Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Latest Targ's Up!

It's time for another fantabulous episode of U62: The Targ!

This week's podcast provides a very unique experience. When I did this one, I was suffering from the worst headache I'd had in ages. I had taken close to the allowable limit of Tylenol. And, I figured I still had to put on a show.

The end result? Episode 2.12: Work Through the Pain

Go give it a listen!

And subscribe in iTunes!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Reason to Vote

So, today, the Conservative government unveiled a "fiscal update" to try to address concerns with the upcoming economic downturn.

What's getting a lot of press right now is that the Conservative propose to do away with one of the federal subsidies to political parties. I've blogged about this in the past...if a political party gets more than 2% of the popular vote, then they get $1.75 for each ballot cast for them.

Well, the Conservative want to scrap that. The Tories say that the political parties should set a good example, "pay their own bills" and that "the free ride for political parties" has to stop.

The opposition parties are pissed, of course. They're calling it an attack on democracy. They're accusing the Tories of trying to cripple the opposition parties financially. According to this article at the CBC, the subsidy accounts for 65% of the Green Party's revenues, 86% of the Bloc Quebcois', and 63% of the Liberals.

As we all know, the Tories boycott the Ottawa Press Corp, claiming that the Ottawa Press Corp has the Liberal bias. So, this evening, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was doing the rounds via satallite on local news casts, selling this to Canadians.

I saw Flaherty getting interviewed by Daryl McIntyre on CTV Edmonton. The issue of the subsidy came up, and McIntyre asked, "But there are those who argue this subsidy combats voter apathy...that people will still get out and vote for their party, knowing that even if their candidate won't win, they'll still have done some good by giving some money to their party. Do you really want to get rid of this weapon in the war on voter apathy?"

Flaherty burst out laughing and said, "I've run in 6 elections, and I've never heard of anyone voting for that reason."

Well, Mr. Flahery, I know you probably don't read my blog, but this subsidy is the reason why I've voted in the past three elections. I don't agree with you and a lot of your party's policies, but I do know that this is Alberta, and no matter how many times I vote against you, you're going to get in.

The only reason I vote is to make sure that someone else gets another $1.75 to try to bring you down.

If you get rid of this subsidy, I'm going to start staying home on election days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Star Trek Trailer: Special Edition

So, Paramount just release a new "special edition" of the Star Trek trailer. What did they add?

Leonard Nimoy as Spock!

As cool as this is, I just can't help but think that Paramount did this just to appease the fans. Trolling the Star Trek message boards, the trekkies who were screaming, "THIS IS A TRAVESTY TO ALL OF STAR TREK! GENE RODDENBERRY IS TURNING IN HIS GRAVE!" are now saying, "Leonard Nimoy brought a tear to my eye. I'm now cautiously optimistic."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Review: Futurama: Bender's Game

You know I don't consider straight-to-DVD movies worthy enough to be given full-blown movie reviews at my regular site, so they get stuck getting reviewed over here in the blog. I picked up my latest straight-to-DVD epic this weekend, so let's get reviewing!

Futurama: Bender's Game

Directed by Dwayne Carey-Hill

Starring the voices of Billy West, Katy Segal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, David Herman, Kath Soucie and the man, the legend, Frank Welker.

Backstory: All right, the third of the four Futurama straight-to-DVD movies has been unleashed upon us! The first one was awesome, the second one was good but not great, what will number 3 hold?

