Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Hate My Job/I Love My Job

I Hate My Job: Woke up this morning, and in the -40 weather, my car wouldn't start. Since my job demands I be up at 4AM, there's really no one awake or open that I could call for a boost. So, I slipped the longjohns on and walked to work in the -40 weather.

I Love My Job: However, I'm sure I'm making a lot of 8-year-olds day by getting on the radio and announcing school closure after school closure.

And hey, here's something that almost slipped my attention. Yesterday was officiall the 50th anniversary of Lego.

Monday, January 28, 2008

He Who's Tired of Weird Al is Tired of Life

For those who missed it, here's "Weird Al" Yankovic's triumphant second guest appearance on The Simpsons:

Yes, last night's episode entitled That 90's Show was one of their best ones in a long time. Having gone to college in the 1990s, I can tell you that was a fairly accurate depiction of 1990s college life. "Why, lighthouses are nothing but giant penises, built to rape Mother Sky." Didn't have that professor myself, but I heard stories about him.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cloverfield Review Up!

That heading says it all.

Go read it!

Latest Targ's Up!

Got a new episode of The Targ up!

This week, it's Episode 83: Meh. The title kind of sums up my feelings towards this episode. Didn't really have much to say, so I kinda phoned it it.

"Phoning it in" means I rant about the title of the new James Bond film, predict which film will win the Best Animated Film Oscar, and geek out over a film composer named Michael Giacchino.

Listen if you dare!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Back from the city! If there's one thing I love about living so far away from the city, it's that every time you go into the city, it's kind of special.

My top priority today was to spend the last Christmas gift card. So I went to Best Buy, plopped down my gift card, and bought a slew of new DVDs. I got:

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Yeah, it's kinda crappy, but I'm sucker for all that Marvel movie stuff. Besides, I'm one of the few who actually liked it. So many superhero movies have the heroes struggling under the burden of their powers and being heroic...it's nice to see superheroes that like their jobs!

The Simpsons Movie - I find the Simpsons Movie to be good and all, but still kind of disappointing. Nothing really movie-worthy about it.

And, of course

Family Guy presents Blue Harvest - The Family Guy/Star Wars spoof! I couldn't figure out if I wanted to get the regular version or the special edition...so of course I got the special edition. The only difference is the special edition has a box full of swag. Kinda reluctant to open up the T-shirt...to do so, would kind of wreck the fancy box.

Hit the movies as well...saw the giant monster movie everyone's talking about, Cloverfield. It was really pretty good. It suffers from the same problem as a lot of giant monster movies. And that is, when the giant monster isn't on screen (or, in Cloverfield's case, being a vague shape for our heroes to run from) it gets really slow. It's a solid three nibs. As always, a full review will be on my official site in the next couple of days.

But I will say this. Stay to the end of the end credits. Not because of the cool thing at the end of the end credits, but because of the music. My God, there's a spectacular piece of music playing over the end credits! It's like the perfect Godzilla rip-off music! According to the Internet, it's called "Roar! (Cloverfield Overture)", and it's composed by Michael Giacchino. Too bad it's the only piece of music in the film, so there'll probably never be a soundtrack album.

And then, you know, as I was leaving the mall, I had one of those "Whoa, cool," moments. You know how you see the same thing every day for years on end, but then one day, you notice one of the finer details, and it kinds of throws you for a loop?

Had one of those moments leaving the mall. I looked out one of their many skylights and saw...a chimney. There's chimneys on the roof of West Edmonton Mall.

Of course, I'm sure they've always been there. That mall's gotta stay warm some how, so it has to have a hell of a furnace. But still, never seen one. But today it did, and caught me off guard.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Toy Story Goes 3D

Here's another bit of cool movie news that was announced today.

Disney is going to be releasing the Toy Story trilogy in 3D!

