Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Zootopia

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I sit and blog about one of the movies I own and have just recently watched.  This time out, we get to the most recent Oscar winner for Best Animated Film, Zootopia.  This is in my notes at August 13, 2016.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April Showers bring the Targ!

Well, it’s that time.  I’ve got an itch.  I’ve got an inspiration.  And it can only be satiated by sitting behind the mic and pumping out a podcast!  You probably know what the inspiration was:
  • Fist on deck, we’ve got to talk about that first trailer for The Last Jedi, as we continue counting down to the newest Star Wars movie.
  • And since we’re at it, may as well talk about the other trailer:  Thor Ragnarok, which broke records for being the biggest trailer launch in Disney’s history.  And that naturally leads into a bunch of Marvel news.
  • And, a tale of buried treasure from the UK, which I find just fascinating.
And I’m going to try something.  Real Life has gotten a little too busy to pump one out weekly, so at the very least, I’m going to try and pump one out monthly.  Hopefully, this’ll be the start.
So enjoy April Special:  April Snowstorms.

Head to the main site to check it out!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Spaceballs

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, rambling and blogging about one of the many movies I own.  This time out, we go with Mel Brooks' classic Star Wars spoof, Spaceballs.  This is in my notes at July 17, 2016.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Last Jedi Trailer! (And some other Star Wars ramblings.)

Good Friday.  The start of the long weekend.  Also, the start of a massive snowfall that would not let up until Easter Sunday morning.  But, I told my family I'd be coming home for Easter, so I gassed up ol' Bessie Lou (what I call my car) and set out down the road.  I knew I had to brave the snowy highways to get to a place with good WiFi, because something special was coming down from Orlando.

This past weekend, Orlando was host to Star Wars Celebration, the official Star Wars con.  Good Friday morning was the panel for the latest Star Wars movie, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.  Rumours abounded that we were going to get our first trailer at that panel.  And sure enough, as soon as I left Westlock town limits, the Star Wars app dinged with the notification:  the trailer was online.

With steady hands, I made it though the snow and slush until I was back comfortable in Entwistle.  I went inside, exchanged pleasantries with my parents, then went into the living room, commandeered the smart TV, brought up the YouTube app and took in...the trailer.

Much like the first Force Awakens trailer, we're not getting much of a sense of the plot yet.  We're just getting teases...glimpses of what's next for hour character.  Of course, the most anticipated part of this trailer was finally seeing what Luke had to say.  His closing line that, "It's time for the Jedi to end," has so many mysteries behind it.  Is he like Baron Mordo at the end of Doctor Strange now?  Has come to the realization that the only way to bring balance to the Force is by eliminating all Force users?  Or, as a friend of mine pointed out, is he just being dramatic because he's in some kind of funk and it takes Rey to pull him out of it?

Of course, in this day and age, and especially with a franchise like Star Wars, each new information must be picked apart with a fine-toothed comb.  I picked up on all the hushed dialogue in the sound mix, and used the production studio in some down time at work today to have a closer listen to it.  When Rey mentions "the Light," and we see the back of Leia, we hear Leia's iconic, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi...."  When she mentions "the Dark," and we see Kylo Ren's crushed helmet, we hear Obi-Wan's, "He was seduced by the Dark Side...."  And when she mentions "the Balance," and we see that book, we hear Yoda's, "Surrounds us...binds us...."  What does it all mean?  Is Rey the child of Obi-Wan?  Will we see the spirit of Yoda?

Right now, all we have our images.  Until then, it's all speculation.

And speaking of images, holy moly, that teaser poster.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser poster

Seriously, I'm more excited for this poster than I am for the teaser.  Add my voice to the lamentations that movies posters are no longer works of art, but just crowded Photoshop collages of the film's stars.  But this poster, my friends, is a work of art.  It's been a long time since I've seen a movie poster and thought, "I want that hanging on my wall."  And I want that hanging on my wall.

Sadly, though, we didn't quite get all the announcements we wanted out of Star Wars Celebration.  As this is year is the 40th anniversary of the franchise, we were hoping there'd be an announcement about the original theatrical versions coming to Blu-Ray, but there was no announcement.  It was hoped that they'd reveal what the third Star Wars story is going to be, or the title of the young Han Solo movie, but no announcements on those fronts.  And it's the young Han Solo movie that's led me to another rambling I want to make tonight.

So a few weeks ago, the CEO of Disney was talking about the Han Solo movie, and said one of the things we'll see is "how Han Solo got his name."  Of course, the Internet went abuzz.  "You mean...Han Solo isn't his name?  How can that be?  Why does it have to be a name he adopts?" everyone asked.  I don't know.  But I found it intriguing.

