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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cowboy Up

So much for plan A. 5 months ago I got lucky and landed a new job – a part time job that paid enough to cover my budget if I was really careful. And 4 months ago I finally left the high stress job I had been at for almost 7 years. I had been quite enjoying this part time life and the rest I was getting that my body and mind so sorely needed.

Then last week, my supervisor came to me and offered me temporary fulltime work. 40 hours a week and eligible for overtime. It looks like a short-term gig, so I took it. It’s a very rare opportunity for someone at my seniority level, but I guess I was the only one left who could help them out of a bind. Besides, it’s a way to make a bit of extra money, and as my Grandpa used to say, “Make hay while the sun shines.”

So, this past week was my first fulltime week of work in almost 4 months, and it went pretty well. Slept 11 hours today, but other than that it went pretty well. On top of that, 3 days in and they asked me to stay late, so I got overtime too. How ‘bout that…

It’s nice to actually have a job I don’t mind going to, that pays well, and is pretty low stress when all things are considered. When you hear of places like GM and Ford and many other places that seem to weekly lay off thousands of workers, I feel very fortunate indeed to just be employed, let alone have something that is pretty decent.

It remains to be seen how long this fulltime thing will last, but it’s been interesting the turns my life has taken in the last 6 months. Who knows where it’ll go next, but I think I’ll enjoy the ride…

I was six years old, my brother was ten
One July day he come runnin’ in
Seen a Ferris wheel at the edge of town
So of course we headed on down

It took us an hour to walk that far
Carryin’ our fortune in a mason jar
It was all pretty sad, a cheap county fair
With a few old rides, but there was ponies there

Well, the ponies stunk and the air was still
In that dusty circle behind the Ferris wheel
And this old guy smelling’ of smoke and rum
Swung me up and set me down on one

Well I’d never rode a horse but I’d seen it done
Cowboy movies made it look like fun
This old man whispered a few soft words
It was the best advice I ever heard

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high
Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky
And live like you ain’t afraid to die
And don’t be scared, just enjoy the ride.

I went up a kid with shakin’ hands
But I came down a full-grown man
It’s like he’d cast some voodoo spell
Things were different for me now, I could tell

‘Cause whenever troubles came wanderin’ in
His rhyme would pop in my head again
And somehow I rode through the needles and nails
And brambles and thorns, that life entails

Well I know someday farther down the road
I’ll come to the edge of the great unknown
There’ll stand a black horse, riderless
And I’ll wonder if I’m ready for this

I’ll saddle him up, he’ll swish his tail
I’ll tip my hat and bid farewell
And I’ll lift my song into the air
That I learned at that dusty fair

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high
Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky
And live like you ain’t afraid to die

And don’t be scared, just enjoy your ride.
---The Ride, sung by Chris Ledoux
Written by Sonny Tillis & Sam Weedman

"I'm Gonna Start Shakin' Things Up"

Brick. That’s the name of a new movie I can’t wait to see; coming to theatres March 24th. Here’s a synopsis:

Brendan Fry is a loner at his high school, someone who knows all the angles but has chosen to stay on the outside. When the girl he loves turns up dead, he plunges into the school's social strata like a fist through a honeycomb to find the "who" and "why," with the same single-minded devotion to his self-appointed task as the hard-boiled heroes of old.

Now, I love film noir, and in the rather cool trailer there’s a blurb from Roger Ebert saying “Noir to its very bones!” So that takes care of that. However, the premise is so cool it’s one of those “Man, I wish I had thought of that” moments. Take your typical noir, hard boiled, detective crime story; but set it in a modern high school with a sad-but-realistic drug culture environment and a young man – an outsider who knows more than he lets on – as the film’s protagonist. Now that’s a premise for a very interesting story. Plus, something that wins an award for a “special jury prize for originality of vision” at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, should be worth checking out.

There are 6 different one sheet movie posters for Brick, and pictured here is my favorite. The lines of dialogue in the trailer and the taglines on the posters are very cool and have a classic, almost Chandler-esque feel to them.

“Hard Luck in a Red Kimono.” To quote Madrox, it doesn’t get any more noir than this. (from the graphic novel Madrox: Multiple Choice).

High Def...

