Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Things don't look good for Enterprise. Yes, the show has been renewed for a fourth season, but only 12 episodes have been ordered. That's just a half-season's worth! If Enterprise can turn things around in those 12 episodes, then they get to do a full season. If not, well, looks like UPN will do what the Suliban and the Xindi couldn't do: destroy Enterprise.

Next Issue...Boldly Going, Going, Gone

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Today's Dirty Joke: So, NAIT is having this upcoming event called "My Big Fat Greek Toga Party." We've been talking about it on-air for the past couple of weeks. I literally have to bite my tongue to stop myself from doing jokes about "Greek style."

Today's Fight with The Man: So, I'm currently embroiled in a battle with Alberta Health and Wellness. I've fallen behind in paying my healthcare premiums, mainly because I can't afford them. I've applied for assistance with my premiums, but I've been turned down. Why? Because I worked in Japan. I don't qualify for assistance until I've been back in the province for a year. So, it looks like I'll have to cave and ask my parents to pay it off. I wish I lived in any other province where healthcare comes out of the taxes and I don't have to pay any premiums. Why do Albertans have to pay healthcare premiums? Oh, yeah. Because Ralph Klein is a MORON. I swear, some day, I'm moving to the Yukon. I've never heard any complaints about the Yukon's government.

Today's Revelation: So, I've gotten myself wrapped up in something strange. NAIT's newspaper has this thing called the Grapevine where people can have their rants about anything. I love Kevin Smith films, and Jersey Girl is being described as a "chick flick." Naturally, I want to see a chick flick with a chick. So, I put a thing in the Grapevine asking for a woman who might want to see Jersey Girl. And lo and behold, I got a response. We've e-mailed each other a couple times, and we've both admitted to each other that this is really weird how we're getting together. But you know what? Weird things happen in life, and when it does, you can do one of two things: turn and run, or play along and just see how weird things get. I'm playing along right now.

Today's Cool E-mail: So, in the 1980s, Milton Bradley put out this series of games called T.H.I.N.G.S. I loved them, and I managed to collect all 9. I've rambled a few times about how I'm thinking of making the first T.H.I.N.G.S. website, as I've found none out there. Today, I got an e-mail from a guy who read one of my T.H.I.N.G.S. rants. He said, "Dude, a T.H.I.N.G.S. website would be so cool! E-mail me as soon as it's up! And make sure it's got lots of pictures." So, I guess I finally have to make it.

Next Issue...So
Wow. I'm amazed that this news slipped under my radar.

Following the success of their Transformers and G.I. Joe boxed sets, today Rhino home video has released....

Jem: The Complete First and Second Seasons

This four disc set includes all 26 episodes from the show's first two seasons, plus a whole whack of bonus material such as running commentaries, interviews with the creators and voice cast, and even the show's Bible. Out TODAY!

I am shocked and ashamed that I didn't pick up on this sooner.

And here's some news I knew for a while but held off on reporting. Manga publisher Tokyopop has just signed a deal with Paramount Pictures to produce Star Trek: The Manga. The idea right now is to use American writers and Japanese artists. The head of Tokyopop is describing this as "the Animatrix for Star Trek fans."

Next Issue...Truly Outrageous!

Monday, March 29, 2004

Got a brief bit of movie news today. In a recent interview, David Duchovney said that, yes, a second X-Files movies is still in the works. Duchovney said he was talking to X-Files creator Chris Carter recently, and Carter's hard at work on the script. The script apparently features one major new character which'll allow for a major star to come onto the film. Duchovney says it's a great supernatural thriller that appeal to both the show's fans and a broader audience. Duchovney also said that he expects to start filming early next year.

Next Issue...The Truth is Old

Sunday, March 28, 2004

It's that time again! The latest column's up! this week's installment is called Showtime! Here's a brief sample:

"Pop quiz hot shot. Three beautiful women walk up to you and ask you to star in a music video. What do you do? I found myself in that situation about 6 weeks ago. Actually, it all started much more innocently than that. I was in the computer lab just minding my own business. These three TV students from across the hall came in, saddled up beside me and asked one simple question. “You’re not shy in front of a camera, are you Mark?” Well, most everyone who knows me knows I shamelessly mug for a camera so I said, “I’m more comfortable than you think.” That’s when they sprung it on me. “We’ve got to make a music video for our production class and we want you to star.” "

As always,
here's the whole thing.

And before I go to bed, here's some TV news I read a few days ago. After 12 years on Law and Order, Jerry Orbach is leaving the show! Actually, it'll be more like a sabbatical, as Orbach is already in negotiations to reprise the character of Det. Lenny Briscoe on the fourth Law and Order show, tenatively scheduled for fall 2005.

Next Issue...Law & Order: Mark Squad
Forget Pokemon! I'm on an obsession with Godzilla right now. Godzilla x Mechagodzilla, the film whose movie poster became a hotly contested property between me and the AEON coroporation, was released in North America on DVD back on Tuesday, and I've been debating all week weather I should get it or not. That, and I just happened to catch Godzilla 2000 on TV. I've been doing a little nosing around online, and it seems that most G-fans have split up the films into three series:

The first series began with the original film in 1954 and ran until 1975. These are all the classic Godzilla films that we grew up with. Highlights include: the original Godzilla, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and, the one film considered to be the ultimate of Toho's giant monster films, Destroy All Monsters. I'd kind of like to see this one. When aliens start invading the Earth, Godzilla rallies all the giant monsters he's fought (plus giant monsters from other Toho giant monster epics) and they fight the aliens. And then, in 1975, it was felt that Godzilla had lost touch with his audience, and they stopped making Godzilla films.

The second series began with a remake of the original in 1984, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the original. (It came out over here in 1985 and was called Godzilla 1985.) A real effort was made to make Godzilla competitve in the post-Star Wars era, and the Godzilla suit was actually quite an advanced animatronic get-up. But, it didn't do so well. But, that didn't stop them from pumping out a whole bunch more "Godzilla vs." films, starting in 1989 and ending in 1995. Then, in 1995, Toho Studios (the makers of the Godzilla films) signed a deal with Sony Studios (the owners of Columbia/Tri-Star). Sony announced their plans to do an American remake of Godzilla, and Toho decided to step out of the way, let the Yankees pump out Godzilla films, and collect the royalty cheques.

