Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Doing The Targ Is Hard. But Here's a New One!

U62: The Targ

Eventually, I’ve got to do a podcast like this.  I clean out my show prep file and just find all the little scraps of stuff I wanted to talk about, but it slipped my mind.  Then, when I’m stuck for what to talk about, i just grab all those forgotten scraps.  So what scraps make up Episode 8.11: Titles Are Hard?
  • I saw the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself on Netflix, and share my reminiscings about Mr. Ebert.
  • Sighting View-Master reels for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in a museum leads to ranting about the history of View-Master
  • Telling the tale of the Justice League movie we almost got from the director of Mad Max
  • How all those videos games that have the action figure tie-ins (i.e. Disney Infinity) are really starting to tickle my fancy
Plus, I once again recount the tale of how I made my best friend.  I’ve blogged about it, but I felt like telling it once again.

Download it over at the main site!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Strange Brew

Here we are, tumbling along once again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, blogging about one of the movies I own.  It's important to highlight that this one appears in my notes on July 1, 2014, hence all the references to Canada Day in it.  And what movie did I watch to celebrate that day, why the Bob and Doug McKenzie movie, Strange Brew.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Netflix Nonsense - Mad Max 2 (aka The Road Warrior)

Well, as I said last time, with most folks I know being very much in love with Mad Max: Fury Road right now, I realized that my lack of having seen any of the Mad Max films is one of the more serious gaps in my personal film history.  Lucky for me, I discovered that they're all on Shomi.  We're continuing through the franchise with Mad Max 2, known to some as The Road Warrior, but I think many now call it Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Week, New Targ

Summer is truly upon us!  I’m wearing shorts and showing off my sexy legs!  And on days like today, nothing like loading up the MP3 player with podcasts and heading out into the world!  And what better podcast than mine, and this week’s episode, Episode 8.10: Hooker Bike?  Ramblings on this week’s episode:
  • My latest discoveries on Shomi, heading into reminiscing about Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and my gritty reboot plans for The Edison Twins.
  • My thoughts on the new Transformers writing committee, and the new method of mapping out franchises
  • Gushing about the Flash season finale
That, and a song of the show, and various tangents I go off on.

Head over to the main site to give it a listen!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - X-Men: Days of Future Past

Welcome back to Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly blog about one of the movies I own on home media.  I've been doing a run though the X-Men franchise recently, so I think to close things off proper, I'm going to jump ahead in my notes to October 19, 2014 to do X-Men: Days of Future Past.  "But Mark, you missed The Wolverine!" you may be saying.  Well, I did The Wolverine over a year ago, before I did this run though the franchise.  It's right here if you want to catch up.  And now, on to Days of Future Past

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Netflix Nonsense - Mad Max

I guess I really shouldn't call this one an installment of "Netflix Nonsense" as it's more "Shomi Nonsense."  As I've detailed on my podcast recently, I've been all conflicted about the new Canadian streaming video service, Shomi.  I signed up for it, but then I realized I just wasn't watching it, so I cancelled it.  I figured I'd watch it more if they had an easy-to-use Apple TV app.  Literally a week after I canceled my subscription, they launched their Apple TV app.  So after humming and hawing for a few days, I reactivated my account, just to try the Apple TV app.

Now, what to watch?  Well, as I recently said in my Mad Max: Fury Road review, the Mad Max franchise is another of those embarrassing gaps in my personal film history.  I haven't seen a single one, aside from Beyond Thunderdome on TV when I was a kid.  And look!  They're all on Shomi.  So, just like back in November when I decided to binge on the Rocky franchise, I'm going to work my way through the Mad Max films.  Let's start at the very beginning...Mad Max.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Long Weekend Panic

I don't know what's come over me.  Driving into the city in the past few months has been so...anxiety-inducing.  My car could use some new tires, so that worries me.  I have a laundry list of things that I've been told need to be fixed on my car, but I don't know if they're genuine problems, or just the standard up-selling that happens when you get your oil changed.  And let's not forget the growing popularity of traffic cams.  Every time I speed up to get through a yellow light, I spend the next day in the fetal position wondering if a ticket's going to come through the mail.  Yesterday, I saw the bright flash of a photo radar cam.  Was it for me?  It was a 60 zone and I was doing about 63...is that enough to set them off?

