Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Yes, Canada is having an election right now! But, in honor of Roger Abbot's impression of Jean Chretien on Royal Canadian Air Farce, I will refer to the election as an "erection" for the rest of this post:

- The day of the erection is January 23rd. This will make it one of the longest erections in Canadian history.

- This is Canada's first Christmas erection in 25 years.

No doubt it's going to be a hard erection for the Liberals, as they try to convince the people that they're still fit to govern in the shadow of Gomery. It's going to be an even harder erection for the Conservatives, as they try to show that Stephen Harper is da man!

OK, I've worn out that joke.

There's a couple of big DVD releases today, as everyone tries to cash in on the biggest movie release of the holiday season, King Kong.

First up is a brand new DVD release of The Frighteners. This is Peter Jackson's 1996 film where Michael J. Fox played a ghostbuster who could actually talk to ghosts, and was thus using this to con people. It's a brand new "unrated director's cut" with a Peter Jackson running commentary and a slew of featurettes about making the film.

Next up are two classic giant monster movies from Japan. King Kong vs. Godzilla is re-released on DVD today, in a brand new digitally remastered version. King Kong vs. Godzilla was written and directed by Ishiro Honda, who wrote and directed the first Godzilla film and is pretty much acredited with being the inventor of the giant monster genre. I shouldn't need to explain the plot, as the title is pretty self-explanatory. I should note that this DVD release boasts the American edit of the film, meaning you have scenes of American actors randomly spliced in going, "Wow! Look at King Kong and Godzilla fight!"

But, did you know there was a second Japanese giant monster movie starring King Kong? That's also out today! King Kong Escapes features King Kong fighting MechaKong, a sea serpent, and another beastie known as a "Gorgosaurus." It came out in 1967, and was also written and directed by Ishiro Honda. This is the first time it's ever been released in a home video format!

It should be noted that King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes are available serperatly or bundled together in a 2-pack.

And, while not Kong-related, I feel I have to mention this film. Also out today is a little movie called Gorgo. Gorgo was England's attempt at doing a Japanese-style giant monster/man in a rubber suit movie. The plot itself is pretty much a flat-out rip-off of Godzilla, as Gorgo lays waste to London. But still, it's worth checking out.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Well, here's my cool movie news of the day. It's only cool because it involves Tim Burton, and I just love his films.

Burton is currently in negotiations to direct Ripley's Believe It or Not, a biography of Robert L. Ripley, he who gave us Believe It or Not. The film is about 80% true, as it portrays Ripley as being a bit of an Indiana Jones sort, as he goes on all kinds of adventures around the world, searching for his oddities.

The screenplay was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewsy. They were known as "the quirky biography guys" in the 1990s, as they also wrote Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flint and Man on the Moon. (Don't forget that Burton also directed Ed Wood).

And Tim Burton's not the only one in negotiations. Jim Carrey is also in talks to play Ripley.

Could be good. You know I'll see it anyway, just cuz I love Tim Burton.

I guess I should take a moment to talk about the Grey Cup, just because, you know, everyone else in Edmonton is talking about it.

Actually, the Grey Cup reminds me of Japan. When I was in Japan, and I'd go out to dinner with the co-workers, I loved breaking the awkward silence with, "So, who do you like in the Grey Cup?" You want to see befuddled looks? Try talking Canadain football with Americans and Japanese.

I think it was in March of 2003...there was an awkward silence, I did my usual "Grey Cup" schtick, and one of my co-workers turned to me and said, "Haven't they played that damn game yet?" I nodded and said, "Yeah. Back in November. Montreal won."

That's another one I'll never forget. At work, we got the Japan Times, Japan's biggest English-language newspaper. The only time I ever saw the CFL covered in the Japan Times' sports section was when Montreal won the Grey Cup. There it was, tiny little article with tiny little headline. "Montreal Wins Grey Cup."

Ahh, memories.
Sorry it's a week late, but I finally got my review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire done. It's over at the main page.

Go read it, why don't you?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Latest column's up! This week, I tell a tale I've already told you. it's called Lineman:

"On the short list of craziest things I’d ever done in my life, this certainly ranked in the top 5. But then, insanity is a relative thing when you’ve led my life. The past few months have been spent in a room, in the basement, staring at the ceiling and wondering why no one is calling me. Lord knows I’ve sent out enough resumes and demo tapes. I’ve had my fair share of interviews, only to be told that the company decided to go in another direction. I’ve given up on doing those follow-up phone calls where you ask the interviewer why you didn’t get the job and ask for tips on improvement, if only because I was getting no real information, just inspirational bullshit: “Oh, it wasn’t you, it’s us. Your stuff is real good, just keep with it and someone will hire you eventually!” My breaking point was coming soon. And when I break, I usually do it in a large public format, thus causing maximum embarrassment."

Read it all right here!

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Bored bored bored.



Sorry, just quoting a favourite Twisted ToyFare Theatre.

I managed to accomplish absolutly nothing today. Well, that's not true. I kept a fire going in the fireplace. But other than that, nothing.

Although, I did manage to catch Pokemon Chronicles. I love it, if only because it manages to successfully buck the pokemon formula. Today's episode, Training Daze, takes us back in time to how villains Jessie, James, and Meowth first met and became the top Team Rocket agents they are today.

It goes like this. We flash back several years to Team Rocket's boot camp. There, we meet Jessie. She seems to be doing OK in her training, but she just has one nasty problem: she tends to leave her partners behind to die. She's also developing a bit of a rivalry with fellow Team Rocket candidate Cassiday. Anyway, Jessie's about to wash out, but, because she does have some exceptional skills, she wins "one last chance."

Around this time, Meowth manages to sneak into the office of Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, and begins begging to be made an agent.

Jessie is introduced to her new partner, James. They don't hit it off too well at the beginning. Jessie still tends to leave people behind, but James puts up with it with a quiet dignity.

Around this time, we see that Meowth has forced himself upon Giovanni, and is trying to act as Giovanni's personal assistant. Fed up with Meowth once and for all, Giovanni re-assigns Meowth to the Viper - the Team Rocket drill instructor - and Viper asssigns Meowth to Jessie and James.

And thus begins the next test: a long, grueling hike through the wilderness. Each one is given only a loaf of bread and a bottle of water for rations. Meowth, naturally, consumes his right away.

The hike is long and hard. Jessie is charging on ahead, again leaving James and Meowth behind. Meowth is whining a lot, and James, in his quite, noble way, carries Meowth. When Meowth gets hungry again, James even offers up his rations without a thought.