Then, the American remake came out. Godzilla (1998) wasn't too well received by the public on both sides of the Pacific. Toho looked at Sony at said, "Gee, you guys kind of effed up, didn't you?" and Toho decided to bring the original Godzilla out of retirement. The first of this third series was Godzilla Millenium which came out in Japan in December 1999. (That would be Godzilla 2000 to us, and it came out over here in August 2000.)

And the series will be ending soon. This year - 2004 - marks the 50th anniversary of the original film so, to celebrate, this year's Godzilla film is going to be a real monster mele, with Godzilla going up against about a dozen other classic monsters from over the years. Comparisons are already being made to Destroy All Monsters. And then, it'll end for now. Toho Studios has announced that box office receipts are down for Godzilla so, after this year's 50th anniversary film, that'll be the end of Godzilla. For a while, anyway.

Next Issue...Markzilla (didn't want to repeat the "Godzilla vs. Markagodzilla" gag)
Well, it just wouldn't be my blog without an insane rant about Pokemon. Yesterday's episode saw the return of Brock to help out Ash on his pokemon journey. Sadly, it's kind of lame how they brought him back. When he left, he said he was doing so because he had "business to take care of back home." And this is how they explained his return:

Ash>> But, you said you had business to take care of back home!
Brock>> I did. I took care of it. And now I'm back.

Ehh. Doesn't matter. Brock's back!

Next Issue...Brock's still back!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Big day for me. The long-awaited NR92 LAN party went down. I think we did the best we could under the circumstances.

Afterwards, I knew it was time to get something to eat. Now, y'all know I love my fast food, and I'm always on the look-out for new fast food tastes. And, lo and behold, what did I see, but a Quiznos Subs. I finally decided to try them out.

I don't know, but your sandwich shops always seem to be somewhat removed from regular fast food restaurants. True, while they follow the fast food model on a corporate level, just by walking through the front door, they feel different. And there really aren't that many. Here in Canada, we've had Mr. Sub for as long as I can remember, and Subway kind of exploded in the early to mid 90s. And now, we've got Quiznos.

Every fast food restaurant needs a gimmick, and Quiznos' is that they toast their subs. I went in there not quite knowing what to have, and they had a Philly Cheessteak on special. It was a rather good sandwich. I think Quiznos deserves a return visit.

Unless, of course, it's made Mr. Anderson's "evil list."

And, this evening, I finally got to watch The Last Unicorn. It came out on DVD last week, and I finally bought it back on Wednesday. It's a very plain DVD - it's not even in widescreen - but now I can retire my VHS copy, which I taped off Space: The Imagination Station about 6 years ago. It's just one of those movies that haunts me. It's very much about growing up, loss of innocense, questions of faith. It's based on a novel, and I keep threatening to read the book someday. And I must read it. The more I watch the movie, the more it feels like that there are parts missing from it. The plot just kind of jumps forward in places. Of course, I'm assuming the book fills in those gaps.

And I don't know why they haven't done a live-action re-make yet. With the success of The Lord of the Rings, you just know that fantasy films are going to be the next big thing. A few months back, I was reading about a live-action remake scheduled for Christmas 2005, but now it looks like that project has fallen apart.

So, I guess it's up to me.

Next Issue...Engaged to a Douglas Fir

Friday, March 26, 2004

And now, I'd like to present an actual conversation I had with a TV student today:

The student>> Mark. Got any weed?
Me>> What?
Student>> Weed! Do you have any weed?
Me>> What kind of weeds? Like dandilions? Thistles?
Student>> (pause) You can get high off thistles?

They claim they needed it for a story, but I don't know about those TV kids....

Oh, and in a little bit of movie news, the villain in the Elektra movie will be Typhoid Mary.

Next Issue...Watch the Thorns

Thursday, March 25, 2004

So, um, it's Thursday, and that's when the Nugget, NAIT's newspaper, comes out. As you may recall, I submitted this week's article, The Loser's Point of View, for publication. And, lo and behold, it was published. Reaction was, well, quite mixed.

Here. I'd like to quote the editor of the Nugget who took in this little dig at me at the end:

"Editor's note: Mark, you're writing style is pretty good, I love it in fact. But in person, you creep me out. You're kind of a Bob Layton meets Forrest Gump kind of guy. I mean in that in a good way...sort of. Thank you NAIT for not voting for Mark Cappis."

And, reaction among my classmates has been highly negative. Some say that's it's not the professional thing to do, ripping on politicians and giving them no opportunity to reply. My response to them? It's political satire. It's no different that Rick Mercer ripping on Paul Martin.

Others say that I took some unfair swipes at my own. I do rip on them a bit over there somewhat...weak coverage of the election. And again, I really don't care. Yeah, it was weak. But it's not like they had the opportunity to do any meaningful coverage anyway. IT ONLY LASTED A WEEK! I don't know. I guess it's OK for me to rip on them on our little station, but when I do it in the paper, it's murder! How dare I do it in a medium that people actually follow!


I ran into a couple of the NAITSA VPs, and they personally loved it. They think it was pretty good. One of them also worked for the paper, and they've warned me that quite a few venemous responses have already been sent in. I'm ready for it. After the couple of weeks I've been through, I'm ready.

"You're kind of a Bob Layton meets Forrest Gump kind of guy." That's going on the dust jacket of my first book!

Next Issue...The Most Hated Man at NAIT...for the next 2 days.
Back in school. Hating every minute.

I was drowning my sorrows in the latest issue of Star Trek Communicator. They have an interesting article about the Cardassians. The Cardassians have been one of the biggest villains in Star Trek, yet they have yet to reach the fame or noteriety of the Klingons and Borg. Why is that? The explaination given was that the Cardassians never fell back on an archtype. E.g. Klingons = warriors, Borg = zombies, but the Cardassians don't fall back on anything like that. In fact, the article goes on to say that the Cardassians are the most like us, hence that's why they're not identifiable.

