Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dude! I"m so hung up on being the boss monkey this week I forgot to cut and past my standard Tuesday show prep. Today's notable new DVDs:

SPIDER-MAN 2 (Columbia TriStar) To avoid gouging fans over and over (at least for now) CTHE is releasing several different editions of this summer’s big hit on the same day. Includes all the expected commentraks, featurettes, bloopers, etc., in either two-disc widescreen or fullscreen editions, available separately or bundled with the first film. Also available is a Superbit edition, as well as a gift set that includes a comic-book, five postcards, a sketch book and a photo booklet.

DAREDEVIL Director’s Cut (Fox) Ben Affleck as the blind superhero, now in a director’s cut that’s a half hour longer, plus commentrak and Making-Of.

HERO (Miramax/Buena Vista) Beautiful, compelling Zhang Yimou action drama starring Jet Li, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung as master assassins. Are they out to kill the warlord whose army is conquering all of China? With Making-Of featurettes, Jet Li and Quentin Tarantino interview each other, storyboards and more.

That's about all that's notable...not a lot wanted to go up against Spidey 2, I think.

Next Issue...More DVDs for me!!
Well, I have to share this entertainment news tidbit:

Godzilla got his star on the Hollywood walk of fame yesterday. He was on hand (or rather, the actor who plays Godzilla in the latest Godzilla film, in a very cheap Godzzila suit) to accept the star. It was Godzilla producer Shogo Tomiyama who gave the acceptance speech, though. "Godzilla cannot speak English, so I am here to translate," he said.

After this, the party moved down to Hollywood's world-famous Graumman's Chinese theatre for the world premiere of Godzilla: Final Wars. This is the 28th - and reportedly last - Godzilla film. Even though it's being sold as the final Godzilla film, very few people believe it. "Godzilla has been working for 50 years," said Final Wars director Ryuhei Kitamura, "so I think he just deserves a vacation." Producer Shogo Tomiyama reflected the sentiment. "So long as Godzilla can fascinate people, I believe he will be resurrected by new generations of filmmakers in the future," he said.

In case you're wondering why there's all this hype about Godzilla, it's because 2004 is the big guy's 50th anniversary. It should be noted that over the course of the last 50 years, Toho has proclaimed "the last Godzilla movie" twice. the first "last" one was Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1974. They figured the 20th anniversary was the best time to let it go. First resurrection came in 1984, when a new film was made for Godzilla's 30th anniversary. Then, the next "last" film came in 1992, when Toho announced that Sony Studios would be making an American Godzilla film, so they'd let the Americans do it for a while. Well, that film was Godzilla (1998), and reaction to that was so bad in Japan that it led to Godzilla's second resurrection, Godzilla Millenium in 1999. (In North America, it was called Godzilla 2000).

Anyway, Godzilla: Final Wars comes out in Japan on Friday. And, rumour has it, North American distributors are starting to put in bids.

Next Issue...What About Mothra?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Latest column's up! Temptation:

"I take a new route to NAIT every day. Now, I drive right by the Via Rail train station. The other day as I drove past, the train had pulled in and was picking up passengers. There it was, a silver traveller, ready to head for parts unknown. I honked my horn as I drove past, and all the people getting on board stopped to wave. Never had the temptation to blow off school for the day, buy a ticket, and hop on board been any stronger."

Read it all!

Next Issue...Call of the Wild
Urgh. I'm hating my homework. I'm working for a real, honest-to-God client now and they're getting picky.... Don't know how to break it to the teacher that I'm really starting to get turned off of writing as a career in radio.

Anyway, I was able to lift my head from the keyboard long enough to watch Ultimate Batman...I mean The Batman, and today was the introduction of Ultimate Mr. Freeze. Not liking this direction as much....

Quick recap of the varried origins of Mr. Freeze:

Original origin - Mad scientist, working on a freeze weapon. It blew up in his face, lowering his body temperature to sub-zero temperatures. Now, in a special suit to keep his body at sub-zero temperatures, he uses all kinds of freezing weapons on his crime spree.

And that's how it was until the animated series....

Batman: The Animated Series origin - Dr. Victor Freis was a scientist specializing in cryogenics. His wife was sticken with an incurable disease, so he froze her until the day a cure is found. But, the heartless company that was in charge of the project threatened to pull the plug. Dr. Freis fought off those sent to pull the plug, but there was an accident with the cryogenics...lowering his body temperature to sub-zero temperatures. Now, in a special suit to keep his body at sub-zero temperatures, he uses all kinds of freezing weapons in his single minded quest to gain vengeance for his condition and to do whatever it takes to save his wife.

Many agreed this was a much better origin for Mr. Freeze. DC Comics quickly adopted it as the "official" Mr. Freeze origin and it propelled Mr. Freeze into the A-list of Batman's rouges gallery.


The Batman origin - Victor Freis was a petty criminal on the run from Batman. The chase ended in a cryogenics lab. In the fight, Freis got thrown into a cryogenic chamber and fought to get out. Batman tried valiantly to get Freis out, but Freis had already damaged the chamber. The chamber switched on, and Freis was both electrocuted and frozen simultaneously. Batman, believing Freis to be dead, took off. Some time later, the cryogenic scientists sprung Freis and learned that the accident had...lowered Victor Freis's body temperature to sub-zero temperatures. It ALSO gave him the power to shoot freeze beams from his fingers. So, using his new power to blackmail the cryongenic scientists into making him a special suit to keep his body at sub-zero temperatures, he uses his new freezing powers to go on crime sprees and get vengeance on Batman.

I gotta tell ya, not really impressed.

next Issue...Killer Frost

Saturday, November 27, 2004

"Woah! How did I get here? Oh, why did I let Morpheus talk me into taking that red pill? Someone get me out of here! I have to get to Winnipeg so I can play Hamlet!" - arcane Keanu Reeves trivia resurrected for a YTV promo.

Just watched the last bit of the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas on TV. My favourite quote from a movie review is a review for The Grinch: "Watching the Grinch is like having sex with your best friend's girlfriend. Yeah, it's great in the moment, but afterwards, you feel really horrible."

Next Issue...Stay Awake!
Who's a geek? I'm a geek!

This morning, I swung by the official Pokemon website. It's something I do about twice a month, because it's not updated very often. But today, I found out some very pleasing news.

When Pokemon 7 is coming to North America.