Plot: It's life as normal for the Planet Express crew. The rising price of dark matter (the substance that fuels spaceships in the Futurama-verse) is getting ridiculously high. This leads Professor Farnsworth to reveal the truth: dark matter was once a useless, inert substance until his experiments turned it into fuel. The Professor still has a crystal that could convert dark matter back into a useless substance. The crew then goes on a perilous quest to Mom's dark matter mine to destroy the dark matter and thus ruin Mom's monopoly on starship fuel. Meanwhile, Bender starts playing Dungeons and Dragons with Cubert and his friends, and his imagination goes into overdrive, making Bender believe that he actually exists in a magical realm called Cornwood. These two plotlines collide when a massive surge of energy from the dark matter turns our universe into Cornwood. Now stuck in a magical realm, Farnsworth's crystal has become a magical artifact of "One Ring"-type power, and its up to the crew to quest through this land and destroy the crystal. Can they do it? In various other subplots, the Planet Express ship gets trashed in a demolition derby, Leela gets outfitted with a shock collar that zaps her whenever her thoughts turn to violence, and we learn the shocking truth about Mom's son Igner.

What I Liked: There's a stronger plot in this one...it doesn't feel as episodic as The Beast with a Billion Backs. And there's something truly magical about George Takei screaming, "You ruined the franchise, Bakula!"

What I Didn't Like: The whole "Futurama" resurrection novelty is starting to wear off, and it feels like the creators aren't trying anymore. Let's hope they put their best foot forward for the fourth and final straight-to-video film.

Final Assesment: A good, solid Futurama outing.

3 Nibs

DVD Bonus Material:
  • Running commentary with the voice cast and crew
  • Animatics
  • Futurama Genetics Lab: Play "If They Mated" with the Futurama characters!
  • Dungeons & Dragons & Futurama: Featurette about making the film
  • How to Draw Futurama in 83 Simple Steps
  • 3D Models with Animator's Commentary
  • Deleted Scene
  • Blooperama 2: See the voice cast blowing their lines in the recording booth!
  • Bender's Anti-Piracy Warning
  • Trailer for the fourth and final film, Into the Wild Green Yonder, due out in the spring.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Newest Targ's Up!

Sunday morning. The promise of a new day. The promise of a new week. The promise of pancakes for breakfast. The promise of...a new episode of U62: The Targ!

This week, it's Episode 2.11: One Sad Panda. This panda is sad because Pushing Daisies got the boot. But, there's good stuff, too! I debate whether I should apply to be an Olympic torchbearer, and the epic crossover I've been waiting for since I was 8 years old has finally come to pass: MASK and G.I. Joe!

Click here to listen to it!

Click here to fine the Targ on iTunes!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two Animated Films

My new favourite website is Trailer Addict. it's like YouTube, but it's all movie trailers, and they're all hi-res and in their proper aspect ratios. it's cool. And a couple of trailers just went up for two animated films coming out in 2009. They're not going to be the biggest animated films, but they're definitely the ones I'm most curious about.

First up, Coraline. Based on the children's novel by Neil Gaiman...brought to stop-motion animated life by Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and Giant Peach. Selick has been working on this for a long time...Selick himself bought the movie rights back in 2003...a year before Coraline was published! Gaiman was also involved in the script stage...not deeply involved, but always offering Selick his notes and input.

About the only thing that I don't like about this is when I read the history of the animation studio that made it, Laika Animation House. If you didn't buy Nike before, this'll really turn you off. Laika Animation House was originally Will Vinton Studios, the home of Will Vinton, who's patented Claymation process was quite famous in the late 1980s. But then, Phil Knight, founder of Nike, wanted to get into the animation biz. Knight bought Will Vinton Studios in a hostile takeover and fired Vinton. Vinton then sued Knight to get his name taken off the studio. I think Vinton's feelings can be summed up in the name of his new animation studio: Will Vinton's Free Will Entertainment.

Knight then hired Selick to be the new resident genius, and Coraline got to be their first project.

Dakota Fanning voices Coraline, Teri Hatcher voices the succubus-like Other Mother, and Keith David is the Cat.

Next up...one of the world's most beloved anime and manga franchise comes to computer animated life...Astro Boy. This is the second film to be put out by Imagi Studios. Imagi's first film was the computer animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Astro Boy looks to be in a similar mold...while the animation isn't mindblowing from a technical standpoint, it'll be quite faithful to the source material.