When I was home, I went digging through the boxes of stuff I have yet to remove from my parents' house, and I brought home this:

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

My very first Star Wars merch.  Scholastic's storybook adaptation of Return of the Jedi.  I got this at the Grade 1 book fair. 

As I was leafing through it, I came upon this passage.  It actually describes one of Return of the Jedi's deleted scenes.  If you have the big 9-disc Blu-Ray set, it's among the bonus features.  After our heroes rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt, they go to their ships in a blinding sandstorm.  Before Han gets on the Millennium Falcon, he and Luke have a brief conversation.  Han gets all, "Thank you...for saving my life," but he's a little more emotional than the cavalier Han Solo we know and love.  This passage is Luke's internal reaction to that.

"Luke felt the change in Han, and he knew the he and everything the others had risked had been worth it.  'Solo' means 'alone,' he thought.  He had often wondered if that was Han's real name.  Maybe it was an alias Han had chosen -- one that Han felt described him better than his real name.  But now Han knew he didn't have to be a loner anymore." 

So.  Is "Han Solo" not being Han's real name something that George Lucas had been toying with from the very beginning?  Is this one of the first seeds we saw planted of that, way back in 1983?  Or is it just the author, literalizing the symbolism of Han's name for younger readers? 

Sadly, now I know it's probably the last one, because as I was about to hit publish, I spotted this interview with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy in which she says that Han Solo has always been his name, and the Disney CEO misspoke when he said that.  But still, I though the coincidence was neat and felt like sharing it. 

Ya know, i don't think I ever read that storybook from beginning to end.  I just read passages here and there, and leafed through it a lot, taking in all the pictures.  I should finally read it. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin -- Independence Day: Special Edition

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I blog about one of my favourite movies.  I'm doing Independence Day for a second time, but this time out, I'm doing it's 15-minute longer Special Edition.  This is in my notes at June 11, 2016.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

I Want Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere....

I need pants.

Woke up Friday morning to see that I'd worn a whole in my favourite pair of jeans.  Going though my closet and taking inventory, I discovered that a lot of my favourite pairs of pants had holes worn in them.  And in a rather embarrassing place.  A man can't have no pants.  Last time I had no pants, I was asked politely to never return to that restaurant.  So, my Saturday plans were set:  go get some pants.

Luckily, pants were easy to find.  My size is usually difficult to come by, but this time, I managed to find three pairs in my size, so I snapped them all up.  Didn't have much else to do in the city, anyway, as this past Tuesday, I made a whirlwind trip into to the city to pick up Rogue One on Blu-Ray.  One of the benefits of being back on the morning show.  If, on a sunny Tuesday, I'm able to get out of the office by noon like I'm supposed to, I can make the quick drive down into Edmonton to snatch up the hottest new movies.

And, as I went about browsing, I noticed that the release of Rogue One seems to have brought out the newest round of Star Wars merchandise.  It looks like the third and final wave of Rogue One action figures is out.  Finally, the Death Trooper (those Stormtroopers in funky black armor) are finally available single-packed.  When they first came out in the fall, they were only available in a two-pack with some funky alien Rebel commando.  And the one Jyn Erso figure I wanted was finally out.  That's the one where she's wearing the black armor from that awesome shot in the trailer.  You know, the awesome shot that, like 90% of the awesome trailer shots for Rogue One, wasn't in the movie.

Jyn Erso in the awesome trailer shot.  Wearing the black armor of an Imperial trooper, staring into the camera, as the hallway illuminate behind her.

Actually, I read an interview with Rogue One director Gareth Edwards about the genesis of that shot.  It happened by accident as they were setting up one day.  He liked it so much, he made them do it again so he could get it on film.  He never intended to put it in the movie...he just liked it so much he had to get it on film.  And the marketing department liked it so much, they put it in the trailer.

Anyway, I passed on those figures, as I think I'm pretty much done when it comes to Rogue One figures.  Besides, with 2017 marking the 40th anniversary of the franchise, I saw that the 40th anniversary figures are out.  I passed on those, because they're currently marked at $30 each, and when I started collecting action figures back in my teen years, I vowed I'd never spend more than $20 on a figure.  I'm amazed at how I've been able to stick to that self-imposed budget over the years.