And don't get me started when winter comes, and you add snow-covered streets to the mix.  I used to be more calm about all this but something switched in my brain, and now I'm not. 

But with all that in mind, the long weekend is here, and I always felt that a long weekend is wasted if I don't get out and do something.  And I'm pretty sure I haven't been all the way down to my beloved West Edmonton Mall since February.  Suck it up, soldier, we're going to the Mall.

I was also reluctant to head into the Mall because, well, I work in radio, and for the civilians out there, you don't make a lot of money in radio.  Finances have been tight as of late, and when you don't have much money, malls make you feel really, really bad.  So much you want, but so little you can afford.  However, in the past, I've been able to justify a financial cheat day if I buy at least one thing I genuinely need.  And I was in need of a new vacuum cleaner filter.

With filter in hand, I started browsing the other sections of Wal-Mart.  I found myself in the bathroom accessories section.  On her last couple of visits, my mother found my bathroom to be somewhat cluttered.  You can purchase these special shelving units that are designed to fit over top of the toilet to clean up such clutter.  And Wal-Mart finally had them, and on sale.  So, of course I got one.

From there, it was traversing the city streets to West Edmonton Mall.  I felt like I needed to go to West Edmonton Mall to see something for myself.  West Edmonton Mall has finally brought their whale statue out of storage.

The brief history:  a popular landmark in West Edmonton Mall was a fountain that featured a life-sized statue of a Right Whale.  Well, it's head is life-sized, and made to look like it's surfacing.  And you could go inside and check it out.  It used to be in front of Victoria's Secret, but when when Victoria's Secret came to the mall 5 years ago, they wanted the space to construct a waiting area for bored husbands and boyfriends.  So the statue was yanked out, the fountain filled in, and some comfy sofas went in.

At the time, West Edmonton Mall said it would be brought back once a new location in the Mall could be found.  I wondered what was taking so long, and a couple of years ago, I even wrote an e-mail to the Mall's management asking.  Wrote a blog entry about it, which a colleague of mine at an Edmonton radio station shared on the air, and it was my most-read blog entry for a while.   About a month ago, West Edmonton Mall finally brought the whale out of storage and unceremoniously dumped it in its new location:  in front of Sears.  They say it's going to be the centerpiece of a new interactive exhibit.  As long as it's in a fountain again, I'll be happy.  That was always my fondest memory of the whale:  looking down on it from the second level, and you could see all the coins littering the bottom.  My Dad once remarked that, to collect them all, it would probably be easier to drain the fountain then sweep them all up.

A photo posted by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

After that, did a little more browsing.  Of course I had to head to HMV.  Always feel kind of sad when I leave HMV but I do NOT have any new Blu-Rays or DVDs.  Granted, there are always a couple of classics I see that I'd like to add to my collection, but since I know that's my greatest addiction, and with tight finances, I start asking myself questions about how much I genuinely need another movie for my collection.  More new movies definitely get moved to the bottom of the list.

But then, over browsing in Chapters, I did succumb to temptation and pick up a new graphic novel.  Always loved Disney's movie version of The Rocketeer, but I've never read the original Dave Stevens comics.  Skimming the graphic novels section, I noticed that the Dave Stevens originals were just released in a shiny new trade paperback.  I figured the $20 would be more than worth it. 

And you know the formula to these blog entries by now.  No trip to West Edmonton Mall is complete without going to see a movie.  I figured I would go see Mad Max: Fury Road.  Mad Max is one of those embarrassing gaps in my personal film history.  Besides fuzzy memories of watching Beyond Thunderdome on TV when I was a kid, I haven't seen any of them.  But with phenomenally good reviews and some insane-looking trailers, I figured it would be worth checking out.

