Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Targ's Up/New Movie Review/I Still Love Titanic

First and foremost, got this week's episode of U62: The Targ up. This week, it's Episode 32: Aftermath, in which I reflect on the Christmas that was.

Give 'er a listen

Secondly, over my Christmas break, I indulged in my curiosity and saw Rocky Balboa.

And I wrote a review about it

And, today, I indulged in the completely-made-up tradition I started a couple of years ago. On New Years Day, I watch Titanic.

I know it's not New Years Day but, surprise, I have plans tomorrow.

I watched the super-mega-ultimate edition DVD, and when the movie was done, I switched over and watched the original ending. When I first got the DVD, I watched the original ending, and was quite taken with it.

We all remember how the film ends, right? Once the story is done, we see treasure hunter Brock (played by Bill Paxton) give up on his search for the diamond, and then we see Old Rose toss the diamond overboard, showing us, the audience, that she had it all along.

Well, in the original ending, Brock actually catches Old Rose throwing away the diamond! Brock tries to talk her out of it, but Old Rose says no, and gives a "money isn't everything" speech. She allows Brock to hold the diamond just once, and then tosses it overboard. And then, Brock is able to let it go and lead a more carefree existence.

On the running commentary for this orginal ending, director James Cameron explains why he cut it. 2 reason:

1) Old Rose's "money isn't everything" speech got too close to beating people over the head with the message.

2) In test screenings, he discovered that, by the end of the movie, people had gotten so caught up in the Jack and Rose romance, that people didn't care about Brock and his search for the diamond anymore.

But, I was one of those few who still cared about Brock and the diamond at the end, and watching the cut scene helps give me closure.

Hey, look! I found the original ending on YouTube!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's Official: Indy 4

Wow. After I write yesterday's gushy ode to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it gets all official.

Yesterday, George Lucas sent out the official news release.

Indiana Jones 4 starts filming in 2007, for a release in May of 2008.

See you in line.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Reflctions on The Temple of Doom

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I finally bought myself The Indiana Jones Trilogy on DVD. Last night, I finally had the opportunity to sit down and watch Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I have fond memories of Temple of Doom.

I'm not quite sure what to call it, but I'm sure that you'll agree that, in our childhoods, we eventually reach a point where we become...aware of pop culture. We realize that there's more to life than Sesame Street and Saturday morning cartoons and we discover that there's this great big world out there. There is that point where we suddenly realize there's so much more out there....

Well, Temple of Doom came out right when I was developing that awareness. I tell ya, it was a turning point in my maturity.

One of the first comic books I have clear memories of is issue number 2 of the comic book adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Granted, I did own comic books before that one, but Temple of Doom is the first one where images stand out...I identified with the characters...where I remember reading it over and over again. In many of my distorted memories, I often call it the first comic book I ever had.

I ran out and bought issue number 3. It was a 3-issue mini-series. I never found issue number one.... By the time I finally got around to seeing Temple of Doom, I was intimitly familiar with the final two-thirds of the film...seeing the film was more about seeing how it began.

You don't see a lot of comic book adaptations of big summer blockbusters any more. I"ll have to ask my aspiring comic book artist friend why that is.

The soundtrack for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has been out of print for many years. Finding a copy is near-impossible. Finding a copy on CD is even more difficult, as the CD was only ever released in Japan.

I have the soundtrack for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. On CD.

I tell ya, when I just randomly grabbed it off the shelf at that little music shop in the Kumagaya train station, I damn near shit my pants when I realized what I was holding. I prayed no one else would buy it as I ran across the street to hit the ATM for more cash.

I played it over and over in my tiny apartment in Kumagaya. That film score is an integral part of my "soundtrack of Japan."

I simply must get that movie poster for Temple of Doom.

I've often told the story of the movie poster for Return of the Jedi, and why it's significant to me. The movie poster for Return of the Jedi used to hang in the lobby of the West Edmonton Mall movie theatre West Mall 5, where I saw a lot of movies in my childhood. I'd stare at the poster for Return of the Jedi for what seemed like hours as I waited to get into a movie.

