Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Checking In

Been a while, again. Christmas and Boxing Day being huge retail days, I've been kept kind of busy by my respective employers. The upside is that I'm keeping busy and making some decent money, the bad news is that I have to wait until tomorrow to post my Seth Fisher interview.

On another topic, during my breaks at work I've been reading the Star Wars book 'Labyrinth of Evil' by James Luceno and I have to say that I am really enjoying it. Everything that I wished George deliver in the third movie, and everything that was good about the Clone Wars mini-series on Cartoon Network is in this book. The character voices are spot-on, the plot is interesting, the politics and subterfuge play a bigger role and Grievous is featured much more prominently. He's actually a credible villain in this book. There's also some nice background on the characters and universe during this period in the series and some explorations of the motives that got us to where we ended up in Episode III.

Anyway, I hope everybody had a great Christmas. When I have more time I'll comment on mine. Until then, take care and I'll post again as soon as I can.


Friday, December 23, 2005

One Down, Two to Go

Well, it's the wee hours of the morning but I managed to finish off the intro for my Dini interview so I think it'll be posted tomorrow afternoon sometime. I'm technically still waiting for some art from DHC but it's not like it's a super-long piece, so I think we'll do fine with the art we have if it doesn't show up in time.

I also did a little shuffling with the questions since they were sort of asked out of order. I came up with about 15 of them and it was sort of an off-the-cuff thing so they didn't really follow any kind of rhyme or reason other than being Jingle Belle themed. The reshuffling gave it some continuity, I think, and what I think is a basic throughline, so hopefully nobody will read it and go, "HUH!?!" I'd be curious to hear any feedback on it since it is the most recent interview I've done and I love hearing what people have to say.

Seth Fisher's interview is next up out of the batter's box. That should be a little easier because it's just plugging in images and uploading the info. Seth sent me some cool stuff which I'm going to include. There's some cover stuff and a sketch or pencil scan which I can't wait to post (although some of the stuff he told me about that he didn't send would have likely bent your mind, man).

Anyway, I have to work tomorrow (later today, really) so I'm going to take off and catch some snoozin' time. Y'all take care and we'll see you next time!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Still Behind

Man, I'm coming up on my first anniversary of Blogging here and I'm feeling slightly self-conscious because I'm still behind on some of the projects that I've discussed here. In many ways, come January, Jen and I are getting what we both refer to as a fresh start. So many of our obligations and commitments end with the new year and we've felt kind of refreshed and energized by this opportunity to start January off with a clean slate. Unfortunately, my being behind might give me a slightly smudged slate, but I'm hoping to change that tonight.

Work is going as well as it could. I'm still doing the everyday thing and not getting much, if any, time off. Still, it's nice to have the regular cheques coming in whether I'm working 66 hours a week or not. It's also nice that the pay periods for my two jobs are staggered so I get a cheque pretty much every week. It works out pretty nicely.

As for the aforementioned projects, the Seth Fisher interview is done and is just waiting on me getting some free time to post it. Paul Dini needs an introduction written and then I have to submit it to SBC, and Karl Moline needs an intro and some prep work done on it before it goes up.

Fingers crossed that I get this all done tonight.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Dini Answers In

I got home from work today and found an e-mail from DHC passing along Paul Dini's answers to the questions I cooked up for him. I was a little worried that, not having read a lot of Jingle Belle, I wouldn't manage to put together a decent interview. I did as much research as I could tracking JB down on the web and even tried to get a hold of a preview copy from DHC, but not much ultimately came of that. It was really short notice, so I'm not down about it, or anything. Anyway, even though it's probably not reflected too heavily in the interview, I think the little bit of research I did does show through - even if it is just to me.

And let it not be forgotten that the interview would have been nothing but a bunch of questions were it not for the cooperation of Mr. Dini. Paul gave me some great answers and I think it will be a quick, but fun, interview when it finally gets posted. I have to write the intro for it still and then fire it off to Silver Bullet Comicbooks who will publish it.

I'll post more on this when it hits the web all official like.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Six Whole Days

Woo! It's been six days since my last post. At least I can honestly say that I have been busy, busy, busy working at my jobs and not just hanging out and watching DVDs and choosing not to post because I'm a lazy ass (which has happened in the past).

The jobs are actually going pretty well, for anyone who's asking. The receiving job has increased hour-wise so I'm doing about 30 odd hours there and my Future Shop job has evened out at 32. I alternate between the two, so Monday I'm receiving at Superstore, Tuesday at FS, etc. etc. I split Saturday between the two and I live without a day off or a chance to wear street clothes. It's just a little something I noticed the other day. I spend all my outside time wearing my respective work uniforms and when I'm home, I'm in comfy sweat pants or pyjamas or what have you - never in my regular street clothes. It happens, on the odd occasion, but 99% of the time it's black shirt with khakis or Lime green with black pants.

The only other new stuff to talk about is my new S-Video cable. I'd heard of how it was supposed to improve picture quality for years and finally took the plunge. I got it for cost at $3 (CAN) and figured, if this shows any improvement, I'm going to go the whole nine yards before my time at FS is up and upgrade to Monster Cables.

I've also reconfigured my Home Theatre speakers and re-adjusted my colour and display settings on my television, so I've sort of maximized the the whole movie viewing experience in my household. Working amongst all the technological Home Theatre beauty at work makes a guy look at his set up at home and want to make it better than it was - the best it could be with the tools available.

I'm driving my wife crazy, to say the least.

"Honey, does that skin tone look too pink, or am I crazy?"

Oh, I'm also still waiting for Paul Dini's answers, my Seth Fisher interview is D-O-N-E and will be posted very, very soon and Karl Moline will be hitting Meanwhile... soon, as well, to pretty much finish off the Buffy Post Mortem.

Hmmm...I can't think of anything else to add that could make this more interesting than it is, so I'll sign off now and try and get back on soon.



Monday, December 12, 2005

I Didn't Start the Fire

Well, if you're a Buffy or Angel fan, you've probably read my interview with David Fury or seen the shitstorm it has created among Whedon Fandom assembled. In the last 48 hours, my site has received about 16,000 hits and I've managed to garner the attention of Tim Minear and Joss Whedon, who have both commented on Whedonesque regarding all the commotion. Today, David Fury himself came out of the blue to throw in his two cents and clarify some of the things that have caused people to talk about this interview so much.

As for me, I'm kind of emotionally spent over the whole thing. I know that sounds retarded, but I never expected so much attention to come from this interview that is 14 months old. It's a great interview, if I may say so, and I'm awfully proud of it, but I've done tons of Q&As with people before and I've never seen traffic like this. Makes me wish every interview I did was a Buffy, Angel or Firefly related interview (as readerships go, these folks are the best).

Having guys like Joss and Tim suddenly post and giving clarifications made me feel like some kind of rabble-rouser, or something. I always find that I'm torn between two interview methods: the first being the traditional 'get that story' kind of interview where you ask the questions you know you shouldn't just to see if you get an answer, and the method I generally use, which is 'give to your subject and they, in turn, will give to you'. It's kind of a mutual appreciation society. When people feel comfortable they say things they might not to someone they feel they have to be guarded with.

I'm interested in personalities, not breaking the big story. It's why I know I'll never be a great journalist. I do love talking to people, though, and giving my readers what I hope is a similar experience to sitting down with that person themselves and chatting with them. That's what I tried to do with the Fury interview, that's what I'm trying to do with my Seth Fisher interview(s) and many others.

That's why the attention is both exciting and alarming.

Anyway, I think I may have just had a taste of what a person's 15 minutes is supposed to be like.

I'm going to go and watch some more Kitchen Confidential and maybe go for a Super Big Gulp in a bit.


Turn Up the Suck

Well, now I'm annoyed. I've managed to acquire (never you mind how) the 'full run' of Kitchen Confidential since my post last night and I'm sorry to announce that it is my new favourite show - all four episodes of it, that is.

I'm not one to normally watch sitcoms. I find the format tired and the quality of your average half-hour comedy to be entirely lacking. Thi show is funny, though. Really funny. It's also fast-paced, clever, sexy and sharper than any other sitcom I've seen in a while. It's reminiscient of shows like Sex and the City (which I'm sure is the touch of Darren Starr) and Scrubs, but it offers an entirely new flavour that I found really appealing.

Bradley Cooper is great as the lead character, Jack Bourdain. He never feels like he's playing a character, he just inhabits it. He also looks pretty natural in the kitchen which may be the directors or may be Cooper doing research, I don't know. His supporting cast, I should mention, are just as great and own their characters as well. Even the ditzy hostess at Nolita sells it without becoming a caricature.

