Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, October 31, 2004

First thing's first. Latest column's up! This week's offering is Corporate Interests:

"I had an interesting discussion with one of my instructors the other day. It was one of those difficult classes and, during the break, she pulled me aside. She said to me, “You know, Mark, I’m starting to get the impression that you’re, well, not anti-establishment, but anti-corporate. And seeing as to how every radio station is owned by a corporation, I’m starting to fear that you’re limiting yourself in your job prospects.” Naturally, I’m wondering how I’ve been projecting the anti-corporate image. I mean, I’m not like Mr. Anderson, who has the big bold list on the front page of his website: “These are the companies I boycott!” I’m of a much milder vein of anti-corporatism. I think she got the impression from the fact that, as we were filling out a course evaluation last semester, I said this about one of her classes:

“Really, though, you should look into dropping this one particular lesson. It’s fairly obvious that it’s just a recycled corporate workshop, and I really, really, really hate corporate workshops. I was subjected to far too many in my last job.”"

Read it all!

Oh, and here's some movie news I've got to share. Are you ready for a remake of Snow White? Are you ready to see it remade as a kung fu action film? Well, it's happening. It's called Snow and the Seven. It's set in China in the 1880; when England was trying to colonize the place. The seven dwarves are now seven Shaolin warrior monks. The screenplay will be written by Michael Chabon. Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, who wrote Wonder Boys and The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. He's also a huge comic book fan, as he wrote Spider-Man 2. The film will be directed by Yeun Wo Ping. Wo Ping is a highly acclaimed Hong Kong action film director and fight choreographer. Here in North America, he's best known as the fight choreographer on the Matrix films, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the Kill Bill films. This'll be his first English-language film as director.

And one last news story I've got to report. I'll have to e-mail Mr. Anderson about this for the local perspective. Vancouver is hosting the 2010 winter Olympics, so the Vancouver Olympic Committee is starting to protect their copyrights. They're getting ready to sue the pants off a little pizzaria with the name "Olympic Pizza." Olympic Pizza does use an Olympic ring knock-off and a torch for it's logos. Thing is, Olympic Pizza had had its name for 15 years, so the owner's wondering why he's getting all this trouble now. A city councellor has even stepped in to try to resolve the situation.

next Issue...Pizza!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

So, for class yesterday, I acutally wore a Halloween costume. I love the fact that most of the class actually got that I was Tuxedo Mask. (Or, as the big sports nut in class said, "You're that dude from Sailor Moon who chucks roses at people! Not that I watch that show or anything....") I was so afraid that it was such a hardcore geek thing that I'd spend the whole day explaining it to people. But they got it. Sweet!

Anywho, I'm here today to offer up my thoughts on Borderland, last night's episode of Enterprise. This is the one that every Trekkie is hoping will turn the show around. This is the one where the new guy in charge, Manny Coto, proves his worth. This is the start of the massive 3-episode arc with Brent Spiner.

A group of humans hijacks a Klingon Bird-of-Prey and kills the crew. The Klingons are now threatening war with Earth. DNA analysis shows that the humans were "augments," or genetically-enhanced humans from the Eugenics Wars. The investigation leads us to Dr. Arik Soong (Spiner). Soong has always been a very outspoken advocate of genetic enhancements. 20 years ago, he stole several frozen embryos left over from the Eugenics Wars and raised them as his children. He was caught and imprisoned for his genetic crimes, but his "children" were never found. Now, Capt. Archer and the Enterprise is being sent out to apprehend these renegade augments. Naturally, they take Soong along. Throw in a few scuffles with the Orions, a few gratuitious shots of the infamous Orion slave girls, and we're off on the start of a 3-parter.

Wow. They really are throwing in everything and the kitchen sink with this 3-parter. Quick recap: Klingons, Orion slave girls, genetically enhanced humans, and Data.

Spiner does seem to be going a little over-the-top as evil genius Dr. Soong. Although, I love how his character is introduced. Banned from using computers, he's in his cell writing page after page after page. We later learn that he's drawing out DNA sequences; still consumed with his work despite his imprisonment.

WWE superstar Big Show is also wonderfully hammy as an Orion slave trader. The way he hoists T'Pol over his shoulder and carries her around like she's a rag doll is just hilarious. And J.G. Hertzler, best known as General Martok on DS9, does a great little cameo as the doomed Klingon captain.

What can I say? It was great seeing Orions again. (One of the big questions of Enterprise has always been "When are we going to see the Orions?") The augments can now do all kinds of Matrix-style kung fu (that would be the aforementioned kitchen sink), but they dress like rejects from a Mad Max movie. And the whole concept of the Eugenics Wars is something that I'm glad they're finally acknowleging.


