Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Star Wars and Black Panther Trailers

So when my Doctor Strange rant went online the other day, I noticed it was my 2800th blog entry.  I also looked at my blog over the past few months and saw I've pretty much been sticking to Fishing in the Discount Bin and not much else.  So, for number 2801, I decided to do some good ol' fashioned trailer blogging.  It's something I don't do as much anymore, mainly because of that darn social media.  I go, "Latest trailer for latest movie!" is up, post the link to my Facebook and Twitter, and call it a day.

And besides, I'd noticed I haven't done my usual thing of blogging about the latest Star Wars trailer.  Holy crap, you guys, that Last Jedi trailer!

You've seen it.  You love it.  I don't know what I need to tell you about it.  Rey begins her Jedi training with Luke, but Luke is apprehensive.  Kylo Ren is still destroying the galaxy, trying to live up to has grandfather Darth Vader's legacy.  Does he kill his mother, Leia?  Looks like Finn and Captain Phasma finally square off, the fight that many say should have been the "Traitor!" fight from Force Awakens.  And we finally meet Snoke in the flesh.

And the much-debated ending.  Is Kylo Ren pulling Rey to the Dark Side?  Or is it just trailer-bait, because everyone keeps screaming, "BUT THE SHOTS DON'T MATCH!"  Yeah, the shots don't match.  So let's keep debating!

December 15 is when we'll get all the answers.  That's 48 days away, according to the countdown app on my phone.

The sweet Last Jedi poster

Not content to let us enjoy all that awesomeness, and because Disney is on never-ending quest to take all our money, it was just a few days later when they dropped the new trailer for the next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther.

Chadwick Boseman returns of T'Challa, ruler of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and Wakanda's protector, the hero known as Black Panther.  For those who don't know the comics, Wakanada is one of the most technologically-advanced countries in the world, thanks to being the world's only source of vibranium, the metal that Captain America's shield is made from.  But, based on the hidden city we see in the trailer, it looks as though Wakanda has chosen to hide its technological prowess from the world. 

Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa returns home to resume his royal duties.  But, he soon dons the mantle of Black Panther once again to protect his land from Erik Killmonger, who seeks to overthrow T'Challa and take the throne.  Luckily, T'Challa has his allies, such as Wakandan secret agents Nakia and Okoye. 

Michael B. Jordan, last seen as Adonis Creed in Creed (and as the Human Torch in the crappy 2015 Fantastic Four) is Killmonger, Lupita Nyong'o is Nakia, and The Walking Dead's Dania Gurira is Okoye. 

Other returning characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe include Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, last seen as one of the administrators of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War.  In the Black Panther comics, Ross is a US envoy to Wakanda, and becomes one of T'Challa's friends and advisors.  And we've also got Andy Serkis back as Ulysses Klaw from Avengers: Age of Ultron.  As in the comics, Klaw is an international arms dealer based in Wakanda.  And, thanks to Ultron ripping off his arm, he's got his trademark bionic arm with a built-in cannon that he sports in the comics. 

Don't forget, the epic Hulk/Iron Man battle from Age of Ultron actually took place in a Wakandan city, which is what led to Wakanda's support for the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War.  It's neat how they've been slowly building to this! 

What can I say?  The trailer looks awesome.  It's got some of that great action that Marvel has become known for.  I do have to agree with a friend of mine, though.  Based on the trailer, it looks like Killmonger eventually dons a suit similar to Black Panther's and they fight it out.  And we've already seen that in the first two Iron Man films and Ant-Man, so it's kind of overdone. 

But dude.  It looks incredible.  Black Panther hits theatres on February 16. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Doctor Strange

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, watchin' movies and blogging about them.  Time to head back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Doctor StrangeThis is in my notes at March 19, 2017

Doctor Strange poster

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Movie Review - Batman vs. Two-Face

Time to snatch up the newest DC straight-to-DVD animated film, and with it, the latest return to the world of Batman '66.  Yup, I'm going through my new Blu-Ray of....