Anyway, Enterprise was a rerun last night, so I got to watch Corner Gas. Last night, on the show, they did one of those little in-jokes that I always expect in cartoons, but I never see coming in live-action. The plot was a stand-up comic was coming to their small town of Dog River, so they were talking about stand-up comedy, and the subject soon turned to improv comedy:

Mechanic guy>> Improv comedy is good. I used to like that show, "Whose Line Is It Anywho?"
Brent>> Yeah, I liked that show, too. But I got sick of the bald guy. He's made a cameo in everything.

[Enter Colin Mochrie]
Colin>> Hey Brent!
Brent>> Hey.
[Exit Colin Mochrie]

My God! I was laughing my ass off! Snide crossovers like that are usually confined to the pages of Twisted ToyFare Theatre. And it continued to the end of the show, too. The subplot concerned the formation of the town's first book club, so at the end, lampooning those serious sitcom endings, Brent was recommending some of the books read in the show. And then, out of nowhere...

[Enter Colin Mochrie]
Colin>> So, yeah! Pick up a book! Reading is cool! (gives cheezy thumbs up)
Brent stares at Colin in disbelief for a while. He turns back to face the camera
Brent>> My God! He's in everything!

And the show ended.

Anyway, got some movie news. Spider-Man 2 has been pushed ahead! No longer coming out July 2, it's now coming out June 30. And, advance buzz has already been so good for Spider-Man 2, that Sony has officially announced Spider-Man 3 for May 2007.

Oh, and I heard this one on the radio this morning, so put this in pure rumour. Because of the success of The Passion of the Christ, people want to cash in. And, of course, the best way to cash in (and offer a light-hearted alternative) is to make a spoof. But, rather than make a spoof, they're just thinking about doing a massive theatrical re-release of Monty Python's Life of Brain.

Next Issue...Enter Colin Mochrie

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Oh, happy day! Disney has announced the next three Hayo Miyazaki films that they're bringing to North America. Disney's hard at work at dubbing:

Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, Porco Rosso and My Neighbor Totoro!

Each one will be 2-disc special editions, featuring the entire storyreel for the film on disc 2. Rosso and Totoro will have all-new 5.1 surround sound mixes, and Nausicaa will have only the original mono sound mix. Plus, each one will have the original Japanese language tracks. More bonus materials are To Be Announced.

And it all comes out on August 31.

Plus some more DVD news. DVD documentary artisan Kevin Burns has just been hired by George Lucas to do a new "making of" documentary for the upcoming Star Wars box set. For DVDs, Burns has made documentaries ranging from the making of Cleopatra to a bio on Marilyn Monroe.


Now, I have to go hand out flyers like a schoolgirl in front of Shinjuku station.

Next Issue...Sorry, no tissues.

Monday, March 22, 2004

My life is gripped in melancholy. I've lost my love for radio.

I drown my sorrows in my new addication. NAIT's cafeteria now makes sushi trays. Granted, it's not god sushi, but it reminds me of a far off place.

Oh, and Mr. Anderson had to send me the news. It's official. Now that Robert Rodriguiz has quit the director's guild, Quentin Tarintino has joined Sin City as a third co-director.

And some DVD news. On June 1, we will be getting not one, but two new DVD versions of Spider-Man. The "Deluxe Edition" looks to be nothing more than a re-package of the 2-disc special edition out now. The "Superbit" edition follows the trend of all Superbit DVDs: the disc is completely devoid of bonus features, and the extra disc space is used to max out the picture and sound quality.

But, bucking the trend, there will be one bonus feature on the "Superbit" DVD: a running commentary with star Tobey Maguire.

Next Issue...Sleepy Man

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Well, folks, it's that time of the night. I've got my latest column up. I'm sure that you'll agree that this one is a much-expected insane rant. Yes, it's all about my recent election campaign. This one is called The Loser's Point of View:

"The administration doesn’t listen to us! I’ll lower student fees! It’s time for a change!

Oh. Hello. You caught me writing my presidential campaign speech for next year. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “But…that sounds like the speeches that we just heard. How can it be next year’s?” That’s the one thing I’m finding really funny. I’ve been through university already and bore witness to four presidential campaigns. Now, it’s five years later and at a different school. I’m quite literally in a different time and place. And the speeches and promises were exactly the same."

And yes, it has been submitted to the Nugget, NAIT's student paper, for publication. Don't wait until the paper comes out on Thursday, though. Read it all now!

Next Issue...Whiney Dog
Well, I watched my Saturday morning cartoons, and as always, it has led to some pop culture obeservations.

It was a rerun of Justice League, but it was one of my favourite episodes. A Better World told the tale of the Justice Lords, a parallel universe version of the Justice League who siezed power to become absolute rulers of Earth. Then, they come to our universe, conquer the Justice League, and seek to bring their version of order to our universe. Naturally, the League won't stand for that. Anyway, there's this battle royale near the end, where evil Wonder Woman is about to deliver the death blow to good Batman. Good Wonder Woman sees this, takes off her tiara, and hurls it with enough force at evil Wonder Woman to knock evil Wonder Woman flat on her ass. The tiara then makes a graceful loop in the air and returns to good Wonder Woman. I always wonder if that scene was thrown in as an homage to Sailor Moon.

Right now, I'm watching The Princess Bride on TV. It's the late movie on the Women's Network. I've always had an idea for a similar movie. I got the idea when I'd watch Trouble's role-playing games in university and she'd chastise me for constantly heckling her and her players. Same kind of thing, only instead of a grandfather reading a story to his grandson, it's the players playing their game. I just think it has enough storytelling potential to seperate it from The Princess Bride. For example, each player character has a counterpart in the game; their character. The nerdiest one could have a counterpart in the biggest, beefiest warrior.