Actually, it's already come to North America. Turns out it had it's North American premiere at a massive anime film festival in New York last week. The rest of us have to wait until it's DVD release on February 15.

When I frantically had Mr. Anderson do translation work on the trailer (it came out in Japan back in July), he told me that the title was Pokemon: Visitor from the Fissure in the Sky. The English title is now Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys. Deoxys is, of course, the mega-powerful mythical pokemon that the plot revolves around.

I'm kind of excited about this one because the pokemon creators based the city this film takes place in on Vancouver. In case you're curious, Vancouver's pokemon world counterpart is "the technologically advanced Larousse City."

Hmm...sounds French.

February 15. As is my tradition, I'll be buying it at Superstore.

Next Issue...Still Trying to get Salamance

Friday, November 26, 2004

Show prep!

New video game: GoldenEye: Rouge Agent. It's the first James Bond video game where you're not James Bond! Instead, you play the assasin "GoldenEye," a disgraced 00 agent who now makes a living working for the bad guys. So, througout the game, you work for Dr. No, Goldfinger, and Scaramanga: the Man with the Golden Gun. There's some big name voices in this game. Judi Dench is back as M, the boss of 00s, Famke Janssen (Jean Grey from the X-films) is back as Xenia Onnatop, the assasin from GoldenEye who crushes men between her thighs, and Christopher Lee (Count Dooku in Star Wars, Saruman in LOTR) does the voice of Scaramanga; a role he played 30 years ago. In stores now!


West Edmonton Mall is no longer the world's largest mall. That honour now belongs to the Golden Resources Mall in Beijing. At 6 million square feet, it beats West Ed by 1 million square feet. Check this out. It's got over a thousand stores, an ice rink, 280 escalators, and enough restaurants to fill two football fields.

But only 20 shoppers a day.

That numbers in dispute. The media says 20/day. The management says 50,000/day. Either way, it's still less crowded than West Ed at the Christmas season


Today is Buy Nothing Day


Two big movies out this weekend: Alexander, getting ravaged by the press, and Christams with the Kranks, which is getting lukewarm reviews. Interesting trivia bit: "Christmas with the Kranks" is acutally based on a John Grisham novel! the book is called "skipping Christmas."


Monday, November 22, 2004

Well, folks. It's all over. The Alberta Provincial Election, that is. The count before I went to bed: The Liberals at 17 seats, the NDP with 4, and the rest Tory. This is a victory. The opposition made inroads!

So, it was an election with very little surprises. Critics were starting to dub it the "Kleinfeld" election, because it was an election about nothing. The only thing that saddens me was what the analysists were saying. They don't have exact numbers yet, but they are expecting a record low voter turnout; around 44% or so. And that just sucks.

I wonder if it's similar to what a friend of mine was saying today. After I gave her the lecture about how she should vote and how one vote makes a difference and all that, she said, "Yeah, but, I really don't know how to vote. I mean, I like my Tory candidate, but I hate the Tory party! So, I'll probably just spoil my ballot." That's kind of a dumb mentality, but it sure speaks to the need for election reform.

I think we should start doing things like they do in Nunavit. In Nunavit, there are no parties. Everyone runs as an independent. Then, once their legeslature is elected, the MPs vote for the premier and the cabinet. Seems to be working so far.

But, if I may be totally opinionated, the stupidest part of this election was the "senator in waiting" election. That's just a pointless, expensive exercise. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for senate reform. But, there's got to be a better way to make our point to Ottawa rather than spending $3 million on an election that, really, just arbitrarily gives a bored rich person a title.

Subject change.

I'm starting to think about Christmas. And I'm looking at the Christmas albums. I've been eyeing this one for the past few years but haven't bought it yet: Pokemon Christmas Bash. Yup, the pokemon Christmas album. With such holiday classics as I'm Giving Santa a Pikachu for Christmas.

Can't be any worse than this relic from the late 1970s: Star Wars: Christmas in the Stars. C-3P0 and R2-D2 sing Christmas classics, and some new Christmas songs. There's the one song that I've been dying to hear ever since I heard of this album: What Do You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Has a Comb)?.

Next Issue...How About a Hair Dryer?
Show prep show prep show prep!

Top 10 movies:

Weekend ending 11/21/2004
1. National Treasure
2. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
3. The Incredibles
4. The Polar Express
5. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
6. After the Sunset
7. Ray
8. The Grudge
9. Seed of Chucky
10. Saw


It's the election. GO VOTE DUMMIES!


Argos won the Grey Cup


There's actually a singer called Jem:

Welsh singer Jem admits her musical career to date has been ``a bit of a comedy story.''

The 29-year-old, who was born Jemma Griffiths, is enjoying tremendous success in North America with her debut album ``Finally Woken.''

But it was just five years ago that she was finishing a law degree and working in the corporate world in Wales.

She says she always wanted to be a singer, but she was trusting her instincts to let her know when the right time came.

In the past two years, Jem has co-written a song that ended up on Madonna's 2003 album, ``American Life.''

She and her music have also been on the popular show ``The O-C.

Jem has been widely compared to popular Brit singer Dido.

She agrees they're vocally similar, but adds musically they're completely different.

Jem's North American tour has just run through Canada and will end next month.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

First things first. This week's column is a 10 Minute Vacation:

"It’s getting to be a busy time of the year. Between the Christmas shopping, end of semester projects, and the usual year-end depression, we could all use a break. But sometimes, the weekend seems kind of far away, and it’s still a good month to Christmas. So, what are we supposed to do? This is when we have our “10 minute vacations.” This is where we have our own special place that we take off to for a few minutes when a real break won’t do. "

Click Here for the Whole Thing!

Now, I'm on-air from 9:30 - 11:30 tomorrow, so I'm going to get a jump on the show prep. Tuesday is new DVD day, so here's the big releases:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - It's in widescreen and fullscreen versions. For bonus stuff, there's some featurettes, some games, 3D tours of the sets, and a new interview with creator J.K. Rowling.

Seinfeld: Seasons 1 & 2 and Seinfeld: Season 3 - One of the most popular sitcoms ever comes to DVD finally! For bonus materials, you get running commentaries by the cast on select episodes, pop-up trivia tracks, never-before-seen cut scenes, Jerry Seinfeld stand-up footage that was filmed but never used, and an all new 1-hour documentary about the show's creation. For season 3, you get pretty much the same, plus here's an interesting one: Kenny Kramer, the stand-up comic who was the basis for Kramer, interviews Michael Richards. Plus, there's also a special edition gift set of these 2 DVD box sets that comes with a copy of the script for the pilot, salt & pepper shakers from the diner they always hung out at, and a deck of cards.

