Monday, January 30, 2006

I'm So Bleu

I seem to be coming out of a long Cinema Geek phase and find myself grooving a bit more to the tunes again. As I mentioned in my last post, Duncan Sheik is back after a four year absence and I think that may have been the catalyst this time. Not being able to get my hands on White Limousine I've turned to some of the other singer songwriters I enjoy.

Tonight, Bleu has more or less grabbed hold of my...I don't know what it is exactly that's been grabbed, but he's got my attention, to say the least. At his MySpace site he has some demos posted that you can listen to in streaming audio and they're pretty good. There are four songs in total (some newer than others, if I remember correctly) and a couple of real standouts in "Boy Meets Girl" and "What Now". The other two tracks - "Isn't That What Life is All About" and "The Ol' College Try" - are a little rougher around the edges but no less interesting to hear. It's been a while since I've put his album, Redhead, into the ol' CD player and I'm beginning to think that I'll have to attend to that soon.

Maybe I should check my credit card and see how much room is on there. Grab some of the music that I can't find here off the web and be a happy camper again.

Anyway, I'm going to go listen to the tunes and maybe do some reading.

Later!

mike

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Anderson and Sheik

I just found out today that PBS has, as of last week, begun airing a mini-series based on Charles Dickens' Bleak House. Normally I wouldn't blink at such an event, but it looks like the series stars Gillian Anderson in one of her few post-X-Files appearances. I'm interested in seeing what her work looks like now but I may not get that chance for a while. They might be airing part two tomorrow night, so maybe I'll catch it then.

Also, Duncan Sheik has finally released a new album after four years of sitting off the radar (I know, I know, he's been doing stuff, just not a major release of any kind) so I'm totally jazzed to hear the new music. Of course, there's a bit of a kink in the equation because I can't seem to find the album anywhere in this shithole of a city I live in.

Anyway, until I can get my copy (Amazon, here I come) I - and you - can hear some Duncan at his website here. Just click on the new album and there's some streaming audio you can sample if you're interested. It's good stuff. So far, definitely worth the wait.

Later!

mike

Friday, January 27, 2006

Back in X

As I mentioned before, I've been playing the X-Files: Resist or Serve game for PS2 this week and it's sort of caused a resurgence of interest for me in the show. I've long thought of starting over from the beginning and watching from 'Pilot' to 'The Truth', but the mere idea of it was so daunting that I always shelved the idea as mad. Going through 9 seasons and 200 episodes might just be too much, even for this old X-Phile. My DS9 marathon effort stalled short of finishing the first season (although I'm still meaning to pick that up again) so I doubt this burst of interest will be followed through on. Still, I've watched the pilot episode and part of 'Deep Throat' and I'm looking at them with a fresh perspective, so you never know. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Later!

mike

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday LinkBlog

I haven't done a Monday LinkBlog in some time, and since I'm just sitting here watching one of the Season One commentaries on the Arrested Development DVDs, I figured I would clear out the bookmarks a bit.

My favourite news in a while, Sony confirms an Odyssey 5 DVD release which makes me a very happy camper. I discovered the show on Canada's Space channel just as they were pulling it off the air so I only got to see, like, five episodes. No details have been released as yet, so hopefully we'll have some juicy bonus features.



Many people have commented on this bit of news, but it's great to know that Futurama may make a comeback in the near future - and not just as a D2DVD release.



The Zack Snyder adaptation of Frank Miller's 300 has a website including a Blog and some other goodies. I'm waiting for the Video features to hit the site but I'm not holding my breath. This one looks like it could be a good'er.



Not a bad interview with writer, J. Torres. I interviewed J. myself a while ago and I found him to be a really nice guy. I also enjoy his Teen Titans Go! comic each month, so show J. a little love if you're not too busy and click through.



For all you children of the '80s, RetroJunk will give you the nostalgia fix you've been craving. There's some fun stuff on this site.



