Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - X-Men: The Last Stand

Here we are again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, my blogging/ranting about a movie I own.  We're continuing to march through the X-Men franchise with X-Men: The Last Stand.  This is originally in my notes at June 28, 2014.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Time for a New Targ!

A new week is here, and that means another episode of U62: The Targ to tickle your earbuds!  Not much tickling, though, as there’s a lot of complaining and grousing in Episode 8.06: Lower Levels Love Me.  What do I complain about today?
  • Blu-rays that won’t play!  Darn you, technology, for not working!
  • A Spider-Man animated film franchise!  Are we going to get Spider-Man oversaturation?
But then, the complaining ends!  What good stuff do I applaud?
  • Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix is so good, you guys.
  • West Edmonton Mall has brought back the whale!
All this and more on the latest Targ!

Check it on the main site!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - X2

 Welcome to Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the many movies I own and blog about it.  Today, we're continuing our voyage through the X-Men franchise with X2.  This pops up in my notes at June 28, 2014.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Small Town Movies

When I first moved to the Westlock/Barrhead region two years ago, I was surprised and elated when I discovered that Barrhead has a movie theatre...the Roxy.  Much like grain elevators, the small town movie theatre is another hallmark of small town life that seems to be fading away.  It's so easy to head on into the city to catch a movie the day it comes out.  Why wait a week or two for it to makes its way to your town?  But I kept saying that I must catch a movie at the Roxy.  It's part of my community, and I love the movies, so why not?

So it may seem kind of strange that, after two years, the one movie that come to the Roxy that finally made me check it out was Disney's live-action Cinderella.  But it in a way, it makes sense.  It seems that my memories of small town movie theatres tend to involved Disney movies.

Where I grew up, the closest small town with a movie theatre was Drayton Valley.  They had a one-screen movie theatre...the Cardium.  Despite being the closest, didn't see a lot of movies at the Cardium growing up.  The last movie I remember seeing there was The Lion King.  For those who don't remember The Lion King's release history, it came out in the summer of 1994.  And then, in a stroke of marketing brilliance, Disney pulled it out of theatres at the end of the summer, and re-released it at Christmas of 1994.  When it came to the Cardium over Christmas vacation, my sister and a couple of her friends really wanted to go see it again.  I had just gotten my driver's license, and Mom no doubt wanted a few hours of peace and quiet over the Christmas break, so Mom said, "Would you take them?"  So I did.  The big selling point for that re-release was they were showing an entire musical number from Disney's next animated epic, Pocahontas, before the film, so I got to see Colors of the Wind on the big screen.  I remember it as being a nice theatre. 

The Cardium closed in the mid-00s, but the name lives on.  The Cardium is now the name of Drayton's 4-screen cineplex that replaced the original. 

When it comes to small town, one-screen movie theatres, the one I have the most memories of is the Bailey Theatre.  The main movie theatre in Camrose, and within walking distance of the college, so of course a movie-loving college student wound up spending a lot of time there.  My best friend and I, being of similar movie tastes, spent a lot of Friday nights there seeing the newest offering.  Being a couple of animation geeks, I remember going to see Anastasia on opening night, and my friend and I spent the whole film critiquing and analyzing the animation.

About the only movie that I saw at the Bailey myself was The Little Mermaid.  Disney re-released it in 1997 in the hopes of crushing Anastasia at the box office, and I leaped at the chance to see it on the big screen.  Going by myself meant I could sit in the balcony.  I always thought that a balcony in a movie theatre was a Hollywood invention.  I only ever saw it in movies and on TV until I got to the Bailey.  My best friend -- being from the Camrose area and seeing movies at the Bailey all his life -- always insisted on sitting front row centre.  But that night, on my own at The Little Mermaid, I got to sit front row centre...in the balcony.  No wonder Siskel and Ebert loved sitting there so much. 

Christmas 1997 wound up being a pivotal year for the Bailey, for that's when their competition, the shiny new 5-screen Duggan Cinemas opened up.  That's the only time I ever engaged in any student journalism, outside my radio-show-plugging opinion column.  My best friend was editor of the school paper, and one night, while we were hanging out as he worked to put the next issue to bed, we began speculating as to what the Duggan Cinemas might do to the Bailey.  So we called up the managers of both theatres, got quotes, and put together a story on Camrose's upcoming "theatre war." 

But we knew the Bailey's days were numbered.  The last movie we saw there was Lost in Space, which opened in April of 1998.  After that was final exams, and I was home for summer.  When I came back to Camrose for the next semester in the fall of 1998, the Bailey was closed.

That being said, the Bailey's doing pretty well for itself these days.  It's been restored to its 1940s art deco glory, and is now Camrose's premiere live entertainment venue

So it was time to create new memories of the small town one-screen movie theatre by heading out to the Roxy.  I went into the theatre, and remarked at how similar the lobbies of these small town theatres are.  The lobby is smaller and more intimate that what you'd find in the big city.  The box office is right there as soon as you get in.  I paid for my ticket, and right next to the box office is the small concession counter.  As I've blogged before, I don't eat at the movies that much anymore, because I tend to go right after a meal.  The Roxy in Barrhead was no different, as I'd just had supper at the A&W down the street.  But I've been assured that the Roxy makes really good popcorn. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have a cry room...a nice addition that more movie theatres should have.  This is the soundproof booth where parents can take fussy babies to they don't interrupt the show.  Don't worry, from inside, they can still see the screen, and there's speakers that have the movie's sound turned to a lower volume for the little one. 

