Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, March 31, 2007

My three favourite letters: DVD

I'm still working at getting every Hayao Miyazaki film for my DVD collection. I got my latest shipment from Amazon.ca the other day, My Neighbor Totoro and Howl's Moving Castle.

Ya know, My Neighbor Totoro had to be my absolute first exposure to the works of Miyazaki. The year was 1993. I was in grade 10. My sister was going through some kind of phase where she'd re-discovered God, so my parents were humouring her and taking her to church every Sunday. They were always successful in dragging my brother along, but not me.

So, I was home alone on Sunday mornings, where I got to watch Siskel and Ebert. the early 90's was a fantastic time to be watching Siskel and Ebert. With the rise of indie directors, it was Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on those Sunday mornings who told me about movies like Pulp Fiction, El Mariachi and Clerks.

But there it was in 1993, when the infamous indie studio Troma Films dubbed and released My Neighbor Totoro to North American theatres. And Roger Ebert was quick to declare it one of the greatest animated films ever made.

Man, I don't know how many times I watched the clip of the girl and Totoro standing at the bus stop, waiting for the catbus to come. The clip always ended with the catbus arriving. It must have been the only clip Troma provided or something. And I'll admit, I always found it really creepy. the silence...the rain...the big silent Totoro, and then that catbus.... Based on that 5-minute clip alone, I always thought that My Neighbor Totoro was some kind of weird ghost story.

but then I finally saw the whole thing on Japanese TV when I was there. And now I get to watch it in English.

And then there's Howl's Moving Castle. To date, it's the only Miyazaki film I've seen in the theatres. the English dub came out about a year and a half ago. And I swear, Miyazaki looks great on the big screen. If you missed it, then that's cool. Make sure you rent it.

Now, I only have one Miyazaki film to get to complete the collection: Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro. Lupin III is one of the longest-running and most popular anime franchises. Miyazaki cut his teeth working on 2 of the 3 Lupin III series.

I really should seek out more Lupin III. I only saw one half of one episode on TV in Japan, and instantly thought it was one of the coolest shows I'd ever seen.


Why did I fish Fantastic Four out of a discount bin back at Christmas time? If I knew this was coming, I would have definitly waited.

On June 5, Fantastic Four: Extended Edition hits store shelves. This 2-disc special edition includes the original theatrical version and a brand-new, 20-minute longer director's cut.

There's also a feature-length documentary about the making of the film, five featurettes about the Fantastic Four, 19 cut scenes that weren't worthy of the director's cut, concept art galleries, the trailers, the TV spots, and, given the timing, there's naturally a behind-the-scenes featurette on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Even though Fantastic Four was a lesser movie, just might succumb to the double-dip on this one. the original DVD which I got has absolutly nothing. Not even a scene selection menu!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Website Down for Now

So, yeah, if you're wondering why my blog looks kind of messed up and why my website, www.chaosinabox.com isn't working, it's like this.

I'd been wondering when I was going to have to renew my server space for another year. I was waiting for some kind of bill or e-mail notification.

Well, turns out I was notified at my hosting company's message board, which I rarely check. And I didn't learn myself that payment was due until I noticed that my website was suspended.

Anyway, payments have been made, and now I'm just waiting for the web folks to get back to work tomorrow and re-activate everything.

E-mail me at chaosinabox@gmail.com until further notice.

DVD News for my sister

Ah, That Thing You Do. If you've never seen it, you're missing something nice. You might remember this tale of a rock band in 1964 that becomes a one-hit wonder and their trials and tribulations of one-hit wonder-dom. As movies go, there's nothing new or cutting edge in it, but it's 100% guaranteed to make you smile.

Of course, these days, it's more fondly remembered as "that movie that Tom Hanks directed." (Hanks wrote it, too.) I once saw an interview with Hanks in which he said it would have been a better movie if he didn't spend so much of his time going, "WOW!! I'm directing a movie! And when I say 'action,' all the actors say lines that I wrote! THIS IS SO COOL!"

And of course, I always love the song itself. (In case you haven't seen the movie, That Thing You do is also the name of the one-hit wonder that our band has.) Like the movie itself, it's not new or cutting ege, but it's 100% guaranteed to make you smile.