That's it for today. I'm going to do some tweaking on the sidebar for a bit and then probably go to work. Or have a nap and then go to work. We'll see what happens.

Later!

mike

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What Have I Done For Me Lately

It's been a while since I've posted. I'm a little surprised that I let it slip a week this time, but I have been sick and working, so aybe I have an excuse. At least that's what I can tell myself.

Anyway, not much has happened since my last post other than my getting sick and taking a day or two off of work. While I have been feeling like crap, I have enjoyed having some time at home. I've done some of that "sick but cleaning the house" stuff that I used to watch my wife do all the time. I guess it's my turn, now.

Mostly I've just accumulated more stuff in the last week or so and I've gone to see Underworld: Evolution. Most of the reviews I've seen of the movie have been negative but I enjoyed it. Not as much as the first one, but it was nice to revisit those characters and that world. I do wish the story had been a bit more complex, but it was still fun.

Some of the stuff that I've picked up have been the Underworld 2-Disc extended DVD set, as well as the Dune: Director's Cut which I got for a steal at work. My friend Carly has lent me the first season of Arrested Development which is every bit as good as everyone says it is. I'm sick to know that the current season - season three - will be the show's last since I am absolutely head over heels for this one. And speaking of cancelled shows, I've started playing with DVD Lab Pro to create DVD's of Frank Spotnitz' The Night Stalker since I'm not sure if Touchstone will be releasing any after the show gets it's second life on SciFi.

Lastly, I've obtained a PS2 and a copy of the X-Files game, 'Resist or Serve' which I'm enjoying. Just to see and hear Mulder and Scully again has been a joy even if they're just digital representations of the characters. The story is not bad, the gameplay is pretty good and I'm looking forward to finishing the game as Mulder and then trying it again as Scully. I've had a link to the official game site on the sidebar for some time so if you want to see what I'm talking about, click on through.

I think I neeed to take a nap, so I'm going to blow. I'll post again when I can.

Later!

mike

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Night Stalker Not Yet Stalked His Last

Okay, the title could use some work.

But the news, as it is outlined here, is clear as a summer's day. Frank Spotnitz' Night Stalker will be airing on Sci-Fi this summer with the 3 unaired episodes getting their premiere there as well.

That surely means a DVD release. Fingers crossed.

Spotnitz is also not resting on his laurels as this tidbit shows. He and fellow X-Files alumni, Vince Gilligan, will be creating a new show for SpikeTV.

Cool.

mike

Shared Agony

Now that my wife is home and no longer working for that ass backwards collective, CSALE, she has begun time-sharing on my computer. The laptop which she was working with has been returned to the University leaving all her internet access needs to me and mine.

I expected this. I've been using my PC for 2 years now totally solo so I knew that there would be some adjustments. I knew that I would have to keep my end of the digital world neat and tidy so that she could use the machine without too many problems and so that she wouldn't end up wrecking anything I may have on the go.

The courtesy, unfortunately, does not go both ways. Her laptop was a Mac so she hates working on anything PC, and is somewhat unfamiliar with PC applications now as well, seeing as it's been 2 years since she's had to be on one. Not to mention her overall unfamiliarity with how anything I run works, so I'm always finding downloads no longer running when I get home and me, the silly git that I am, think that the download is done and she's shut down the window when the actual truth is far more unpleasant.

On her Mac, she was used to using the space bar to activate her computer when it went to sleep. So she does that on mine, as well, only she ends up cancelling all my downloads midway through their journey to my hard drive. And that's not even mentioning the fact that I don't have my screensaver active so my monitor should never go to sleep. Probably means she's sitting down when the monitor is off and whacking away at the space bar until all my transfers are gone, then clicking the thing on.

sigh

Okay. Now I've ranted, I've gotten it out of my system. I don't have to bring it up again. And since I know she checks my blog from time-to-time, I can expect to hear about this in the near future.