I realise that it's over but, believe it or not, I'm genuinely thankful for the four episodes they aired. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to be entertained for 84 minutes by this great cast and smart writers. Maybe we'll see the unaired episodes on DVD sometime in the future - this is FOX, after all.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

I was actually going to try and watch Kitchen Confidential but according to Zap2it news FOX has pulled the plug on the near stillborn comedy.

Man, how many years have people complained about this very practice and yet they still shitcan shows before they air even half-a-dozen episodes.



Friday, December 09, 2005

I Can't Think of a Clever Wordplay for Fury

I'm feeling a little lightheaded. After sitting on my David Fury interview for about a year I've finally gone in, done it up and posted it on my other website, Meanwhile... as part of my ongoing Buffy Post Mortem. It's a really great interview and I'm really proud of how it came out, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it gets received by the fans out there on the web.

The folks on Whedonesque are usually the first to find them and generally have some nice things to say about the interviews and the interviewees. In fact I find it mildly humourous that I have tried, for years, to elevate my profile on the 'net as an interviewer of comic book personalities and other celebrities to no avail, yet these Buffy interviews which appear on my little corner of the web, and get no advertising or hype anywhere by my own hand tend to net me a shitload of hits to the site. More than I've ever gotten with non-Buffy folk, and more than I've ever gotten while Features Editor over at Silver Bullet Comicbooks.

Go figure.

So, even though it has taken me two years (or more) to pump out these 6 interviews (with one or two more to come before it's done), interest in the Post Mortem rarely goes away for long and always spikes dramatically whenever there is an update. I should just keep doing Buffy themed interviews 'til people stop reading them.

Food for thought, anyway.



Thursday, December 08, 2005

Searching for Seth Fisher

Hmmm...It's a pretty good week for interviews, I guess.

That last Dini post gave me the kick in the ass I really needed to get that Seth Fisher interview I did a while ago done and sent off to Seth for approval. Man, I don't know what's wrong with me that I let it just sit there for so long. Seth, if you're reading this, I'm sorry!

There is a chance that it might get tweaked and made a bit more current, but regardless of what happens it's always interesting talking to Seth and he never gives a dull interview. Heck, the kanishibari story alone warrants publishing this baby. Who can turn down a genuine ghost story from one of the industry's premiere visual stylists? Not me.

Anyway, I'm off to get ready for job #2 now. Time to sell some CD players!


Dini on the Brain

It's funny, actually, that my last post was about the new Batman animated series because I am now in the middle of putting together an interview with Paul Dini. Dini, if you didn't know, was one of the writers on the show's predecessor (commonly known as Batman Animated or Batman Adventures) as well as several other DC themed cartoons with partners in crime, Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett.

Anyway, the Batman connection ends there because I've made the choice to steer clear from talking too much about the past and focusing on his latest effort, a new Jingle Belle one-shot coming out next week from DHC. Gonna keep it light, gonna keep it current and gonna keep it Christmasy.

I'm just waiting on DHC to send me a preview of the book so I can directly reference the stories in my questions. I'll keep you posted on the progress.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Batman Season 3 Succeeds

While I enjoyed the first 2 seasons of the new Batman show, I never quite latched onto it the way I did with the Bruce Timm/Eric Radomski incarnation from a decade back. There was something about that version that just struck a chord with me, I guess. Maybe it was all the noir elements, or the 30s Gothic design, but the new show never managed to capture that elegance or timelessness.

With the 3rd season of The Batman now, officially, halfway through it's run on Kids WB, I have to say that it's finally settling into it's own style of writing and design, choosing to skip the gimmicky 'look who we've redesigned now' motif in favour of attempting to add depth to the characeters and world of Gotham City. Heck, I've even gotten used to The Penguin (who happens to be in every second show and issue of the comic book series) and almost look forward to seeing he and The Joker vying for the Dark Knight's attention.

This season also saw the introduction of Batgirl to the cast of characters which is both a blessing and a curse. I'm not thrilled that they resorted to introducing a new Bat-themed characetr so early in Bruce's career, especially when it is in lieu of featuring older characetrs like Detective Yin, but they are handling Barbara/Batgirl with a great deal of class and are using the character as a foil for Bruce instead of just a 'let's breathe new life into this show' cast member. They also managed to tie her origin in with the creation of Poison Ivy which was well-handled and made for a nice two-part episode.

While I missed having the ol' Bats around, even if he was an occasional guest-star over on Justice League Unlimited, I'm happy to say that The Batman - after a couple of inconsistent years - has finally earned its place on the regular viewing rotation of animated shows. It'll never replace the Timm/Radomski Batman (or Batman Beyond, for that matter) but I'm happy to have it around.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Strangers a Good Purchase

Shortly after posting about the new Strangers DVD documenting Keane's 2004 US tour I popped into work on my day off and bought it. I'm the first to admit that my willpower is not something I want to be challenged in a life or death situation so I'm not really surprised by this turn of events. In fact, I not only succumbed to the lure of the DVD but I was also debating on whether or not I should drop some cash for the Dual Disc of their album, Hopes and Fears. To be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that all the videos are included on the Strangers DVD I probably would've caved on that point, too. It's an album I absolutely love and to hear it coming out in 5.1 surround is such a temptation for me.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the documentary which is actually very well produced. It doesn't have the atmosphere of, say, Coldplay's 2003 Tuor Diary documentary that appeared on their Coldplay Live 2003 DVD, but the interviews are surprisingly truthful and candid, the history of the band is nicely presented, the music is great and the navigation on the disc is both practical and innovative.

If you're a fan of the band or just love these kinds of music docs, I would highly recommend Strangers to y'all. It's definitely worth checking out and a DVD that will live in my Home Theatre for a while, I'm sure.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Keane and Some Comics

While at work the other day I noticed a new DVD from the Brit Award winning trio, Keane. It's called Strangers and is, essentially, a documentary following their rise from a 4 piece guitar band to the piano based trio they are today. From the UK pub scene to winning two Brits and selling 5 illion copies of their album Hopes and Fears.

I'm a big fan of their first album and it's rarely off my regular playlist but I don't know a great deal about the band itself. I'm stuck between buying the DVD and passing it over since I am more of a fan of the music than the guys. Everything I've read about the doc seems to say that it is pretty interesting and I'm a sucker for concert videos and music docs, but it's spending money that I don't really have at the moment. Maybe with Christmas coming up I can add it to my wish list.

As for the comics I was referring to in my title, I recently finished reading Tony Bedard and Karl Moline's run on the now cancelled Rogue, "Forget Me Not". I really enjoyed this 6-issue arc and was sorry to see the series get cancelled. I was looking forward to seeing Moline and Bedard continue some of their magic for a few issues more and Rogue has never looked or sounded better than in the hands of these two. The only thing I was remotely disappointed with was the two or three issues that Moline didn't draw himself and the fact that the covers were all done by Scot Eaton. Not that there's anything wrong with Scot Eaton, it's just I would have liked to see more Moline. The guy doesn't produce enough work.

Anyway, that's it for my pre-noon blogging. I have the day off from work today so I will try and come on again sometie later in the day and post some more.



Friday, December 02, 2005

It Aint Pretty

After listening to the new INXS album, Switch, I have to say that the band has done a good job of replacing Michael Hutchence as frontman for the group. Fellow Canuck, J.D. Fortune does a very good job of filling the vocal 'shoes' of his predecessor and there's no doubt in my mind that their live show won't suffer for the new singer, but Switch does manage to suffer despite all the efforts of Fortune and the others. The songs that comprise the new CD feel too uninspired and, more often than not, dull. The best tracks conjure up older so-so INXS offerings like X or Elegantly Wasted and the worst live in a class all their own. New fans may get something fresh and interesting out of Switch but, as a long-time fan of the group, I couldn't in good conscience recommend it to older fans.

Switch proves that INXS is not dead and gone as many believed, but it's an assisted living sort of situation. The desire to do something is definitely there but they're just not sure how to proceed without Michael. Unfortunately, the old Kick is gone.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Between Jobs

I'm just home from my first job and on my way to my second (hence the title) but I wanted to make at least a cursory effort to post before another three or four days went by. I stopped off at my LCS today and picked up a couple of things so I'll hopefully come on and post a little later about that, and I'm also listening to the new INXS album, 'Switch', which I'm likely to have some opinions on as well.

Then again, I might just get home and crash.



Sunday, November 27, 2005

Evil Dead Stuff

As I think I mentioned earlier, I recently purchased the new game based on the Evil Dead trilogy, Evil Dead: Regeneration. After the last game, Fistful of Boomstick, my expectations ween't very high but I always look forward to new ED stuff, regardless of their eventual quality. I'm pleased to say that Regeneration is maybe the best ED game yet combining good clean playability with an interesting storyline, good writing, great voice over work and nice smooth graphics that make you feel like you're actually playing in a world created by the Raimis, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell.