Star Wars: The Ewok Adventures - For those who just don't have enough Star Wars yet. This disc contains the 2 Ewok TV movies from the mid-1980s. There's absolutly no bonus materials. But hey, both movies on one disc, that's something, right?

Next Issue...Showtime!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Woo! There's a very optimistic rumour going around that The Flash: The Complete Series is coming to DVD next year! Woo woo woo!

I've always thought this was one of the greatest TV shows ever. Based on the DC Comic of the same name, and was actually quite faithful to the Silver Age character. John Wesley Shipp was Central City PD forensic scientist Barry Allen who, thanks to a lab accident involving a bolt of lightening, was given the power of super speed. When his brother - a highly decorated detective - is brutally murdered by a motorcycle gang, he learns that with great power comes great responsibility, and he becomes the Flash. Amanda Pays played his sidekick & love interest Dr. Christina McGee, a STAR Labs scientist researching Barry's powers.

Actually, it was a really interesting dynamic in the pilot between Barry and his brother. We learn that the Allens are a family of cops and by choosing to be a scientist, Barry was very much the black sheep. Even though he was a crime scene investigator (yup, CSI) and doing police work, he was seen as not being a real cop in the eyes of his father.

Anyway, I want to do some summaries of some very cool television I watched in the past 24 hours:

Enterprise: The Forge - Part I of the much-hyped "Vulcan civil war" arc. When there's a suicide bombing of the Earth embassy on Vulcan, Enterprise is sent to investigate. Among the dead, Admiral Forrest, Capt. Archer's longtime friend, commanding officer, and a major recurring character. Blame seems to rest with a religous cult called the Syranites, who follow a "corrupted version" of the teachings of Surak. So, while Commander Tucker takes charge of the Enterprise and continues the investigation, Archer and T'Pol go wandering in the Forge - a savage Vulcan desert - and home base of the Syranites.

It was pretty good. The continuity porn was in full force. Subtle referecnes to all things Vulcan that we learn in future generations. Vulcan Ambassador Soval finally determining to help Enterprise. It wasn't too bad. But I was still bored with it.

Justice League Unlimited: Wake the Dead - HAWKGIRL RETURNS, BABY! Hawkgirl's friend, the zombie strongman Solomon Grundy, is once again resurrected from the dead. But now, he's even stronger than he was before and he's going on a mindless, destructive rampage. He's laying waste to the Justice League left and right. And only Hawkgirl can stop him.

This is where Bruce Timm and his team has always kicked ass since Batman: The Animated Series. They are good at constructing character moments. Even in 20-minutes of solid action, there's always time for Hawkgirl to work through her residual angst over the final episode of Justice League. Great great great.

The Batman: Call of the Cobblepot - Bruce Wayne's fundraiser is crashed by the brash, young millionaire Oswald Cobblepot. But, this baffles Bruce because the Cobblepot fortune had long been squandered. While this is going on, Gotham City is plauged by a series of strange thefts perpetrated by trained birds. Naturally, this leads Batman to Cobblepot who, under the criminal pseudonym of "The Penguin," has resolved to rebuild the Cobblepot fortune through crime.

Now, the new Batman cartoon has been dubbed "Ultimate Batman" by most, so I was curious to see what they'd do for "Ultimate Penguin." Paul Dini in the book Batman Animated said that the main problem with the Penguin is trying to make him threatening. I mean, he's just a midget in a tux. Not much of a threat for the Dark Knight. So, it was curious to see what approach they'd take in The Batman. The result: in this version, Penguin has had some ninja training and is a fierce little warrior. His fights with Batman were reminiscient of Yoda vs. Count Dooku in Episode II. It was an interesting take.

Next Issue...It Is Written

Friday, November 19, 2004

Yay! I'm done school early! Here's some miscellaneous movie news tidbits before I go:

Puss in Boots - No, it's not a new version of the classic fairy tale. It's the comedic sidekick from Shrek 2 in his own movie. It'll be straight-to-video. The writers of the Lizzy McGuire Movie have been hired to write it. No word yet if Antonio Banderas will be back.

Mrs. Doubtfire 2 - Wow! It must be pointless sequel day. Writer/stand-up comic/actress Bonnie Hunt will be writing the script. Negotiations are underway to get Robin Williams back.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Movie #5 will be directed by David Yates. Yates is a veteran of British television. The fifth Potter saga will be scripted by Michael Goldenberg. Chris Columbus, director of the first two films, is still on board as a producer. Summer 2007 is the most likely release.

The Watchmen - Another new director for the movie version of the classic graphic novel. Now, Paul Greengrass is the guy in charge. Greengrass directed last summer's The Bourne Supremacy. He replaces Darren Aronofsky, who left to go do his long-stuck-in-development sci-fi epic The Fountain.

Now, I'm off!

Next Issue...Giants of Iron

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I'd really like to go home right now and watch some more Iron Giant. I watched a couple of the cut scenes last night. Oh, curse Warner Brothers animation! Brad Bird does an intro to all the cut scenes, and each one starts the same: "I really wanted to have this scene in the movie, but we ran out of money and we couldn't afford to get it animated."

First one I watched was the long-rumoured "Giant's Dream Sequence." It was very surreal. 50s sci-fi crossed with The Animatrix. It originally took place after Hogarth and the Giant's "souls don't die" conversation. The Giant goes to sleep and has a dream. A quirk in his programming allows Dean to watch the Giant's dream on TV. And that's how we, the audience, see it. We see an alien city, an army of Iron Giants marching through it all Nazi-ish, the Giant catches a glimpse of his shadow, and it's the "war machine" Giant we see at the end of the film. Then, we go out into space, where we see the planet that this is happening on. And the planet blows up, jolting the Giant awake.

Very cool.

Next Issue...Pizza Man!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

All right, let's cut-and-paste some show prep:

An unmanned NASA (news - web sites) jet screamed into the record books high over the Pacific Ocean by reaching speeds of almost 7,000 mph, brightening hopes that humans might one day be able to fly across a continent in minutes instead of hours.

Slideshow: NASA Tests Hypersonic Jet

NASA "ScramJet" Flies at About 7,000mph
(AP Video)

Is FM Dead?
Today, satellite radio is all the rage. But do you choose XM or Sirius?

