Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Avengers Trailer!

Here it is folks, the new trailer for The Avengers.  One of those superhero films that folks thought would never happen, just because of all the heroes involved.

Once again, for all my non-geek friends who tire of me ranting about it, The Avengers is the supergroup of Marvel Comics, where Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and various other heroes band together "to battle the enemies that no one hero can face alone."

What I like about the trailer:  that Mexican standoff shot of Cap, Iron Man, and Thor in that forest glen.

What I don't like:  I don't like Thor's re-designed costume.  It strikes me as a little off.  And I do agree with some Internet critics...it does look like Robert Downey Jr's charisma and star power might overpower the proceedings, making it Iron Man 3.

The Avengers hits on May 4, and it can't get here soon enough.

And because I need a thumbnail for when I post this on my social networking presences, here's the new poster.  A little too photoshopy, but hey, it's The Avengers.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's a New Targ!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

Alright, because everyone needs a hobby, it's time to break out mine.  Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to roll out this week's episode of U62: The Targ!

This time around, we roll out Episode 5.14: Springy Spring.  My love of Mythbusters reaches its logical end as I submit a myth to be busted, I celebrate with the rest of the trekkies at the discovery of a lost Star Trek episode, and it's time for Part II of the Jones Soda Holiday Fizzathon! 

For those just tuning in, the Jones Soda Holiday Fizzathon is something I'm doing over the next few episodes.  I managed to get my hands on a Jones Soda Holiday gift pack, so I'm sampling one on each episode.  In Part II...Ginger Bread Soda. 

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Total Recall

For those just joining us, I used to do this thing on my podcast called Fishing in the Discount Bin, where, as my friend described, "[I] just go off on one of the many DVDs [I] own."  I only did about 10 or so on my podcast before I found it too exhausting, but I actually wrote up 30+ reviews before giving up.  Rather than let the reviews go to waste, I've decided to start posting them on my blog.

Today, we do the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Total Recall.  This review is originally dated September 5, 2010.

Posting this here, I'm thinking I should finally watch this with the running commentary, as clips of the commentary became a bit of a viral sensation not too long ago.  Anyway, on with the review!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Secret World of Arrietty Review

So, for Family Day, I thought I'd run into the city and catch Disney's latest Studio Ghibli dub, The Secret World of Arrietty.  While it's not from Ghibli's in-house genius Hayao Miyazaki, I figured it was still worth a look, because Studio Ghibli is awesome.

It's neat...coming out of the theatre, I overheard this one guy..."I don't know what the big deal was.  I was always told that the big thing about anime was there's a stronger focus on story.  I thought that would have meant a happy ending." 

No...the big deal about anime is it's more mature, hence things like downbeat endings.  As they say in another of my favourite movies, "That's all life is, a series of down endings."

Long story short, I liked it, and there's now a review on the main website.  Click on over and read it!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's Targ Time!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

It's that most magical time of the week!  Sunday.  Time for sleeping in, lounging around, and listening to the radio.  Or, maybe you'll all 21st Century and you listen to podcasts.  In which case, why not try the latest episode of my podcast, U62: The Targ?

This week, I bring you Episode 5.13:  Flag Points.  In this episode, I give my excited reaction to the greatest crossover in the history of ever (I already blogged about it...click here to read it), I continue my obsession with Condorman and finally figure out a unique way to get, and I roll out the first in a 4-part series...the Jones Soda Holiday Fizzathon!

 Let me explain.  Jones Soda is somewhat infamous for their very unique flavours that they roll out every Christmas.  About a week ago, I was browsing in Liquidation World when I came across the "Jones Soda Holiday Gift Pack," all marked down to $3.  So I decided to buy this 4-pack and, for the next four episodes, I shall sample one of these holiday sodas and give my thoughts.  In this episode, we have part 1:  Candy Cane Soda. 

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Simples Rewards

Not too long ago, I was blogging about those great mail-away offers from my youth.  I'm talking about the things like flag points on the back of G.I. Joe toys, where you'd collect the points, send them off with a cheque for $3.99 shipping and handling, and you get an exclusive action figure.  In that blog entry, I was lamenting that there doesn't seem to be anything similar these days for grown-ups.  But then, I kind of realized that there is something similar out there, in the form of all those corporate rewards programs. 

