Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kevin Smith Protesting his Own Film

I can't believe it took this long for this to make it to YouTube.

You might remember that my hero, Kevin Smith, made a little movie called Dogma. And boy, were the Catholics pissed off about it. People protested Dogma at movie theatres all across the USA.

And, as Kevin Smith reveals in his An Evening with Kevin Smith DVD, when he learned that there was going to be a protest at the movie theatre in his neighbourhood, he decided to go incognito to the protest and join in. And he even got interviewed for the 6 o'clock news about it...and the clip made it to the news story!

And, that news story has finally been posted to YouTube!

If you're reading this blog entry in Facebook, you can watch the video by clicking right here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

FINALLY!! X-Files 2!!

After being teased about it for years ever since The X-Files movie hit theatres in 1998, people have been wondering, "Dude, where's my sequel?"

The answer: next year!

Filming begins on December 10, for a release in 2008.

It'll be filming in Vancouver (naturally). X-Files creator Chris Carter will be making his feature film directorial debut, from a screenplay that he wrote with his fellow X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz.

The only ones we know for sure who are coming back are David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson as Mulder and Scully, natch. I hope they find a way to throw in Robert Patrick as Dogget...I kinda liked Dogget.

The code name for production is "Done One."

No word on the plot just yet, but for the longest time, Carter has been telling us that he wants to ditch the ol' UFO/conspiracy mythology and just do a stand-alone episode...Mulder and Scully battling some supernatural force in small town America.

Let's see...what else is going on for movie news today?

David Dobkin, who gave us the classic comedy Wedding Crashers and the upcoming Christmas movie Fred Claus, just signed on to give us the movie version of The Flash.

Dobkin tells us that his Flash movie will follow the Wally West version of the Flash, and it'll be a spin-off from the upcoming Justice League movie.

Also on the DC movie front, it was announced today that Greg Berlanti will be giving us the movie version of Green Lantern. Berlanti is a television writer and producer, who's worked on such diverse projects as Dirty Sexy Money, Brothers and Sister, Heroes, and the late-90s classic, Dawson's Creek. Belanti also gave us the 2000 indie gay romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Club.

Berlanti will be directing...Marc Gugenheim and Michael Green, who worked on such classic comics as Blade, The Amazing Spider-Man, Batman/Superman, and they have TV credits too. They wrote for Smallville.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!

Sunday morning can mean only one thing: I have a new episode of my podcast!

For this week's offering of The Targ, I give you Episode 70: The Big Game. I complain about Christmas stuff being on store shelves long before Halloween is done, I do some window shopping in the USA, and I gush about the hot new TV show Pushing Daisies.

and, since it is so close to Halloween, this is the only time of the year I can get away with playing songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Give it a listen!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cross-border Shopping

I love merchandise!

I just can't help it. I love crazy stuff with a logo on it that makes me feel like I'm a part of something.

The bad news about that in the past has been that most of it comes from online stores based in the USA, and all prices in the Yankee dollar.

but now, thanks to the Canadian dollar actually out performing the American dollar, I can't help but check out all these online stores and be all like, "Hmm...now's the time."

Some of the crazy stuff I'm thinking about buying online now, finally, after staring at it online for years.

Protective cases for my Star Wars action figures. I've been looking at these online for a while now, and I think getting a batch of them for my guys would be fabulous.

An Autographed Chasing Amy Poster. Nothing says "I went to college in the 90s" like a poster for an independent film. And why not get one from my favourite Kevin Smith movie? In fact, why not get one autographed by the man himself? I'll admit, this is one online store where I've done a lot of window shopping.

But the one I keep coming back to over and over again is the Star Wars radio show. NPR, the USA's public radio network, actually took Star Wars and turned it into a radio play. It was actually one of the biggest-budgeted radio plays of all time. I would love to get my hands on this. The only time I've ever seen it on a store shelf was in Japan, where they had it for ¥120,000. I've never seen it at Chapters or any place like that, but lookie here, I can buy it online straight from the publisher.

Or, maybe I should keep it in the country and just start loading up on DVDs that I wanted for a long time. Amazon.ca has the complete Batman: the Animated Series for $140....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whatever Happened to Strawberry Shortcake?