Anyway, I'm going on this rant about That Thing You Do because, at long last, it's getting a mega-ultimate-special-edition-DVD.

That Thing You Do: Tom Hanks' Extended Cut comes out on May 8. As the title suggests, this is an extended cut of the film, featuring 39 minutes of scenes that originally ended up on the cutting room floor. You also get 5 featurettes, and the original HBO "Making Of" TV special. Oh, and the teaser and trailer. But no Tom Hanks running commentary....

But yeah. May 8.

And you know what would make that song That Thing You Do even bouncier and more fun?

If there was a Japanese punk rock cover.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Latest Targ and Movie Reviews are Up

Well, a day late as promised, here's this week's episode of The Targ. This week, it's Episode 43: Fancy Thoughts. Spring is when a young man's heart turns to thoughts of fancy, so here's some of my fancy thoughts.

And also, I've got my reviews of 300 and TMNT up!

Head to the main site to check it all out

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Late Targ...But I Have a Good Reason!

Sorry, guys, but this week's episode of The Targ is going to be a day late, but I have a good reason why!

I just came home from a classic double feature day...something I don't do as often anymore, now that they don't do half-price matiness anymore.

First one I saw was TMNT. That's right, I was there opening weekend for the brand-new Ninja Turtles movie.

It was good. Ever since the first teaser, I've been waiting for it, going, "DUDE! The Turtles were made for CGI!" While the animation quality isn't Pixar-perfect, it is pretty damn good.

At first, I was upset that the Shredder wouldn't be back, but now, after the film, I glad he wasn't. They kind of went the Batman Begins route. By using a second-string villain for the film (or, in this case, creating one), they were able to focus on the heroes and their struggles. Well, they mainly focused on Leonardo and Raphael and their rivalry.

The action was good, the animation was good, and the characters we all know and love were on the big screen intact.

A few complaints...a few superhero movie cliches do rear their ugly heads, and why the hell did composer Klaus Badelt recycle his Catwoman score?

3 out of 4 nibs.

And then, I went to see that movie everyone's talking about, 300. Oh, that Frank Miller. What a wacky guy! He sure believes in excess and over-the-top behaviour. Don't worry...I mean that in a good way.

But yeah. Don't let the setting in ancient Greece fool you. This is a movie about Klingons. The glory of battle, the honor of death at the hands of your enemies...all that good stuff.

It was pretty good. I enjoyed it. But yeah, the historical epic is one form of geek film that I've never really geeked out. Granted, calling it a "historical epic" is a stretch.

I liked it, but I wasn't as passionate about it that the rest of the world is.

3 out of 4 nibs.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Voice of Megatron

One of the biggest unanswered questions about the live-action Transformers movie has been, "Who's doing the voice of Megatron?"

Almost a year ago, it was announced that Peter Cullen would be doing the voice of Optimus Prime. Cullen, of course, did the voice of Optimus Prime on the original Transformers cartoon some 20 years ago. Cullen has still been active in the voice acting community, and "still has it."

So then, it was held in a high degree of optimism that Megatron's voice would be done by Frank Welker.

Welker, of course, is a legend in the voice acting community. He's been active in voice acting for almost 40 years. His first claim to fame was the voice of Freddy on Scooby-Doo. On Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, he was Iceman. On The Real Ghostbusters, he was Ray Stanz and Slimer. On Inspector Gadget, he was Brain, Mad Cat, and Dr. Claw. His most recent work is in the most recent Disney straight-to-video animated sequels.

And now, thanks to the miracle of DVD running commentaries, I've heard other animators sing his praises.

On the running commentary for Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, animators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, single out Welker's work, citing that he's Hollywood's "go to guy" for animal effects. "If it's just a little bit beyond what an animal can do, you go to Frank," says Timm. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Welker voiced Hyena, one of the Joker's henchman who was genetically enhanced with Hyena DNA.

On the running commentary for several Futurama episodes, fellow voice actors Billy West and John DiMaggio (Fry and Bender, respectivly), refer to Welker as a god. On Futurama, Welker voiced Nibblen, Leela's pet and Guardian of the Universe.