The closest I came to snatching up some Star Wars figures was over at the Disney Store.  The Disney Store's exclusive line of Star Wars figures is called the "Elite Series."  They're made of die cast metal.  Regular price $35.  On sale for $12 each!  I passed on those because I just couldn't decide which ones to get.  The Death Trooper?  Kylo Ren?  Jyn Erso?  Rey?  Because of JJ Abrams' obsessive secrecy with The Force Awakens, the Elite Series Rey is pretty much the only Rey that actually comes with a lightsaber.  Or how about the Riot Control Stormtrooper?  That's the one that stole the show in The Force Awakens by screaming out "Traitor!" and then unleashing the beast on Finn.  If they're still on sale next time I'm at the Mall, maybe, just maybe, I'll buy one.  Or two.

But then it was time for lunch.  And I had resolved to try something I had stumble across the last time I was in the city two weeks ago.  Harvey's, the legendary Canadian burger chain, the birthplace of Frings, now does rice bowls.  The rice bowl is a staple of Japanese fast food.  The name pretty much says it all.  It's a bowl of rice, with some tasty toppings.  The most common of which is the beef bowl, a bowl of rice topped with some thinly-sliced fried beef, a dash of onions, and a sweet sauce.  So I had to try a Harvey's rice bowl.

So the entire Harvey's bowl gimmick is currently known as the Build-a-Bowl.  Step one, you decide what you want it to be a bowl of:  rice, fries, or salad.  I went with rice.  Step two:  you add your meat:  beef or chicken.  I went with beef.  Then they asked me if I wanted regular or Angus.  I went with Angus.  All they do is take a burger paddy, chop it up, and add it to the bowl.  And for the final step, you add the rest of your toppings.  Just like good ol' regular Harvey's, you go over to their toppings station and tell the clerk what you want on it.  I went with lettuce, tomato, and the Asian sesame dressing.

And voila, a Harvey's rice bowl.

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All in all, not too bad.  Not sure it'll be a regular fast food dining experience for me, but it may have inspired me to try making one at home.  I've never attempted to make my own beef bowls at home.

But anyway, with lunch in my belly, it was time to do what I always do when I hit the city:  movie time!  And I had one last March blockbuster on my wish list:  Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast Movie Poster

Beauty and the Beast was poised to become the monster hit it now is.  Not only are Disney's live-action remakes of their animated hits proving to be a steady franchise in its own right, but we're starting to hit the sweet spot for 1990s nostalgia.  Everyone who saw the original when they were a kid is now grown up with kids of their own and ready to share this definitive moment in their developmental years with their families.  It was something that was proven when the trailer set a new record for most viewed YouTube trailer.  It's been out for almost a month now, so the the theatre was only about half-full when I saw it.

I like some of the new additions they made.  They flesh out the backstories a little more.  We find out what happened to Belle's mother, we found out what the palace staff did to get cursed alongside the Beast and turned into household objects, and we get to see a little more villainy on the part of Gaston.  Some of the new additions seemed excessive, though.  I mean, Belle was already enough of an outcast for burying her nose in books instead of engaging in a provincial life...did she really need to be publicly shamed for committing the crime of sharing that love of reading with others?

But the performances are good, the visuals are spectacular, it's a real struggle to not sing along to your favourite songs, and I'll be damned if that Alan Menken score still doesn't give me goosebumps.

All in all,I found it to be a fun nostalgic trip.  I give it 3 out of 4 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

Actually, going through the reviews over on the main site, I'm mildly disturbed.  Reviewing my reviews for the past few years, usually by this point in the year, I've only seen 2 films, 3 max.  But so far this year, I've seen seven.  I don't know if I'll be able to sustain this rate financially.

But then, looking ahead, I see a lot of that had to do with how unusually loaded this March has been.  Logan, Kong, Power Rangers, Beauty and the Beast....  In fact, looking ahead to this summer, it almost seems like it's going to be a light summer for me.  Alien, Planet of the Apes, Pirates of the Caribbean...these are all franchises I'm pretty indifferent towards.  Yeah, there's a new Transformers, but I'm thinking I'm done with Transformers.  They've just done nothing new since the first one.  We've got a new King Arthur.  Maybe I'll take Mom to that one, because Mom always liked the Arthurian legends.  So, yeah.  Outside of the superhero films coming up -- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man: Homecoming -- it looks like it might be a pretty light summer for me.

And also, thanks to all of the gift cards I got for Christmas, I have yet to actually pay for a movie this year with my own money.   

And thanks to the money I'm saving due to all these gift cards, I'll be able to do it all in stylish new pants. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Jungle Book

Here we are again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin, blogging about one of the many movies I own.  Taking a look at some classic Disney animation this time out with The Jungle Book.  This is in my notes at June 4, 2016.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

As I've Blogged Before....