I went inside, and it was like going back to the Cardium.  Laid out in the very same way.  Large speakers hanging off the wall, instead of being built into the wall like most big city theatres.  I thought about going front row centre like my best friend would insist back in the Bailey, but I instead went for my usual selection of somewhere in the middle.  I noticed the Roxy also has a stage, so like the Bailey, I imagine it must have been a multi-purpose theatre that hosted live events in its 50 year history. 

Cinderella Teaser Poster:  just a simple image of the legendary glass slipper

That being said, how was Cinderella?  "Magical" is a good way to describe it.  It manages to capture all the magic and charm of the original Disney animated film, with a few new wrinkles.  Cate Blanchett manages to flesh out the Wicked Stepmother more, as we see her actively scheming and plotting to improve her station in life.  And Helena Bonham Carter brings just the right blend of flighty and mystical to the Fairy Godmother.

The bad?  Well, it is Cinderella, and they don't deviate too far from the original text, so the plot really doesn't offer up anything new.  And I still have the same question I've always had about Cinderella:  "Wouldn't glass slippers be horribly uncomfortable and impractical?"  But still, I had fun.  3 Nibs, and the full review is up on the website.

Although, on the drive home, I think I finally figured out another question I've always had about Cinderella.  And that question was, "How weird must her feet be if those glass slippers fit her and only her?"  But it occurred to me:  since they are magical, obviously they magically re-size themselves to not fit unless it's Cinderella.  Brilliant! 

Oh, and it also started with the animated short film Frozen Fever, a nice little expansion of the Frozen universe. 

All in all, it was a good evening, and the Roxy can truly stand as one of the greatest of the small town movie theatres. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Targ is Here!

U62: The Targ

A brand new week means a brand new episode of U62: The Targ!  And I needed to do an episode this week, because there’s lots of good stuff to talk about.  Especially the trailers!  So many good trailers!
  • Hear my thoughts about the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Batman v Superman, Ant-Man, and Terminator Genisys!
  • We’ve got another installment of Mark Tastes Random Things.  This time, hear me chow down on Tim Hortons Nutella donut, and I extoll the joys of Nutella!
  • And, because unboxing videos are all the rage, I even do an unboxing.  A friend of mine bought me a present online from China, so I tear open the package and find out what he sent me.
All this and more in Episode 8.05: 7 Days in the Making!

Head to the main site to download it!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Other Big Trailers This Week

Well, when I originally jotted this down on Friday morning, it was only dedicated to the trailers for Ant-Man and Terminator.  But then, we were all kinda surprised when Warner Brothers decided to release the first teaser for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

See, the original plan was they showed the "teaser for a teaser" on Wednesday night, premiere the trailer at a special event at select IMAX theatres on Monday, with the trailer officially going online on Tuesday.  But, it got leaked to the Internet on Thursday night, forcing WB's hand and giving it an official release on Friday night.

Obstensibly a sequel to Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice was quickly handed the task of establishing the DC Cinematic Universe.  So not only does a rebooted Batman show up, we're also going to get Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg, leading to the origins of the Justice League.

Of course, there was much outcry over the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman, but I think Affleck is a good enough actor to pull it off.  Assisting Affleck is Jeremy Irons as the new Alfred.  Rounding out our Justice League is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

Returning from Man of Steel is Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.  Rounding out the Superman universe is Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. 

So...how does it look?

Huh.  Well...yeah.  I'm not diggin' it.  I'm not liking Gritty Superman vs Darth Vader Batman.

I know that they're trying to take from the beloved Frank Miller graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.  But that had a whole different set-up to their epic fight.  Batman and Superman were the only two superheros left.  Superman became a total government sell-out, and Batman was still sticking up for the little guy.  It was the clash of ideologies.  Granted, they could be going for that in Batman v Superman.  Batman could see that he has to stand up for the common person after Superman and Zod's godlike battle that utterly destroyed Metropolis in Man of Steel.

But still...in this film, Superman is just starting out.  In The Dark Knight Returns, it was at the relative end of Batman and Superman's superhero careers.  No doubt their relationship had become that of colleagues who tolerated each other and got along, but eventually started getting on each others' nerves after 50 years of the same ol' crap.  Do you really want them to start out that way?

Or maybe I'm just tired of gritty Batman.  Christopher Nolan did it so well in his Dark Knight trilogy, that we were ready for a new direction, and this isn't new enough.  Hell, they even rip off a shot from The Dark Knight Rises in that trailer, of Batman from behind, on top of the bridge, his cape flowing in the wind.

Perhaps a co-worker said it best.  We all loved the Star Wars trailer so much, that anything else by comparison is going to seem underwhelming for the next little bit.