On the running commentary for Disney's animated classic Aladdin, directors John Musker and Ron Clemments say that there's an old joke in the animation community.

"Frank Welker...what's he done?"

"Have you ever watched a cartoon?"


"He did that."

In Aladdin, Welker was the voice of Abu and the talking tiger's head that was the entrance to the Cave of Wonders.

Even one of my favourite directors, Kevin Smith, unknowingly sang Welker's praises. In the sixth and final episode of the Clerks cartoon, Welker did the voice of both President Bill Clinton and FBI agent, leading Smith to remark on the episode's running commentary, "I forget that guy's name, but damn, he was good."

So, it was with a twinge of sadness today, that it was learned that Frank Welker will not be reprising the voice of Megatron.

Who then, is taking the place of Welker? Which voice is more evil than the voice of Megatron, Dr. Claw, and the Devil himself (in the movie version of Spawn)?



Agent Smith.

Megatron is being voiced by Hugo Weaving.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Venomy Goodness

Ya know what? Forget all of the last post's debate of Pirates. Here is the third and final trailer for the one movie that we know will rule the summer of 2007:

I'm sorry, but I know you're think I'm all hot for the live-action Transfomers, but let's be real. Spider-Man 3 is going to be the #1.

C'mon. Spider-Man vs. the Transformers? We all remember how that turned out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

There's a Moose on the Loose by the Caboose

Sorry, that heading has nothing to do with this blog entry. I just haven't had anyone call back from Fish and Wildlife, so I probably won't be able to run a story on the moose wandering around Athabasca yesterday, and I won't get to say that on the air.

No, I want to talk about this. Can someone please explain this to me?

With just two months to go, Disney is finally starting up the promotion machine for Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. It's the third and maybe final saga in the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow and adventure on the high seas.

Now, could someone please explain to me why the hell it's so popular?

When the first one hit theatres, I shrugged and walked away. It didn't strike me as anything special. When I finally rented it on DVD, I wrote it off as "good, but not great."

I went to see the second one this past summer, if only because everyone else was. And, I thought it just wasn't very good. I had no idea what the point or plot was.

But yet, the world has embraced Pirates of the Carribean to be the greatest movie trilogy since The Trilogy.

And I just don't get it. I fail to see its popularity.

Had this dispute with one of my co-workers the other day. It's a dispute that almost wound up on the air. He said that Pirates of the Carribean rocks because of two factors.

1) Johnny Depp is an acting god.
2) Producer Jerry Bruckheimer doesn't make bad movies.

I countered by saying that Depp has done stuff infinitly better than Pirates, and that Bruckheimer gave us pretty much all of Michael Bay's films.

Have I mentioned that this co-worker has an intense hatred of Michael Bay?

Co-worker just shrugged and said, "See? Bay is so bad, he even screws up Bruckheimer films."

That's pretty much where it ended.

But I still don't understand why the heck Pirates is popular.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Death of Dreams

Dreams die the hardest death of all, and we hang onto their remains until long after they've turned to dust in our hands.

That's a quote I love, but I forget who said it. I think it was Macbeth.

I've been thinking alot about the death of dreams lately. When is it time to let go of a dream? When do you admit that it's just a little bit beyond your reach and it's time to move on to another task? When is it time to open your hand and let the dust scatter in the wind, to play off my above quote.

I guess it all started about a couple weeks ago. Back before Christmas, there was a medium-sized issue before the Athabasca Town Council. It seemed that a couple of town councillors wanted to have blogs. That wasn't the issue, even though Garth Turner was still making headlines. No, the issue was whether they could put links to these blogs on the official Town of Athabasca website. Eventually, they said yes. And a smattering of town councillors started up blogs.

(For my friend in Australia who may not have bothered to follow the link...Garth Turner was this Conservative MP who got booted out of the Conservative caucus back in November because he was spilling the beans about what goes on in caucus at his blog, and because he was posting frank comments about (ie badmouthing) Stephen Harper at his blog. He recently joined the Liberals, because, as he said at his blog, you have to be part of a party to get anything done in our version on democracy.)