I'm having a great time working my way through the levels of this baby and it's even managed to renew my waning interest in the Army of Darkness comic book series put out by Dynamite Entertainment. The most recent storyline involves a crossover with Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator which, initially, gave me pause but has turned out to be a fairly entertaining read overall. The last mini, Shop Till You Drop, left on something of a low note and I was having serious misgivings about picking up the series as an ongoing. Not so much anymore.

On a kind of weird note, I've started my 8 year-old daughter on the ED franchise as a result of the game. She really enjoys watching me play, if you can believe that, and I've shown her some of the more slapsticky scenes from Army of Darkness to give her some more flavour and to answer some of her questions about the series. She seems to be liking what she sees so I just may have another horror afficianado in the making. It would certainly make my life easier to have another horror fan in the house, let me tell you.

Remember to shop smart, shop S-Mart!


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Problems and More Problems

It's been a while since I posted on here, the reasons for which are twofold.

Firstly, I'm working two jobs right now, which I may have mentioned in a previous post, and if I'm not at one I'm at the other. If I'm not at one of the jobs, I'm asleep. It's pretty simple, really. The only reason I've had my computer on in the last week is to back-up some DVDs and check my e-mail quickly before scootling off to the grocery or the electronics store. They seem to be taking up an inordinate amount of my time, but I guess it pays the bills, so...

Secondly, my internet was out for a little while there. Coincidentally, that was one of those bills that I appear to be working two jobs to pay.


I've also just got the news today that I've mismanaged my distance learning course to the point where I'm going to have to beg for an extension or just withdraw outright if I want to avoid academic penalty, so I'm not in the best of moods tonight.

Add to that a growing number of projects and things that have yet to be taken care of and I'm starting to feel the suck, if you know what I mean.

I do have some time off this weekend, though. My second job was nice enough to let me stay home on Sunday and Saturday so I only have to work a 7 to noon shift in the morning and then I have time to do whatever. I don't think there are any major commitments this weekend so it'll be likely that I post again, and soon.

I hope everybody else out there is having a decent enough time of it. I look forward to putting some words to the web shortly!


Saturday, November 19, 2005


I just started a second job this week which is mostt of the reason for why I haven't posted in the last few days. I picked up a sales position in a local electronics shop so that, coupled with my shipper/receiver job, is keeping me very busy and very tired. I've never done a two job schedule before.

Anyway, I just wanted to come on and make sure that I said a few words, made sure that I didn't go five whole days without posting a single thought or comment.

Stuff that I would like to talk about (and may well do so one day soon): Invincible Vol. 1, the Man-Thing movie, the Seth Fisher interview that I suck for not having posted, The Batman season 3, Alex de Campi and Igor Kordey's Smoke, IDW's Angel minis, Billy Wilder, Superman Returns, The Batman vs. Dracula, The Stardust Kid, F. Scott Fitzgerald and more. There's gotta be at least a month or two worth of posts in there, don't you think?

Well, that's it for me for tonight. It's getting late and I gotta hit the hay or I'm going to have a rough day at work tomorrow.



Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Night Stalker Not to Return

In a move that totally depresses me, ABC has decided to halt production on Frank Spotnitz' stylish reimagining of The Night Stalker. Despite all their words to the contrary in past comments to the press, the show did not appear to be reaching a large enough audience - at least not for the #1 network on TV. According to SciFi Wire 9 episodes have been completed but the last three will not air. This week's episode will, instead, be replaced by a two hour Primetime Live which I'm sure will enrich all of our lives.

Night Stalker was on its way to becoming another X-Files, in my opinion, and I am really sorry to see it go. Maybe we'll have a DVD set in the near future to finish up the episodes they made.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday LinkBlog


Another Monday brings another day where I try to avoid saying anything of real substance by linking to things I believe to be marginally interesting. So, without further ado...

I just watched Bronwen Hughes' Stander for the first time last night and the only thing I liked more than the movie was the funky music provided by David Holmes and The Free Association. If I'm not mistaken, Holmes is the one responsible for the very cool and funky soundtrack to Ocean's 11 and 12, and his work on Stander was outstanding. The piece used in the trailer was enough to hook me on the movie. I recommend checking the stuff out.

I've also added their links to the sidebar, so they'll be around for a while if you're feeling like taking it slow.

Here's some news on Darren Aronofsky's latest project, The Fountain. As the title of the article states, it's good news and bad news.

I think I caught this link originally over at Jeff Parker's Blog, but I thought it was interesting enough to link to it as well. John Cusack has always proven to be an interesting figure both in his films and in interviews, so why should his politics be any different?

MoviesOnline has pics from the new Keanu Reeves offering, A Scanner Darkly, as well as the trailer for Spielberg's latest, Munich (which looks more interesting than it should for someone who has renounced the 'Berg), and some new Jurassic Park IV and Indy IV news here.

Saw is a movie that has managed to build up quite a following and, as anyone in the 'comic-book-know' knows, IDW has a Saw prequel comic book to cash-in..I mean, enhance the Saw 2 experience by shedding some light on the origins of the villain, Jigsaw. If you're interested, there's an animated comic available here with sound and everything. I'm assuming it's from the comic book but it's possible it's a prequel to the prequel.

Harvey Danger have a new album (well, EP, actually). Go here to check it out! It's called "Cream and Bastards Rise" and it's good news to see ol' HD out with some new tunes.

I really liked Duncan Rouleau's work on Marvel's ill-fated pre-Lobdell Alpha Flight revival from a few years back, so when I caught this interview with him on CBR, I was intrigued. He has a new book coming out called The Nightmarist and he's doing the writing and the art. I'm definitely curious.

Showtime's Masters of Horror. Joe Dante and John Landis. SciFi Weekly interview. Go here. More on this in another dedicated post.

And, finally, last but not least, another Boilerplate article by Inara Verzemnieks for The Oregonian. This one goes into the whole 'mix-up' with Guinan's character being used in Chris Elliott's book. Man, you can't buy mainstream publicity like this. Or maybe you can and I just don't know how.

Anyway, it's a good read and worth checking out.



Saturday, November 12, 2005


Wow! From, quite literally, out of nowhere comes this mad reading binge for comics. There was a while there where I was seriously considering curbing the habit since it wasn't bringing me a whole lotta joy, but the buzz appears to be back and I've been having a ball the last few days.

I also made a run to my LCS today and picked up some more goodies like Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #4, Rogue #11, Hero Squared #2, The Stardust Kid #1, Hellblazer #191, and B.P.R.D. #3.

I also just finished the first issue of Alex de Campi and Igor Kordey's Smoke #1 . I enjoyed it and will probably comment on it in the near future. I know I say that a lot, but I'm pretty sure I'll be coming back to this one.

I'll talk more later.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Reading Giffen

I've kind of gotten the comic bug again and I've been reading through stuff that I've had sitting around for the last few weeks and haven't picked through yet. In some cases, if it's something like Zatanna #3, I'll reread the first two just to get myself back up to speed since it's been a lonog time since I've sat down and really read some comics.

Today the comic books of choice have all been Giffen books. Common Foe #s 1 & 2 and Hero Squared #1, to be specific. With the exception of Common Foe #2, it turns out that I'd read these already but it was really refreshing to get another crack at them. Common Foe, in particular, was a book I wasn't enjoying too terribly much before today, and now I'm really happy with the way it's developed over the first two issues. The artwork is nice, if a little muddy, and the characetrs are often hard to distinguish from each other, but I'm used to working a little harder on a Giffen book. Hero Squared was simply one of the best reads I've had in months. Not a lot happens, but the writing was more natural than either of the recent Justice League minis or The Defenders, and Abraham's art has really improved since the X-Tra Sized Special. I'm looking forward to seeing where this series will go, not to mention craving a little more DeMatteis action. I think I'll finally pick up those cost-prohibitive copies of The Stardust Kid that are sitting in my file.

On a side note, I managed to track down and put in my file the What Were They Thinking? issue that BOOM! put out where Keith takes an old war comic and changes all the dialogue. I can't afford it yet, but I'm hoping I get achance to read it soon. I think it'll be great fun.

I'm also thinking of rereading my Drax #1, now. It sort of unimpressed me when I read it the first time and it hasn't driven me run out and pick up the next issue, so maybe giving it another chance in my new Giffenesque mood will change matters a bit. We'll see.

That's it for now. Later!


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

On the Battlefront

I don't normally do game posts, but I had some fun with the ol' Xbox this week so I thought I would mention it.

I got a craving the other day to play some Xbox so I invited my brother to come over and spend a few hours blowing up CIS droids in the new Star Wars game, Battlefront. I didn't enjoy the first game when I played it way back when but I have to say that I'm certainly enjoying its sequel. Quite a bit, actually. In this version you can play not only infantry units but also Jedi characters if you earn it and you get to participate in the space battles as well. You get to fulfill mission objectives during the capital ship combat then you board the cruisers and assault the other ships bridge or engine room or whatever. Fun for the whole family.