And I just always had this great idea for a scene. One of the game characters is an archer. He draws his bow and takes aim. We cut out to the players, where the game master says, "Now, roll this die to see if you hit the target or not." The player rolls the die, and at the same time, the archer lets his arrow fly. We cut back and forth between the arrow in flight and the die tumbling in slow motion. Finally, the die comes to a rest on 1. The game master says those dreaded words: "The arrow...misses." We cut back to our warriors, they see the arrow missing the target, and the archer screams, "NOOOOOOOOO!"

My idea. Don't steal it.

And, a story about Entwistle. Out and about, and I ran into, let's call him, Mr. Blue. Now, Mr. Blue is infamous in the community not because he's a self-published author who can't sell his books. No, it's because Mrs. Blue is his cousin. Yes, in Entwistle, we actually boast a family where the husband and wife are first cousins. They actually had to go to
Scotland for the wedding because marrying your cousin is legal over there.

When I was in Japan, my upstairs neighbour was Scottish. He worked for the rival English school down the street. One day, he shared the tale about how he was at a wedding and was accidentally hitting on a cousin. Naturally, I launched into, "Well, I thought that kind of thing was legal in Scotland." He said, "It is. How do you know?" and I told him the tale of the Blue family. He just said, "Well, just because something is legal, that doesn't mean it's right."

So, my question is, is this tale more telling about Entwistle or Scotland?

And before I go to bed, just one link to pass along. Check out this image. Yeah, I know the last two movies sucked, but my heart always beats a little quicker when I see the teaser image of the latest movie. I think this is just cool.

Next Issue...Scarecrow Begins

Friday, March 19, 2004

The morning's movie news:

The Green Hornet - Kevin Smith revealed that, for his movie version of "The Green Hornet," he will be creating a new villain. This is because, on the original radio show and TV show, the Green Hornet fought little more than 2-bit con men and gyp artists. And, in the breif and little-read comics, there's really no one memorable.

Sin City - Robert Rodreiguiz has quit the Director's Guild of America over this film! Why? Well, Rodreiguiz wanted to have "Sin City" creator Frank Miller as a co-director. The DGA has a firm policy of "one director per film," unless they grant a special waiver. The DGA refused to grant a special waver for Miller, so Rodreiguiz quit the guild. Rumor has it now that Rodreiguiz is considering bringing on his friend Quentin Tarintino as a third co-director.

Some news about TV:

CSI: New York - A few character descriptions about the new CSI show. The chief of New York's CSI, named Calucci, is going to be a lot more rough and tumble than his counterparts, Grissom and Caine. One scene in the pilot has Calucci doing the ol' cop show standard of chasing a suspect across rooftops and leaping from building to building.

Insane rant about TV:

All sitcoms suck. I am reminded of this every time my mother makes me watch the Reba McIntyre Show. I was actually reading a few days ago about how TV analysists figure that the sitcom is dying. The last "big thing" in sitcoms was when Friends made it's debut 10 years ago. Since then, every "next big thing" has died a quick and painful death. (Quick for them, painful for us.)

For a while, it looked like the sitcom was going to be replaced by "the filmed comedy." This is a half-hour comedy that uses the filming and storytelling techniques more common to a one-hour drama. The pioneer of this style was Malcolm in the Middle, and every one that came since has also died a quick and painful death.

So, yeah. Sitcoms suck.

Next Issue...Sitcoms still suck

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

As y'all know, going to NAIT is my second time through the whole post-secondary education thing, the first time being Augustana in the late-90s. Thing is, even though I'm now in a different time and space, the lines between NAIT and Augustana occasionally get blurry.

Today, a friend and I were going over a news story we had to write for our news class. For this news story, I was referring quite heavily to an article in NAIT's student paper. After I'd made the fifth reference to this article, my friend said, "OK, what is this Dag thing you're talking about? I don't read it."

NAIT's student paper is called the Nugget.
Augustana's student paper is called the Dagligtale, or the Dag for short.

Throughout our whole conversation, I kept calling the Nugget "the Dag."

That's not all. There have been a couple times during the show when I called NR92 "CLCR."

So different, yet so similar.

Next Issue...Argumentative
Movie news:

- Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg are going to be making a new film classic of H.G. Wells' classic novel, the War of the Worlds. Naturally, Spielberg is directing and Cruise is starring.

- George Clooney is This close to signing on to play Thomas Magnum in a new movie version of Magnum P.I.. Michael McCuisters, who co-wrote the Austin Powers movies, is writing the script, so it's a safe bet that it'l have a slightly comic bent, like the movie versions of Charlie's Angels and Starsky and Hutch. Whatever happens, they just got to get Tom Sellick in there somewhere, though. Rumours of a Magnum movie began as soon as the show ended.

Next Issue...Rubber Balls

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

DVDs that come out today that I really, really, REALLY want:

The Flintstones: The Complete First Season

The Last Unicorn

Godzilla x. Mechagodzilla (I fought for the poster! Now watch it in English!)

Next Issue...Godzilla x Markagodzilla
Well, I mentioned in an assignment that I'm starting to use this to store my show prep notes, so I'd better add something other than Pokemon rants lest my instructors surf by:

- Now this I find interesting. As I've reported earlier, McDonald's has begun phasing out the supersize. But, here in Canada, we never had a true supersize. In the US, "large" and "supersize" were 2 seperate sizes. But here in Canada, we've always had three sizes: small, medium, and supersize. So, here in Canada, the phasing out of the supersize has consisted of simply changing the name of "supersize" back to "large."

- My personal rant: I've always had this brillian idea, and I think it's time to implement it. Fast food restaurants always said, "You can supersize that for 39 cents extra!" and they'd boost the size of your fries and drink from regular to supersize (or, here in Canada, large). Well, if people are more health conscious, why don't the clerks say, "You can downsize that for 39 cents less!" and then your fries and drink would be bumped down to small.

- Speaking of bumping things down to small, as part of this smaller portions trend, Pepsi has just introduced the 237 mL can. That's 2/3 the size of a regular pop can. People are already complaining that this "Baby Pepsi" is too small.

