Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Athabasca Community Centre

I was out for a walk the other day, when I saw the demolition notice on the Athabasca Community Centre, so I thought I should grab some pictures while I had the chance.

The Athabasca Community Centre was Athabasca's community hall, event-holding-place, and town gathering point for God knows how long. And, it's because of that age why it's about to go.

The Athabasca Regional Multiplex was built to be its replacement. The Multiplex opened one year ago, and the Community Centre has sat empty ever since.

With historical preservation being such a large part of Athabasca's identity, I'm surprised there was no movement afoot to preserve it...turn it into an interpretive centre or something like that. I remember one town councillor informally suggested retrofitting it into an office building and donating it to the overcrowded Athabasca University, but that idea never got off the ground.

Just yesterday I discovered that it was sold to Buy Low Foods -- the town's independent grocery store -- and that Buy Low intends to build a new store on this spot.

The Community Centre had two levels. Each one was fully outfitted with kitchen and saw many banquets, dances, and ceremonies in its day.

I covered a lot of events there in my two years of reporting. It's going to leave quite an empty hole in Athabasca's downtown landscape.

More pictures on Facebook

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nick Fury Forever / More Remake BS

Good news for all those who think Samuel L. Jackson was born to play Nick Fury!

Jackson just signed a deal with Marvel Studios to play Fury in NINE films!

Of course, those nine films include Marvel's next four films (Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers), sequels to those films, and a possible Nick Fury solo film.

In recent article about the Oscars, my hero, Kevin Smith, said that by 2019, Hollywood will have remade everything.

Here's the latest remake BS.

Today, it was announced that they're doing a remake of the Arnold Schwarznegger classic Total Recall!

They tell us the remake is going to be more contemporary, with state-of-the-art CGI effects.

This...is not needed. I have fond memories of Total Recall. It's one of the most over-the-top, ridiculous action films ever made. Much like when I blogged about Adventures in Babysitting a few days ago, I always see it in the discount bin, but I never have the $5 to buy it.

But that's not all! Remakes are the big thing right now...so are fantasy films, thanks to Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. So it was just a matter of time until they started remaking fantasy films.

They're also remaking The NeverEnding Story.

They promise us that the new movie version will be much more faithful to the original novel.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Board Game Movies / Family Guy Star Trek

Wow. I can't believe how this is moving forward.

Around a year ago, it was announced that Hasbro signed a massive deal with Universal Pictures. The deal? Universal was going to produce movies based on Hasbro's extensive library of board games.

Right away, it was announced that Ridley Scott, he who gave us Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator would be doing the movie verion of Monopoly. Michael Bay, of the Transformers films, expressed an interest in doing a film based on the Ouiji Board. A month ago, it was announced that Kevin Lima, who gave us the hit Disney comedy Enchanted would be doing Candy Land.

And today, it was announced that Gore Verebinski, who gave us the Pirates of the Carribean trilogy and the American remake of The Ring, is going to be doing the movie version of...Clue.

The crazy thing is this is the second time Clue has been turned into a movie. The first movie version came out in 1985, and was presented as a screwball comedy. It's gimmick was it had three different endings, and when you went to see it, you had no idea what ending you were going to see. This gimmick has been replicated on the DVD, where the DVD always randomly picks which ending you're going to see.

No word yet on whether this new movie version will draw anything from the original movie version. There's also no word yet on when it might be coming out.

Verebinski's next project is alledged to be a movie version of the video game BioShock.

And now, an episode of Family Guy that I've been waiting for for a long time.

March 29 will see the release of the episode Not All Dogs go to Heaven. The plot is this: Stewie gets upset when he goes to a Star Trek convention and is unable to ask his questions. His solution? He abducts the entire cast of Star Trek: the Next Generation so he can spend a day hanging out with them.

Featuring special guest voices the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation...even Wil Wheaton and Denise Crosby!

Wheaton briefly talked about recording his lines a year ago on his blog. Wheaton described the episode as "a love letter to The Next Generation."

March 29...set you DVRs.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Conan and Andy: Together Again

Geeks the world over cheered today when NBC announced that Conan O'Brien will have a sidekick when he takes over on The Tonight Show in a few months, and that sidekick will be...Andy Richter.

Actually, according to the official announcement, Richter will be The Tonight Show's announcer, but many are assuming that Richter will be an announcer/sidekick, much like Ed McMahon was to Johnny Carson.