So when I cover town council meetings, I generally call ahead to see if there's a Municipal Planning Committee meeting that night, too. MPC meetings take place before town council meetings. They talk about the granting of building permits and stuff. If there's a big new construction thingie going on in town, that's where you hear about it first, which is why they're worth going to. My learned colleague at Athabasca's newspaper forgets to call ahead, which is why the newspaper doesn't cover them anymore.

there was an MPC meeting a couple weeks ago, and there was a hot button topic. An apartment building in town is switching over to condos, and was applying for the necessary permits. One town councillor really objected to this, fearing that people would be turned out on the streets if they couldn't afford to buy their apartment-turned-condo.

When the newspaper reporter finally came in, just missing the MPC meeting like they always do, that town councillor walked over to the newspaper reporter to fill in my learned colleague about everything he missed at the MPC meeting, and to offer up a quote or two.

(Of course, in this process, he didn't offer up a quote or two to me. Despite my efforts over the past almost-a-year, the newspaper reporters are still held in higher regard then me down at Town Office. I've come to accept it, but it still offends me a little.)

The town councillor filled in the newspaper reporter on everything that the newspaper missed. "Oh, be sure to keep an eye on my blog!" he told the newspaper reporter. "I'm going to have one hum-dinger of a blog entry on this issue! You know, thanks to this blog, I'm starting to see what it is your writers go through. What information to share...what spin to put on it all...oh, it's so terribly exciting!"

And there we had it. Another blogger turned writer.

I'm starting to think that the vast majority of bloggers are just frustrated writers. I mean, that's how my blog started.

About five years ago or so, when the word "blog" started entering the lexicon, I would be really offended when people referred to Chaos in Print as a blog. "It's not a blog!" I'd exclaim. "Blog entries are tossed off in a minute, without any thought put into them. But with my column, I sit down! I put effort into them! I think about each and every word I put into it! I write them!"

But let's be honest. It was a blog...with excruciatingly long entries. And it was the worst kind of blog too...going over every little thing in my life in embarrassingly intimate detail.

But as I did it, spending weekend afternoons pounding furiously at my keyboard, I had dreams for my blog, oh yes. It was going to be something! It wouldn't be too long before I was discovered and become a published author and write books for a living! Today, a blog, tomorrow...a writer.

I had dreams of writing a novel...even made a few false starts. My only attempt at some serious writing and composing a short story resulted in dismissive shrugs from my friends.

I did have one friend who was supportive of me, and whenever I considered giving it up, he'd say to me, "Mark, if writing were so easy, everyone would be doing it!" Then I'd walk through Chapters. OK, not everyone is doing it. But when you see the rows upon rows of books...a heck of a lot of people are.

I've been on a forced sabbatical from Chaos in Print for almost a year. I stopped doing it because when I got hired here in Athabasca, and started putting long hours in at work, I found I just didn't have the time. And as the end of that first year draws closer, I'm finding that I'm not missing it at all.

But I think what's finally, officially making me give it up is The Edmonton Journal. A lot of their columnists have started doing blogs, and I find them wonderfully entertaining. These people are professional writers. Here, in a simple little blog entry, they can invoke more emotion and generate more thought than a planetful of angst-ridden-teens, in their parents basements, pounding furiously at their keyboards.

the Journal blogs know the written word and know how to use it.

So I think the dream of being a writer is one I finally have to let go. It died a long time ago, so I need to open my hands and let the dust scatter in the wind. But it's tough. I still think I'm going to get back to Chaos in Print someday. I've still got an idea or two for a novel. But little by little, day by day, the desire to do it grows less and less.

I leave the professional writing to town councillors and their blogs.

Further Reading

The Blogs of Athabasca Town Councillors
Mayor Richard Verhage
Councillor Paula Evans
Councillor Mike Gismondi
Councillor Hugh O'Farrell

The Blogs of Edmonton Journal Columnists (actually, just the ones I read)
The Cult of Pop by David Staples
Smart Quotes by Iain Ilich
Salad Daze by Elizabeth Withey
That Internet Thing by Todd Babiak

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!

