc super-special edition treatment. On April 20, get ready for A League of Thier Own: Special Edition! This 2-disc set gets you:

- Running commentary with director Penny Marshall and various members of the cast
- 15 cut scenes, each with an introduction by Marshall
- An all new making-of documentary, entitled "Nine Exciting Innings."
- The music video for Madonna's theme song, "This Used to be My Playground"
- And, of course, the trailers

As is one of the newer trends of DVD, it'll be available in both widescreen and full screen versions. April 20!

For those who've never seen it, A League of Their Own follows the exploits of two sisters during World War II, as they're drafted to play in AAGPBL. See, all the baseball players started going to war, so a women's baseball major league was started, the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. Geena Davis and Lori Petty are the sisters and star players of the Rockford Peaches, Madonna plays the field (in both the baseball and sexual innuendo sense), and Tom Hanks steals the show as the washed-up former ball player who's the team manager.

If you want to find out more about the AAGPBL, a documentary about it was made in the late 80s, and it was also called A League of Their Own. In fact, it's the documentary that inspired the movie.

And the movie inspired a really crappy half-hour comedy/drama that only lasted 6 episodes. Who knows? With the way DVD works today, strong sales of A League of Their Own: Special Edition just might lead to A League of Their Own: The Complete Series.

Next Issue...A League of MY Own

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Various tidbits on the upcoming "Star Wars" DVDs:

- The films will be the 1997 Special Editions and not the originals.
- Each film will have a new running commentary with George Lucas and others (the others to be decided)
- The bonus material disc will have an all-new, feature-length documentary about the making of the trilogy, and feature all kinds of never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage
- And althought not confirmed, it's pretty much a given that they'll have special DVD-ROM weblinks, just like the "Episode I & II" DVDs.

More as it develops.

Next Issue...Showtime!
Two big bits of movie and DVD news:

The Star Wars Trilogy - At long last, the trilogy comes to DVD! It'll follow the format of the "Indiana Jones Trilogy," in that it'll be a big boxed set of all three films, with all the bonus material on a fourth disc. What that bonus material will be is still unknown. The big day is September 21.

The Simpsons: The Movie - In a recent interview, "Simpsons" producer Mike Reiss said that a script for a feature length "Simpson" movie has been written! He says summer 2006 is the most likely release date, and that it's like the "South Park" movie, in that it's a "bigger, longer, amplified version of the show."

Next Issue...Blarg

Monday, February 09, 2004

So I'm indulging my inner child. I've spent the past week looking for the most appropriate valentines to give to my classmates. I had it narrowed down to either Hulk valentines or Disney Princesses. To tell the truth, I really wasn't satisfied with either. Hulk seemed a little violent, and as much as I love Disney, giving a Disney princess valentine to one of my big hulking male classmates felt a little...gay. Then, way in the back of the shelf, I found...the Simpsons valentines! Needless to say, everyone was satisfied.

But, since I was in Kingsway Garden Mall, I decided to swing by the Disney store. Now, as much as I love Disney, I've always felt put-off by what they sell in the Disney Stores. Everything seems either too childish or to girly. There's nothing for the 18-35 male Disney fan! Until I was in there today. Now, I've noticed on past few visits that the Disney Stores have their own exclusive line of action figures entitled Disney Adventures. This is where you've got Aladdin, Tarzan, Hercules, and a few others all in their buff, action hero best. Never really bought one for my collection because they really didn't strike me. But then, when I was in there today, I noticed that they had...the Disney Adventure block figures! (For those who don't know, a "block figure" is an action figure done in the style of a Lego man, a Japanese Kubrick, any of those. "Block figure" is the blanket term to describe that style.) You'd get a 3-pack of figures and about a dozen accesories for an interactive play time. I thought, "Now hey, this rocks! This is something for the collection!" Then I saw the $20 price tag, and went, "Eww." Then I saw the sign that said, "75% off," and went "Yay! That's only $5! Perfect!" Then I remembered Mr. Anderson saying, "Disney is a big, evil corporation! If you buy anything from the Disney Store, I'll never speak to you again!" Well, he hasn't said that to me...yet. But he might. You never know.