Our hero Max is captured by a gang to essentially be used as an unwilling blood donor.  This gang is led by Immortan Joe, who has fashioned a cult around himself.  When one of Immortan Joe's top drivers, the Imperator Furiosa, goes rogue and tries to smuggle Immortan Joe's harem of unwilling wives to safety, Max soon gets swept up in the battle and helps Furiousa and the women on their race to safety.  And what results is an insane car chase across the desert. 

I found this movie to be really, really, good.  From what I gather, Mad Max has always been a man of few words, and Tom Hardy does pretty good doing just that.  Charlize Theron is easily Max's equal as Furiosa, a woman who's done terrible things and hopes this one act will offer some form of redemption.  And the car chases are thrilling, and exciting and just very, very good.  My main quibble is that there's so many car chases, that it wears you down after a bit. 

I give it 3 out of 4 nibs.  The complete review is on my website. 

And with that, my day in the city was at an end.  I decided to take the long way home, and make a side trip to Spruce Grove for supper at Carls Jr.  Yeah, it's been around for about a year now, but it still has the novelty of being new.  Not a lot of Carls Jrs in this part of Canada yet, and taking the long way out to Spruce Grove just gets me out of the city quicker.  I decided to sample their El Diablo Burger.  Deep friend jalapenos on a burger.  That was...interesting. 

I started heading for home, my favourite podcasts playing on my car stereo.  Something has been done for the long weekend, so I can spend the rest of it curled up in the fetal position, waiting for traffic tickets to arrive.  To date, none have, but who knows?  This may be the first.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Long Weekend Targ

Happy May Long Weekend!  As the song says, “Ain’t nothing better in the world you know/Than lying in the Sun with the radio.”  And in this day and age, stuff that radio with podcats!  Preferably, mine!  What rants and ramblings do I have in Episode 8.09: My Biggest Fan Takes Batteries:
  • More obsessing about Shomi.  Yes, I reactivated my account to try the Apple TV app.
  • Geeking out about these lovely new collectables known as the ReAction figures
  • Reflections on the old Star Wars: Droids cartoon
And, perhaps the biggest bit in the show.  I offer up my reactions to the biggest movie trailer that was released this week.  Yes, I rant about the Jem and the Holograms trailer.

Head over to the podcast site to give it a listen!

And subscribe in iTunes!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Jem and the Holograms Trailer

"I'm a white male, age 18-49.  Everyone listens to me, not matter how dumb my suggestions are." - Homer Simpson

Jem and the Holograms movie poster

I used to be an avid reader of ToyFare magazine.  About 10 years ago, I remember reading an interview with Hasbro's brand manager for Transformers.  He said that Hasbro's corporate strategy for Transformers was to reboot it every 5 years or so, so it'd always be fresh for the next batch of kids growing up.  When the first Michael Bay Transformers movie came along, I went into the theatre with that mentality:  this is not my Transformers, but a reboot for the next generation.  And with that mentality, I found it more acceptable than most Transformers fans did.

The global success of Transformers taught Hasbro a very important lesson:  thanks to many of their brands having been successful media franchises back in the 1980s, those franchises grew up to be very valuable intellectual properties.  Adults raised on those toys and cartoons were now introducing them to their kids.  They could get two whole generations.  Transformers sequels, new cartoons, and new toys came out in droves.  G.I. Joe was next.  It all led to Hasbro launching their own TV network - the Hub - and its most unexpected juggernaut, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

For content for their new TV network, Hasbro dipped into their archives and dug out many of their classic cartoons from the 1980s.  That led to another unexpected hit...reruns of Jem and the Holograms.  I won't say too much.  My blog entry on when I binge-watched the entire series on Netflix a few months ago says it all.  But let it be known that I still believe Jem and the Holograms is the greatest thing Hasbro produced in the 1980s.  It is so mired in the fads and trends of the time.  It is the ultimate 1980s time capsule.  It is cheezy.  It is campy.  It is truly truly truly outrageous.