For those not in the know, Andy Richter was Conan O'Brien's sidekick on Late Night with Conan O'Brien when the show premiered back in 1993. As the urban legend goes, Richter was originally hired just to be a writer, but when head writer Robert Smigel noticed that Conan and Andy had a natural chemistry, and that Conan was still nervous about being on the air solo, he proposed that Andy should be Conan's sidekick, and history was made.

Andy left Late Night in 2000 to pursue an acting career. I remember an interview at the time that he said it was his goal to become "a comedic character actor...the next Ned Beatty." Andy then went on to a wide variety of supporting roles in films, critically acclaimed guest appearances on sitcoms, and star in three failed sitcoms -- two of which qualify as "brilliant but canceled."

However, Andy always returned to Late Night every May, and was always greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd. And, on the final episode of Late Night back on Friday, Andy was officially Conan's last guest.

As I'm sure you can tell by this bio, I'm a fan, and I think this is a great, great thing.

Here's the official story.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Futurama 4 is Out!

The fourth and final Futurama DTV movie, Into the Wild Green Yonder comes out on DVD today.

In this final epic installment, the overdevelopment of Mars could lead to the end of all life in the universe, leading Fry, Leela, Bender and the gang on a quest to save all of existence.

Celebrity guest voices include Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller), Snoop Dog, and Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane.

And this might not be the end of Futurama. In a recent interview, Billy West, the voice of Fry, Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth, and dozens more, said that sales of the DVD movies have been so good, that Fox is seriously considering bringing the series back!

I'll probably pick this up next week, when I can get that other DTV epic I want to pick up, Wonder Woman.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Green Lantern Movies!

So, let's see how well this new blog template handles multiple posts in one day! I'm outta control!

So, DC Comics' latest direct-to-video (DTV) animated film, Wonder Woman, comes out next week, and along with it comes the announcement of what their next DTV gem will be. And it will be....

Green Lantern!

The plot of the film will largely be an origin story, with the best known Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, receiving his power ring, receiving his training, and then ultimately having to bring in his power-mad mentor, Sinestro.

As is the usual case with these DC Comics DTV films, we have a star-studded voice cast. The celebrities are:

Christopher Meloni as Hal Jordan. Meloni, of course, is still best known as Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Sinestro will be voiced by veteran Canadian character actor Victor Garber. Garber is still best-known to geeks the world over for playing Jennifer Garner's dad on Alias.

Kilowog, Hal Jordan's friend and fellow Green Lantern, will be voiced by veteran movie tough guy (and Quentin Tarintino regular) Michael Madsen.

And warrior woman Green Lantern Boodikka will be voiced by the pride of Donalda, Alberta, and the villanious Cylon Number Six, Tricia Helfer.

The director is Lauren Montgomery, who is quickly becoming one of the top creative forces on these DC Universe DTV films. She co-directed Superman: Doomsday, and is the director of Wonder Woman. Bruce Timm, who has overseen most DC comics animation for almost 20 years now, still holds authority as producer.

The Green Lantern DTV film is due out this summer.

Now this post is called Green Lantern movies for a good reason. It looks like Hal Jordan will also be coming to the big screen really soon.

A week or so ago, it was announced that Martin Campbell has been signed on to direct the live-action Green Lantern movie. Campbell is kind of like the franchise starter for the James Bond movies, having directed Pierce Brosnan's first film (GoldenEye) and Daniel Craig's first film (Casino Roayle). He also earned his superhero cred by directed the surprisingly good The Mask of Zorro and it's nowhere-near-as-good sequel The Legend of Zorro.

Called It!

Watching the Oscars right now...one of these years, I'll have to liveblog it.

They just gave out the award for Best Animated Film. It went to WALL-E. My streak continues! I've called it ever since the award was created. Jack Black kicked off the intro to this award with what will probably be the funniest joke of the night.

"I take all the money they pay me to do a voice in a Dreamworks film, come to the Oscars, and bet it all on Pixar." -- Black explaining to Jennifer Aniston how he gets rich doing voices in animated fims.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Latest Targ's Up!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

Well, let's start putting this new blog template through its paces by making my weekly announcement that I've got a new episode of my podcast up, U62: The Targ!

This week, it's Episode 2.22: A Whole Lotta 2's. I offer up my Oscar pics, talk about digging for gold in the discount bin, and offer up a new movie rating system!