Here's the Robot Chicken video I wanted to share earlier: whatever happened to the classic girls' toys of yesteryear?

Wow. Rainbow Brite became a total ho.

If you're at Facebook instead of my blog, click here to watch it.

I Love Robot Chicken

I love this show! I do, I just do.

(As always, to those who've seen this in Facebook, you've got to go to my blog to see the embedded video.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Young Indy Hits DVD

Well, one of the most anticipated DVDs comes out today. But, since it's a George Lucas production, it's been "special editioned," and that's got a few people upset.

As the story goes, lots of people were fascinated with the character of Indiana Jones, and wanted to know more about Indy's origins. George Lucas started turning this over in his mind, and he came to a startling discovery. With the timeline he created for Indiana Jones, Indy would have been a teenager at the dawn of the 20th century. Indy would live in a world where all these monumental historical events were taking place right outside. And George Lucas had his big idea: Indiana Jones could be used to teach history!

And so, when The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles hit the airwaves in the fall of 1992, a lot of people were taken aback. Rather than a rollicking adventure show, they got a historical drama, where Young Indy was shaking hands with all these historical figures. It was more Forrest Gump than Temple of Doom. Or, as one DVD critic put it today, it was "edutainment, with a big emphasis on the 'edu.'"

Even though it was supposed to be about Young Indy, people soon became fascinated with the bookends to each show, which featured a 93-year old Indy in the present day. It usually featured Old Indy running into some kid or seeing something that reminded him of his childhood. He'd then launch into his story, and the episode began. And then, at the end, we'd come back to Old Indy and the person he was telling his story to, and he'd deliver the message. And the audience, they wanted to know more about Old Indy! I think it was because Old Indy sported an eyepatch, and people wanted to see the adventure where Indy lost his eye.

In all, 44 episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles were made, and that's where George Lucas once again showed his talent for making revisions. To make it more attractive to classrooms and the home video market, George decided to take those 44 episodes, and edit them into 22 TV-movies. Naturally, the opening segments with Old Indy had to be dropped and, in some cases, George Lucas even filmed new footage to link the episodes together. And that's what got released to video as the 1990's drew to a close.

And that's why some are complaining about today's DVD release of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - Volume 1. Rather than the 1-hour episodes, as originally broadcast, these discs contain the 2-hour TV movies. The bookends with Old Indy seem to have been relegated to the vaults where Han shot first.

Plus, that also means that the TV-movies play out in chronological order, not broadcast order. See, originally, the series would alternate between 10-year old Young Indy, and 16-year old Young Indy. Watching these TV movies in chronological order means that the bulk of Volume 1 is dedicated to the 10-year old Indy. And people loved 10-year old Indy as much as they loved 10-year old Darth Vader in Episode I.

Anywho, on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Volume 1, you get the first 7 of the 22 TV movies. For bonus features, there's almost 40 mini-documentaries, fleshing out the historical events that Young Indy wanders into and the historical figures that Young Indy shakes hands with.

Volume 2 is slated for December 18, and that's where things pick up. That's where the 16-year old Indy lies about his age to fight in the trenches of World War I. Volume 3 is going to come out in the spring, and of course, the long-awaited fourth movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comes out in May.

No word if Indy loses his eye in it, but it would be cool if he did.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!

Got a fresh and tasty new episode of The Targ for you!

This week, it's Episode 69: Haunted. I play a few of the songs that haunt me...you know, the music that plays when you're lying in bed, and you're in the kinda of weird place between awake and asleep. Plus, I start figuring out what to do for a Halloween costume, talk about my first trip to the World Waterpark in years, and geek out over Transformers on DVD.

Listen to it!

Actually, I'm kind of proud of myself. I made it through my 69th episode without making any bad "69" jokes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Transformers in IMAX and on DVD

Just finished watching Transformers on DVD...I still love that movie. But I still wish they made more shout-outs to the fans. For example, why couldn't have Sam's online name been "Spike?" Why couldn't the All Spark have been called "the Creation Matrix?" Things like that.

