Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Here we go again, Fishing in the Discount Bin.  Watchin' movies and blogging about them, because we all need hobbies.  This time, doing the Disney animated classic The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.  This is originally in my notes at November 4, 2018.

Well,  Halloween has come and gone, and this past Halloween I was thinking, "Do you know what was on TV every Halloween when I was a kid, but I haven't seen in ages?  Disney's animated Sleep Hollow."  A couple of mouse clicks later, and I'd bought it on Amazon.  Gotta make that Prime membership pay for itself!

I don't think I'd ever seen it in its original theatrical exhibition, as part of the animated film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.  I tend to get my Amazon purchases delivered to work, because that's where I am whenever the courier comes around.  As such, I tend to force my co-workers to watch the unboxing.  As I was skipping around the office, showing off my purchases, one co-worker asked, "So why is it called The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad?  Is Mr. Toad the name of his horse?" 

And questions like that make me launch into Leonard Maltin mode.


Disney's animated film unit was just getting off the ground when World War II broke out.  As such, Disney found a lot of their resources being diverted to the war effort, be it animators getting drafted, or the remains of the animation department putting their resources on making training and propaganda films.  In order to keep the feature film unit alive, Walt Disney came up with the concept of "package films."  These animated features were several animated shorts released as a compilation.  We know such projects as anthology films today.  Most of these shorts were eventually released individually, and in fact, a lot of well-known Disney animated shorts came out of the package films.  Mickey and the Beanstalk comes from Fun and Fancy Free, Peter and the Wolf comes from Make Mine Music, and a personal favourite, Johnny Appleseed, comes from Melody Time.  The final of these package films was The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, released in 1949.  And then, in 1950, Disney returned to full-length feature films with Cinderella.  

End Leonard Maltin Mode.

So, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is actually two, half-hour long shorts.  The first one is an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, and this is where we get Mr. Toad.  The beloved classic children's novel becomes quite the slapsticky adventure in the hands of Disney animators.  Our hero is Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, some classic old money.  His kind heart and fast-spending ways means he usually gets himself in quite a bit of trouble, both personally and financially.  Fortunately, he's got his friends Rat, Mole, and Badger to help reign him in.  Or, as Disney re-named them, Rat, Moley, and McBadger. 

The main plot is Mr. Toad becoming infatuated with this new invention called the motorcar, and he years to have one to go for a rip.  Sadly, his mania gets the better of him, and he soon finds himself on trial for stealing a car.  Rat, Moley, and McBadger soon learn that it was all a scam to swindle Toad out of his fortune and Toad Hall, and we're soon on a madcap chase to save Toad. 

All I can say is it's strange seeing such a manic interpretation of The Wind in the Willows.  I mean, my main exposure to The Wind in the Willows is the incredibly mellow stop-motion animated series out of the UK from the late-1980s.  YTV showed it a lot in the early 90s, and it was one of those things I'd sleep through while waiting for Ninja Turtles

Now, the Disney version.

So you can see, it was quite the jarring contrast.

And showing that Disney's love of celebrity voices goes back their early days, The Wind in the Willows was narrated by Basil Rathbone, who, at this point in cinematic history, was defining Sherlock Holmes on the big screen. 

But then we get to our second segment, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which was narrated by Bing Crosby.  Telling a friend about my purchase, he was telling me that, thanks to this, he forever associates Bing Crosby with Halloween and Boris Karloff with Christmas, when for most, it's the other way around.

For those who need the explanation, Bing Crosby's biggest hit was White Christmas, and Boris Karloff was one of cinema's first horror stars, having played Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy in the classic Universal horror films.  And later in his career, Karloff was the narrator of the classic Christmas special, the animated adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Anyway, I'm sure we're all familiar with the tale.  In the early days of American independence, in the small New York town of Sleepy Hollow, a new schoolmaster comes to town by the name of Ichabod Crane.  He's a gangling and awkward sort, which soon makes him a target of the town's good ol' boy Brom Bones.  The way Brom Bones is portrayed, he could quite easily be a distant cousin of Gaston's, but not quite as malicious. 

Despite his awkward mannerisms, Ichabod Crane soon proves himself to be utterly charming and a smooth talker, making him the town's ladies' man.  And it's not long before Crane and Bones are competing for the hand of Katrina van Tassel, the wealthy daughter of the local land baron.  Things come to a head at the social event of the season...the van Tassel's Halloween ball.  it appears as though Crane has all but secured that heart of Katrina, when Bones hatches his plot.

Knowing that Crane is a superstitious sort, Bones entertains the crowd with his tale of the Headless Horseman that roams the woods, looking for a head to replace his own.  This tale scares Crane out of his mind, and on his moonlit ride home, he begins imagining various ghosts and goblins in the woods...until the very real Headless Horseman shows up, leading into the very memorable chase scene that caps the tale. 

Was Ichabod Crane spirited away by the Headless Horseman, or was the Horseman Bones in disguise, running Crane out of town?  The world may never know, but it sure makes for one hell of an entertaining chase scene, which still holds up to this very day. 

For it's life outside this film, Disney's animated version of Sleepy Hollow became a mainstay of many a Halloween episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, and Disney-produced Halloween specials.  It doesn't get much airtime anymore, mainly because something so frightening doesn't mesh with Disney's carefully cultivated family-friendly image anymore. 

All I know is its still as thrilling as the first time I saw it when I was a kid.  Great stuff.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Ant-Man and the Wasp

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  You know the drill by now.  Today, I'm doing Ant-Man and the Wasp.  This is originally in my notes at November 1, 2018.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, I blog about it.  Just like that.  Today, I'm watching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  This is originally in my notes at September 30, 2018.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

News from MarkWorld: December 2018

Once again, I am blogging my annual Christmas card letter, for those who have drifted away from me, wondering whatever happened to me, and googling my name some night.

News from MarkWorld

Hello there!

Mark Cappis here, with another holiday form letter about how my 2018 was.

Things are still pretty much static for me.  I’m still up in Westlock, still pluggin’ away in the newsroom of Real Country 97.9.  If you read the financial pages, then you’ll know that we were bought out by a company called Stingray a month or so ago.  It hasn’t led to any big changes for those of us in the small markets yet, so it’s still the same great station.

