Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Jurassic Park III

Welcome back to Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly column where I rant about one of the many, many DVDs, VHS tapes, and Blu-Rays that make up my home video library.  Today, we get to the overlooked Jurassic Park film, Jurassic Park III.  This entry is originally dated February 19, 2012.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a Targ!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

Holy moly!  Is it that time?  Is it time for the return of U62: The Targ?  Is Mark's summer hiatus at an end?

Not quite.

I've still got a couple of busy weekends coming up, so I'm reluctant to say, "I'm back!"  However, I'm bored, I've got some free time, and I've got stuff to say, so that's as good a reason as any to do a show.  Think of this as a warm-up to Season 6 proper.

In my Thanksgiving Special:  All Stuffing, No Turkey, I talk about some of the weird stuff left behind in hotel rooms, the epic crossover that will be James Cameron on MythBusters, and the Magic Kingdom is opening up to be a little more fun for grown-ups.

So, yeah.  I'm not quite ready for a full-blown comeback, but it's a start.

Click here to go download it!

Head here to subscribe in iTunes!

Be a fan in Facebook! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Hobbit Trailer!

So, a lot's happened since we got our first trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey back in December.  First up, we had the San Diego Comic-Con, where we got this sweet Comic Con exclusive poster.

The other big thing was the announcement that they're no longer splitting it into two movies.  They are now making a trilogy out of it.  That's right, they're making three movies out of the one book.  The big question now is how they're pulling it off.

Now, when they first announced that they were going to adapting The Hobbit, way back when Guillermo Del Toro was directing, they said that the plan was for two movies:  the first one would be an adaptation of The Hobbit, and for the second film, they were going to pour through all of JRR Tolkien's appendicies and texts on the history of Middle Earth and create a second film that would fill the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Then Del Toro left the project, Peter Jackson got back on board, and Jackson said, "Nope, forget that.  We're going to cut The Hobbit in half and make two movies."

So the popular rumor right now is that Jackson still desires to make that "bridge the gap" film, and tried to incorporate a lot of it as subplots.  And now, in the editing booth, he's decided to make his "bridge the gap" film into a full, third movie.

That, or it's just a shameless cash grab.  I'm kind of siding with that one.

So, now that it's three films, a re-titling was in order.  The plan now for the franchise is this.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres December 18, 2012
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theatres December 13, 2013
The Hobbit: There and Back Again hits theatres July 18, 2014.

In the texts, September 22 is listed as Bilbo and Frodo's birthday, so fans the world over celebrate the 22nd as "Hobbit Day" and the week it falls in as "Tolkien Week."  So, Peter Jackson promised us a new trailer this week, and we got it back on Wednesday.

I'm digging this trailer.  I still like the look of these films.  As I've blogged before, when it comes to the books, I've always enjoyed The Hobbit, but found The Lord of the Rings to be boring as fuck.  So I'm looking forward to The Hobbit a lot more than I was to The Lord of the Rings.  I've said I want to re-read the book before the movie comes out...I'd better get started.

Oh, and something neat, too.  If you go to the official Hobbit website, you can see five different versions of the trailer with five different endings.  I like the one where Bilbo ponders showing his new-found sword to Elrond and finding out more about it, but one of the dwarfs talks Bilbo out of it, dismissing Bilbo's sword as "a letter opener."  I think that scene makes it a little cooler when Bilbo names his sword later on. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Welcome back to Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly column where I watch one of the many movies in my personal library, and I rant about it.  Today, we do the anime classic Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and this one is a little bit different.  Usually, when I write these, I watch the film, then when it's done, I sit down and write out my thoughts and musings.  But this one, however, was my stream-of-consciousness rambling that I wrote while watching the film.  It wound up being something a little bit different than the usual entries.  This entry is originally dated February 6, 2012.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lincoln Trailer

I'm on a bit of a Steven Spielberg kick lately, having just picked up the nice, new Blu-Ray of Jaws.  It was the first time I'd seen Jaws from beginning to end.  I've written a Fishing in the Discount Bin on it, and it'll probably be online in a few months, but long story short, Jaws blew me away.  It was only Spielberg's second theatrical film, but to see so many of his trademark director flourishes already in play...it just speaks to his confidence as a director.

So it's a massive coincidence then that, with my kick going on, that we get the trailer for Spielberg's next film, Lincoln.  Spielberg's been trying to get a biography of Abraham Lincoln off the ground for about 10 years or so now.  Spielberg was hoping to have it in theatres in 2009 for the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, but various delays pushed it back.  From what I gather from Wikipedia, most of those delays had to do with Spielberg ordering more drafts of the script, to get it just right.

All those delays, though, wound up costing Spielberg his star.  Liam Neeson was attached for the longest time to play Lincoln, but all those delays started conflicting with Neeson's schedule, so he had to quit the project.  That paved the way, though, for legendary Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis to take on the role.