Later!

mike

Forces of Nature

I'm trying to get myself into a romantic comedy sort of frame of mind, so I I've been watching bits and pieces of the few I have on DVD. Mind you, I'm not looking to capture that Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks sort of vibe. I may be treading in sentimental cliché territory, but I'm hoping to do it in an unconventional sort of way - or at least in a genuine and earnest sort of way.

Then again, I could be talking out of my ass, here.

Of the movies that I've been looking at - Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, Chasing Amy, high Fidelity et al - the one that actually managed to grab my attention and keep it there at 2 in the morning was Forces of Nature. Now, I've mentioned Bronwen Hughes here before, specifically when I was applauding her last effort, Stander. She has an interesting style and rhythm to her films, and up until recently, they've never been alike - at least as far as plot is concerned. Although they share a similar visual kineticism, Harriet the Spy, Forces of Nature and Stander couldn't be farther apart in concept.

Anyway, it's the middle movie that has me blabbing right now so I'm going to focus on that one before I get carried away.

If you've never seen it, Forces stars Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck in a story about two wayward travellers trying to get to Savannah, Georgia. Ben is getting married and Sandra is trying to sell a bagel shop she opened there with her husband who she now despises. All manner of things conspire to keep them from getting to their respective destinations including nature itself. Bad weather and bad luck carry these two through 48 hours of travelling and keeps them together until they can learn from each other the things they need to learn.

The great thing about this movie is that it doesn't follow the same conventions as so many other romantic comedies, and actually improves with multiple viewings. The conventions of the genre are all there but Marc Lawrence's script is telling a different kind of story. These characters are doing a little less of the falling for each other and a little more of the searching for answers to their own life problems. Along the way, they share some moments, kind of fall for each other and discover truths about themselves they never knew. Marry that to a very strong visual design and wonderful use of special effects - showing the beautiful side of the bad weather - and you have something special.

I should also say that in careers boasting movies like Armageddon and Speed 2: Cruise Control, Ben and Sandra give two of their best performances here. They are charming, funny, lost, scared and very real. I liked that about it.

Having watched the movie again and enjoying it as much as I did I thought I would give it a shout out on the Blog. Any excuse to post something, right?

Anyway, give it a try if you never have or passed it up because you thought it was going to be crap. You just might like it as much as I do.

mike

Monday, January 16, 2006

Touching Base

Hey, all...

It's been a while since I last posted so I thought I should come on and touch base.

There hasn't been much of anything to raise the interest level in my life right now. I'm still working my two jobs (although I am now a full commission salesman at the one job) and doing my best to maintain a level and consistent income level. I'm still getting the hang of it, I guess, since I'm not hitting the same kinds of numbers some of the other guys at the Shop are. Still, I've set some decent expectations for myself and we'll see how I fare at the end of the week.

I've also recently dusted off one of my aborted screenplays. For some reason, listening to the audio commentary of James Mangold's underrated movie, Identity, has inspired me to take another crack at the ol' thing. Well, Identity was part of the inspiration but I can't seem to recall the others at the moment, so Mangold gets the props.

I've redone some of the character backgrounds and I'm trying to look at the story from a different perspective than I have been. I'm hoping something will reveal itself soon as I'm eager to make some progress on it. In the meantime, I continue reading my books, continue watching commentaries and continue brainstorming in my free time.

Maybe if I just started writing.

I should also mention that I absolutely adored Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith's Fell #3. The best of the series so far and just an all around good read.

I also caught the original Dawn of the Dead for the first time. Kind of fun. I can understand why people liked the movie so much and continue to do so. A little silly at times, but that's what they intended for it, so...

Anyway, that's it for now. I'm off to sleep.

mike

Monday, January 09, 2006

Galactica is BACK!