The key word for me in 2018 was “health.”  Back in the spring, I finally caved to my mother’s wishes and got a full medical check-up.  The doctor’s exact words were that I’m in the “grey zone” for diabetes.  High blood sugar and a history in the family put me at a high risk for developing it.  So, I’ve been keeping a closer watch on what I eat and getting out and exercising more.  At my last follow up, doctor says I’m down 14 pounds, which is good.  I’ve got no real weight loss goals, but it’d be nice to fit into an XL T-shirt again. 

And that’s all I really have to say, that you probably haven’t read already across the social media platforms.  Hey, I’ve been blogging since before the word “blogging” entered the lexicon, so a quick Google search can always catch up on what’s new with me.

I really don’t know how to end this letter this year.  Normally, I’d do it by mentioning how I’m counting down the minutes to the next Star Wars movie, but this year’s Star Wars movie came out back in May.  (And I really dug Solo: A Star Wars Story for what it’s worth.)  So...how about that Aquaman Aquaman sure looks good.

Yeah.  Just not the same. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Solo: A Star Wars Story

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, as I blog about the movies I watch because I really have nothing better to do.  This time out, we're taking a look at Solo: A Star Wars Story.  This is originally in my notes at September 30, 2018.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Holiday Season Begins

I need a new computer.

It's something that's been top of mind for a while now.  I'm currently writing this on a 10-year old PC that's still running on Windows Vista.  That was to be my big purchase for 2018, but then life got in the way.  I think for my next computer, I'll go back to a laptop.  I miss the portability of a laptop.  This blog took a real nosedive in frequency when I moved into a two-bedroom apartment and set up my computer in bedroom #2.  I used to get so much blogging done just plucking away at the keyboard while watching TV.  With a laptop, I can set it up on the coffee table and go back to just plucking away.

Which is why I've got a real backlog of blogging to do, which I've been putting off this whole week.  I had some unused vacation time that the company wanted me to use up by the end of the year, and one of the best uses I've discovered is to take the last week in November off, and just focus on getting all your Christmas prep done that week.  This is the third year I've done it now, and trust me, it makes for a much more relaxing December.

The stores!  Oh, the stores were so good.  There's hardly any crowds right now.  The clerks and customers are still full of Christmas cheer.  It's hasn't withered away to holiday stress yet.  Getting the Christmas shopping done was almost a peaceful experience.  Of course, the peace is now starting to give way to the anxiety that I've gotten my friends and families something wrong for Christmas. 

Of course, though, being out and about so much means my attempts at eating healthier took a hit, but I still tried my best.  While perusing the food court in West Edmonton Mall, I finally gave Freshii a try.  Freshii always seemed to be the definitive health food fast food place, as their menu items on display are always kale this and keto that.  Then I saw that they had rice bowls.  I like rice bowls.  I don't know why I don't make them at home.  Just take a bowl of rice and put all your favourite tasty things on top.  So I sampled Freshii's Teriyaki Twist and it was quite good. 

I also tried the Chopped Leaf.  Another newer fast casual chain popping up in your favourite power centres.  This one specializes in salads.  I'd only tried it once before, about a year ago, and again, they make a good salad.  One of their specials right now is a salad called the El Rancho, and again, quite good. 

And with the holiday season upon us, that means the holiday blockbusters are starting to filter into theatres.  Always being a lover of Disney animation, I decided to take in Ralph Breaks the Internet.  Now, when Wreck-It Ralph came out a few years ago, I was reluctant to see it.  I'd never been much of a gamer, and the commercials were really making it out to be "Video Game Nostalgia: The Movie."  Positive reviews brought me around, though, so I went to check it out, and greatly enjoyed it.  Now, I see many have had similar reservations about the sequel, and I will admit, a lot of the commercials do give it a "Internet Company Product Placement: The Movie" vibe, like The Emoji Movie.  But again, I'm pleasantly surprised at how emotional and heart-warming it is.

Ralph Breaks the Internet Poster

It's been a few years since the first film.  Wreck-It Ralph is living his best life.  He loves the day-to-day routine of the arcade.  But not so with his friend Vanellope.  In true Disney princess fashion, she's starting to yearn for something more.  Tragedy strikes when Vanellope's game Sugar Rush is damaged, and it looks like the game is going to be scrapped.  But, Ralph and Vanellope overhear a couple of arcade patrons say that they can get a replacement part on the Internet from some place called "eBay."  And wouldn't you know it, the arcade just got WiFi!  So, Ralph and Vanellope head to the Internet to save Vanellope's game!  On their quest, though, Vanellope finds an online racing game called Slaughter Race, and it's everything she's ever dreamed of.  Will Ralph be secure enough to let go of her friend so she can find what she's looking for? 

I loved it.  It's equally as heartwarming as the first.  And not to fear, all the Internet company product placement doesn't dominate the script.  As always, the voice work is great.  Gal Gadot is Shank, the lead racer in Slaughter Race and Vanellope's new BFF, and she does a great job.  And stay for the end credits, because it has what I think are the funniest post-credit stingers in a long time. 

My only complaint is it does seem to drag a bit.  It feels like it has one ending too many.  You reach a point in the film where it just keeps going and you start thinking, "OK.  I get the message." 

Ralph Breaks the Internet is easily as good as the first film.  Three out of four nibs.  Full review on the website.  

And man, I've got a lot of movies to catch up on.  This past week, I grabbed Miracle on 34th Street and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on Blu-Ray.  I used to question the logic of buying Christmas movies on home media.  I mean, the one time of year you want to watch it is the one time of year it's on TV non-stop.  But, as I've finally learned in my old age, even when you've got 100+ channels, it won't be on during that one opportunity you have to watch it.  And the streaming services don't have your back.  Hell, last year, Netflix issued a public apology for not having Home Alone.  So home media becomes your best option. 

This has been a bad month for buying Blu-Rays...especially impulse buying on Amazon.  It all started about a month ago.  With Halloween on the horizon, I thought, "Hey, do you know what was on TV constantly when I was a kid, but I haven't seen in ages?  Disney's animated Sleepy Hollow."  So, with a couple of clicks, I ordered The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.  And alongside that, I also bought Mickey's Christmas Carol.  That's another reason for buying Christmas movies on home media...especially the animated TV specials.  They've been edited so much over the years to squeeze in more commercials, that buying them on home media is the only way to watch them uncut. 

