Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Today, I received what I'm sure is the greatest piece of toy-related comic book art EVER.

So, I'm reading the latest issue of ToyFare, #85. In it, they're doing a huge report on girls toys of the 1980s, mainly because there's been a huge demand for it. Yeah, they've done just about every story on He-Man, G.I. Joe, and Transformers, but people are starting to ask about Jem, She-Ra, and Strawberry Shortcake. Anyway, I'm leafing through it, and what image do they have kicking off this report?

We've got She-Ra, Rainbow Bright, and Strawberry Shortcake. All grown up, around mid-20s or so, built like brickhouses, and doing a Coyote Ugly-style dance on a bar top. The caption reads, "She-Ra, Rainbow Bright, and Strawberry Shortcake growed up right."

How can I describe my reaction to this image? Remember that episode of Futurama where Fry checks up on his old bank account? Remember when he was told that, thanks to 1000 years of interest, his 93-cent balance had grown into $4.7 billion? Remember how he started foaming at the mouth and doing ecstatic convulsions on the floor?

Well, that was me doing that on the floor of Chapters when I first saw that image. Dude, it's like my earliest sexual fantasy come to 4-colour life. I've got to e-mail ToyFare a very complimentary note about it. I wonder if they're going to release it as a poster. I'd even settle for one of those really tiny posters they always slipped in their early issues. I'm sure I'm not the only child of the 1980s who thought that image was the most brilliant piece of artwork ever.

My God. They're so HOT! "Growed up right," indeed.

Yeah, that was one of the highlights of my day in the city. I finally got around to seeing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I'll write up a full review for the website tomorrow. The cool thing was I saw it at the South Edmonton Common movie theatre. I'd never been there before.

The South Edmonton Common movie theatre made headlines when it first opened in Edmonton, what, in 1998 or so. It was the first movie theatre of its kind in Edmonton. 16 screens, stadium seating (that's where the seats are arranged like the seats in a stadium), curved screens, all that good stuff. There's still very little that's been bulit around it. It's like this massive cathedral of film rising out of the prarie. I stepped inside and was in awe of the place. Ever since about high school or so, I've been sketching on the back of napkins what my "ultimate movie theatre" would look like. South Edmonton Common is the one that's come closest. Only thing is my ultimate theatre, rather than haivng 15+ screens, will have only 2 screens; two FRIGGIN' HUGE screens.

And the seats recline. Needless to say, I was impressed.

And I finally bought the score for The Matrix, mainly because I can use it this fall in the studio. It's actually pretty good; filled with lots of prophetic trumpets and fanfares. I'll be listening to it quite a bit tomorrow as I write my review and latest column and send out the latest News from Markworld and all that good stuff.

Oh, and I have to mention the weird dream I had last night. Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer dreamt of the most brilliant invention ever but he woke up before he could see what it was? It was kind of like that. Only I was reading the most brilliant novel ever written. I was nearing the end of the book. And darn it, I can't remember what it was about. Only that it ended in a tragic suicide. And Christina Ricci was one the cover. Strange.

Oh, well. I finally broke down and bought the 2-disc special edition of The Lion King today. Let's see if I can watch it.

Next Issue...Too Much Stuff

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Today, my memory wandered back to my old junior high English teacher, Mr. Twerdoclib.  He was a great teacher, but an arrogant prick.  I learned a lot from him. 

Every 3 months or so, at a time I would identify in junior high and university as midterm/final exam time, he would make us go through this exercise called the "superior good copy."  We the students were able to sift through our past three months of essays, short stories, and whatever else we may have written, and pick one that we really, really liked.  And then, we got to do another draft.  Re-write it, incorporating his comments and anything else we thought would make it better.

He first explained this concept to us using his beloved "writing process" that he beat into our minds.  He pointed to the final step, Sharing and Publishing; the final part where you're satisfied with it and you show it to everyone you know.  "When you handed it in to me," he said, "It was at this step."  Then, he went all the way back to step 2 of the process, Writing; the step I now call the first draft.  "Now, it's all the way back here.  You can start over." 

There was really only one rule when it came to doing a Superior Good Copy:  it must be rewritten!  We couldn't hand the same thing in again.  To do so would instantly get us a 0.  First time we did this, my rival Colleen Ozee did it.  Not only did she get a 0, she got one of Mr. Twerdoclib's trademark public humiliations in front of the class.   

I won't lie.  I always looked forward to it.  It was kind of fun.

But anyway, why was I thinking of this today?  As I'm looking through my past 5 years worth of columns, I'm looking at a few and thinking, "I'd like to do a superior good copy of this."  So I think I will.

Next Issue...The Return of the Ozee

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Hee hee!  I loved this article in this morning's Edmonton Journal.  It was a quick interview with Michael Moore.  Moore said that he always had trouble getting funding for his films, but now that Fahrenheit 9/11 has made $100 million, he's having no problem whatsoever getting funding for his next film. 

Moore's next documentary is called Sicko, and is going to take a look at the American health care system.  The inspiration for this film came from Moore's old TV show The Awful Truth.  In an Awful Truth segment, Moore was contacted by a man who's health insurance provider wouldn't pay for an organ transplant he needed to live.  So, Moore showed up at the front door of this insurance provider and held a funeral for this man.  The insurance provider was then shamed into paying for the transplant. 

And here's a little tidbit of movie news today.  Pierce Brosnan has announced that he's retiring from the role of James Bond.  The rumoured actors up to play Bond next are Hugh Grant, Jude Law, and Hugh Jackman. 

And I've got to talk about something I read yesterday.  I'm currently trying to finish reading a book called The Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson.  It's a collection of short stories about people who live on Mars in the future.  I hadn't picked it up in a few months.  That's the great thing about reading a short story collection:  it's really easy to get back into when you've neglected it for a while. 

Anyway, yesterday's story was called Sexual Dimorphism.  It was rather unusual.  It's about this scientist, and the love is slowly draining out of his marriage.  One night, when he finally discovers that his wife is having an affair, he and his wife get into a huge argument.  But, something in the scientist's brain misfires, and he winds up giving his wife a black eye.  So, the entire story is about him trying to resolve his guilt about what he did, and along the way, some philisophical observations are made about the differences between men and women, despite all the advances made towards equality some 200 years in the future.

I just have to mention this because it was rather different to find in a collection of sci-fi short stories.  It was utterly fascinating, but somewhat off-putting because of its subject matter.  And it's ending.  It felt rather new-agey and it was rather depressing.

OK, I'll spoil the ending.  Ultimatlely, the scientist can't resolve his guilt, so he kills himself.  How does he kill himself?  He goes swimming with the dolphins and he lets them drag him out to sea.  Yeah, the scientist's research has to do with dolphin DNA and his hobby is swimming, so there's lots of swimmer/sea life/water symbols going on. 