If you listen to my podcast, then you'll know that in the past few episodes, I've been fondly reminiscing about the near-forgotten early-80s Disney superhero film Condorman.  It all came about because Condorman made a very surprising cameo in the Pixar short film Small Fry.  As my mind goes back to this classic from my childhood, we eventually come to a conundrum.  I want to get it on DVD.

Turns out that's quite a problem.  Back in the late-1990s, when DVD was new and exciting, Disney actually farmed out some of their late-70s/early-80s films to a DVD company called Anchor Bay.  However, when it turned out that DVD was going to become a thing and became the fastest-growing home media format ever, Disney reclaimed a lot of their titles.  So, the Anchor Bay edition of Condorman has been out-of-print for around 10 years and goes for big money on eBay.  I'd like to see the film, but I don't want to pay big money.  So, I started googling to find my other options.

In my search, I discovered that Disney has a movie club, much like Columbia House of old.  You can buy all kinds of Disney DVDs direct from the company.  Now, what really sweetened the pot was that the Disney Movie Club has a whole bunch of exclusives...DVDs that they only sell through their movie club.  Perusing their movie club exclusives, I found several titles where I was amazed that they would limit their distribution like this.  I found films like:


Now, as tempting as it was to sign up for the Disney Movie Club, get my 6 DVDs for 99¢ and finally have Condorman, the truth was I went through a Columbia House phase in my teens and I'm wary to go back.  I still remember how their whole "negative billing" thing works, and before you know it, I forget to send back the little card, and now I'm stuck with several dozen Good Luck Charlie DVDs.  So Disney Movie Club is out.

As I continued my online search, I eventually found that Disney has a rewards program in place, Disney Movie Rewards.  I had been familiar with this for a while.  Every Disney DVD and Blu-Ray comes with a code.  You punch in the code at the website, you get points, and you then redeem the points for merch.  Fairly basic rewards program.  So I started taking a look at all the various knick-knacks you can redeem your points for.  They've have the usual stuff, and they have DVDs...and they have a few Disney Movie Club exclusive DVDs available.

Including Condorman.  Bing!

I could get Condorman for free!  So, I grabbed all my Disney DVDs off the shelves, started punching in all that Disney Movie Rewards codes I could find, and lo and behold, I had enough for Condorman.  So my order has been placed and Condorman should be arriving in 6 to 8 weeks.

And there you have it.  Turns out all those great mail-away exclusives of my childhood still exist, they've just grown up and gotten themselves a fancy name like a rewards program.  I can still redeem my flag points and get my exclusives, just like I did when I was 8.  I don't have to grow up at all!

But maybe a little growing up wouldn't hurt.  I also learned from this that I probably have more Disney DVDs than a single guy approaching middle age should probably have.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Greatest Crossover In The History of Sci-Fi Comic Book Adaptations

I shared this news on Facebook and Twitter and such a few days ago (here's the original article I linked to) but it's so awesome I just have to blog about it.

The comic book company IDW currently holds the comic book rights to two of the world's largest sci-fi franchises:  Star Trek and Doctor Who.  It probably didn't take too long before some suit at IDW said, "Crossover!"

That's right, what was once only the subject of fanfic has become an officially licensed expanded universe reality. 

The storyline is called Assimilation2 and the official plot description is thus:  "The Borg and the Cybermen create an unholy alliance resulting in potential disaster for all humanity. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise find themselves joining forces with the Doctor and his companions, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance."

First issue streets in May.  Wow...just wow.  I can't believe this is happening, even in comic book form.

Truth is, Star Trek doing crossovers in comics is nothing new.  Back in the 1990s, Marvel Comics had the Star Trek comic book license, and since the long time Marvel logic is, "Comic books sell really well when Wolverine is on the cover," the did a Star Trek/X-Men crossover, where the crew of the original Enterprise met the X-Men.  It was so popular that they did a sequel where the crew of The Next Generation teamed up with the X-Men.  And right now in Star Trek comics, IDW is doing an inter-company crossover with DC in which the original crew teams up with that famous 30th Century superhero team, the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Doctor Who in comics tends to be a trickier thing.  Some have already said that this would have been better if the crew of The Next Generation teamed up with The Sixth or Seventh Doctor, as those were the ones on TV when TNG was running.  But, the BBC tends to put tight restrictions on the comic book license for the Doctor, always clearly stating that only the current Doctor can be portrayed in comics.

