Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, April 09, 2017

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

I need pants.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And voila, a Harvey's rice bowl.

A post shared by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

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

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

Beauty and the Beast Movie Poster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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