It was an amazing story, but off-putting.  Like Milhouse said on the Simpsons:  "I dare not watch, yet I dare not look away."

Next Issue...Dry Hands Man 

Monday, July 26, 2004

Tonight's obsession:  the superhero alter-egos of Archie characters.

I remember reading a few of these Archie stories when I was a kid.  Archie, Jughead, and Betty had superpowers and fought crime; mainly a superpowered Reggie.  According to the little tiny bit I found online, these characters originated back in the 1960s, when superhero comics were hot, hot, hot again and Archie Comics tried to cash in. 

So, it goes like this.  While doing some research in the school library, Archie discovered the secret of the Pureheart factor.  Using this, he became the superhero Pureheart the Powerful.  Soon, Betty also discovered upon this to become SuperTeen, and Jughead used it to become Captain Hero.  How Reggie got his powers wasn't explained, but I remember his supervillain identity was Evilheart. 

I do remember spying some comics in comic stores back when I was in university.  In the mid-90s, Archie Comics revisited these characters in a special mini-series.  That was also when they decided to finally give Veronica a supervillain identity.  She joined Evilheart as the scheming Miss Vanity. 

I think I'll add these characters to my list of "custom action figures I hope to try to make someday."

And now, to watch the Blade III teaser.

Next Issue...Pureheart vs. Blade 

Sunday, July 25, 2004

OK, folks, first things first.  Got the latest column up.  As promised, we have An Ode to the Narc:

"Let’s hear it for the narc! The term comes from “narcotics officer,” those dedicated police officers who fought the war on drugs by infiltrating the drug rings to bring them down from the inside. It has since grown to apply to just about any law enforcement professional who’s drunk on their 2 cents worth of power. They are the ones who think zero tolerance is too tolerant. They’re the ones who’ll lock you up and throw away the key for the most minor of infractions. They don’t speak softly, but they carry a big stick…and a big gun, a big gun of pepper spray, all kinds of weapons. As long as they’re big. I recently came face-to-face with a narc and I tell ya, it was all I could do to keep from laughing my ass off. "

How did I come face to face with such a person?  Click here to find out!

Tonight, before bed, I'm trying to do a little reading up on Eric Wilson.  Who else read his books when they were younger.  Wilson started writing the Tom Austen mysteries in the late-1980s.  Tom Austen was dubbed "Canada's answer to the Hardy Boys."  Austen, the son of a Winnepeg cop, would occastionally get embroiled in some kind of a crime at a famous Canadian landmark and use his amateur detective skills (learned from his dad and his love of Hardy Boys books) to solve the crime.  Sometimes, he was joined by his teenage sister Liz.  (In fact, several books in the series star Liz on her own.)  My brother was the bigger fan and I always just borrowed the books from him.  The only book I bought for myself was Code Red at the Supermall, because it takes place at West Edmonton Mall.  The plot was simple enough:  the Austen family is on vacation at West Edmonton Mall when a terrorist strikes and begins planting bombs all over the place.  Naturally, it's up to Tom, Liz, and Tom's best friend Dietmar Oban to unmask the identity of this mad bomber. 

I stumbled upon Eric Wilson's official site.  The last Tom and Liz Austen mystery came out in Y2K, starred Liz on her own, and had something to do with Emily Carr.  Might be worth seeking out.

Next Issue...A Mark Cappis Mystery

The niece and nephew were visiting all last week.  Last night, to keep them appeased, my sister (not their mother, but also visiting) stuck Mulan in the VCR.  It was the first time I had seen Mulan since it first came out six years ago.  I still think that it is Disney's all-time most bizzare choice for an animated musical.  It's a film that's just dying to be remade - as a live-action, Braveheart/Gladiator-style historical epic.  Get that girl who was in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to play Mulan and we're on our way.

It came out at a strange time in my life.  Mr. Anderson had taught me that it was OK for a young man to be "into" animation, and thus Disney animated films.  I was first in line for Disney's re-release of The Little Mermaid six months earlier and was first in line for Mulan.  The soundtrack for Mulan is the first (and, to date, only) Disney animated soundtrack I bought.  Now, my interest in Disney animation is passing to non-existent, and Mr. Anderson would sooner spit on Mickey Mouse than play his Best of Disney CD again.  Congradulations, Disney, for making two ardent fans turn on you!  It's amazing what just a few crappy films can do.  That, and learning the truth about how your corporation works. 

Anyway, I should sit and write a column.  I've got lots of fodder simply from yesterday. 

- My sister took the niece and nephew tubing down the ol' Pembina River.  But, she wanted to launch at this distant beach that we'd only heard rumours about.  We found this deserted beach, and I got to see Entwistle's trademark bridges over the Pembina from a completely new angle - the bottom.  Right in my own backyard, and territory and I had never seen before.

- In order to get to this beach, we had to venture through the Evansburg Cemetary.  I think it's safe to say that I'm not the only one in the world who feels a little spooked when he's strolling through a graveyard.  Even when I was playing Pokemon: Sapphire Edition.  There's this part in the game where you have to go to Mount Pyre, the pokemon cemetary.  You talk to people to try to find what you're looking for, and they tell you how they're mourning for their dead pikachu.  Very surreal.  But, the creepiest cemetaries come from my childhood.  Dad has alway been a history buff, and that tended to turn him into an amateur archeologist on our summer vacations.  When I was 10 years old, he'd occasionally drag us to these deserted cemetaries in the middle of nowhere that hadn't been maintained since the 1940s.  You know, the kind of cemetary where the graves are marked with faded wooden crosses that simply say, "Boone.  1812 - 1876."  Those had to be the creepiest graveyards of all.

But no, I think this week's column will be about that beloved of police officer, the narc.  You know, those who are drunk on their two cents worth of power.  What inspired this?  Well, my sister was given the boot from Pembina River Provincial Park for having...one beer.  After an unreasonable search and seizure of our cooler, the narc determined that we had four beers, enough to get my sister booted from the park.  Even the vacationing Edmonton Police constable at the picnic site next to us said, "Dude, that narc's gotta just chill." 

Anyway, I should get to work writing it.  I think I'll pop in my Mulan soundtrack, just for old times sake....

Next Issue...And Ode to the Narcs

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Star Wars Episode III:  Revenge of the Sith
Let the debate begin.

Next Issue...First in Line

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Well, I've got even more sad movie news to pass along today.  Jerry Goldsmith has passed away.  Goldsmith was one of the best composers in Hollywood, having written such classic movie scores as Planet of the Apes, Alien, Poletergeist, Gremlins (a personal favourite), Supergirl, the Rambo movies, and dozens of others.  He won an Oscar for the 1974 horror film The Omen

And, as all the Hollywood obituaries are saying, perhaps his best-known theme was the main theme he wrote for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  He revisited the theme in four of the sequels (#5, 8, 9, 10) and the main theme was recycled as the theme for Star Trek: The Next Generation.  He also wrote the theme for Star Trek: Voyager, which won him one of his four Emmys. 