In case you haven't figured it out yet, 9 times out of 10, all I do in the podcast is just read a week's worth of entries from this blog. So, go download it, then read along in the blog!

Click here to visit the Targ's website!

Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Just a little piece of Microsoft clipart
Blogs are for people with little to do, and even less to say - Author Unknown.

Back in 2001, I was reading this advice columnist in the Edmonton Journal by the name of Caroline Hax. The letter she received was from a young woman who went on a couple of dates with a guy, he mentioned he had a blog, she read that blog, and was now totally creeped out by that guy. Hax's advice? "Dump him immediatly. Anyone who keeps a blog is an attention-starved loser." Those are words that have haunted me in everything I do online.

I started this blog back in 2003. I was in Japan at the time, and my laptop crapped out on me. I no longer had a way to update my website. I desired a quick and easy way to maintain my online presence at public terminals, such as the Internet cafes. Back them, maintaining an online presence was very important to me.

Other friends at the time were running blogs on Blogger, so that seemed like the thing to do. And, on a warm April day at Manga Hiroba in the Kumagaya train station, I started Midnight Ramblings.

And my blog has remained largely unchanged...until today. Blogger itself has undergone several changes in the past six years, and my blog template was no longer compatible with the newest and greatest and idiot-proof features at Blogger.

So after mulling it over for a few months, today I bit the bullet and upgraded my template. Of course, I then heavily modified it to resemble the old template as much as possible.

And he we are! A new blog layout, as I'm about to start my seventh year of blogging.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Floating to the Top

This might sound weird, but I'm not a big fan of DVD discount bins.

If there's one thing I don't like about DVDs, it's how movies have been turned into a commodity. They're no longer a very complicated art form. They're just another product to be pumped out to fill store shelves. And the discount bin seems to epitomize that to a T.

However, that doesn't stop me from trolling the discount bins, in the odd chance that some super-special edition I missed out on a few years back found its way into the discount bin. In between Straight-to-DVD Comedy Part 3 and Public Domain Cartoon Collection Vol. 4, there is the odd gem that floats to the top.

And that's how I've been feeling the past few days. Ever since I moved to Athabasca, there's been this one film floating in the discount bin down at the wretched hive of scum and villainy. And recently, I started thinking, "If I see that film float to the top again, I think I'll snap it up." Today, it was at the top, and I snapped it up.

And that film is Startup.com, a critically acclaimed 2001 documentary. It chronicles the rise of a dot-com-startup called govWorks.com. We watched them rise to the top of their game, become billionaires overnight, and then, happy ending, right? Nope. Because in the middle of the filming was when the dot-com-bubble burst, and the documentarians kept their cameras rolling as we watched govWorks.com fall apart.

It became the defining film of the dot-com-boom, and for only $3 in the discount bin, I was like, "Why not?"

Don't think I'll be able to watch it until the weekend though, and I'm still plowing my way through Space: Above and Beyond -- The Complete Series. Great show.

I've got so many DVDs I need a schedule to figure out when I'm going to watch them all.

And speaking of DVDs, I've been thinking about the movie rating system I use on my website. I use the patented Nib system, where I rate films on a scale of 1 to 4 nibs. I'm thinking of overhauling it. Instead of Nibs, I think I should rate them on how much money I'm willing to pay for the DVD. The scale would look like this:

Top Dollar: This is when the DVD has been out of print for a couple years, and you can only find used copies on eBay for upwards of $100. Needless to say, this is the top of the scale.

Suggested Retail Price (SRP): Kind of middle of the road. When you go into your favourite DVD emporium and pull it off the shelf, this is what you pay. Between $20 and $30 is typical.

Discount Bin: Good, but not great. $10 or less.

Tape it off TV: So bad, the only way you'll get a copy is if you get it for free. Maybe you spend 25 cents for the blank DVD.

What do you think? How's that for a movie rating scale?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Movie Bit-Lits

Lots of little movie bits I feel like sharing. First up, if you're like me, then the genre of the teen comedy is probably one that makes you run screaming. But I feel like sharing the trailer for this upcoming teen comedy called I Love You Beth Cooper:

Now, why does this particular teen comedy pique my interest? That would be this:

From the director of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

That's right, Chris Columbus returned to his teen comedy roots. I say "returned" because his very first film was the 1980s teen comedy Adventures in Babysitting.