- Starbucks has just opened several stores with the ability to sell the muzak they play on custom-made CDs. A 5-song CD will cost $6.99, with extra songs for 99 cents each. Right now, you buy the CDs on a per-track basis, but complete albums will be sold in the future. Starbucks says they're doing this because so many people have asked about the music they play in their stores. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Starbucks is evil.

- And, in news that doesn't have to do with conveinence food, Liberal MP Pat O'Brian is about to table a private members bill calling for the formation of a holiday sometime between New Years and Easter, to help people get through the midwinter blues. Although his bill calls for the day off to be chosen in a nationwide poll, O'Brian's personal choice is St. Patrick's Day. O'Brian does have strong Irish roots, and as he indicates, Ireland is one of the founding nations recognized in Canada's coat of arms. Some interesting notes: St. Patrick's Day is already a stat holiday in Newfoundland & Labradour, where 60% of the population is Irish. And, of course, here in Alberta we already have our midwinter holiday: Family Day.

I have more, but I'll write it when I get to school

Next Issue...At School

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Wow. It's been a few days. I've just been awful busy. I spent Saturday on a film set. A few TV kids asked me to be in their music video. I'm certain there's a column in that.

But not this weeks! This week is the appropriatly titled A Collection of Unrelated Paragraphs Thrown Together at the Last Minute Because I Realized I Didn’t Have a Column to Publish this Week. Here's a sample:

It’s not that I have writer’s block. It’s that I don’t feel like writing. All my writing energy right now is being spent at school. Writing scripts for commercials, writing proposals for clients, writing news stories, writing reports about how to make my show better, writing my stop sets. Yes, writing my stop sets. My announcing instructor is very fond of having us script everything. For those who don’t know, a “stop set” is that break on the radio where the music stops and the DJ does his announcing. My instructor actually wants me to spend the 10 minutes when the music’s playing writing out, “The Tractors on NR92. I’m Mark Cappis. It’s 9:10 and -5 outside. Now I have to say something interesting here to entice you to keep listening. Aerosmith is coming up next.” My instructor’s logic is if we write down what we want to say, then we can spend all our time focusing on the delivery. I agree with that, but I’ve always been of the mind that jotting down point form notes about what you want to say is just as good. There’s no need to write out every single sentence. At least, that’s just my way of doing things, which won me a wallful of plaques from high school speech competitions. But that’s just me.

Read it all!

Next Issue...Freak Out!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

First, news for my brother. Then, news for me:

News for my brother: The Dodge Corporation has announced that they're bringing back the Chrager. The Dodge Charger was one of the company's classic muscle cars from the 1960s and 70s. It was immortalized as the General Lee on The Dukes of Hazzard. The new Charger will be on roads by 2006.

News for me: One of my favourite animes has finally come to North America. The first volume of Galaxy Angel has just been released. In Japan, I'd watch it every Sunday morning at 9:30 (if I was up that early). It was a hilarious show, following the exploits of an all-girl galactic fighter squadron, and how they're current mission would always wind up being put on the wayside for some ridiculous thing. Very funny. On DVD now. Check it out!

Next Issue...The Dream Time

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

One more thing I want to jot down to remember to say on tomorrow's shift:

Gary Sinise, who was Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump," looks to be the star of the latest "CSI" spin-off, "CSI: New York."

Oh, and I probably won't have a radio show tomorrow as a mandatory meeting for all presidential candidates is right smack dab in the middle of my show.

Next issue...Pikachu Strikes!
Wow! I've got a lot I want to share today. It's been stacking up inside me all day. First, DVD News:

George Lucas's first film, THX-1138, is finally coming to DVD later this year. In true George Lucas fashion, the film will boast over 400 new and updated FX shots.

DVD news for my brother: Coming out on June 1, The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete First Season.

The long-awaited super special edition of Tim Burton's Batman will come out in summer 2005, to tie in with Christopher Nolan's new Batman film.

The much-demanded DVD boxed sets of Batman: The Animated Series will probably come out later this year, along with the Superman cartoon and the 1970s Wonder Woman.

Negotiations are underway to bring Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman to DVD.

Now, movie news:

Judy Blume has just signed a massive deal with Disney. Blume's most famous book is perhaps Are You There God? It's Me, Margret. The first film Disney will make in this deal is Deenie.

Space news:

Everyone is turning into an amateur Mars-ologist, thanks to the photos of Mars that have been sent back by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. People have called NASA to share that, in the photos, they've found: letters carved into rocks, dinosaur fossils, and sea creature fossils. The most famous of all has to be the image of a white rabbit that many claim to have seen. NASA claims that the rabbit debris from the rover's landing. Other say that NASA is trying to cover up this discovery of life on Mars. And one lone nut has claimed that the Mars rover ran down the bunny, and that NASA's covering up the first interplanetary roadkill.

Misc. news that I want to share on my radio shift tomorrow morning:

While browsing through Kingsway Garden Mall, I spied a girl's T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, "What Boys Do." Do young women really want to advertise themselves as what boys do?

Next Issue...No Show
As I've probably told all of you, Kevin Smith's next film will be his first action film, the long-awaited big screen version of The Green Hornet. I read this interview with him this morning about doing an action film:

I hired a great A.D. (Assistant Director) and a great 2nd A.D. because the 2nd unit apparently is really important on these movies. It was a big secret. They were like "kevin, you won't direct everything. You'll have a second unit director who will do a lot of the big action stuff." I said "Get the fuck out of here! Does anyone know about this? Is this legit?" They're like "Totally!" I was like {"Bryan Singer did that on the 'X-Men 2' movie?" They were like "Bryan Singer barely shot that movie." Who knows if they were lying or not but I was like "Get out of here! Really?" Because that, to me, means I can spend a lot more time at home. Somebody's off making a movie and I get credit for it later. So I surround myself with people who really know how to pull that shit off. We'll get a great effects house to do CG stuff. We'll have a pretty cool movie.