And even more sad movie news.  As we know, Pixar parted with Disney earlier this year and has been looking for a new movie studio to partner with ever since.  Well, after negotiating with all the big ones, it looks like Pixar has finally settled on...Disney.  That's right, they're going back to the abusive husband. 

Next Issue...Mourning

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I'm writing a secret code.  Just because I can.  Some day, I'm going to write a column about the joys of math, and there'll be an encoded message in it.  Watch for it!

I'm still lamenting that I haven't bought any new DVDs in a long time.  I have a job now.  I still don't know why I haven't splurged on several dozen discs.  I know that the final episode of Justice League finally came out last week, so I've got to get that.  Should seek out that boxed set of The Lord of the Rings.  And maybe I'll finally break and get Disney's 2-disc special edition of The Lion King.

Next week.  After payday.

Next Issue...Encoded

Monday, July 19, 2004

So, lots of entertainment news I wanna recap.  First, the one that all of Hollywood has been buzzing about since Friday:  two cast members of CSI have been fired for wanting more money.  This upsets me because these two played my two favourite characters.  There are conflicting reports over how it went down, and this is how I've pieced it together:
So, these two, they've been on the show since the beginning and their roles have expanded quite a bit over the years.  Now, going into their fifth season, they figured they were due for a raise.  They called up the network saying, "Hey!  We'd like to re-negotiate our contracts," and the network said, "No."  So, our stars decided to not show up for the first day of filming; quite a common practice, I understand.  When they didn't show up, the network called them and said, "Fuck you.  You're fired."  Seems rather cold on the side of the network, I believe.
Anyway, got even more news for you.  Producer Don Muprhy, who owns the movies rights to The Transformers, tells us that he'll be making a big announcement about his live-action Transformers movie this Saturday at the San Diego Comic-Con.  Rumor is this big announcement is that they've finally signed a deal with a movie studio to get this made, and the studio is Dreamworks. 
Speculation also says that they'll be announcing Robert Zemeckis as the director.  Zemeckis, of course, made Forrest Gump, Contact, Cast Away, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the Back to the Future trilogy.  I think Zemeckis is a good choice.  He's all about technical innovation, so we know that he'd be pushing the envelop to make sure the Autobots and Decepticons look real.  If you want to see technical innovation, then download the trailer for his next film, The Polar Express, which comes out this Christmas.  When star Tom Hanks showed up for the first day of filming, Zemeckis said, "OK, put on this motion capture suit and stand in front of that blue screen.  I'll put in everything else with computers."  And everything has been put in with computers.  The CGI Tom Hanks looks rather creepy.  Most are regarding this as an animated film. 
Anyway, all or none of this will be confirmed with the "big announcement" on Saturday.
And one little piece of movie news I want to bring up.  It looks like AOL/Time-Warner is about to buy movie studio MGM.  AOL/Time-Warner already owns Warner Brothers and New Line.  So why do they want MGM?  Three little letters:  DVD.  It's a widely known fact that MGM boasts one of the largest film libraries of any movie studio, including the James Bond films, the Pink Panther comedies, and those infamous MGM musicals.  With DVD getting ever bigger every day, and the next gerenation of DVD poised to hit the market any day, AOL/Time-Warner wants the MGM catalogue.  AOL/Time-Warner isn't the only one.  Sony Entertianment (who owns Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star) are also bidding on MGM. 
Next Issue...Small Announcement

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Happy New Week!  As always, I'm celebrating in the traditional way by posting this week's column.  This week we've got Lego Rant:
"I played with Lego when I was a kid. I’m sure we all did. It was always a source of envy between my brother and me. Even though I was the boy genius with a wall full of honour roll awards, it was my brother who could get his hands into the Lego bucket and just build. He could always make the best aircraft. Airplanes, helicopters, those were his domain when it came to Lego. But me? My Lego creations sucked. It seemed like all I could make were bigger blocks. Slap some wheels on a bigger block, and there! I made a car. Slap some wings on. Now it’s an airplane. Make a really, really big block, leave some gaps for doors and windows, and I could make a house. But generally, my Lego creations sucked. "
Read it all...if you dare!
And just because I was ranting about it yesterday, here's the list of all of ToyFare's mail away exclusive Star Trek figures.  These were all made by Playmates Toys when they had the license, so these were all available in 1998 -1999. 
Tapesty II Picard - Remember the classic TNG episode Tapestry?  That's the one where Q gives Picard the chance to go back in time and do things differently, so Picard wouldn't need an artificial heart.  Near the end of the episode, when Picard gets sent back to the future, Picard finds that, in this future, he is just a lowly Lieutenant who carries reports around the ship.  Well, this figure is lowly Lieutenant Picard.  He's got the blue uniform that he sported.  He comes with a phaser.
Translucent Identity Crisis Geordi - Remember the classic TNG episode Identity Crisis?  Geordi is infected with alien DNA that turns him into a funky alien that could turn invisible.  Well, this is Geordi transformed into the funky alien.  This figure is made out of translucent plastic to duplicate the invisiblity.  He comes with the Starfleet action base and the specially modified flashlight that makes him visible.
Spock in Environmental Suit - Remember the classic original series episode The Tholian Web?  While exploring the abandoned starship Defiant, Kirk, Spock and the gang had to walk around the Defiant in environmental suits because life support was malfunctioning.  This is Spock in his environmental suit.  He comes with a removable helmet, a tricorder, and the Starfleet action base.
Transporter Effects Tasha Yar - The transporter effects figures were made out of a translucent plastic from the chest down so it would look like they were beaming down.  ToyFare was the only place to get Tasha Yar in mid-beam.  She comes with her Starfleet action base and a phaser.
Goodfella Captain Kirk - Remember the classic original series episode A Piece of the Action?  This is where the Enterprise goes to a planet that patterned itself after Chicago mobs of the 1920s.  So, to blend in, Captain Kirk donned a three-piece pinstripe suit and set himself up as a wiseguy.  This is Kirk in his pinstripe suit.  He comes with a communicator and a Starfleet action base.  This one is still up for grabs at the Wizard Universe store.
Seven of Nine in her purple catsuit - In her first season, Seven wore a silver catsuit.  In her next season, she tended to alternate between blue, brown, and purple suits.  This was Seven in her purple suit.  My favourite Star Trek Toys site isn't listing what she comes with, but I'm certain that a Starfleet action base is a given.
Next Issue...Get me Kirk!