The 12-foot-long X-43A supersonic combustion ramjet — or scramjet — flew on its own power for just 10 seconds after separating from a booster rocket, but it was enough to excite researchers.

"We've given industry and government a lot of confidence to go forward with hypersonic flight," said Joel Sitz, the X-43A project manager at Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base. "I think that technology definitely has a future."

Initial data indicated the aircraft flew at about Mach 9.6 — or nearly 10 times the speed of sound — said Randy Voland, the scramjet propulsion team leader from NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia.

"We can really do this stuff," he said.

The X-43A was mounted on a Pegasus rocket and carried aloft by NASA's B-52 carrier aircraft to a range off the Southern California coast. At 40,000 feet, the Pegasus was released and ignited, soaring to high altitude and a speed of Mach 9.8 before the X-43A separated and flew on its own at an altitude of 111,000 feet.

"It's 90 seconds of terror, but once it's over with you realize that you've really accomplished some great things," Sitz said.

After 10 seconds of scramjet-powered flight, the X-43A became a glider and made a controlled glide to a splashdown in the ocean about 800 miles offshore. It will not be recovered.

Although brief, the flight produced an enormous amount of data compared to the milliseconds of data that all Mach 10 ground tests have produced, Voland said. "They only add up to a second or so, maybe," he said.

The flight was the last in a $230 million-plus program to test a technology most likely to be initially used to power missiles or in military aircraft, such as bombers that could reach any target on Earth within two hours of takeoff.

Scramjets may also provide an alternative to rockets for space launches. Sitz said he believes the technology eventually can also be used for commercial passenger flights.

"We're just going to have to wait a while," he said.

Unlike conventional jet engines which use rotating fan blades to compress air for combustion, the X-43A has no such rotating engine parts. Instead it uses the underside of the aircraft's forebody to compress air for mixing with hydrogen fuel. The airflow through the engine remains supersonic.

The X-43A launched Tuesday was the last of three built for NASA's Hyper-X program.

The first X-43A flight failed in 2001 when the booster rocket veered off course and was destroyed. The second X-43A successfully flew in March, reaching Mach 6.83 — nearly 5,000 mph — and setting a new world speed record for a plane powered by an air-breathing engine.

That was more than double the top speed of the jet-powered SR-71 Blackbird spyplane, which at slightly more than Mach 3 is the fastest air-breathing, manned aircraft.

Not having to carry oxygen is one of the advantages scramjets hold over rockets. Rockets achieve the same kind of high speeds but the weight of oxygen tanks or other oxidizers reduces the amount of payload they can carry.


Another old rumour has popped up again. Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor! Spacey worked with Bryan Singer a long time ago on "The Usual Suspects."


Review the last Enterprise episode, "the Augments."


What's wrong with society this week is mean people

Next Issue. On with the show
I got it! I got it! I got it!

Went over to HMV in Kingsway Garden Mall and got the copy of The Iron Giant: Special Edition! In your face, Future Shop! Here's all the details, straight from the back of the box:

- all-new digital transfer of the film
- Running commentary with writer/director Brad Bird, Head of Animation Tony Fucile, Story Head Jeff Lynch, and Steven Markowski, the lead animator on the Giant
- 8 cut scenes, including an alternate opening and the long-rumoured "Giant's Dream Sequence."
- 13 branching featurettes about the film, covering music, character design, storyboards, and animation
- Writer/director Brad Bird and consultant Teddy Newton pick apart two key "character moments."
- The Voice of the Giant: an all new interview with Vin Diesel, who did the voice of the Giant.
- the trailers
- art galleries
- and more!

Much better than the original DVD.

Next Issue...I want to watch this NOW!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

So, after school today, I sprint down to Future Shop all eager to get The Iron Giant: Special Edition. I walked up to the customer service clerk, and what does he say?

"Oh, I'm sorry. We haven't ordered it in yet."

"We have it first" my ass.

I was geeking out about this DVD to the girl I have a crush on.

Her>> Wait a minute. Is that the movie with the giant robot? And the robot dies at the end?

Me>> Yup. That's the one.

Her>> Oh, I hate that movie! I hate it so much!

(I heard a faint crack as my heart broke a little)

Me>> What? Why?

Her>> Because that movie made me cry!

Me>> Well, it makes me cry, too. It always makes me cry.

Her>> Oh, well, then, I guess it's good.

(I heard a faint tearing as the duct tape patched up my heart.)

Next Issue...Best Buy's No Better
Show prep! New DVDs:

THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (Universal) Epic space opera in which Vin Diesel plays a tough criminal with a heart of space gold who is coerced into fighting back against fascistic space warlords. Widescreen, fullscreen and unrated (15 minutes longer) widescreen director’s cut editions include featurettes, 3D views of the sets, Xbox game preview, and more.

Dawn starts school and Buffy gets a job, but they soon forget all about their little troubles to gather a group of slayers-in-training to battle The First. With commentraks, featurettes, outtakes and more.

ELF (New Line) Will Ferrell is raised at the North Pole as an elf, but comes to New York to find his human roots. Two-disc special edition features commentraks by Farrell and director Jon Favreau, annotation track, featurettes, games, karaoke, and more.

KIDS IN THE HALL: Complete Season 2 (A&E) Another season of excellent sketch comedy from the Kids circa 1990-91, plus commentraks, interviews, more early Rivoli Theater performances, and more.

THE IRON GIANT (Warner Bros.) Special edition of this brilliant tale of a boy who forms a friendship with an amnesiac alien war machine in the 1950s, directed by Brad Bird (THE INCREDIBLES). Includes commentrak, additional scenes, eight deleted scenes, branching featurettes and more. Delayed from September.

Tom Hanks is going to star in the movie version of the DaVinci Code. Ron Howard's going to direct.

The Hollywood Reporter indicates Walt Disney Studios is actively moving ahead with its long-in-discussion sequel to Pixar Animation's two "Toy Story" movies.

Disney is in the process of setting up a digital animation facility in Glendale, not all that far from DreamWorks Animation's digs, that will be used for the production of "Toy Story 3." The project falls under the reins of David Stainton, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation.

Now that the studio is actively beginning the project could make it more difficult for it to resume negotiations with Pixar CEO Steve Jobs to extend Pixar's relationship with Disney which expires next year with the release of John Lasseter's "Cars." Disney holds the rights to do sequels to "Toy Story."