When last I blogged, I was talking about how March this year is shaping up to be a really good month for movies.  I mean, it's like a summer blockbuster month.  After I was reveling in Power Rangers and recapping Logan, I remembered that I also wanted to watch Kong: Skull Island.  .  I saw I had enough Scene points for a free movie.  Dare I see a second movie in two days?  Do I turned around and head back into the city to watch Kong: Skull Island?  Why not?

Well, as I've blogged before, I try not to head into the city on Sundays.  Nothing really opens until noon, so for an early riser like myself, there's really nothing to see or do.  And Sunday tends to bring out more crazies.  I'll never forget the time some guy in Best Buy completely lost his mind at DVDs being just $5 in the discount bin.  "THESE MOVIES ARE CHEAPER THAN WHORES IN THAILAND!" he screamed loud enough for the whole store to hear.  But to just dart in, catch a movie, and dart out?  Yeah, I could do that.

As I was just heading in to catch the movie, I was off to the North Edmonton Commons power centre.  Now, as I've blogged before, I'm not a big fan of power centres.  They're not very pedestrian-friendly, so if you're early for your movie -- like I was -- there's really not much you can do in the way of wandering around and browsing in the other shops.  And besides, it was Sunday.  About the only thing open was Golf Town.  So I went browsing in Golf Town.

I've only been out golfing a handful of times in my adult life, but I occasionally think I could really get into it.  It involves a lot walking.  I like to walk.  As stores like Golf Town prove, golf is a sport where you can collect a lot of stuff.  And as my collections of action figures and DVDs prove, I like to collect stuff.  All the pieces are in place.  But, as a store like Golf Town proves, golf gear is an expensive collection to collect.  So when it comes to golf, I think I will stick to the mini variety.

Which reminds me.  A couple of weeks ago when I was at West Edmonton Mall, to see Logan I think, I snapped this pictures of Professor Wem's Adventure Golf.

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

I was kind of stunned at how this quickly became one of the most-liked photos I ever posted to Instagram.  I just snapped it because I've long looked out at Professor Wem's Adventure Golf in amazement.  I've been going to West Edmonton Mall ever since it was built, but the mini-golf is the one attraction I've never partook. 

Well, that's not quite true.  I've also never been skating at the Ice Palace, and I've never spent a night in the Fantasyland Hotel.  But as I don't skate, and the rooms at the Fantasyland  Hotel can get pretty steep, Professor Wem's Adventure Golf is the only attraction within my grasp that I've never done.  But yet I've walked by it countless times and never ventured in. 

I've been walking past it long enough that I remember its history.  When the Mall first opened in the 1980s, the mini-golf course was called Pebble Beach, and it was meant to be a mini-golf re-creation of the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Club in California.  But they changed it in the mid-1990s, around the same time Fantasyland became Galaxyland.  Did their licensing agreement with Pebble Beach expire?  Did their lawsuit with Disney over the name "Fantasyland" make them gun shy, and they changed the name to avoid future lawsuits?  Either way, the Professor Wem mascot was invented, and Professor Wem's adventure golf was born. 

Maybe this'll be the year.  It's the big 4-0 this year, so maybe a mini-golf party at West Edmonton Mall.  Or maybe I'll just do what I always do on my birthday and catch a movie.  And speaking of movies....

*pats self on back for awesome segue*

Kong:  Skull Island!

Kong: Skull Island Poster

As I've blogged before, as much as I love giant monster movies, my biggest complaint is they can never find anything interesting for the humans to do.  They just kind of stand around, waiting for the giant monster to show up so they can react to it.  So I really liked Kong: Skull Island for giving us some cool characters, and I found myself actually intrigued by them. 

First we have Samuel L. Jackson as Lt. Col. Preston Packard.  He leads the military escort to Skull Island.  As most of his troops are taken down by Kong as soon as they land, he decides to take down Kong to avenge his troops.  And as they days on the island go on, he grows more and more obsessed with taking down Kong. 

Next up there's John C. Reilly as Lt. Hank Marlow.  He was a World War II fighter pilot who crashed on the island and has been trapped there for almost 30 years.  (The film takes place in the early 1970s, by the way.)  Needless to say, his time on the island has made him a little bit loopy, but he's got the most experience with dealing with Kong and the other beasties on the island. 

And there are some really good giant monster fights in the film as well.  And, for those who haven't heard, this is in the same cinematic universe as 2014's Godzilla reboot, so there's a nice post-credits stinger setting that up. 

Yes, for those who haven't heard, next in the cinematic universe is Godzilla 2 in 2019, now officially titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters.  After that, Kong vs Godzilla in 2020. 

But I quite enjoyed it.  I give it a solid 3 Nibs.  Full review on the website. 

And then I went home.  The end.  Yeah, I know.  I suck it endings.