One of the online stores that I love browsing at is Wizard Universe.  This is the website for Wizard magazine and my beloved ToyFare.  At their online store, you can buy their ToyFare exclusive action figures.  The fun thing is it's a real dumping ground for the unpopular ToyFare exclusives.  It's in a special section called "Vintage ToyFare Exclusives!"  Here's some of the crap that they just can't give away.
- Lots of WWF figures.  The Big Show, the Undertaker, and Debra are still available!
- Ryan Whittaker, one of the bad-ass Space Marines from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.  He's a 12" figure, so I'm guessing he's cost-prohibative.
- Nice Guy Eddie from Reservoir Dogs.  Same problem with Ryan I'm guessing. 
- From the original Star Trek series, Captain Kirk as a gangster. 
- From Marvel Comics, Earth X Venom and Morph from the Age of Apokolyps
- DC is well represented with the Eradicator
- And indy comics get their due with Alley Cat (from Alley Cat), the Confessor (from Astro City), and the Patriot (from Rising Stars). 
- And Trinity from The Matrix!  This one I don't understand.  I was one of the first to send away for it when it came out.

So, yeah.  I kind of wish they still had more of their Star Trek figures.  So many I wanted to send away for, but didn't because it took so long for my Geordi LaForge to get here.  If you're ever scanning eBay, keep your eyes open for these ToyFare exclusive Star Trek figures:  Spock in environmental suit, Transporter Effects Tasha Yar, and "current costume" Seven on Nine.  (At the time, her current costume was her purple one.) 
Next Issue...Zack Malamute!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

I just realized that today in July 17.  You know what that means?  Over in Japan, Pokemon 7 comes out today.  And I'm missing it!  Oh, well.  If I learned anything from #6, that is it'll be on DVD over here in about a year. 
Speaking of DVD, I felt in the mood to watch something "comic-booky" ever since I saw Spider-Man 2 last week.  So, I popped Daredevil in the DVD player.  I still think that's a pretty good movie.  It's pretty much sealed that there won't be a #2, though.  Ben Affleck has said in many interviews since that he has no interest in doing Daredevil 2.  He said that Daredevil was one of his favourite comics as a kid, and that when it was offered to him, he thought it would just be stupid to let it slip by.  But now that he has played the Man Without Fear, he has no interest in doing it again.  "Unless," he said in one interview, "my good buddy Kevin Smith were to write it." 
Although, they are making a Daredevil 1.5.  I reported on this a long time ago.  Daredevil 1.5 is going to be this massive director's cut of the film.  They're putting about 45 minutes of footage back in, including a cut subplot starring Coolio as Matt Murdock's latest client.  It was going to come out back in the spring, but it got pushed back to this winter some time, so they can tie it in with the hype for the Elektra movie.
Yup, Elektra is currently filming in Vancouver.  This'll be our best bet for Daredevil 2 as lots of Daredevil characters and villains show up to make life hell for Elektra.  The biggest news as of late was the Colin Farrel has offered to make a cameo as Bullseye.  Originally, there was going to be a cameo by Matt Murdock, but they couldn't fit it into Ben Affleck's schedule.  But, they tell us that Daredevil will still be referred to and talked about. 
Next Issue...A man without fear is a man without faith. 
Wow!  So, today's big movie news.  As I reported a few days ago, McG is no longer directing the new Superman film.  And, most movie news websites have announced who the new director is.  Of course, Warner Brothers hasn't officially announced this yet, but it looks like the new director of Superman is...
Bryan Singer.
Yup.  Mr. X-Men-movies is the man who's been charged with resurrecting the Man of Steel.  Not only that, but Singer is bringing his writing and producing team who worked on the X-Men films with him to work on Superman. 
The only bad news is it looks like this is going to keep Singer from making X-Men 3.  Apparently, they're currently trying to work it out so Singer can do both, but I doubt Singer can do it. 
And here's the new direction Singer wants to take the film in.  Rather than do a revamped origin story (which what was being worked on by McG), it's going to be an original film that's in continuity with the Christopher Reeve films.  The new working title of the project is Superman Returns
So, yeah.  Good news:  I'm now optimistic about Superman again.  Bad news:  I'm now worried about X-Men 3
Did I tell you this?  This came down the pike yesterday.  While Warner Brothers looks like they're doing something good with Superman, they're about to totally eff up Green Lantern.  Yup, they're making a Green Lantern movie.  But...they're going to make it a zany comedy like The Mask.  Jack Black has already signed on to play the new GL.
Now, I really don't know what to think of this.  Although I've never picked up a Green Lantern comic, I've always had a soft spot for Green Lantern.  The Super Powers Green Lantern action figure was one of the first action figures I ever got.  I still have him, too.  He's sitting on my shelf, locked in eternal combat with the Darkling Lord Lexor.  But, from what little I know about Green Lantern, I know that it's not a "zany comedy."  Apparently, DC Comics is just pissed about this but they're powerless to shut it down. 
Now let's go over to the Marvel comics front.  I think I haven't mentioned this yet.  The final member of the Fantastic Four has been cast.  Jessica Alba will be playing Sue Storm/the Invisible Woman.  Alba became a geek wet dream not too long ago as the star of Dark Angel.  She'll next be seen in the comic book adaptation Sin City
And David Goyer, the writer of all three Blade films and the director of the third one, recently answered some questions at the Blade message board.  He said that yup, a super-special edition boxed set of the whole Blade trilogy is in development and that a bonus feature they're currently considering is an all-new trilogy-spanning running commentary with himself, Stephen Norrington (director of #1) and Guillmero Del Toro (director of #2).  I think that's cool. 
And that's all for now.
Next Issue...News From Away

Friday, July 16, 2004

Oy.  I hate my job.  I always come home way too exhausted to do anything.  And it's just soul-crushing.  There are only five people in the whole department (myself included), and the back-biting and rivalries between those other four are so overwhelming.  They all think that one is a dork, the others think she's a bitch.  I don't really care!  Today, for some odd reason, the boss just decided to be mean to me.  I guess he's decided I've been there long enough.  I can't believe it.  Today, he actually said to me, "And show up on Monday...OR ELSE!"  Well, gee, seeing as to how I've had perfect attendance for the whole month I've worked there, I guess he's foiled my plot to turn delinquint. 
It's just six more weeks.  Sept. 1, and I'm gone.  Although, I'm really starting to fear I'll break their hearts.  They really think that I'm starting to work out and they constantly tell me all the wonderful benefits that kick in after six months, a year, ooh!  I get a pin after five years.  I only have to put up with the fact that everyone in the department HATES EACH OTHER'S GUTS. 
Just six more weeks.  I'm following the creedo that got me through two years of Extra Foods and when things turned sour at AEON:  keep your mouth shut, your head low, and get it done. 
But the fun thing is it's so dull and repetitive that my mind wanders quite a bit.  I've got so many brilliant ideas for the show this fall.... 
I just have to hang tough for six more weeks. 
I had more to say, but it's left my mind. 
Next Issue...Rememberance

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Well, I just have to pass along the day's biggest movie news. Ya know, when The Passion of the Christ became such a huge hit, people were predicting a resurgance of the religious epic. And now, it begins.

