Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All the Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode III -- Greedo Shoots First

For those just joining us, welcome back to All the Times I've Bought Star Wars, my epic series of blog entries in which I recount all the times I've bought Star Wars.  I'm also trying to figure out why I've bought it so many times.  We continues with Episode III: Greedo Shoots First


The trailers and the TV spots for the Special Editions got it right.  A whole generation had grown up watching it on TV.  They’d never seen it in theatres.  I was a member of that generation.  In my second year at college, all of my friends were in that generation.  All of my friends at college were fellow nerds, and needless to say, this was a huge freakin’ deal to us.  Yeah, Camrose (my college town) had its quaint, old-school movie house, the Bailey Theatre, but screw that noise.  We were organizing road trips into Edmonton to see it in the latest multiplexes the weekend it came out.  Well, most of my friends were.  For some reason, they weren’t inviting me along.  Oh, well.  So, I had to go home for a weekend, and borrow Mom and Dad’s car to run into Edmonton to see it.  And I saw it on the big screen...as it was meant to be seen. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Latest Targ's Up!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

It's the dawn of a brand-new week, so that means it's time to bust out a new episode of U62: The Targ!

This week is Episode 4.09: The Chill of Winter! It's a fairly routine episode as I geek out over the Green Lantern trailer, marvel at the raw sexuality they managed to sneak into an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and offer up some thoughts on Megamind.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Megamind Review is Up

So, umm, yeah, I saw Megamind about a week ago, and my review is up over at my main website!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All the Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode II -- One Last Time....

For those just joining us, welcome to All the Times I've Bought Star Wars, my epic series of blog entries recounting all the times I've bought Star Wars.  I also try to figure out why the heck I've bought it so many times.  And now, our story continues with Episode II: One Last Time....

The year was 1995.  I finished high school.  I remember graduation being strangely anticlimactic.  The first 18 years of my life gone...for a piece of paper.  As soon as that was done, I was onto a very difficult summer job.  Word of advice to all the youngsters out there:  never get a summer job at your favourite summertime hangout.  Because once summer is done, you will want to burn it to the ground.  With that all done, I was taking a few months off just to figure out where to go next in life.  

So there I was.  Spending my days doing a whole lot of nothing and just trying to get my head together.  I was watching a lot of TV.  Unhealthy amounts of TV.  It was right around this time that YTV started showing Sailor Moon and I became 100% obsessed with it.  As the holiday season started rolling around, and all kinds of TV commercials for potential Christmas presents started being shown, I started seeing the commercials for...it.  The Star Wars Trilogy.  Being re-released on video!  But, what’s this that the commercials are saying?  It’s going to be released on video...just one last time?  After this, it’s not going to be on video anymore? 

Who else remembers the Lucasfilm hype machine for the 1995 video releases?  That was the tag line, wasn’t it?  Each and every commercial was quick to point out that this would be the absolute last time that The Star Wars Trilogy was going to be released on home video.  After this...gone.  No more.  It was something that really didn’t surprise me.  I mean, Disney had already introduced their “Disney vault” concept for their home video releases.  It just made sense that other studios would follow suit.  And here it was.  Star Wars.  My last chance to own it.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Cars 2 Trailer

New Cars 2 trailer.  Really don't have anything more to say ever since I ranted about the first trailer about a month ago.  Come on, Pixar.  This really looks like your sellout film. 

But at least we know one of the new celebrity voices.  That's quite obviously Michael Caine as secret agent car Finn McMissile.

Share my pain, and through the sharing, gain strength.


Winnie the Pooh Trailer

Well, Walt Disney Pictures is working at keeping the traditionally animated film alive, and they're doing it in the summer of 2011 by bringing back one of their most beloved franchises, Winnie the Pooh. And the next Pooh film is called, appropriately, Winnie the Pooh.

Now, I know, you might be groaning in disgust because the last batch of Winnie the Pooh films (that would be The Tigger Movie, Piglet's Big Movie, and Pooh's Hefalump Movie) weren't of the best quality. Well, for this, they've gone all the way back to the well...this one is based on five, never-before-adapted, A.A. Milne stories. This one is also being made by Walt Disney Feature Animation, so it counts in the official Disney Animated Film canon. The other three were made by Disney MovieToon Studios, which focuses on their straight-to-video sequels.