I love how my best friend has gotten all political in his old age, but sometimes that makes him really fun to mess with:


Me>> Does that mean you don't want me to bring you back a Big Mac?

(Subtle thumps as he bangs his head against the wall.)

And before I go to supper, I said this today and one of my classmates figured I should put it on a greeting card: "Once you accept that you're going to crash and burn, your only concern becomes how big a crater you can make."

Next Issue...The Crater

Sunday, February 08, 2004

"Weird Al" Yankovic's latest album, Poodle Hat, just won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album.

Thought you'd like to know.
Watching Batman Forever on TV. That movie gets stupider and stupider with each viewing.

But let's get to the latest column! This week's installment: The News is Our Hooker, The Truth is Her Pimp:

"I had just one goal when I went in to the program: be a DJ. But now that I’m in there, I find that there a lot of other options I can go with. If being a DJ doesn’t cut it, I can always be a writer; try to make a living doing this. Of course, production could also be fun. Sitting hunched over a computer all day, piecing together bits of audio and trying to make the perfect spot. There’s promotions, which is getting the word of the station out there. And then, I could sell my soul and go into sales. These are all things I’ve had varying degrees of experience with. So, you can imagine my surprise as I’ve now been told that my personality is best suited for the most complex and, I think most trying part of the radio station: news. "

As always, Clickie clickie to read it all!

I guess I should spent a little more time studying for my quiz tomorrow, but it's kind of hard to focus when I caught the instructor basing the quiz on a report I wrote.

Next Issue...the Long Sleep
What happened to my presence? Did I ever have it? Mr. Anderson says that a good DJ should have presence, like all good entertainers. But, he says that when he listened to my show back on Wednesday, presence was lacking. So now I'm wondering, did I ever have it?

I always flashback to an observation Mr. Anderson made when I was in university. He joined me for dinner in the cafeteria one night, and we sat with my "on campus friends." He said that, although I didn't speak much, when I did speak, I spoke a little louder than I normally do, and commanded the attention of the whole table. That's presence, right?

I think I had it in Japan; when I'd walk into my classroom, and the hushed silence would fall upon the class and all eyes were on me. That's presence, right? But then, it was easier to have presence when a strapping white pseudo-farm-boy like myself enters a room of bored, lonely Japanese housewives.

So how can I get my presence back?

Subject change.

Caught a bit of Batman Returns tonight. You know they're making a new Batman film, right? They're ignoring the last spate of Batfilms and taking it back to the beginning. This film is going to be a whole origin story thing, heavily influenced by Batman: Year One. We're going to SEE Bruce Wayne on his infamous world tour, training to be the Bat. We're going to SEE Bruce Wayne, in the cave, hunched over a grindstone, making the first batarangs. We're going to SEE an experimental, prototype vehicle being tested at Wayne Enterprises which is mysteriously stolen, only to reappear as the Batmobile. I'm really starting to look forward to this.

Christian Bale is Batman/Bruce Wayne. Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia) is directing. David S. Goyer (the Blade films) is writing. Filming begins in April. Batman: Intimidation Game will come out Summer 2005.

Next Issue...JLA Returns

Friday, February 06, 2004

Let's try a brilliant idea. Every time I think of something to say on the show, I'll write it here! Then, before the show, all I have to do is print this blog! Genius!

The new Superman movie - What the...? Beyonce Knowles as Lois Lane? Johnny Depp as Lex Luthor? Say it ain't so!

- Marvel Comics just signed a big development deal with EA games. EA will produce a "Marvel Heroes vs. EA Heroes" video game, and Marvel will produce comics based on the EA Heroes.