Well, hopped over to the Quicktime movie Trailers site and watched a few…and as rough as Quicktime 7 has been on those who like to watch their movie trailers, I finally saw one that seemed to showcase the ability of the High Def codec.

I was really interested in watching the movie Ultraviolet (see previous posts) when I saw the trailer in a small WMV format. Well, Quicktime now has it and in HD too. This is a movie with a unique style and look and a vivid use of color. Put that in with the HD version of the trailer, and you’ve finally got something eye-popping enough to perhaps warrant the Quicktime 7. Or maybe not – I mean, how high definition do you need your trailers to be?

I’ve figured out how to grab and edit the URL’s for downloading and saving the various trailer versions from Quicktime’s site, and I’ve downloaded and watched both the 480p and the 720p versions of the HD trailer. Very nice indeed, but I believe my computer (or maybe just my graphics card) needs an upgrade to be able to handle the heft of these higher end graphics. The 720p version tends to stutter step a bit. Not only that, but the 720p will just barely fit on my 17” monitor screen at it’s default size. Makes me wonder what the 1080p version would look like on a capable computer…

Speaking of HD, the new wave of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD’s will have a copy protection scheme to work against analog hookups. According to the story at The Digital Bits, your TV will require a digital HDMI connection to be able to see the full 1080 line resolution these new DVDs are capable of kicking out. If you don’t, or you hook it up via other connections, it will down convert the signal to 540 lines which is barely a notch above the regular DVD’s we have now at 480 lines. So basically, if your TV doesn’t have one of these HDMI connections (though most sets sold now have them), you’re out of luck. You know, the more I read of how the bigwigs behind this new wave of HD DVD technology are working so hard against their customer base, the more I hope this whole “next wave” falls flat on its face…

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Equalizer?!

Cinescape - Equalizer Remake

Didn't see this one coming, though it makes sense with what's come before. Apparently, Hollywood is remaking the TV show The Equalizer into a feature film. The original starred Edward Woodward and was a cool show - I enjoyed watching the reruns of it on A&E years ago. Paul McGuigan is set to direct. No word on who will play the Equalizer, though reading through some comments at the link, someone suggested if they wanted a younger actor for a possible series to go with Clive Owen, and I think that'd be brilliant. He has that ability to show 'cool menace' in a reserved way, which always comes across as way more dangerous than your typical 'action star'. That's what was so cool about the original show. There was action, yes, but it wasn't always the way he equalized things. Sometimes he'd just get into people's heads, and they never really knew what he was capable of, which was a whole lot. I hope they get a good script and a good actor, 'cause this could be a really cool movie if done right.

Beyond that however, what's next for the "80's TV shows to big screen picture" pipeline? Can a McCloud remake be far behind? Columbo? ALF?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bad Blogger...

Well, added that last post, went back to edit it, reposted it, came back and my entire blog was screwed up. It did weird things to that last post before I got it right (changing HTML on it's own from what I had), so who knows what happened here...

I'll have to deal with this later. Stupid Blogger...

EDIT: Well, I fixed it. Guess it was an out of whack 3rd picture, so I rearranged them left, right, left instead and managed to make it work. Lost track of how many times I edited, reposted, and viewed. I thought Blogger was supposed to automate posting pictures. Guess there's a few bugs. Wacky's like learning another language!

X3 Pics!

Well, considering how I thought this movie was going to be a royal mess (and still may be), I'm getting more amped about the 3rd X-men flick coming in May. The trailer was excellent, and now more pics are making their way online. Here's a few via The Movie Blog via DVDRama.

Bad Jean...Bad, Bad Jean. The X-Men are going to have their hands full this time around...

Most of the pics from The Movie Blog looked like shots from the movie, but the Wolverine pic looks almost like a promo shot. Very Cool though - too bad it wasn't a bigger pic - it would make an excellent wallpaper...

Still a little confused about Rogue in a battle situation. If in the movie 'verse, she doesn't have the super strength and other abilites she absorbed that made her a force to be reckoned with in the comics, then what is she doing in a warzone? At least she's got the right idea - get close the big tall guy that can turn to metal...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Garth Brooks Releasing New CD : CMT Pick : Garth Brooks - Exclusive Wal-Mart CD

Well, this is good news in a way. Looks like what I had heard was right. Garth is releasing the lone disc of new material - The Lost Sessions - from his Walmart Box Set as an individual CD. This is the one I wanted after hearing bits of a few songs on CMT, but wasn't going to buy the box set of other discs I already own.

