Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hello? Is anybody out there?

I was watching that classic episode of Corner Gas last night where people get sick and tired of hearing Hank's ramblings, so they tell Hank to start writing them down in a blog. But then of course, no one reads Hank's blog, so Hank gets all upset. And then Brent, the only one who actually reads Hank's blog, starts writing up "Hank's blog cheat sheets" for everyone, so people can pretend they're reading Hank's blog and not upset Hank. Then, because he gets sick of everyone asking him for the cheat sheets, Brent starts posting the cheat sheets online, thus inspiring him to start his own blog. But then, no one reads Brent's blog, so Hank and Brent just start talking to each other.

Anyway, that led me to believe that the millions of people who don't read this blog are probably not wondering where I went.

Nothing spectacular, I'm still off on Christmas vacation. I'm trying to spend as much of it off the grid as possible...no blogging, no Facebook, and most importantly, no checking company e-mail and fretting about how the office is surviving without me.

But still, I'm getting bored as hell, so it's time to check in on things.

Over here, we have the latest "final nail in the coffin" for VHS. Back on Boxing Day, the last remaining distributor of video tapes in the USA closed its doors. That means no more new videos will be popping up in discount bins all across the USA.

Other "final nails" include the last video tape being put out by a major Hollywood studio (that was A History of Violence, back in '06) and JVC, the electronics company that first started selling VCR's, announcing that they are discontinuing the manufacture of VCR's.

And, if that weren't enough, the experts are saying that DVD will have gone the way of VHS inside of four years, to be replaced by Blu-Ray.

In other news, I managed to hit the city and see The Spirit. Yeah...um...well, it is a movie.

As we all know, it was the first effort from comic book legend Frank Miller, and he's still figuring out things like "editing." Some things really feel disjointed, some scenes run on too long and its, well, really something else.

At the theatre where I saw it, around halfway through the film, a young man screamed out "THIS MOVIE'S FUCKIN' GAY!" and stormed out of the theatre.

While I would not describe the movie as "FUCKIN' GAY!", it definitly is not quite up to par.

Miller has already announced that his next film will be an adaptation of the classic pulp fiction hero Buck Rogers, so lets hope he learns from his mistakes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Few More Trailers

Don't you hate it when you have trouble sleeping and eventually you think, "Screw it, I'll just get up early?" I'm having one of those mornings. Since I am up early, I'm wasting some time watching some movie trailers online and just catching up on what's going on in the world of animated movies.

First up, we've got the new trailer for Dreamworks' latest animated opus, Monsters vs. Aliens. The title pretty much describes it all. When aliens invade the earth, the government decides to unleash an army of monsters to battle the aliens.

The monsters are led by Susan Murphy, aka Ginormica, who's hit by a meteorite on her wedding day, causing her to grow to 49.75 feet tall. (There's a joke in there as to why she's no 50 feet tall, but I've forgotten it.) She's voiced by Reese Witherspoon. The other monsters are the Missing Link, voice by Will Arnet (GOB on Arrested Development). Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D., a mad scientist with the head of a cockraoch. He's voice by Hugh Laurie, House on House. And B.O.B., a blue gelatinous blob voiced by Seth Rogan.

Other characters include the general who collected the monsters, W.R. Monger, voiced by Keifer Sutherland, and the President of the USA, voiced by Stephen Colbert.

Now, I'm usually pretty cynical towards Dreamworks films, as they popularized the "talking animals making fart jokes" formula that is currently dominating animated films. However, I'll root for anything that's not "talking animals making fart jokes," so this one may be worth a look.

Speaking of rooting for anything that's not "talking animals making fart jokes," next up is 9. Based on the Acadamey Award nominated short film of the same name, 9 is about sentient rag dolls in a post-apocolyptic world trying to redeem humanity. Think of this as WALL-E's Goth brother.

Written and directed by Shane Acker, who wrote and directed the original short film, and produced by Tim Burton, 9 features the voices of Eijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, John C. Riley, Martin Landau, and Christopher Plummer.

