Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Limey

I was hanging out with my brother Ed last night and after the last 'week of horror' that I subjected him to I gave him the opportunity to pick something he wanted to watch. He asked me to bring a bunch of DVDs over to his house where he would have a look at them and select the one he thought would be most interesting. The three finalists ended up being Reign of Fire, Young Guns and The Limey with the latter winning out over the rest.

I knew that it was supposed to be a good movie but I wasn't prepared for how freakin' phenomenal it actually is. It's a tight and trim 89 minute thriller starring the amazing Terrence Stamp as an English con who comes to LA seeking revenge on the man responsible for his daughter's death.

Very god stuff. Brilliantly edited, nicely shot, perfectly acted and executed. I love this film!

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a clip of it on YouTube so I can't post any video here. If you're interested, though, hunt it down. You won't regret it.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Whole Lotta Changes

Things are definitely in flux at the Jozic household. Everything from jobs to vehicles are getting the ol' upgrade. When the van konked out on us a while ago we started the process of trying to find another vehicle that would be big enough for the family, good on fuel and reliable enough not to die on us like the Transport did. The fine folks here at Saturn have been unable to find anything in our price range so we've expanded our search outside the dealership. We actually have a line on something right now which could prove to be the proverbial needle in the haystack. Fingers crossed, knock on wood...all that jazz. We'll know by later today what's happening on that front.

As for jobs, Jen just started her new job/contract and everything seems to be going well. She was a little nervous about taking on the position but I was confident that she would not only do well but be great in her new management role. Comes with a decent paycheque too which is also nice. Her employers told her that she also has a soft offer to be moved elsewhere when the contract is complete, so this may be a long-term sort of thing fo her. It'll be nice to see her finally settle down in something.

As for me, there may be a new career on the horizon that has nothing to do with car sales. There are things going on at the dealership here and things going on elsewhere that may have me changing the way I make my living. I can't give any real details on anything just yet but I'll spill the beans when I know more.

Back to work.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Your Kiss Is On My List

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I was in an X-Filesey mood this past week or so, partly due to the PS2 game and partly due to the fact that I started watching them again in an attempt to get through Season 2 after taking a bit of a hiatus from watching the show.

Anyway, I ran across this while screwing around on YouTube and I got a kick out of it. It's been a while since I've seen an X-Files blooper reel...

If I get some time this weekend I'll post about the horror movie week that I've been indulging in with my brother (or subjecting him to, depending on where you stand on the whole issue) and the big box of Canadian Comic goodness that arrived at my door this morning. A copy of Pride of Baghdad was in there so I'm actually kind of pumped to get to it.

Onwards and upwards.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What Lurks Behind...The Fog

I picked up the recent remake of John Carpenter's classic ghost story, The Fog, a couple of days ago. I'd been eyeing it for some time and finally decided to grab it as part of a buy-two-get-one-free deal. I don't mind Tom Welling and I loved Rupert Wainwright's Stigmata, so the worst I figured the movie could be was passable. And, if it sucked eggs, it came with an audio commentary track and a number of deleted scenes which usually makes even the worst movies on DVD worth a pass for me.

As it tuns out, I actually enjoyed the movie up until the ending. FOr those of you who haven't seen the movie and don't want to know any spoilers, stop reading now. For those of you who have seen it, or just don't care, I'm somewhat puzzled over the revalation that the modern day Elizabeth was some sort of reincarnation of the formerly deceased Elizabeth Dane, wife of the big cheese head ghost, Blake. Nothing in the story up 'til then supports that particular little twist at the end. Sure, there's the dreams and her being 'called' back to the island, but the ghosts came back after the sunken bag was disturbed and came back for revenge on the town's founders - a.k.a. their murderers. Why Elizabeth is the reincarnation of ELizabeth Dane, why she became a ghost at the end, and why it stopped their purging of the town without killing Welling's character, Nick Castle, I'm having trouble reconciling.

If anyone can clear this up I'd love the input. I thought Wainwright might do that in the commentary but it was either edited out or he never bothered mentioning it outright.