I'm just hired as the guy who makes sure that the movie's interesting when there's not shit going on. When there's not an action sequence. Often times in these flicks you wind up with characters who aren't nearly as interesting as the villains. Or characters who are interesting when they're in costume. It'll be nice to actually give it a shot and try to make a flick where you care more about the dude before he's in costume than when he's in costume. Which is kind of like "Spider-Man" to me. I liked Spider-Man up until the point where he put on his suit and I was like "Fuck this!" Just give me more Peter Parker.

Check out the whole interview at Hero Realm:
Right here.

Next Issue...*sigh*

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Latest column's up! Continuing with this weekend's theme, it's called Today's Obsession: The Pokemon Films:

"So, I finally bought the fifth Pokémon movie on DVD: Pokémon Heroes. I was threatening that I’d do this someday, so I think that today is the day. I’m going to sit here and review all five Pokémon movie DVDs! Actually, it’s thanks to the Pokémon movies that I cemented my reputation as a movie news god. We were in line to see Episode I, and the latest issue of ToyFare was being passed around. They were talking to the folks at Hasbro about Pokémon toys, and one of the questions asked was, “Will there be toys based on the upcoming movie?” One of my friends – a real anime snob – said, “Wha? There’s a movie?” And I said, “Well, like several other anime television programs, Pokémon has proven popular enough to spawn several feature films. The first one, entitled Mewtwo Strikes Back, is currently being dubbed for a straight-to-video release. But, if the Pokémon fad continues to grow, it’ll probably get released to theatres.” At this, my friend groaned, and six months later, I was in line to watch Pokémon: the First Movie. So, let’s get on with the reviews!"

Gotta Read It All!

Next Issue...I Choose You!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I'm growing more obsessed with Pokemon 6 and wondering if I'll ever get to see it someday. Yeah, #5 got a limited theatrical release and didn't do very well, but it has been selling amazingly well on DVD. So, it's still booming in the straight-to-video market.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Pokemon represents my ideal life. Just wandering around, all I need in my backpack and no want for money. My only companions are my best friend, a girl who lies in the wonderfully grey area between "friend" and "more than friend," and an array of magic creatures. Not a care in the world, and my only concern is what over's the next hill.

Let's do this someday. Are there two people out there who want to walk the TransCanada trail with me?

Next Issue...Snorlax strikes
So, I'm continuing the Pokemon obsession that began when I bought movie #5 the other day, and it's just continuing now that I've seen the first episode of season 6, Pokemon Advance. I was geeking out over the whole thing. It was weird seeing the opening credits sequence that I was so familiar with in Japan, now re-edited and with an English theme song. But, it was great seeing how things all began for Ash in the Hoenn region! And I do so love to share.

Let's Get the Show on the Road - The episode opens with our introduction to May, Ash's new female companion. She's riding her bike down the road, and in an aside, she tells us her story. It's her 10th birthday, meaning she is now of legal age to go on a Pokemon journey. So, she's off to see Professor Birch and get her first pokemon. At this point, she's spooked by a ghost pokemon and runs into a tree. Now, she tells us the truth. She doesn't really like pokemon. She's young and consumed with wanderlust, and she figures that a pokemon journey is the perfect excuse to get out and travel the world. She stops on a hilltop and watches a cruise ship pull into the docks at Littleroot Town.

On that crusie ship is our hero, Ash Ketchum, and he's very worried. Pikachu is deathly ill after last week's battle with Team Rocket, so Ash is desperate for the ship to get to Littleroot Town so he can take Pikachu to the Pokemon Center. Also on the ship are Team Rocket, but Jessie is in the throws of an existential quandry. "We've followed that twerp and tried to catch Pikachu for so long now," she says to James. "Is this all there is to life? We've now followed that kid halfway across the world! Why? Why do we do this?" James just kind of says, "Because we do."

The ship docks in Littleroot Town, and Ash is horrified to discover that the town doesn't have a Pokemon Centre. Knowing he needs help, Ash calls up Professor Oak's colleage in the Hoenn Region, Professor Birch. Ash calls Birch's lab and talks to Joshua, Brich's assistant. Joshua tells Ash to sit tight and he'll send Professor Birch down right away. Ash gets comfy. Pikcahu sleeps a restless sleep in Ash's arms. Then, a jeep comes tearing down the streets! It stops and out steps a big, bearded man. It's Professor Birch! Ash and Pikachu get into the jeep and the go flying back to Birch's lab. Along the way, Birch asks Ash if Pikachu had come into contact with any large magnetic fields lately. Ash says yeah, in last week's episode, Team Rocket's latest Pikachu-catcher used a giant electromagnet to restrain Pikachu. Birch says that's the problem. The electomagnet threw off Pikachu's ability to safely discharge his electricity. Now, it's all building up inside Pikachu. They have to drain off Pikachu's excess power. At this point, Pikachu begins struggling in Ash's arm. Pikachu's illness is making him delusional.

They arrive at Birch's lab and Joshua has the equipment ready. They lay Pikachu on the exam table and hook-up the electrodes. They throw the switch and begin draining Pikachu's power. But, Pikachu has too much power! The machine can't take it all! The machine explodes and, in his sick, delusional state, Pikcahu jumps out the window and makes a run for it. Ash goes after, but tells Birch that he's got no Pokemon to help bring in Pikachu. Birch grabs the pokemon he was saving for May to choose from and goes after Ash. Birch goes after Ash and tells the news. The build-up of electricity is worse than he thought. If they're not very gentle in capturing Pikachu, Pikachu will explode.

At this point, May shows up at Birch's lab, and Joshua tells her the situation. May goes off to help.

Ash and Birch split up to cover more ground. Birch slips and tumbles over a ledge, where he disturbs an angry pack of Poocheynas. (Wolf pokemon.) Birch climbs a tree for safety and is stuck. At this point, May shows up. Birch tells May to choose a pokemon from his bag (which he dropped when he fell over the ledge) and use a pokemon to fight off the Poocheynas. May selects a Mudkip, but her disinterest in pokemon shows when she accidentally unleashes Mudkip's attacks on herself. Birch manages to escape from the tree and uses Mudkip himself.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, Ash finds Pikachu. But, in his delusional state (I love saying "Pikachu's delusional state), Pikachu sees Ash as being a monster, and unleashes a massive Thuderbolt on Ash. Birch and May spot this and go running over. Birch and May show up to find both Ash and Pikachu unconscious. Birch cautiously approaches Pikachu but Pikachu wakes up! Still delusional, Pikachu leaps off a cliff! Ash wakes up and jumps after!