Got this week's episode of the Targ up! This week, it's Episode 42: Toons and Tunes, where I talk about the upcoming batch of animated films (the toons) and play some music (the tunes).


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

80's Nostalgia Draws Nigh

80's nostalgia began about 10 years ago, when me and my best friend would hang out in the offices of the Dag (Augustana University's student paper) and compare notes on GI Joe and Transformers. Little did we know that people of the same generation were having similar conversations all across the continent.

It wasn't long before marketing folks realized there was a market to be tapped. New merchandise started arriving on store shelves. People like my best friend and me soon became storytellers, and wanted to explore the characters they grew up with. We started getting new cartoons, new comic books, and even new movies.

But now, 80's nostalgia is starting to wane. People like my best friend and me are nearing 30, and with more and more grown-up responsibilities, we just don't have the disposable income to spend on a mint Snake Eyes we stumbled across on eBay.

Several market analysts once said that 80's nostalgia would end with a return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as that was the last big thing to come out of the 80's.

That's why I'm just not getting that jazzed about 300. It's the new, computer animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film coming out at the end of the month that's making me geek out. I swear, watching the trailers, I just can't help but think that computer animation was always the best medium to tell the tales of the Turtles.

The very first teaser had my totally psyched. The second trailer made me go, "Oh." Early reviews have started popping up online, saying that while it's good, it's not great.

But then, seeing this Internet only trailer that clocks in at 3:45 has me all psyched again.

At the very least, watch the first 30 seconds to hear Morpheus recount the origin of the Turtles in just a few, awe-inspiring sentences.

March 23, baby.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Help! Help! I'm Being Oppressed!

Watching the news this morning, as I do every morning. I figure if I'm going to be writing newscasts in a couple of hours, I should get some semblance of what's going on in the world.

And the news has once again turned to Vancouver, and the protests that are starting to pop up over the 2010 Winter Olympics. In case you haven't heard, just about any ceremony to unveil something Olympics-related now involves a protest...several hundred angry people saying that the Olympics are a stupid idea. And I gotta say, I don't get it.

The first protests I saw on TV was over the twinning of the Sea to Sky Highway. For those who don't know, most of the skiing events will be taking place in nearby Whistler, which you get to on the Sea to Sky Highway. Naturally, they're twinning said highway to handle all the extra traffic.

The news reports on the protest said that they were protesting because of the environmental damage it would cost. My friend who lives in Vancouver tells me that actually, they were rich cottage owners who owned houses in that area, and the new twinned highway will reduce the land value. Now, I have to admit, I get a little cynical when an environmentalist's motives are, "It'll totally ruin my view." Don't get me wrong, but I always though an environmentalist's movtive is, "It'll totally ruin our planet."

The next big protest was at the unveiling of the countdown clock. That's the one that made headlines because a couple of the protesters stormed the stage, pushed aside the guest speaker, and started screaming, "Fuck the games!" into the microphone. Now, according to the news, they were protesting, because they figure the billions of dollars being spent on the games would be better spent on solving the homeless problem.

Now, I'll admit, I'm not fully educated on the matters. But has anyone pointed out to these protesters that the Olympics might actually benefit the homeless? I mean, in anticipation of the games, more tourist spots are going to open, and they need people to work there. That's jobs for homeless people! And, in my research of the Olympics, I also discovered that after an Olympics, it's quite common for some of the venues, namely the Athlete's Village, where all the competitors stay, to be converted into low-income housing.

Last week, the Olympic flag was stolen by a First Nations group. Gotta admit, don't know why they did it, but they sent a picture to the police showing themselves with the flag.

The latest protest was at the unveiling of the replacement flag. I think it was just a generic, "The games are costing too much. Cancel them." protest. But, of course, because of everything else, security is starting to get beefed up at all these events, and the protestors are being greeted with riot squads.

Gotta admit, Vancouver's kinda crushing my Olympic spirit. I always liked the concept of the Olympics...how the world just kind of forgets its problems for three weeks just to kick back and play some games. But protesters shoving over dignitaries, and riot squads being called in to answer them? Kind of doesn't work.