Can't shake the feeling that I've seen it all before. The scenes where Archer's trying to save his capture crew seemed far too reminiscient of the pilot episode. And seeing as to how it took up a good half of the episode....

Right now, the creators are on that border between "something really cool" and "trying too hard." A gentle wind could push it either way. And something tells me that gentle wind will kick up in part 2.

Next Issue...The Battle Continues

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Last night, I think I got the best compliment I've gotten so far on my show:

"Mark, only you would think of playing Robot Hell [from Futurama] right before Set Me Free [by Velvet Revolver]. And it frightens me how much that works."

In another subject, I want to do something big. Big and old school. And what I mean by old school is stuff I used to do at Augustana all the time.

I want to grab as many people as I can to go see a movie.

The movie I've chosen is The Incredibles. I wanted to do premiere day, next Friday, but I'm thinking more people could do it on Saturday.

Man, I haven't done something like this in ages.

Next Issue...Fantasticals

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Damn! I've really been slaking on the show prep this week. The show's in an hour, let's see what I can get....


Readers of a British magazine see U-S President Bush as a bigger villain than Doc Ock.

They voted Bush the year's top movie villain for his appearance in ``Fahrenheit 9/11.''

He beat out Alfred Molina in ``Spider-Man 2,'' Leatherface for ``The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'' and Gollum for ``The Return of the Ring.''

In one category, Elvis Presley is still The King.

Presley tops the list of Forbes' top-earning dead celebrities.

His estate pulled in 40 (m) million dollars U-S last year.

``Peanuts'' creator Charles Schulz is next at 35 (m) million, followed by ``Lord of the Rings'' author J.R.R. Tolkein at 23 (m) million.

John Lennon was fourth, at 21 (m) million, and Theodore ``Dr. Suess'' Geisel fifth at 18 (million).

Heading down the list:

Marilyn Monroe, at eight million

George Harrison, Irving Berlin and Bob Marley, all at seven million.

Richard Rogers at 6.5 million.

And George and Ira Gershwin, Jimi Hendrix, Alan Lerner and Frederick Loewe, and Cole Porter all at six million.


George Lucas is getting going on Indiana Jones 4 again. Now, he's hired screenwriter Jeff Nathonson to work on it. Nathonson wrote the Spielberg movies "Catch Me If You Can" and "The Terminal," plus the "Rush Hour" movies. Nathanson will begin by re-writing the Frank Darabont script. You may remember that Darabont, who wrote and directed "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" wrote the first script, only to have George Lucas declare it crap.

The Grudge was such a surprise hit that plans for a "Grudge 2" have been announced. Hmmm.... It'll probably be original. I don't think there was a Ju-On 2.

The teaser for Episode III clocks in at 1:47. Posters and banners will start popping up in movie theatres next week. Don't forget, the teaser will be in front of "The Incredibles" coming out next Friday.

Sam Raimi has revealed that he's hard at work making a Spider-Man 2.5 DVD. Yup, a director's cut of Spidey 2. It's not going to be spectacular...Raimi himself said that we're only talking about making certain fight scenes 8-12 seconds longer. Says Raimi, "Sony said to me, ‘Oh, we want to release a 2.5, because they want to make more money. It’s not really that I had some scenes to put in. I mean, the movie really was the best I could make it. It’s not like I think I could make it better, but I said, ‘OK, well, if you want to spend money and really give the kids a few more action scenes, OK. That’s fine. It’s the kids’ choice if they want to spend that money."

Let's rattle off some of the new DVDs:

DAWN OF THE DEAD (Universal) Widescreen, Fullscreen and Unrated director’s cut editions of the hit 2004 remake. Like George Romero, I prefer zombies that are actual reanimated corpses to the plague-ridden psychos in vogue these days, but this one’s a scary, engaging thrill ride. Includes commentrak, featurettes, deleted scenes, and more. Unrated edition also includes some extra featurettes as well.

21 JUMP STREET: Season One (Anchor Bay) Early Fox series with Johnny Depp leading an undercover operation among inner city teens. 13 episodes on four discs, plus commentrak, interviews and booklet.

THAT ‘70s SHOW Season One (Fox) Sitcom shows exactly how it was to live in the Midwest during the 1970s. With promos, featurettes and more.

WHITE CHICKS (Columbia TriStar) Two black FBI agents disguise themselves as twin white teenage girls. Also available in an unrated edition and bundled with MO’ MONEY.

MULAN (Buena Vista) Disney’s take on the legendary Chinese hero, a girl who disguised herself as a man to enter the military and ended up a general, in a special edition that includes commentrak, alternate opening, storyboards, deleted song, music videos, Making-Of, and lots more.

And this one's just too cool...as you know, Peter Jackson, the man who made The Lord of the Rings films, is hard at work on doing his dream project: a re-make of King Kong. Well, it's just been announced that King Kong will get an IMAX release. That's...that's just cool. King Kong is coming out in December 2005.