That night, at their camp, Jessie's having trouble sleeping because of James and Meowth's grumbling stomachs. She takes her loaf of bread, splits it three ways, and they all eat. There, they have a bit of heart-to-heart, in which they realize they can win this thing and become Team Rocket field agents and just band together.

The next day, the next part of the hike involves crossing a rickety bridge. Just as Jessie makes it to the other side, the bridge collapses. Jessie grabs a hold of Meowth, and James has a death grip on Meowth's tale. As James and Meowth dangle precariously over the raging river, James knows that Jessie isn't strong enough to haul them both up. Taking one for the team, James lets go and plummets into the river below.

We jump forward. James is recovering in the Team Rocket infirmary. Cassiday is gloating. And Jessie just feels sad for her new friend James. And that's when Viper gives them their final exam: break into a high-security installation and steal a rare red Snorlax. Cassiday goes on with her partner Butch, and Jessie will have to do it alone.

That night, our Team Rocket trainees begin their assault. Butch and Cassiday charge into the building, but Jessie holds back. She's realized that she can't do this alone. She needs her team. That's when Meowth and James - still bandaged - appear. James once again vows that he won't let the team down, and they charge forward.

Both teams evade all manner of traps until they make it to the top of the tower where the red Snorlax is being held. Butch and Cassiday are on one side of the room, Jessie, James and Meowth are on the other. Butch and Cassiday run forward towards the Snorlax, but a trap door opens and they go plummeting to their doom. James and Meowth run forwards, but Jessie holds back and yells a warning. "There may be more traps!" she says. James and Meowth stop and go, "Huh?" and a trap door opens up beneath their feet. Meowth is barely hanging onto the ledge. James has a death grip on Meowth's tale. Jessie is trying her best to pull the both of them up. Gee, does this sound familiar? James, once again trying to take one for the team, lets go of Meowth's tale. But this time, Meowth manages to scramble up onto the ledge, both he and Jessie grab a hold of James, and, by working together, Jessie and Meowth pull up James. Once they catch their breaths, they run forward to catch the Snorlax, but an alarm goes off. Time's up! They're just a few seconds too late. The Snorlax reveals itself to be Viper in disguise, and he says that their performance is now going to the review board.

the next day, Viper announces the findings of the review board. True, no one was able to achieve the goal of capturing the Snorlax. But, because of their exceptional teamwork, Jessie, James and Meowth are made Team Rocket field agents. Butch and Cassiday are givin the lesser title of "villains in training."

And thus, their happy career in villainy began!

So, I guess the day wasn't a total waste.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I bought stamps today.

They're fance snowman stamps, which I will use when I send out my Christmas cards!

Yes, I'm making up a Christmas card list and sending out Christmas cards this year. I love sending letters and postcards, I don't know why I didn't do this earlier! I should actually sit down this weekend and physically make the list, so that way I'll be ready.

Would you like to be on the list? Just send me an e-mail and let me know your snail mail address.

Once I figure out exactly how many cards I'll need, then I'll run out and buy a box. Hopefully, first week in December, they'll be in the mail!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I can't go to stores anymore without feeling sad.

I was browsing through HMV and the whole experience just depressed me. See, back in the day of, o, about three years ago when I was gainfully employed, I loved DVDs. I loved buying DVDs. It was not unusual for me to blow half my paycheque on DVDs. "Ehh, I don't need to buy groceries. If I carefully ration the ramen, it'll last another two weeks." And I'd walk out with whatever the latest special edition was.

But now, with unemployment, I just can't buy as many DVDs as I once did. One every two months if I'm lucky. So I just get very sad when I'm browsing through HMV or Future Shop. So many DVDs I want, but so little money....

I swear, when I get my first radio job, that first paycheque is going to vanish after one afternoon at Future Shop.

Besides, I shouldn't complain too much. This is about the time of year that I stop buying things for myself anyway. Actually, I suggest everyone do this. When the Christmas shopping season comes, just stop buying stuff for yourself. Two reasons why:

1) If you buy yourself all the stuff you want, there'll be nothing left for me to give you for Christmas.
2) If you buy all the stuff you want, you'll have no money left to buy ME a present.

So, I stop buying things for me, that way I have money to buy you stuff, and there's stuff for you to buy me. It's win-win.

But I still love my West Edmonton Mall. I noticed something weird today.

West Edmonton Mall is getting a third sex shop.

Now, you're probably thinking, "How the hell does Mark know West Edmonton Mall has TWO sex shops?"

Easy. WEM's two sex shops are on the short list of "mainstays," that is shops that have existed in the same place ever since I first started hanging out at WEM 20 years ago. It's a very short list, and the two sex shops are on it. And I only went browsing in one of them once, mainly because my curiosity finally got the better of me.

And it's not like I went looking for this third sex shop. It's very easy to spot. It has massive signs out front..."Coming soon, THE HUSTLER STORE!! Canada's first HUSTLER STORE opening soon! Now hiring staff for THE HUSTLER STORE!"

Granted, I'm just assuming it's a sex shop, as I'm assuming it's related to the Hustler publication.

Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I love watching the news. Premier Ralph Klein is my favourite sitcom character.

For those who don't care, Klein has spent the past few days on a speaking tour of the Eastern provinces and the Maritimes, with stops in Ottawa, Quebec City, and Halifax. The speeches he's giving have to do with how Alberta's incredibly large suprlus benefits all Canadians. The Alberta press has jokingly dubbed it the "Don't hate us because we're rich" tour.

But, that hasn't been the main focus of the tour. No. Before he left, Klein was asked what he'd do if reporters along the way asked him about Alberta's "Third Way." (ie the plan to privative healthcare.) Klein infamously responded, "I cannot tell a lie. If they ask me about it, I will give honest answers."

So, guess what Klein's been asked about non-stop on his trip? And, he answers every question the same way. "I don't know. We haven't worked that out yet."

And now, what happened today. It's looking more and more like we're going to have a Christmas election. When asked about the federal election, Klein said that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, this next election will bring about...another Liberal minority.

The federal Conservatives are already gritting their teeth. Klein has promised to help the federal Conservatives in their campaign, but when Klien goes spouting off about how Conservatives are more friendly towards private health care, or like today with his "the Liberals will win another minority" claim, the Conservatives really wish Klein would stop "helping" them.

Today, Deputy Conservative Leader Peter Mackay was asked how the federal Conservatives would get Klein to stop "helping."

Mackay's answer? "Duct tape."

By the way, the opposition parties are going to table their motion of non-confidence tomorrow. The house votes on it on Monday. Which all means, odds are, the election campaign begins on Tuesday.

I'm going to get a lawn sign for every candidate again. This time, I'm going to hang my Christmas lights on them.
Bad News: Kevin Smith was supposed to be in Edmonton last night.