Batman vs. Two-Face

Directed by Rick Morales

Starring the voices of Adam West, Burt Ward, William Shatner, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Steven Weber, Jim Ward, Thomas Lennon, and Lynn Marie Stewart


Well, last year's Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders was such a welcome return to the world of 1960s Batman, that of course a sequel was planned.  I've read over the years how Two-Face was a heavy contender for use in the 1960s Batman TV show, but it never came to be.  One theory as to why it never happened was that his facial scarring was considered too gruesome for a family show, another said that they were holding out for Clint Eastwood to play him.  The latest theory I've read says that an episode actually was written featuring Two-Face, but it was scrapped when the producers got into a pay dispute with the writer.  Anyway, the rumours over the years have led many to wonder how the 1960s Batman would have tangled with Two-Face, and now we have the answer. 


An experimental new "evil extractor" designed to extract the evil from Gotham City's most dangerous criminal goes awry, and Gotham's district attorney Harvey Dent has half of his body drenched with liquid, concentrated evil.  Becoming Two-Face, we're treated to an opening credit montage featuring Two-Face's reign of terror, before he's brought down by Batman and Robin.  Thanks to some experimental plastic surgery, Harvey Dent's face is healed, and it looks like Two-Face is no more.  But then, some new plots by King Tut and the Bookworm don't add up.  It looks like Two-Face has returned, and is manipulating things from behind the scenes.  But how is that possible?  Harvey Dent is healed, and has airtight alibis for both instances.  Has Harvey Dent reverted to his evil ways and become Two-Face once again?  Will Bruce Wayne ever be able to help his old friend Harvey Dent become whole again?

What I Liked

William Shatner was a great choice to play Two-Face, and he adds a nice, menacing growl to his voice whenever Two-Face's evil side comes out.  The icing on the cake is making Harvey Dent look like 1960s William Shatner.  Seeing Dick Grayson get jealous of Bruce Wayne's friendship with Harvey Dent was a cute twist to the characters.  And while the first film focused on Batman's main four villains, it was nice to see beloved 1960s villains King Tut and Bookworm get a chance to be in the spotlight.  And man o man, it was great to see the second Catwoman, Lee Meriwether, show up in a lovely Easter egg.  And they even managed to slip in a 1960s-flavoured Dr. Hugo Strange and Harley Quinn for us, which was nice.

What I Didn't Like

Well, some of the meta-humour of the first film, with all the winks and nods to other facets of the Batman mythology are lacking.  We're treated to something more akin to a typical episode of 1960s show. 

Final Verdict

Another fine outing for the 1960s Batman, if lacking some of the freshness of the first film.

3 Nibs

Bonus Features

For bonus features on the Blu-Ray, we're treated to a bunch of featurettes focusing on Burt Ward and Julie Newmar, we get a tribute to Adam West, and a deleted scene that I'm fairly certain was originally meant to be a post-credits stinger. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunday Sick Day

I seem to have been neglecting this blog as of late, as it comes to chronicling my weekend adventures.  But that all changes today, as I'm fighting some manner of flu bug and have decided to spend Sunday just relaxing at home, focusing all energy on fighting this thing.  So, what better way to pass the time than by catching up on the blog? 

Well, that, and I haven't had a lot of weekend adventures in the city as of late.  August was a pretty quiet month.  I only went once in September, and once in October.  In September, it was with the primary purpose of seeing Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Kingsman the Golden Circle Movie Poster

I loved the original Kingsman.  I mean, it's the creators of Kick-Ass doing to James Bond films what Kick-Ass did for superheroes.  And while I did love The Golden Circle, it tried just a little too hard to capture the coolness of the first film. For example, in the first Kingsman, there's that standout fight scene...the shootout in the church that's set to Freebird.  In The Golden Circle, there's not one, not two, but three attempts at doing a similar music montage/fight scene. 

The plot:  when the super-spy agency known as Kingsman is all but wiped out by a mysterious organization known as the Golden Circle, the remaining Kingsman agents are forced to team with their American counterparts, Statesman, to get to the bottom of things.  I did find Statesman to be a neat concept.  They're all cowboy-themed and their HQ is a bourbon distillery in Kentucky.

The villain was an interesting concept, but they had to throw in an extra plot twist too many.  As I said, they were trying too hard.  But still, I enjoyed it.  2.5 Nibs, full review on the website.