On the other hand, it's only available at Walmart, starting Feb. 24/06. Good for Walmart, I guess. Not good for anyone else...

As for the music, clips of a couple songs that I heard sound like classic Garth. The kind of songs I wish were still being played on the radio when I turn it on and am disappointed by Rascal Flatts instead...

Ben Stiller - Magnum P.I.?

Thurber to Write & Direct Magnum P.I. -

This can't be good. This Thurber guy is writing and directing the big screen adaptation of Magnum P.I. No word on casting yet. Thurber's claim to fame is the comedy Dodgeball. So again, this can't be good. Why must they remake all those classic TV shows into goofball comedies? Starsky and Hutch - goofball comedy. Dukes of Hazzard - goofball comedy. Magnum PI - written by goofball comedy writer. Can they not show some respect to these classic shows?

If they turn the Rockford Files into a goofball comedy, I'm gonna blow a fuse...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Here and There...

Just saw on Much Music ‘Back in ‘89’, that in 1989 the 3rd highest grossing film was “Look Who’s Talking” with John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. As if it wasn’t shocking enough to find out that that movie made more than Lethal Weapon 2, or Back to the Future 2, or Ghostbusters 2, (all in the same year); it turns out it made 140 million. That’s a lot of money for a flick that bad…

Turns out a plane carrying members of the band Bon Jovi skidded off the runway in Hamilton as the plane overshot the runway thanks to bad weather. Nobody was hurt, thank goodness. At least it didn’t slide onto a road like the one in Toronto…

22 year old Jennifer Berry, otherwise known as Miss Oklahoma, was crowned Miss America in Las Vegas. Um, does anybody care about this anymore? Apparently, fewer and fewer do, as slipping ratings caused the producers to move the show to Vegas, and without a major network to broadcast the skin and talentless show on, they had to settle for showing it on CMT. That’s the weirdest part – what’s the Miss America Pageant doing on Country Music Television? Remember when CMT used to show…um, what’s the word…oh yeah, MUSIC?!?

Has there been a Canadian sitcom as funny as Corner Gas? I’m laughing my ass off watching it. They even worked in a side story about the Littlest Hobo! And with the old theme music! The deadpan deliveries and hilarious one-liners are great. Whoever coined it the Canadian Seinfeld is bang on…

And finally, with the Canadian election on Monday, the local TV has been inundated with ads for the various crooks…uh, I mean candidates…that are running. What I’m wondering is: why are all the commercials about the other parties? I mean, if I see a massive picture of Paul Martin’s ugly mug on my TV, am I not safe to assume it’s going to be a commercial about the Liberal party? Actually, no – it’s an ad telling us all the things he’s done wrong by one of the other parties. Stop telling us everything that is wrong! We KNOW what is wrong and what has been done wrong. What we want to know is what are YOU going to do to fix it?! If you’re a candidate, just come out and say I’m going to do this, this, and this. That’s all. We’ll decide the rest. Oh, and one more thing – once you’ve been voted in, Stick To Your Promises, you lying, money wasting, cotton-mouthed, dingle-dorks!!! Is that so hard?! It’s a shame that it’s gotten to the point where when I’m voting, I’m not voting for who I think will do the most good, I’m voting for who I think will do the least amount of damage. Is there no way we can get some decent people to vote for?! There, end rant…

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Say What?

So, just how do you pronounce the river Thames? If you said it the way it looks, it'd be "TH-ames". Then I always kind of thought it was said without the "H", like "tames". Then last night I hear CNN saying it like it was pronounced without the "H" and with an "E" instead of an "A", so it sounded like "Tems".

The River Tems? This is said so far away from the way it's spelled, it's ridiculous! What's the point of the H and the A if you're going to completely ignore them?

So, just to be sure, I Googled it, and guess what - CNN actually got something right for a change. It's pronounced "temz" with a soft "E". Who knew?

So, has it always been like this, or this another word like "Harassment", where media types suddenly out of nowhere started pronouncing it "hare-iss-mint"?