Anyway, as you may know, I paid the extra money to see it in IMAX a couple of weeks ago. I think I blogged about this, but the IMAX version is a director's cut...Michael Bay went back and added another 5 minutes worth of scenes to the IMAX version. After watching it on DVD, I can confidently tell you that this is what was added to the IMAX version:

Sam at the police station - OK, you remember this. Sam is being interrogated by the police. In the regular version and the DVD version, the scene ends with the trigger-happy detective daring Sam to take his gun, and Sam says, "Are you on drugs?" In the IMAX version, it goes on a little bit longer. After the "Are you on drugs?" line, Sam's dad goes, "OK, we're done here," and they get up to leave. But, before they go, the detective makes Sam watch the now-classic "This is your brain on drugs" PSA (which, incidentally, was also directed by Michael Bay). Sam rolls his eyes throughout, and when he leaves, the detective warns him one last time to "stay off mojo."

Agent Simmons gets more lines - Agent Simmons, the very goofy Sector Seven agent, has a lot more lines when they show up at Hoover Dam. Before he takes them into that office where they can look over the All Spark, he has a little monologue about how he stares at the All Spark, meditates and contemplates the meaning of life. And also, as they're walking through the tunnel towards the slumbering Megatron, Simmons and Capt. Lennox have this exchange:

Lennox>> I don't understand. What is this place?
Simmons>> You've heard of Area 51?
Lennox>> Yeah...
Simmons>> Well, this is Area 50.

Lennox gets the walkie-talkies - You may remember that, as they're about to start mowing down Decepticons in the climax, it all starts off with Lennox coming out of a pawn shop with some very old walkie-talkies that'll work in the Decepticon's communications blackout. Well, in the IMAX version, we see how Lennox actually gets the walkie-talkies. He's in the pawn shop, arguing with the clerk...this big, fat black woman. Fed up, he draws his sidearm, points it at the clerk, and demands the walkie-talkies. Not taking any shit, the clerk pulls out a shotgun from under the till, and points it at Lennox. Realizing how ridiculous the situation is becoming, Lennox holsters his sidearm, and starts complimenting the clerk, flattering her and all that. We then see him leaving with the walkie-talkies.

And that's all that's been added to the IMAX version.

And I will tell you this. I found an Easter egg on the DVD. When you watch Transformers on DVD, be sure to watch it to the very end of the end credits. For, at the end of the credits, a menu screen pops up with three options. You can watch:

- the teaser trailer, where Bumblebee smashes the hell out of the Mars probe

- "Autobots Roll Out," which is essentially a car commercial for the Autobots

And, the one that made me giggle with glee...

- The Iron Man trailer!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DVD Day!

Ah, Tuesday! New DVDs are out today! Let's see...what would I be blowing my paycheque on if there were a DVD emporium in Athabasca?

The big one out today is Transformers. As is the case these days, it's available in a single-disc, movie-only version, and a 2-disc special edition. The 2-disc special edition has a running commentary with director Michael Bay, and all the usual acoutremonts like featurettes detailing the making of the film, galleries of concept art, and the trailers and all that.

There's a second big one out today. That would be the 2-disc special edition of Grindhouse presents: Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated. This is, of course, the Robert Rodriguiz contribution to the Grindhouse double-feature. More crazy zombie action! For bonus features, you've got running commentary with director Robert Rodriguiz, a slew of featurettes about the making of the film, and, of course, all those missing scenes are back in the film!

Of course, Rodriguiz has cooked up some special bonus features. There's the "audience reaction track." This is audio captured from a screening of the film, so you hear all the screams and laughs that you would have heard in the theatre. There's one of Rodriguiz's trademark "10 minute film school" featurettes, where he shows you how he makes all his films by himself and on the cheap. And, this also has the fake trailer that Rodriguiz directed for the Grindhouse double feature, Machette. To date, it's the only fake trailer on DVD!

I've often said that one of my favourite aspects of DVD is how dead TV shows get resurrected in a "complete series" boxed set. And today, we get Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The Complete Series.

You may remember, this time last year, Studio 60 was one of the most-hyped new shows. TV genius Aaron Sorkin, who gave us The West Wing, was going to take us behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-ish TV show. Many agreed that the pilot episode was brilliant, but it never found its footing, Sorkin could never figure out what the was about, it never caught on, and just kind of limped its way through its one and only season.