I still intend to go in 2010, though.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!

Got this week's episode of The Targ up. This week, it's Episode 41: 15 Free Minutes. See, I'm working all weekend, and this is what I pumped out in the 15 minutes in which I wasn't working.

Have a listen

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bits o' movie news

it was reported today that Shia LaBeouf is in final negotiations to be in Indiana Jones 4. LaBeouf is rumored to be playing Indy's long lost son.

Of course, LaBeouf's biggest claim to fame is coming this summer, when he'll be playing Sam "Spike" Witwicky in Transformers.

Today, Disney also announced their official return to 2D, hand drawn animation.

Coming out in 2009 is The Frog Princess. The Frog Princess is writen and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. Musker and Clements are a dynamic duo of animators who were very much on the front lines of the Disney animation resurgance of the 1990s. Musker and Clements gave us The Little Mermiad, Aladdin, Hercules and Treasure Planet.

The story, which is an original concocted by Musker and Clements, is set primarily in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and they tell us that Cajun culture was one of the primary inspirations for the film. The princess of the title is named Maddy, a young African-American girl. They tell us that it's "from the heart of Louisiana's mystical bayous and the banks of the mighty Mississippi comes an unforgettable tale of love, enchantment and discovery with a soulful singing crocodile, voodoo spells and Cajun charm at every turn."

I'm there. Musker and Clements have proven their storytelling worth 10 times over.

Well, we're starting to learn more about the new Star Trek movie. In a recent interview, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman used the dreaded "r" word: "reimagining."

The Trekkies have been both hoping and dreading that this film will be a reimagining. There's that contingent that just doesn't want to give up on 40 years of continuity. But me? I think maybe that igonring 40 years worth of continuity might make things...simpler.

Orci and Kurtzman also tell us that it's going to be a lot more action-oriented that Trek films of the past. They also tell us that it's not going to be the Starfleet Academy tale that's been long rumored. Instead, it'll tell the tale of Captain Kirk taking command of the Enterprise for the first time, and following his first mission in the command chair.

And they also tell us that there's no subtitles with this film. It's going to be called, simply, Star Trek.

Speaking of, where did the term "reimagining" come from? I think the word was coined by Tim Burton back in 2001, to describe his "reimagining" of Planet of the Apes.

Back at the time, it was taken to mean "a remake that's been changed so much it no longer resembles the original." Now, I think it applies to taking something, stripping it down to it's core components, and starting over.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Not the end of Corner Gas?

About a dozen of the columnists for the Edmonton Journal have blogs on the Journal's website. I tend to start my day by reading them.

And today, columnist Larry Johnsrude has a very interesting blog entry.

Turns out he's the one responsible for the "Corner Gas has been cancelled" story that went out yesterday. According to Johnsrude, he got the news release in his inbox promoting the season finale, and jumped to a conclusion. Johnsrude says he's been contacted by CTV media folk, and the CTV is planning a big announcement about the future of the show next week.

Curiouser and curiouser....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The End of Corner Gas

Wow. It's a sad day for Canadian pop culture.

AFter only 4 seasons and 65 episodes, the end has come to Corner Gas. That's right. CTV announced today that next week's season finale is, in fact, the series finale. The only reason as to why they're shutting down the show after such a short time is that they want to go out while it's still on top. (That, and I can't help but notice that they've made the minimum 65 episodes so they can sell it into worldwide syndication.)

The final episode, airing on Monday night, is called Gopher It. The official plot description has Hank's idea to increase town tourism backfire, and the town becoming overrun with gophers. This, apparently, drives Lacey to sell the Ruby and move back to Toronto.

Special guest star Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who comes to Dog River to blame the gopher problem on the Liberals. (I am NOT making that up.)

The final scene of the final episode has already been leaked to YouTube. I won't link to it, but seek it out if you dare.

wow. I can honestly say that all of Canadian pop culture is stunned by this decision.

I guess it's time to take a second look at Little Mosque on the Prairie.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Superman / Doomsday (updated)

One of the announcements that really tickled my fancy a few months back was the Warner Brothers is about to start pumping out a bunch of straight-to-DVD animated films based on classic DC Comics storylines. Now, that in itself wasn't as much news as much as the revelation that these were going to be PG-13 rated and more grown-up than their past DC animation offerings. They're going for the Hellboy: Sword of Storms crowd.