Ah, Adventures in Babysitting. For some reason, I saw that one a lot when I was a kid. I keep seeing it in the DVD discount bin, but I never have the money to pick it up....

Next up, I think this is the best idea for a movie ever.

So we've got your typical Jane Austen comedy of errors...18th Century upper class British women trying to land an upper class husband.

And in the middle of all this, drop a bloodthirsty alien who starts picking them off one by one.

The title? Pride and Predator.

They start filming this summer.

And finally, I was telling a friend about how movies can evolve over time.

A few years back, a movie was in development called Nottingham. It was a revionist take on the tale of Robin Hood, portraying the Sherriff of Nottingham as a fairly decent guy who was just following orders and Robin Hood as a little more villanous. Ridley Scott signed on to direct, and his old friend Russel Crowe signed on to play the Shrriff.

Anyway, not to long ago, it was reported that Crowe would be playing both the Sheriff and Robin Hood. People went "WTF?" and Scott explained. In the new twist on the tale, Robin Hood kills the Sherrif in one of their early encounters. Thinking he might be able to change things from the inside, Robin Hood then adopts the Sherriff's identity.

Now, Scott is saying that all that stuff is out the window, and it's going to be a straight-up retelling of Robin Hood. Crowe is now playing Robin Hood, and the film is called...Robin Hood.

They begin filming in two months.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Trailer

Well, here it is gang, the first full, official trailer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

So, let's see here. My thoughts:
  • Looks like the Autobots decided to take Optimus Prime up on his invitation in droves. And, Michael Bay thought it would a good way to re-make Armageddon.
  • Apparently that big beast thing is how they've reimaged Ravage.
  • All the trailers for the first film ended with the Autobot logo. Looks like all these trailers are going to end with the Decepticon logo. Cool.

And we've had absolutely no clue as to what the plot is yet! I guess we'll find out when this comes out at the end of June.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Story of Family Day

Well, Family Day has come once again to the province of Alberta. And, as I like to do on every Family Day, I like to take moment to remind myself of why we celebrate this day. So please, sit back, as I tell the story of Family Day.

It has long been argued that Canada needs a holiday in February. The break between New Years and Easter is too long, and a long weekend in February would be good for morale as it provides people with a much needed break, and much needed hope. However, our federal leaders have never been able to decide what this holiday should celebrate. So, in the grand Alberta tradition of, "Screw Ottawa! We'll do it ourselves," the Progressive Conservative Government under Premier Don Getty set out to create a February holiday.

The third Monday in February was chosen, as it matched up with the American holiday of Presidents Day. And finally, all those American oil company executives in Calgary who donate a lot of money to the Progressive Conservative Party would stop complaining about how they had to work on Presidents Day.

But once again, the Conservatives ran into the problem of what to call this holiday. What should they celebrate? Well, it was around this time that scandal broke out in the Alberta government. Premier Getty's son was arrested on charges of dealing cocaine. Premier Getty reflected on this, and blamed himself. If he wasn't such a workaholic...if he spent more time with his family. Getty stood before the people of Alberta and said that if everybody took a day off once in a while to spend time with their families, then perhaps tragedies like these would be less likely.

And so, the holiday was called...Family Day.

The first Family Day was celebrated on February 19, 1990. But sadly, this holiday was not greeted with open arms. It met with considerable criticism from the Alberta business community. They argued that holidays are expensive things, what with the overtime pay that have to give to their employees, or lost revenue if they decide to close that day. So, to appease these special interests, the provincial government decided to downgrade Heritage Day (aka the August long weekend) to a civic holiday. This means that your company can make up for its lost Family Day revenues by making you work on the August long weekend.

In fact, there was so much opposition to Family Day in the beginning that one of Premier Ralph Klein's first election promises was to abolish Family Day. But by the time Klein finally came to power in 1992, Family Day has become firmly entrenched in the Alberta psyche, and people liked having that day off in February. Besides, which politician really wants their legacy to be the guy who cancels holidays? And now, as Family Day approaches its 20th anniversary, the idea has caught on so much that a great deal of Alberta businesses recognize both Family Day and Heritage Day.

Well, it still hasn't caught on with the federal government, which is why you'll still find the post office open today.