Anyway, I enjoyed the hell out of it, and will probably be picking this up. Sadly, the only bonus feature you get is a running commentary on that brilliant pilot by Sorkin and his director Thomas Schlamme.

And, even though this DVD doesn't come out for another month, there's something worth noting on the DVD for Live Free and Die Hard.

It was announced today that the DVD for Live Free and Die Hard will also contain the film in a specially formatted, compressed video file. What does this mean?

You can legally rip the DVD to your computer or portable video device (eg iPod). All you do is copy this specially formatted, compressed video file to the device of your choice.

20th Century Fox is hoping to do this on a lot of their future DVD releases. Die Hard 4 just happens to be the first.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Christmas in Wonderland Trailer

Here it is, folks, the most anticipated trailer of the season!

It's the trailer for Christmas in Wonderland aka that West Edmonton Mall Christmas movie!

Click here to watch it in glorious QuickTime!

Wow. From the beginning, I said that this film looked and sounded straight-to-DVD, but seeing the credits on this trailer, it's worse that straight-to-DVD. It's a big budget Canadian production!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!

Got a fresh 'n tasty episode of The Targ for you! This week, I've Episode 68: AV Cables. I tell you all about the ticket prices for the Olympics, tell you the sad, sordid tale of how I got my mother addicted to video games, and I get a phone call from the one, the only, Optimus Prime.

Go have a listen!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Superman vs. Giant Robots

So, I'm watching an opera DVD right now that I got from the library today. Yes, I know, I'm an opera guy, so why did I get it? Simple. Ever since I got my home theatre system, I'd been wanting a kick-ass concert DVD to crank up. When I was taking a book back to the library the other day, I saw a whole slew of new opera DVDs, and I was like, "Hmm...that'll do the trick." Besides, a little culture never hurt no one.

Anyway, I'm still geeking out over Superman: Doomsday. It's not perfect, but it is pretty good. A lot of it actually takes place in the Fortress of Solitude, and I like that. Everyone's so hung up with sticking with the "crystal fortress" that we see in the live-action movies, and in Superman: Doomsday, we finally get a Fortress that's the most accurate to the the comics.

There's this one scene in the Fortress where there's nothing but giant robots in the background. And, director Bruce Timm proudly points out that Superman fought each and everyone of those giant robots in a previous Superman cartoon.

Ya know, Superman vs. giant robots is something we need to see more of. Hopefully in the next movie. As Timm also points out in his running commentary, when it comes to Superman's rogues gallery, Lex Luthor seems to be the only one that counts to the folks in the mainstream. So, come on! Let's have Lex Luthor unleash a giant robot on Superman.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Let's Go to the Olympics!

The Winter Sports Museum in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The ski jumps in the middle were built and used for the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. The building on the right is Sapporo's winter sports museum...a museum dedicated to winter sports, with an emphasis on the 1972 Olympics.

Well, I've been waiting for this day for a long time. The 2010 Vancouver Olympic organizing committee has announced ticket prices.

I've been wanting to go to the Vancouver Olympics since it was announced Vancouver was getting them. I've always suspected that the ticket prices would take up the majority of my budget for this trip, and it looks like it's confirmed.

As expected, the most expensive event is going to be the Opening Ceremonies. $1100 for front row seats. The cheap seats are "only" $175.

Let's go to our national pastime...hockey! For men's hockey, primo seats at the gold medal game will run $775...the cheap seats are $350. For women's hockey, front row seats at the gold medal game will cost $325, and the cheap seats are $125. Wow, whatever happened to equal pay for equal work?

Canada's other national pastime is curling. There's only one kind of seat available for the gold medal curling game, and it costs $125.

Tickets are a little more reasonable for the events that don't get much TV coverage. For example, here's something you don't know about me. I love to watch ski jumping. $210 for the good seats, $120 for cheap seats.

Tickets go on sale in exactly one year...October 11, 2008. Actually, they're going to sell tickets in three phases. Phase I goes on sale in one year.