Good News: It's been re-scheduled to February 6, and my tickets are still good.

Better News: At his official website, Kevin Smith mentioned that, when he does show up in Edmonton, he'll have Clerks 2 footage to show off.

Best News: Today's Edmonton Journal announced that Smith will be joined by none other than Jay, better known as Jason Mewes.

Other Kevin Smith tidbits: He finished production on Clerks 2 back on Friday, he's been editing the film as he filmed and he's about half-done editing already, and the final budget came in at a scant $5 million.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Got some cool DVD news I'd like to share.

It looks like March 7, 2006 is the day that Disney will release Wave 4 of their dubbed Studio Ghibli films. Wave 4 will consist of:

Howl's Moving Castle - Hayao Miyazaki's latest epic. I saw it back in the summer and it was pretty good.

My Neighbour Totoro - The film that put Miyazaki on the map as a filmmaker, as it was the first one to get a major North American release. (Way back in 1993.) Sadly, this DVD won't contain the original 1993 dub, but an all new Disney produced dub.

Whispers of the Heart - Ghibli's 1995 film, directed by Yoshifumi Kondu, with a screenplay by Miyazaki. A shy young girl meets a walking, talking cat and this helps her come out of her shell. Ghibli's 2002 film The Cat Returns was actually a sequel to this, and The Cat Returns was part of Disney's Studio Ghibli Wave 2, which came out back in the spring.

There's no word yet on bonus materials but, based on Disney's past Studio Ghibli releases, we can expect the animatics for the whole film, a featurette on the dubbing process, and the original, uncut Japanese language tracks.

Got some other Studio Ghibli bits:

- The Studio Ghibli Museum is about to premiere three brand new exclusive animated short films. Each one was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. All three premiere on January 3, and the only place on Earth you can see them is at the Studio Ghibli Museum.

- The next film from Studio Ghibli will be directed by Miyazaki, but not the one you think. The next Ghibli opus will be directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. The junior Miyazaki was originally a landscape architect, and his last job was director of the Studio Ghibli Museum. The senior Miyazaki is apparently none too pleased that his son has decided to follow in his footsteps.
Bloo>> Well, let's just spice this up, like how I spiced up Taco Nite last week!
(quick cut of a group of imaginary friends, flames coming out of their mouths, and screaming in pain)
Mr. Harriman>> That was you?
Bloo>> Yeah. Heh heh.
Mr. Harriman>> But...but...we thought it was Johnny Buttons!
Bloo>> I set it up so you'd think that. I framed him.
Mr. Harriman>> We had him deported....
Bloo>> I know! He still sends me postcards!
(Bloo hands Mr. Harriman a postcard. Mr. Harriman reads it. The message is made up of letters cut out from a magazine and reads "I will get you.")

Ya know, I wasn't too keen on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends when I first watched it, but it's really started to grow on me.

Here's some cool news.

Sony announced on Friday that they've just burned their first ever Blu-Ray DVD! (Blu-Ray, as you know, is Sony's next generation of DVD; the rival format is Toshiba's HD-DVD). Now, for this new format, this new disc that can hold 25G of information and provide a much higher quality picture and better sound, what film did they choose?

Sony just bought out MGM...perhaps it was some classic like Lawrence of Arabia or Gone with the Wind. No.

Perhaps it was one of Sony's recent blockbusters, like Spider-Man. No.

So, what movie has the honour of being the first film released into the next generation of DVD?

Charlie's Angels: Full Throtle.

Wow. Just wow. To quote a favourite line from Family Guy, "You've screwed that up so spectacularly that we're just going to move on."

But, on the bright side, all those non-Sony companies that are building Blu-Ray players now have something to test their machines.

The format war begins in the spring.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Well, I'm back from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I rather enjoyed it. 3 Nibs. Full review coming later.

Although, I must say, that I am now more than ever interested in reading the books. About 5 years ago, when I first heard about The Philosopher's Stone coming to the big screen, Goblet of Fire had just come out, and people were marveling at this "kids book" with over 600 pages. With Hollywood starting to adapt Harry Potter, the one question on everyone's mind was, "With over 600 pages, how the hell are the going to adapt Goblet of Fire?" Several people - including Steve Kloves, the screenwriter for all the films - were lobbying that Goblet of Fire be divided into two films. But, ultimatly, Warner Brothers said no, and firmly asserted that one book makes one movie.

So, I've got to read the book now, just to know what all was cut.

Just wanted to take a minute to tell you that it's World Hello Day! How you celebrate is quite simple: throughout this day, say "Hello!" to 10 people.

World Hello Day was started in 1973, at the end of a conflict between Isreal and Egypt. It's believed that, if you take the time to say "Hello" to your neighbours, you will open the lines of communication and thus help spread peace.

So, help spread peace! Say Hello!

And now, I am off to Edmonton to deliver soil samples to the lab, say "Hello" to a few people, and maybe, just maybe, see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

(Ya know, I always wished that the Harry Potter movies would follow the lead of the James Bond movies. Somewhere, in the end credits of Goblet of Fire I hope to see these words: The End of 'The Goblet of Fire' but Harry Potter will return in 'The Order of the Phoenix.')

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Why am I the only one who finds this weather unnerving? It's the final half of November, almost a month until Christmas, yet there's no snow, the grass is still green, and today, the temperature hit 12 degrees. I seem to be the only one in Alberta who finds this odd....

Anyway, latest column's up! this week, it's Red, Blue, Green, Gold:

" What’s that, you say? The house with the most points? Did Mark go to Hogwarts when he was boy? No, I’m no wizard. Long before it was popularized in Harry Potter, Entwistle School was divided into houses. It was drilled into me on my very first day of the first grade. As soon as you walked through the front door, you were greeted with a massive board telling you about the four houses and how many points each one had. And each one was named for a colour: Red, Blue, Green, and Gold. "

Read it all!

Friday, November 18, 2005

God, this is a frustrating day. We're going through some very high winds right now. I know Xplornet claims that the weather doesn't affect the wireless high-speeed Internet, but I swear, we only have problems when the wind picks up.

Anyway, SUPERMAN!!

The first teaser for Bryan Singer's Superman Returns is up and online. I downloaded it last night, you know, before the winds, so I've watched it over and over and over and I'm just geeking out and June 30 can't get here soon enough.

It's a simple teaser...just some iconic shots with recycled music from the original movie and recycled dialogue from the original movie providing the voice over.

But oh, if the film's as good as the iconic shots, then this is going to rock!