But Family Day is starting to grow in popularity. In 2006, Saskatchewan adopted Family Day as a holiday, and started celebrating in 2007. And then in 2007, Ontario adopted Family Day as a holiday, and began celebrating in 2008.

So, no matter where you find yourself today, be you at the Family Day pancake breakfast at your Legion hall, or building snowmen at your town's Family Day Winter Carnival, or just curled up on the couch watching a Family Day marathon on TV, I hope you'll take moment to raise your glass and drink to Premier Don Getty and his drug dealing son. For if it weren't for them, we would not be celebrating Family Day.

Well, we would probably still be celebrating a February holiday, it just wouldn't be called Family Day. Look at Manitoba. When they started celebrating a February holiday last year, they ditched the Family Day moniker and opted to call it Louis Riel Day.

So Alberta gets a day off because our premier felt guilty about his coke dealing son. Manitoba gets a day off to honour the founder of their province.

That's what we like to call the Alberta Advantage.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Latest Targ's Up!

Ah, it's funny how you think something that's NOT going to affect your life affects your life greatly. Take my upstairs neighbours for instance. When they first announced that the Mrs. was pregnant, they told me that I was to lead my life as normal, that I could be as loud and as noisy as I usually am. "We're not going to get used to the baby, the baby's going to get used to US!" they proudly told me.

The baby's around six months old now, and the baby's bedtime is 7PM. I know this, because every Saturday night at around 7:01PM, I get this phone call from upstairs:

"Yeah, we're having trouble getting the baby to sleep. Could you turn down your home theatre sound system, please?"

I tell ya, it's a real buzzkill to Movie Night.

So, on this particular movie night, I decided to shut things down and go ahead and post this week's episode of U62: The Targ a little early.

This week, it's Episode 2.21: Nuts in a Grocery Store. I give you an update on the new Batman movie, I offer my thoughts on the Olympic torch, and, as I like to do every year at this time, I tell the story of why we celebrate Family Day.

So, go give it a listen! And be sure to keep it turned down, so as not to wake the baby.

Click here to go download it!

Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Flame On!

Let's hear it for Olympic symbols!

Today, there's just one year to go until the Winter Olympics come to Vancouver. So today, the unveiled what I'll be carrying when I'm selected to run in the Torch Relay. Yup, that sleek piece of silver in the picture is the Olympic torch.

It was designed and built by the great Canadian aeronautics firm Bombardier. The design was meant to be evocative of "the cool, crisp lines left in snow and ice from winter sports." It weighs in at 3.5 pounds, and was designed to be easy to carry, easy to hand off from one person to the next, and able to keep the Olympic flame burning in all kinds of weather.

Also unveiled was the uniform that all the torchbearers get to wear in the torch relay. Like all the clothes for Team Canada in the Winter Olympics, it was designed and manufactured by the Hudson's Bay Company. And after looking it up online, yes, the torchbearers get to keep them. And they don't have to buy them.

I've got my name in to be a torchbearer! I'm going to look snazzy wearing that track suit and carrying the torch.

Here's the complete story.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nolan's and Tarintino's Next

The good news: Christopher Nolan has decided what his next film will be!

The bad news: It's not a third Batman movie.

Nolan's next film is Inception. It's being described as "a contemporary sci-fi actioner based in the architecture of the mind." Nolan himself wrote the screenplay.

Now, does this mean that the third Batman movie won't be coming out in 2011 as planned? Well, let's not forget that there were just three years between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, yet Nolan managed to squeeze The Prestige in between, so, there's always hope.

This'll be the first film that Nolan wrote and directed himself since his very first film, Knowing, which came out in 1998.

For movie geeks of my generation, there's once sentence that stirs the blood: "Quentin Tarintino is making a new movie."

Tarintino's next is his long in development World War II epic Inglorious Basterds. It's due out in August, but Tarintino is rushing to finish it in time for the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The first trailer went online today. You'll be able to see it in theatres this Friday in front of the reboot of Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009



Ever since I first switched to DVD eight years ago, this is one film I've been praying to the DVD gods to get released as a super-mega-ultimate special edition. Granted, it's been out on a movie-only disc for a few years, but I want my super-mega-ultimate-special editions. That film is a true classic from my childhood. That film is....

the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

In fact, all four Ninja Turtle films (the three live action ones from the early 1990s and the computer animated one from two years ago) are gettting brand new, fully loaded 25th Anniversary Editions. They hit stores on August 2, and will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray, if you've made the Great Upgrade.