Hopefully, that's enough.

Next Issue...Listen UP!!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Latest column's up! Fun With Numbers:

"For those who have the patience to read my 5000 page rants, you may have noticed that, in several of these rants, I’ve drawn allusions to a young woman in my class whom I have a crush on. Apparently, this has become quite the hot topic of gossip in my class as to who my secret crush is. After all, I am the quiet, creepy kid. I’m sure that all the girls in my class, as they say their prayers every night, throw in the line, “And dear God, please, tell me I’m not Mark’s secret crush!” Anyway, it’s time for the rumour and innuendo to end. I told my class three weeks ago that I’d announce who my secret crush is right here, in this very issue, and this very article.

But first, I’d like to take a minute to talk about math."

It's All Here, Baby!

Next Issue...Too Early
Gotta write this down before I forget:

I need to catch a Trapinch.

Doing some online research for pokemon, and I just learned that Trapinch evolves into the kick-ass dragon Flygon.

Gotta catch 'em all, and all that jazz.

You know what I'd like to do for the Nintendo corporation? I'd like to compile a book listing all pokemon. Do it in the style of one of those field guides that shows you how to ID wildlife. Mr. Anderson showed me that he had one, but I think it was only for the original 150 pokemon. There's 300+ now.

And something I'd like to include is something that was never brought to North America. See, one of the jokes of the Japanese cartoon that really didn't make it through the translation is that Professor Oak fancies himself a poet. Every episode of the cartoon in Japan ends with Professor Oak giving a quick lecture about the pokemon featured in the episode, then reciting a haiku about that pokemon.

So, in my field guide to pokemon, I'd have to include Professor Oak's haikus.

Next Issue...Salamance

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I caught Latias.

I have no idea what to do now in Pokemon. I figure I'll focus on growth and evolution. I literally have dozens of pokemon that I caught and did nothing with. I may as well go through them now, train them up to be stronger, and evolve them into their final forms.

Although, I did catch a Bagon. I wanted that one because it evolves into a kick-ass dragon-type called Salamance. Gotta have one!

In other news...I just read about Kevin Smith's next project. Smith will be doing a 3-episode guest shot on the Canadian TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation.

See, Smith is a huge fan of Degrassi Junior High. He managed to slip references to it in a few of his films. For example, in Mallrats, Rene is wearing a Degrassi High jacket. In Chasing Amy, Banky says that he has to get home to catch Degrassi. Holden asks him way he loves that show so much, to which Banky replies that he has a thing for women who say "aboot."

So, when Degrassi: The Next Generation came about, the creators were always trying to get Smith involved somehow. The almost got Smith to write and/or direct a few episodes, but to have an American in such a prominent job on the show would have cost Degrassi its Canadian government funding. After months of negotiations and figuring out the Cancon laws, they finally discovered it was OK for Smith to be a guest star.

Hence, a Smith trilogy on Degrassi. The premise is: Smith is playing himself, and he's come to Toronto and Degrassi High to film his latest movie, Jay and Silent Bob go to Canada. The premise of Jay and Silent Bob go to Canada is Jay and Silent Bob never finished high school, and no American school will take them, so they wind up in Canada to finish high school and get their diplomas.

And yes, Jason Mewes will be in it, too.

The start filming this trilogy soon, and it should air in January.

next Issue...Undead

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I'm stupid. Stupid stupid stupid.

I gave up a free screening of Ghost in the Shell 2 today to go to school.

Which was a good thing, because 7 kids in my class didn't show. And since there's only 11 of us, that means valiant program director me had to fill in for 7 jobs.

I'm going to kill people.

In other happier news, I'm being audited by Revenue Canada. Got a letter from them today. When I was in Japan, I had to fill out a form saying I was in Japan so I wouldn't have to pay taxes on the money I made in Japan. Today, I got a ltter from Revenue Canada saying, "We were taking a second look at that form, and it says that you were paying Japanese taxes on the money you made in Canada. So, we'd like our share of the money you made in Japan."

I think that's what it says. The letter has a lot of legal speak.

I wish I died in my car accident on Monday.

Next Issue...Slit Wrists

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

OK, I'm doing some prep for my radio show in 45 minutes. Right now, I'm going through the News Wire and looking at the daily post labeled "Cooler Copy." I love these because these are the weird stories that usually end a radio newscast. Let's cut and past a couple....

The Cirque du soleil has paid 26-hundred dollars for what is believed to be the last surviving hotdog from the Montreal Expos era.

A Quebec radio station (Energie 102 FM) says the Montreal-based circus's winning bid is about 700 times the original purchase price of the steamed wiener on a plain white bun.

The radio station held a contest last month giving away four tickets to the last Expos game in Montreal September 29th.