So, yeah. I now have some idea of how much it's going to cost me. I know for darn sure that I won't be able to save up that much on a news hound's salary...looks like I'm maxing out the credit card! Which is good, because come 2009, I'll finally be able to declare bankruptcy to wipe out my student loan debt. I'll hold out until 2010 and wipe out the Olympic debt, too!

And, things still kind of hinge on my best friend still living in Vancouver come 2010. If I can't crash at his place, accomidations shoots up to my #2 expense.

I want to go so bad.

Here's the complete price list at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games website

Oh, and in other news, Family Day continues to spread across the country!

With the Ontario Liberals having taking power once again in Ontario, Premier Dalton McGuinty has said that he's following through on one of his biggest election promises.

Ontario celebrates its first Family Day this coming February.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mark's Morning News

Got a little more concerning my blog entry yesterday about the high speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary. As expected, letters are popping up in today's Edmonton Journal where the naysayers are once again poo-pooing all over it.

Take this one fellow, with his letter entitled "No Magic Bullet Train". In it, he makes the argument that high speed rail is a bad idea because certain important "facts" are being left out. Among those "facts:" OK, it'll take 80 minutes to go from Edmonton to Calgary, but factor in that that time will double once you take into accounted driving from your home to the station, and then driving from the other station to your final destination. And besides, he says, once you get to the other city, you'll have no car and no way to get around.

To that, I say, the same argument can be made for bus service between Edmonton and Calgary...the same can be said for air service between Edmonton and Calgary, and they ain't hurtin'!

He also works on the assumption that there'll just be one track and one train running, leading to fights between Edmonton and Calgary about who gets it first in the morning, plus lengthy delays as they turn around the train. And to that, I have to say that I'm no expert, but just about every high speed rail system in the world employs two parallel tracks and more than one train, so that argument is rendered moot.

We need more thinking like this letter right here, entitled "Thinking Big". This guy is saying that they should actually make the high speed rail link a loop, and have stops in Jasper and Banff.

Premier Ed Stelmach has described a high speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary as "inevitable." For once, I agree with the Tories.

Let's see what's going on with the new Star Trek movie.

The big news today was that Dr. Bruce Banner himself, Eric Bana, has just signed on to play the villain! The villain this time out is a Romulan general named Nero.

For those not in the loop, the plot right now seems to be a Star Trek version of The Terminator. A group of Romulan soldiers - led by Nero - find themselves zapped back in time to the early 23rd Century. They figure that the best service they can do to the Empire in this era is assasinate the young Captain James T. Kirk, who is merely Cadet Kirk. In order to preserve the timeline, none other than Spock (once again played by Leonard Nimoy) follows the Romulans back in time, and Spock teams up with his younger self (played by Zachary Quinto, Sylar on Heroes) to stop the Romulans and save the future.

Christmas Day 2008, and I'm still not feeling it.

And the award for stupidist unintentional pun goes to...Lindsay Lohan!

Lohan was recently released from rehab. In her first interview about it, Lohan described rehab as "a sobering experience."

don't believe me? Here's the article.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Build it Already!!

Some times, an idea comes along that's such a good idea that you wonder why they haven't done it yet.

there was an article in yesterday's Edmonton Journal called Albertans Jump on Bullet Train Bandwagon. Long story short: 70% of Albertans saying building a high speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary is a good idea, and that they would ride it. Even more, 67% of those surveyed said the government should pay for it!

For as long as I can remember, they've been talking about building a high speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary whenever the economy is doing good. Since the economy has been doing good for a long time, and rail travel has all kinds of environmentally friendly benefits, it's an idea that's finally picking up steam.

The government commissioned a feasability study a few months back, and it came back saying it was indeed feasable. A company has already been formed called Alberta High Speed Rail Inc. has been formed with the idea of putting it together someday. Their proposal would be for a bullet train that would get you from downtown Edmonton to downtown Calgary - with a brief stop in Red Deer - in 84 minutes.

A lot of people are for it. Premier Ed Stelmach is behind it, wisely pointing out that such a train would get around 25% of the cars off of Highway 2. Not only does that mean less carbon emissions, but also save loads in road maintenance.