But, what I rarely share was that, right next to the poster for Return of the Jedi was the poster for...Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

I have the poster for Jedi. It'd be nice to hang the two next to each other again.

Rumors still persist of a fourth Indiana Jones movie. One of my big fantasies about Indiana Jones 4 would be getting some Hong Kong action star - like Jet Li maybe - to play a grown-up Short Round.

Apparently, the only thing holding back Indy 4 right now is the fact that George Lucas has became a totaly anal perfectionist towards the script. Which isn't a bad thing.

While it doesn't have a fandom on the level of Star Wars, the Indiana Jones films still represent quite a bit to a lot of people.

And I'm one of them.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

No Targ This Week

Well, here I am in Red Deer, chillin' with my cousin, getting ready to unleash a whole can of Christmas cheer.

Needless to say, because of the holiday craziness, never had time to sit down and pump out an episode of The Targ.

What can I say? I'm on vacation.

I'll be back next week, though, as I'm always alone on New Years...so sadly alone...so I'll have lots of time.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Heroes in a Half Shell

So, for those who may not recall, there's a brand new, all computer animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out in the spring. Promising to be darker and closer to the original Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comics.

When this was first announced, we were told there would be no celebrity voices, aside from Japanese character actor Mako, who'd be doing the voice of Splinter. This was announced shortly before Mako passed away, actually, so this'll go down in history as his final film.

Well, guess what? More of the voice cast was announced the other day, and it's chock-full of celebrity voices! No celebrities are voicing the Turtles, however. It's nothing but celebrities for the familiar support cast...and the new villains. Who do we have?

Sarah Michelle Gellar, still best remembered as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is giving voice to the Turtles' bestest and closest human friend, April O'Neil.

Chris Evans, whom we all saw as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, is giving voice to Casey Jones, the hockey-mask-wearing, baseball-bat-swinging vigililante. Remember, Casey Jones was actually a big part of the original Eastman/Laird comics.

Karai, leading the Foot Ninjas

Hong Kong actress Ziyi Zhang, who rocketed to fame in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and made her English-language debut last year in Memoirs of a Geisha, does the voice of Kairi, a bad-ass female ninja who's the new leader of the Foot Clan. That's right, in this film, Shredder is missing and presumed dead. So, that means a new villain.

In the film, the villain in Max Winters, a billionaire industrialist who's trying to unleash an army of monsters to take over the world. The evil Max Winters is voiced by none other than Professor X and Capt. Picard himself, Patrick Stewart.

And, voicing a small, but important role, is my favourite filmmaker, Kevin Smith. Smith voices a clerk (what else?) in a fast food place that the TMNT frequent.

Kevin Smith as a currently unnamed fast food clerk So, what's the plot in this film? Well, it's like this. The Shredder is missing and presumed dead. With no unifying threat, the Ninja Turtles are starting to drift apart...go their own way. Leonardo is walking the Earth. Raphael is becoming a vigiliante, beating up random muggers in NYC. Michaelangelo does kids' birthday parties. And, thanks to the miracle of outsourcing, Dontallo sits in the sewers all day working the tech support lines for some computer company.

And then...strange occurances draw our four heroes back to New York. Max Winters is getting ready to unleash his army of monsters. And the TMNT must unite once again and stop Max Winters.

March 23, 2007.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Why I'm Evil

A friend of mine recently posted this video at her LiveJournal. Along with it, she provided a dissertation on how this not only perpetrates stereotypes against women, but it also demeans men by once again re-enforcing the stereotype that men are sex-crazed loons who are ruled by their hormones.

But me? Having read up on the tech specs for the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii, I just think it's as funny as hell...which is where I'll be spending eternity for laughing at such things.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Latest Targ's Up!

Got this week's episode of The Targ up. Today, we have Episode 31: One Week to Go. It's a real CanCon Christmas, as I play some Christmas tunes by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. Plus, I was poetic about the DVD release of Clerks 2!