25th Anniversary Editions? Yeah...the original Eastman and Laird indie comic that spawned the franchise first hit shelves in 1984. 2009 is the 25th anniversary of the Turtles.

Man, I suddenly feel old.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Movie Reviews: Coraline and Hulk vs.

First and foremost, I've got my complete review of Coraline posted. You can head on over to my main page to read it. Hell, you can even click here to go right to it.

Now, as might be a bit of a double-standard with me, while big-time theatrical films get posted in my movie reviews section, the straight-to-DVD films get reviewed just right here in the blog. So, then, let's get right down to a review of the latest straight-to-DVD film I picked up....

Hulk vs

Directed by Frank Paur and Sam Liu

Starring the voices of Fred Tatasciore, Bryce Johnson, Steve Blum, Matthew Wolf, Nolan North, March Acheson, Janyse Jaud, Colin Murdock, Tom Kane, Graham McTavish, Grey DeLisle and Kari Wahlgren.

Backstory: As I blogged when this first came out a few weeks ago, while the straight-to-DVD films of DC/Warner Brothers have been met with excitement, the straight-to-DVD films of Lionsgate/Marvel seem to be met with an indifferent shrug. I remember watching their first film, Ultimate Avengers, and being largely unimpressed. But that seems to be turning around with Hulk Vs. A bigger marketing push and some positive reviews piqued my interest. And then, when I saw it quite reasonably priced at Best Buy ($10 for the single-disc movie only version, $15 for the 2-disc special edition), I decided to succumb to my curiosity.

Plot: Again, as previously blogged, this film is made of 2 short films. The first one is Hulk vs. Wolverine. When the Hulk is spotted going on a destructive rampage along the US/Canadian border, the Canadian government dispatches Wolverine to investigate and neutralize the threat "with extreme prejudice." But it's not long before Wolverine's old Weapon X projects show up, wanting to capture the Hulk and make him the next Weapon X project. The second short is Hulk vs. Thor. In the mystical land of Asgard, the god Odin hibernates for a week once a year to replenish his energy. During this Odinsleep, Asgard is vulnerable, and the forces of darkness seek to overthrow the throne. And, the forces of evil are always defeated by the forces of good, led by Thor. However, the evil Loki has a dirty trick up his sleeve this time. Out of all the 9 worlds, there is one being who has ever been able to match Thor in battle: the Hulk. Loki transports Bruce Banner to Asgard, and uses magic to separate Bruce Banner and the Hulk into two separate beings. With a mindless Hulk let loose in Asgard, Thor and Loki are soon forced to join forces to defeat the mindless Hulk, lest this new threat bring about Ragnarok.

What I Liked: As I'm sure you've figured out, this pair of films holds a lot of "Hulk smash!" action. It gets violent, it gets bloody, it's all in there. Hulk vs. Thor is definitely the more plotty of the two, as the world of Asgard really gets top-notch treatment. And Deadpool is just plain funny. Oh, and the production values have really, really increased since Ultimate Avengers.

What I Didn't Like: Even though production values have increased, the animation is still nothing to write home about. And, almost like Godzilla movies, things seem to get really slow when there's no fighting going on.

Final Verdict: A fun little romp, if you like your Saturday morning cartoons with more blood and swears.

3 Nibs

Bonus Features: I got the 2-disc special edition, of course. Each short film gets its own "making of" featurette and a pair of running commentaries (commentary #1 with the writers, commentary #2 with the directors and animators). Exclusive to Hulk vs. Wolverine is a featurette about the screen of Hulk vs. Wolverine at last years San Diego Comic Con, and a featurette about the new cartoon Wolverine and the X-Men. Exclusive to Hulk vs. Thor is a featurette on the creation of Thor, and the trailer for Marvel/Lionsgate's next OVA, Thor: Tales of Asgard.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Latest Targ's Up!

Ah, Sunday Sunday!

As we do every Sunday, I've got a new episode of my podcast, U62: The Targ!

This week, Episode 2.20: The Other Half of the Battle. We're talking more Olympic merchandise, we recap my favourite Superbowl spots, and I begin my quest to get Watchmen read before the movie comes out!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

Click here to find me on iTunes!

Click here to download it at Chaos in a Box.com!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Coraline off the cuff

Just got home from Coraline. Coraline was an odd bird for me...I've been tracing its development online since it was first announced 6 years ago. In that six years, I read the book a couple times. It was a good book.