Ah, well.

Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Queen

I learned about this band (a.k.a. the creators of...) through a Gorillaz newsletter and since I'm a long-time Blur fan who tracks all the music Damon Albarn does (which isn't as easy as I originally thought it would be) I hunted the album down and have been listening to it for the last couple of days.

It's an interesting mix of sounds and styles. A review I read yesterday called them a west-end world-beat super-group and I'd pretty much have to agree with that description. Than band is comprised of Damon Albarn (Blur frontman), Paul Simonon (Clash bassist), Simon Tong (Verve guitarist) and Tony Allen (Afrobeat drummer). Together they have created an album full of moody, fresh yet retro, maudlin and unpolished sounds that sort of burrow in under the skin. It's not an album you necessarily want to be doing dishes to, but it's nice because it makes you listen a little closer. You engage it a little more than you would your typical pop record.

I got a similar feeling when I first sat down to listen to Blur's second to last album, '13'. Many of the songs were uninteresting from a 'listen in the car as you drive to work' standpoint, but when I lay in bed at night with the headphones I got a whole new experience.

Anyway, here's a little video of Albarn talking about the band:

Check it out if you get a chance.

Onwards and upwards!


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bird's Eye View

Here's a slightly different perspective of something most of us experienced from ground level:

For those of you who don't know about our recent bout with mother nature, about a week and a half ago we had a record blizzard, something the folks around here hadn't seen in a good long while. Sure, we get tons of snow, but not usually this much and not all at once. It was a trying day to get around but I went out and did my root canal and picked up Jen and got home without too much trouble. The SUV helped, I'm sure. Others, apparently, didn't fare as well. In an attempt to grab the kiddies from school before they got herded onto buses, My father in law ventured out and got stuck in bad traffic. I think it took him 45 minutes to travel what usually takes him 5.

And that's not to say that we don't have totally decent winter weather right now, but people are still talking about it like we got hit by Hurricane Katrina. Last week we even had a feature in the newspaper where folks would write in and tell their 2007 Blizzard story.

Anyway, that's it for me today. I'm at work again (doing the receptionist thing, as usual) so I guess it's time I tried and looked busy. Besides, their playing 'Clint Eastwood' on the satellite radio so I'm gonna go listen to that.

Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Freelance Interviewer Meet Freelance Police

I just sent off a handful of questions to Emily, the PR person over at Telltale Games. She's been liasing with me over the Steve Purcell interview I requested last October but had yet to send in questions for. I'm fantastically late in getting them sent out, I know, but I took advantage of my current situation at work and fired off an e-mail with the eight (maximum) questions requested. If Steve is still interested she'll pass them on to him and, hopefully by the end of January, I'll have my answers back from Steve and I'll be set to put them together and post them on the interview blog I keep talking about but never launching.

I'm trying to stop doing that.

I have a couple more people to track down and we'll see how that goes. I'm hoping for a bi-weekly schedule so 4 names should do me for a bit.

Hmmm...I'm getting funny looks from the Business Manager for my computer activities so I guess I'm off.

Until next time.

Onwards and upwards!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Season 4 Is Almost Here

Hey, I genuinely enjoy the show and the rest of the young'uns like it too, so no wise-cracks. I've just got my hands on Season 1 (making that two complete seasons I have) and I've also been playing the PS2 game today so I'm kind of in the zone for the ol' KP today.

Looking forward to this premiere.


Another Day, Another Post

Just killing time right now and watching the desk for the receptionist while she runs to get her passport stuff figured out. I guess she's going to Cuba with family sometime soon so she has to get the wheels in motion.

Now that I think about it, I should probably get my passport stuff sorted out as well. I was kind of hoping to hit San Diego this year and it would be nice not to have to struggle with government bureacracy while figuring out how to get myself there. Something to think about.

Nothing really new on the Jozic front these days. Just been doing some reading and watching Eureka, getting dental work done, running kids around and juggling the usual life stuff.