Oh, and picking up on yesterday's entry about the films that qualify for Best Animated Film. I said I didn't know anything about that Gulliver's Travels film. Well, today, I found out a little more. Turns out that it's a computer animated film from India, and that it's only played at an art house theatre in LA. Apparently, that's enough to get it to qualify.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hey! Here's something that almost slipped by me. The Academy Awards folks have come forward and revealed that these are all the films released this year that qualify for the Best Animated Film Oscar:

Chicken Little - Disney's first CGI movie, in theaters now!

Gulliver's Travel - I can find no information on this movie.

Hoodwinked - More on this further down

Howl's Moving Castle - Hayao Miayazaki's latest

Madagascar - Dreamwork's latest

Robots - Blue Sky's latest; came out in the spring

Steamboy - The latest from the guy who did Akira, but sadly not as good.

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride - Good, but not Oscar worthy.

Valiant - Did ANYBODY see this in the theatre?

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - Considered to be the front runner, cuz Oscar just loves Wallace and Gromit.

So, we know the drill. This will be narrowed down to three nominations, which will be announced with ALL the other Oscar nominations in January. And then, the Oscars will be on TV at the end of February.

Now, welcome to "further down." You may remember I did my CGI Scorecard column a few weeks back, well, here's a few other CGI films on the horizon that should be noted:

Hoodwinked - This one comes out in December. It's actually an independent film. It was picked up by the Weinstein Company, re-dubbed with a big name voice cast, and is getting a nation-wide release. It's a sarcastic (ie Shrek-like) retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. The plot: we all know the climax of Little Red Riding Hood, where Red Riding Hood is being chased around by the wolf, the wolf is being chased by the heroic woodsman, and granny's locked in the closet. Well, in this film, at this point the police come in, calm everyone down, and then try to sort out what happened. Each character then tells the tale of Little Red Riding Hood...from their point of view. Could be interesting, but I've seen the trailer, and its low budget indie roots still shine through.

Happy Feet - You knew it was just a matter of time before Warner Brothers got into the computer animation field. This is their first product, coming out November 2006, but the teaser will be in front of Harry Potter this Friday, and went online yesterday. It's nothing but singing and dancing penguins. Although, it has a good pedigree. The guy behind this one is George Miller, the Aussie director who gave us the Mad Max films for the grown-ups and the Babe films for the young-uns.
Yay! Kevin Smith is returning to Degrassi: The Next Generation!

See, for those who missed it, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes were special guest stars on Degrassi back in the spring. It was a 3-episode arc in which Smith came to Canada to film his latest movie Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?. They were filming on location at Degrassi, and thus got mixed up in all the school kids lives. It was just released on DVD under the title Jay and Silent Bob do Degrassi, which makes a wonderful Christmas present for the Kevin Smith fan in your life.

(In case you're intersted, the plot of Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh? was that Jay and Silent Bob never finished high school. And the only high school that would accept them now was in Canada. So, they were off to the Great White North to get their diplomas.)

Anyway, Smith and Mewes will be back in a two-parter, airing on the 28th and December 5. The plot this time is that Smith and Mewes return to Degrassi for the premiere of Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?, and thus get to tie up all the loose ends from their original arc.

Oh, and here's another bit of Kevin Smith news. With podcasting being the big thing right now, there's even a Kevin Smith-sponsored podcast dedicated to pop culture and what the Kevin Smith regulars are currently doing in it. It's called Radio Askew. I listened to a bit of it the other day, and it opens with a sound clip from Dogma. It's Metatron, warning everyone that God's about to speak:

"Anyone who's not already dead or from another plain of existence would do best to cover their ears...right about now!"

I heard that and could only think one thing: "How come I never thought of using that?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Well, I just wasted an hour.

I finally found a website that had all of Gotham Girls archived.

For those who don't remember, you have to cast your mind back to 2000. "Internet content" was the big buzz word, and everyone and their brother was making Flash cartoons for their websites. Gotham Girls was a contribution from Warner Brothers Animation.

Made by a lot of the same creative staff from Batman: The Animated Series, Gotham Girls focused on the female characters from Gotham City. You'd have Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn engaging in Odd Couple hijinks, Catwoman doing her thing, and then Batgirl swooping in and kicking everyone's ass. The sorceress Zatanna even popped up for a few episodes. Each episode was about 3 minutes long, and they even got the same voice actors from Batman: The Animated Series.

It ran for 3 seasons (2000, 2001, 2002), with 10 episodes in each season. For season 3, they went all out and it was essentially a 10-part episode. It even spawned a 5-issue mini-series from DC comics.

I discovered it late in season 2, and even then, I was reluctant to watch it because of slow downloading on dial-up.

So I just wasted the past hour watching all of season 1 and what I missed in season 2. It's crudly animated...I mean, 5 year old Flash animation, it's expected. But it's still quite entertaining.

And what's this wonderful archive? Why, it's the Wikipedia entry for Gotham Girls!

Or, you can go to the official Gotham Girls website, but they only have season 3 archived for you.
OK. Time for another political rant.

Christmas election. No one wants one, yet it sure looks like we're going to have one.

Well, technically, not at Christmas. With our laws and when a non-confidence motion could be passed, the earliest we'd have an election is January 3. but still, who the hell is going to be reading the papers and actually following an election over Christmas vacation?

This is what really pisses me off. Paul Martin has said that he will call an election when the final Gomery report comes down. The one that came out a few weeks ago was just a preliminary report. The final Gomery report comes down in February. Everyone wants an election in the spring.

So, why can't the opposition parties just keep it in their pants for another two months?

Trust me, if we have an election over Christmas, it won't be the Liberals' fault, like the opposition parties want us to believe. It'll be because the opposition pushed for it.

This whole thing is making me rethink my whole opinion on having fixed election dates. I used to be fairly indifferent, but now it seems to be like a good idea. None of this "We'll bring down the government!" bullshit posturing, which is grinding Parliment to a halt. We know we'll have an election in four years, so just shut up and wait.

But, my question towards fixed election dates has always been, what happens if we have a minority government? Do we have to put up with this bullshit posturing and nothing getting done for a full four years? At least, with our current system, the plug can be pulled, we go to the polls, and hopefully clear things up.

So, my idea: if we do move to a system of fixed election dates, we have to have some kind of safeguard in place that allows for government to continue for the full term in a minority government, rather than having a 4-year long philibuster courtesy the opposition.

I know they're trying the whole "fixed election dates" thing in BC right now. I should look into how they're doing it in BC.

Monday, November 14, 2005

This is the time of day I hate.

I was out working in the oil fields all day with Dad, there's a couple of good looking jobs posted that I should get an application together for, but I just don't feel like it. Instead, I'm just surfing around.