Yup, they're going back into their archives, digging out all their original files, and converting the films to 3D. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 director John Lasseter will be personally supervising the 3D remixing and re-mastering, and Toy Story 3 will be done similar by its director, Lee Unkrich.

Toy Story will get its 3D re-release on October 2, 2009.

the 3D Toy Story 2 hits theatres on February 12, 2010.

And Toy Story 3 will get its release in both regular AND 3D theatres on June 18, 2010.

Next James Bond Title/Cloverfield Monster Toys

The fun thing about working so early in the morning on the news desk is sometimes, really cool news gets to you before anyone else.

This morning, it was announced what they're calling the next James Bond film.

The name of the next James Bond film is....

Quantum of Solace

Filming is still underway, and it should be out in November of this year. Unlike previous Bond sequels, this one looks to be a direct sequel to Casino Roayle. In it, Bond goes hunting down the terrorist organization that blackmailed his true love Vesper Lynd into betraying him.

And for those still wondering what the Cloverfield monster looks like, you'll soon be able to find out at your local Toys R Us.

A couple days ago, Hasbro announced that they'll be putting out a Cloverfield monster action figure. This toy recration of "Clover" will stand at 14" tall and boast 70 points of articulation. He comes with two interchangable heads, a sound chip so he can roar, 10 of those little parasite monsters that fall off its back, and the head of the Statue of Liberty, so you can re-create that classic trailer shot.

Sadly, Hasbro hasn't gotten permission from the filmmakers to spoil the monster's design yet, so Hasbro can't release any pictures of this toy!

And it's available exclusivly at Hasbro's online store, Hasbro Toy Shop.com. It runs $100.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oscar Nominations Announced!

The best thing about working the morning shift on the news desk is that you're the first to hear the Oscar nominations!

As always, let's look to the category that I've been able to successfully predict ever since it's inception...Best Animated Film! The nominees are:

No question, the winner is going to be Ratatouille. I mean, seriously, it's the best reviewed film of 2007. Nothing can compete with that!

And, there's some notable Canadian notes in the nominations. Halifax native Ellen Page nabbed a Best Acress Nomination for her role in the quirky teen pregnancy comedy Juno. But of course, my fellow nerds still best remember her as Kitty Pryde in X-Men 3.

And former Road to Avonlea star and now indie film queen Sarah Polley picked up a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for her tearjerker Away from Her. For those who haven't heard of it, Away from Her is about an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer's who forgets her husband and falls in love with another man. It was Polley's first film as both writer AND director. (Actually, her first film as either writer OR director.) Away from Her's star, Julie Christie, also got a Best Actress nomination.

The ceremony is on February 24. Depending on the outcome of the writer's strike, it might turn out to be a glorified press conference.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The First Star Trek Trailer!

It's finally online!

The first trailer for the new Star Trek film is now online and ready for your viewing pleasure!

Click here to go and see it in all its hi-def glory!

Of course, if you're like me, you've probably already watched the pirated version a couple of dozen times over the weekend. If you were one of the gazillion people who went to see Cloverfield, then you probably saw it on the big screen.

Oh, and as is the trend these days, they've also launched a viral website to promote the film. Entering the URL ncc-1701.com will take you to "security cam" footage of the Enterprise under construction.

And in other trailer news, the first trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will finally debut on Valentine's Day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Latest Targ's Up

It's that time of the week again! A new episode of U62: The Targ!

This week, it's Episode 82: What Would Optimus Prime Do?. I tell you how Facebook is like high school, that Star Trek broke my heart, and consider the paradox of Wonder Woman.

Listen here. Listen now.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Star Trek Update

Let's be honest...Star Trek is probably the closest thing I've had to a girlfriend. Our love was young and new with The Next Generation...our relationship reached new depths of maturity with Deep Space Nine, but then with Voyager, I could tell that she was getting bored and just going through the paces, leading to the long, messy break-up that was Enterprise.

And now, with the new movie currently filming, it's like she's banging on my door, going, "C'mon! We were good together! Give it one more chance!" And I'm trying to ignore her and call the cops.