The winner was given the tickets on condition he return with the last Expos hotdog.

The radio station got a local expert in plastics and plaster to dry and varnish the bun and make an exact replica of the wiener.

The original wiener is in a hermetically sealed package, floating in a stew of preservatives to ensure it survives.

Proceeds from the sale are being donated to a charity dedicated to buying Christmas gifts for underprivileged children.

The Expos played their last game in Montreal in September after 36 years.

The team is expected to begin play in Washington next year.

Diners at The Vineyard, in Bentonville, Arkansas, can distance themselves from the din of cellphone chatter.

The restaurant has designated a ``No-Cellphone'' area, after customers who complained about listening to conversations from adjacent tables.

If someone receives a call while in the cell-free area, they are asked to go outside or into the other area
Let's rattle off some of the new DVD releases:

VAN HELSING (Universal) Stephen Sommers’ latest revival of Universal monsters tries too hard to be a video game come to life, but is nonetheless a fun time-waster. Fullscreen and widescreen editions come with two commentraks, X-Box game preview and featurettes. A widescreen "ultimate collector’s edition" adds a second disc with even more extras, plus a third disc with bonus features FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA and THE WOLF MAN!

ED WOOD (Buena Vista) Tim Burton’s joyously eccentric flick about Hollywood’s strangest filmmaker, with great performances from Johnny Depp in the lead and Martin Landeau as Bela Lugosi. Includes commentrak, deleted scenes, featurettes and more. Special edition set for earlier this year, but delayed until now. Those who snagged the silver-spined original batch that leaked out should hold on to these collectors items.

GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (Columbia TriStar) Godzilla meets an alien cyborg beast.
(O) GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH (Columbia TriStar) Godzilla meets a deadly smog monster.
(O) GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (Columbia TriStar) Godzilla meets his bionic double. These three movies full of dumb fun from Godzilla’s ‘70s superhero period are available separately or as part of 3-, 5-, and 7-disc sets with previously released CTHE Godzilla DVD titles.

HELLBOY (Columbia TriStar) Three-disc set includes a 20-minute-longer director’s cut, new director commentrak, and lots more. Also available in a gift set with a Hellboy action figure.

SPECIES (MGM) Sexy Natasha Henstridge is actually an alien monster created from extraterrestrial DNA! She wants to mate with you – then kill you! Includes two commentraks and featurettes.

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (Lions Gate/Artisan) Heroic zombie cyborg Jean-Claude Van Damme fights evil zombie cyborg Dolph Lundgren. Special edition includes commentrak, alternate ending, featurettes, interviews and more.

And, just for us Canadians...CORNER GAS: SEASON ONE. Can't find any bonus material listings.
What's wrong with society this week is poor highway maintenance.

Review Enterprise: Strom Front part 2. A very Quantum Leap-ish ending. And, while it was cool to see Enterprise flying over New York shooting down Nazi fighters, it was also very, very cheesy.

That should do!

Next Issue...Zarp
Brandon Routh is Superman!

Bryan Singer has announced that the unknown Routh will be playing Clark Kent/Superman. Routh is an unknown; all he has to his credit is guest star on this show and guest star on that show.

Next up: Lois Lane. Keri Russel, Charisma Carpenter and Natalie Portman are all on the short list.

Meanwhile, more info about the plot. The first two films, starring Christopher Reeve, will form a "vague history." In this timeline, Superman disappeared for a while after #2 and now, 6 years later, he returns.

Hence the title, "Superman Returns."

Next Issue...Zorp

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

So, my latest goal in Pokemon: Sapphire Edition is to capture Latias. I've been studying strategies online, and I think I've devised mine.

See, the tricky thing about Latias is how fast she is. You can't do anything. She just takes off. So, the trick is getting her to stay around long enough to catch her.

I finally caught a Sableye. Sableye knows an attack called Mean Look. Mean Look is a look so scary, that it freezes pokemon in their tracks; they can't escape. But still, Latias is so fast she takes off before I can have Sableye strike with Mean Look. Ergo, I must give Sableye the Quick Claw. The Quick Claw is a hold item that gives a pokemon first strike in a battle. I can hit Latias before she leaves.

Plus, I've still got my good ol' Wobbafet. Wobbafet's special abillity is Shadow Tag. This keeps pokemon from fleeing. But, this one is only good while Wobbafet is on the field. The good thing about that is Wobbafet only knows defensive moves. Wobbafet can sit there, take whatever punishment Latias dishes out, and just wear down Latias.

And, there's Tropius. Tropius knows the move Sweet Scent. You use this move in a grassy area, and the wild pokemon come running to you. So, when I go to an area that Latias is currently in, I can just hole up in a grassy field, and unleash Sweet Scent over and over until Latias comes to me; no need to run around in the fields trying to flush her out.