And it has become another valued intellectual property for Hasbro.

A live-action movie version was announced over a year ago.  Within months of its announcement came the announcement that production had wrapped.  This film has already been sitting on the shelf for over a year.  Directing it is John M. Chu, veteran of such modern-day movie musicals as a couple of the Step Up films and Justin Beiber concert film Never Say Never.  And, he developed a good working relationship with Hasbro, having done G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

But still, what from the classic cartoon would remain?  Would we still have a sentient AI be the source of Jem's transformations?  Would there still be high adventure as the Holograms and the Misfits battle for pop chart supremacy?  Would there still be music videos?

This film was flying so under the radar, that even blurry scans from magazines became huge news.  But now, we have a trailer   We have a trailer for a live-action Jem movie.

This trailer came out back on Tuesday.  I've watched it about a dozen times now.  And I can't.  Stop.  Laughing.

Am I angry and disappointed that Synergy isn't a sentient AI and the world's most powerful holographic projection system?  Yes.

Am I disappointed that there's no Misfits there, causing trouble? Yes.

Am I upset that it doesn't feature the classic theme song?  Yes.

But I can't.  Stop.  Laughing.

Does the plot look cliched as hell?  Yes.

Does it look like a made-for-the-Disney-channel TV movie?   Yes.

But I can't.  Stop.  Laughing.

Why am I laughing?  Because we now live in a world where they've made a Jem movie.  The beloved toys of my youth are no longer treasured memories.  They're valued intellectual properties.  They're brands to be exploited.   The only way such a thing could ever reach this position is if my generation became grown-ups and started running the world.

Guess what?  We are.

And the crazy thing is, we're responsible adults.  The reason this is cliched and looks like a made-for-the-Disney-channel TV movie is because we started thinking, "Well, this is what the kids are into these days, so this is the only way it'll ever get made."  We couldn't go all Guardians of the Galaxy and embrace the absurdities of the franchise because we stood up and said, "Think of the children." 

This is it!  We're adults!  We are the runners of the world!  We have reached the age where we
have the power to do whatever we want to make this the world we want!

And we used that power not to make the Jem movie we want, but the Jem reboot we think our kids want. 

Jem and the Holograms comes out on October 23. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - X-Men: First Class

Continuing to plow through the X-Men franchise here on Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly blog about a movie I own.  We get to the reboot of the franchise, X-Men: First Class.  This appears in my notes at June 30, 2014.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Batman vs. Robin Review

Well, with a busy week done, I got to tackle my "to-watch" pile of new Blu-Rays, and right at the top was the latest DC Universe Original Movie

Batman vs. Robin

Directed by Jay Olivia

Starring the voices of Jason O'Mara, Stuart Allan, Sean Maher, Jeremy Sisto, Grey Griffin, Kevin Conroy, and "Weird Al" Yankovic

Backstory:  As I've blogged before, I'm starting to grow bored with the DC Universe Original movies.  What once was a great project to bring life to some classic DC properties has now become, "Hey!  What was that New 52 storyline that sold really well last year?  Let's just do that!"  And the fact that this one is a sequel to Son of Batman, which I found disappointing.  For those who don't remember Son of Batman introduced the latest Robin, Damien Wayne, the long lost son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Guhl.  Kept secret from Batman, and raised by his grandfather Ra's Al Guhl to be the deadliest member of the League of Assassins, but soon reunited with his father and set loose on the streets of Gotham.  But rather than analyze the dynamic of Batman's figurative son becoming his literal son, it was just another Robin origin story.  The New 52 storyline this draws from is Night of the Owls, which introduced an interesting new villain for Batman:  The Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled Gotham City from the shadows for centuries, and the Talons, their chief assassins.  So...yeah.  Expectations were low going in.