And can you believe it? I swung by Toys R Us today, and Spider-Man 2 action figures are already on the shelves.

Next Issue...Next Show
I've got to write this down before I forget (or forget to mention it on the show next week.)

Disney has finally announced that the 2-disc super-special edition of Aladdin is coming out this October. A complete list of bonus features has yet to be announced, but Disney has already mentioned that, thanks to the higher picture quality of DVDs, 20% of the film has been "enhanced." That means using computer to punch up the colours in some scenes, and completely re-animating sequences in other cases.

And, as I talk about this on next week's show, I should also bitch about how Disney changed their DVD policy. Way back when DVD first started, Disney had this simple yet brilliant strategy. They would release 2 editions of all their animated films. There would be the "family friendly" edition. This edition would have the film, and for bonus features you'd get similarily-themed animated shorts from the Disney archives, and maybe a game or two. Then, for the hardcore animation geeks (like myself) they'd release the 2-disc special edition. That edition would have all of your "behind the scenes" featurettes, storyboards, directors running commentary, and such forth.

But, things have changed. Now, Disney only release one edition, and we're finding more and more that the "special edition" stuff is being pushed out in favour of more "family friendly" stuff. I mean, who really wants to look at storyboards when you could play another lame-ass trivia game?

So, remind me to talk about this all on next week's show!

Next Issue...Blawp

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Completely Shocking Movie News:

So, a year ago, Frank Darabont, the maker of such fine films as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Majestic was commissioned by George Lucas to write the script for Indiana Jones 4. Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford both said, "Great choice!" The geeks of the world said "Great Choice!" because Darabont got his start writing The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV show. There was no one better to write the script.

Here we are, one year later, and after toiling endlessly, Darabont finally turned in the finished script to George Lucas. Darabont said, "It's in God's hands now, or rather George's and Steven's."

Today, it was revelaed that George Lucas took one look at Darabont's screenplay and said, "This SUCKS!"

Darabont's script has been scrapped and Indiana Jones 4 is starting all over from scratch. It is now highly doubtful that Indy 4 will come out in Summer 2005 as originally hoped.

Darabont has gone back to what he was doing before he was working on Indy: a new film version of Farenheight 451.

Next Issue...All Hopes on Episode III

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I won a scholarship today, and I really don't care.

I don't know how much it's for.

I don't know when and where I've got to be to claim it.

All I know is when I went to NAIT I said to myself I wasn't going to play this game again.

Next Issue...No Escape

Monday, February 02, 2004

Oh, happy day!

Trouble sent me an article this morning. 4Kids Entertainment, the same folks who imported Pokemon, are going to be importing my all-time favourite anime that I watched every morning in Japan! We are talking about the TV program whose closing theme I have adopted as the closing them for Chaos in a Box. Yes, it's the one, the only, Tokyo Mew Mew!

Of course, some changes are being made to make it more palitable to North American audiences, like re-naming it Hollywood Mew Mew. That seems rather...pointless. Oh, well. It will be premiering on the Fox Network later this year; I'm speculating as part of the Fall Saturday Morning Line-Up. Here's hoping it becomes as popular as Sailor Moon, so I can buy a boxed set of the complete, uncut series someday.

Next Issue...Anglais!

Sunday, February 01, 2004

And now, the latest exciting installment of Chaos in Print! Tonight's episode, The Final Frontier:

I still want to travel into space. Is that a childish dream? I guess this all really started in the eighth grade. That’s when the Canadian Space Agency ran an ad in every major newspaper in the country, announcing that they were looking for new astronauts. I mean, how cool is that? There it was, a classified ad: “Wanted: astronauts. Send resume to….” As an impressionable 13-year old who was deep into Star Trek, I was inspired. But I was in junior high. I grew up, no more ads were run, and I saw there was more to Earth than what lay above. But the dream still kind of lingers.

Tune in for more exciting action!

Next Issue...Slightly Less Action