So, here's my ultimate strategy. Once Latias is my area, I park it and have Tropius use Sweet Scent over and over until Latias comes to me. I have Wobbafet in the front of my line up, and do what I can to wear down Latias. Then, once Wobbafet is so weak I pull him out, I then move down to Sableye. Hopefully, between the length of the battle and Sableye's Quick Claw, Sableye will be able to use Mean Look and freeze Latias in her tracks. That way, I can start unleashing my big guns: Sceptile, Seviper, Aggron. Now, it's the same strategy I used to catch the Regi: stretch out the battle for as long as I can, and then start hurling out the Timer Balls. If it's the same with the Regi, then three timer balls out to be enough to catch Latias.

I explained this all to my mother tonight, and she said, "Why can't you put this kind of effort into catching a girlfriend?"

Next Issue...Paradigm Shift
It's official folks.

The very first trailer for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith will be in front of the Disney/Pixar film the Incredibles.

Although, we have been warned. the Incredibles is rather long for an animated film (2 hours, including the Pixar short Boundin'), and lots of movies want to have their trailers in front of The Incredibles, so several movie theatres may choose not to run the teaser in front of The Incredibles.

However, the teaser will be in theatres on November 5.

And it'll be shown on the entertainment news TV show Access Hollywood on Thursday, November 4.

And it'll probably go online on the evening of November 4.

I'm all tingly.

Oh, and I guess I should take a moment to acknowleged Edmonton's big mayoral election that happened last night. The long shot, Mr. Stephen Mandel, who always came up third in the polls, won! He won by a massive, 20,000 vote margin. Incumbent Bill Smith, who was seeking his fourth term, came in second. And Robert Noce, the guy that all the smart money was on, came in a distant third.

I won't lie. I was rooting for Noce. The guy came in second in the last election (2001). He officially declared his candidacy back in January and had been campaigning non-stop since. Noce wanted it bad.

Despite fears that the freak October snowstorms would keep people away, there was a phenominal 42% voter turnout. That was the highest in 9 years. The 1995 election drew a 51% voter turnout.

And last night was the season premiere of one of the funniest shows on TV, CBC's Rick Mercer's Monday Report. Every month, Mercer has some kind of contest on his show. This month's: which Canadian college or university has the best on-campus bar? E-mail your name, phone number, and a brief descripition of your on-campus bar and/or a picture of the bar, and the winner will be announced in a month.

I was rather thrilled because, as Mercer was rattling off examples of on-campus bars, he specifically mentioned The Nest, which is NAIT's on-campus bar. I guess that was to be expected, seeing as to how we were declared the #1 party school in the country over the summer.

But, I don't think I'll submit the Nest to this contest. Even though it's not a bar per se, my heart always belongs to the Augustana Coffeehouse.

Hmm... I wonder how big a donation I have to make to Augustana to get them to change the name of the coffeehouse to "The Scarecrow?" Or, even better, since it's a Lutheran college, they should change the name of the coffeehouse to "Martin's."

Next Issue...Drinkin' with Marty Luther

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Latest column's up! The Cost of Education:

"I’ve hated the whole concept of the scholarship for a long time now. I mean, it’s a great example of very flawed logic. We all know that our education system is under-funded; even more so when we get to the post-secondary level. This is where education goes from being a right to a privilege. We often hear about how we need to get more kids into college and university. We hear how most kids want to go, but just can’t afford to. So what do we do?

We throw everyone into a pit and make them fight over the money."

Read it all

Next Issue...Boss Monkey

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Today's grand experiment: putting photos in my blog.

As I look at my Star Wars action figure collection, I often felt that it looked empty without a Darth Vader. I thought I'd hold out for a Darth Vader with Removable Helmet, but those became hard to find as soon as they were released. In fact, any Darth Vader is tough to find on the shelves.

So, I was in Superstore the other day, picking up a few things, and I wandered into the toy section. It has now doubled in size in anticipation of the Christmas rush. And I saw this guy on the shelf:

Darth Vader

I thought, "Dude!" and bought him on the spot. When I got him home, I started reading his stats. The newer Star Wars figures have action figures. This one has "lightsaber throwing action" to recreate that scene in Return of the Jedi where Vader hurls his lightsaber into the air to cut down the catwalk that Luke is standing on. And then, buried in the bottom corner of the packaging, I notice the list of accessories that Darth Vader comes with.

Includes: Lightsaber, base, removable helmet

I couldn't believe it. Removable helmet. And I'm going to keep him mint in the package forever.

So, I've got my Darth Vader with removable helmet.

Next Issue...Wynaut!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Today's show prep:

- Team America out today. Getting good reviews.

- How's this for movie news? Nicholas Cage as Skeletor. Male model Jason Lewis as He-Man. In a recent interview, that's what John Woo said he wants.