Over at my friend's blog, she's doing this thing right now where she and a bunch of other bloggers living outside of Canada share their tales of culture shock. Today, the common topic is all about food. And, it reminded me of a story about Japan.

Now, I've never told this story to anyone before, so you're in for a treat.

So, there I was, with my American co-worker and a couple of our Japanese co-workers. We were in the mood for sushi, so we went to the best sushi place in Kumagaya. After my friend and I had our fill of what was rolling down the conveyer belt, we wanted something a little different. We went through the menu and ordered some deep fried/tempura looking thing.

We got it. We started eating it. We found it to be quite good. "I've finally got to find out what this is," said the Yankee, so he pulled his pocket-sized English/Japanese dictionary out of his bag.

"Oh my God."


"You won't believe what we're eating."

"Let me guess. It's fish testicles!"

"Oh my God."


"How did you know?"

"How did I know what?"

"That these are fish testicles?"

"No way. Really?"


"I just said the first disgusting thing that popped into my head!"

"Wow. That's a coincidence."

"These are really fish testicles?"


"You're not just jerking me around?"


"We're eating fish testicles?"

"Ya know, they're not bad."

"Yeah, there's actually kind of good."

But we didn't order seconds.
Wow! This is a TV show that I...I just have to report on.

Superman has had several TV shows, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash have all had TV shows...what DC hero is the next to get a live-action TV show?


Yes, Aquaman is getting his own TV show. He's being adapted for the small screen by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the same duo responsible for Smallville. (they also wrote Spider-Man 2.) In their new take, Arthur Curry is going to be an early-20s marine biologist working in the Florida keys. He's just discovering his powers and is using them to investigate all kinds of weird goings-on in the nearby Bermuda Triangle. Naturally, he thinks all this has something to do with the mysterious disappearance of his mother.... His father will still be around, but this time, his dad's an officer in the Coast Guard. (In the comics, he's a lighthouse keeper.) And, just like Smallville, he won't be wearing his "superhero uniform."

Now, a 20-something Aquaman did make an appearance on Smallville a couple weeks ago. But, Gough and Millar are quick to point out that they'll pretty much ignore that and go their own way with this Aquaman show.

They're going to film a pilot sometime in the spring and, if the execs like it, look for it to hit TV screens in fall 2006.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

There we are! Latest column's up! This week, it's The Fastest Man Alive:

" The year was 1990. Hollywood was expecting that there’d be this explosion of comic book movies, with Batman having been the big hit the year before. But, it didn’t quite explode…it just kind of fizzled. It was enough, though, to produce the TV show I was sitting down to watch. At the end of the 2-hour pilot, I was completely in love. The show lasted only one year, but I was able to catch every episode of The Flash."

Read it all here!

Let me explain something a little odd about how I've been doing the column lately. About a month ago, I was hit with a real brainstorm, and I managed to sit down and write 3 columns in one day. Even though that was 3 weeks ago, I still spend a couple hours on the weekend writing a new one. The goal is try and forever remain 3 weeks ahead. The eventual goal is to have some time to revise, and thus make the column better. The truth is, once I get comfortable with this set-up, I'll be able to do some kind of "In Next Week's Issue" gag at the end of each one.
I had dinner with two women at the same time...cuz I'm a stud. - The Flash attempting to save face, after his attempt at reconciling Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl goes kerblooey.

Hermes>> I've got something for you here...it's pretty important...Zeus paid for overnight service.... (Removes a scroll from his bag) Here it is!
Wonder Woman>> (Reading scroll) 'For a good time, call Podeminus'.
Hermes>> Woah, hey! Wrong scroll. (snatches back the scroll) I think I got a shot...it's her cell number.

That's right! I'm an angel! You can mess with me if you want to, but I don't think you want to mess with the boss! - Hawkgirl, bluffing her way past an army of demons on the way to Hell.

(Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman materialize in a winter landscape)
Hawkgirl>> Aren't you cold in that outfit?
Wonder Woman>> Not really.
Hawkgirl>> Of course not. The "Princess" doesn't get cold. The "Princess" doesn't even sweat in the fire pits of Tardaris.
Wonder Woman>> I do to sweat!
Hawkgirl>> Please. You glow. I wouldn't be surprised if you never have to....
(Their conversation is cut off.)

God, I love my Justice League Unlimited.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

So, I'm just doing some mindless surfing tonight and I came across this article at the Hollywood Reporter. It essentially goes on to say that the race for Best Animated Film at the Oscars has begun, and already tries to predict the winner. Let me give you the Coles Notes:

According to the article, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is the clear frontrunner. Nick Park is an Oscar darling, with 3 of his animated shorts having won Best Animated Short Film Oscars (Creature Comforts, Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave, Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers). In fact, it's even been theorized that the Best Animated Film Oscar was created primarily because Park's Y2K film Chicken Run was deserving of something, but not really eligible for anything. Kinda have to agree with this.

They also say that Tim Burton's Corpse Bride may be a contender, if only for the novelty of stop-motion animation. Now, I kind of have to disagree with this one. As much as I loved it, I have my doubts over its Oscar worthiness.

Madagascar will probably score a nomination because it made so darn much.

Hayao Miyazaki's latest, Howl's Moving Castle, is actually considered to be a bit of a longshot, mainly because a) It didn't make much money b) the critics didn't like it as much as Spirited Away c) Miyazaki already got the gold with Spirited Away.

Some say Robots deserves to be nominated if only because of its striking and imaginative design, but because it hit theatres way back in March, it may have been forgotten.

And Chicken Little just might get a nomination too, because (at the time this article was written), it was getting "positive advance buzz."

I don't know. In my perfect world, I'd love the three nominations to be Wallace and Gromit, Corpse Bride and Howl's Moving Castle. Let's shut out the CGI films in an effort to prove that CGI hasn't killed all other forms of animaiton.

Friday, November 11, 2005

After having a look at my friend's blog, I'm just kind of thinking that maybe I should say something, or at least acknowledge, that today is Rememberance Day. I have a few things to say abou it...many things, actually:

If there's one thing that I do like about Rememberance Day, it's that it's the only holiday that has yet to "go commercial." You don't see the greeting card stores selling Rememberance Day cards, store shelves aren't cluttered with "poppy candies" or anything like that. It is still a solemn and sacred day. And, given it's purpose, that's very much a good thing.

And people are still fighting to keep it from going commercial, too. I remember working at Extra Foods, I saw one of our cashiers have an all-out screaming match with the store manager about whether or not to have a 2-minutes silence at 11AM on Rememberance Day. Cashier was for it, store manager was against it. The cashier one, but we still grumbled under our breaths that Rememberance Day is one of the few holidays where everything should shut down.