The creative genius behind this one is David Bowers. Bowers started as an animator in the UK, working on such cult-classic toons as Danger Mouse and Count Dukula. He then became a storyboard artist for Dreamworks, where he worked on Prince of Egypt, the Road to El Dorado and Shark Tale. He then went home to the UK and to work for Aardman Studios, where he was a storyboard artist on Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and making his directorial debut with Aardman's first CGI film, Flushed Away.

The celebrity voice cast includes Freddie Highmore as Astro, Nicholas Cage as Dr. Tenma (the scientist who built Astro), Bill Nighy (Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean films) as Dr. Elefun (the professor who raises Astro after Tenma's death), and, in roles that haven't been revealed yet, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Donald Sutherland, and Eugene Levy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The NAAW Discovery Zone

It's been a while since there's been something in Athabasca cool enough for me to film, but it finally happened a few days ago.

For those who don't have an AADAC in their community, this has been National Addictions Awareness Week. To celebrate, our local chapter of AADAC did this thing called the Discovery Zone, where all the facilities of the Athabasca Regional Multiplex were open for folks to try out.

So, here I am, goofing around at the NAAW Discovery Zone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Pushing Daisies" is Pushing Daisies

Well, I just had my heart broken.

It was just announced that Pushing Daisies has been canceled.

I've blogged a few times and mentioned in my podcast how friggin' AWESOME I thought this show was. But, I guess like most shows I love that are quirky and different and distinct, it wasn't meant to be....

If I may borrow the show's catchphrase, "The facts are these...."

Pushing Daisies was actually quickly climbing in the ratings when it first premiered a year ago, and was on its way to being a hit. But then, tragedy. The Writer's Strike. The ninth episode of its first season -- which aired almost a year ago -- wound up being the season finale.

And that seemed to have killed the momentum the show had. When it had its season premiere this year, it just wasn't catching on like it did last year.

Around two weeks ago, they finished filming the 13 episodes that were ordered for this season, and we all began waiting to see if it would get the full season pick-up. But, with the declining ratings, it didn't look good. And today, the word came...the show was done.

About the only people who are celebrating this are fans of Heroes. Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller was writing for Heroes in its first season, but then left when Pushing Daisies got picked up. Many Heroes fans say the show started declining in quality when Fuller left. And, Fuller said two weeks ago when they finished filming #13, that he'd gladly return to Heroes if the show wound up getting canceled.

But, all is not lost. Fuller has already said that he'd like to wrap up the show's loose ends -- and maybe even continue the story -- in graphic novel form, so there's always that.

And a soundtrack album is due out on December 16, so you know I'll be picking that up.

The only question now is when do I buy it on DVD? The complete first season came out back in September. Should I buy it now and wait for season 2 to be released? Or wait until season 2 comes out, and then buy the whole series in one fell swoop?

And I still say "Olive Snook" was one of the best names for a TV character ever.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Childhood Nostalgia Overload

Being the action figure collector that I am, this has been a good couple of years. Thanks to 80s nostalgia and all that, everything I played with as a kid has been re-made and re-released in collector's editions, allowing me to buy everything that I wanted as a kid but couldn't get.

One thing that I've really been enjoying are Hasbro's 25th anniversary re-releases of G.I. Joe figures. The Joes I played with as a kid, on shelves once again, for around the same price. I've got Snake-Eyes. I've got Cobra Commander. I've got the Baroness. For a while, it seemed as though life was good. They've even been making popular characters from the comics and cartoons who were never made into action figures before.

Then my other G.I. Joe collectin' buddy sent me this picture he found online, and I went into 80s nostalgia overload. Code name: Specialist Trakker.

Yes, that is Matt Trakker, the leader of MASK reborn as a member of G.I. Joe.