(Actually, a little editorial here. Skeletor wouldn't have to be a guy in make-up this time. You could use the technology they used for Gollum, actually remove Nicholas Cage's head, and put in a skull!)

- Michael Mann, who did "Heat," "The Insider," "Ali," and most recently "Collateral," is going to be doing a movie version of his groundbreaking TV show from the 1980s: Miami Vice. He wants Collin Farrel for the old Don Johnson role.

- New info on the "Transformers" movie. Proudcer Don Simpson has said that the Robert Zemeckis as director rumours are absolutly false. He and writer Tom DeSanto are looking for a new writer to polish off DeSanto's outline; they're looking for "a younger guy, someone who grew up with the mythology." I'M AVAILABLE!!

- Filming has begun on the long-awaited sequel to "The Mask of Zorro." "The Legend of Zorro" is now filming in Mexico. Filming should end in December. The plot is this...California is about to join the USA, and Zorro once again charges to the rescue to make sure it happens. Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are both back. In this sequel, they're married and have a 10-year old son...and the son doesn't know his dad's secret identity.

- More on the Dukes of Hazzard movie...Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg. Willie Nelson as Uncle Jessie.

Next Issue...Showtime

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Damn! where I been all week? I got no show prep here. OK, list of latest DVD releases is printing. What else....

- X-Men 3 has been narrowed down to a short list of three directors. Who? We don't know.

- Christopher Reeve's final film is still coming out. Reeve was directing an animated film called "Yankee Irving," and Reeve finished enough of it that it'll still hit theaters in 2006.

- Spider-Man 3 may be the last one.

- Finally got Aladdin on DVD. REview it.

Review Enterprise premiere.

Monday, October 11, 2004

First things first. Latest column's up! This week's is Beautiful:

"I’m infinitely fascinated by women’s issues. Being a man, that automatically grants me a perspective that makes most issues facing women very alien to me. Problems that seem to have an obvious answer to me aren’t that simple to womankind. And there are times where I figure it’s best not to get involved; obey the Prime Directive. So, for the most part, I’m just an observer on the sidelines, watching the struggles, and I try to help out when my help is asked for. "

Read it all!

And now, some sad news.

Superman is dead.

Christopher Reeve has just passed away at the age of 52. He died of heart failure. Aww, man. I really loved the Superman films when I was a kid. He truly was one of my childhood heroes. I think I'll pop Superman into my DVD player tomorrow.

Speaking of...here's some movie news I've been sitting on for the past few days. Apparently, Warner Brothers hasn't learned their lesson from Catwoman. They're talking about doing a new Supergirl movie. It's just talk right now. The final decision is, "Let's wait and see how well the new Superman does."

Oh, and can't forget this. Heaven's Gate is primed to make a return to theatres. Heaven's Gate is still infamous as being one of the biggest bombs of all time. It was written and directed by Michael Cimino, and the failure of the film pretty much destroyed his career. See, the story is Cimino won a best director Oscar for his Vietnam War epic The Deer Hunter, so he was pretty much given carte blanch for his next film. The result was Heaven's Gate, which Leonard Maltin's movie guide says, "has everything but a plot." The sprawling, 3 hour and 45 minute film, has something to do with that time in American history when pioneers started giving way to the wild west, and cattle drivers going to war with homesteaders.

But yeah. The film has been completely digitally restored, and the man behind this re-release figures that now, with 24 years having passed since its original release, maybe the stigma of "biggest bomb ever" has finally passed and maybe, just maybe, the film will finally find an audience.

Next Issue...Bobo's Gate

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Stuff to talk about on the show:

- Season premiere of Enterprise! Friday night! We finally find out how the ship got thrown back in time to WW2 and got involved with alien Nazis. Interesting thing about Enterprise: starting this season, it's filmed 100% digitally.

- Oh, God. Disney has just announced that they're going ahead with Toy Story 3 AND Toy Story 4 without Pixar. Don't forget, as part of the original Pixar/Disney deal, Disney gets all sequel rights to Pixar's films. Pixar, so far, hasn't commented.

- To tie in with the upcoming movie, a new Fantastic Four cartoon is in the works. Fall 2006 is when they hope to start the show.

That's all I got.

Next Issue...Light the Lights
I am finished.

There are no more worlds left to conquer.

There is no more for me.

I captured the Regi in Pokemon: Sapphire Edition.

All three of them. Regirock, Registeel, and Regice.

There's nothing left for me to do in this world...the pokemon world, that is.

Well, I guess I *could* try to breed a Pichu. And a Wynaught.

Perhaps I'm not done yet.

I just want to sit down and watch DVDs.

Oh! Teacher's back.

Next...show prep

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Well, I got some great DVD news last night. Off a tv commercial, of all things! Coming out on October 19....