The newest thing would probably be my accepting to be the Hospitality Co-Chair for my daughters Irish Dance Feis that her school is putting on. I'm not sure what kind of work or how much will be expected of me, but I'm sure I'll be finding out about it real soon.

I've made some decisions that I'm pretty sure will be on my final set of recommendations to the nominatons panel for the Joe Shuster Awards so I'm happy that's going along as well as it could be. There are still a lot of French language books I need to look at so I'm keeping things more or less open, but there are one or two folks who I'm pretty sure will be in my final five for their respective categories. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the groups choices, too. See if there are any like minds among us.

Kind of in line with the San Diego comment above, I forgot that as a member of the nominating committee I will have my entrance to the Toronto con covered, al I have to do is get myself there. nothing saying I can't attend both, I suppose (except for available travel funds, that is), but I should probably give some thought to which I would prefer to go to if the chance arises.

I haven't done any work on Smitten for about a week. The inspiration that sparked that last bout of creativity has pretty much subsided. Other than thinking I need to find myself an artist soon I haven't written anything new. I did have a run in with my boss that made it's way into the script pretty much word for word. The main female character, Abby, has a rocky relationship with her employer with some issues relating to her inability to make it into work on time at the beginning of her story. I came in late one day and had a 'chat' with my manager and after sitting down and grumbling about it for a moment, I scribbled it down giving the appropriate dialogue to the appropriate party. While getting it down it even inspired a new scene transition and spun things in a slightly new direction for a few pages.

I know anybody who actually writes for a living will look at that and say, 'Duh', but bear in mind I'm still writing my first larger piece of fiction, here. Normally I'm structuring conversations and wrestling to get good responses out of interview subjects so it's a bit of a switch for me.

Speaking of interviews, I'm getting closer to finalizing my wish list for launching the interview blog. Steve Purcell (if I can salvage that one - another story for another time), J.M. DeMatteis, Darwyn Cooke and possibly John Shirley would make for a nice first round, in my opinion. I have some ideas for some fun things to do with audio so we'll see if I can get that in order sooner than later.

I'm sure anybody who is actually still reading this is probably totally bored right now so I'll call it quits before I start talking about what I'm having for lunch today.

Onwards and upwards!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

52 Month One - Issues 1-4

On finishing the first four issues of 52 I thought I would chime in with a couple of thoughts.

For starters, overall, I'm liking what I've read so far. I'm liking the format, I'm liking the feeling of working my way through each day of each week of the year and following the lives of these characters. The mysteries they've planted for Montoya and the Question, Ralph Dibney, and the missing scientists are moving at a pace which isn't moving too fast for the structure of the narrative but gives you plenty enough new information so as to keep it interesting enough to continue without getting too frustrated. Frustrated to the point of quitting (says someone who used to watch Lost.

The writing team is doing a marvelous job of holding things together in such a way that you can't really tell who wrote what dialogue but each of their distinctive voices can be heard (if that makes any sense). And, as far as I can tell, there have been no narrative 'bumps' or gross inconsistencies that I can see in the last 80-odd pages of story so I have to say that I am impressed. There are just enough wacky ideas, interesting character developments and unsolved mysteries to keep me coming back for a few more issues to see how it all holds up.

The art was passable. Pretty good, in fact. Joe Bennett does the job he's asked to do and does it without making anything too complicated or trying to be fancy. This sort of undertaking needs clear, concise storytelling from both the writers and the art team, and that's what we get here. I'm looking forward to seeing what other art teams accomplish under the same set of circumstances.

So, there you have it. Not a raging endorsement for the project but a solid thumbs up and a commitment to read more of the same.

Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

R.I.P. Iwao Takamoto

I just read today that legendary character designer, Iwao Takamoto, died. Although I watched many of the shows and films he worked on, it was through Scooby-Doo that I actually became aware of who he was as an artist. I believe the man was even working until very recently because I'm pretty sure I saw his name attached to the What's New Scooby-Doo show.

A brief bio can be found here.

Upwards and onwards!