Some people loved being able to shoot Ewoks in the last game but I'm a sucker for Rise of the Empire period Star Wars stuff. I am a discerning fan, however. I don't go for just any SW product, it has to be pretty cool as well. Battlefront fits the bill, plays comfortably and has a low learning curve so there's nothing much to master right up front. As long as you can aim and shoot you'll do all right and you can pick up the subtleties of the game as you go.

Oh, and for the Star Wars minded reader, SciFi.com has a nice little interview with producer Rick McCallum covering the upcoming TV show, the animated series, the 3D Episode IV, and some other stuff. Check it out.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunday, Sunday

I'm not sure what to post today that would be of any interest to anyone, so I'll just to a State of the Nation and go back to watching Farscape.

I had another job interview today. It was with Blockbuster, which isn't exactly aiming high, but I need something extra for evenings and weekends and a video store is kind of a not-very-intense way to make some side-money. I've done the video store thing before so I know what I'm in for and I told my wife that if I pick up a second job it would have to pretty much be something I could do in my sleep otherwise I would crack-up.

So, yeah, I did the 'audition' thing and we'll see where that goes. I might be able to get something higher up than a CSR since I have the experience to back it up. Let's hope so, anyway.

I also have an interview with a place called Michael's tomorrow before I have to go to work. I know somebody who works there and she says I'm pretty much a shoe-in, so I might have another job early next week, Blockbuster or no Blockbuster. It's a craft place so I'm not bursting out of my skin to work there, but with the wife's contract coming up in December, I'm going to take what I can get. I also need money for Fear of Falling, so I have a few motivators going on there.

So as not to leave you with only tales of my meager existence, I will post this link to MoviesOnline regarding the Serenity DVD release date and details.

Good night, and good luck.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Something to Crowe About

I've finally managed to get my mitts on Cameron Crowe's 1982 high school comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which was the second last Crowe DVD I needed to complete my collection. The Special Edition of Jerry Maguire still eludes me, but I'm sure it won't be too long before we cross paths.

Crowe is one of my favourite writer/directors and any chance I get to listen to one of his audio commentaries is a treat (hence my disgruntledness with Warner Bros. for not releasing a Singles special edition with all the bells and whistles). In fact, I find it hard to listen to one and not want to immediately run outside and shoot a movie. There's something in the way he talks about the medium that I find really inspiring, and there's such a love for what he's doing. He's genuinely having a lot of fun and I think his actors and crew are, too.

I have yet to see Elizabethtown but I'm sure, like the elusive Mr. Maguire, I'll catch it sometime soon. Funds are tight these days but if nothing else, I'll be able to find it in a second run theatre at some point.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Not Quite Done For the Day

Bookslut has a really great review/interview of Ande Parks' GN Capote in Kansas. I've heard good things about this book, but this article genuinely makes me want to pick it up and check it out. At the very least, it's a nicely done piece and worth a little attention either way.

Also, while I haven't been a strong supporter of Stereophonics' latest effort, their new single, "Rewind", has always been one of the stand-out tracks for me. They just debuted the video for "Rewind" on their website as a web exclusive release - at least until it hits the video channels later this month.


Into the Depth Text Commentary

One thing I forgot to mention in my last post regarding the Episode III DVD was that my favourite feature on all the prequel discs (the depth text commentary) is superb, as always, which makes me a happy camper- especially considering I found the audio commentary to be so lackluster. They've made some changes to the site that the DVD links to but it still works OK so I'm not complaining.

One unfortunate side note is that the special web-enhanced features for the previous releases appear to be down, hopefully not gone forever. I have always considered the extra DVD-ROM features to be one of the things that make these Star Wars DVDs stand out from the pack. Most DVD-ROM material is script-to-screen comparisons, cheesy games or bad advertisements disguised as extra value content.

After seeing how SciFi has taken the web and their show sites for Stargate and Battlestar Galactica and used them for adding commentaries and what-not, I don't see why other studios can't get off their asses and maximize the potential of this whole crazy internet thing. I mean, I refused to buy the Batman Begins DVD because there was no Chris Nolan commentary and no explanation as to why. At least when X-Men came out without a Singer commentary, they gave reasons and hinted at a deluxe release somewhere down the road. Not so with ol' BB.

My fantasy (and I fully understand that it is indeed wishful thinking) is that when a studio makes a release like Batman Begins and doesn't add a commentary for whatever reason, they make one later, post it on the web for free or as a download that costs a buck or two and satusfy the fanatics like myself. It seems too logical maybe. You and I both know that it'll never happen, but I can dream.

Anyway, if you have the Episode III DVD I recommend checking the web features out. I think they're worth the trouble - just make sure your shockwave is current and that you're display settings are not cloning the picture out to a secondary media device.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I just got home from watching Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and I have to say that I enjoyed it. I didn't enjoy it as much as I did The Nightmare Before Christmas, nor was it as charming a movie, but it moves along nicely and has a good dollop of Burton's trademark humour and gothic flair - enough to keep me interested, anyway. I was also amused by how many Burton alumni were involved with the film, from screenwriter John August to most of the voice cast. Kudos should be given to Burton for keeping Christopher Lee in interesting roles, though. After seeing Lee in Episode III again today, it was refreshing to see him playing something other than Dooku, and his character in CB was a hoot. Great design, great vocal performance and just nicely done, overall.

While I'm still on the topic of Burton, I should probably mention that I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a few weeks ago when I was in Calgary. We took my daughter there for an Irish dance competition and figured we'd catch a movie at the Imax while we were there since we have yet to manage one here in the wastelands of Saskatchewan (well, one that will play commercial films, anyway). Although I've heard some scathing reviews of the movie I will go out on a limb and say that I liked a lot of things about it. It wasn't a perfect movie, not even by Burtonian standards, but there was something about the quirkiness of the story and Depp's performance that kept me watching. Not all of the set pieces or gags hit the mark, but I do think the tone of the film was correct and just about anything looks astonishing in Imax so I walked away pleased by the experience but I doubt I'll be renting or buying the forthcoming DVD anytime soon.

As for the aforementioned Episode III, I promised to say something about it today so here goes:

Nice video transfer, great sound mix, not bad documentaries, mediocre audio commentary and if any of the three movies deserved or needed some of the deleted scenes added back into the film, this one was it. Unfortunately, George has, for some reason, decided to take a hands-off approach to alternate or deleted scenes, which baffles me somewhat. Both episode I and II had additional footage added so I don't understand why III didn't get any love. Still, the whole saga is now on DVD, I have it, I do enjoy it (believe it or not) and I have no regrets.

I'll catch y'all tomorrow!


Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I've had a pretty nutty day so I'm just going to leave it at that for today. The Episode III disc is out tomorrow so I'm sure I'll have something to say about that.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Not Sure How They Figure This...

You're...Saturn Girl!
You're Imra Ardeen, Saturn Girl!

Which Legionnaire are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm thinking it's because I chose telepathy as a power of choice. That and the fact that I clicked the box for Cosmic Boy when they asked who I wouldn't mind hanging out with.

Maybe I should go back and choose Kinetix.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Took Her to the Doctor and the Doctor Said...

Good news on the Kate front. I went to the hospital with her today where she saw a specialist who examined her X-Rays and determined that, while she did break her arm in two places, the alignment of the bones was such that surgery would not be necessary. I guess you kind of have to give Kate credit. When she makes a break, she breaks 'em nice and clean.

She'll be in a cast now for about a month and, according to Dr. Woo, it should heal nicely with no forseeable complications. I have to book an appointment to see him a week from now so he can check in on Kate and probably X-Ray her again. Hopefully it's all good news from here on out.

Actually being there and hearing the doctor speak directly to me and not having all the info filtered through in-laws and third parties did a great deal to diminish the stress and worry that I was experiencing over the last 24 hours. That, combined with seeing her in front of me (she slept at grandmas last night) chipper and talkative despite her injuries, brought the migraines to a mild hum and greatly reduced the tension levels at home.

Until the next crisis, I guess.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sick With Worry

I'm calling my wife at the end of my shift today to find out when she needs to be picked up from work when she tells me that my middle kid, Kate, has badly injured her arm at school. She had no further details, only that it might be broken and that Kate's grandmother was taking care of her at the hospital.

Now, to know Kate is to know a strong-willed, pig-headed little girl of 6 who comes pretty close to living up to the old cliché, "Danger is my middle name!" so we're not surprised by this turn of events, but you just can't help but be sick with worry if you're not there to talk to the doctors and see how she's doing first-hand.