Her latest ploy is the first picture from the new film, which hit ye olde Internet today:

She's using little tricks like this to try and get me back, but you know what? Still not interested.

Let's do a quick re-cap of who all's responsible for this little re-boot. The director is J.J. Abrams, who created the cult classic TV show Alias, co-created the cult classic Lost, and made his feature film debut a couple years back with Mission: Impossible III. Those who wrote the script are Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who wrote last summer's mega-hit Transformers.

For the cast, we've got:

Chris Pine as the young James T. Kirk. Pine was one of the many Prince Charmings in Princess Diaries 2 and was the object of Lindsey Lohan's eye in Just My Luck.

Zachary Quinto is the young Spock. Quinto is still best known as the psycho killer Sylar on Heroes.

Karl Urban as the young Leonard "Bones" McCoy. Urban was Eomer in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Simon Pegg is the young Montgomery "Scotty" Scott. Pegg is the British comedic actor best known for his starring roles in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Anton Yelchin is the young Pavel Chekov. Yelchin's done a string of indie films and TV guest spots.

Zoe Saldana is the young Nyota Uhura. Saldan was the pirate Anamaria in Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl

And John Cho is the young Hikaru Sulu. Cho is still best-known as Harold in the Harold and Kumar movies.

The villain of our piece is a Romulan general named Nero, played by really amazing and super-cool actor Eric Bana.

Notable actors in supporting roles include:

  • Canadian character actor Bruce Greenwood as Captain Christopher Pike (the guy who commanded the Enterprise before Kirk)
  • Tyler Perry, writer/director/star of all those films about African-American families, as the head of Starfleet Academy
  • Jennifer Morrison, best known as Dr. Cameron on House, as Winona Kirk, aka Kirk's mama
  • And Wynona Ryder as Amanda Grayson, aka Spock's mama

It all comes out Christmas Day, 2008. The first trailer is going to be in front of the much-hyped Cloverfield, coming out tomorrow, and officially online and available for download on Monday.

And as much as I'd like to keep telling her it's over, I just know that, on Christmas Day 2008, we'll probably be back together, for just one more day, remembering the good time.

But it's over. I mean it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Am Legend Review is Up


I saw I Am Legend on the weekend!

I got my review up over at the main page.

Its New DVD Day!

Did you know a Dragonlance straight-to-DVD animated movie comes out today? Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight features such celebrity voices as Keifer Sutherland and Lucy Lawless, and veteran voice actors like Jason Marsden, Phil LaMarr, and Michael Rosenbaum. It is, of course, based on the very first Dragonlance novel.

Never read any Dragonlance books myself...I just remember in junior high and high school, when most of my friends started getting into Dungeons and Dragons and all that, they started devouring them. As you know, role playing games are a facet of geek culture I could never get into. Yup, as my friends read their Dragonlance novels, I swore I would never be as nerdy as then, and bury my nose back in Imazadi.

But I digress.

Of course, for all the nerds out there, the big DVD release today is Family Guy presents Blue Harvest. Family Guy's season premiere - an hour-long episode spoofing Star Wars - gets its own special edition DVD. For bonus materials, you get the animatic, a running commentary by Family Guy's creators and animators, and an interview with George Lucas. There's also a speical edition version, which includes some of the fight scenes rendered in 3D, and 3D glasses. Plus, that special edition is in a box full of swag, including a T-shirt, a letter from creator Seth McFarlane, and a booklet The Art of Blue Harvest.

Looking ahead now to future DVD releases. I'm reading all kinds of news stories about how 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the Smurfs. And that got me to thinking, "Hey! How come The Smurfs and the Magic Flute never got released on DVD?" Well, I did a quick search, and if Amazon.ca is to be believed, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute finally comes out on March 18.

And hey! Keri Russel is playing Wonder Woman...in an upcoming straight-to-DVD animated film.