I just watched the latest episode of the newly returned Battlestar Galactica and I'm pretty pleased. I was worried about not being able to get into the show again after having it gone for so long, but I should have knoiwn that R&D would conspire to knock my socks off yet again. "Resurrection Ship - Part 1" was a great way to kick off the second half of the season and the cliffhanger ending for the episode (which I knew was coming but was still nailed by) is going to go a long way to maintaining some momentum for the show in the coming months.

If you're not watching this show yet (yes, Brad, I'm talking to you) go now and find it. Buy or rent the first season (or acquire it thorugh more questionable means if you have to). Then do the same with Season 2.0. Do what you have to do but get on the bandwagon. This show is simply one of the best written and executed dramas on television.

Lata!

mike

Katie Rocks the Vote

My wife has been doing a fine job of maintaining our family blog and with my being absent so much in the last couple of months it has proved a useful tool for me to catch some of the more interesting moments that occur at home when I am away. Just such an example of this is the latest post, The Next Generation of Canadian Voters. In it, my wife relates a conversation she had with my middle daughter, Kate, regarding the upcoming election in Canada and the candidates running for Prime Minister. Normally I wouldn't assume anyone would find anything my family says or does to be of any interest, but this is a post worth checking out.

Later!

mike

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Doctoring the Books

I just got back from running errands, one of which was hitting a used book store to kill off some credit that we had there. One of the books that I grabbed was Dr. No by Ian Fleming, a decision based on my experience reading Diamonds Are Forever a year or so ago. Anyone who has read Fleming's novels knows that the James Bond we see in the films is a shade different from the gentleman we get in the text versions of his adventures, not to mention some of the distinct differences in plot.

There were various different printings of the book available (at least three, from what I can remember) but I chose the one pictured to the right because it included an introduction from Anthony Burgess. The other editions lacked any bonus features, for lack of a better term, and it's something that I've been putting some emphasis on in the last few years when I purchase books. As anybody who reads this Blog knows I'm a bonus features whore and judge much of my media by how much cool stuff gets included with the product.

Although I have read the intro (a nice Holmesian comparison to Bond from Burgess) I have yet to get into the rest of the book. I'm looking forward to seeing how it differs from the film (especially since I didn't care too much for Dr. No as a movie) and will likely post about it here when I do.

Take care and I'll try to post again soon!

mike

Protected Teeth

I know it is silly to mention it, but I have officially received notice that my dental plan has kicked in. I was just asking about it at work today and they all said, "you'll get a letter when you've worked enough hours." I get home today and what is waiting for me? The very letter they spoke of.

I haven't really taken advantage of health plans that I've been involved with in the past, but I do need a filling and a cleaning soon so this is pretty good news for me.

It's one of the few fringe benefits you get as a Westfair employee.

Back to the grind.

mike

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

I can't believe that I'm averaging, like, one post for every 5 days or so. Not only that, but I missed my blogiversary. December 27th, 2004 was when I started this ol' albatross of a hobby and that day passed some time ago. The funny thing is that I actually posted on the 27th but totally forgot the significance of the day. Too wrapped up in the Dini interview, I guess.

Oh well.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has had a great holiday and are easing back into the regular grind with little muss or fuss. I'm sort of feeling the dust settling myself and I am looking forward to some business as usual for a change rather than the crazy work work work work that I've been doing for the last month.

Speaking of work, Future Shop has reduced my hours for January, so my schedule should be less crazy than it was. I'm only scheduled for about 10 hours this week so we'll see how that goes. I'm not 100% sure yet but I may even be moving on from the ol' FS come February. We'll see how that goes, also.

I should also mention that my Seth Fisher interview has finally gone up. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to doing interviews and posting them in a timely manner. Seth's Q&A was one of the more fun I've done in a while and I urge you all to go check it out. Skip the intro if you hate gushing because I did my fair share of that in there. Click through here to check out my fab and furry interview with one of comics' finest visual stylists.

Did I mention that Seth talks about Danny the Street proposal and Chair Porn?

Talk to you soon!

mike