Plot:  Young Damien Wayne is growing frustrated.  Bruce Wayne is keeping him cooped up in Wayne Manor, as he's reluctant to reveal to the world that he now has a son.  The growing tensions lead to Damien frequently going out on his own as Robin, and he soon encounters another vigilante named Talon.  Talon professes to be a fan of Batman's work, but knows that Batman hinders himself by refusing to kill.  Talon, however, feels the ends justifies the means, and wants to help Robin meet his full potential.  Meanwhile, Batman's latest case brings up some startling evidence.  The Court of Owls, long considered to be a myth, may actually be real, and Batman is being set up for a confrontation with them.  It's soon learned that Robin is pawn in the war between Batman and Talon, and soon Robin must choose a side.  Will Batman and Robin actually fight each other to the death?

What I Liked:  Well, this did resolve one of my biggest letdowns with Son of Batman, and that is Bruce and Damien Wayne actually developing some kind of father/son relationship.  A good chunk of the movie is about Batman/Bruce Wayne actually, finally accepting Damien as his son, and it's good to see that play out.  Talon is an interesting villain, as he is kind of a dark reflection of Batman, and a warning as to what Damien could grow up to be.  And the voice acting is starting to grow on me.  It's fun seeing Kevin Conroy (THE voice of Batman) put in a cameo as Thomas Wayne in a flashback.  And Weird Al!  Holy moly, Weird Al as the Dollmaker!  I had no freaking idea Weird Al could get so...creepy. 

What I Didn't Like:  Secret societies have been done.  And the titular Batman vs. Robin fight is way too brief. 

Final Verdict:  A step up from Son of Batman, but still can't shake the "been there, done that" hanging over this franchise. 

3 Nibs

Bonus Features:  The typical bonuses.  A featurette on the Court of Owls.  A featurette on Talon.  A running commentary with the director.  A bunch of bonus cartoons from the DC Animated Universe (even a Bugs Bunny cartoon!)  And a sneak preview of the next film, Justice League:  Gods and Monsters

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday's Targ Day!

The Targ Logo

Well, it’s nothing but superhero news and various ramblings on this week’s episode of The Targ, hence the title, Episode 8.08: Make Mine Superheroes.  What do I ramble about?  Well….
  • I do something I haven’t done in ages!  I fire up my digital voice recorder and offer my thoughts on Avengers: Age of Ultron as the credits roll in the theatres!
  • From there, the news about the epic cast of Captain America: Civil War
  • An update on DC’s TV universe, with the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl TV series.
I also begin lamenting shutting down my Shomi account…as they finally launch an Apple TV app.  Is this a game changer in Canada’s upstart streaming video services?
And that’s what I ramble about on this week’s Targ!

Head to the main site and have a listen!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - X-Men Origins: Wolverine

It's time for Fishing in the Discount Bin once again, where I blog about one of the many, many movies I own.  I'm heading through the X-Men franchise right now, and we arrive at the first of the Wolverine solo films X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  This is originally in my notes at June 29, 2014.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Standing in Line for Episode I

Well, it's Star Wars Day.  I've blogged in the past that I'm not a big fan of Star Wars Day.  I mean, I'm all for setting aside a day to celebrate your fandom, but I don't like the way the day was decided by a lame pun.  But, this year, I'm getting caught up in it a little bit.  It probably has a lot to do with the residual good vibes from the phenomenal The Force Awakens trailer from a few weeks ago.  But this time, I decided to act on those good vibes.

I decided to finally try and get a copy of the Camrose Canadian that interviewed me about standing in line for Episode I

A couple days after standing in line for my tickets, a few of my Camrose compatriots sent me an e-mail saying, "Dude!  They interview you on the front page of the Camrose Canadian!"  And I was like, "Dude!  Send me a copy!"  But they never did.  16 years on, I knew my chances of getting a copy were pretty slim, but I figured I should try.  I sent an e-mail to the Camrose Canadian explaining the situation, and they were very kind enough to dip into their archives, find a copy, and send me a scan. 

So here I am on the front page of the Camrose Canadian!