Corner Gas: Season 1

For those who don't care, Corner Gas is one of the funniest shows on TV. And it's Canadian! It's about the slighlty off-centre folks in the small Saskatchewan town of Dog River. It was created by stand-up comic Brent Butt, and he plays the lead character Brent, who runs the town's gas station.

Speaking of...the premiere of season 2 is tonight! 8 pm on CFRN here in Edmonton.

Wow, you'd almost thing I'm doing show prep....

It's Tuesday! New DVD day! What comes out....

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (Columbia TriStar) Michael Moore’s provocative, passionate examination of the scandalous machinations of the Bush White House and their tragic results gets distracted here and there but is nonetheless powerful stuff. Includes commentrak, featurettes, extended and deleted scenes.

(O) FAHRENHYPE 9/11 (Trinity) Professional crank Dick Morris attempts to cloud the issue by attacking Michael Moore. Featured nutcases include Zell Miller, Ann Coulter, and Bush’s speech writer. Companion book feature’s diet suggestions for Moore. When the facts fail you, haul out the fat jokes.

DEEP IMPACT (Paramount) The slightly classier of the two meteor disaster blockbusters of 1998. Special edition with commentrak, Making-Of and more.

FRIDAY THE 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan (Paramount)
Five discs of masked maniac fun with FRIDAY THE 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan. As leaked to this column a year ago: here’s a deluxe five-disc set collecting the first eight FRIDAY features, plus a whole disc loaded with extras!

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (Warner Bros.) Two-disc special edition of the great prison drama based on a Stephen King story, with commentrak, two documentaries, Charlie Rose interview, spoof and more. Also available in a limited edition that includes the book and soundtrack CD.

THE UNTOUCHABLES (Paramount) Brian De Palma’s big screen remake of the old hit TV crime show, with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery as real-life gang-busting Chicago cops. Special edition includes featurettes, script and more.

ALADDIN (Buena Vista) Disney’s 1992 cash machine in a special edition that includes annotation, deleted scenes, music videos, Making-Of, and lots more. Also available in a gift set that includes artwork, film frame, and book.

Cool movie news....

Paramount-based Alphaville is in final negotiations with the Ripley Entertainment Inc. to produce a series of adventure movies based on the popular 1930s explorer who spawned the "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" comic strips, chain of museums and television shows according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Paramount Pictures will distribute. The writing team Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander are on board to pen the script for "Believe It or Not!" which is "about the exploits of Robert Ripley, one of the most popular newspaper cartoonists in the '30s and '40s, who was well known for going around the world and looking for oddities and getting into adventures while doing so.... We want to make a series of movies that, if not quite the truth, are the adventures that should have happened" Producer Jim Jacks told press today.

Cool Toy News....

Toy Wishes Magazine (the serious, industry-targeted sister magazine to ToyFare) has just released their annnaul list of what they predict will be the 12 hottest toys this christmas:

Balloon Lagoon: A carnival-based board game in which kids collect balloons, flip frogs in a pond, and fish for letters in a lake. By Cranium.

- Barbie as Princess Anneliese and Erika: Barbie plays two roles in "The Princess and the Pauper." Each doll sings songs from the score of the computer-animated movie, released on DVD and VHS video in late September. By Mattel.

- Bella Dancerella: A complete ballet studio that includes costumes, ballet accessories and a video. By SpinMaster.

- Bratz Tokyo-A-Go-Go Dance N' Skate Club: Bratz fashion dolls hit the retro disco, complete with working speakers and a roller rink. By MGA Entertainment.

- Cabbage Patch Kids: The popular '80s one-of-a-kind adoptable doll is back. By Play Along.

- E-L-M-O: "Sesame Street" character Elmo sings and dances the E-L-M-O, to the tune of the Village People song "YMCA." By Mattel unit Fisher-Price.

- InteracTV: Preschoolers watch a special DVD with episodes of shows like "Blue's Clues" and "Dora the Explorer" or "SpongeBob SquarePants" and use a remote control to interact with characters within the episode. By Fisher-Price.

- Ms. Pac-Man TV Games: A joystick console loaded with classic games, including Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Pole Position, that plugs into the TV. By JAKKS Pacific Inc..

- Nitro Battlerz: Customizable remote control cars that race with each other and crash. By Radica Games Ltd..

- Tamagotchi Connection: An updated version of the virtual pet with different modes of play, new pets and wireless interaction. By Bandai Co. Ltd..

- VideoNow Color: A color version of last year's kid-size personal video player. By Hasbro.

- VTech V.Smile: An educational video game system for kids ages 3 to 7 years old. By VTech Holdings.

That should be enough to get me through the morning!

Next Issue...Just You and Me

Monday, October 04, 2004

Big big movie news today:

Hong Kong action director John Woo will be directing and producing the live action movie version of....