After commercial, Ash catches Pikachu and grabs onto a branch hanging from the side of the cliff. Birch and May throw down a rope and Ash starts climbing up. But, Pikachu wakes up! The delusional Pikachu begins fighing Ash, even biting Ash! Ash starts speaking very calmly to Pikachu. Thanks to Ash's reassuring voice, Pikachu awakens from his delusional state. Ash and Pikachu make it to the top, and now, Pikachu is ready to go back to Birch's lab and get healed.

But, Team Rocket shows up with their latest Pikachu catching machine! But what's the point, Jessie muses. They'll just screw it up and go blasting off again. Meowth figures this time they've got it in the bag. They easily catch the weakend Pikachu and throw on their machine. This is an energy-draining machine! It'll drain off Pikachu's electricity and make Pikachu more managable. They begin draining the energy, but there's soooo much! It starts overloading the machinery! And soon, it's not long before Pikachu's energy levels are back to normal! Jessie is amazed at how much energy Pikachu had stored and is reminded. THIS is why it's so important to catch Pikachu! With this power on their side.... Yes! Now back to normal, Pikachu throws off a Thundershock and sends Team Rocket blasting off again. The Thundershock also destroys May's bike, much to May's dismay. Pikachu collapses, completely drained.

Back in the lab, Professor Birch gives the prognosis. Team Rocket's energy-draining machine was just what Pikachu needed! After a good night's sleep, Pikachu should be back to normal. Now, with this done, Birch and May can ge down to the task of selecting May's first pokemon. Ash figures he's got to be a part of this so he can glimpse some Hoenn region pokemon. First, May looks over a Treeko; a grass pokemon. "Too icky," she declares. Then, she looks at the Mudkip; the same one that accidentally attacked her before. Too many bad memories there. The last one is a fire-type; the chicken-esque Torchick. Torchick takes an instant liking to May, and the feelings mutual. She utters those magic words, "Torchick, I choose you!" (But under her breath, she mutters that she'd gladly give up all the pokemon in the world.)

The next morning, May starts gearing herself up. She's pissed over how her bike got destroyed by Pikachu, so she's going to ream out Ash and Pikachu. But once she sees the not-quite recovered Pikachu in bed, and Ash, who was by Pikachu's bedside all night, she figures now's not really the best time to tear a strip off them. She goes outside at gets to know Torchick a little better. Soon, Ash and Pikachu come out, and Pikachu and Torchick become fast friends. Ash says that Pikachu's made his first friend in the Hoenn region. May looks at how well Pikachu is getting along with Torchick, then looks at the charred remains of her bike. Under her breath, she mutters, "Meh, it's just a bike. Who cares?"

After breakfast, Ash and May are ready to set out on their journey. Birch suggests they go to the closest Pokemon Center in Oldale Town, so they can register in Hoenn League. May, reluctant to go alone because her bike was destroyed, suggests that she and Ash should make the trip together. Ash agrees, and they set out for Oldale Town! To be continued....

And thus begins Pokemon Advance!

And since I'm so obsessed right now, I had to do some research online, and was delighted to find, coming to Japanese theaters on July 17...Pokemon 7.

Next Issue...Delusional Pikachu

Friday, March 05, 2004

Lots of fascinating stuff!

First, the movie news.

Bryan Singer, he who made the X-films, has just announced his next project! Sorry, it's not X3. Singer's next is a remake of Logan's Run. If you've never seen it, I recommend it. It's the quintessential cheezy 1970s sci-fi film. See, in the post-apocolyptic future, the remnants of humanity live in a giant domed city. And, to keep the population under control, you die when you hit 30. Naturally, some people don't like this, so a cop named Logan is dispatched to infiltrate these rebels and shut them down. But, he begins to sympathize, and soon he's trying to escape from the city. Singer's new film is going to be more faithful to the original novel. And in the novel, you die at 21.

Now, random oberservation news:

I finally bought Pokemon 5 on DVD, and was geeking out throughout the whole thing. The first time I saw it was a year and a half ago when it was first released in Japan. And now, I finally saw it in English! The one thing that really made me geek out, though, was the fact that they didn't rescore it for North America! Original music, baby! Well, the only change was the one or two banal J-pop tunes were replaced with one or two banal, discount bin pop tunes. And when I was in Japan, I was always so tempted to buy the soundtrack. I don't know. These North American dubs had much higher production values when Warner Brothers was doing the dubbing. Miramax looks like they don't care.

And while Pokemon 5 is one of the lesser of the Pokefilms, it will always be the best Pokemon film experience for me. I mean, I saw it when it first came out in Japan. I saw it on a matinee when it was just me and a few dozen schoolkids who had skipped class. I had very little idea what was going on. But you know what? It was almost a cooler film when I didn't know what was going on.

But yeah. If I remember right, Miramax's deal to distribute the films in North America ended with 5. So that means we need a distributor for #6! I've said it before and I'll say it again. When I got the call from AEON two weeks before I left offerening me an emergency teacher position, the only "pro" I had on my "pro/con" list was, "I'll be able to stay in Japan long enough to see Pokemon 6." They had begun running TV spots for it, darn it!

And I always wonder about Pokemon. In 10 years, when everyone who's currently 12 is 22, will Pokemon have a similar following like how Transformers has a following now? Probably.

Anyway, after I watched Pokemon 5, I watched Kiki's Delivery Service again. That is one of the most charming films I've ever seen! It's just something about Japanese animation. It's like, here in North America, we've grown to be a very cynical society. And that cynisism leads to films like Shrek and Teacher's Pet. But it seems like Japan is still a very innocent society; one that still believes in magic. And it shows in their film. From the top films of Miyazaki to the bottom-of-the-barrel that are the Pokemon films, there is an honesty and a truth to the magic. It's not treated cynically.