Of course, had to watch the CBC's coverage of the ceremonies in Ottawa. I'd sure like to go to Ottawa someday, and see all those monuments and memorials for myself. I'm sure that we all know that the brand-new Canadian War Museum opened up this year. The old one was in dire need of replacement. While the old War Museum was a grand old building, it had grown ridiculously small...the museum was only able to display 2% of their collection. So, the new one was built. The final cost was $100 million and it took 2.5 years to build. But it's worth it to remember the sacrafices.

Here's a small part of today's Rememberance Day ceremonies that will probably be glossed over, but shouldn't be.

Today, the government dedicated the seventh Book of Rememberance.

For those who don't know, the Books of Rememberance are a series of hand-bound books commissioned by the government. They list the names of every Canadian soldier who's died in service. One of the books sits on display in the Peace Tower in Ottawa, and, every day (yes, EVERY DAY), there's a solemn ceremony in the House of Commons where the page is turned in the book.

This seventh book lists every Canadian soldier that's died from 1947 to the present.

My grandmother fought in World War II.

She was a corporal in the Royal Canadian Air Force. She was over in England for most of the war. I do know that a point of family pride has always been a photo of my Grandma being inspected by the Queen. You know, we've all seen it in the movies...all the troops line up in their dress uniforms, the Queen marches down the line looking over the uniforms, and, if you're lucky, you get to share a few words with the Queen:

Queen>> What's your name, soldier?
Soldier>> Private Mike Johnson.
Queen> Where you from?
Soldier>> A small town you never heard of.

My Grandma was one of those ones that the Queen spoke to.

I never got the whole story of my grandma's war service. When I was a kid, at her house one Rememberance Day, she took out her medals and wore them. She had at least 4 or 5. I asked about them, but she didn't want to say much. "I earned each and every one, and this is the only day I wear them," was all she'd tell me.

I do know the story of why she joined the military. Her family urged her to do it to get her away from "that good for nothing Cappis boy." Of course, she came back from the war, and settle down with that Cappis boy. Well, except these days, I call him Grandpa.

I don't feel right asking questions about my grandmother's military service. She passed away 10 years ago, but the issue of who gets her war memorabilia is still a very heated argument between my aunts and uncles. That, and my grandfather has a real mean-on for veterans. Why is a long and rather dull story that I won't get into here. So, asking about Grandma in the war always creates incredibly awkward moments.

But she fought so I could be free to sit down and write this today.

And that, I'll always remember.

And, with my mother's side of the family being German, they've got their war stories too. They were the civilians we were fighting to liberate, after all.

Not too long ago, my mother told me about my Great Opa. He died when I was 8 years old, I barely knew him. But a few months ago, my mother told me an interesting fact about him.

His birthday was May 6. But, he always celebrate his birthday on May 8 - more commonly known as VE Day, the day that World War II officially ended. He changed his birthday to May 8 on the original VE Day: May 8, 1945.

I asked my mother why he changed his birthday like that. "Because," she told me, "Like everyone else in the world, he was glad that the war was finally over."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

YES YES, oh God, YES!! It's finally official!

The very first teaser for Superman Returns will be running in front of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire next Friday!

The teaser clocks in at 1:33. (One minute, 33 seconds.) Oh, I hope Bryan Singer handles the Man of Steel as well as he handled the X-Men. The film itself is still slated for June 30, 2006.

Here's some news about an upcoming computer animated film. This upcoming outing from DreamWorks seems...mildly interesting.

Kung Fu Panda follows the tale of Po the Panda, a fat, lazy slob of a panda. But when is home, the Valley of Peace, is threatened by invaders, he does nothing. The citizens of the valley have a martial arts competition to choose a champion, and they all drop the jaws when they notice that Po bears the mark of "The One." So, they've got to whip Po into shape to take on the invaders. The voice cast was announced today:

Jack Black will be voicing Po.
Dustin Hoffman will be voicing Shifu, the kung fu master charged with whipping Po into shape.
Jackie Chan will be voicing Master Monkey, Po's rival.
Ian MacShane will be voicing Tai Lung, a snow leapord who leads the bad guys.

And negotiations are still underway to have Lucy Liu voice Master Viper, another kung fu master who teaches Po.

May 2008 for this one.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

But let's be honest! You don't come by my blog to read my half-assed ramblings about politics. No! You want the latest DVD news!

On January 31, you'll be able to run on out to the store and buy Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. It has a slew of behind-the-scenes documentaries and featurettes, an isolated music track (sweet!), galleries of pre-production artwork, "and more!" I hope the "more" includes a Tim Burton running commentary.

As for DVDs that came out today, you can head on out and get Jay and Silent Bob do Degrassi. This was Kevin Smith's 3-episode guest-starring-arc on Degrassi: The Next Generation. You can get the regular broadcast version, or an "uncensored extended edition." That uncensored one boasts a few extra featurettes and a running commentary with Smith and the creators and stars of Degrassi.

This is also a great day for DVDs if you're a Tim Burton fan. Burton's big summer hit, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes out today. It's available in a "movie only" version and a 2-disc "deluxe edition." Burton's last film, Big Fish, gets re-released today. They essentially took the old edition and added a collectable book. Oh, and, there's also an Edward Scissorhands: 15th Anniversary Edition. This is EXACTLY THE SAME as the 10th anniversary edition that came out 5 years ago, only now it's in a fancy tin.

Oh, and another of my favourite failed TV shows comes out today: Space: Above and Beyond - The Complete Series.
OK, I wanna knuckled down and get some job applications out, but first, I want to get all politico on you.

Firstly, here we all are, encompased in the grip of the possibility of having a Christmas election. Quick re-cap: the preliminary Gomery report came out a couple of weeks ago. While Paul Martin was exonerated, the people ain't buying it, so the Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecios are threating to bring down the government at the first possible opportunity.

Yesterday, the NDP came forward and said, "You know, we don't like the Liberals and their health care reforms. We can no longer support the Liberals. When the Conservatives bring forth their non-confidence motion, we're going to vote the Liverals out of office."

Immediatly, the Conservatives dismissed this as an NDP negotiating tactic in their negotiations with the Liberals. The Conservatives essentially said, "What? WE never said anything about bringing down the government! If there's going to be a non-confidence motion, it'll have to tabled by the NPD."

Bottom line: odds are very good that we'll be having an election over Christmas holidays. And I'm sure we can all agree, a Christmas election is VERY STUPID!! Who the hell is going to get out there and vote when they're having turkey with the family, or have taken off to Mexico to get away from the snow?