And then I got the alert that a couple of Doctor Who Blu-Rays I'd had my eye on were marked down to $10 each, so clickity-click, and another Amazon package.  Then the Criterion edition of The Princess Bride went on sale, and I saw the new Shout! Select release of City Slickers and thought, "I want this."  BOOM!  Another package from Amazon.  And that's just what I bought online.  In addition to snatching up those Christmas movies, I also bought up Incredibles 2 and The Pixar Short Film Colleciton Vol. 3 while out Christmas shopping. 

Buying so many movies, it's no wonder I can't afford a new computer.  Oh, well.  We'll see what 2019 brings.  I'll have to do what I did when I finally upgraded my smartphone two years ago:  just suck it up and start using this thing called "debt." 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Deadpool 2

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch the movie, I blog about the movie.  It's just that simple.  Today, let's take a look at Deadpool 2.  This was originally in my notes at September 2, 2018.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Avengers: Infinity War

Here we go again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  Quick heads up, I had a brain fart last week and forgot to share the link to last week's entry, The Fisher King, on social media.  So give that one a read, if you haven't already.  And now, on to Avengers: Infinity War.  This is originally in my notes at August 26, 2018.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Fisher King

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  Watchin' movies and bloggin' about them, because I launched my blog in 1999, darn it, and I'm going to keep providing content for it until the day I die!  Today we do The Fisher King.  This is originally in my notes at August 5, 2018.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Ready Player One

Here we go again, Fishing in the Discount Bin.   You know the drill, I watch a movie and blog about.  "Just rant about why you like it," was how a friend told me I should do it.  Today we're doing Ready Player One, which I originally watched and blogged about on August 5, 2018.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Transformers

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  Watching movies and blogging about them.  What more could one ask for?  Today, we do Transformers.  This is in my notes at June 10, 2018.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

All The Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode X -- The Disney Era

Many years ago, I wrote a series of blog entries entitled All The Times I've Bought Star Wars, which details, well, all the times I've bought Star Wars on home media.  I figured it was finally time to add a couple new chapters, focusing on the Blu-Rays, and this new Disney era.  So here we go now with the Disney era.  

It was on a chilly autumn day in 2012.  I was just lounging at home, after work, watching some mindless daytime television, when my computer beeped with a Facebook message.  I took a look to see it was from a work contact.  The message read, “Disney just bought Star Wars.  Episode VII in 2015.”

I began googling in earnest, and soon learned the complete details.  Yup, George Lucas had decided to retire, and sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney for around $4 billion.  Legendary producer Kathleen Kennedy had just been hired on as the new president of Lucasfilm.  The crown jewel in the Lucasfilm empire is, of course, Star Wars, and Disney announced their first Lucasfilm production would be Episode VII in 2015.  

I whipped out my phone and texted the news to my best friend and huge Star Wars fan.  “Disney just bought Star Wars.  Episode VII in 2015.” 

And we are now in the midst of the new Disney era of Star Wars.  Of course, Disney made some controversial moves in the beginning.  Right away, they canceled the beloved animated series The Clone Wars to make way for their new animated TV productions.  But, they are starting to come around, as The Clone Wars will soon be coming back for a final, loose-end-tying-up season.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Mask

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  Today, I'm re-watching the 1994 epic The Mask.  This is originally in my notes at May 21, 2018.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

All The Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode IX -- It's New, It's Blu

Many many years ago, I wrote a series of blog entries entitled All The Times I Bought Star Wars.  The title is pretty self-explanatory.  I went through my closet and DVD shelf and chronicled...well, all the times I bought Star Wars.  I ended with the cryptic message that Star Wars would probably be soon released on Blu-Ray, and I could probably write another chapter about buying it on the format.

I’ve got the official Star Wars app on my smartphone, and one feature on it that I enjoy is “On This Day in Star Wars History.”  It showed up in the app not too long ago that we’ve just passed the seventh anniversary of the Star Wars Blu-Ray release.  A few days later, it showed up in my Facebook memories that it was the seventh anniversary of the courier delivering it to me from Amazon.  So with all that popping up in my social media feeds, I figured it was finally time to go back and add that new chapter.  Hell, as we’re currently in the Disney era of Star Wars, I could probably even add a second chapter about buying the new films.  

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Just Another Trip to the City

Well, holiday blockbuster season is about to ramp up, and that means trips to the city are probably about to become more frequent, as I head in to see the latest crop of superhero films.  As was the case this past Saturday, when I popped into town to see Venom.

I'd been hearing tales of a Venom movie ever since the Internet was new, and of course, the question always was, "How can you do a Venom movie without Spider-Man?"  The short version, for those not comic-savvy, Venom is pretty much the evil twin of Spider-Man.  Then, when he started becoming popular, he switched to the side of the angels and became a hero...the darker, more violent version of Spider-Man.  So, for years, the fans have said that the best way to do a Venom movie is, you'd have to introduce him in a Spider-Man film as the villain.  But, that's not what they did. 

Eddie Brock is on top of the world.  He's a much beloved cable news investigative reporter, engaged to be married.  But then, he goes to far in an interview with billionaire industrialist Carlton Drake, and Brock loses it all.  A few months later, when Brock is at rock bottom, he's contacted by one of Drake's top scientists.  Turns out one of Drake's space probes came back with alien life...symbiots, that require a human host to live.  And Drake's raking up quite the body count looking for suitable hosts.  Brock goes into Drake's lab to investigate, and winds up bonding with one of the symbiots.  Calling itself Venom, Brock and Venom soon form an uneasy alliance to take down Drake and stop a forthcoming invasion of symbiots. 

I will admit it, the film was a lot more lighthearted than I expected.  Brock and Venom get a kind of buddy cop thing going, and their banter is hilarious.  Venom is quick to violence, and despite being a bad-ass reporter, Brock is deeply apologetic when trying to reign in Venom.  Some great physical comedy, too. 

That being said, it really offers nothing new in the way of superhero films.  The plot is pretty cookie-cutter.  Venom's sudden love of humanity and decision to help Brock save the world seems pretty abrupt.  And when your hero and villain can both turn into CGI blobs, the climactic battle turns into one big blobby mess. 

But I came out of the theatre smiling.  I liked it.  3 out of 4 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

Other than that, not much more to write home about.  I needed underwear, so I bought some.  Found pants in my size on sale, so I bought some.  I need shirts, too, but I couldn't find any.  3XL used to be such a common size when I ballooned to it a few years ago, but now, it seems to be sold out wherever I go.  Oh, well.  Another reason to lose weight, just so I can start buying clothes again.