CSI Files reports that starting with episode 101, producers plan to spice up the well-trodden formula of the top-rating show by radically moving around many of the characters.

All of this kicks off in the upcoming ninth episode of the fifth season "Mea Culpa," in which a murder trial is reopened to explore new forensic evidence. During cross-examination, Grissom discovers a previously undetected fingerprint on a matchbook left at a crime scene, meaning that the man who was originally convicted may well be innocent. Rather than focusing on finding the true killer, Grissom's longtime enemy Conrad Ecklie uses the finding to make life for Grissom as painful as possible.

TV Guide reveals that Catherine Willows will be promoted to head of the swing-shift CSI team in "Mea Culpa." Joining her each day at 4:00pm will be Warrick Brown who will now be reporting to the woman he nearly kissed earlier this season.

Meanwhile, Gil Grissom will be left in charge of the graveyard shift, but he'll now have to solve his cases using a B team consisting of rookies such as Greg Sanders, who hasn't even passed his final field proficiency test. To add insult to injury, his team will also be joined by internal affairs officer Sophia Curtis, who is assigned to keep watch over Grissom.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Latest column's up! This week's is a bunch of Candidate Profiles:

"I decided to find out who all’s running here around NAIT. Now, the main campus falls into the riding of Edmonton-Calder. So that’s who I went out and talked to. Now, granted, you may not live in Edmonton-Calder even if you come to school here. If that’s the case, then I suggest you head to the Elections Alberta website ( www.electionsalberta.ab.ca) and find out what area you live in and who alls running in your home. Heck, in your home riding, you might have a Green or a Social Credit, or even a crazy party! "

As always, go here to read it all!

Next Issue...Vengeance of Psyduck!
Just finished watching Smallville. I've often read the question asking why DC Comics doesn't take advantage of Smallville's success to do an Ultimate-style relaunch of Superman. Strange thing is, because the fans are starting to clamour for it, the writers of the show are starting to do it. Case in point: tonight we were introduced to Ultimate Mr. Mxyzpytlk. Quick comparison:

Comics - Mr. Mxyzpytlk is an omnipotent being from the fifth dimension who occasionally comes to our dimension to just torment Superman. No real motives other than being a Godlike pain in the ass. The only way to get rid of him is to trick him into saying his name backwards.

Smallville - Mikail Mxyzpytlk is the strange foriegn exchange student from Eastern Europe. He has a power very much like Jessie Custer's "Word of God" in the Preacher comics. It's a power that's been passed down in his family from generation to generation. Naturally, he's using this power to trip up sports stars and rig sporting events. The only way to counter his power is a specific radio frequency.

See, right there, the Smallville version just seems a little more plausible than the comic version. Little more sinister, too.

Oh, and I have another silly story. This happened on Friday. As you know, I'm having a little trouble with Revenue Canada as to what I need to do with the money I made in Japan. So, I called up Edmonton's Japanese Consulate to find out how to go about getting the evidence that I was a Japanese resident for tax purposes. Firstly, this was problem the Japanese consulate had never heard of before. ("But...you have your work visa and your passport stamped. That should be enough for Revenue Canada...shouldn't it?") So, after I talked to Tomiko of the Japanese consulate for a while, ultimaty she told me that all they could do was translate all the tax forms and stuff I got from AEON and slap that on official letterhead. I'll take what I can get. And then, in the middle of this conversation, Tomiko of the consulate just blurts out....

"Spell my name."

Without thinking, I just rattled off "T-O-M-I-K-O," and she just said, "Yup."

One of those things where, afterwards, I realized how strange it really was. I mean, I've never blurted out "spell my name" in the middle of any other conversations. My paranoid bit tells me that this was an informal test to see if I really was in Japan or not.

Next Issue...Client Campaign

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I've been so gloomy and angst-ridden, I haven't been able to tell this silly story yet.

A few weeks ago, I got off on a tangent on the show and started talking about "the old CLCR days." I was taping that show, because I needed to hand it in to my instructor.

Once a week, I've got to hand in a sample of my on-air shifts to my announcing instructor, so he can pick it apart and grade me. I had no on-air shifts that week, so I was using Chaos in a Box.

Anyway, he was listening to my show, and I got to the part where I mentioned CLCR. His eyes lit up. "You worked for CLCR? The Augustana station? Dude, tell me. How do they work? Because I've always tried to call someone down there and set up something with them." So, I told him how it was run by the students association, and that the manager was hired by the students association to run the station, much like how NAITSA hires an editor for the paper. From there, I continued explaining how it was all run by volunteer students and that the volunteers always lost interest around November, and that the station was shut down once and for all back in January. And I may have also ranted a bit about how I applied to be station manager and got turned down.

But still, I wonder what he meant by, "I tried to set something up with them." Just think. CLCR was always re-broadcasting the Bear duing the day. But, we could have had a couple of FREE NAIT practicum students doing day shifts instead of re-broadcasting the Bear. That would have rocked.

Yeah, my announcing instructor hails from Camrose actually. He got into radio because he had no life and he hung out at CFCW. Eventually, CFCW hired him.

Next Issue...Employment

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Some miscellaneous movie tidbits before I get to work:

- The world is ending! Baywatch: the Movie is now in development! DreamWorks just bought the movie rights, and they're aiming it for summer 2006.

- As the search continues for a new James Bond, they're beginning to get the behind-the-scenes crew ready for the next movie. Martin Campbell, who directed GoldenEye, is in talks to come back for Bond 21. Campbell also did The Mark of Zorro, and he's currently working on Zorro 2.

- I had a hunch this was going to happen. Michael Moore just revealed that he's planning a sequel to Fahrenheight 9/11. With the working title Fahrenheight 9/11½, Moore hopes to have it ready for the Americans' 2008 election. Moore has also begun work on his next film, Sicko, which takes a look at the American health care system.

Next Issue...Starset
Right now, I'm spending my Remeberance Day by playing with Firefox. Firefox is a new web browser from the good folks at Mozilla. Firefox was suggested to me by my old friend Streiff, as Firefox apparently kicks Internet Explorer's ass all over the place. Some of the features that Firefox boasts that IE doesn't have:

- built-in spyware blocking
- built-in pop up ad blocking
- built-in Search Engine toolbar. (Yeah, IE has this, but usually as a spyware-laced plug in. Not with Firefox)
- tabbed browsing. See, everytime you open a new window with IE, you get another IE program running and eventually your taskbar is cluttered with IEs. But, with Firefox, you've only got one program running, and you switch back and forth between websites with tabs at the top of the screen. Very handy.