According to Matt Trakker's file card, in this new G.I. Joe/MASK merged universe, MASK is now an elite division withing G.I. Joe, similar to Battle Force 2000 and Tiger Force. MASK's enemy VENOM is now an elite division of Cobra. And once again, they do battle.

All I can say is this is totally awesome. I have yet to walk into one of those collector's specialty shops and spend around $50 on a figure, but I just might have to do it with this one.

I just hope that Hasbro takes it to the next logical step, and at least produces Miles Mayhem, the leader of VENOM, as a Cobra agent.

Beauty and the Beast: 3D Special Edition

Well, the Walt Disney Company keeps finding new and exciting ways to rape your childhood.

It was announced today that Disney will be taking their 1991 classic animated film Beauty and the Beast and converting it to 3D.

The original directors, Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, are on board with this. They're going to supervise the "3-D-ification" process, which is going to be carefully done using the original digital files that Disney has carefully archived and preserved over the past 17 years.

They figure it'll take 10 months to convert it to 3D.

Beauty and the Beast: 3D Edition will be hitting theatres in 2010.

Is 3D really the next trend in filmmaking? Or is it as Spielberg predicts, and just a kneejerk reaction to the rising popularity of DVDs and home theatres?

Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WALL-E and Wonder Woman

Just want to take a moment to remind everyone that Wall-E is on DVD today! I'm planing on running into the city and picking it up this weekend when I go see the new James Bond and start on the Christmas shopping.

Wall-E is one of those DVD's that's almost worth buying just for the bonus features. This is the first 2-disc special edition of a Pixar film since The Incredibles. You get the usual assortment of deleted scenes, running commentaries, and a new, original animated short film. But the centerpiece among the bonus features is the film The Pixar Story.

The Pixar Story is a feature length documentary that hit theatres last year and was quite critically acclaimed. As you can gather from the title, the movie is the history of Pixar, chronicling its journey from the computer animation R&D division of Industrial Light and Magic to the #1 computer animation studio today. It was written and directed by Leslie Iwerks. Iwerks is the granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, the legendary animator.

But yeah. I've heard good things about The Pixar Story.

And we finally have a release date and DVD stats for DC's next straight-to-DVD animated film Wonder Woman.

I've been enjoying the DC straight-to-DVD animated films so far, and I'm really looking forward to this one. Well, a release date of March 9 has just been locked in. It'll be available in both single-disc and 2-disc special editions. On the 2-disc special edition, you'll be getting this for bonus features:

Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream - A featurette about Wonder Woman's origins and evolution through the comics.

Wonder Woman: The Daughters of Myth - A featurette on the actual Greek legends of the Amazons and how much of it is worked into the Wonder Woman universe.

Running commentary with DC president Gregory Noveck, producer Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery, and writer Michael Jelenek.

Bruce Timm's Top Picks - 4 Wonder Woman-centric episodes of Justice League.

Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess - Your standard "making-of" featurette.

Sneak Peak - A trailer for the next straight-to-DVD animated film, which is still TBA.

March 9!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Wait is Over: The Star Trek Trailer

Back home, I've got this very interesting book. It's called Star Trek: Phase II -- The Lost Series. For those who don't know, Paramount actually considered making a new Star Trek TV series back in the late-1970s. It was to be called Star Trek: Phase II and be the flagship series of a new Paramount TV network.

But then two things happened to turn Star Trek: Phase II into the next incarnation of Star Trek. Paramount canceled their plans for the network, and Star Wars hit at the box office. Wanting a sci-fi franchise for the big screen, the pilot episode for Star Trek: Phase II was filmed and released in theatres as Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Anyway, Star Trek: Phase II -- The Lost Series details all the extensive conceptual and pre-production work that went into the Star Trek series that never was.

In the book's epilogue, the authors pose a "What If?" What if Star Trek never became the pop culture icon it now is? What if Star Trek were just another fondly remembered TV show from the 1960s that is just now being resurrected and turned into a movie? They paint a scenario where Star Trek is remade as a big budget action film with Arnold Schwarznegger as Captain Kirk, Nicholas Cage as Spock, and Whitney Houston as Uhura.