Plans are underway to re-make The Ten Commandments, the now-classic film about Moses. In the original, Moses was brought to life by Charlton Heston. No word on who's being lined up for this remake.

I think this is very unnecessary. I have seen the first one several times. Without it, I would have never passed Dr. Mundel's Introduction to the Old Testament course back at Augustana.

Oh, and we've also got a rumour about X-Men 3. What do you think of this: pop princess and reality TV star Jessica Simpson as the Dazzler. Apparently, Simpson sent the X-Producers an audition tape and begged them to give her the role of Dazzler. And now, apparently, she's got it.

For those who don't know or don't care, Dazzler is a much-maligned former member of the X-Men. She first joined the group back in the 1970s. She was a disco diva whose mutant power was she could create her own light show. I don't think she's a disco diva any more, but they've always kept her a struggling musician of some kind.

Next Issue...Razzle Dazzle
It's almost provincial election time in Alberta, folks! How can we tell? Premiere Ralph Klein just declared Alberta to be debt-free!

Well, not really. But we do have the necessary $3.7 billion in the bank right now! We just can't pay it off right now because to do so would drive us into deeper debt because we'd have to pay penalties for making early payments.

But we have that $3.7 billion in the bank right now! Well, not really. We only have $700 million. The remaining $3 billion will be part of the surplus that we won't get until the current budget wraps up in March.

Right now, I'm having nasty flashbacks to the last election. Klein said, "We're going to have the debt paid off by 2005!" The people cheered! A conference was scheduled for after the election in which it would be decided on how to spend all that wonderful, wonderful money. Then, after he was elected, Ralph said, "Oops! We were wrong. It won't be paid off until 2017."

And as my parents pointed out, what does Klein mean, penalties for making early payments? According to my folks, banks stopped charging penalties on people making early payments because the banks realized it was stupid. And it was usually something small, like 5%. If it is small, then to hell with the penalties! Pay it off now!

It's election time, folks. Brace yourselves.

Next Issue...The Best Premiere We Never Had

Monday, July 12, 2004

Well, before I head off to bed, I guess I should report the big movie news of the day. McG, the on-again/off-again director of Superman, is off again. He was walked away from the project for good this time. The reason why he left was an irreconcilable difference with Warner Brothers. McG wanted to film in the USA, with New York standing in for Metropolis, and the WB wanted to film in Australia, where things are cheaper. So, we're looking for a new director now.

Oh, and there's big Star Trek news, too. Brent Spiner has signed on to do a 3-episode arc on Enterprise next season. Spiner will play none other than Dr. Noonian Soong's grandfather. (For the non-Trekkies, Dr. Soong was the scientist who built Data, the lovable android played by Spiner.)

Next Issue...Superdata
Hee hee! I had one of those fabulous, brilliant ideas last night that left me laying awake and chuckling to myself. Tell me what you think.

As we all know, I loves my ToyFare magazine. They have an ongoing contest called F.O.O.T.: Friends of Ol' ToyFare. Essentially, you do something big and spectacular to get the word out about ToyFare, and they'll send you a bunch of free swag they have laying around the office. In the beginning, F.O.O.T. was big. They had comic book store owners painting ToyFare billboards on the side of their stores and people wearing ToyFare T-shirts crashing big events. But, it's become rather repetitive as of late. It became little more than "Get a B-celebrity to pose with a copy of ToyFare." Example: "Yeah, I was at the annual Star Trek convention, and here's a picture of Klingon #2 from episode 29 of DS9 holding ToyFare!" But, since I don't get to meet a lot of B-celebrities, I often wondered what I could do to get into F.O.O.T.

And then, it hit me last night. This fall, when I get back to doing my radio show, I hope to throw together a 30-second spot for my website, so I can run that when I have to run commercials. I started thinking, "Well, hey, why stop there? I should write a 30-second spot for ToyFare that I can run on my show. Send them the spot on CD, along with an aircheck of my show, I'm in!"

Then, I took it one step further. This fall, look for a very special episode of Chaos in a Box. Yes, I'm talking about doing....

The ToyFare Show!

A whole 2-hour program dedicated to ToyFare. When I do my stopsets, I can talk about the virtues of ToyFare, how it's changed over the years, and just how cool it is. And then, the part that I would dearly love to do for this show, but I fear it just might cross from "ToyFare F.O.O.T. entry" to "ToyFare suing my ass." And that is...

Adapt my favourite installments of "Twisted ToyFare Theatre" as radio plays. Just to air on this show. I've already got my short list:

Halloween at Castle Doom - Dr. Doom's quiet Halloween at home goes straight to hell when Spidey and pals show up to have a Halloween party. "Bah! Doom hates Jeopardy!"

(Title forgotten and I'm too lazy to look it up) - Spider-Man's life goes straight to hell when he meets his new next door neighbours: the Borg. And the Borg proceed to mooch, mooch, mooch. "I wouldn't mind if it was that top-heavy chick from Voyager, but this is just nuts."

Hello Kitty - Professor Charles Xavier gives Kitty Pryde and her folks a tour of the School for the Gifted in the hopes of recruiting Kitty. "That's Wolverine. He's a crazed Canadian loner. And our meal ticket."

I've got to try this. It'll get me in F.O.O.T. for sure.

Next Issue...the Foot Clan
That time of the night, folks! Latest column is up! This weeks is The Movies:

"I’ve spent quite a few years of my life working in the small town of Drayton Valley. We also know of my love for the movies. Now, Drayton Valley does have a movie theatre. It’s so close, I don’t know why I haven’t gone to it more in my life. The Cardium Theatre is your typical small town theatre. One screen, not exactly state-of-the-art, you buy your tickets at the concession stand. The big Hollywood releases rarely open in it. They’ll come to town about two or three weeks after they come out in the big cities. So now, as I drive past it every day on the way to work again, I keep asking myself why I haven’t taken advantage of this theatre in my own backyard more often. "

As always, read the whole thing right here!

And while I'm at it, Mr. Anderson has been lamenting that I've stopped doing movie reviews. Well, guess what? I've resurrected my movie reviews section! My first trio of reviews are Fahrenheit 9/11, Shrek 2, and Spider-Man 2.

Click here for my movie reviews section, which is in dire need of an overhaul.