Oh, and here's the original film on YouTube, in case you want a greater taste of what you're in for.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Latest Targ's Up!

Another Sunday, means another episode of The Targ!

This week, we've got Episode 2.15: An Adult Christmas, in which I lament what Christmas now means to me, seeing as to how I'm a responsible adult and all that. We also talk about which of Time Magazine's buzzwords of 2008 started in Canada, and Sunshine Girls! Yay, Sunshine Girls!

So please, head on over to the main site and give it a listen!

U62: The Targ -- My podcast

Or, you can click on that button above and go subscribe to the Targ in iTunes.

I should also mention that The Targ is going to be gone for the next couple of weeks...going away on Christmas vacation, and will be far away from all my recording dohickeys.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I see it's -40 in Athabasca this morning, so it's time to play another exciting game of "Will my car start?" Even with my car plugged in, she just refuses to start on one morning in the winter when we hit -40. Is today the morning? We'll see....

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Christmas Scrapbook

Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas can mean only one thing...Christmas movies!

So here's my latest YouTube endeavour. My Christmas Scrapbook follows me as I go around to a couple of Athabasca Christmastime events, and chronicle my adventures.

Not gonna lie...I'm a little disappointed with this one. Because I tried to smoosh the two events into one film, the whole project just never really gelled. As Lucas tells us, films aren't released, they escape. And this one got away on me.

Damn it! I never finished that thought in the intro...one of the many reasons why I'm not pleased. Oh, well. That's why Lucas invented special editions.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good News/Bad News

First, the good news.

It was announced today that Tim Robbins has joined the cast of Iron Man 2!

Robbins will be playing Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark, in flashbacks. Director Jon Favreau says that Howard Stark plays a very integral role in the plot, and in setting up the forthcoming Avengers film, which is why he wanted a really, really good actor.

And now, the bad news.

Majel Barrett passed away today.

I blogged about her just last week. The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Barrett had numerous roles in all of Star Trek. She was the nameless first office Number One in the original pilot The Cage...she was Dr. McCoy's head nurse Christine Chapel on The Original Series...and she played Deanna Troi's mother Lwaxana on The Next Generation. She also voice the Enterprise computer in every series.

Barrett had been battling leukemia for the past few years. She was 76.

Last week, it was announced that Barrett would be reprising her role as the voice of the Enterprise computer in the new Star Trek movie due out in May. It has been learned that, yes, she did finish voicing the computer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wolverine Trailer!

So, if you listened to this week's podcast, then you probably heard my rant about prequels...which leads into this latest trailer.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a friend of mine told me that the popular fanboy musings for adapting X-Men to the silver screen would be to start off with a Wolverine solo film, which would end with Wolverine joining the X-Men. And then, you make X-Men.

Well, in this day and age, the popular way is to do things backwards, which meant the Wolverine film would be saved for a prequel.

And it's here!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits theatres on May 1, and it tells the tale of Wolverine...his childhood in Alberta...his time serving in the wars...his fateful recruitment into the Weapon X project. Hugh Jackman has gone on record as reminding us that, when we first meet Wolverine in the first X-Men film, he's cage-fighting in a bar in northern Alberta. Says Jackman, the end of this prequel, you'll be able to believe that Wolverine walked out of the wilderness and into that bar.

In addition to Jackman back as Wolverine one more time, Liev Schreiber takes over as Wolverine's arch-enemy Sabertooth, Danny Houston is the young General William Stryker, Lynn Collins is Wolverine's one-time love Silver Fox, Ryan Reynolds is his Weapon X teammate Deadpool, and Taylor Kitsch plays the one X-Man that people have been clamouring to see, Gambit.

Gavin Hood, still best known for the South African drama Tsotsi directs.

May 1 is when it hits theatres.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Howard finally comes to DVD

I have fantastic news for all you Marvel zombies and George Lucas apologists!

Howard the Duck is finally coming to DVD!