Now, let's get to the current stupidity of Ralph Klein and the Alberta Conservatives.

Back in the spring, Klein finally unveiled plans for his much-ballyhooed healthcare "thrid way." The Third Way is shaping up to be two parallel healthcare systems: one public, the other private. But, in pure Klein fashion, they don't have a plan in place yet.

No, in order to get a plan in place, they put out a contract to private consulting firms. The contract was won a few weeks ago by Aon Consulting, a healthcare consulting firm that specializes in setting up health plans for companies.

As soon as it was announced that Aon Consulting had gotten the contract, the Alberta opposition parties struck. See, in the States, Aon Consulting recently paid out $190 MILLION in an out of court settlement when health fraud charges were brought against them.

The opposition called for the contract to be revoked. How DARE the Tories put Alberta healthcare in the hands of crooks! The Tories refused, however. Klein pointed out that the charges were brought against the American parent company, and the American parent company and the Canadian branch are really two seperate companies. Health Minister Iris Evans said that maybe, probably, the government would think about reviewing their screening process.

The opposition struck again. Turns out the Canadian branch of Aon Consulting is currrently paying out over $1 MILLION in fines for health care violations...in Ontario. Again, the opposition called for the contract to be revoked.

This time, Klein said, "FUCKING LET IT GO!! ALBERTANS DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS!!" I'm paraphrasing, of course.

And, you know what? The media is now silent on the subject.

And that's why the Alberta Conservatives keep getting re-elected.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wow. I'm doing some reading on techno-stuff, and I can't believe this.

the Japanese television network NHK is currently testing what they call "Super Hi-Vision." The goal is to create a TV picture so clear and so detailed that it's comperable to looking out the window. How high is the resolution? Here's the scale:

Regular TV: 704x480
Average computer monitor: 1024x768
HDTV: 1920x1080

Super Hi-Vision: 7680x4320

Now THAT'S hi-definition.

Oh, and here's the latest Disney animated classic that's getting the 2-disc special edition treatment. Coming out on February 28 is...

Lady and the Tramp: Special Edition

Besides the expected beautifully digitally restored picture and an all new surround sound mix, you also get:

- two long-lost cut scenes
- a documentary called "Finding Lady: The Art of the Storyboard."
- another documentary called "Lady's Pedigree: The Making of Lady and the Tramp."
- a newly discovered alternative storyboard concept (I have no idea what this is)
- and, as always promised, more!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Latest column's up! I give you a CGI Scorecard:

" I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I love animation. I have a particular fondness for computer animation. Think about it: this is probably the newest moviemaking medium. This is a medium that we’ve been able to watch grow and evolve over the past few years. And then, I saw that Disney was releasing a special 10th anniversary edition of Toy Story. Wow! It was 10 years ago that Toy Story hit theatres and it was marveled as a technical achievement. That means this medium is 10 years old. So, I just wanted to sit down, note how far we’ve come, point out certain developments that have been made, and try to ponder where it’s going."

Gotta say, I'm actually kind of proud of this one. I did some actual research, some genuine revising and rewriting...I actaully put some work into it.

Check it out.
OK, so this has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm not sure I've got enough for a full column yet, so for now, I'm dumping it here. Here are my...

Most Wasted Concepts in Star Trek

Sadly, this happened a lot in Star Trek. Someone comes along with a great concept, but it usually gets forgotten and/or abandoned, never to be fully explored. Now, I'm not going to get catty and say "Enterprise as a whole" or "this particular character," I'm going to try to limit myself to specific concepts.

1) Space Boomers (Enterprise) - So, in Enterprise's first season, we were introduced to the concept of the "space boomer." It went like this. Even though warp speed had been invented, it still took many months, even years, for ships to reach other solar systems. (We're talking speeds of warp 1 and 2 and the like.) Because of this, whole generations of humans were being born and raised on cargo ships. I mean, hey, you're on a trip that could take a year and a few months, what else are you gonna do? This generation was dubbed "the space boomers." In fact, the character of Travis Mayweather was a space boomer. Had they developed Mayweather a little more, we may have seen a little more of "space boomer" culture.

2) MACOs (Enterprise) - OK, so Gene Roddenberry always maintained that Starfleet's primary purprose was exploration. That's fine and dandy, but then how the hell did the Federation defend itself? Many a fan has specualted that maybe there's a "Starfleet Marine Corp" that handles most of the Federation's military operations. The closest we ever got to seeing something like this were the MACOs: Military Action Command Operations. As far as we know, they were Earth's army in the 22nd Century. A platoon of them were assigned to the Enterprise to help out with Xindi war at the start of season 3. Sadly, they were not the colonial marines of Aliens. They turned out to be little more than over-glorified redshirts. What a waste. (And yeah, I said I wasn't going to do this, but what would have really helped was if we got to see more of Major Hayes, the commander of Enterprise's MACO platoon. The man didn't even get a first name, for cripes sake!)

3) The Female Caretaker (Voyager) - The Caretaker bring Voyager to the Delta Quadrant. The Caretaker mentions that he had a mate who abandoned him. The Caretaker dies. Captain Janeway cryptically mentions that there's a "female Caretaker" out there, with the power to get them home. That's all in the pilot. We ran into the female Caretaker ONCE, in which she took off and it was hinted that she would return. SHE NEVER DID!! And I always hoped she'd be the Q of Voyager.

4) Voyager's mixed crew - In the first season, they made a big deal of the fact that half the crew was Starfleet and the other half Maquis. By season 2, everyone was buddy-buddy. WHAT THE HELL??

5) The Reconstruction of Bajor (DS9) - It was clearly established that Sisko's primary mission was to oversee the reconstruction of Bajor, with the final goal being Bajor's entrance into the Federation. That was prelevant in season 1. But then, in season 2, exploration of the Gamma Quadrant came to the fore, and then, in season 3, the Dominion War started and all bets were off! Isn't Bajor EVER going to get into the Federation?

6) The Defiant's Cloaking Device (DS9) - The Defiant is the only Federation starship with a cloaking device. It was obtained in a special treaty with the Romulans. The Federation could only use it against the Dominion and the Dominion only, on the condition that the Federation shares all tactical knowledge of the Dominion with the Romulans. The Romulan Empire even went so far as to assign a Romulan officer to the Defiant to monitor the cloaking device. WE ONLY SAW THAT ROMULAN OFFICER ONCE!! This whole treaty was moot after the the cloaking device was introduced.

And that's the start....

Friday, November 04, 2005

There you go! I've got my review of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit up. You can go read it at the main site.