Stop butchering the English language people, and say it the way it's spelled, or spell it the way you want it to sound, but pick one already! ....There, end rant...

London "Thames" A Whale...

Whale in River Thames Causes Wave

LONDON - It's a whale of a tale — a bottle-nosed whale swimming up the River Thames past Big Ben and Parliament on Friday as rows of worried Londoners looked on. The whale was spotted in the afternoon as it flailed around in the murky waters of the Thames, stirring up patches of what looked like blood as seagulls hovered above and rescue boats stood at the ready. It was the first sighting of a Northern bottle-nosed whale in the river since British whale-watching records began in 1913. Witness Tom Howard-Vyne said he saw the mammal swim under Westminster Bridge, near Big Ben. "I saw it blow. It was a spout of water which sparkled in the air," said Howard-Vyne. "It was an amazing sight."

A small armada of rescue boats frantically searched for the mammal, but it was lost from view around sunset, when it dived under water. Crews barricaded a section of river in an attempt to force the animal to change course; it was unclear if their efforts were a success.

"A whale in the shallow water of the River Thames is like a human lost in the heat of the Sahara desert. It's just not made for these conditions," said Laila Sadler, scientific officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "We are worried that it will survive only for 24 to 48 hours if it doesn't head back to sea. It also seems to be in distress, it has already made two seemingly deliberate attempts to beach itself."

Wow, that must have been some sight. No word in the article about if they actually got it out of there. Hope it had a whale of a time touring London...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Music Videos Made Easy? Not So Much...

Well, I finally got around to trying my hand at creating a music video from clips from a movie. I’ve downloaded and watched more than a few well made ones created by fans – in my case, mostly music videos made around scenes from the X-Men films. Though I have found a couple for the Firefly TV show as well.

I always kind of wondered how they did it, and after some ‘net searching, I found out. I more or less figured these were done by people who had way too much time on their hands, but it looked fun. So, last night, I made one myself, and I’ve got to hand it to those who’ve done it before – it’s not as easy as it looks.

Windows XP movie maker actually makes the process not too bad, assuming you’ve already got the source material on your hard drive, and I’m not going into how to do that here. It also has some decent features without overburdening the user. However, it is a little limited in scope – especially the output file, as it only allows saving in WMV format. However, it did the trick.

Anyway, back to the video. I used clips of the first X-Men movie and the song “It Doesn’t Matter” by Alison Krauss. It didn’t turn out too bad, considering it was my first video editing effort of any kind. It does make you appreciate the skill and art it takes to make a good music video when you watch them on CMT or MTV or wherever. Trying to tell a story in 4 minutes isn’t always easy. Not to mention the challenge if you want specific shots to line up at a specific lyric or beat of the song. Then you get close to the end and realize you need to work in a few more shots to make a better ending and you’ve only got 10 seconds left of music. It’s lots of fun to make, but time consuming – 6 hours to make a 4 minute video…

I read on one of the websites of another fan that making these is addicting, and now that I’ve made one, I can see why. I was quite stoked to have made something half decent, and now want to keep trying to make a better one (my editing and transitions need to be much better). On top of that, I’m hearing songs now and my mind is popping up ideas for music video making possibilities (X-Men, Sin City, Due South, etc). Oh well, that’s what hobbies are for, I guess. Either that, or I’m nuts.

If you want to take a look at my rookie video effort, you can download it here. I’m also testing out the site at the same time, so that’s what you’ll be directed to. You have to wait 45 seconds before the link becomes available beside the logo, but it works. It’s a little under 11MB in size, so dial up users beware. Also note that Megauploads deletes the file after 30 days of no downloads, so if you’re trying to download this at some future point and it doesn’t work, that’s why.

If you happen to go to the trouble to download and watch it, let me know what you think, good bad, or indifferent. Hmmm, I guess the next step is to learn how to make my own website so I have somewhere to share all this stuff I’m learning how to make…

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Good News or Bad News?

John Singleton Helming Without Remorse -

Well, this was a surprise to find out. Can't believe it's taken this long, but the good news is that they are making a movie of Without Remorse, my favorite Tom Clancy novel. Some of his books can get a little on the technical side, and while this still had some of that, it was far more about the characters, specifically John Kelly - aka John Clark. Here is a lean, mean anti-hero just ready for the big screen, and Without Remorse is an excellent story.