Anyway, we finally had the official announcement of the first one, giving a release date and everything! The first one is....

Superman: Doomsday, which will be based upon the now classic The Death of Superman.

They unveiled a new voice cast, too. See, to go with the newer, darker, more grown-up storylines, they got a new voice cast. That's pissing off a lot of nerds, as they want those who have been the voices for the past few years to keep on doing it. I'm not one of those nerds. I just want a good movie. Our new voice cast is:

Adam Baldwin as Superman. Baldwin is, of course, best remembered as the lovably psychotic mercenary Jayne on Firefly. (Gotta admit, I'm having a little bit of trouble picturing the hero of Canton as the Man of Steel)

Anne Heche is Lois Lane. This I can see.

And James Marsters will be giving voice to Lex Luthor. Marsters is still best known as the vampire Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Addition Superman note: he also played Brainiac on Smallville.)

But let's not forget the most important thing of all: it comes out on September 18.

Updated 2 hours later

Got word on some of the bonus material that'll be on the DVD. You can look forward to 2 documentaries:

Clash of the Juggernauts is a documentary about the whole Death of Superman storyline and the media coverage it garnered at the time. Features interviews with the actual comic book artists who wrote and drew the stories, the DC management who made the decision, and the comic book historians who place its context in comic book history.

The Artists Playground is your standard "making of" featurette, chronicalling every aspect of the making of the film.

And, a trailer for the next straight-to-video animated film, Justice League: The New Frontier.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Latest Targ's Up

Once upon a time, not long ago, a friend of mine was deriding me for my choice of creative projects. While she preferred weightier fare, I was always focusing on projects concerning the foibles of every day life. She started wondering why I wasn't doing something with meaning. She decided to make her point by quoting Neil Gaiman at me: "It's like cake. While it's good and tasty at the time, it really doesn't fill you up."

I countered by quoting me. "Fine then. You can feed people their vegetables. I'll just sit over here, baking cakes."

And in that spirit, I bring you this week's episode of U62: The Targ. It's called Episode 40: Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just like the cookie of the name, this week's episode is a sweet and tasty treat.

But if you prefer weightier fare, I see that the CBC now podcasts Definitly Not the Opera.

Have a listen!

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Saturday! This is the most beautiful Saturday in a long time. It's already 4 degrees, they're predicting a high of 8...I think spring is here! So, naturally, I'm at work, borrowing this Internet connection to check my e-mail and such.

I'm finding it really frustrating that I've had no Internet at home all week. I think it's time to just call Telus and sign up through them. I'm thinking that it's about time I get a home phone like a normal person, anyway. No offence, but I find Interent access to be a utility up there with phone and power these days, and my landlord's attitude of, "I'll look at it on the weekend" has been frustrating. No offence, my landlord is a great guy and all, and it's a nice place and all that, but I"m getting tired of living in someone's weekend project.

But enough of this whining. I've got all kinds of Spider-Man 3 goodness. Wow. Only 2 months to go until Spider-Man 3. Maybe I should book that day off so I can be first in line....

Anywho, remember that new trailer that was supposed to be in front of Ghost Rider, but wasn't? Well, it just simply rescheduled. NOw, it's going to be in front of 300, coming out in just 6 days!

But if you can't wait that long, watch the big hit superhero show Heroes on Monday night, where they'll be showing a 1-minute clip from the film! Or just go online an hour later, and watch the full 6-minute clip!

And if that wasn't enough, there's a new Spider-Man cartoon in the works! It'll hit the airwaves in the spring of 2008. Right now, it has the working title of The Amazing Spider-Man. They tell us that this cartoon is going to be set early in Spidey's career, when he's just 16 years old and still juggling teen angst with superheroing.

But what makes this project big for me is the fact that it's being overseen by Greg Weisman, the creator of the cult-classic Disney cartoon Gargoyles. I loved Gargoyles and I hope he can do a good job with Spidey.