And now, a late night lament. I'm wondering if I should try my hand at making some custom action figures for myself. I don't know. I just see ToyFare's monthly "Homemade Heroes" contest, I see action figures I've always wanted and have never been made, and just start thinking, "How hard could it be?" My short list of figures I want consits of only two right now:

Deathstrike from X2 - This female assasin with claws like Wolverine's was a true bad-ass in the film, and it just sucks that Toy Biz never included her in their line of X2 figures. I have no idea where to start with making one of these. Maybe, I should start with a super-posable Elektra from the Marvel Legends toys, repaint the body, and sculpt a new head. That could work.

Spider-Man Unlimited - Sadly, 1999's Spider-Man Unlimited cartoon was on so briefly that action figures were never made. Since Spidey did have a very cool re-designed costume for this show, I'd love to see it realized in 3D. Take Spidey's black costume, splatter it with red and blue stripes, and give it a whisp of a web-like cape that's reminiscient of classic Spidey's under-arm webbing. That was Spider-Man Unlimited. This costume had neat gadgets, too. See, this costume was developed by Reed Richards, and was actually composed of zillions of nanites all over Spidey's body. This costume could turn Spider-Man invisible for brief periods, and it could emit sonic blasts; a feature that Spidey found handy when he came face-to-face with Venom and Carnage. This one would be really easy to make. Just grab any one of the super-posable Spider-Men that exist now and very carefully give it a new paint job. Then, I raid my girlfriend's sock drawer and use a bit of white nylon to make the cape. All I need to make this is a super-posable Spider-Man, some model paint, and a girlfriend.

Next Issue...Spider-Mark Unlimited

Sunday, July 11, 2004

It's a dark and stormy day in Entwistle. We're currently experiencing a power failure. Battery operated laptops RULE!

Before the lights went out, I was watching Back to the Future Part III again. Watched Part II a few days ago. It's interesting listening to the running commentaries. They never intended to make a part 2 and a part 3. Part II was shaping up to be this incredibly epic 3-hour movie. Director/co-writer Robert Zemeckis looked at the script and said, "It's good and all, but I don't like the fourth act. I mean, the fourth act is just far too busy. We introduce too many new characters close to the end of the film and just too much is going on." So, producer/co-writer Bob Gale said, "You're right. Let me play with this fourth act and do things properly with it." When Gale finished doing things proper, the fourth act had turned into a screenplay for Part III.

Oh, but there's more. Now, Zemeckis and Gale had to break the news to Universal studios. Universal really, really wanted Part II to big their big summer blockbuster for 1989. With these two scripts, now, the earliest Zemeckis and Gale could have Part II ready was for Christmas 1989. So, Zemeckis called up the studio head and said, "OK, the bad news is Part II won't be ready for summer 1989. The good news is we can have Part III ready for Summer 1990!" The studio head said, "I don't care about part III! I want Part II ready for summer 1989!" Zemeckis then hatched a scheme. He told Gale, "Send them the original 3-hour script for Part II." The studio head got the original 3-hour script, read it over, and said, "There's no way we can get this done for summer 1989!" Zemeckis then said, "Well, you know, for just a few dollars more, we can split that into two movies, have #2 ready for Christmas 1989, and #3 ready for Summer 1990." The studio said, "Do it!"

And that's how Back to the Future became a trilogy.

It's also why they figure Part II was the weakest of the trilogy. As Zemeckis pointed out, when it was time to do post-production on Part II (editing and the like), he was beginning filming on Part III. So, he wasn't able to fully dedicate himself to the post on Part II. Plus, a lot of people also blame bad word-of-mouth for Part II. How did bad word-of-mouth happen? Well, Universal's marketing people were running around saying this: "Yeah, it's true that we're making a Part III right away, but Part II is a completely self-contained film! It doesn't end on a cliffhanger or anything like that!" And, of course, when people saw the words "To Be Concluded..." at the end of Part II, they walked out of the theatre feeling screwed. That's why it was important to Zemeckis and Gale to end Part II with the teaser for Part III. They wanted to assure the audience that the conclusion was happening really, really soon.

I should write those movie reviews now.

Next Issue...Review-o-rama!

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Don't you hate it when the bottom of your foot's itchy, but you can't scratch it because you're so darn ticklish? It's hell, I tell you, hell.

Anyway, had a lovely day in the city with Trouble. Apparently, my gift from China was too big to fit in her luggage, so it's currently being shipped.

I took advantage of the day to see not one, but two movies. I saw two of the most hyped sequels of the summer. Some mini-reviews. (I'll do full reviews for the website cuz Mr. Anderson misses them so.)

Shrek 2 - What can I say? It was a sequel. It boasts the kind of humour akin to Twisted ToyFare Theatre. It's not so much about joke-writing or wit anymore, but about cramming in as many pop culture references as you can. While there were some clever gags and bits throughout, there was a whole "bin there, done that" vibe going on. 2.5 Nibs.

Spider-Man 2 - OH MY GOD! So cool. Peter Parker's angst, the Spidey/Doc Ock fights, Mary Jane's play...this movie just rocked. 4 Nibs.

Next Issue...Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head

Friday, July 09, 2004

Yay! Another classic of 1980s animation is finally coming to DVD! On November 2, digitally restored in all her multicolour glory is...

Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer.

Part of me wants this, but the logical part doesn't want it. I mean, thanks to this film, Rainbow Brite became one of the biggest crushes of my childhood. Buying it at this age would make me feel...dirty. No word on bonus features, but I doubt there'll be any.

Oh, and speaking of bonus features, remember a few days ago I said Michael Moore's film The Big One finally hits DVD on Sept. 28. Well, in recent interviews, Moore revealed that he has recorded a new running commentary for the film.

Tomorrow, I finally see Spider-Man 2! Right now, I'm going through a bit of an internal conflict. Trouble and I are going to hook up at 2pm and see it. I've also been dying to see Shrek 2. So, maybe, I'll just show up early, catch a 12 noon showing of Shrek 2, then see Spidey 2 with Trouble. I'm not sure. I'll sleep on it.

Next Issue...Mmm...Rainbow Brite

Thursday, July 08, 2004

OH MY GOD. The movie news I've been waiting for my whole life has finally been announced.


With the current successes of movies featuring stupid law enforcement professionals (i.e. Charlie's Angels and Starsky and Hutch), they figure the time is prime to bring back the definitive movies featuring stupid law enforcement professionals of the 1980s. Series creator Paul Maslansky is already onboard as executive producer. No word on plot yet, but the speculation is look for a group of the originals training the next generation.

For those who suppressed the memory, the first Police Academy movie was yet another rip-off of National Lampoon's Animal House, with the setting changed to a big city police academy. To the befuddlement of the entire world, the film spawned six sequels, a cartoon, and a live-action TV show. It still stands as one of my favourite memories of the 1980s though, with series star Officer John Mahoney (as played by Steve Guttenberg) being one of the idols of my youth.