Listen, if you please

Friday, December 15, 2006

Favorite Quote of the Day

"Didn't this show have an all-female cast? Ya think, maybe, it turned a whole generation of women into lesbians?" - Our morning show announcer, as we had a discussion on cartoons of the 1980s, specifically, She-Ra.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Casino Royale Review

Hey! When I was doing my Christmas shopping on the weekend, I stopped at a theatre and checked out the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale! Long story short: it rocked.

Read it!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Latest Targ's Up!

This week, it's Episode 30: For Real. As promised, it's the highlight reel from my frist time doing the morning show at my job.

Check it out

Friday, December 08, 2006

Look at the Nerd!

Possum Lodge Membership

In case you were curious, here's my Possum Lodge membership card and patch. As I said I would, I framed it and hung it on my wall. Don't worry...only spend $2 on a frame at the dollar store.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today's Time Waster

One of my favourite cartoons right now is Robot Chicken. Nothing but a gilgamesh of pop culture references, brought to life through stop-motion animated action figures.

And here's their brilliant riff on Inspector Gadget. Dr. Claw finally does what I always wondered why he never did, thanks to some technology from Cyberdyne and SkyNet.

And yes, that's Penny's original voice, Cree Summer, reprising her role of Penny, and the god of voice acting, Frank Welker, reprising his role of Dr. Claw.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Ya know, out of all the terms that have been coined by marketing people, I think my favourite is "fulfilment centre."

Buy anything online lately? Or in the more old-school way of sending away a money order and waiting 6 to 8 weeks? Well, next time you do, take a close look at the return address. It didn't come from the "warehouse." it didn't come from "shipping dept." It came from "the fulfilment centre."

Now, we all know that, in reality, the fulfilment centre is staffed by a bunch of big sweaty guys making minimum wage. But, by calling it a "fulfilment centre," it conjures up the image of pixies floating around, with magic wands, making dreams come true!

Your probably asking youself, "Mark, what did you receive from a fulfilment centre today?"

Well, you're looking at member number 690917 of Possum Lodge.

That's right, I went to the official Red Green website, sent off my money order, and joined Possum Lodge. The membership kit gives you a membership card, and a Possum Lodge patch, suitable for sewing onto your fishing jacket.

Me? I'm gonna frame mine, and hang it up. An artifact of Canadian pop culture, preserved forever.

Now, let's see if there's anything worth picking up at the Corner Gas online store....

Well, it's Tuesday. New DVD day! There's a couple of releases I want to highlight....

Most Overrated Summer Blockbuster
A lot of people look at me like I'm on crack when I say that Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest was very, very lame. I thought it was a dull and confusing movie. Anyway, it's out today on 2-disc special edition. DO NOT stuff this in my stocking.

Holy Moly! I can't believe they released this!
When the whole "boxed sets of entire seasons of TV shows" revolution, there were certain TV shows that seemed...unfeasable for the format, but there were those devoted few that hoped they would come out in complete season boxed sets someday. And, the #1 show on the list is out today. Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season comes out today. All 24, 90-minute episodes from SNL's first season back in 1975. Most of this material hasn't been seen since it was first broadcast.

Childhood Nostalgia Moment
My sister, being a few years younger than me, has misty, nostalgic memories more for the cartoons of the early-1990s, rather than the 1980s like me. When my sister was just a lass of 10, she was totally mad for Garfield, and, as such, her favourite cartoon was Garfield and Friends. Now, the entire series of Garfield and Friends is on DVD, so what more could there be to offer?

Garfield and Friends: Behind the Scenes is a collection of Garfield creator Jim Davis's top 15 episodes. Davis was actually quite involved with the cartoon, even serving as dialogue director on several episodes.

So, that might be a nice thing to get sister...except for the fact that she's promised to throw the king of all hissy-fits if I give her a DVD for Christmas, in retaliation for my teasing her to tears last year for giving me Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide for the 12th year in a row.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Of Block Heaters and Long Underwear

Ya know, it's been so long since I've done a blog about my life. Let's do one!