When I got home and wrote up my Venom review for the website, I tossed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom into the Blu-Ray player.  I caught a bit of it on TV as part of a Thanksgiving marathon a week ago, and I'd been wanting to revisit the whole thing.  I really wish Steven Spielberg and George Lucas would quit apologizing for it.  For years, they've apologized for how dark it is and how different it is from the other Indiana Jones films, but you know what?  I love it.  It came out when I was seven years old, and it was my first entrance into the world of Indiana Jones.

Man, I remember watching the "making of" TV special back in the day.  To film the famous mine car chase, they actually modified a regular 35mm still camera to hold movie film so they could fit it to a car and have it chase the models through their set.  When they had the Indiana Jones exhibit at Telus World of Science a few years ago, they actually had one of the mine car models used for filming that chase.  Very cool. 

In fact, the very first comic book I owned was the comic book adaptation of Temple of Doom.  I had issues 2 and 3 of Marvel's three-issue mini-series.  Not until I finally rented it on VHS a couple years later did I get to see how the movie begins. 

And that led me down a rabbit hole of comic book adaptations of popular films.  Around the same time I had the Temple of Doom comic book adaptation, I also had the one for The Muppets Take Manhattan.  Somewhere, back home in storage, I still have the comic book adaptations of The Transformers: The Movie and the first two live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films. 

I wonder if comic book adaptations are still a thing.  I think the Star Wars films still get them.  And with all the superhero films these days, a comic book adaptation would be the easiest, most obvious piece of tie-in merch.  I'd got to my old comic book store in West Edmonton Mall - Comic King - but I think it's not there anymore.  The West Edmonton Mall casino is in the same part of the mall, and the casino recently claimed all that space to expand.  I still remember that store's original name -- Graphic Fantasy. 

And, that was that.  My latest day in the city.  Just a quick trip in and out.  Really, not much to write home about. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Black Panther

And here we are again, it's Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  Just that simple.  Today, we're looking at one of the biggest films of 2018, Black Panther.  This was originally in my notes at May 20, 2018.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Ghost World

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  I think you've figured out the formula by now.  This time out, we're watching the 2001 indie classic Ghost World.  This is in my notes at May 20, 2018.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hey! It's A Podcast!

Wow, I haven’t done this in a while.  It’s a podcast! 

I’ve been thinking about doing one all summer, and I just kept putting it off and putting it off, and then I saw that it’s World Podcast Day, and so I figured I’d go for it!

So, what’s been on my mind all summer that I felt I had to podcast about it?  Well, my thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story, of course!  That’s not all…I also mention what’s going on with me.  If you’re my Facebook friend, then you’ve seen my cryptic “health updates” from time to time.  So, I give you the full update on my health.

All that in Thanksgiving Special 2018:  A Thanksgiving Special!

Click over to the other site to check it out!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  This week it's...oh.  Oh my.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  This is originally in my notes at April 8, 2018.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Karate Kid

Rolling along on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  Really not much more to it than that.  This week, I'm re-visiting The Karate Kid.  I originally watched it and wrote this on March 25, 2018.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Justice League

Movin' right along on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own, and blog about it.  That's how it goes.  Today, we get to Justice League.  This is in my notes at March 24, 2018.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Thor Ragnarok

Still moving along on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, then blog about it.  Simple as that.  Dipping my toe back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor Ragnarok.  This was originally in my notes on March 11, 2018.

Thor: Ragnarok poster

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Coco

Here it is!  Fishing in the Discount Bin!  I watch a movie and blog about.  If you've been around for the seven years or so I've been doing it, then you know the drill.  Today I'm doing Coco.  Actually, I watched it and wrote this on March 4, 2018, because I tend to work a few months ahead.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Roger Rabbit Shorts

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own.  I blog about it.  Just like that.  You should know this by now.  Anyway, today I'm taking a look at the Roger Rabbit shorts.  This is in my notes at February 17, 2018.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  Simple as that.  This time out, we're doing Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  This is in my notes at February 17, 2018.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I think you know how it goes by now.  I watch a movie I own, and blog about it.  Simple as that.  This time out, I re-visit Crouching Tiger,  Hidden Dragon.  This is in my notes at February 18, 2018.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Marvel One Shots

Here we are again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  That's all there is to it.  Since I've been re-visiting Marvel's Phase I, I think the best way to close out would be to take one last look at the Marvel One-Shots.  This is in my notes at February 4, 2018.  

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Avengers (Again)

He we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  That's all there is to it.  I've been revisiting Marvel's Phase I, and I get to the logical end with The Avengers.  Now, I'd already done The Avengers before on this here blog, but I had to to do it again to bring Phase I to a close.  You'll find my original rambling here.  This newer rambling was written down on February 4, 2018.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Captain America: The First Avenger

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, and blog about it.  You know, it's kinda my thing.  I've been re-visiting Marvel's Phase I, and today I get to Captain America: The First Avenger.  I actually watched it and wrote this on January 29, 2018.

I've always had a soft spot for Captain America.  When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I got a Captain America action figure for my birthday, and he was my constant companion for that summer.  When Marvel announced that he was going to be part of their Phase I and that they'd be sticking to his World War II origin story, I was thrilled.  Two of my favourite guilty pleasure films are The Shadow and The Rocketeer, so it's given me a fascination with period piece superhero films.  Throw in that they got The Rocketeer's director Joe Johnston to direct, and I was sold. 

And the finished product is, well, good but not great. 

I mean, Johnston really loves his montages.  We get so many montages, of Cap's rise to fame as a symbol of American patriotism, of him kicking ass across the European theatre, a flashback montage to Red Skull's origin.  It would have been nice to have less montages and more ass-kicking. 

And there are some parts that do seem phoned in.  Like Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Phillips, Captain America's CO during the war.  Jones pretty much admitted to phoning it in, describing the role as "the crusty old general who barks orders.  What's to know?"  And also, Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull.  Fantastic casting, great make-up, but Weaving plays him as generic Nazi villain #742.  Red Skull is one of the most iconic villains in the Marvel pantheon.  He deserved better. 