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

This has been rumoured for months, but it was finally officially announced in Variety magazine today. A script is being written by Adam Rifkin, who wrote that other action figure movie Small Soldiers. This'll be Woo's next film after Spy Hunter starring the Rock and based on the video game of the same name.

And in DVD news:

December 14 will see the North American release of Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. YEAH BABY! This came out in Japan last December and is a direct sequel to my beloved Godzilla x Mechagodzilla, which I saw when I was in Japan. Essentially, Godzilla slugs it out with Mothra and Tokyo looks like it'll be destroyed in the crossfire. So, Mechagodzilla is sent in to try to stop both monsters.

Next Issue...Roar!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

First and foremost, latest column. It's Your Money:

"So, my editor’s been after me to write this for the past few weeks now. As you may have heard, the government has sent a survey out to home entitled It’s Your Future. “We’ve got to do something about this survey!” he keeps telling me. “We’ve got to get all the students to respond to this and say ‘We want more money for post-secondary education!’ If we could do that, my God! Think of how much more money this school would get!” Well, sadly, my editor was among the uninformed. There’s no point in doing this survey, which is why I’ve been dragging my heels on writing this. How come I don’t want to write this article? Because of one simple reason. This whole survey is based on a lie. It tells us that the government has all this wonderful money to spend because we’re now debt free. Well, you know what?

Alberta is not debt-free."

And tonight, I had my most frustrating experience ever. I'm playing Pokemon. I'm in the midst of capturing the first Regi: Regi-Steel. The battle rages for 20 minutes. Regi-Steel busts out of the first 12 pokeballs. Finally, lucky 13 captures him! My pokemon are bruised and battered, but it's worth it.

I go to the Pokemon Centre. I heal my pokemon. I check on Regi-Steel and see he's adjusting to captivity. I go to save my game and....

The batteries die.

No saved game. No captured Regi-Steel.

First, I buy new batteries. Then, I begin anew.

Next Issue...Wall Adaptor
Crap. Looks like it's time to buy a new printer.

I was putting in a new ink cartridge when a heard a fateful "snap" a little piece of plastic go rattling around. Now, ink cartridges don't stay in place; they flop around until warning lights start flashing.

I'm wondering if I should take in my printer to get fixed, or if its worth it. I mean, it is 7 years old, which is damn old in computer terms, so that might mean parts will be tough to find. Just might be time to get a new one. This one cost me $300 in 1997...I'm sure a $300 printer these days is of a lot better quality.

The only thing that pisses me off is I just spent $60 in new ink cartridges.

Anyway, time to unwind. I think I'm ready to make a run for the Regi in Pokemon. I've got everything I need to unlock their ruins. I did it last night and did a little trial run...I think I'll need to use the same strategy I used with Skarmory to capture them.

History lesson...Skarmory is a steel/flying type pokemon, and literally a tough bird to catch. He was very strong and no amount of Ultra Balls were able to contain him. Finally, I decided to use a Timer Ball. A timer ball is a pokeball that gets more powerful the longer a battle rages. Then, I attacked Skarmory with nothing but weak attacks, and when he had no energy left, I started using nothing but defensive moves. Point is, I dragged on the battle as long as I could until the timer ball was its most powerful. Then...no problem catching him.

I'm sure that'll work on the Regi. I hope.

Just so you know...in Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire there are about a dozen different kinds of pokeballs. Each one works in different ways. Here's the list:

Pokeball - The good ol' red-and-white special and still the favourite ball of choice for Ash.
Great Ball - Higher catch rate than a pokeball.
Ultra Ball - Higher catch rate than a great ball.
Master Ball - 100% catch rate. Use this, and your guaranteed the catch. There's only one in the whole game, and I used it to catch Kyogre.
Nest Ball - Works best on weaker pokemon. I've found this one to be useless.
Timer Ball - Works better the longer a battle rages on.
Repeat Ball - Works best on pokemon you've caught before. For example, say you want to catch a secon pikachu. Well, then, this is great for #2.
Net Ball - Works best on Bug-type and Water-type. I've found it works good on Flying-type, too.
Dive Ball - Works best on pokemon you find on the ocean floor.
Safari Ball - Only for catching in the Safari Zone.

Plus this time, I'll also have a cheat code working for me. Apparently, you'll have a 100% catch rate if you mash down A, B, L and R while the pokeball wiggles.

Next Issue...Run for the Regi

Friday, October 01, 2004

So, there's one really fun thing happening thanks to me writing for NAIT's paper now.

I've only done 2 rambling editorials so far, but in each one, I crack some kind of joke about only writing to impress the girl in class that I have a crush on.

People are starting to ask who she is.

Love it!

Next Issue...Identity Revealed