The bad news is that John Singleton is helming it. Who knows, it may turn out great. However, his track record of past movies includes 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers. I saw 2 Fast, and while entertaining, it was nothing special. I have yet to see Four Brothers, but its on my 'to rent' list. The trailer looked a bit ridiculous, though. Still, his other movie Boyz in the Hood was an award winner, and while I haven't seen it, it has received excellent reviews.

So maybe there's hope for this project. I hope they don't blow it, because its a great story...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wagging the Finger at Crime...

Couple get 9 years prison for Wendy's finger scam - Yahoo! News

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - A California court sentenced a couple to nine years in prison on Wednesday for planting a human finger in a bowl of chili as part of a scam last year to defraud a Wendy's fast food restaurant. A judge in Santa Clara Superior Court sentenced Anna Ayala and her husband, Jaime Plascencia, to nine years imprisonment for their role in the Wendy's scam, which caused a sharp fall in sales at the third-largest U.S. burger chain.
The husband was given another three years and four months for not paying child support in an unrelated case, giving him a sentence of a total of 12 years, four months behind bars.
"I am truly sorry. I owe Wendy's and its employees an apology," a tearful Ayala told the court. "Wendy's had always been my family's favorite fast food restaurant." She called her actions "a moment of poor judgment," and told her family: "For all the shame I brought upon them I am sorry, I am so sorry."

Wow - 9 years?! People convicted of attempted murder get out in less, but put a finger in a bowl of chili and they send you up the river for a good long time. All kinds of criminals get a free pass for all kinds of worse stuff, but I guess this sends the message that you cannot mess with a multi-million dollar fast food chain. Is this what it means to be tough on crime?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Think Fast

Saw this on the local news the other night, and it made News too:

Toronto woman crashes car to halt runaway vehicle - Yahoo! News

TORONTO (Reuters) - A woman crashed her own car to prevent a bigger accident on Canada's busiest freeway, using her car to cut off a runaway vehicle after the driver apparently passed out at the wheel. Schoolteacher Cherilyn Gill, 42, said she watched in her rear-view mirror as the driver in the car behind her slumped over and disappeared from sight. The vehicle swerved to the left, accelerated and then bounced off a concrete barrier on Highway 401 near Toronto.
Gill stopped the other vehicle by letting it crash into the rear of her own minivan and then grind to a halt against the concrete central guard rail. "I didn't have time to panic," she told Reuters on Friday. "I knew there was nobody driving the car... I decided I had to stop it."
Police have recommended Gill for an award for her quick thinking, and she said she had received a phone call of congratulations from Ontario's education minister. No one was hurt in the accident.

Movie Trailers - Why So Hard To Do Right?

(Some of this might be redundant to other posts, but I'll post it anyway...)
Making a movie trailer is more of an art than a science, I’ll bet. Might explain why some directors / studios come out with fantastic trailers and others just…well…don’t. The first Sin City teaser trailer; the very, very first Kill Bill trailer (when it was still supposed to be one movie); and the 3rd Punisher trailer (the one that starts with Mark Collie in the diner) are prime examples of how to do a trailer right. It also shows just how important the music is to a trailer. It’s what gets your attention and when done right, it’s the glue that holds the various movie scenes together.

If you want an example of a really, really bad trailer, watch the one for the upcoming flick Date Movie. Now, I like Alyson Hannigan, so I watched the trailer. Yikes. No flow, makes no sense, bad music, and basically – if the trailer is this bad, I can only suspect the movie would be worse. Bloodrayne is also up there on the list of trailers that don’t make you want to see the movie.

I also need to vent on the issue of almost every trailer that comes out giving away major plot points or best scenes. The goal of a trailer is to make me want to watch the movie. If I already know what’s going to happen because of the trailer, why would I go see it? As much as they gave away in the X3 teaser, I’m not entirely sure I want to see the main trailer when it inevitably comes out (though I probably won’t be able to help myself.) Watching the teaser for Miami Vice, however, and I’m thinking – “Ok, what’s going on there, why is he doing that? Who is that? The look is just so cool, I have to go see this!” Now that’s a better teaser…

So, being as lists are all the rage, and the deluge of trailers over the last two months, here’s my list of best trailers for upcoming movies. Mind you, I’m rating the trailers themselves, not how good or bad the movie might be:

1. Miami Vice – Smooth coolness, just like the show, with no major spoilers, and good music.

2. X-Men 3 – Spoilers, yes, but a very cool look to it, and considering all the bad press this has gotten, it did what it needed to do and got people (me included) excited to go see it.