Also in the cast is Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as his oldest son Robert Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens.  It's Oscar-bait of the highest caliber.

I've got a lot of catching up to do on Spielberg films.  I have yet to see Munich, or his two films that he released last year, War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin.  Methinks a trip to the video store is in order.

Makes me think though that I'll have to make the effort to catch Lincoln in theatres.  It comes out on November 16.

and because I need a thumbnail for when I post this on the social networks, here's the poster.

The poster for Spielberg's Lincoln.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Simpsons Movie

Time once again for Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the far too many movies that I own, and just kind of rant about it.  We get to one of the most anticipated movies for fans of a particular cartoon, The Simpsons Movie.  This rant is originally dated December 27, 2011.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Michael Bay's TMNT Script

The Cover of TMNT Adventures #50

So yesterday, I was chatting with a friend of mine about Michael Bay and his upcoming live action movie version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  We all know the tale now about how he's changing the Turtles from mutants to aliens and all that, and we started discussing the leaked script that went online about a week or two ago.

And then I told my buddy, "Hey, you should check out the website Latino Review, because they did this video where they broke it down blow-by-blow and did a highly detailed summary!

When I got home, I e-mailed my friend the link, and that's when I started thinking, "Hey, this video is embedable! I should post it on my blog so I can share it with the world!"

So I did.

Give it a watch, and I'll tell you my thoughts afterwards.

And we're back.

I do kind of like the opening action sequence, where the Turtles bust out of a government installation and commandeer a truck, fighting Foot Soldiers along the way.  At the height of the Turtles craze, I was an avid reader of the Archie Comic TMNT Adventures, and that scene and set-up could come straight out of that comic.

But still, changing Shredder to a government agent with Wolverine claws and changing his name to Schrader just seems too much.  Making the Turtles not so much aliens, but the "chosen ones" who will bring peace to Dimension X just seems weird.  And making Casey Jones and April O'Neil into teenagers...no.

I agree with another assesment I read online.  They pretty much graft the plot of the first Transformers onto this.

Turtles = Autobots
Casey Jones = Shia LeBeof
April O'Neil = Megan Fox

For those who stopped following this story, Michael Bay has now said that this isn't his script.  This script was written before he joined the project, and that his script is vastly different.

Whether it's better or worse remains to be seen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Episode 65: The Royal Tyrrell Museum

A dinosaur outside the front entrance of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, greeting you!

I don't go on vacation as much as I should.  It's because of a number of factors, ranging from can't really afford to go anywhere to can't think of any place I'd like to go.

About 5 years ago, I did have place in mind that I wanted to go to:  The Royal Tyrrell Museum down in Drumheller.  I remember when the museum opened back in 1985...it was a huge deal in the province, and just about every one I knew was going on a trip down there to see the museum.  I got to go see it twice.  In 1986, the family went down there on a trip to check it out.  And once again a year later, on a class trip.

As the years went on, I always wanted to go back to it, now that I'm old enough to fully appreciate it, and because I still think dinosaurs are super-awesome.  So, after I'd worked in Athabasca for about a year, I figured, "Let's do it!  Let's head down to Drumheller for a vacation and see the Royal Tyrrell Museum!"  Alas, that "can't really afford to go anywhere" thing came back to haunt me, and after looking at motel rates in and around Drumheller, I was getting ready to scrap the whole thing.  But then, after doing some research with Google Maps, I discovered that Drumheller makes a pretty good day trip from Red Deer.  So the plan was revised to crash at my sister's place, visit the family in Red Deer, and then pop down to Drumheller for a day to see the museum.

A T-Rex skull, looking over the main display hall in the Royal Tyrrell Museum

The plan was in place, and I thought that, while at the museum, I'd do something a little extra to remember it.  I had just bought myself a digital voice recorder, with the idea of being able to record my podcast live on location.  So I thought it would be neat to bring it along and record a podcast live from the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

I narrated what I saw.  I captured audio from the multimedia displays.  And the clerk at the help desk was kind enough to give me an interview.

When I got home, it took me day to pour through all the audio I'd recorded and come up with Episode 65: The Royal Tyrrell Museum.  With all that work, I was rather pleased with how it turned out.  And now that I'm on SoundCloud and everything, I thought I'd upload it for the world to hear.

The outside of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, seen from a viewpoint on the museum grounds.  You can see the long line of people stretching out from the front door and into the parking lot.

In a way, this the precursor to my YouTube videos.  I had my shiny new digital camera at this point, but I didn't have my new computer with Windows MovieMaker.  Had I had all that back then, this probably would have wound up being a YouTube vid.

So please enjoy, Episode 65:  The Royal Tyrrell Museum.  

Episode 65: The Royal Tyrrell Museum by Mark Cappis

It's getting to be that time of year where I really should fire up the podcast and get it going again.  I always take the summer off because the day job gets so busy.  Hopefully, it'll be back up and running by the end of the month.