The pertinent text: ""Augustana student Mark Cappis made the journey from Entwistle to secure some seats.  'When it opens, I want to see it with all my friends.  I just wanted to make sure I got my tickets,' he said."

"Augustana student Mark Cappis made the journey from Entwistle to secure some seats.  'When it opens, I want to see it with all my friends.  I just wanted to make sure I got my tickets,' he said." 

That may seem a little corny in retrospect, but it was true.  Episode I came out as my college career came to an end.  Graduation was just the week before.  For the final year, all me and my friends were talking about and analyzing were all the rumorus and trailer for Episode IWhere else were we going to see The Phantom Menace other than Camrose? 

For those who don't know the history, Episode I was one of the first major Hollywood blockbusters where they sold advance tickets.  The film came out on May 19, but tickets went on sale one week earlier, May 12, at 1PM Alberta time.  So, with that in mind, and me having already moved home with the end of the school year, I got it in my head that I'd be heading down to Camrose on May 12 to wait in line for tickets. 

On May 12, I was up at the crack of dawn.  I hopped into my (parents') car and made the 2-hour drive down to Camrose.  I arrived at the Duggan Mall at 9AM....

...and I was already third in line.  Damn it!  But still, I settled in, and started waiting for 1PM.

The article mentions "another fan, with a boom box, [who] began playing the Star Wars soundtrack just as ticket sales began."  That was my friend Arlo.  He had just bought the Episode I soundtrack a few weeks before, so we were cranking that up.  It was pure coincidence that the CD came back around to the beginning and started playing Duel of the Fates just as the clerk announced, "The box office is open!  Tickets are now on sale!"

My biggest memory is how woefully ill-prepared we were for sitting in line.  We brought, like, nothing to do.  I think someone eventually ran down to the dollar store and got a deck of cards.  My biggest regret was that I forgot my copy of Star Wars Trivia Pursuit, which I had just gotten for Christmas.  I had planned to bring it so we could play while we waited, but I didn't realize until I was coming through Nisku that I'd forgotten it at home. 

1PM came, the tickets went on sale, and there I was, third in line, and got my tickets.  I vaguely remember talking to the reporter.  Word got through the line that I'd come all the way from the exotic land of Entwistle, and they wanted to know, "Why?"  I don't remember the rest of the day...I probably had lunch and went home.

"But Mark," you may be saying, "I've heard you tell this story before, and you always told me you stood in line for 8 hours.  9AM to 1PM is just 4 hours!"  The 8 hours standing in line came the next week...the day the film actually came out.  We'd all decided we'd be going to the 7PM show, and we arrived at the Duggan Mall at 11AM to get in line.  But, the movie theatre wouldn't let people line up from 7PM show until 4PM, so it was more, "5 hours hanging out in the mall, and then three hours standing in line."  When they started letting us line up for the 7PM show, then was first in line, and when the theatre opened, I remember sprinting in just so I could say I was first.

Coming out was a different story.  I remember thorougly loving it at the time.  But the horrified looks on my friends' faces told a different story.  "Was that awesome or what?" I remember exclaiming.  "Yeah...that was certainly...something," they said.  My revulsion to Episode I wasn't as instant as most.  I still don't think it's that bad.  However, I'm not as gushing as my original movie review that I blogged that night.

But what I'll always remember are those days leading up to the film.  The standing in line.  As I said, we had all just graduated.  This was pretty much our grad party...our last hurrah.  And those memories will always outshine Episode I

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Sunday's Targ Day!

Well, gang, it’s the start of a brand new week, so that means it’s time for a whole new episode of The Targ!  Kinda didn’t know what to talk about this week, but I think I got a show together.  In Episode 8.07: 1999 All Over Again, I ramble about
  • News on the Avatar sequels and Jurassic World
  • Some of the problems I ran into with Shomi
  • Some Star Wars news, as I share the latest developments on the Star Wars Anthology spinoff films
  • And, some happy reminiscing about standing in line for hours on end for Episode I.
All this and more on this week’s episode!

Head over to the main page to give it a listen!