But we do get some great, especially as Chris Evans instantly owns it as Steve Rogers.  And we also get those amazing special effects in the first act to shrink Rogers down to a literal 98 pound weakling.  It's the onset of World War II, and Rogers is desperate to enlist and do his part.  But, being a 98 pound weakling with a laundry list of medical conditions always gets him rejected.  His lifelong buddy, Bucky Barnes, is about to ship out, and at the 1942 Stark Expo (Ha!  Link to Iron Man 2!) he tries to enlist one last time (rejecting the woman that Bucky set him up with, Clara Oswald!), and after overhearing a conversation between Bucky and Steve, and after asking a few questions himself, Steve finally enlists thanks to Dr. Erskine. 

For you see, Dr. Erskine is heading up a special project for a branch of the army known as the SSR - the Strategic Scientific Reserve.  They hope to create a super-soldier, and Erskine is convinced that Rogers is the perfect candidate.  After our training montage, and proving himself to SSR superiors Col. Phillips and Agent Peggy Carter from the UK, Rogers undergoes the procedure, and becomes Captain America!

I remember listening to the running commentary on this film.  It's rare to hear directors name-check other superhero films on these commentaries, but Johnston talks quite a bit on how they tried to make Rogers' transformation into Captain America different from another super-soldier creation scene from a Marvel movie...Wolverine getting his adamantium bones in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  As Johnston describes it, Wolverine's origin was clandestine, and therefore done in dark places with cobbled-together equipment.  But Captain America's origin was done with the full might of government resources, and therefore meant to look more like "the Moon landing." 

But alas, it seems that Rogers will be the only super-soldier, as the entire facility is promptly destroyed by one of the Red Skull's agents, and Dr. Erskine is murdered, taking the secrets of the super-soldier process to his grave.  Now this, many have picked up on.  When they made these films, there's some striking similarities to Iron Man, specifically how the relationship between Rogers and Dr. Erskine mirrors the relationship between Tony Stark and his fellow captive, Yinsen.  Hell, even the death scenes are shot from similar angles.  What can be said?  Marvel already knew what was working for them. 

So, is Rogers deployed to the front lines to start taking down Nazis?  No!  With the death of Erskine, he's kept back in the States, so scientists can try to reverse-engineer the process.  Still wanting to serve, though, a senator brands Rogers as "Captain America," and he goes on tour to promote the war effort.  Eventually, he does wind up on the front lines...as part of a USO show.  There, he reunites with Agent Carter and Col. Phillips, and  he's despondent.  While he made it to the front lines, it's not exactly what he signed up for. 

But fate intervenes!  Cap gets word that his buddy Bucky has been captured, and with Agent Carter's help, goes rogue and launches his own rescue mission.  Cap saves Bucky (from being experimented on by HYDRA, thus setting up Bucky's transformation to the Winter Soldier), slugs it out with the Red Skull for the first time, proves his worth to Col. Phillips, and becomes the SSR's top commando. 

With Captain American on board, they finally take the fight to HYDRA -- the SSR's counterpart in the Nazi regime -- and its leader, the Red Skull.  The Red Skull's disfigurement is attributed to the Red Skull subjecting himself to an earlier version of Dr. Erskine's formula before Erskine defected. 

I should mention the Red Skull's plot.  He's come into possession of the Tesseract...a jewel of immense power.  In the comics, it was known as the Cosmic Cube.  In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's the first Infinity Stone we've come across.  Using its immense power, the Red Skull has developed a whole cache of futuristic weapons, and is ready to split off from the Nazis and form his own world-conquering unit. 

And so the fight is on between Captain America and the Red Skull via the ultimate weapon...the montage!  Before it all comes down to a final battle on the Red Skull's massive flying wing of world domination. 

But yeah, I kind of dismissed it before as lots of phoned-in parts, but there's lots of good stuff, too.  Chris Evans immediately owns the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America.  Thanks mainly to Haley Atwell's wonderful performance, Agent Carter went on to become one of the first breakout characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, eventually getting two season of a really good TV show.  There's some spectacular production design, as we see all kinds of futuristic weapons of war that seem quite at home in the World War II setting. 

And let's not forget the music.  I know the Marvel movies get a lot of flak for their scores, but I think Alan Silvestri's Captain America theme is the first truly memorable score of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Of course, Silvestri went on to do the music for The Avengers, too, and whenever Silvestri worked into the Avengers score (most noticeably when Cap confronts Loki in Germany), I couldn't help but smile a little. 

But yeah.  Captain America: The First Avenger was a great introduction to Cap in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Oh, and one last thing.  When the Red Skull first gets his hands on the Tesseract, he matters, "And the fuher digs for trinkets in the desert."  This has long been interpreted to be a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Nazis that dug up the Ark of the Covenant.  And now that Disney owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm, you just know they can make the Captain America/Indiana Jones team-up happen. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

July Shenanigans

Well, things finally cooled down enough that I could have a little leisure time.  Summer is a busy time for us radio folk, with a multitude of festivals and events to go cover, and small market is no different.  Luckily, while things were busy in June, it appears as though, this year, things peaked on Canada Day, and now July is relatively quiet, until the fairs of August.  So when I was done covering all the various Canada Day celebrations, I finally had a chance to run into the city and see Incredibles 2.

Incredibles 2 Movie Poster

At the start of this decade, when Pixar started cranking out sequels to their hits, #1 at the top of everyone's wish list was Incredibles 2.  Yeah, Finding Dory was nice and Cars 3 was certainly a movie, but we all wanted to see the further adventures of the Parr family.  Well, it was kind of tough, as writer/director Brad Bird wandered off to try his hand at live action, giving us Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland.  But once that was out of his system, he went, "Ya know, I think I finally have an idea for Incredibles 2."  And here we are.

Picking up immediately where the first film left off, Incredibles 2 opens with our heroes...being detained, because, in this universe, being a superhero is still illegal.  On top of that, the government agency that used to relocate them after such outbursts has been shut down, so they're on their own.  But then, enter the billionaire industrialist twins Winston and Evelyn Deavor.  They're big superhero fans, and want to launch a PR campaign to start lobbying the government to legalize superheroes.  Their plan:  send Elastigirl back into action to show what good she can do in the world.  Mr. Incredible, who doesn't get to go back into the field just yet because the numbers show he causes way too much collateral damage, becomes a stay-at-home dad to look after the kids.  So while Elastigirl does battle with a new super-villain called the Screenslaver, Mr. Incredible does battle with young Violette's adolescence, Dash's math homework, and baby Jack Jack's emerging powers.