And I think that's cool.

Next Issue: Latios and Latias - Guardians of Water

Thursday, March 04, 2004

And now, the news.

In an effort to combat obesity, McDonald's has announced that they're phasing out the supersize. Clerks are going to stop asking, "Would you like to supersize that?" and it'll be taken off the menu completely by the end of the year.

The day after McDonald's made this announcement, a man named Morgan Spurlock began doing promotional interviews for his film. His film is called Super Size Me: A Film of Epic Proportions. What's this film about? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Back when McDonald's was first sued for causing obesity, McDonald's used the defence that they're food is actually healthy. Spurlock said to himself, "Oh, really?" and decided to eat nothing but McDonald's food for a month. What happened to Spurlock? He gained 25 pounds and his cholesterol shot up 60 points. This is the anchor of his documentary, which is about the growing obesity problem in the USA. The film has won an award at the Sundance Film Festival, and it's gearing up for a major release.

McDonald's claims their decision to ax the supersize has nothing to do with this film.

Be sure to watch for Super Size Me, coming soon to a theatre near you.

You know, I once had a great idea for McDonald's; all fast food restaurants, really. I do so love the combo meals, but I find that, somedays, just the regular size fries and the regular cola you get is too much. So, I figure if supersize bumps it up one larger, we should be able to downsize and get one size smaller. How would like to hear that from a McClerk? "You can downsize for 39 cents less." I think it's bloody brilliant.

Next Issue...Down Size it.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

And the Bat-news just keeps coming! Another real actor has just joined the cast of the next Batman movie. Gary Oldman will play the young Lt. Gordon. Wow.

And tomorrow's just going to be a crazy day. I've got classes, my first campaign speech, I have to conduct two interviews for another project, and get some my posters made up for campaigning.

And all before 1pm.


Next Issue...Boom!
I think it's time to attempt my grand sociological experiment.

I first hatched this idea in Japan, as I read the personal ads in Metropolis; Tokyo's free weekly English magazine. I'd always read the personal ads and laugh at them. They were always so pathetic. "Lonely white guy seeks hot Japanese woman." And then, one day, I stumbled across one that was so much like my situation I couldn't stand it: a virgin seeking his "first time."

I then started wondering about this guy. How many responses did he receive? I figured the best way to do it would be to run my own personal ad. I would run an ad similar, set up a hotmail account to receive responses, and then wait to see if anyone did actually reply.

I outlined this all in a column I never published, mainly because I started writing better ones.

So, here at NAIT, their student paper has something called the Grapevine, which is where all students can submit three or four lines of stuff they want to rant about. (To my fellow Augustana alumni, think Three Lines Free.) Many of them are, "Hey baby, I think you're hot, let's hook up and make sweet love," and then they never sign their name. This would be the perfect place to attempt my experiment. I've just got to try this.

Anyway, more Marvel movie news:

Spider-Man 3 - Marvel is already targeting a Summer 2007 release.

Elektra - Starts filming in May.

Iron Man - Starts filming near the end of summer.

Fantastic Four - Still looking for a director.

Luke Cage - John Singleton is directing. He brought us such gritty urban dramas as Boys n the Hood. His last film was the craptacular action sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Next Issue...Showtime

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Morning Movie News!

The Chronicles of Narnia - Disney has just signed on to be the worldwide distributor and co-financer of C.S. Lewis's classic series of fantasy novels. Andrew Adamson, director of the Shrek films, has already been writing and preparing to direct, and New Zealand's WETA Workshop, the FX wizards behind The Lord of the Rings are doing the effects.

Toy Story 3 - Speaking of da mouse, now that Pixar's off their back and they still own the sequel rights to the Toy Story films, Disney has begun brainstorming ideas for a Toy Story 3. This is doomed to failure without Pixar.

A Princess of Mars - This will be the next for Robert Rodreiguiz after Sin City. This is another series of fantasy novels that Hollywood has also tried to make for some time. Princess is the first in a series of novels about John Carter, an old-west gunslinger who is magically transported to Mars, and finds the Red Planet to be a bizzare fantasy world full of mythical beasts, magical princess and the like. Of course, in order to survive here, Carter becomes a Conan-type warrior and, thanks to the lower gravity on Mars, he can jump around like Spider-Man. The John Carter books were written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who is, of course, more famous for creating Tarzan.

Next Issue...Mark of Mars

Monday, March 01, 2004

So, my parents are taking off on Wednesday night, and I'm going to be home alone until Saturday morning. Naturally, I'm scanning the pay-per-view menu for the rest of the week seeing if there's anything worth ordering. I've narrowed it down to either Once Upon a Time in Mexico or All Asian Girls part 7. Oh, decisions, decisions.

Maybe I'll just finally get Pokemon 5 on DVD and watch that instead.

As is my Monday night routine, I watched CSI: Miami. I just love the way David Caruso talks. It's similar to William Shatner, but not on the syllable by syllable. See, Caruso talks very...very...slowly...like...he's...having trouble...finding the words and then it starts going really really fast likehe'sfiguredouteverythinghewantstosayandithastocomeoutNOWNOWNOW. And then...back to...slow. It's great!

Another thing I'm finding interesting right now are the reviews of Star Trek: Voyager - Season One. (Came out on DVD last week.) For a lot of the Trekkie reviewers, it's their first time seeing the first season of VOY since it first premiered. And the consensus tends to be: "OH MY GOD! Voyager was actually GOOD in its first season! It had so much potentail! What went wrong?" So, some are now looking forward to the upcoming releases just so they can start looking for the exact spot that VOY started to completely fall apart.

And I got my first grade for my radio announcing. 65%. Still making far too many rookie mistakes. I'm sounding conversational, though, which is one of the really tricky things.

Class average was 70%. Wow. So this is what it's like to be below average. It sucks.

Next Issue...Freak Off!