It's covered quite extensively in the DVD bonus features for Doctor Who: The Movie.  Its revealed that the Eighth Doctor is the one who's had the most extensive career in comic book adaptations because, from when the movie aired in 1996 to when the revival began in 2005, the Eight Doctor was, for all intents and purposes, the current Doctor.  Many credit the Doctor Who comic strip within the official Doctor Who magazine (considered by many to be the "official" Doctor Who comic book representation) to be what kept the Doctor in the public eye for those 9 longs years.  Apparently, Russel T. Davies, the mastermind behind the revival, knew this, and even asked the makers of the Doctor Who comics to do the official Eighth Doctor to Ninth Doctor regeneration tale, but they couldn't.  As I said, only the current Doctor can be portrayed in comics, so they couldn't show the Ninth Doctor before he appeared on TV, and they couldn't go back and show the Eight Doctor after the Ninth appeared.  It's quite a fascinating featurette.

In fact, there's already some kefuffle about whether this'll be available in the UK.  Because the official Doctor Who magazine has the comic rights for the UK, and IDW only has them for North America.  But I'm sure it'll show up in some import shops.  

But  yeah.  Save me a copy this May!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fishing in the Discount Bin: The Iron Giant

I've thought about doing this for a while now, and tonight, I decided to bite the bullet and do it.

About a year ago I was doing something on my podcast called Fishing in the Discount Bin.  One of my best friends and dedicated listeners said to me, "Do you know what I'd like to see you do on your podcast?  Since you love movies so much, I would like to hear you do something where you watch one of your DVDs and just...go off on it.  Just say why you like it, why you don't...just rant about it."  So I did.

I only did it for about 10 or 12 episodes, because this segment made my podcast significantly longer and I started finding it more creatively draining and more exhausting to produce that I had originally thought.  

But as I sit here at my computer and comb through my hard drive...even though I only did the segment about 10 times on the podcast, I actually wrote up 30+ Fishing in the Discount Bin reviews for eventual use in my podcast.

And rather than just let it go to waste, gathering virtual dust on my hard drive, I've decided to start posting these reviews to my blog. 

So, yeah.  For the next 30+ weeks, enjoy my old Fishing in the Discount Bin ramblings.  I wrote most of these well over a year ago, so I`ll be sure to include the dates of when I originally wrote these.  That'll explain why I start talking about Christmas in about six weeks or so.

For my first Fishing in the Discount Bin, I decided to do my favourite movie, The Iron GiantThese notes are dated September 3, 2010.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let's Roll Out the Targ

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

Greetings from the past! I actually recorded Episode 5.12: The Third Kind of Heat two weeks ago, but only now am I posting it online! Procrastination. What a mircale!

But in this one, I try to find the Canadian connection to Doctor Who, I fondly remember Heritage Moments, and, even though I know next to nothing about sports, I regurgitate some stuff about the NHL All-Star Game.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

New Spider-Man Trailer!

So, some people were wondering why we didn't get a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man with the Super Bowl this past Sunday.  Well...it's because they were waiting for today to give us a new trailer!

I've blogged about it before, so I don't think I need to go into too many details.  After three films, Sony figured it was time to reboot Spider-Man.  Good-bye, Sam Raimi, hello Mark Webb, director of romantic comedy (500 Days) of Summer.  Andrew Garfield, last seen as Eduardo in The Social Network takes on the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, everyone's favourite new star Emma Stone is Peter's first love Gwen Stacey, and Rhys Ifans is the villain of our piece, Curt Connors/The Lizard.  Rounding out the cast are Denis Leary as Capt. George Stacey, Gwen's father and the police officer who heads up the task force to bring in Spidey, and Sally Field and Martin Sheen as Aunt May and Uncle Ben.

Enough rambling, the trailer!

What I like:  Like a lot of other online critics, I'm so glad they brought back Spidey's witty one-liners.  That's something that was missing from the Raimi films.  And also, with building the webshooters once again, looks like Spidey is back to being a hardcore science geek, also something that seemed glossed over.  Apparently, the screenwriters were told to draw mainly from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, and you can see that influence, with Parker's parents being more prominent, and them having some shadowy ties to Oscorp.  And Denis Leary.  Dude.  The delivery of that line, "38 of New York's finest losing to man in a unitard."  That's such a Leary delivery!