Cars are one of those pieces of technology that we take for granted. We use them far too much, failing to take care of them, and when we fail to take care of them, they fail us.

I wake up this morning, all gung ho to head into Edmonton and do my Christmas shopping. I know, some people think I'm insane. I've had dozens of people say to me, "It's December 1! You're just now starting your Christmas shopping? That's insane!" Well, I am in a bad position here. Most of what I want to get people is only available in Edmonton, and, being a news reporter, I'm far too afraid that I'll miss something that I wind up working a lot of weekends when I really don't need to.

So, here we were. Saturday, December 2. I head outside. I see that it hit -35 in the night. But I'm unafraid. After all, I plugged in my car! I jump in the car, I put the key in the ignition, I turn the key and...

The car doesn't start.

I try again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

My car just wouldn't start.

I start freaking out. I needed help. And, I'm still enough of a family-oriented guy, that when I need help, I call home. I explain the situation to my dad, and he tells me to try it again in a little bit, and then update him.

An hour later, I head out to the car. Once again, I put the key in the ignation. Once again, I turn the key. And once again, the car doesn't start.

So I try again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.


I update Dad. Dad says he's jupming in his pick-up full of tools and coming up to check things out. Dad also tells me to start calling around for garages.

I'm starting to worry a bit, and when I worry a bit, I find that a nice, long walk relaxes me. Besides, I don't have a phone book. So I walked to the radio station. It takes me about half-an-hour, as it usually does. When I get to the station, I check the weather websites and see that temperatures in Athabasca have climbed to a balmy -33.

I flip open the phone book to find that Athabasca has a woeful lack of garages. I call the boss and co-workers for which the best ones are. I start calling around, only to find that Athabasca is just small enough that a significant portion of its businesses close on weekends...including all the garages.

When I was asking my co-workers for help, one of them suggested that maybe all my car needed was a boost. I took him up on his offer, but asked that he pick me up at the station. I didn't want another walk through the -33 weather. We tried boosting my little car, but to no avail.

Nothing to do but wait for Dad.

Yay! Dad's here! Dad and I chat for a bit, I share my problems, and Dad and I get to work. After hearing the sounds the car makes when I try to start it, Dad figures that maybe it just needs a boost. So, we try boosting it again. Nuthin. We try again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.


Now, while we were trying all this, we flooded the engine pretty bad. And, as it was now 1pm, we decided we should take a lunch break. Once again, we made sure all the block heater connections were nice and tight. The car was never unplugged through all this.

Dad and I went and had lunch. then, we tooled around Athabasca for a while, visually confirming that yes, all the garages are closed on weekends.

We head back to try one more time. We hook it up to the pick-up to once again boost it. All the juice we can get, Dad reasoned. I put the key in. I turn the ignition. The engine turns over, but fails to take off. I turn the key again. The engine turns and turns and turns, but doesn't take off. Dad says, "Just keep it turning. It just might warm up and take off on its own."

And that's exactly what I do. It turns and chugs and turns and chugs and finally....

My car starts.

By now, it's 3 in the afternoon. Dad and I let it run for a long time to let it warm up. We then go driving around Athabasca, to make sure nothing else is wrong.

Based on the problem, and the sounds the engine was making, Dad came up with two hypotheses:

1) The starter is on its last legs, and I should get it looked at ASAP.
2) The block heater is shot, so even though it was plugged in, it did no good.

Either way, the solution is the same: get it staright into a garage as soon as they open on Monday.

As I write this, I'm at work. Since my day of Christmas shopping never happened, I volunteered to work tonight's Oilers game. My car is in the parking lot. Whether it'll start when it's time to go home, I have no idea. As I check the temperature, it's been warming up all day and is now a toasty -18.

But I am prepared! When my car started going, I went crusing around Athabasca, and stopped at Fields, and I bought...long underwear!

That's right. For the first time since I was 7 years old and heavy into tobogganing, I'm wearing long johns. This is in case I'm reduced to foot again and have to walk home.

I hate being a grown up. No one told me I'd have grown up problems.