Yup, because of the popularity of Superman Doomsday and next month's release of Justice League: The New Frontier, Bruce Timm and his gang have gotten the go-ahead to make yet another DC universe straight-to-DVD film. They've chosen Wonder Woman as the subject.

It's most likely to be based on Wonder Woman's origin story, and will be out in about a year or so.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Latest Targ's Up!

It's just not Sunday morning without watching Switchback, going to church, having some waffles at Smitty's, and downloading a new episode of U62: The Targ!

This week, it's Episode 81: 92. I do some complaining about Best Buy, obsess over the two Daxes, share a tale of an experience I had one involving live-action role playing, and tell you all about Weird Al's return to The Simpsons!

So, head on over to the Targ's official website and give it a listen!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Still Love Politics

Got a few more things on yesterday's little rant about the whole edstelmach.ca controversy.

In today's Edmonton Journal, Premier Ed Stelmach finally releases a statement. Essentially, he's going to fight to protect his name.

However, ol' Daveberta.ca had a brief comeuppance yesterday. Some noticed that the domain "daveberta.com" was still up for grabs, so they registered it, and directed it to the Wikipedia entry for weasels. That only lasted for a few hours...daveberta.com now points to a domain parking service.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I ♥ Politics

This is a story that's currently taking Alberta by storm. I have nothing to contribute, but I have to share.

It's the story of Dave Cournoyer. Dave runs a blog called Daveberta, in which he offers his thoughts on the Conservative government here in Alberta. Now, Cournoyer used to work for the Alberta Liberal party, so his blog has a very strong pro-Liberal/anti-Conservative stance.

Back in April of 2007, Cournoyer registered the domain name "edstelmach.ca," and pointed it towards his blog. As we all know, Ed Stelmach is the current premier of Alberta.

Back before Christmas, Cournoyer got a letter from Stelmach's lawyers. Stelmach was demanding that he get his domain back, plus the funds from the Google ads that Cournoyer has on his blog.

Cournoyer is currently seeking legal advice of his own. But, for the time being, edstelmach.ca points to the Wikipedia entry for Harry Strom. For those who don't bother clicking and reading, Strom was the final Social Credit premier of Alberta...the man who wound up destroying the SoCred's massive majority and losing to the Progressive Conservatives. Cournoyer isn't the only one who's made the comparison.

I just find this all funny...as I'm sure most of Alberta does.

Edmonton Journal columnist Graham Thompson has a column about it in today's Journal, which is better written and sums things up better than I ever could.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


It's a rare, rare honor when a celebrity gets to make a return guest appearance on The Simpsons. And now, joining that small fraternity is none other than my hero..."Weird Al" Yankovic.

At the start of the TV season, it was revealed that Weird Al would be making a second appearance on The Simpsons. And today, the official "Weird Al" Yankovic website reports that the second Weird Al episode is on January 27!

According to Wikipedia, the episode is called That 90's Show. In it, we finally find out why Homer never reunited with the B-Sharps and conquered the music world. The plot: we flashback to the early 1990s. We find out that Homer gave up music so Marge could go to university. However, when Marge starts falling for one of her professors, Homer returns to music and starts a rock band called Sadgasm. The end result? Home invents grunge music.

Just like when I first heard the premise of the first Weird Al episode, Three Gays of the Condo, I'm left scratching my head wondering, "How does Weird Al fit into this?" To fit with the invention of grunge music theme, will we get a little of Smells Like Nirvana?

Find out on January 27!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday Musings

Saw a joke on last night's episode of The Simpsons that I think I'm going to duplicate in the next federal and/or provincial election.

I'm going to get a special lawn sign made up that says "Undecided" and put that up on my lawn.

Besides, my standard bit of "get a lawn sign for every candidate and put all of them on my lawn" is getting stale.

And here's today's random bit of trivia for you.