It sounds a little ridiculous, and it kind of was. But still, that question has rattled around in my head for some time. What if Star Trek never became the pop culture icon it now is? What if Star Trek were just another fondly remembered TV show from the 1960s that is just now being resurrected and turned into a movie?

It seems that JJ Abrams and the makers of the new Star Trek film are trying to answer that question. To me, that question sums up what they're trying to do.

Part of me thinks that this trailer is fan-freakin'-tastic. I've always wanted to see a Star Trek film that was truly epic in size and scope, and it looks like we're finally getting it.

The other part of me is flashing back to the pilot episode of Enterprise. There's a scene in the opening where Trip and T'Pol are in decontamination, 3/4 naked, and rubbing a medicinal ointment on each other. Never had my friends and I seen such gratuitous nudity in Star Trek! We couldn't help but feel that it wasn't...right for Star Trek.

As cool as I think this trailer is, I've still got a quiet little nagging voice in the back of my head going, "This isn't right for Star Trek."

Going back now to Star Trek: Phase II -- The Lost Series, the point that the authors were trying to make with their "What If?" scenario was that they attributed Star Trek's longevity with the fact that Star Trek has always been able to change and adjust to the times.

But has Star Trek truly adapted to the 21st Century? Or is it just catering to fads?

We'll know for certain on May 9

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Latest Targ's Up!

Another Sunday, another spine-tingling podcast for you!

This week, it's Episode 2.10: Stuff I Like. I urge you to save Pushing Daisies, I give an update on the Captain America movie, and talk about how this has been a great weekend for geek!

Go give it a listen!

Or, you know, you can click here to go subscribe in iTunes

Wow...I can't help but notice that, when I'm struggling for a title for a podcast, I always stick the word "stuff" in the title. I'm starting to think I should go back to a naming convention I used in high school, when I was writing computer programs in my spare time. I would always title experimental programs "stuf," with the number of f's indicating which project it was. Untitled project #1 was "stuf," project #2 was "stuff," project #3 was "stufff," and so on.

I think I should use that for when I don't know what to title a podcast....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Reflecting on Indy

Just another Saturday night alone at home, so I got the DVD player running. I'm watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull again. I dunno...I thought it was good, but not great. For me, it hit all the fanboy expectations and presented pretty much everything I wanted in a fourth Indy outing. The only thing it didn't have was someone like Jet Li playing the grown-up Short Round. Maybe if they make that fabled fifth Indy....

But the one thing that really struck me as odd when pouring through the DVD's bonus material is exactly how long George Lucas has wanted to make this film. Apparently, having the crystal skulls be the artifacts that Indy hunts down is an idea that's been in his head for a long, long time. When I first discovered the Internet and movie gossip sites around 10 years ago, I kept reading that George Lucas wanted the fourth one to be about Indy meeting aliens in the fabled Roswell UFO crash, and that Lucas wanted to call it Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars. In one of the featurettes, Lucas talks about coming up with the title, and what's the first thing Lucas says? "Originally, I wanted to call it Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men." And, the Roswell crash does a play a part in the plot of the film.

And then Spielberg also mentions how long Lucas had been pursuing this idea. Spielberg says he was almost convinced to do it...but then Independence Day came out, and Spielberg said, "George, I don't want to do aliens now! This movie, Independence Day, has taken the alien concept as far as it can go!" And then, Spielberg spends a good 5 minutes gushing about how much he loved Independence Day. Now, I'd known for some time that Spielberg delayed his remake of War of the Worlds because he realized it would be far too similar to Independence Day. But dude, ID4 came out 12 years ago! Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has been kicking around since at least 1996!