And, it is a good movie. I always like it when my animated films throw something unexpected at me. In my favourite film, The Iron Giant, it's when our hero has to unzip his pants to let out a squirrel. In Ratatouille, it's when we get a quick glimpse of two lovers pointing guns at each, a shot goes off, they throw the guns aside, and being passionately kissing itself.

And in Coraline...it's naked, morbidly obese burlesque dancers.

It is a great film, if a tad predictable, but I chalk that up to having read the book a couple times.

And the soundtrack...my God. That's music that's going to haunt me for a while.

Fantastic film, check it out, I keep reading that it's better in 3D. I saw it in 2D myself, but if you have 3D theatre in your neighbourhood, 3D might be the way to go.

As always, a complete review at the main site in the next couple of days or so.

Hmmm...I never got around to writing that complete review of The Spirit, and that might be a good thing.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Something for adults, something for kids

Two stories in my wacky news that I feel like commenting on today....

First up, something for adults. Presenting the tale of Ms Sheyla Hershey. Hershey is on a quest to set a new world record. That record: the world's biggest breasts.

Back in May, she finished her 8th breast enhancement surgery. She has a gallon of silicone in each boob. Her bust size was a bra-busting 34FFF. But, that wasn't big enough. She wanted bigger. But, no plastic surgeon in the USA would go bigger, for fear of breaking the law. After her research, she found that there were no restrictions on how big you could go in Brazil.

She just got back from Brazil, where she got her 9th breast enhancement surgery, and now tips the scales with a 38KKK bra size.

Ya know, I'm a red blooded male and all that, but this...this just ain't right. One pundit said it best: those like beach balls that are about to pop.

And now, for the kids.

Controversy out of Disneyland! The Disney folks have decided to refurbish their classic ride, It's a Small World. And, like all refurbishments to Disneyland rides, it's meeting with some resistance.

How have they changed it? Well, in addition to the animatronic children from all over the world, they've added some animatronic Disney characters! The classic song has not been spruced up to be included in a medley of Disney hits, plus they've added a farm scene, and a complete section dedicated to Toy Story.

The hardcore Disney fans are pissed about this...they say their messing with a classic. The Disney folks, however, insist that Walt Disney's vision was always one of growth and modification for the times.

Here's the original article, where you can read all about it!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Digital comes to Edmonton

Yay! Edmonton movie theatres are getting their first digital projector!

It was announced today that the Scotiabank Theatre in West Edmonton Mall (formerly known as Silver City, still best known as the one with the dragon in it) is installing a digital movie projector. The projector will also be capable of projecting films in Real D, which is the most popular 3D format going right now.

The digital projector will first be unleashed on Edmontonians with the released of the 3D Jonas Brothers concert film, coming out on February 27.

Here's hoping this October they get the 3D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Here's the article!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Superbowl Spots!

Well, the Superbowl is always good for a movie geek like me, because so many summer blockbusters give us commercials in the Superbowl and kick off their advertising campaigns. And, based on the crop of commercials in this year's Superbowl, I think 2009 is going to be a great year for that genre known as "the event picture."

First up, one that I'm really looking forward to, one of my favourites from my childhood is on the big screen. It's the Real American Heroes themselves, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Speaking of childhood favourites, coming out just in time for my brithday this July, it's the Transformers sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Big fat Trekkie that I am, perhaps the one that I'm most looking forward to is the re-boot of Star Trek.

I'm one of those guys who believes that Pixar can do no wrong, so I'm also counting down the days to Up:

And lastly, I was originally indifferent towards this one, but this spot has me hooked. Will Ferrel brings us the new movie version of the beloved 1970s adventure show, Land of the Lost:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Latest Targ's Up!

If y'all can tear yourselves away from today's big Superbowl extravaganza, how about you give a listen to this week's podcast, U62: The Targ?

This week, it's Episode 2.19: Beatles & Sunshine. I threw my name into the hat to be in the Olympic torch relay, so I'll tell you all about that. I rant about the upcoming scents of Star Trek cologne, and I even get into some subject matter that's NSFW. (I'll give you a hint: it involves Star Wars pron.)

So, please! Go check out this week's episode of U62: The Targ.

Click here to download it from my website!

Click here to subscribe in iTunes!