Brad Bird once again brings it.  What made the first film so amazing (and what made Bird a fan favourite to do Fantastic Four someday) is he perfectly nails the family dynamics in a family of superheroes.  The action scenes are bigger and bolder than the first film.  And the characters in new and brilliant ways.  And Michael Giacchino once again knocks it out of the park with his music.

But, of course, I have a quibble.  Just about every animated film I've seen lately has the big twist of "trusted friend and ally being the REAL villain," and I'm getting pretty darn tired of it.  Even Incredibles 2 falls back on that, so it was mildly annoying.

In the end, Incredibles 2 is a very worthy sequel that's just as good as the first film.  Highly recommended.  3.5 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

And then, a few short days after the Canada Day weekend, comes that other momentous July holiday...my birthday!  I celebrated in the traditional manner...dinner and a movie with my folks, because I'm cool like that.  And I knew exactly what I wanted for dinner.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is now open in West Edmonton Mall.

Ah, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  A delightful throwback to the 1990s, and the heyday of gigantic theme chain restaurants like The Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.  They all kind of imploded in the early 2000s, but Bubba Gump Shrimp survived.  The restaurant is themed around the film Forrest Gump, and since Forrest Gump made his millions running a shrimp boat and having a shrimp company, about 90% of their menu is shrimp.

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

And, needless to say, because they've only been open for about a week, it's busy AF in there right now.  I hit the mall at around 4PM and started chatting with the hostess.  Here's how it works, when you're venturing to Bubba Gump.  Go talk to one of the hostesses standing around outside.  They'll put your name on the list and get your phone number.  When your table is ready, they text you.  I figured I may as well put my name on the list right away, rather than wait for my parents to show up.  So I did, and the hostess told me it would be about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Perfect!  We wanted to eat around 5 anyway.

So then I started hanging out at the Mall.  Then my parents showed up.  Then I started hanging out at the Mall with my parents.  Because I'm 41 and cool like that.  We wandered around, Mom and Dad caught me up on the family gossip, and before you knew it, my phone beeped and it said our table was ready.

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

We went back to Bubba Gump, I showed them the text, and then they told us to go stand in line inside the restaurant!  But, to be fair, once your reach this stage, the line moves pretty quick.  Chatted with the inside hostess for a bit, where we shared our knowledge of Forrest Gump, and I let her vent a bit about the people who didn't know the system and tried to cut in line and would cuss out the hostesses.  Calm down, people!  Enough shrimp for everyone.

We got to our table, and it's in the bar section.  Which is cool.  We're all adults.  As is to be expected, the walls are covered with stills and promotional pictures from the film.  Above the bar, there were three TV screens:  one showing the World Cup, one showing that night's CFL game, and the third, of course, showing Forrest Gump.  Our very friendly waitress soon came by to take our orders.  But I didn't need to see a menu.  I've been studying the menu online ever since the Edmonton Bubba Gump was announced back in December.  I immediately blurted out, "Shrimper's Heaven!"

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

Four kinds of shrimp:  grilled, fried, tempura, and coconut.  Served in four overflowing cones, and with three dipping sauces.  And oh, it was so good.  The grilled shrimp was OK.  It had kind of a generic chain restaurant BBQ sauce flavour.   The coconut shrimp was nice and crispy.  The tempura shrimp was the biggest of them all.  I tell ya, man, it was a heck of a lot of shrimp, but I managed to get it all down.

For my drink, I had this mango peach slushie concoction which was very sweet.  And because I mentioned it was my birthday, I got a free cupcake.

In the end, I quite enjoyed my trip to Bubba Gump Shrimp.  I'll probably go again...in about six months, once the crowds have died down a bit.

And then it was time for the movie.  For the annual tradition of my birthday movie, this year, I had chosen Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  To me, it made perfect sense.  I always loved those dinosaur movies, and for my birthday movie 25 years ago, I saw the first Jurassic Park.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom poster

It's a few years after Jurassic World.  Claire, the former manager of Jurassic World, now heads up a charity dedicated to preserving the dinosaurs and letting them live in peace.  But, it looks like the dinosaurs are going to die out all over again, as the volcano on the island has begun to erupt, and will soon destroy the entire island.  Claire is soon approached by Eli Mills, who represents John Lockwood, John Hammond's original partner and one of the original investors in Jurassic Park.  They want to save the dinosaurs and re-locate them to another island.  And, they need Claire's help to re-activate all the old tracking implants in those dinosaurs so they'll be easier to track down.  They also want Blue, the last surviving velociraptor, for Reasons, so Claire also recruits former raptor wranglers Owen.  And they return to Jurassic World...only to be promptly betrayed my Mills' men.  Turns out he wants the dinosaurs for his own sinister plans.  What are those plans?  And will Claire and Owen be able to stop him?

This is probably the most horror-oriented of the Jurassic films, as there are a heck of a lot of jump scares.  There's some surprising emotion, as well, as we're forced to watch the extinction of the dinosaurs all over again.  Claire and Owen, again played by Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt, are again some very likable heroes, and they work well together.  And if that ending is to be believed, looks like the next film will finally be the "dinosaurs rampaging on the mainland" that we've been promised ever since the T-Rex got loose in downtown San Diego in The Lost World.

So, yeah.  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was fun, and for me at least, the novelty of the dinosaurs hasn't worn off yet.  I give it 3 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

And that was about it with my latest big city adventures.  Not much more to add.  Just, as always, thank you to my parents for the lovely time. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Thor

Rolling along on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  Simple as that.  I'm working my way through Marvel's Phase I, and today I get to Thor.  Actually, I got to Thor back on January 21, 2018.  I'm just now posting it.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Iron Man 2

Here we go again, on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know how it is, I watch a movie and blog about it.  I'm working my way through Marvel's Phase 1, and today we get to Iron Man 2.  Well, I actually got to it on January 21, 2018, which is when I originally wrote this.

Iron Man 2 poster

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Incredible Hulk

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  It's just that easy.  I'm currently doing a run through Phase I of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and today we land on The Incredible Hulk.  I did my run through and originally wrote this on January 14, 2018.  