I learned a long time ago that every museum around the world has two things:  an overpriced gift shop and an overpriced cafe.  So I try to photograph them at every museum I go to!  Here's the gift shop.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Tomorrow Never Dies

Welcome back to Fishing in the Discount Bin, my ramblings about the various DVDs in my collection.  Today we get to a beloved-by-me-but-not-by-the-populace James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.  This review is originally dated November 13, 2011.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Labour Day in the City

Yay, long weekend!  Yay, holiday Monday!  For those who are my friend on Facebook, you'll know my last holiday Monday in the city was pretty crappy. 

Long story short:  I found a fabled comic book store had moved, and got my first parking ticket for my troubles.

This time, though, I decided to stick to the routes I know, and so my day started at Best Buy, staring at flatscreen TVs and wondering if I'll ever have the savings to buy one.

However, I did have my sights set on a few new Blu-Rays.  First up, I was looking at getting Jaws.  I've only ever seen  half of Jaws.  I always seem to come in in the middle when it's on basic cable.  However, I feel it's one of those films I need to know to strengthen my geek cred.

Jaws' contribution to cinema history has been well-documented.  It established the event picture formula and marketing tactics that are still followed to this day.  It made Steven Spielberg a household name.  But what gets me is the massive fandom that it's built.  So truly, I felt, I should get my hands on it.  And, since it's newly released on Blu-Ray, and at affordable discount bin prices to boot, why not?

Speaking of that fandom, another reason to pick up Jaws is that it contains the fabled documentary The Shark is Still Working.  I've been reading about this film online for a few years.  It's a very comprehensive documentary about the making of Jaws, made completely by diehard fans.  They manage to interview absolutely everyone who was involved in the making of the film.  From director Steven Spielberg to the lowliest extras.  They even interviewed the narrator who did the voice-over for the trailer!  It's been making the film festival circuit for a few years and never had anything close to an official release, but those who have seen it say that it's one of the best "making-of" documentaries ever made.  So, sometime in the future, look for installments of Fishing in the Discount Bin on both Jaws and The Shark is Still Working

From there, I went down the road to the craft store Michael's.  I have this friend who recently went vacationing in Scotland.  And she sent me stuff!  Being an Olympics buff, she sent me a souviner poster for London 2012.  And being a railway enthusiast, she sent me a reproduction of this very cool British Railways travel poster.

Naturally, I want to get this fella framed and hanging on my wall.  So I went to Michael's and I went to their frame section.  Now I was diligent enough to measure this poster before leaving home, but I didn't write it down.  So when I was staring down the frames, I couldn't remember if the poster was 11" x 14", or 11" x 17".  So, I went with 11" x 17" because it looked more right.

And then I got it home and darn it, the poster is 11" x 14". 

Right now, I'm debating whether to take the frame back and get a proper one, or make it work.  I mean, at the end, the only thing I'm worried about is 1.5" of space at the top and bottom of the poster that needs to be filled in.  So, to make it work, I'm thinking maybe get some white poster board to put behind it, it'll match nicely with the white border that's already on the poster.  The more I think about that idea, the more I like that idea. 

Anywho, with my frolicking on the north side done, it was off to my favouritest of haunts in Edmonton, West Edmonton Mall.  And of course, on a day like today, that meant dropping off too much money on Blu-Rays at HMV.

I saw a few weeks ago that The Royal Tenenbaums had just hit Blu-Ray, and I kind of wanted to get it.  As I previously blogged, this is one of those films where my memories of seeing it are stronger than memories of the movie itself, so I got it for those reasons.  Besides, it's a Criterion release.  I figure I need more Criterions to add a touch of class to my collection.  They're pricier than regular Blu-Rays, but I was in a real "Why not?" kind of mood today.

Then, as I was browsing the shelves, I stumbled across River of No Return.  You might remember when I did this on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  This is the legendary film that Marilyn Monroe made in Jasper.  It was recently remastered in hi-def and released on Blu-Ray, along with a bunch of other Marilyn Monroe classics, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her passing.   So I saw the Blu-Ray there in HMV for the discount bin price of $15, and thought, "Why not?"  I just watched the opening again.  I've been vacationing in Jasper since I was a baby...the sights in that film are so maddeningly familiar, but I just can't place them. 

And after that, it was just miscellaneous browsing.  Stopped in at Staples to look at a few computer accessories.  For a time now, I've been thinking I've got to get a webcam for my computer.  A lot of my friends are on Skype, a lot of my family is on Skype, and everyone assumes I'm on Skype because that's just what geeks do.  But I don't have a webcam, so I'm not on Skype.  I'm thinking I have to change that. 

But not today because, man, Staples was nuts with all those last-minute back-to-school shoppers. 

But that was my Labour Day.  Time to do some labour now and pay for it!