The 1997 re-make of Frogger was the final video game released for both the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. They came out 10 years ago this month.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Latest Targ's Up!

Got a new episode of U62: The Targ up!

I was hit with a twinge of melancholy today, hence this week's episode Episode 80: The Depressed Philosopher. I get off on a philosophical bent, share a New Years Resolution, and talk about a new Law & Order.

Give it a listen!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Ski Jumping: No Girls Allowed

I saw this on the 6 o'clock news this evening, and it caught my eye.

Did you know that women's ski jumping is NOT an Olympic sport? it's just one of those things that I always assumed it was. But it's not. If you're a woman, and you kick ass at the ski jump, you cannot win an Olympic medal for it.

the International Olympic Committee officially rejected it as an Olympic sport back in 2006. Their arguments were that there's not very many atheletes in it, and that it really hasn't spread to a lot of countries yet. Current statistics say that there are more female atheletes in ski jumping than in any other women's sport.

Needless to say, it's not just the women ski jumpers who are getting pissed off. The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, whom we all know as VANOC, is supportive of allowing it into the games. Daivd Emmerson, our minister in charge of the Olympics, has gone on record as saying it's disappointing that they don't allow it. but in the biggest move, a group of female ski jumpers actually filed a human rights complaint against the International Olympic Committee...they say that the IOC not making women's ski jumping an Olympic sport amounts to sexual discrimination. The Human Rights Commission is expected to hand down their ruling very soon.

For a sport to qualify as an Olympic event, it has to be approved 3 years before the games. So, it looks life women's ski jumping at Vancouver 2010 may have missed the boat. But, there are some who are optimistic that some kind of special consideration can be made and it'll be added at the last minute. If not, the fight continues to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Too bad the Olympics don't do demonstration sports anymore...making it a demonstration sport for 2010 would have been, at the very least, a goodwill gesture.

I wish I had some profound insights to share, but I don't. I've always had a soft spot for ski jumping...watching the Olympics on TV when I was a kid, the image of the skiiers taking flight is one that always stands out in my mind. When I do get to Vancouver for the 2010 games, I do hope to take in some ski jumping, and not just because it's one of the cheaper tickets.

C'mon. Let the women play. It just makes sense.

Here's the complete news article over at the CBC.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Law and Order International

I find this rather interesting. Dick Wolf Productions, the company that makes the Law and Order franchise, and the British television network ITV, have just signed a deal to do an official British remake of Law & Order. This new series has a working title of Law & Order: London. They've already ordered 13 episodes for a first series, and what they're going to do is take some of the better scripts from Law & Order's 18 seasons and just tweak them to fit with the British legal system.

This isn't the first time they've done this with the Law & Order franchise. France has an official French remake of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which is apparently a runaway hit in France. And Russia even has official remakes of both Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit, both incredibly popular. Apparently, they're even considering doing an international crossover between the American and French Criminal Intents.

Of course, the British version made headlines because, with the explosion of digital cable channels, and more and more of them padding their line-ups with English programing from overseas, there's a very real chance we'll be watching on Law & Order: London on some digital cable channel some day.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Reflections on Augustana

Leafing through today's Edmonton Journal, and they have a little write-up saying that the Augustana University Choir has a new album out. I'm sorry...it's the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta now, but it'll always be Augustana University to me!

Actually, this new album was a connection to my new home town of Athabasca...a portion of it was recorded at the Athabasca United Church. I think I've blogged about this in the past. The Athabasca United Church is the largest church in Alberta...when you add a long string of qualifiers. When you add the qualifiers, it's the largest wooden church in northern Alberta in a gothic architectural style. And according to Augustana's Dean, it's got great acoustics.

I traded e-mail with the Dean a few months back...I spied him at my sister's graduation from Red Deer College, but I didn't get a chance to go over and say hello, so I e-mailed him a few days later to say hello, and he said, "Yeah, I was in Athabasca not too long ago..the choir was laying down some tracks in your church." Of course, then, I was a little miffed. I wish he said something, so I could have gotten the Augustana Choir into our little radio station to perform live on the air.