When I got home tonight I found out that she had, indeed, broken something - two things, actually. Her elbow and wrist appear to be in pieces and the doctors informed my mother-in-law that they may have to do surgery if, after examining the x-rays, they decide it's not going to heal well by itself.


I've been with Kate through several traumas now, none quite as serious as this, so I know she's a trooper and, whatever the situation, she'll tough it out and come up smiling in the end. Still, knowing that doesn't do so much for the here and now.



Monday LinkBlog on Wednesday

I have a growing list of bookmarks and, for some reason, didn't post them up on Monday like I usually do. So, with that in mind, and the fact that I have to get ready for work soon, I figured I would do them all today and start fresh this coming Monday.

NPR had some interesting tidbits that I thought I would link to this week. For starters, The Beatles' 'Rubber Soul' celebrates its 40th anniversary this month and Art Silverman does a short piece about the tribute album "This Bird Has Flown" featuring audio clips from some of the new versions of the songs.

With all the hubbub, I've gone and picked up the album again and started listening to it this week. Songs like "You Won't See Me" and "In My Life" all remind me why this is one of my favourite Beatles albums of all time, and my favourite period of their careers. Not too experimental, but not too reminiscient of '50s rock, either. And don't get me wrong, I love 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and The White Album, but, IMHO, for pure sit down and listen to it value, 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver' are where it's at.

Sticking with the music links for a bit, I also found this Death Cab For Cutie concert on NPR. It's about an hour-and-a-half and the audio quality is very good. I've only previewed a bit of it but the performances sound solid and when I have the time, I'm sure this'll be a treat to listen to.

USA Today had an interesting article on how well DVDs have been doing this year. With so many industry people making comments in interviews and on the web that it's the DVDs where the studios are making their real money, and considering how poorly theatrical releases did this year, I think the fact that DVD sales rose by only 8% is a kind of sobering fact - especially since there have been more DVDs released this year than any other.

Anyway, it's all in the article, so if you're interested, go check it out.

While searching for an anniversary gift for Johnny Bacardi I ran across this great site focusing on comic strips based on the popular British adventure series, The Avengers. Most of it is bibliographical information on the many comic book versions of the series, but there are some full strips you can view if you search around - what fun!

If you've ever checked out DC's flash-animated Gotham Girls webisodes or seen Micah Green's video for "Family Circus" or watched an episode of The Venture Brothers than you know who Noodlesoup is. These guys are some of the best at what they do and I've loved just about everything I've seen from them. This week I ran across this article talking about how company founder, Jeff Nodelman, is leaving the company to pursue his own stuff. I thought it was an interesting read.

Taking a cue from Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter here's an interesting link to a contract that Dave Sim received from DC Comics regarding doing some work for Bill Willingham's Fables. He makes some notes in the margins and drafts a response for DC's legal dept. I got a kick out of some of the things Dave pointed out and the last paragraph where he explains that he never promised Willingham that he would do it 100% for sure but that he would negotiate in good faith with DC made me chuckle.

Here's an odd little interview with Identity Crisis writer, Brad Meltzer.

Here's a Chicago Sun-Times article on the carpet bombing of the Smurf village which I'm sure you've all heard of by now. I admire UNICEF for what they're trying to do, but I can't deny the weirdness of the direction they chose for the campaign.

Indie creator, Adrian Tomine, has edited a Manga collection featuring the work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi. He talks about it here in an article by The Village Voice.

The Book Standard talks to writer/artist, Charles Burns about his GN, Black Hole.

I mentioned the new Conan: Red Nails animated feature before on the blog, but ICv2 has this bit on some of the confirmed casting for the film now that it is officially out of the design phase of production.

Not to ignore the gaming world, popular anime, Samurai Champloo, will be making its way to PS2's in 2006, which is great news except that I own an XBOX (not to even mention that many of us are still waiting for one of the Cowboy Bebop games to make the long trip over to North America).

I should also mention that Jeff Smith's Bone will become a video game courtesy of Telltale Games. More info on the game, based on the "Out From Boneville" storyline can be found here.

And with that, I'm all tuckered out for the day. Hope there was something interesting for everyone, there. I'll catch you all later!


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rhythm of the 'Scape

With Dead Like Me almost finished its run on Movie Central and most of my other shows currently on hiatus I've recently started watching Farscape again from the first episode. I've seen all of the S1 episodes before but I wanted to do a kind of refresher before I got into S2 (of which I haven't seen everything) and beyond.

I remember not caring too much for the earlier stories since they all seemed to suffer from what I call Pilotitis but things sort of loosened up when they got to something like the seventh episode and they started finding their stride. Now, watching them again they seem more entertaining than I remember. I'm thinking that it has something to do with the fact that I'm more familiar with the rhythms of the storytelling and the characters.

Anyway, I'm hoping I don't get sidetracked like I did with DS9 (which I will get back to) since I'm looking forward to seeing The Peacekeeper Wars mini-series which served as the series finale. We'll see how it goes.


Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm Now a Man With a Screaming Brain

Paty Cockrum, in what appears to be her usual juvenile style, writes a sloppy retraction apologizing for calling Joe Quesada anti-semitic (not apologizing to anyoine else, mind you) amd qualifying that her husband, Dave Cockrum, does not, in fact, read her column and probably wouldn't approve if he did.



Saturday, October 22, 2005

Enough With the Screaming

I was recently directed to check out Paty Cockrum's column over at Scream If You Want It and, based on what I'd heard they were about, my curiosity was piqued. After reading the first four of them not too long ago I have to say that not only was I unimpressed with the overall format and content, but I was kind of taken aback by the intense hostility and tabloid professionalism being employed by Mrs. Cockrum.

In her columns she talks about working for Marvel in its 'creative heyday' during the 1970s with guys like Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, herself, her husband and others. She then goes on to 'chronicle' the downward spiral which occured under the reign of Jim Shooter as EIC and then Bob Harras, and details how things went from the Camelot of creativity to the seventh ring of hell.

I have no problem with people airing their frustrations with other people, online or otherwise, but this blatant waving of Marvel's dirty laundry as if it was a some sort of flag is just lacking in class and taste. And calling Grant Morrison and Mark Millar anti-semitic because they changed the character of Magneto recently from what Chris Claremont had originally envisioned him as is irresponsible and inflammatory (not that Grant or Mark will ). Sure, Chris was largely responsible for the rise of The Uncanny X-Men as the book to read and set the stage for much of Marvel's publishing decisions since, but what Paty hasn't noticed is that Chris' writing of late has been pretty terrible. Whatever manipulations may be going on in the background, Chris was removed from the book back when he had overstayed his welcome, and when he was brought back with a big huzzah, he couldn't keep anyone's interest.

She also complains that Marvel is unprofessional for cancelling Excalibur in the middle of a storyline and blames this on Marvel's hate-on for Claremont and their racist conceptualization of Magneto. In order to wrest the master of magnetism away from Claremont they had to unceremoniously cancel his book before he finished doing what he was doing. Yeah, that never happens in the comic industry.

I mean, it's one thing to publicly point out how much you dislike someone and how they conduct themselves personally or professionally, but it's another thing when you go out of your way to repeatedly slam an individual with all the creativity and tact of a rowdy 9 year-old on the school playground. This is worse than a tabloid mentality because she doesn't even have the wherewithal to link to any of the forums or articles she discusses, essentially making her 'points' akin to hearsay.

And that's mostly what I have to say about that.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Elektra Lives Again!

I'm sure Frank Miller will never forgive me for attaching one of his titles to a post about the film version of his assassin extraordinaire, but it was just too good not to use it.

What it refers to is the brand-spanking-new Director's Cut of the film that was released on DVD yesterday that I only found out about today while reading through my daily news.

As some of you may know, I was so impressed by what had been done to improve Daredevil with the Director's Cut that I am one of the few people on the planet who not only went to see Elektra while it was still in theatres, but also bought the DVD (albeit sverely discounted) to set next to DD on my overcrowded movie shelf. I mean, in its defence, I believe that Elektra is truly a stronger movie than the theatrical cut of DD ever was (which to many is not saying much) and despite its many flaws it still remains an entertaining little picture for me.

Now, one of my greatest pleasures is to sit down with the DVD of a flawed movie that I enjoy and listening to the director chat about the movie that could have been, thye mistakes that were made and whatever else he or she wants to talk about. Many a movie has been redeemed for me through this very process so it was terribly disappointing that the Elektra DVD had no commentary to speak of and only a few brief featurettes on the making of the film.

I refused to purchase the movie when it first came out on those grounds, and with the expectation (hope?) that, like its predecessor, an expanded Director's Cut would follow in a matter of months. I knew that the movie absolutely bombed in theatres so I was skeptical that 20th Century Fox would support such a move, but seeing as most movies only make money once they hit DVD these days anyway, I held out for the better set whether it came or not (and just for the record I did break down a few weeks ago and bought a reasonably priced previously viewed copy of the first release - it was under $10 CAN).