Monday, January 08, 2007

The Joe Shuster Awards 2007

I mentioned in my last post that there might be news of some sort that I was going to share. Here it is…

A couple of days ago I was contacted by an old colleague of mine from an APA I used to belong to called ComiCopia. I thought that he may have been contacting me regarding something ‘Copia related, or just to touch base, say hi and see how things have been going since we last spoke (I’ve had a few of those e-mails float my way in recent months) but it turned out he had a far more interesting purpose for getting a hold of me. After firing a couple of messages back and forth over the last couple of days he informed me that he was the Nominating Jury Coordinator for the 2007 Joe Shuster Awards and that they were looking for a seventh member for the panel – would I be interested in signing on?

Heck yeah.

The news came totally out of left field but I was thrilled to get the invite and signed on immediately. I’ve already started to get e-mails from the other panelists and the days ahead (50 or so, I’m guessing) will be filled with much reading of the comic books featuring Canadian creators and likely many electronic discussions with the other six members of the panel until the final nominees get hammered out.

Sounds like a whole heck of a lot of fun, if you ask me.

Anyway, I should get back to work before somebody kicks me off the computer for doing something non-automotive. I’ll post an update when I can.

Onwards and upwards!


Sunday, January 07, 2007

'It Starts Here!'

So says the blurb on the cover of DC's 52 #1.

Being a Giffen fan, I've kind of been accumulating issues of this book but never really finding the time to sit down and read them. The concept interests me somewhat, but the way my interest in super-hero comics has been fading I fear that there may be little in this year-long series to really captivate me and hold me for a whole 52 issues. I'm also feeling a little burned by the Infinite Crisis event which I stumbled into - and then was unable to stumble out of for some time - so this follow-up doesn't bode well for me.

Still, there is a LOT of talent behind this thing that I would normally follow so I've decided to take the plunge. I'm going to start issue 1 today and I'm going to make occasional updates as to what I'm thinking as the story progresses. If at any point I decide to can the project altogether, I'll be sure to mention that here as well.

Oh, I also might have some interesting news to impart soon. I'm just ironing out some details but it's something I'm really looking forward to doing so I'll share that info when I can.

Onwards and upwards!


Friday, January 05, 2007

Not an Extraordinary Extraordinary Machine

I've become something of a fan of DVD Audio and Dual Discs primarily because I can't get enough of listening to my music in 5.1 surround sound - there's also the cool bonus features, but I won't dwell. I'm sure there are a bunch of Dual Discs out there but there are only five of them that I know of. Two of them I own. I have a Keane CD and Jen has the last Dave Matthews disc in that format as well. I've also been trying to get my hands on the two John Mayer Dual Discs but I have yet to run into those at any time I actually have the money to spend on them. The last one that I've been on the prowl for is Fiona Apple's latest offering, Extraordinary Machine.

While I was trolling through the CDs at the library the other day I came across the Dual Disc for EM and was pretty ecstatic about taking it home and giving it the ol' run through on the DVD player. If you're a fan of Fiona and you've listened to the album you'll know what I mean when I say the 5.1 mix would, by no means, have been wasted.

But when I got the darn thing home it turned out that it was only an enhanced stereo mix rather than a full surround one. Sure it sounded crisp and full and the subwoofer had a nice punch to it, but the back speakers were deader than dead.

Colour me disappointed.

On the plus side, I was going to just outright buy the thing a while ago, so I've just saved myself $20.

You always have to look at the glass as half-full, right?



Thursday, January 04, 2007

Black Flame Fubar

I finally got around to reading my B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame comics today and discovered, much to my dismay, that this storyline was 6 issues long. Previous B.P.R.D. storylines ran 5 issues a piece so when I originally bought my copies, I stopped when I thought I had them all. I picked up the #s 4 and 5 some time after they had been released, and only got around to physically reading them just now, so now I have to go out and see if I can find issue #6 of this arguably brilliant chapter in the overarching Hellboy saga.

Not that I'm complaining, I was just hoping to have the whole thing read by the end of the night. Now I have to hit the comic store tomorrow and hope they have it.


Wish me luck and if you're not reading B.P.R.D., what's wrong with you?