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Iron Man

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie I own then blog about it.  Easy as pie.  I figured it was time to revisit the origins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so let's kick it off with Iron Man.  This is in my notes at January 14, 2018.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Lego Ninjago Movie

Fishing in the Discount Bin!  I watch one of my movies, and then blog about it, because I really need to get out more.  Today, I'm giving The Lego Ninjago Movie a spin.   This is in my notes at January 7, 2018. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Talkin' Trailers: Bumblebee and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I occasionally lament that I don't blog about trailers the way I used to.  I've shared this lament before.  It's become so much easier to just throw up the link on my Facebook or Twitter and go, "OMG!  Check this out!" rather than sit down at the blog and write out, "Oh my gosh!  Check this out!"  I've thought about maybe doing something like "Trailer Tuesday" where every Tuesday I blog about a trailer that caught my eye, but then the problem becomes content.  Trailers seem to come in surges.  We'll get a week full of really, really good ones, and then we'll hit a dry spell for a while.

And this past week, well, it was a week of good ones.  For animated sequels, we got our latest look at Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and our first look at The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.  For Oscar bait, there was a thrilling one for First Man, a biopic on Neil Armstrong from the creators of La La Land.  And there was much buzz about the trailer for A Star Is Born, the latest remake of the oft-remade tale of a famous singer who begins romancing and mentoring a young ingenue, only for the relationship to start crumbling when her star starts taking off as his starts to fade.  In this latest remake, Bradley Cooper is the singer and Lady Gaga is the ingenue.

But there were two in particular that made me feel like dusting off the blog and jotting down a few thoughts.  The first one is Bumblebee.

Yes, Paramount and Hasbro want some of that sweet, sweet, cinematic universe action, and so they're trying to build one out of Transformers.  First out of the gate, Bumblebee, a solo film for everyone's favourite little yellow Autobot.  A prequel to the Michael Bay films, Bumblebee takes place in 1987 -- 20 years before the first Bay film -- and follows Bumblebee's adventures as he begins settling into his life on Earth.  Hailee Steinfeld plays Charlie Watson, the teenage girl who winds up buying Bumblebee as her first car, and WWE superstar John Cena plays Agent Burns of Sector 7, whom you may remember as the secret organization monitoring Transformers on Earth.

Michael Bay takes the producer's chair on this one.  Directing it is Travis Knight, who gave us the stop-motion animated film Kubo and the Two Strings.  (And he's also the son of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike.)

All I can say is...wow.  I'm almost taken aback at how this lacks the bombast of the Michael Bay films, and instead looks to be almost a smaller and quieter film.  I'm especially picking up a strong E.T. vibe between Charlie and Bumblebee in those garage scenes.  Which is weird, because that's how Bay and Steven Spielberg sold the first Transformers film, before Bay made them all explody.  Oh, yeah, didn't you know?  Spielberg has been a producer on every Transformers film.

And from a nostalgia standpoint, I love that Bumblebee is a Volkswagen Beetle again, Starscream is in his original red and white colours, and Bumblebee's general robot design tends to have a smoother, sleeker, G1 inspired look.  While the commercials alone for Transformers: The Last Knight made me give up on the franchise in exasperation, this is actually kind of getting me excited again.

Bumblebee hits theatres December 18.

Next up, we have Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  I will never not get excited for a Spider-Man movie.  Way back in college in the 1990s, when I discovered the Internet late one night in the Augustana computer lab, the first words I ever typed into a search engine were "Spider-Man movie," because I wanted to know if the rumours I'd heard for years were true.  And that's when I discovered the lawsuit.  There had been some shenanigans over the years over the movie rights to Spider-Man, which led to a long and drawn-out court case to figure out who owned them.  But it was in Y2K when it was finally determined that belonged to Sony, Sony fast-tracked the first Spider-Man movie for a summer 2002 release, and the rest is history.

That was also a time when we were coming off a period in animation known as the Disney Renaissance.  I'm a guy who's always believed that animation and superheroes are a medium and a genre just made for each other.  Whenever there's an animated superhero movie coming along, I'm there.  Loved The Incredibles, loved Big Hero 6, and I still believe that the 2007 animated Ninja Turtles film is the best Ninja Turtles film.  So when Sony announced they'd be expanding the Spider-Man franchise by doing an animated Spider-Man film, I was in.

To set it apart, though, they decided to focus on Miles Morales.  For those who haven't been keeping up with the comics, Miles Morales started off as the Spider-Man in a parallel universe...the Ultimate Universe.  Morales was also bitten by a radioactive spider, but he was too frightened of his powers to use them.  When the Peter Parker Spider-Man made the ultimate sacrifice in his final battle with the Green Goblin, Morales was guilt-ridden that he didn't help out in the battle.  Learning the lesson that with great power comes great responsibility, Morales took on the mantle of Spider-Man.   Since then, the Ultimate universe has been merged with the regular universe, and Peter Parker has taken on a mentor role to the young Morales.

And that looks to be the general plot they're taking with the animated film.  When Morales starts discovering his powers, Peter Parker steps in to start mentoring him and teaching him the ways of the Force...er, I mean, spider-powers.  Shameik Moore voices Miles Morales, and Jake Johnson is voicing Peter Parker.

The script was written by The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and they also take on a producer role.

Ok, so when the first teaser premiered back at Christmas, I wasn't quite sold on the animation style.  But now that I get a better sense of it in this trailer, I'm starting to come around.  I get what they're going for now, in making it look literally like a comic book come to life.  And I may have let out a little  yelp when Spider-Gwen showed up at the end.

OK, Spider-Gwen.  For those who haven't kept up with the comics.  In yet another parallel universe, Peter Parker's longtime girlfriend Gwen Stacy was bitten by that radioactive spider on that fateful field trip instead of Peter Parker.  So she became that universe's Spider-Woman and started fighting crime.  But because there have been like, eight people to carry the mantle of Spider-Woman, the fans dubbed her Spider-Gwen to set her apart.  And, looping back to Bumblebee, that's Hailee Steinfeld voicing Spider-Gwen. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits theatres December 14. 

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a DVD I own and blog about it.  Simple as that.  I know it's summer, but I wrote this down on January 7, 2018, because that's when I finally got my DVD copy of He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special.  Let's dive in!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol

Welcome, all, to another installment of Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the many movies I own and blog about it.  Why?  Because a friend told me many years ago he thought it'd be neat to see.  Anyway, I know it's May, but this is for a Christmas special, which is why I always indicate the date I actually watched these and wrote these entries.  When did I watch this?  January 6, 2018.  What did I watch?  Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Monday, May 28, 2018

How I Spent My Staycation

Well, I'm just coming off a week's vacation.  I always get in trouble with the HR department near the end of the year, because I never use up all my vacation time, and I've resolved to do that this year!  One week down, three to go.  So I wasn't planning on doing much.  Just hangin' out at home, binging some Netflix.  I'm actually getting low on entries for Fishing in the Discount Bin, so I should probably watch some more movies and blog about them.  Or, with the summer blockbuster season upon us, I should head to the city and check out some of the blockbusters.  Like Deadpool 2.