Anyway, to try and make a long story shorter, FOX surprises me by firing this baby out onto the market and, according to Rob Bowman, this is the way he would rather see the movie presented, given a choice and with the material they had. The cut on this set is unrated (they added some of the more intense fight scenes back in) and apparently moodier than the one some of us saw in theatres. As Bowman states in the interview I linked to above, music cues have been changed, colour has been reworked and the sound mix has been totally redone for this release. Something like 14 weeks was spent 'restoring' the movie but, unlike the DD Director's Cut, Elektra has very little footage added to the new release. Mark Steven Johnson added, like, 30 minutes to Daredevil and it drastically changed the movie from a piece of crap to a pretty good Daredevil movie. As much as I enjoyed Elektra's theatrical cut, I would've liked to have seen something that, story-wise, was a little more rounded out.

Still, there are a lot of bonus features to dig into with this one including a commentary track by Bowman and a few documentaries so I'll probably be picking this one up despite some of the bad reviews I've been reading about it.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Spielberg Bugs Me

Hey there...

For those of you who know me, you're already aware of my falling out with Steven Spielberg. How I saw a once brilliant fimmaker get a little too self-absorbed and a little too 'political' to really say or show anything of any importance to me anymore, and how everything he's made since Amistad has just stank of someone who thinks they're more visionary than they are.

The reason I bring it up is because I've recently been in a position to watch some behind the scenes stuff on a few Spielberg projects and I've kind of managed to really put my finger on one of the things about the guy that bugs me so much. He has this annoying tendency to say "I" a lot when talking about other people's stuff. Like the way he talks about E.T., or Taken or even War of the Worlds. He always talks about the scripts, themes and ideas as if he was the guy who came up with it all in the first place. I mean, I'm the first one to acknowledge that film is a very collaborative medium and that the director has a big part in how the story gets told, but when he claims a sort of blanket ownership on the project because of it, let's just say that I think Matt Stone and Trey Parker had his and George Lucas' characters right when they spoofed them on South Park.

And speaking of George, I've recently had the opportunity to see some DVD features focusing on his work and I have to say that for all the stuff he changes, and for all the people he pisses off, I still respect him more as a filmmaker and a storyteller than Spielberg.

And bear in mind that these aren't just the random ravings of a film nut. I used to love Spielberg's stuff - heck, I still hold Jaws in the highest esteem and I'm the biggest Indy nut you'll come across in these here parts. Empire of the Sun was an amazing picture and E.T. (the original one, not the bastardized cell phone edition) still makes me cry every freakin' time I see it. Lately, though...anyone wanna watch A.I. again? Maybe some Minority Report?

Didn't think so.

That's my rant for the day. Oh, and before I forget, I just finished Bringing Out the Dead and it was a very pleasant surprise. I hope to talk about it a bit more later.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Hard Day's Addendum

It just occured to me that when I originally saw A Hard Day's Night on videocassette, lo those many years ago, there was a short little musical montage put to the ninth track of the album entitled, 'I'll Cry Instead'. When I watched it on the snazzy 'new' DVD it starts as, I assume, it did in theatres at the time with the "Strummmm!" and then the scene of the boys running away from the girls.

The montage was probably added as an intro of sorts for the cassette version, although I'm not too clear on why it would be needed. Maybe viewers in the '80s weren't accustomed to just jumping into a movie like that. Still, I miss it now that I'm watching it without which is typical of me, I guess.

I'll probably do some digging to see if I can figure out the whys and wherefores of the siuation. If anyone out there happens to know the answer, I welcome the input.

That's it for me.


Update: I guess it didn't take very much digging after all! Beatles historian and DVD producer, Martin Lewis, answered this very question in a USA Today Talk Today column:

Roanoke, VA: Why wasn't the "I'll Cry Instead" intro included?

Martin Lewis: I'll Cry Instead was a 1982 creation that was devised as a marketing tool to help launch the theatrical reissue of the film by Universal Pictures. It was never a part of the original film, and the director Richard Lester detested it, as did I. I felt that my job as producer of the DVD edition of the film was to faithfully honor the work of the filmmakers as they intended it in 1964.

Ask and ye shall receive. Mystery solved, everyone can go home now.


Looming Large in My Legend

I'm watching the tail end of A Hard Day's Night as I type up this post. It's at the concert part where The Beatles do a medley of all the songs from the film and close it out with 'She Loves You', a song I'm not very fond of listening to normally, but kind of enjoy here. It's been years since I've seen the film and, until now, I've only remembered it in these little non-linear chunks of gags and music. Not all that different from the movie itself, actually.

Anyway, it's a really entertaining little bit of cinema and stands up pretty well considering it's about 40 years old. I'm so used to listening to The Beatles that I forget what it's like to actually watch them do what they do. There's a really fun energy and sense of humour to the group that doesn't come out, necessarily, in the songs. It adds that little extra bit of dimension to the music, the mythos, the magic.

I should also mention that the DVD is a nice little package as well featuring 2 discs jam-packed with featurettes spotlighting the folks who made the film, including director Richard Lester, in nice well-rounded interview bits. The music being mixed in 5.1 surround is also pretty sweet, now that I think about it.

If you like The Beatles, I would recommend seeking this set out to rent, borrow or purchase. It's well worth the time and effort.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oh, a Pirate's Life For Me

I finally managed to procure for myself a copy of the second episode of Night Stalker, also known as 'The Five People You Meet in Hell'. If you caught the sad story in my earlier post on the subject, I accidentally fell asleep last week while waiting for the show to start and missed the damn thing. I was 10 freakin' minutes away from air time but my body just couldn't take the strain, so me and my cat just conked out on the couch for a while.

Anyway, taking a cursory glance at the episode since 'acquiring' it, I'm pleased to see that Rob Bowman was the director since I am a big fan of his style. His X-Files were some of the best looking of the series and, love it or hate it, the X-Files movie looked pretty darn smart. Thomas Schnauz, another 1013 alumni was the writer for the episode and it looks like writing god Darin Morgan is one of the producers on the show which may mean an episode or two from him in the near future. heck, if Morgan is writing it, I'll wait however long it takes.

Lastly, it was also interesting to note that the new theme song for the series was written by composer Philip Glass which, I think, fits the show perfectly.

Oh, and by the way, the pilot episode with the different ending was, in fact, better than the one aired. Better mood and a nicer 'out' for the story, overall.

Now I'm off to watch the show.


Monday, October 10, 2005


Hey, folks...

Just got back from another road trip to Calgary. We went down there, once again, for my daughter's Irish Dance club and that, combined with work, has sort of taken up my whole weekend. Well, that and Thanksgiving.

I'm actually heading off to meet the Sandman right now, but I wanted to post something before I hit the hay since it's been, like, four days since I've put anything up here.

So, anyway, a Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and I'll hopefully be back online tomorrow with something more interesting to say.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sleeping Beauty

Argh! Thanks to the new job and having to start work at 7 a.m. all this week I've been so wasted that I fell asleep 5 minutes before The Night Stalker's second episode aired. I woke up 20 minutes into the show feeling like an absolute heel. I even considered programming the VCR but decided against it at the last minute, thinking that surely I'll stay awake for the few minutes it'll take for the show to start.

And I'd heard that this episode was supposed to kick ass.


The perfect capper to a difficult week. I'm really bummed out, now.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Browncoats Should Be Pleased

According to SciFi Wire Joss Whedon's Serenity snagged the #2 spot at the box-office this weekend. Not bad for an upstart little TV show turned feature film. Unfortunately, it looks like it only pulled in $10 million in its first three days, which is something of a disappointment, but I think this flick has sleeper written all over it. Just like the TV show, as a matter of fact.

My Serenity review is still forthcoming. Early buzz is I liked it, but not my favourite movie so far this year.

'Til next time...


Monday, October 03, 2005

Shiny Happy People

Mark Evanier posted a link to this wonderful little bit of trailer remixing on his blog the other day, and I thought it was so great I figured I would link to it as well.

It's amazing how a little creative editing and a change of music will turn one of the most chilling movies I've ever seen into a dramedy.

Oh, and this is pretty much it for the Monday LinkBlog, too.



Smallville's Big Premiere

I was going to do a new season TV roundup at some point, but since I've already said a few words about The Night Stalker and I'm watching the 5th Season opener for The WB's Smallville right now I figured I'd post some comments on it.

Executive Producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar promised that this season would give viewers everything they've ever wanted to see but since I know that Lana is, once again, a regular cast member and was not, as I would have hoped, devoured by weaponized penguins in the premiere, I take this 'promise' with a pound of salt. All the characters pretty much pick up where they left off last season in the wake of yet another meteor shower: Clark and Chloe are at the North Pole setting up the Fortress of Solitude, Lex is now the bad guy, another Kent family member ends up in the hospital and two Kryptonians have arrived from beyond to raise heck.