And I'm also a little disappointed that they replaced the voice of Eeyore. For at least the past 20 years, Disney's official voice of Eeyore has been Peter Cullen, who's most famous voice is still Optimus Prime. But, for some reason, for this film, Cullen was let go and replaced with veteran animator Bud Luckey. However, Pooh's official voice for the past 20 years, Jim Cummings, is back as Pooh and Tigger. Another veteran voice actor, Tom Kenny, is voicing Rabbit, and voice actor Craig Ferguson is voicing Owl. I'm glad to see they're going with so many veteran voice actors instead of cramming in celebrities for the sake of cramming in celebrities. But they still got one celebrity in there...John Cleese is the narrator.

The film is being co-directed by Stephen Anderson and Don Hall. Winnie the Pooh hits theatres on July 15.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie Review -- Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam

Alright, I do so love to review the direct-to-DVD movies I purchase here on the blog, so let's get going with my latest aquisition!  Let's take a look at....

DC Showcase:  Superman/Shazam -- The Return of Black Adam

Directed by Joaquim dos Santos

Starring the voices of George Newburn, Jerry O'Connell, Arnold Vosloo, James Garner, Zach Callison, and Kevin Michael Richardson.

Backstory:  So, all this year, DC Comics and Warner Brothers have been running a little side project with their straight-to-DVD animated films:  DC Showcase, a series of animated short films that focus one some of DC's better-known B- and C-list heroes.  With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, DC has taken all of the DC Showcase shorts and compiled them on their own DVD.  And, in order to entice you to buy them again, added an all-new short, featuring the team-up of Superman and Captain Marvel.  So let's take a look at the latest DC Showcase short.

Plot:  Young Billy Batson is only 10 years old, and has already had a rough life.  His parents were killed...he's bounced from foster home to foster home...and now finds himself living on the streets.  But he's always retained his good heart.  But then, his life is turned upside down when a villain from beyond the stars, Black Adam, returns and vows to destroy young Billy.  Superman shows up to save young Billy, and this gives Billy enough time to meet the wizard Shazam and be bestowed with superpowers, becoming Captain Marvel.  Will the combined power of Earth's Mightiest Mortal and the Man of Steel be enough to defeat Black Adam?

What I Liked:  Like a lot of the other DC Showcase shorts, it quickly turns into a gigantic superhero slugfest, as Superman, Captain Marvel, and Black Adam come up with new and creative ways to pound the snot out of each other.  The animation is sharp.  The music is top notch.  And it's good to hear George Newburn back voicing Superman.  He did the voice of Superman on the Justice League cartoon, and it's good to see him back in action.  And James Garner is good, too, voicing the wizard Shazam and once again proving that he's all kinds of awesome. 

What I Didn't Like:  Again, this kind of showcases my frustration with how DC Comics is dropping the ball with their animated films.  Captain Marvel could easily carry his own film, but instead, he's given a short film where he's second banana to Superman.  Just plain too short, is what I'm saying.

Final Verdict:  A very enjoyable superhero battle.  Lots of fun, but too darn short.

3 Nibs

Bonus Materials:  This is a compilation of the DC Showcase shorts, so you get the other 3 that have been produced to date:  The Spectre, Green Arrow, and Jonah Hex.  Each of these shorts is presented as a "director's cut," with an extra 2-minutes or so of footage they had to cut out the first time.  Each short has a running commentary with its writer, and you get a selection of DC Universe cartoons focusing on the characters featured in the shorts. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Latest Targ's Up!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

We're rolling along with another episode of U62: The Targ!

This week is Episode 4.08: 4-Day Weekend! I went old-school for this episode, for reasons that'll be clear when you give it a listen. And in it, we take a look at Toy Story 3, the Shrek Halloween special, and discuss a disturbing trend in movie promotion.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All the Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode I -- The Saga Begins

I am a home theatre enthusiast.  That means I’ve got my Blu-Ray player, my DVD player, an old VCR that’s still in functioning order, and I think one of the best things in the world is to just kick back and watch a movie.  And to the home theatre enthusiast, there is no greater crime than that of the double dip.  