Hearing all this stuff really makes me want to seek out the Frank Darabont script. We all know the story, right? About 5 years ago, it was announced that Darabont would be scripting Indy 4. Darabont directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile...he also has his Indiana Jones cred, having written and directed a couple episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. So, Darabont wrote his script...and Lucas found it unsatisfactory and rejected it. When Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out back in the summer, Darabont's script was finally leaked online. Many Indy fans deemed it a lot darker...and infinitely better.

But actually, one thing I read about on the message boards that is really confirmed in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is how thematic films scores seem to be on the decline. You know what I mean, right? I'm talking about how individual characters have their own theme, and they get played quite prominently when that character appears.

However, Indy has a great thematic score. Mutt Williams has this theme...since he's Indy's son, it's kind of like the Indiana Jones theme played backwards. The crystal skull also has a nice, eerie theme that's played whenever its power is unleashed. Plus, themes from films past are used quite frequently in the score. When the Russians raid that big government warehouse in the beginning - the warehouse that we know to the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant - we hear the Ark's theme played again. Whenever Indy talks about his recently deceased father, we hear the Holy Grail's theme from Last Crusade. It really is quite a good score...I'm surprised I don't own it yet.

I wonder if they are going to make that fifth film...when Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hit, many were quick to point out that, back in the day, Lucasfilm signed the deal with Paramount for 5 Indy films. Will we get the fifth one? Will I get to see Jet Li play the grown up Short Round?

As soon as I find out, you'll be the first to know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2012 Trailer

Roland Emmerich. Around 10 years ago, I proudly called him one of my favourite directors. And that was just because he made one of my favourite movies...Independence Day. Say what you will, but it's still probably one of the best-made films of the "event picture" genre. Hell, on the DVD bonus features for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Steven "God's gift to filmmaking" Spielberg gushes over ID4.

Then Emmerich did the Americanized Godzilla...a flawed Godzilla film, to be sure, I still watch it from time-to-time. And let's not forget that he spawned the science-fiction franchise known as Stargate.

I still really enjoy those three films...I think it's because that a key in all those films is, as the climax approaches, it falls to the super-geek to save the day. Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day...James Spader in Stargate...Matthew Broderick in Godzilla.

But then...the allure of Emmerich wore off. He made the Mel Gibson American Revolution epic The Patriot. then he split with his creative partner Dean Deviln. Then he just kind of disappeared.

He returned in 2004 with the disaster epic The Day After Tomorrow. He seems confident that he's found his formula now...epic disaster films.

After attempting to branch out with the caveman epic 10,000 BC, he's going back to his well for another epic disaster film, 2012.

Many ancient cultures -- the Mayans in particular -- predict that the world will end in the year 2012. So, in 2012 the epic disaster is...the Apocalypse.

The super-nerd who saves the day is John Cusack.

July 2009.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The New Enterprise! / Batman vs. Batman

Well, gang, here it is. The most anticipated picture from the new Star Trek film. The fans have been demanding to see this from day one, and today it was unleashed on the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newly redesigned starship Enterprise...no bloody A, B, C or D.

I'm liking it, except for a few minor quibbles. The nacelles look a little off and the neck covers too much of the drive section, but other than that, it's fairly faithful to the original Enterprise on the original series.

Oh, and don't forget. The new trailer is going to be in front of Quantum of Solace this Friday. Paramount has already announced that it'll be going online in hi-def Quicktime on Monday morning.

So, Christopher Nolan and Warner Brothers are about to be dragged through the courts. The makers of the Dark Knight are being sued by the city of Batman, Turkey.

It seems that the makers of the Batman films never got permission from the city of Batman to use the name "Batman." "There is only one Batman in the world," says Huseyin Kalkan, the mayor of Batman. "The American producers used the name of our city without informing us." Kalkan also maintains that the makers of The Dark Knight are responsible for several unsolved murders and a high suicide rate, because The Dark Knight had a negative impact on Batman's residents.