There are the naysayer. The Alberta Taxpayers Federation says that air travel between Edmonton and Calgary isn't subsidized, so why does the government have to subsidize rail travel? Edmonton's mayor Stephen Mandel is also against it, using the old "it's money that can be better spent elsewhere" argument. (Estimates say it's going to cost anywhere between $3 and $15 billion to build.)

My favourite anti-high speed rail argument is always "it'll mean the death of Edmonton's airport." The argument goes like this. Most airlines in Western Canada already use Calgary as their hub. With the high speed rail link in place, airlines will start putting people on the train to Edmonton rather than fly them in. Give it enough time, and the Edmonton International Airport will be rendered redundant, as everyone coming to Alberta lands in Calgary. I also see that argument as being the biggest load of BS.

That's the one thing that startles me about this survey. They say it'll cost between $3 and $15 billion to build. 67% of Albertans say the government should pay for it. For the longest time, though, the Government has been saying that this'll be one of those much-vaunted public private partnerships. For those who don't know, a public private partnership pretty much means that the government and a private company go halfsies.

But dude, I just can't help but think that a high speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary is a good idea. Hell, I keep saying, "Why stop in Calgary? What's so wrong with extending it just a little farther south to Lethbridge?"

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Another thing I wanted to do for a long time.

Here's something else I wanted to put online for a long time, and when I was talking about it on the air the other day, I figured I should finally do it when I came home for Thanksgiving.

The only fan letter I ever wrote was to Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's. I love Wendy's hamburgers, and I always wanted to know why their hamburgers were square.

So I figured I would ask the man himself.

Well, I wrote him my letter, and lo and behold, he wrote me back! He told me that Wendy's hamburgers are square because they don't "cut corners."

I wanted to post his letter online for the longest time, and I finally did, thanks to Facebook and their photo galleries.

Go see the letter, and everything else Dave Thomas sent me!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Something I've Wanted to Do For a long time

So, I'm back home in Entwistle for Thanksgiving. And, while here, I did something I wanted to do for a long time.

I brought along my digital camera, and took photos of my action figure collection, so I can share!

The whole gallery is over in Facebook, but here's some highlights of the highlights.

Ah, Princess Leia in the gold bikini. Getting this one was the end of a year-long hunt...some would say, obsession.

Everyone's favourite expanded universe mercenary, Dash Rendar. It's fun reading about Shadows of the Empire and how it came to be. Lucasfilm wanted to know if there was money in the burgoning Expanded Universe. So the experiment they hatched was releasing a whole slew of movie merchandise...without a movie. We got a novelization, toys, a hit video game, even a soundtrack album...but no movie. And that was the whole point of Shadows of the Empire.

The Bride and Go Go from Kill Bill.

The ultra-rare Marvel Legends Dark Phoenix. I crapped my pants when I spotted this on the shelves at Wal-Mart.

That's also when I stopped buying action figure price guides. I realized that the only reason why I got this, and crapped my pants over it, was because the price guides were telling me how rare and priceless it was. Once I changed pants, I threw out the price guides and stopped buying the hype. I much more relaxed and clean-pantsed collector now.

Here's the whole gallery at Facebook

Friday, October 05, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!

Got this week's episode of The Targ up!

This week, it's episode 67: Back to the Grind. I'm all out of captured audio from my vacation, so it's no more "live on location" shows for now. Yup, I'm just back to doing shows that I always do. I play some Pokemon themes, talk about Tim Hortons, and make a foolish purchase.

Give it a listen!

Now, you're probably thinking, "Whoa, dude! It's just Friday! I thought you put these up on Sunday!" Well, it's like this. It's Thanksgiving! I'm taking off! Heading home! So I'm getting it up early.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Superman Doomsday - My Review

So I finally had a chance to sit down and watch Superman: Doomsday. I went into Edmonton on Sunday with the explicit purpose of buying it, but lo and behold, every where I went was sold out! So I came home Sunday night, bought it online, and it arrived yesterday afternoon.