And, as with the good old days of web browsers, it's absolutly free. Just go to Get Firefox.com to download it.

Anyway, it's been a long time since I've done updates of DVDs coming out in the distant future. So, let's do that.

On February 15th, we'll finally get the long-in-development special edition DVD of Orgazmo. For bonus materials, you have over an hour of cut scenes and bloopers, a documentary about the film, and three running commentaries. One is a "drunken commentary," just like on the Cannibal!: The Musical DVD. There's even more stuff that hasn't been announced yet.

And, on February 22nd, Disney finally releases their latest batch of dubbed Studio Ghibli films. You may remember that these disks were originally going to come out back in August, but Disney put them off so they could work them into their Howl's Moving Castle hype. And there's been one change in the line-up, too. Originally, they were going to release Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind, Porco Rosso, and My Neighbor Totoro. But now, Totoro has been replaced with the Cat Returns. I remember The Cat Returns. It came out in the summer of 2002, shortly after I arrived in Japan. Advertising for it was everywhere. It has to do with a little girl who meets a 3-foot tall talking cat and goes on an adventure in the Cat Kingdom. It was directed by Hiroyuki Morita. Anyway, here's the rundown on the three discs and their bonus material:

Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind:
- "Behind the Microphone," featuring interviews with the American voice cast, including Allison Lohan, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, and Edward James Olmos.
- The storyboards for the entire film
- The original Japanese trailer
- "The Birth of Studio Ghibli" featurette. (This was Ghibli's first film, after all)
- Original Japanese language track

Porco Rosso:
- "Behind the Mircophone," featuring interviews with the American voice cast, including Michael Keaton, Susan Egan, Brad Garrett and David Ogden Stires
- The storyboards for the entire film
- the original Japanese trailer
- interview with Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki
- Original Japanese language track

The Cat Returns:
- "Behind the Microphone," featuring interview with the American voice cast, including Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Andy Richter, Tim Curry, and Rene Auberjenois.
- The storyboards for the entire film
- The original Japanese trailer
- "Making of" featurette
- Original Japanese language track

Don't forget, that's all on February 22.

And don't worry. If you can't wait for Disney's new dub of My Neighbor Totoro, you can still get the 20th Century Fox dub from 1993. You can fish it out of most discount bins now for $5.99.

One last thing before I go. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists have announced that these are the films eligible for this year's Best Animated Film Oscar:

* Clifford's Really Big Movie
* Disney's Teacher's Pet
* Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Japan)
* Home on the Range
* Polar Express
* Shark Tale
* Shrek 2
* Sky Blue (aka Wonderful Days, Korean)
* The Incredibles
* The Legend of Buddha (Indian)
* The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

As there are less than 16, there will be only three nominations in the category. Nominees will be announced in January.

Next Issue...The Fire of the Fox

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

If there's one class that's done great at destroying my drive to write, it's writing class.

That class has become such a waste. For a writing class, we spend so little time writing. Last semester, we'd spend a whole 3-hour class writing. Now, we spend an hour writing and 2 hours of nothing.

Don't get me wrong. On paper, it's a great concept. How it's supposed to go is one hour writing, an hour of peer review, and an hour of rewrites. The reality is an hour of writing, an hour and a half of waiting my turn, 5 minutes of peer review, and 10 minutes of rewriting.

And today was the absolute worst. Writing humourous spots. After the hour and a half of waiting my turn, mine was ripped apart. And then, a "good" humourous spot was presented: one that promoted the benefits of NR92 by ripping apart it's "crappy" shows; mainly mine.

And I'm still baffled at how the brats who skip every second class and spend only 5 minutes on their scripts so they can get out early seem to have pulled ahead of the pack and manage to get lauded by the instructor for every piece of crap they write. Unlike someone like me, who is really the only one who's expressed any kind of desire in making a career out of writing and actually *works* on his scripts, only to have them get ripped apart.

I don't know. At the start of this year, my instructor asked me if it was possible for me to write anything normal, so I've spent the whole semester to date trying to dial back my creativity. And now, I see the brats getting away with everything I was asked *not* to do.

When class was done today, I just wanted to get as far away from that fucking school as I could.

And that's why today's show was canceled.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

More show prep:

- The Polar Express comes out tomorrow. First computer animated film done entirely with motion capture. This is the process where people where skin-tight outfits with little dots all over them so their every movement is traced into the comptuer, and used to make animation. Thanks to this, Tom Hanks plays 5 different characters in the film.

- Just in time for Christmas, the Geekman action figure. Geekman comes with removable glasses, PDA, coffee mug, watch, and laptop. It's been very popular, and the company is already working on a "Geekgirl" figure.

- International soccer star David Beckham is making his acting debut. Beckham will be staring in a trilogy of movies called Goal!, about an American who joins a British soccer team. Beckham will play himself. The trilogy will be directed by Danny Cannon, who did Judge Dredd, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, and about a zillion episodes of CSI
Doing today's shift at 2:30, so let's get a jump on the prep. Tuesday. New DVDs:

FRIENDS: Complete Eighth Season (Warner Bros.) Wow, this show’s so great I hope it goes on forever. All 23 episodes with footage cut from syndicated reruns, commentraks, gag reel, games and more.

GONE WITH THE WIND Collectors Edition (Warner Bros.) Four-disc set celebrated the 65th anniversary of the classic Civil War drama, with Making-Of documentary, newsreels, featurettes, prologue from the international version, shorts and more.

JU-ON (Lions Gate) Haunted house haunts visitors. 2000 Japanese horror from the makers of RINGU, remade for USA as THE GRUDGE. Includes commentrak with Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel, behind-the-scenes, interviews, deleted scenes and more.

THE STEPFORD WIVES (Paramount) Awful 2004 comic remake of the ‘70s sci-fi chiller. Fullscreen and widescreen editions include director commentrak, featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reel and more.

MICKEY’S TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS (Buena Vista) All new CGanime feature presents three-dimensional versions of familiar Disney characters in a holiday adventure. Includes behind-the-scenes, games, a skating featurettes and more.

MY LITTLE PONY: Complete First Season (Rhino) For you completists.