And, as I'm sure you know, I've been wasting a lot of time watching my brand-new Episode III DVD. I just love watching all the behind-the-scenes stuff for Star Wars. I havne't watched the huge-ass documentary Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III yet, but I have watched a huge pile of the featurettes and web documentaries, and you know what I'm getting from all this?

George Lucas reminds me a lot of Thomas Edison.

Let me explain. When the average person thinks of Thomas Edison, they think of this lone genius, sitting alone in a lab, working effortlessly to invent the light bulb. Well, that's not true. The truth is Thomas Edison had this massive, massive team of engineers working under him, and they did the core of the inventing. In fact, Thomas Edison was often chided for not sharing the credit with his team.

And that's how Lucas reminds me of Edison. I'm sure that, the average guy on the street, thinks of Star Wars and thinks that George Lucas is this lone genius, and that all of it sprung from his mind. Well, that's not true. Lucas has this massive team of artists working under, designing General Greivous, building the lightsabers, and animating the FX.

Unlike Edision, though, Lucas gives his team their due credit. And that due credit comes from the behind-the-scenes stuff.

And, all this stuff reminds me of how, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I watched the featurette all about designing General Greivous, and how all the artists would work tirelessly on their designs, and then Lucas would come in, look over the drawings and go, "That one!" And thus Greivous was born.

Well, I remember being six years old and watching a little TV special called The Making of Return of the Jedi. And you know what? In that special, I saw Lucas and his team of artists doing THE EXACT SAME THING for Jabba the Hutt.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Well, in case you haven't heard yet, the brand-new trailer for King Kong is online. There's some nifty computer animation going on there.

But you know...hmm. I hope I don't have to turn in my "geek membership" for admitting this but....

I'm just not getting psyched about King Kong.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure it'll be a very good movie. I'm sure it'll make a buttload of money. But, I look at the trailers and all that, and I can't help but think, "Meh."

Weird, isn't it? This is supposed to be the kind of movie that's right up my alley: spectacular special effects, helmed by a master of the genre (Peter Jackson), some really sweet action, but all I'm thinking is "Meh."

I just can't get excited about it.

This isn't the first time this has happened. The first time it happened was about two years ago with Pirates of the Carribean: the Curse of the Black Pearl. Again, it seemed like the kind of special effects filled geek-fest that would be right up my alley, but all the trailers just had me going, "Meh." And, when I finally did see it on DVD, to tell the truth, I thought it was just simply "OK," unlike most of the world, which thought, "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD! MY WORLD IS FOREVER CHANGED BECAUSE JOHNNY DEPP PLAYED A PIRATE!"

So, yeah. I just can't get excited about Kong. I'm still gonna see it. But, right now, as of this moment, I'm just not getting swept up in the hype.

And while I'm at it, I'd like to say that I'm already sick of Disney's Chicken Little.

See, here's the story: Chicken Little was originally supposed to come out back in the summer, with Pixar's Cars coming out this month. But, Cars got pushed back to Summer 2006, meaning Chicken Little got pushed back to November 2005 to fill the gap.

Now, as it was originally supposed to be in theatres six months ago, Disney got their hype machine way back in September of 2004. The film got pushed back, and the hype machine went into extra innings.

The Disney hype machine has been going flat-out hyping up Chicken Little for about 16 months now, and it's pretty much killed all interest I have in seeing the film. When I saw the first TV spots about two months ago, i was already thinking, "Isn't it out yet?"

It finally comes out tomorrow. Let's see what the reviews will say.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I had one of those impossibly good days that seem to be few and far between these days. Many good things happened to me:

- After two years of searching, I finally got my hands on one of the J-Pop songs I absolutly loved when I was in Japan. I love it when I get one of those songs...it kinda cements the fact that teaching in Japan was something I really did, and not some crazy dream.

- Went to see Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. My God, that is one funny movie. I'm still deciding whether it was 3 nibs or 3.5. There's this one bit involving a coin-operated biplane...you have to see it to believe it.

- Bought Episode III on DVD!!

- Stopped by NAIT and did some fiddling with the equipment and whipped up a new announcing demo. I like this one a lot more than the last one I made about three weeks ago.

- And, to top it all off, I got paid to do all this, because in between, I swung by the lab to drop off some soil samples!

It was a good day. A lot of good things happened, and at the end I felt as though I'd accomplished something. That feeling's gotten so rare....

About the only thing that would have made it better was if Dax welcomed me home wearing nothing but a smile and her spots.

(Been watching a lot of DS9 reruns as of late.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Well, I've got some sad news to report from the world of Star Trek.

Michael Piller has passed away.

Piller was one of those responsible for the golden years of The Next Generation. Hell, the man wrote "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Unification" (aka the Spock episode).

He went on to co-create Deep Space Nine (with Rick Berman) and Voyager (with Berman and Jeri Taylor). He wrote tons of episodes of the inagural seasons of both those shows. He even wrote one of the films: Star Trek Insurrection.

Piller left the Star Trek fold and struck out on his own. He was currently riding high as the creator of two hit made-for-cable TV shows: The Dead Zone and Wildfire.

Piller died of neck cancer. He was 57.
I love this story. It was plastered on the front page of today's Edmonton Journal.

They think they found moose in New Zealand!

Here's the whole story: way back in 1910, a group of Canadian immigrants in New Zealand got in their head to try to introduce moose to New Zealand. 10 moose from Saskatchewan were shipped to New Zealand and released into the wild!

Now, the moose never really took off in New Zealand. The last one died in 1952. But, that was just enough for New Zealand moose to become like Bigfoot. Kiwis would come back from their camping trips, telling tales of moose that they saw in the wild after a few beers.

So, flash forward to the present day, when some Kiwi campers came across a mysterious tuft of hair in the bush. They sent it off for analysis, and you know what?

Genetic tests say it's moose hair!

Once again, the New Zealand population is all a twitter at the prospect of a long-lost moose herd, hiding somewhere deep in the rain forest. Trippy, eh?

Oh, and got a little bit of DVD news for you.

Serenity has just been cleared for a December 20 release. Sadly, it won't be a huge-ass, 2-disc, mega-super-special edition. You'll get 3 featurettes, some deleted scenes, bloopers, and an intro and running commentary by writer/director Joss Whedon.

Serenity will be available in full screen, widescreen, and UMD.
Episode III on DVD!!

That's the only DVD release you should be caring about today.

Oh, well, that and Star Trek Enterprise: Season 4 is also out. Hands down, this is the best season of the Star Trek prequel series, but I'm still trying to figure out if it's so good because of improved writing, a strengthening of the characters, and finally giving the rest of the crew something to do...or just the extensive, extensive continuity whoring.

Trust me, Episode III does that all of that...and better.