The official statement from Warner Brothers is that the first they heard of this was through the press, and that they'll wait until they're officially served before commenting further. And, as many geeks have pointed out, nowhere in this lawsuit do they name DC Comics, who've published Batman comics for almost 70 years, or Bob Kane, who created Batman back in 1939.

Doing some looking online, the Turkish city of "Batman" gets its name from the nearby Bati Raman Mountains. Apparently, "Bati Raman" is commonly shortened to "Batman."

Here's the complete story.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Joe Jonston doing Captain America

Well, Marvel Studios is just trucking along with adapting their comic book characters for the big screen.

Today, Marvel announced that they've signed Joe Johnston to direct the movie version of Captain America. Some of Johnston's previous films include October Sky, Jumanji, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Johnston was Spielberg's first and only choice to do Jurassic Park III. Johnston's next film will be a re-make of the classic 1940's horror film, The Wolf Man.

We don't have a writer yet, but Marvel has made it clear they want it set in World War II, with Captain America fighting the Nazis and his arch-enemy, the Red Skull. And Johnston truly is the right guy for the job in my mind, as Johston also did that other "superhero in World War II" film, The Rocketeer.

So, to re-cap, here's everything that Marvel has on the go:

May 2010: Iron Man 2. Jon Favreau is coming back to direct.

July 2010: Thor. No director yet, but rumor has it Kenneth Branagh is close to signing.

May 2011: The First Avenger: Captain America. See above for all the deets. Here's hoping they change that title.

July 2011: The Avengers. No director signed as of yet.

And let's not forget.... That's everything that Marvel is doing in-house. They've still got a lot of their characters sold to other movie studios right now. 20th Century Fox has the big Wolverine solo film coming out in May, plus Fox is also planning a re-boot of Daredevil. And, Sony also wants to give us a fourth Spider-Man film.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Latest Targ's Up! Latest Movie Review Up!

Well, it's another Sunday, so that means another episode of U62: The Targ!

This week, we've got Episode 2.9: Witty Title TBA. We talk about The Graysons, Up and I continue obsessing over cataloging my DVDs.

Listen here!

And, it's been a week, but I finally have my review up of Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

You can read that You can read that right here.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Up Trailer

So, the new trailer for Pixar's next animated epic, Up, went online today....

Gotta say...Pixar's been rather secrative about this one. Maybe it's because of the Disney merger and they weren't able to start the promotional blitz until now. That's one might eye-catching trailer, though.... It doesn't give me goosebumps, the way the trailer for Wall-E did.

As I said, there's still not much known about this. The creative force behind it is Pete Docter, who directed Monsters, Inc. and the English dub of Howl's Moving Castle.

All questions will be answered May 29.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Ever-Expanding Catalogue

I've spent the past 24 hours, hunched over my keyboard in an obsessive fervor, cataloging my DVDs.

For quite some time, I've been wanting to get some kind of DVD database software for my computer so I can get my DVD collection into some semblance of order. A friend of mine was showing off his DVD cataloging program around 6 or 7 years ago, and I thought it was really cool. All you had to do was punch in the barcode on the back of the DVD, and it would automatically download all the DVD information. I forgot what it was called, though, so I've been looking for programs that let me do that.

And I think I found it with DVD Profiler. I'm really enjoying the program...I'm tempted to spend the $30 registration fee to unlock all the features. I've got all my DVDs in the system now...all 283.

So I can now pour through the latest additions in my stockpile!

When I went into Edmonton back on the weekend, I had to pick up The Incredible Hulk: 3 disc Special Edition. I did like this new, Edward Norton Hulk. Granted, it has its flaws. The plot is formulaic as hell and Liv Tyler comes across as so sleepy for most of the film...but it does have a lot more of that "Hulk SMASH!" action that we all know and love. I couldn't help but watch it in the theatre and think, "My God! Why can't a Superman movie have a climactic battle like this?" I think I was thinking that because the movie version of the Abomination looked kind of like Doomsday.