3. Mission Impossible 3 – did the impossible: got people talking about something related to Tom Cruise in a good light, though I’m crediting Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Michelle Monoghan and JJ Abrams at the helm as reasons I want to see this, and not so much Cruise.

4. Tristan & Isolde – the trailer got me interested in a movie that after reading reviews for I have no further interest in seeing. That’s got to say something for the trailer…

5. Ultraviolet – hadn’t really been on my radar till I saw the trailer. Don’t know much about it, but now I want to see it. If only they hadn’t thrown in a spoiler.

6. The Sentinel – Michael Douglas, Keifer Sutherland, Eva Longoria, Kim Basinger – yes, this movie is stacked. Looks like my kind of action thriller – a rogue Secret Service agent, framed and on the run. Then as I watched the trailer again tonight, I noticed something – was that Sledge Hammer in the role of the President?! I think it was! How’s that for irony?

7. The Da Vince Code – I had no interest in reading the book, and still don’t, even after all the hubbub over it. However, the trailer to the movie got my interest, didn’t give anything major away that I could tell, and made me Google info on the book to know more. Not bad.

8. Superman Returns - And now the big surprise, as far as trailers go. This was a trailer I really wanted to see, and it really fell flat for me. My interest in the movie has never been as high as others, but I wanted to see what Bryan Singer would do with it. It looks good, but sounds bad. The voiceover speech draws Messianic parallels that I was just not expecting. I’m not an expert in Superman lore, but I have no clue where some of that comes from. Oddly enough, watching the teaser really dropped this movie down on my list of must see for ’06.

Oh, and I can’t end a post about trailers without bringing up another beef – why do they use scenes and dialogue in the trailer that they don’t use in the movie?! Yes, I’m talking about the trailer for A Man Apart. I’m still ticked about that…what a ripoff…

Some More Upcoming Movie News...

Some interesting news via

News from Thomas Jane that Punisher 2 will start filming this summer. I also heard elsewhere that they said it will be set in New York, and I think they named the villain, but it escapes me at the moment. Either way, I liked the first Punisher, so getting a sequel is good news. I also think the first one would have done better at the box office had it not opened on the same weekend as Kill Bill 2…

Vinne Jones who plays Juggernaut in X-Men 3, has been quoted in an interview that he has signed on for X3, 4, and 5. This is news, as the popular opinion seems to be that this would be the last one. Of course, it could just be the last one with these actors as the primary cast. This franchise is a major cash cow for Fox and Marvel, so unless they completely blow it with this 3rd one, they will find a way to keep bringing money in on new ones. One theory I’ve read is that there are so many mutants and storylines in the X-Men universe, that they could easily spin more movies with just new characters. Should be interesting to first see how X3 goes with a new director, then how the Wolverine and Magneto spin-off movies are approached, and then what direction the X-Men movie franchise goes from there. Wolverine is slated for a 2007 release, and I hope they do it right. Hugh Jackman will play the role, of course, so that’s good, and with David Benioff writing the script, there might be some hope for a good one. He did come up with 25th Hour, after all, and that was excellent…

Yes, apparently, though no one asked for it, they have made a 3rd Fast and the Furious movie. Called The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, it is set in Tokyo (really?) and does not feature anybody from the 1st two movies. Expect more pocket rockets, electric shaver cars, nitrous oxide, and lots of CGI. Set to annoy at a theatre near you this summer, June 16th…

The trailer for Ultraviolet has also hit the web, and it looks like an interesting Sci-Fi movie (Feb. 24 release date). It stars Milla Jovovich, and even though she looks a little too close to Aeon Flux, I’d be interested to see it. It’s got a unique style too, and the action scenes look well done. They just had to give a nice surprise away in the trailer, but what trailer doesn’t do that anymore? I’ve always liked Jovovich, and if the plot holds up, this looks like a much better version of what her Resident Evil movies could have been. (Though I did enjoy the second one, and according to IMDB, there’s a third one coming out this year…)