I naively thought that we might see something different from the show this year but it looks like more of the same seems to be in order for for the next 20 odd episodes to come. The melodrama will continue to be laid on pretty thick, Clark and Lex will still be arguing about whether or not they're being honest with each other, Lana will look perplexed and wander through the series seemingly with purpose, people will be in and out of the most poorly lit hispital on television because it's one of their biggest standing sets and they'll continue to shamelessly rip-off Donner's Superman because they can't work out their own spin on the whole mythos.

The one thing I was happy with was Chloe (who is pretty much my favourite character). I'm happy to see her character finally reveal to Clark that she knows his secret and has for some time. Since the beginning of the series their scenes together have been, by far, the only good thing on the show, as far as I'm concerned and this new aspect of their friendship may be enough to keep me watching for a few episodes.

Overall, I still think Smallville is one of the biggest disappointments on television for three years running with all likelihood of making it four. How it stays on year after year while other more brilliant shows languish, I'll never know. Why I bother to keep tabs on it after being repeatedly burned, I have only myself to blame.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Different Night Stalkers

I just discovered yesterday that the Night Stalker that I watched on ABC Thursday night was, in fact, the second of two pilots. The original version was distributed as a screener to media and executives (I would assume) and featured some slightly different scenes than the one that aired.

I saw the original ending from the unaired version and I have to say liked it much better than the 'snappy chatter' version that was released to the public. In my earlier post, I intimated that I wasns't entirely happy with what I saw, and now I'm beginning to wonder if my complaints about the show would be addressed by this other version.

Considering past experiences with these things, I think they will.

I'll post more on this when I see the unaired pilot in its entirety.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Mercurial Thoughts

I just stumbled across this Portland Mercury piece which takes some time to spotlight 4 of the creators that will be hanging out at the Stumptown Comics Fest (starting today for anyone who may be in the area and reading these far off musings). Mercury writers Erik Henriksen and Christine Blystone review Aaron Renier's Spiral-Bound, Jeff Parker's The Interman and Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett's Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate.

It comes as no surprise that The Interman went over well, and I'm unfamiliar with Renier's work, but I was slightly taken aback by the harsh critique for Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate. I've yet to read it for myself (putting my own criticism in question, I suppose), but what I've heard about the book has generally been positive, and from what I've seen of it online, it looks real purty.

I guess one man's Picasso is another man's mad scribblings.

I don't know if that last bit came out right.

Anyway, click on through the links if you're curious. I'm outta here.


Friday, September 30, 2005

Deep Space Nine Round 5

It has been some time since I've returned to good ol' Terok Nor (die-hard Trekkers should get that one) and posted some Deep Space Nine thoughts, so I figured I'd squeak some in now that I'm on a somewhat regular posting schedule again.

If you recall, the last batch of episodes I reviewed were pretty uninspiring. The momentum that the season had built up to that point was brought to an abrupt halt by misfires like 'Move Along Home' and 'The Vortex'. With the next batch of three, however, we see that those episodes were merely mid-season fumblings. With 'Battle Lines' DS9 gets back on track (at least for the nonce) and returns to the strong characters and situations that really punctuated early eps.

Battle Lines (1x13): Now, this episode had me hooked the second Camille Saviola walked on screen. Her character, Kai Opaka, was pretty interesting in 'Emissary' and I had been looking forward to her return to the show. As the spiritual centre of the Bajoran culture, her presence pretty much guaranteed some of the religious conflict/discourse that I find to be one of the linchpins for the series. I was also looking forward to seeing her matched up with Sisko again since their previous meeting was handled so well.

I wasn't disappointed.

The basic premise of the episode revolves around the Kai arriving on DS9 and wanting to go through the wormhole, also known as the Celestial Temple of the Prophets. Sisko, Kira, Bashir and the Kai grab themselves a runabout and head for the Gamma Quadrant. While exploring on the other side of the galaxy their runabout is attacked and the group manage crash land only to find themselves marooned on a prison planet. The inmates there had arranged themselves into two groups and were at war with each other, striking at the other's camp whenever the opportunity presented itself. The catch in their particular situation is that the conflict has been going on for a very long time since they can't die as long as they reside on the prison planet (something to do with nanomachines, or something). The only way out of their neverending cycle of violence is to come to terms with their hatred and find a better path.

At its heart, the show is about the Kai and creates a situation that essentially serves to write her out of the show, but it is also very much about Kira. Like the prisoners, she has lived a violent life since childhood and the episode takes a moment to question whether or not she can move beyond her past and use her energy for other purposes as well.

If you've followed these commentaries at all, you know that my favourite aspects of DS9 are the politics, the religion/mysticism dynamic, and the interpersonal relationships, for better or worse. In 'Battle Lines' we get a little bit of all of the above..

I also wanted to note that the story for this episode was by a writer I really enjoy, the late Hilary J. Bader.

The Storyteller (1x14): Another decent episode, this one focusing on Bashir and O'Brien. Bashir is on a medical mission to Bajor and O'Brien is pretty much there to fly the runabout for him. They go to a village to help an old man called a Sirah whose duty is to ward off a creature that menaces his village. Upon his death, he names O'Brien his successor and the shenanigans begin.

The plot of this episode leaves something to be desired and it is certainly not a favourite of most fans of DS9 but somehow it doesn't detract too much from my enjoyment of it. Part of it may be because of the production values - which are pretty great when you see the village all laid out with all the extras and stuff - but likely a big part of it was watching the budding friendship between Bashir and O'Brien begin to develop. What I like about these two characters together is that it is not an instant buddy-match, like where everyone on the Enterprise is best friends and plays poker every Friday, but a more realistic depiction of a friendship and working relationship in the Trek universe.

From readinf the Deep Space Nine Logbook I know the producers felt that this was a plot heavy show and not exactly what they were aiming for on the show, but I think it is far from a failure and ultimately watchable and entertaining.

Progress (1x15): 'Progress' is probably the best of the bunch being the most well-rounded and well written episode of the three. The gist of the story is that the Bajoran government is about to perform a massive energy transfer by tapping the molten core of its fifth moon, Jeraddo, to supply power for those parts of Bajor that are in need. This causes a problem because one small group of settlers on Jeraddo refuse to leave and it forces Kira to come to terms with some things about her character and her life.

She starts off the episode trying to force these folks off Jeraddo like the government demands, but when they refuse, she begins to sympathise with their plight. Kira finds what these people are going through to be somewhat similar to the sort of tyrranical oppression she fought as part of the Bajoran resistance. She doesn't like being pushed around, she doesn't like seeing her, or anyone else's, freedoms being taken away. By the end of the episode she comes to realise (with a little help from the ever wise and eternally patient Sisko) that whether she likes it or not, she is this person now. This is the life and path she chose and it comes with certain responsibilities and drawbacks that she has to learn to live with. Ultimately, no matter how much she wants to help, she also has a job to do.

Very nicely done.

And with that I'm going to bring this particular entry to a close. It's always good to go out on a high note, don't you think? Anyway, when I find a little bit of time to watch more episodes I'll cobble together another DS9 Thoughts. So, until then...


Stalking the New Kolchak

SciFi.com has a small bit on the new Night Stalker series which premiered last night on ABC.

Being a fan of Kolchak and of The X-Files, I naturally tuned in to see what Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz had to say on the subject and I've yet to fully form any real opinions other than 'it has potential'. I like Stuart Townsend and think he does a decent job of playing the lead. Given time I think he could really sink into the role. The other cast members were forgettable but I'll reserve judgment on them until they start to get on my nerves (and I think Gabrielle Union just might). The plot was OK, but it was just a Pilot episode and I've learned to keep my expectations for pilot's low. I can barely watch the pilots now for many shows that I dearly love, so I'm not reading into Night Stalker at all at this point.

Three is the magic number, so three it will be. I give them that many episodes to impress me, even just a bit and I'll sign on for a whole season.

I do find it to be an interesting sidenote that ABC pretty much demanded to know the 'end' of the mythology arc before greenlighting it, though.

Anyway, early response to the show seems positive but we'll see how things pan out.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Anime Kind of Week

I'm not really a big anime fan. I loved Cowboy Bebop and enjoy Samurai Champloo but I don't devour the stuff in anywhere near the kinds of numbers that most anime fans do. So I was a bit surprised with myself when I bought the first volume of Serial Experiments: Lain at Wal-Mart the other day for $6.88. I'd heard some good things about the show and it would've cost me $5 to rent it if I wanted to try it out anyway so I threw caution to the wind and took the plunge.