It's nicely loaded with bonus features...there's a whole slew of deleted scenes. We get a lot more of Betty's boyfriend in the deleted scenes, who is revealed to be Doc Samson.

All things considered, I really hope we get a direct sequel to The Incredible Hulk. They did a fantastic job of setting up the Leader to be the villain.

I also snatched up Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. When it comes to that film, I'm kind of like Butters from South Park. While everyone is going on and on about how Lucas & Spielberg raped Indy, I'm just standing there going, "I thought it was OK." Before I went to see it, I read an interview with Lucas. Lucas said that the Indy films always drew their inspiration from the movie serials of the 1930s and 40s. However, Indy 4 was set in the 1950s, and the movie serials were replaced with science-fiction B-movies. So, Lucas said, his intention with Indy 4 was to do it in the vein of a science-fiction B-movie. When you have that in the back of your mind, it's a bit easier to take.

But still, save the aliens for Star Wars, Lucas!

I got the 2-disc special edition, but I haven't even touched the bonus features yet. I'm looking forward to them.

And the third DVD I got was Sold Out: A Threevening with Kevin Smith. As I'm sure you can tell by the title, this is #3 in the An Evening with Kevin Smith series. I've actually never seen the first two on store shelves...I always had to special-order them online. So when I saw Sold Out on the store shelves, I knew I had to snatch it up.

The first An Evening With Kevin Smith was edited together from performances Smith did at a half-a-dozen colleges across the USA. An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder was made of two shows: one in Toronto and one in London. The third one is a complete Q&A that Smith did in his hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey to celebrate his 37th birthday. (Because, as we all know, the number 37 has a special significance in Clerks.)

Once again, it's a very solid, very entertaining DVD. If you liked Smith's stories about Prince and writing a Superman movie, you're going to love his story about filming his scenes in Live Free or Die Hard and Bruce Willis.

For bonus materials, you get a ton of deleted scenes. the main show is made up of Smith's half-hour long answers...the deleted scenes are 5-minute long answers, still just as entertaining.

So that's what I'm working my way through right now. I've got to pull myself away from the keyboard now. I'm getting a horrible headache from staring at this monitor.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Futurama III out Today!

Just have to take a moment to acknowledge one of the biggest DVDs out today.

Futurama: Bender's Game is the third Futurama straight-to-DVD movie! The creators have called it their first real foray/swipe at Lord of the Rings and other epic fantasy tales.

The plot involves Fry and the rest of the Planet Express crew being transported into a magical realm as they try to solve the galaxy's shortage of dark matter...dark matter being the fuel that powers spaceships. In the magical realm, Leela gets turned into a centaur named "Leegola," and Fry gets turned into a Gollum-like being dubbed "Frydo."

For bonus materials, you get a running commentary with various members of the crew and voice cast, the "Futurama Genetics Lab" game, the featurette "Dungeons & Dragons & Futurama," which points out how the whole thing was inspired by D&D, a blooper reel, and a trailer for the fourth and final Futurama straight-to-DVD film, Into the Wild Green Yonder, due out in the spring.

Yeah, that's what that movie needs...MORE footage -- Mego Spider-Man complaining about the extended director's cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

I share that quote because it's my reaction to the biggest WTF? DVD release of today...

The 2-disc, extended edition director's cut of...Waterworld!

This new cut of the film now runs 3 hours and 20 minutes long, adding 40 minutes back into the film. Apparently, we get a lot more character development and a lot more plot and people are starting to say that yes, it actually is a better film.

But still, I don't think the world was clamoring for this one.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New Targ's Up!

Well, it's Sunday, so that means I have a new episode of U62: The Targ!

Not gonna lie...kinda phoned it in this week. Just didn't have much to talk about. I brag about my new massage chair, Athabasca's new Canadian Tire, I wonder about the correct pronunciation of "Calgary,"...oh! And I review Zack and Miri Make a Porno!

Give it a listen!