And seriously, the Police Academy Main Theme is still one of my all-time favourite movie themes. Some day, when I make my movie about the hell that is high school, at the climactic graduation scene, I'm going to play the Police Academy Theme instead of Pomp and Circumstance.

Next Issue..."The future is an amazing place. Police Academy 37 just came out."
Yesterday was my birthday. I'm now a 27-year old virgin. I've really got to do something about that.

Let me start by mentioning my greatest birthday present. I made the honour roll. At NAIT. Got my suitable-for-framing certificate in the mail yesterday.

Celebrated in the traditional way. The traditional way being seeing a movie. And what film joined the forever-burned-into-my-memory list of birthday movies? Why, Fahrenheit 9/11. I had to see it. My Dad wanted to see it. Very rarely is there a movie that both he and I want to see. Last time it happend was my birthday in 1990. The film? Back to the Future Part III. (I like sci-fi, he likes westerns.) But I digress.

I think later tonight I'll write a full review of Fahrenheit 9/11 for my website. Mr. Anderson has been lamenting that I don't do movie reviews any more, so let's get started on them again. A bit of a quickie review, though. As Moore's films go, I do think Bowling for Columbine was better. For those who, you know, read a newspaper or watch (non-American) news, it offers up no new information on George W. Bush. But, Moore's just got that way of packaging it all in a powerful way. It'll get you talking, get you thinking, make you laugh, and make you puke. But still, I didn't find it as good as BFC.

A solid 3 Nibs.

Next movie I get to see is this Saturday. Trouble's back from China, and I'm forcing her to see Spider-Man 2.

But now, I'm going back to staring at the sticker. We stopped at Dairy Queen on our way out, and I grabbed the latest 92.5 JOE FM window sticker. I stare at this sticker amazed. On the back, there are coupons for four of the sponsors in this promotion, plus an entry form for a 92.5 JOE FM draw. Now that I've taken promotions at NAIT, I know all the work that went into making this simple little sticker. My God. It's so simple, but I'm so fascinated by it. And it's weird that it's like that, because, grade-wise, promotions was my worst class.

You'll still love me if I don't become an announcer, right? You'll still love me if I become a big time promotions director and I'm able to get you lots of free stuff, right?

I'm drawing inspiration from this. I think I've mentioned that I'd like to do a sticker promotion for Chaos in a Box in this final semester at NAIT. Only, I won't run around trying to find sponsors or anything like that. I'll just go to one of these places that makes promotional items and print up 150 or so. Give them to dedicated listeners.

Next Issue...Sticker Man

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I'm stuffed to the gills with useless trivia. Like this bit, as I stare at the selection of salad dressing at work.

Ranch salad dressing. Ever wonder why it's only Hidden Valley that makes Ranch dressing? Everyone else makes "Creamy Ranch" or "Ranch with _________." But only Hidden Valley makes Ranch. Well, you see, Hidden Valley Ranch is a real place. It's a dude ranch, down in the states somewhere. And, Ranch salad dressing is the house dressing in their 5-star restaurant. When customers started wanting to take some of the salad dressing home cuz it was so good, the Hidden Valley folks got the bright idea to market it nationwide.

Therefore, only Hidden Valley makes Ranch dressing because they invented it and they own it.

I'm full of this stuff. It's my goal someday to be Jeopardy!. (Seeing that the Who Wants to be a Millionaire fad has run its course.)

Right now, I'm going on a nostalgia trip. I've been downloading a bunch of my favourite shareware games from about 10 - 12 years ago. Only problem I'm discovering is most of them don't work in Windows XP. The controls get all messed up.

Yeah, remember when shareware was, like, common? You'd pick up a floppy disc at the store for only $3.99, and there'd be a game on it! Then, when you play it, you get the warning, "If you like this game, then register it for $10 and you'll get all this stuff!" The incentives to get you to register were generally things like the source code or a much more professional version of the game. Probably the guys who perfected this was Apogee software. They became 3D Realms, spun off their most popular shareware character - Duke Nukem - into a 3D shooter, and now they're big, baby! Anyway, their shareware strategy was this: the game you bought for $3.99 was actually the first part of a trilogy, and once you registered, you'd get the complete trilogy.

I really liked the Apogee shareware games, mainly because most shareware games in the early 1990s looked like they were some grade 10 kid's computer programming assignment. Then, I got Apogee's Secret Agent, and it was as good as a Nintendo game. I much perfered the similar Crystal Caves. The only shareware game I actually registered. Back in university, I went looking for Crystal Caves to download one night, I found I could get it at the Apogee/3D Realms website. And there it was, download Episode I of Crystal Caves. "Or," the website said, "Enter your credit card number, and, for just $10, you can download the complete, registered version." So I figured, what the hell?

I keep saying I'll go back for Secret Agent someday, but, now, I see that running Apogee games in Windows XP causes Windows to crash.

Next Issue...The Hunt for Red Rock Rover

Monday, July 05, 2004

Wow. In all my obsessing about DVDs and which one to buy now that I'm making money again, I completely forgot about this one. It comes out tomorrow and, when I first mentioned it, I said that it's one of the ones I just may have to dip into my savings to get. What is it?

Batman: The Animated Series - Volume 1

This huge-ass boxed set contains pretty much the first half of season 1. For your bonus features, you get running commentary on select episodes from the show's driving forces and a whole pastle of featurettes about the development of the show.

Well, I guess the debate as to which DVD to blow that first paycheque on has been settled.

Oh, and while I'm at it, here's some more DVD news of note. Michael Moore's third film, The Big One, finally hits DVD on September 28. For those who haven't seen it, The Big One chronicles Moore's wacky misadventures on his book tour for his first book, Downsize This!. Along the way, he hangs with regular folks, stages protests at various corporations, and the big climax comes in Seattle, when Moore is approached by Nike founder and CEO Philip Knight. Seems that Knight didn't like some of the things Moore said about Nike in Downsize This! and wanted to set the record straight. While it doesn't have the impact of Bowling for Columbine or Roger & Me, I think it's a pretty cool little movie and probably one I'll pick up. No word yet on any bonus features.

Next Issue...Fighting the Good Fight

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Oy, what's happened to me? There's been another colossal paradigm shift in my life. When I first met Mr. Anderson, he wanted to borrow my "best of Danny Elfman" CD. This resulted in two weeks of negotiations before I finally relented. And this guy's my best friend! And what happened this weekend?

My brother and his family were visiting. My sister called. "Mark," she said. "You know, I haven't seen Spider-Man yet, and I know you have the DVD, so could I borrow a few DVDs?" When all was said and done, she borrowed Spider-Man, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Iron Giant, Bowling for Columbine and Star Wars: Episodes I & II. Since she lives in the same town as my brother and his family, my instructions were to give the discs to him.