Deadpool 2 Movie Poster

Yup, rather than rush out on opening weekend, seeing as to how it was the May long weekend and would no doubt be crowded, I decided to wait until the middle of the week and catch a weekday matinee, when it would be just the seniors looking for an outing, kids skipping school, and me.  And it was a good strategy.  The theatre was only about half-full. 

Following the events of the first film, Wade Wilson has settled into the life of a superhero, traveling the world, taking down the worst of the worst.  But then, tragedy strikes, as the worst of the worst come seeking retribution, and they take out Wade's beloved Vanessa.  Seeking new meaning in his life, Deadpool soon runs into a trouble young kid with fire powers named Russel.  And for some reason, Russel is being hunted down by the time-traveling mutant Cable.  Deadpool makes it his mission to save Russel from Cable, in order to do so, forms his own team, X-Force.  Will X-Force be able to save Russel, and find out why Cable is hunting him down? 

So Deadpool 2 has got to be as funny as the first film.  There's some spectacular set pieces, such as X-Force's first outing, which goes spectacularly wrong.  And the post-credits stinger is also hugely meta.  If I do have one quibble, it does kind of drag in some places as Deadpool wallows in self-pity for a little too long as he mourns Vanessa.  So, yeah.  While the highs are high, the lows get pretty low. 

I liked it, though.  In the end, 3 Nibs.  Complete review on the website. 

After that, as much as I was looking forward to just hanging out around the apartment, had to run home to see the folks for a few days.  They had a few chores that needed doing, and needed an extra set of hands.  Actually, that was the best thing to do.  I went home during the height of last week's heat warning.  As I live in a top-floor apartment, it usually gets ungodly hot, but when I head home, I choose to sleep in my old childhood bedroom, in the nice, cool basement.  So I got some really good sleep out the deal.

Friday, I decided to head home to Westlock, but not before making a stop in Edmonton to check out the latest Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story.  

I was actually kind of sad.  I saw it in the North Edmonton Cineplex, instead of West Edmonton Mall, where I've seen every Star Wars film.   Well, to be fair, for opening day for Episode I all those years ago, I saw it in Camrose, but I saw it for the second and third time in West Edmonton Mall.  Why the WEM boycott for Solo?  No big reason...they were only showing it in IMAX, and I didn't want to pay extra.

So when Disney first announced that they'd be doing these Star Wars stories outside of the regular saga, Han Solo's secret origin was not one I was chomping at the bit to see.  I had no desire to know how he met Chewbacca, or see that game of chance in which he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian, or how me made the fabled Kessel run in 12 parsecs.  And then, throw in its now legendary production problems, ooo.  Didn't know how to proceed.

Solo: A Star Wars Story movie poster

Well, I proceeded the only way I knew how, which was see it on opening day!  Again, caught a weekday matinee.  Even on release day, the theatre was only about half-full. 

On the shipbuilding planet of Corellia, we're introduced to young street rat named Han.  Han is living a life of indentured servitude to Corellia's crime lords, but dreams of getting off that rock, seeing the stars, and being in charge of his own destiny.  He thinks a way to do that would be enlisting in the Imperial forces, but he doesn't take orders so well.  When he discovers a smuggler and rogue named Beckett has infiltrated his unit as part of a bigger heist, Han joins Beckett's crew.  When the job doesn't go so well, and Beckett and Han are now deep in debt to the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn, Han proposes another risky heist to get Crimson Dawn off their case.  But they're going to need a crew:  Chewbacca, a Wookie that Han rescued from Imperial captivity; Lando Calrissian, who can provide them with the ship they need; and Qi'ra, the girl Han left behind on Corellia, who found her own way off the planet by enlisting in Crimson Dawn.  Can this ragtag bunch pull off the heist?

Firstly, Donald Glover is awesome as young Lando.  He is just so spot-on perfect.  In fact, a lot of the supporting cast shines, like Lando's droid L3-37, who's a crusader for droid rights.  There's some great action sequences as well.  I mean, who ever thought we'd see a train heist in a Star Wars film?  But here we are.  Oh, and there's also some great cameos from beloved Star Wars characters. 

My big quibble, though, has to be Alden Ehrenriech as young Han Solo.  I had trouble accepting him.  I found him to be a little too chipper as Han Solo.  Who knows?  We might need a sequel or two to see him fully evolved into that embittered cynic who shot first in the Mos Eisley Cantina.  Maybe it was purposeful.  Maybe young Han's story isn't finished yet. 

All in all, though, I still quite enjoyed it.  It was fun.  3 Nibs, full review on the website. 

And then I headed for home.  Didn't do much shopping or browsing.  I still can't find any Solo: A Star Wars Story action figures to save my hide.  And now, as I sit back on this Sunday, getting ready to enjoy the last day of my vacation, I ponder what to do.  I'll probably go binge something.  Season 2 of one of my favourite Netflix originals, The Toys That Made Us, is now online.  It's a fantastic documentary series about action figure lines.  It's just so great. 

Now that summer is here and rerun season is upon us, I'm sure my binging on streaming video services is about to significantly increase.  Still haven't gotten around to binging Netflix's Lost in Space reboot, or its last big sci-fi series that dropped a few months ago, Altered Carbon.  And I'm also on Crave TV and Amazon Prime Video.  I see Crave TV has the first six season of Game of Thrones now, so it might finally be time to see what the fuss is about. 

Or maybe I'll just stay here, in my second bedroom/home office, where I do all my blogging.  I gave it a long-overdue tidying up, spruced it up with some new curtains, and now I kinda like it in here.  Crank up some tunes on Spotify, curl up with a good book, and just relax.

I dunno.  It's the last day of vacation.  Gotta do it right.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie, I blog about it, as is the Circle of Life.  Today, we get to a classic bit of 1980s animation, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  I originally watched this and blogged this on December 31, 2017.  Happy new  year!

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero -- Original 1980s VHS Cover!