For those who are only familiar with the term from the Seinfeld episode, here’s how “double-dipping” applies to home theatre.  Your favourite movie comes out on DVD.  Naturally, you buy it because you love it so much.  But then, six months later, it comes out on DVD again, in all-new special-edition, with all new bonus features, thus compelling you to buy it again.  That is the double-dip.

Even before the term became mainstream – heck, even before there was a term to describe it – I knew to be wary of the double-dip.  When I bought my first DVD player, I swore that I would only buy a DVD when I already owned it on VHS if it met one of my two criteria:  1)  it had enough bonus features to warrant buying it again.  2)  I just loved the movie so darn much that it would break my little heart if I didn’t buy it again.  Following that criteria, to this very day, I still own about a dozen movies or so on VHS that I have yet to upgrade to DVD.  

However, there is one movie, or rather, movie franchise, where whenever a new edition is announced, I drop everything, start saving my pennies, and start counting down the days until I can buy it again.  There is one film franchise that always meets those two criteria in spades, and thus I am doomed to repeat a never-ending cycle of always buying it again, and again, and again.  

That film franchise is Star Wars.

Return of the Jedi Teaser poster -- My favourite Star Wars movie poster

Of course, we’re talking about the core six movies.  The original trilogy and the prequel trilogy.  I know we’re supposed to regard the thing as one massive six film epic, but I’ll always be dividing it into the two trilogies.  One I grew up with, the other ushered in my adulthood.  One ushered in a new era of moviemaking, the other was seen as a bloated series of mistakes by its creator that we all love anyway because of nostalgia for the first.  Either way, whenever a new edition is announced, I start drooling in anticipation.  

Going through my library, I see that I’ve bought the original trilogy no less than four times.  The prequels twice.  And countless ancillary titles that I purchased mainly because of their relation to Star Wars.  Why?  What is it about this series that keeps me coming back for more?  

So, in this epic series of blog entries, I’m going to recount all the times I bought Star Wars.  Now, I’m not going to detail all the special edition changes and new footage that was inserted into the films each time it was re-released.  That’s been recounted hundreds of times in excruciating detail at far better websites.  Instead, I’m going to focus on what I was thinking, and what was going through my mind where I figured it warranted another purchase.  I’ll also touch upon some of the bonus features that were added, and maybe get into some of the technical details of each release.  

The Episode I Teaser Poster...my second favourite Star Wars movie poster

This is a series of blog entries I’ve been considering writing for a while now.  And now, with the recent announcement that it’ll be released on Blu-Ray in the fall of 2011, and as I start to make room for the fifth time I’ll buy it, it feels like this is the right moment to just sit down and ask, “Why am I buying it a fifth time?  Why did I buy it four times prior?”  Hopefully, by doing this, I’ll be able to figure it out.

So, let’s get started with the first time I bought Star Wars.  I remember buying it for the first time because I was convinced it would be the last time.

Next Week:  Episode II -- One Last Time

Monday, November 08, 2010

Kung Fu Panda 2 Trailer

As I was saying in the blog not too long ago, I've grown to loathe everything Dreamworks does.  That's why, when I finally sat down and rented Kung Fu Panda about a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised that it's a fairly decent action comedy.  Yeah, I liked it!  If I ever see it in a discount bin, I just might pick it up.

But, as we all know, Dreamworks likes to take a good concept and run it into the ground, hence, Kung Fu Panda 2, coming next summer.  First trailer!

I have to get me a wider blog template so I can post wider videos. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Latest Targ's Up!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

We're rolling along with another episode of U62: The Targ!

This week is Episode 4.07: I'll Have the Usual, and "usual" is the name of the game in this one. I rant about the latest episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, we long for the days of styrofoam containers at McDonald's, and I check out the tech specs of the Toy Story 3 DVD.

So give it a spin!

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