So, it's official now. Pierce Brosnan is James Bond no more. Brosnan is telling the press he was dumped because the people in charge changed their minds about Brosnan halfway through negotiations. So, the question is, who's the next Bond? Brosnan has already said he wants Colin Farrel, but Farrel has gone on the record as saying, "Fuck that." Some people say negotiations have begun with Ewan McGregor. Others say that Julian McMahon is being wooed. (McMahon is star of the TV show "Nip/Tuck" and will soon be seen as Dr. Doom in the movie version of "Fantastic Four.") Plus, Aussies Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman and Eric "Hulk" Bana have been rumoured for ages.
More new info on "Pirates of the Carribean 2." Turns out they want to do 2 and 3 at the same time, much like "The Matrix" and "Back to the Future." Says producer Jerry Bruckheimer, "We hope we can do it as well as lord of the rings."
The long awaited movie version of The Simpsons has been locked in for a 2008 release. They've begun writing it.

Monday, November 08, 2004

So, an assignment I've hated the most is about to come to a close. Let me tell you the whole story.

NAIT is launching this massive initiative to educate the students to treat each other and the school with more respect. You know, don't shout insults at each other, clean up your tables in the cafeteria, don't smash up the computers, real kindergarten kind of stuff.

Anyway, they approached us at NR92 to see if we could do PSAs on this subject to run on our radio station. Our instructor, naturally, turned it into an assignment.

We had to do this one completely for real, though. Before writing our scripts, we had to analyze the situation and then pitch our ideas for a PSA. I had a great idea, inspired by a true story. We have our instructor, giving his lecture, but his lecture is drowned out by all the students' cellphones ringing. Announcer comes up: "Keep your cellphones off." There you go.

Instructor loved the pitch. Gave it the greenlight. But then, she added a new wrinkle. It was at this point she decided to tell us that our spots were to be one minute long. My idea was designed to be 30 seconds long. Think about it. Once you factor in the set-up of the instructor giving his lecture, the announcer at the end, there'd only be about 10 seconds max of nothing but ringing cellphones in the spot. But, at one minute, we'd be looking at 40 seconds or so. My brilliant idea at 30 seconds would be far too annoying at one minute.

I presented this problem to my instructor. She just kind of shrugged and said, "Well, there are other things that disrupt a class besides ringing cellphones. Use some of those ideas to expand."

So, my brilliant 30-second sound effect spot turned into a very mediocre 60-second dialogue spot in which two very bratty kids display every kind of disruptive behaviour. I hated the concept. I hated writing every word. I obsessed on it endlessly trying to elevate it, but I couldn't. My 30-second idea just couldn't be expanded into a minute. My instructor kind of got the hint. I hadn't obsessed on a script for that long in ages. Finally, my instructor said, "In the real world, that'd be fine as is. Send it to the client."

so, I e-mailed it to the head of the committee in charge of this thing for client approval. Two weeks later, in today's class, Mr. Head-of-the-Committee came back with his comments.

The comments on mine: "Well, it's good, we guess. We went back and forth on it five times before we decided it was OK. but...we really don't like this one little word. We don't understand why, at this point, this chracter would reply in this way. So, could you please explain, why did you use that word? Why do you think the character would reply in this way?"

I looked Mr. Company Man square in the eye and said, "Because I was crunched for time and I really didn't care about characters anymore. I just threw in the first word that came to mind."

He was taken aback. "Wow," he said. "Honesty. No one's ever tried that approach with me."

So I changed the fucking word and I sent the script back for re-approval. And now I'm waiting for two more weeks to see if I get re-approval.

I guess the only thing that really pisses me off is that I took the whole time we had - three hours - to write this thing and send it off. Everyone else in class just crapped out stuff in 10 minutes so they could leave early. And you know the comments they got on their scripts?

"Brilliant. Fine as is."

I just don't get it anymore.

Next Issue...A Real Job

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Latest column! The Unanalyzable"

"Just finished doing my homework for writing class. We’re currently covering a subject that my instructor feels that the advertising industry as a whole hasn’t done enough study of: writing funny commercials. I think that it’s kind of funny that she’s trying to tackle this issue. Humour, as we all know, is such a purely subjective thing. Why should one even bother trying to figure out what makes us laugh?"

Read It All

Next Issue...Early Morning

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Show prep show prep:

The always fierce competition among comics to land a gig on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" is set to become the basis of a reality series for the network.

Sources said NBC is working on a reality-competition series fronted by "SNL" creator/executive producer Lorne Michaels. The project would chronicle a group of comedians vying for a grand prize that is believed to be a role on the long-running sketch comedy series.

Michaels is expected to play a Donald Trump-like role, winnowing the pool of contestants until a victor is selected. Sources indicated that the project is eyed for a possible summer launch. NBC declined comment.

Michaels got his taste of getting tough on reality series contestants in a "SNL" parody skit of NBC's reality hit "The Apprentice" last season, in which he took over Trump's role and "fired" cast member Jimmy Fallon (news). NBC already has a track record in turning talent searches into a successful reality series with "Last Comic Standing."

Shrek 2 comes out on DVD tomorrow. In a very rare move, the DVD comes out on a Friday. (DVDs always come out on Tuesday) For bonus materials, you've got a running commentary, technical goofs, all kinds of featurettes on the film, and over 20 games.
Wow! A new Quantum Leap series:

A couple of rumours have begun floating around in regards to the storyline of the proposed "Quantum Leap" reinvention currently in development and two sources have propped in with what they've heard:

"Starting sometime in January, Don Bellasario is making the new "Quantum Leap" movie currently using the working sub-title "A Bold Leap Forward". It's tipped to start out as a two-hour TV movie with a series to follow pending the movie's results.

The two hour feature is rumoured to have Dean Stockwell (Al) looking for Sam whose leaps they can no longer track. Al finds him but loses him again, so he gets Sam's daughter to go looking for him. Scott Bakula is tipped to randomly appear throughout the series starting with the movie".

Soon after that, another source said it has been confirmed by Trey Callway that Sam's daughter Sammy Jo will be used in the movie. She will be in her late 30's leaping to find Sam with Al as her guide after finding out that Sam is her father. Sam will be 50 and his daughter will be in her late 30's, and yes it will still have time travel in it as before.
"The Incredibles" comes out tomorrow. The newest from Brad Bird aka God's gift to animation. Some cool trivia bits: It's Pixar's first PG, and, at 115 minutes, it's the longest CGI movie made to date.