Lately I’ve been catching more episodes of Miami Vice on my local rerun cable channel. I am really digging the show and I have to say, based on the teaser trailer, I am really looking forward to the big screen version of Miami Vice. Along with X3, it is one of the coolest teasers to have hit the web. The music, action, and Miami locales all come together well. Plus, it has one of the best ending lines to a teaser: As the music fades out, Jamie Foxx says at the end, “Smooth…that’s how we do it.” It looks like they’ve really kept the spirit of the TV show, and I have no doubts about Foxx being good after watching him in Collateral. Colin Farell as Sonny, I’m not quite so sure about, but I’ll bet director Michael Mann gets this one right…

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Here and There...

Was watching one of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies, The Enforcer, and he had a great line (among many). As his superior was suspending him, and demanding his badge, Clint handed it over, saying, “Here’s a seven point suppository, captain.” I think that got the point across…

Don’t really know anything about the singer Shakira, or even listen to her music much, but caught a bit of a live performance of her's on TV New Years Eve. She was singing, and, um, ‘dancing’ to the beat. I couldn’t help but think she had the Elaine dance from Seinfeld down pat. Then lately, I’ve seen her video for the song Don’t Bother, and that definitely confirmed it. Looks like she’s doing the robot dance on crack. The song is catchy enough though; however, the video is just wrong. No matter what ‘relationship’ issues you may be having, there is never any good reason to crush your guy’s car! Especially if it is a classic Mustang Shelby Cobra! I Googled it and was relieved to find out this valuable info, which confirmed I HAD seen that car before: “The car used in the video was a Ford Mustang Shelby Cobra fastback coupe. Interestingly the car was actually one of the 'Eleanors' from the 2000 film Gone in 60 seconds (one of two 'Eleanors' that survived the film), and costs US$300,000. The car doesn't get really crushed, a 1967 Mustang, more suitable for crushing, was used in the car-crush scene, dressed up in fibreglass to look like the boyfriend's car.” That’s better, but still no reason to crush a ’67 Mustang! To quote Clint Eastwood from the movie Pink Cadillac, “Didn’t anyone ever tell you, you shouldn’t mess with a man’s vehicles?”

Regional Coding on DVD’s is completely stupid, but at least it finally caught up to somebody in Hollywood. The story here at The Movie Blog about Speilbergs’s movie Munich being accidentally made onto region 1 discs and sent to the BAFTA judges in Britain, where they have region 2 players. The judges couldn’t view the movie, and now it’s probably out of the running for the award. This is classic, and it looks good on them. Regional Coding should be abolished, but unfortunately its only going to get realigned for the new HD and BD discs coming this year…

The Digital Bits has a nice posting from the CES show, and lots of pics and info of the new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Discs and players that will be hitting the market this year. I looked through the pictures, and the thing that hit me is the players look really big and very 1985 in design. Or maybe that’s just me. Blu-Ray seems to be the better bet of the two, but HD is hitting the market first with a cheaper player. And by cheaper, I mean $500. BD players will hit the market at a cool $1000. Yikes. I’m quite happy with the quality of my DVD collection, so I can’t see being interested in this for quite some time, but it’s an interesting story to follow. Anyone remember BETA vs VHS? Well, here we go again…

It's a Fact - It's Just For Fun...

Here's a news article from Yahoo about Chuck Norris' response to the popular, random "Chuck Norris Facts" circulating the web. To quote:

"Some are funny. Some are pretty far out," Norris said in a recent post on his Website. "Being more of a student of the Wild West than the wide world of the Internet, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. [But] I neither take offense
nor take these things too seriously."

If you want a random fact, go here. You can also get random "facts" for Vin Diesel and Mr. T. It's all in good fun, as these are obviously made up and spoofing Chuck's TV and Film reputation. Here are some of my favorites:

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris. (Also Chuck's Favorite, apparently)

Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.

Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
Back in '84, if Chuck Norris had been the cop behind the counter at the police-station, the Terminator would have never come back.