I've been blogging about this for pretty much a year, so I'll just give you a quick re-cap. Warner Brothers and DC Comics decided to get into this straight-to-video animated film market pretty hardcore, and decided to pump out a series of straight-to-video animated films based on some classic DC Comics story lines. They are to be PG-13 rated, and be a little more grown-up than the Batman and Superman cartoons of the past. The first one out of the gate: Superman: Doomsday, based on the now-legendary The Death and Return of Superman story line.

Let's do this like how I do most of my movie reviews, shall we?

Superman: Doomsday

Directed by Bruce Timm, Lauren Montgomery, and Brandon Vietti

Starring the voices of Adam Baldwin, Anne Heche, James Marsters, Tom Kenny, John diMaggio, Swoozie Kurtz, Cree Summer, Ray Wise, Adam Wylie and special guest star Kevin Smith as "the grumpy man."

Backstory: Well, I pretty much covered this all up above, so let's keep going.

Plot: A LexCorp expedition unearths Doomsday, a near-indestructable, soulless killing machine. Superman goes out to stop this monster, but the only way he can do it is with his own life. The world grieves and tries to move on in a world without Superman. But then, a being claiming to be Superman turns up. He looks like Superman, acts like Superman, but...he's different. And when things go horribly wrong, the world holds its breath and hopes that the real Superman will return.

What I Liked: I've got to give it up to Adam Baldwin. When I heard that he'd be taking on the voice of Superman, I didn't think he could pull it off, but he did it spectacularly. Of course, there's some pretty spectacular action sequences. And Lex Luthor is portrayed pretty good to, especially in the way he slowly unravels because HE didn't get to kill Superman. And Kevin Smith's cameo is nerd-tacular.

What I Didn't Like: No more animated films for you, Anne Heche! You are a not-very-good Lois Lane. And what's with the extra lines on Superman's face? He looks so...old. And of course, quite a bit had to be clipped out in order to get it down to a 75-minute film.

The Final Verdict: Actually, how they decided to adapt this to the small screen really reminded of a Batman story line called Knightfall, which some consider the Batman knock-off of The Death and Return of Superman. Sadly, I was expecting something "bang, zoom, spectacular!" but it doesn't quite get there. It's just merely OK.

2.5 Nibs

DVD Bonus Material: I'm just starting to pour through the bonus material. There's a running commentary by director Bruce Timm, writer Duane Capizzi, voice director Andrea Romano, and producer Gregory Noveck; a documentary about the original story line and its impact on the comic book world; a featurette with interviews of the voice cast; a trailer for Justice League: The New Frontier (which will be PG-13 rated, straight-to-video movie #2) and an interactive game.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A New Wallace and Grommit!

Here's some morning movie news that's making me smile.

Yesterday, legendary British animator Nick Park announced that he's making a new Wallace and Grommit short film!

The new film will be called Trouble at Mill, and follow Wallace and Grommit's misadventures as they open up a bakery. Wallace also gets a new honey by the name of Piella. Park says they start animating in January, and it should be ready for viewing by the end of 2008.

This will be the fourth Wallace and Grommit short film. Their last outing was the full-length feature Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which was adored by critics, won the Oscar for best animated film, but bombed. The three short films are A Grand Day Out, A Close Shave and The Wrong Trousers. The last two both won best animated short film Oscars.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

How Much Do You Love Me?

Well, one of the DVDs that geeks all over have been drooling over comes out today.

To commemerate the 20th anniversary of The Next Generation, Paramount has released Star Trek: The Next Generation - the Complete Series. This massive, 49-disc set contains every episode of TNG ever made.

But, what has the geeks drooling is disc #49, which is a brand-new disc of bonus materials produced just for the 20th anniversary celebrations. Other than that, discs 1-48 are pretty much recycled from the original season-by-season boxed sets.

Most online retailers have it listed for between $400-$500, so, you know, if you really really like me and want to get me a present....

I'm still having trouble grasping the fact that TNG has hit 20. But I do have to agree with some of the other critics...those early episodes are starting get a tad dated.

Monday, October 01, 2007


My God, does Frank Welker need the money or something? He's been all over Robot Chicken since about halfway though season 2!

Not that I'm complaining. it's great to see him voicing Soundwave and Megatron again.