It was a good choice, I think. I'm a few episodes in and I'm enjoying it so far. It's nicely paced and beautifully designed. The use of colour and negative space is just brilliant and when the two are combined it's a stunning effect. The story is slow moving but the atmosphere is thick and I'm curious to see more. Volume 2 was there as well so I think I'm going to go snatch that one up as soon as I can.

Next up, anime-wise, is the discovery of the Cowboy Bebop trading figures. I've seen these for other characters and other shows, but my devotion to all things Bebop required me to try and snag a Spike or Faye figure. I carefully weighed the boxes in my hands to try and get the right character density, put back the one I was sure was Jet and bought the one I was convinced would be a Spike figure.

It wasn't Spike, of course, but it was Faye and that's just fine with me. Aside from the dog Ein, they're my two favourite characters from the show so it's not like I missed out or anything. She's actually pretty cool. She's in a reclining position and looks kind of relaxed and very Faye-like. You can probably see in the picture so I'll stop wasting time and space describing it.

Last on my trek thorugh the world of anime, I managed to stumble across the Planetes DVDs, and reasonably priced, at that. I read the manga based on a reccommend from The Johnny Bacardi Show and really enjoyed it, so when I found out there was an animated version I heartily sought it out. I can't afford to even think about picking them up but I'm going to log those in the 'What to Suggest for Presents' file since the 'Things to Get When I'm Gainfully Employed with Disposable Income' file is getting a bit long.

Anyway, I have to change and get my kid to Irish dance practice so I'll leave you with those thoughts.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Iron man Joins the Carnivale

I'm not sure whether or not to be interested in this. Getting Daniel Knauf to pen six issues of Iron Man sounds kinda neat on the surface, but what does it really mean and who really cares?

A quick swipe of some plot details from the press release linked to above states:

The exhilarating storyline will feature a string of high-visibility assassinations, prompting an intense investigation by Tony Stark (Iron Man’s alter ego), as the killer appears to be employing the armor and weapons of Iron Man.

Sound familiar? Well it should. I think this has pretty much been the standard Iron Man storyline for the last 25 years. I think there were two Stark Wars storylines dedicated to roughly the same themes when Michelinie and Layton were on the book many years ago, and it seems like anyone who comes on and thinks they're going to make Tony fresh again either makes the armour sentient/hostile or they send people after him who want to use his technology for bad things.

Knauf's Carnivale is certainly one of the more unique looking things on television today, but what can he really do with Iron Man to make people care? I'm afraid this stinks of a vanity project and another attempt by Marvel to convince people to buy and read comics because people from 'real' media - like television and films - are writing them. It worked so well with Zimmerman.

Wait and see, I guess.



Despite being a huge INXS fan for a good chunk of the '80s and '90s, I avoided the Mark Burnett created Rockstar INXS not wanting to subject myself to yet another Idol like 'pick-the-singer' show. I actually even questioned whether or not this was an appropriate way to choose the new frontman for the band and was sleptical that I would bother to check out their new album when they finally did. I know there are a lot of talented people that make it on these shows. American Idol and Canadian Idol have both showcased some very good singers but there is still something about the process that I find a bit undignified and it tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth more often than not.

Still, I will admit to watching the final episode which was rerun here last Sunday. I wasn't looking for it, but after I'd heard that J.D. Fortune was the new singer I realised that I knew nothing about him, including how his voice sounded. I tried to find something I could download but had no luck on that front. My wife e-mailed me and said he did a really good rendition of 'Mystify' and that he was a good Michael Hutchence sound-alike, all things considered. Still, my search left me with dead links and just a little bit of frustration.

So, when I saw it listed on the TV program menu for Sunday evening, the wife and I decided we should watch. See if this Fortune kid has the chops to fill Hutchence's shoes and, more importantly, see if we would bother buying the album in November.

It was actually a semi-interesting show, to be perfectly honest. While sitting there watching I did question whether or not I should have been tuning in all summer, but I have a feeling that if I had to sit through all the hopefulls I might not have made it to the finale. As it is, Fortune was really quite good and I firmly believe that he either really did his homework for this show or he was channelling the late Hutchence during his rendition of 'What You Need'. I also liked his lead on the new single (the title of which eludes me at the moment) even though I think the song lacks something in the hook department.

There was one moment where I worried that an album written completely bereft of Hutchence's influence might be something of an albatross, but then I recalled that it was Andrew Farris who did the bulk of the songwriting on previous INXS efforts anyway, so Michael or no Michael, it should at least sound like the band I used to know and love - even moreso now with J.D. fronting them.

Just as an aside, my wife found it amusing that when the band, who hails from Australia, chose their new frontman, they chose a Canadian, essentially keeping some good ol' Commonwealth flavour to the band.

Anyway, the good news in all of this is that I think INXS may have just bought themselves a new lease on life. The show (which I still think was a little silly) raised their profile a bit so that they don't release their new album into a vacuum and has even built up some anticipation for the new CD - at least among the ranks of hungry INXS fans.

Best of luck to them and J.D.

You can preview the new track 'Pretty Vegas' here.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Millennial Abyss

I wanted to mention something that I forgot to add to my linkblog yesterday. Apparently, Lance Henriksen has gotten back on the bandwagon to encourage Chris Carter and FOX to do a Millennium movie. I don't know the circumstances surrounding the comment, although I'm sure SciFi was interviewing him about the Season 3 DVDs, but I think there are a lot of people who would be interested in seeing this. Heck, I asked this question to Chris Carter's face at ComiCon 2000 and even he expressed enthusiasm to do it - probably still would, too. And I know that Lance is getting on in years since shooting the show, but I think the fan base would be there to watch Frank Black tackle the darkness one more time.

Still, when you think about it, it's hard not to let the cynic in you take over in situations like this. I mean, the X-Files sequel has yet to get moving so I doubt that we'll see a Millennium flick anytime soon.

Just thinking out loud.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday LinkBlog Returns

I just went down to the post office and mailed off a cheque for $130 to pay off the speeding ticket that I received while vacationing in Calgary about a month ago. Needless to say, I'm not in the best of moods. As a result, I am going to forego any thoughtful musings for the day (which I had planned) and bring back the somewhat regular Monday linkblog to free me of the burden of being interesting.

DVD details for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith have been confirmed, according to SciFi.com. The other DVDs from this Prequel Trilogy have been excellent from a feature and commentary standpoint, so I'm really looking forward to having this one in my collection as well.

Vicky Hallett, writing for USNews.com, does a nice (albeit brief) interview with Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane. You know, when I look at a picture of Seth I can't help thinking he looks a little like new INXS frontman J.D. Fortune. Is it just me?

David Cronenberg sounds off for Canoe.com on his new flick, History of Violence, an adaptation of John Wagner and Vince Locke's graphic novel of the same name. I haven't seen this one yet but I am really looking forward to it.

CanMag.com has this short piece with actor Keanu Reeves in which Reeves talks a bit about the possibility (or impossibility) of a Constantine sequel. I thought it was good reading.

A little bit on the old side, but this Gorillaz article from MTV.com makes mention of their next single ('Dirty Harry') and their touring plans. There's been a lot of speculation as to what exactly the Gorillaz are going to do this time around and this piece sort of clears the air a bit.

I know it's kinda goofy to be mentioning this one at all, but there's a new Scooby-Doo video game for XBOX and other platforms that looks like it might be pretty fun. The screenshots I've seen are pretty sharp and the voice cast is apparently there as well. I've been looking for a game other than Buffy to let my kids play. I'm looking forward to snagging this one up sometime.

And last, but not least, a decent V For Vendetta article courtesy of The Seattle Times.

As always, I'll try and come on again later if time, and my state of mind, permit.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sitting Around Watching AvP

Like the title says, I'm watching AvP on Movie Central as I type this. It would appear that the movie is not as fun as I remember it being when I first saw it in the theatre. I distinctly recall it being a fun romp like Jurassic Park III where it was just a bunch of CG monsters and make-ups beating the crap out of each other for a while. I know JP3 has its detractors, but when that T-Rex started scrapping with the Spinosaurus, I was a happy camper. Maybe I just have to be in the mood.

Anyway, on the Jozic-front, there's not a lot happening and a lot happening. I know those two statements are in conflict with one another but they're pretty much true. I'm not sure how to articulate that in any sensible way, so I'll just leave it at that and maybe get to a more explanatory post later on.

I did a little more work on that sit-comey idea with my brother, and just may add to that tonight since he's coming over to watch Family Guy. We sort of have a framework for a pilot, it's just a matter of making it really funny, or at least as funny as we think it can be.

I've also been on a Planet of the Apes kick since I took the 35th anniversary DVD out of the library. I'm going to post further on that one for sure because I've also dug out my DHC POTA comics and they're worth mentioning, particularly Paco Medina's work.

That's all for now.