Then, my brother chimed in. Turned out that on his last job, some of the punks on his crew were always watching Jay and Silent Bob. My brother wanted to see the whole thing from the beginning. Of course, stickler for accuracy that I am, I said, "Which one? There have been five Jay and Silent Bob movies." My brother went home with my entire Kevin Smith collection.

So, Mr. Uptight about loaning out stuff just let 11 of his favourite DVDs walk out the door. I've been told I'll get them all back by the end of the month but, sadly, I know my family. Mom says that I'm fostering goodwill. Now, if I do my practicum on a Red Deer radio station, they HAVE to let me live with them.

Anywho, this week's column is Aspirations:

"I’m working again. I’m a produce clerk in a grocery store. When I first got the job, my sister asked me if I thought it was beneath me. I told her that no, it wasn’t beneath me. When you’re hard up for cash and want to make an honest living, there’s no such thing as a job being beneath you. But then, I started having flashbacks to junior high health. This being the early 90s, emotional well-being was stressed as much physical health, so there were units devoted to job-related stress. Within this unit was the differentiation between “job,” “occupation,” and “career.” And now, as I look back on this unit and comparing it to what my sister said, I still believe that a job in a grocery store isn’t beneath me. But, a career in a grocery store is very beneath me."

Whole thing's right here!

And, you'll notice that the date on this week's column is July 5. This means I've been doing the online column for 5 years now.

Next Issue...Next Year
Did I mention that Friday was my first payday? It was. I tell ya, those are the two sweetest words in the English language: "Pay day." Call me crazy, but I believe that a first paycheque should be splurged on something you couldn't afford because you weren't working. So, I'm wondering what this should be splurged on. I'm thinking that, since I've still got a lot of Japan photos I want to put on the site, I should get myself a scanner, rather than keep fiddling with my parents' trying to get it to work again. I'm also thinking that I should finally get one of those mini-tape recorders. I often felt that it'd be handy for writing; when brilliance hits, I can just dictate my first draft and type it out on the weekend. Plus, my instructors tell me it's a really handy tool to have to practice your voicing. But, I'll probably just buy a bunch of DVDs. So many boxed sets. Lord of the Rings...The Flintstones: Season 1...Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 3...Looney Tunes Golden Collection. So many that I can't even think of them all right now.

Subject change.

Being an afficianado of science-fiction, I know that one of the most difficult tasks is to maintain continuity. What shocks me the most, though, is that the one show that's managed to do this the best is Futurama. I've been watching it quite a bit in reruns lately, and I finally verified some things I'd read about the show online.

See, Leela had this pet named Nibbler - a three-eyed monkey-thing. As the show went on, we found out that Nibbler was, in fact, a member of an ancient race of guardians of the universe. Their immortal enemies were these giant brains that sucked the knowledge out of people, turning them into complete morons. After the first scuffle with these brain-aliens, the guardians discovered that Fry was "the one." Fry, you see, is impervious to these brains thanks to the fact that he's his own grandfather. (that's a wacky time-travel episode that has to be seen to be believed.) So, then, in the next episode, Nibbler takes Fry to the guardian's council and Fry leads the final offensive against the brains. But, as Fry is about to destroy the brain-ship, the leader of the brains shows Fry some startling footage! It's from December 31, 1999, and we see that Nibbler actually pushed Fry into the cryogenic chamber that sent Fry to the year 3000! Fry, angry at Nibbler's people, then uses the brains to send him back in time to try to stop Nibbler from sending him to the future.

Now, what do I say is remarkable about continuity here?

I managed to catch the pilot episode in reruns last night and, as Fry tumbles back into the cryogenics chamber, you can clearly see the shadow of Nibbler watching Fry.

So, even though this wasn't resolved until about season 4, they planted the seeds way back in the first episode.

Futurama: Season 1. That's another one for the list.

Next Issue...Past-o-rama

Friday, July 02, 2004

Before I head to bed, I've got some DVD bitlets for you:

- Kevin Smith's latest, Jersey Girl, hits DVD on September 7. For bonus stuff, we'll get the trailers, a "making of" featurette, a few cut scenes, and a running commentary with Ben Afflek and Kevin Smith. We've also been told that a much more loaded "special edition" boasting a longer edit of the film is also in development to come out later.

I don't know. I missed Jersey Girl in it's theatrical release, but I'll probably buy this the day it comes out, mainly because I love everything Kevin Smith does, I own all his films on DVD, and I dare not have a gap in my collection. Gotta catch 'em all and all that jazz.

- OK, so it's been rumoured for a long time now that we're going to get a massive 10-disc boxed set for The Matrix Trilogy. Well, it is coming out in England. There's been no official announcement for a North American release yet, but we're assured it'll be virtually the same. This is how the 10 discs line up:

1) The Matrix. An all-new digital transfer featuring an all-new running commentary with the Wachoskis.
2) The Matrix Revisited. This DVD originally came out in 2001 and offered a bunch of bonus material on the making of The Matrix that was left out of the DVD.
3) The Matrix Reloaded: Extended Edition. Film #2 with 55 minutes of additional scenes edited back in.
4) the Matrix Reloaded Revisited. All your bonus stuff on film #2.
5) The Matrix Revolutions. Da film!
6) The Matrix Revolutions Revisted. All your bonus stuff for film #3.
7) The Animatrix. The collection of animated shorts set in The Matrix.
8) The Roots of the Matrix. 3 hours of features in which the origins of and the inspirations for the trilogy are detailed.
9) The Burley Man Chronicles. Interviews with pretty much everyone involved in the trilogy's production.
10) The Zion Archive. All the designs, concept art, and storyboards for the trilogy.

Holy Moley, that's a lot, even for me.

Next Issue...Perchance to Dream

Thursday, July 01, 2004

OK, so we found out why the Miyazaki DVDs got delayed. Turns out Disney wants to piggy-back on the hype for Miyazaki's next film, Howl's Moving Castle. Look for the discs to come out in early 2005.

One of the best things Mr. Anderson ever did for me was turn me on to Neil Gaiman's classic The Sandman comics. One of the little items was that Dreams had this massive library of stuff that was thought up, but never written. I wonder how big my section in that library is.

I almost cried today because I was thinking about this. I have so many cool ideas for stuff I want to write. Columns, novels, short stories. When I have a job, I complain that I have no time to write. When I have no job, I put it off and put it off and put it off. I mean, what the fuck is my problem? It frustrates me to no end. I mean, let's be honest, I'm not really what you'd call talented. But a few friends seem to like what I do. But, for some reason, I just have no ambition. If I am ever going to write any of this stuff, I have to make some fundamental changes in here. (Dramatically points to heart.) And I'm not sure I can do it.

Next Issue...Cry Me a River