But I love Batman.  I love Superman.  And I'm upset that this trailer has me going "meh."

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theatres on March 25, 2016.

My original trailer rants follow.

Before the new Star Wars trailer came along and blew our minds, there were a couple other trailers that come out earlier this week that I wanted to ramble about a bit.  First up, the new trailer for Ant-Man:

I'm still feeling kind of "meh" towards Ant-Man.  I mean, a hero with a supersuit?  Battling a villain with a similar supersuit?  Didn't Marvel already make this movie in Iron Man?  My original complaint of "generic superhero film" still stands.

Although, there are some clever bits.  I chuckled at the whole "I need you to break into a place and steal some stuff" gag.  And the end bit with the train was cute.  But I'm still going..."meh."

Meanwhile, we also got the new trailer for the big Terminator reboot, Terminator Genisys.


Now this one has me a little more sold on Terminator Genisys.  I complained that the first trailer had a whole "been there, done that" feeling to it, as we saw the Terminator running around battling a liquid metal Terminator.  But now that we're getting more into the plot and we're seeing what's going on, and that John Connor himself is now a Terminator of some kind...now I'm getting more intrigued.  Might be going to see this one after all.

Both Ant-Man and Terminator Genisys come out in July.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser #2

I keep saying I'm not going to get excited.  No matter how tantalizing all the new pictures and rumours from the set look, I can't help but have flashbacks to late-1998/early-1999 when I was also this excited.  Picking apart the trailers, pouring over every bit of information that was released, only to be greeted with...the prequels.

"Never again," I said.  "I'm done with this franchise.  It's only going to hurt me again."

But then, yesterday, with some downtime at work, I found myself doing this.

A photo posted by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

Yesterday was the launch of Star Wars Celebration, aka the official Star Wars convention.  It kicked off with a special panel dedicated to the new film, The Force Awakens, and while there was no official announcement, it was heavily rumoured that the new teaser would be premiering at that panel.

I tried to get engrossed in the panel, but I kept getting distracted.  I was at work, after all.  So I missed a few things.  Like the revelation that the desert planet we've been seeing so far isn't the familiar location of Tatooine, but a new planet called Jakku.

They talked to the guys who built the droids.  The rolled out R2-D2, they rolled out that new bowling ball droid BB-8, which amazed the crowd by a being a practical puppet and not CGI.  The elaborated that they thought BB-8 would have to be done with CGI, but Disney CEO Bob Iger new of a robotics company that could pull it off.

They brought out the new cast members, who sadly couldn't say too much about their parts.  John Boyega, who plays Finn, the Stormtrooper in all the teasers, told a story (and did a great Harrison Ford impression) about asking Harrison Ford to sign one of his Han Solo action figures on the set one day.

They brought out a platoon of the new Stormtroopers, and then they brought out...the originals.  Mark Hamill.  Carrie Fisher.  Anthony Daniels.  Peter Mayhew.  It was them.  The original cast.  Back again.  And now...now I was truly getting excited.

More so than the prequels, they really seem to be playing up the nostalgia angle this time out.  They are working very hard to maintain the esthetic and the ideals of the original trilogy.  This looks and feels more like Star Wars than the prequels did.  The prequels played up the icons of the original trilogy, but this...this really is trying to evoke more than the icons...the feelings behind them.

Once the new and the original cast members gathered on stage for a photo op, it was time.  They promised us one last thing before they wrapped up.  And yes, it was the new trailer.  I could hear down the hall a co-worker of mine was also watching it, so I ran into his office to watch it with someone.

At the end of the trailer, we lost our collective minds.  We laughed.  We cheered.  We hugged.  You'd think we were watching the Moon landing on TV or something.  Everything about it...just felt right. 

I'm trying not to get excited.  Really, I'm not.  I've been down this road before.  But with the John Williams music, and the visuals, and how it's everything from the original trilogy but new, I can't help but think...I've come home.

According to my countdown app, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in 245 days. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - X-Men

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, one of my weekly viewings of a movie I own, then ranting about it.  This time out, I'm going to plow through the X-Men franchise, so we're starting at the start, 2000's X-Men.  I originally watched this and wrote it on June 22, 2014.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Means New Targ Day!

And we're back! After a week off for Easter, and we're here and podcasting once again! This time, I bring you Episode 8.04: Only a Tribute. What are this week's rambles?
  • Star Wars has been released on digital platforms! Is it worth buying again? Will I buy it again?
  • The Doctor Who speech! Whenever someone points to the Doctor Who button on my parka, and asks, "Who's that?" I launch into this speech about Doctor Who
  • And upon the passing of James Best, some reminiscing about watching The Dukes of Hazzard when I was a kid.
All this, and more, on this week's episode of U62: The Targ!

Download at the main site!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Run Lola Run

Here we are again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin, when I watch one of the movies I own, and blog about it, because that's how empty my life is.  Today, we get to the late-1990s cult classic Run Lola Run.  This pops up in my notes at June 1, 2014.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Father Goose

Welcome back to Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly viewing of something in my movie collection.  Doing a true classic now.  From 1964, it's Father Goose.  This shows up in my notes at May 25, 2014.