For those who have blocked it from your mind, Howard the Duck was based on the Marvel comic of the same name, about a walking, talking duck who is stranded on Earth. The movie turned it into a sci-fi epic, with Howard battling giant, stop-motion animated scorpions set to invade the Earth. Jeffery Jones played the evil scientists possessed by the boss scorpion, Lea Thompson was his hot, human girlfriend, and Tim Robbins was the nerdy scientist who helped them out.

It was written and directed by Willard Huyck, a longtime George Lucas collaberator who wrote American Graffiti and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It was produced by George Lucas's Lucasfilm.

Howard the Duck was a gigantic bomb, reviled by critics, and is often regarded as the worst thing that George Lucas had his name attached to. Yes, even worse than the prequels.

But it's finally coming to DVD on March 10!

Bonus features include a half-a-dozen featurettes about the making of the film. And yes, they got the involvement of George Lucas and Willard Huyck and Stan Lee.

Suggested retail price is $14.98, meaning it's going straight to discount bins.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Latest Targ's Up!

Wow. What is it about me? 5:30AM on Sunday morning, and here I am, up before the Sun.

The plus thing is, you get a new episode of The Targ way, way early!

Today, it's Episode 2.14: Antecedent Action, wherein I talk about prequels, Anne of Green Gables, and Wayne and Shuster. Yup, I'm hitting my CanCon with this one!

So head on over to the Targ and download this week's episode!

And don't forget to subscribe in iTunes!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the little things....

So, there was an announcement today on the new Star Trek movie that made the trekkies go, "Hey...I never thought of that! But JJ Abrams did, and it was a smart move!" And that decision is....

Majel Barrett will be reprising her role as the voice of the Enterprise's computer!

Barrett, of course, has done the voice of the ship's computer in every incarnation of Star Trek...except Enterprise, which took place before they had talking computers. But thanks to time-travel wackiness, she got to voice the computer in a couple of episodes.

In addition, she played the nameless first officer Number One in the original pilot, "The Cage." She played Dr. McCoy's head nurse, Christine Chapel, on the original series, and she played Lwaxana Troi, Councillor Troi's mother, on The Next Generation and a couple episodes of Deep Space Nine.

Another interesting fact...she did the voices of darn near every female guest star on the animated Star Trek series!

Plus, she was the wife of Star Trek's creator, Gene Roddenberry.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Terminator: Salvation Trailer

Ah, this is a great time of year to be a movie geek. Not only are the theatres filled with all kinds of holiday blockbusters and Oscar bait, but those magical, wonderful trailers showing us the first glimpses of next summer's blockbusters start popping up.

The latest one is for Terminator: Salvation. Thanks to the time travel wackiness of the Terminator franchise, this serves as both a prequel and a sequel, as we finally get our first film about the Future War against the machines.

This is actually one where my interest is very, very slim. The Terminator franchise is one that can be put to rest in my books. The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day form a very nice 2-part story. While I found Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines to be fairly entertaining, it was wholly unnecessary. And I haven't even tuned in to the new TV show yet, The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Anyway, it'll probably satisfy my thirst for giant robot mayhem until Transformers 2 comes out in July. We should be getting our first trailer for that in February.

For the vital stats: Christian Bale takes over as humanity's savior, John Connor. Bryce Dallas Howard is his wife and second-in-command Kate Connor. Anton Yelchin, soon to be seen as young Chekov in Star Trek, is the young Kyle Reese. Sam Worthington is Marcus Wright, a man with a shadowy past who just might be the newest Terminator to hunt down John Connor. Helena Bonham Carter is Serena, the lead villian. And Austrian bodybuilder/Arnold Schwarznegger lookalike Roland Kickinger takes over as the T-800.

The director is McG, who gave us the Charlie's Angels films.

May 2009.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Latest Targ's Up!

It's Sunday! New podcast day! This week's episode of U62: The Targ is....

Episode 2.13: Ramble Ramble, where I finally offer up my thoughts on the Star Trek trailer, discuss European condom sizes, and share my Christmas plans!

Go give it a listen!

And here I am on iTunes!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Quantum of Solace Review Up!

I saw it over a week ago, but I finally put up my review of the James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace!

Go read it!