That's all I got.

Next Issue...Spirit of Place

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

More Show Prep:

(Candy-Diamond Ring)

One Massachusetts woman was a lot more generous to Halloween trick-or-treaters than she intended to be.

Seven-year-old Hunter Campbell's candy haul included a 14-carat diamond engagement ring.

The ring slipped off a newlywed's finger as she doled out the treats in Natick (NAY'-tik), a town west of Boston.

She'd just had the ring re-sized and it was a little bigger than normal.

The woman (Paulie Andreosatos-Gavin) spent a panicked evening looking for the ring before calling police.

Luckily for her, the boy's parents turned in the ring as soon as they spotted it among the candy.

The new bride says she's sending the trick-or-treater a reward.


Forgive some women for being a tad bit miffed when the hunky men who had offered to drive them to polling stations arrived.

After all, the men were fully clothed.

The plan called for the men of Long Tom Grange -- Oregon's best known nudie calendar -- to offer voters a free limo ride to ballot drop-off sites.

The men made headlines last year when they bared all for a calendar benefiting local schools.

Linda Roberts was surprised when 66-year-old rancher John Lopes greeted her in jeans and a cowboy shirt.

As Mr. May in the group's 2005 calendar, he wore only his belt and boots astride his horse.

The group had considered going topless.

But Lopes says ``hey, it's too cold.''


INDEX: Justice, Social

OTTAWA -- A reckless act of public indecency? Or an indiscreet moment in the privacy of one's home?

The Supreme Court reserved judgment today in the case of a B-C man caught masturbating in his brightly lit living room window.

Daryl Clark of Nanaimo is appealing his conviction on the grounds that it effectively rewrites the Criminal Code to make his home a public place.

The Crown argues that Clark's recklessness offered an `explicit invitation' to the public to watch.

The high court reserved judgment, but not before the nine justices asked the Crown some tough questions.

They included why Clark's neighbours, the complainants in the case, watched him from a darkened bedroom with binoculars, telescope and video camera.

SPACE STATION ALPHA -- One American voter has gone through years of preparation and one very bumpy ride to get to his polling place -- but at least he managed to avoid the lines.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao (CHOW) voted from on board the International Space Station over the weekend.

The galactic balloting was possible thanks to a special arrangement with the election board where Chiao lives in Texas.

They set up a secure e-mail link so the country's only outer-space voter could send in his choices secretly.

Chiao says he spent the weekend thinking about his options and then Sunday he made his choice and pushed the ``send'' button.

He calls that a ``neat'' moment, saying it shows that truly every vote can count -- even from more than 360 kilometres above Earth.


INDEX: Justice, Social

OTTAWA -- A reckless act of public indecency? Or an indiscreet moment in the privacy of one's home?

The Supreme Court reserved judgment today in the case of a B-C man caught masturbating in his brightly lit living room window.

Daryl Clark of Nanaimo is appealing his conviction on the grounds that it effectively rewrites the Criminal Code to make his home a public place.

The Crown argues that Clark's recklessness offered an `explicit invitation' to the public to watch.

The high court reserved judgment, but not before the nine justices asked the Crown some tough questions.

They included why Clark's neighbours, the complainants in the case, watched him from a darkened bedroom with binoculars, telescope and video camera

Brosnan said several actors could ably fill his shoes as James Bond, which he played four times from 1995 to 2002, but "I'll give it to Colin Farrell. He'll eat the head off them all" said Brosnan following an entertainment awards ceremony Saturday in Dublin.

The 28-year-old Farrell has the title role in Oliver Stone's upcoming "Alexander". Brosnan didn't specify any other actors that he thought would make a good 007.

Brosnan also said he was discussing a possible collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino, who is considering making a film of the Bond novel "Casino Royale" - "We have discussed things, Quentin and I, but I don't know if it's going to be that particular project."
Crap! Got promoted from Sports to On-Air. Some quick like a bunny show prep:

Tuesday. New DVDs:

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (Buena Vista/Disney) This new version of the Jules Verne story starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan has its moments, especially during cameos by its many international guest stars. Widescreen and fullscreen editions include commentrak, deleted scenes, alternate opening, Making-Of, featurettes and music video.

FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (Universal) Special edition of Amy Heckerling’s hit high school comedy. Widescreen and fullscreen editions include commentrak, featurettes and more.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Special Edition (Buena Vista) This reissue is bundled with a third disc full of more extras.

STAR TREK: Complete Second Season (Paramount) TOS part two presents 26 episodes on seven discs, plus commentraks, featurettes and more.

LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION Volume 2 (Warner Bros.) Four more discs of classic toons, with commentraks, featurettes, a new Daffy Duck short, 50th anniversary TV special and more.

More Later. Back to Production

Next Issue...LISTEN TO ME!

Monday, November 01, 2004

So, the question I'm obsessing on today:

Why doesn't Halifax have a CFL team?

Hey, the Grey Cup's coming, and even I'm getting caught up in it.

I've been doing some investigating online. The CFL has always wanted to add a 10th team in the east. The short list - well, the whole list, really - is Quebec City and Halifax. The CFL has been seriously trying to get a team into Halifax since the 1970s. In the early 1980s, Halifax actually was granted a CFL franchise. They were called the "Atlantic Schooners," but they went bankrupt before playing their first game.

The main sticking point has always been a stadium. Halifax needs $65 million to build a football stadium that's up to CFL standards. No one's been able to pony up the cash so far. Right now, they're looking at Halifax's Husky Stadium as an alternative; to see if it can simply be upgraded to CFL standards.

And, the CFL is still working hard at getting a team into Halifax. The CFL is poking around Halifax right now, trying to see if some neutral site exhibition games can be hosted in the city early next season. Many see this as being a practice run before Halifax gets a team.

I even raised the issue with one of my classmates today. He's a big sports nut, hopes to get into sports radio, and hosts NR92's Inside Football every Wednesday at 9. Guess what that show's about. He told me that, for the past 5 years, the City of Halifax has set up a massive display at every Grey Cup. It's essentially selling the fans and the league on the concept of a team in Halifax. "My guess?" said my classmate, "Halifax will finally get a team in three or four years."

So, there you have it. I hope Halifax does get a team. I just have a fetish for even numbers. 10. Ooo, it gives me goosebumps.

The next big question I have about the CFL: How come they don't do an all-star game anymore?

Next Issue...42