Chuck Norris created the Total Gym by physically beating a Ford Pinto into the shape he had in his mind. The gas tank did explode during the procedure, but not so much as one hair of Chuck Norris's beard was singed.

And my personal favorite:
Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip.

Friday, January 13, 2006

16 Blocks Trailer

16 Blocks Trailer Hits -

Watched the trailer for this new Bruce Willis movie coming March 3, and it looks good. Typical action fare, but I'm all for that. Plus Mos Def is in it, and he was great in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, so I look forward to seeing him in a non-alien role.

What hit me while watching the trailer though, is that this plot seems like a rip off of the Clint Eastwood film The Gauntlet. Down and out cop gets picked to transport a prisoner to court who knows too much about the bad things cops did and the entire force is out to kill both the cop and the prisoner. It looks like there is even some action with a bus (The Gauntlet had Eastwood driving a bullet ridden bus up city hall's steps), so I'm left wondering if this is a remake, or Hollywood's continuing lack of original ideas. Either way, I'm interested in seeing it, though probably at the local cheapie theatre instead of the megaplex. 'Course, that's not saying much considering this one and Harrison Ford's Firewall are the only flicks that even remotely might get me interested in going to the theatre during this complete derth of interesting movies at the start of '06...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's The Law...

Here's an obscure fact I tripped over via an unrelated Google search:

In Marion, Ohio, there is a law that says you cannot eat a doughnut and walk backwards on a city street.

How very, very weird. Was this a major problem in Marion? People eating doughnuts, walking backwards, bumping into things and other people, tripping over stuff, causing chaos all over the place...not to mention the sticky mess of cherry filling all over the sidewalk. I wonder if this law had any productive effect on the police force. Now they have to walk forwards while eating their doughnuts...

By the way, I wonder what happens if you walk forward while eating a doughnut backwards? Would that be a doughnut hole loop hole?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Slow Speed - Learning Curve Ahead...

Wow, those banners combined with trying to get them into HTML and on the web are time consuming. But in a really good way. I have so much to learn, but at least now I've got time to do it. I've always liked graphic designing, manipulating video, and audio, and so forth; so maybe if I keep learning, it'll lead somewhere. For now though, it's just a real fun hobby. Microsoft Photodraw is actually a nice program to use - powerful enough to do what you want, and yet simple enough layout that you don't have to read a 3 inch thick manual to do it. If only it wasn't so crash prone - but that's typical with anything from Microsoft. Save often, that's the key...

Got another night shift ahead, then hopefully I'll get some more posts up here later this week. Got some more story ideas rattling around the old noggin something fierce, so I should probably get those down on paper - or digital text as it were. Had a great idea yesterday, but didn't write it down, and now I can't remember it! Aw, crud. It'll come to me though...

Oh that reminds me. Witnessed some terrible voice overs on a movie last night. Have no idea what the movie was, as I didn't stick around on the channel long enough to find out, but remember how bad it was hearing Bruce Willis say "Yippee-ki-yay, my friend" in the voiceover in Die Hard? Well, this one had somebody doing a voiceover of Jaime Foxx, and he kept repeatedly saying "Oh, Shucks!" Really now, shucks?! That's the best they could come up with? I'd rather they just bleep the words for Cable censors than put something in that is so out of place and unintentionally funny that it takes you right out of the movie. Oh well, the risks you take watching an edited for TV movie. Always good for a laugh though...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Trial and Error...

Well, nothing like some HTML experimenting to kill a few hours. Especially when you have no clue what you're doing and you're learning by looking at other webpage HTML and comparing it to what you see. I did learn a few things though, so that's good - who knew 'padding' was so important?

Let me know what you think of the new header pic...I also added new links to the sidebar (not that I want anyone to navigate away from my fantastic site ;-)


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Oh Canada!

Alright! Canada wins gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship! Back to back Gold for Canada, and this team this year wasn't even favored to make it to the gold round, let alone win it and go undefeated in the tournament.

Canada wins the gold medal game 5-0 over Russia, with Justin Pogge getting the shutout. He's a Maple Leafs draft pick too, so it's good to see there's a good prospect in the Leafs system. 'Course, that means they'll probably trade him soon...

Congrats boys! Way to keep the gold in Canada!