The only other thing of note from that September trip was paying my first visit to Sunrise Records in West Edmonton Mall.  For those just joining us, the last great Canadian record store chain -- HMV -- closed its doors and had its liquidation sale back in the spring.  However, the small Ontario-based record store chain Sunrise Records decide to acquire most of HMV's old locations, and finally expand their operation to nationwide.  Now, I knew of a few music geeks who were quite giddy at this development.  Apparently, in Ontario, Sunrise Records has developed the reputation for always having the rarities and oddities in stock.  It's where you go when you can't find it anywhere else.  So, their excitement has carried over to me.

And, well, my first impression of Sunrise Records is...meh.  I have no doubt that the music geeks are digging their selection and drooling over the expanded selection of vinyl.  But, I have always been more of a movie geek than a music geek, and I find that their selection of Blu-Rays and DVDs is still somewhat lacking.  For me, personally, I looked to HMV for the rarities and oddities, like the newest Criterion and Shout! Factory releases.  But Sunrise just doesn't have that yet.  So, yeah.  I'm still underwhelmed by their movie department.

Trip #2 was just last week.  Had to catch the latest chapter in the Lego Cinematic Universe, .
Lego Ninjago Movie poster
The Lego Ninjago Movie

For those who don't know, Ninjago is one of Lego's more popular in-house franchises.  It's a mash-up of ninjas and kung-fu and giant robots and pretty much every Asian pop culture artifact.  It's had a popular Saturday morning cartoon for some time.  In fact, a Lego Ninjago Movie was in development long before The Lego Movie became a giant hit.  When The Lego Movie hit, the creators of Lego Ninjago got new marching orders:  make The Lego Ninjago Movie more like The Lego Movie.  And here we are.

Ninjago City is always under threat of invasion from the evil warlord Garmadon.  But, Garmadon's forces are always defeated by a group of mysterious ninjas.  The Green Ninja holds a dark secret, though.  He is Lloyd Garmadon, Garmadon's estranged son.  Needless to say, Lloyd's civilian identity gets him a lot of hate and some serious daddy issues. 

During one skirmish, Lloyd decides to unleash the Ultimate Weapon, to be rid of Garmadon for good, but in doing so, he releases the great beast Meowthra.  And now, Garmadon and Lloyd must join forces to go on a quest to the find the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon and defeat Meowthra.

So, it's not quite as funny as The Lego Movie or The Lego Batman Movie, although I think Meowthra is the greatest "Lego world meets real world" gag since the third act twist of The Lego Movie.  SPOILER WARNING:  Meowthra is just a regular house cat, who wanders around, knocking over buildings.  But while the jokes aren't there, there is some surprisingly poignant father/son stuff between Lloyd and Garmadon.    A lot of heart in this film.

In the end, The Lego Ninjago Movie is the Cars of the Lego Cinematic Universe.  Not the best, but given the other films in the franchise, better than most other films.  2.5 Nibs, full review on the website.

And then, as always, a new fast food discovery for lunch.  Me and my morning guy recently did a bit about what businesses you'd like to see come to town, and we were both surprised that Edo Japan got a lot of votes.  So I started doing my research.  Edo Japan is a fast food chain, still largely only in Western Canada, serving up Japanese food.  In the past, they were centered mostly in food courts, but their recent expansion plans have included adding more standalone stores in power centres.  So after The Lego Ninjago Movie I decided to give them a go.

They call their combo meals "bento boxes," because of course.  To fill my bento, I had their sukiyaki beef with gyoza and tempura shrimp.  It was not too bad.  The shrimp was nice and crispy.  The beef was good.  The rice was good.  And the gyoza was way better than the frozen stuff I treat myself to from down at the grocery store.  I'll probably give it another go. 

Anyway, this is out of my system now, so I'm going to go back to the couch and keep being sick. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Jem and the Holograms

Well, it's a film I've been dreading watching and writing up for Fishing in the Discount Bin for some time.  It's the live-action Jem and the Holograms.  This is in my notes at January 22, 2017.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin - A Night to Remember

Here we are again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  This entry from January 15 2017 expands upon my New Years tradition of watching Titanic by throwing A Night to Remember into the mix.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Army of Darkness

Boldly marching along on Fishing in the Discount Bin, watching the movies I own, blogging about them, attempting to give my life meaning.  Time for the cult classic Army of Darkness.  This is in my logs at January 15, 2017.