The Amazing Spider-Man hits theatres on July 3. 

Monday, February 06, 2012

The SuperBowl Movie Spots

So, there was some kind of football competition yesterday, and, as always, it was filled of all kinds of amazing commercials.  And, being the movie guy that I am, I'm sifting through all of the movie commercials that were shown!  It's become common practice for the movie studios to put together a 30-second spot for the big game to showcase their upcoming spring and summer blockbusters.  So, let's see what we've got....

First up, Battleship.  With the success of G.I. Joe and Transformers, Hasbro started looking for other properties they own that could be turned into movie, and they settled on the classic board game Battleship

In the movie version, alien invaders fence off a giant section of the Pacific around Hawaii, as part of phase 1 of an invasion.  Luckily, also trapped inside that force field is an American Nany fleet.  Commanding this fleet is Gambit from X-Men Origins: Wolveriene, one of the sexy vampires from True Blood, Rihanna, and the wolf puncher himself, Liam Neeson.

Looking at the designs of the alien ships, and the sound design in this spot...dude, they are trying hard to make this look like Transformers 4.

Battleship hits theatres on May 18.

And speaking of Hasbro, next up we have G.I. Joe: Retaliation, aka G.I. Joe 2.  In this second adventure, the Cobra-controlled President of the United States (yeah...that's how the first movie ended) orders the Joes terminated with extreme prejudice, and the remaining Joes band together to clear their names and stop Cobra.  It's a largely new squad of Joes this time out, including DJ Catrona as Flint and Adriene Palaki as Lady Jaye, and their led by Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock.  Bruce Willis also shows up as General Joseph Colton, the man who founded G.I. Joe. 

Much like the first film and the first trailer, my inner child is going nuts for this.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation hits theatres June 29. 

We also have Disney's John Carter.  Based on the legendary series of sci-fi novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs (yes, the Tarzan guy), this film is mostly based on the first novel in the series A Princess of Mars.  It follows the adventures of John Carter, a hero of the American Civil War, who is somehow spirited it to Mars, and finds it to be a fantastical land at war, a war in which he is quickly drawn in.

Movie versions have long been attempted since the 1930s, but it has long been considered unfilmable because of the amazing creatures described, such as one Martian race, the Tharks, who are 10-feet tall with four arms and tusks.  But, if there's anything that The Lord of the Rings and other films of the past 10 years have shown us, the unfilmable has quickly become filmable.

Our hero John Carter is played by...Gambit from X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  The guy has a name, I should start using it.  It's Taylor Kitsch.  Using the Avatar performance capture technology, Willem Dafore plays Tars Tarkas, the leader of the Tharks. 

I've never read the books...hardly heard of them until I started reading about this film.  I'm curious about it because the director is Andrew Stanton, the veteran Pixar animator who directed A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E.  He's making his live-action debut with this.

John Carter hits theatres on March 9.

And lastly, the superhero film no one thought would ever happen.   The Avengers.  The Marvel Comics supergroup bands together to fight off the threats that no one hero can handle alone!  Robert Downey Jr is back as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Evans is back as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor, Jeremy Renner is back (he cameoed in Thor) as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Scarlett Johanson is back as Natlie Romanov/The Black Widow, and Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury.  New to the team is Mark Ruffalo, who takes over Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/the Hulk.

Fun trivia fact:  Ruffalo is the first guy to fully play both Bruce Banner and the Hulk.  In Ang Lee's Hulk, the Hulk was completely computer animated, with Lee doing some of the motion captures.  For The Incredible Hulk, Norton provided the motion capture.  But for The Avengers, they put Ruffalo in the full Avatar performance capture rig so he could fully play the Hulk.

Fan favourite Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly/Serenity) is the writer and director on this one.

It's looking really good...Cap's updated costume looks kind of cheezy to me, but I can live with it. 

The Avengers hits theatres on May 4.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Targ Comes Targing Along

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

Happy new month! And what better way to celebrate this shortest month of them all than with a brand new episode of U62: The Targ!

In Episode 5.11: CondorBat, I take some time to reminisce about the classic Disney movie Condorman, ponder the best way to end a superhero film trilogy, and share my fanboy musings about how to reboot Batman.

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