I remember back at CLCR - Augustana's college station - that was always one of the things I wanted to do on my radio show. Around Chrismtas time, I wanted to have the Choir on the show to sing some Christmas carrols. Of course, everyone looked at me like I was nuts. "But the station is so small! You'd never get them all in here!" to which I replied that the chapel wasn't too far from the station, so let's just get some really long extension cords to run down to the chapel. They still looked at me like I was nuts.

That's still one of goals in radio: have the entire Augustana Choir performing live some day.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Reflections on my New Years Tradition

First and foremost, I've got that promised review of Sweeny Todd up. Head on over to the main page to check it out!

So, I just finished my completely arbitrary and made-up New Years tradition. I watched Titanic. What can I say? Around three or four years ago, I found myself home alone on New Years Day. Bored out of my mind, I pulled it out of my home video library and watched it. And, as the VHS was rewinding, I thought to myself, "Hey! I should turn this into an arbitrary and made-up New Years tradition!" And I did.

But yeah, the fun thing about having the super-special edition DVD is, after the film, I go into the bonus features and watch the original ending. I'm sure I've blogged about this in the past.

In the original ending, what happens is our present day treasure hunter Brock Lovett, played by Bill Paxton, catches Old Rose as she's about to toss the diamond into the ocean. As Brock pleads for the diamond, Old Rose gives him a speech about how money isn't everything, and he should live life to the fullest, cuz if he doesn't he'll wind up like that dastardly Cal. Old Rose then tosses the diamond into the ocean, Brock is able to let it go, and he starts putting the moves on Rose's granddaughter.

In the deleted scene's running commentary, director James Cameron explains why he cut it. Firstly, he thought that, after the three hour epic, people got the message, and that Old Rose's speech was kind of preachy. Secondly, in test screenings, he found that, by the end of the film, the audience had become so invested in the Jack and Rose romance that people just didn't care about Brock and his search for the diamond anymore. But I was one of those people who still cared about Brock's search, so the alternate ending provides me with the closure I need.

Actually, this reminds me. If I ever head out to Halifax, I'm going to have to see Jack Dawson's grave. You've heard this story, right? Just outside of Halifax is a cemetery where all the unclaimed bodies of Titanic's victims were buried. One of the headstones is labeled "J. Dawson." Many fans of the film (who can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy) think that it's the grave of Jack Dawson - the character that Leonardo diCaprio played. As we all know, there was no Jack Dawson. Historians say that the "J. Dawson" is most likely Joseph Dawson, who shoveled coal in the engine room. But still, that doesn't stop lovestruck young women from leaving flowers, gifts, and even their undergarments, on J. Dawson's grave. As the cemetery's caretaker once commented to the press, "Poor bugger's probably doing better in death than he ever did in life." James Cameron even briefly mentions this in Titanic's running commentary, saying that he'd never heard of the guy.

After watching Titanic, I felt compelled to watch Apollo 13. I always felt that Titanic and Apollo 13 share similar themes. I mean, both are about mighty vessels that were considered to be unsinkable, only to run into unprecidented disasters. Hell, James Horner's scores for each film are strikingly similar.

But I don't have Apollo 13 on DVD, and my VHS copy is still home in Entwistle. I don't know why I don't own it on DVD yet. It was released in a very nice, 2-disc 10th anniversary edition a few years back...I could probably fish it out of a discount bin now.

I'm dwelling on this now. I'm going over my VHS collection in my mind and my DVDs...there's probably three films in my collection that I haven't bought on DVD yet: Apollo 13, The X-Files Movie, and the American Godzilla. When I first got my DVD player, I swore that I would not buy movies a second time, unless the DVD has enough bonus features that it demands me buying it again. I still use the same rule when it comes to the DVD double dip.

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow

Happy New Year.