WEIRD UNTALKATIVE BUNNY NEWS...
So, I was doing my occasional search of Amazon.com, hoping to see if they have listed, at long last, a first season DVD box set of the woefully underseen (at least outside of Canada, Australia, and the Philippines) Untalkative Bunny
. Not that there have been any announcements regarding Untalkative Bunny
on DVD yet, at least not in Region 1, but, if such a set were announced, it's not the sort of announcement that would get a lot of publicity, so I could easily imagine that the first I would hear about it would be at Amazon.com.
Nada on the DVD front, but I did find something else
that's rather interesting.
Untalkative Bunny: How To Be Heard Without Saying A Word
by John C. McGinely
It's a 112-page book that ships on May 31st
. I thought, from the title, that it may be a self-help book of some sort featuring the cartoon character as an inspiration, but it's being published by Big Tent Entertainment
, which is a distributor of children's entertainment whose biggest brand seems to be Miffy, Dick Bruna's famous children's book character (who, come to think of it, is also an "Untalkative Bunny").
I don't know who this John C. McGinely fellow is... it can't possibly be the same John C. McGinely who is the actor who plays Dr. Perry Cox on Scrubs
and who was Bob in Office Space
, can it? Or has the actor, who became a father in 1997, dipped his toes into the world of children's books, creating a character who is coincidentally called Untalkative Bunny
, possibly in much the same way that, in a freak coincidence
, the British comic magazine, Beano
, started publishing the adventures of Dennis the Menace
(the nasty one with the dog, Gnasher) just one week after Hank Ketcham's comic strip, Dennis the Menace
(the innocent blonde kid who unintentionally causes trouble for Mr. Wilson), first appeared in American newspapers? (EDIT:
No, it can't be the actor, whose name is spelt John C. McGinley
. Well, it's an amusing-enough aside that led to an interesting tangent about Dennis the Menace
, so I'll leave this in.) (EDIT II (February 9th):
It IS from the actor. See this entry
for updated info.)
Anyway, could this all mean that Big Tent Entertainment will finally be distributing the Untalkative Bunny
series in the United States? While it doesn't directly affect me here in Canada, if this is true, this would almost certainly give what I fully believe to be the greatest TV cartoon in Canadian history1
the big break it needs to be famous in the world's most lucrative children's television market. And, if it's popular with American kids (and, hopefully, a handful of adults, so I won't feel so alone), surely the Untalkative Bunny
DVD sets will soon follow.
By the way, Untalkative Bunny
was created by Graham Falk and animated right here in Ottawa by Dynomight Cartoons, but I can't seem to find Dynomight on the Internet anymore, though, except for this automobile dynamometer manufacturer
that coincidentally has the same name and a Canadian-based website. Well, I hope that Untalkative Bunny
hits it big in the United States, so whatever remains of the Dynomight studios' talent can continue to create more quality, non-cookie-cutter, animated productions.
1 Yep, I like Untalkative Bunny better than Reboot. Deal with it.
PIERRE BERNARD'S RECLINER OF RAGE... well, not quite...
Conan O'Brien's "desk bit" tonight was called "It's January, so Let's Talk About Baseball", and one of the jokes was about Barry Bonds quitting using steroids and then they had the new, steroid-free, Barry Bonds walk on as a cameo, and it's... Pierre Bernard!
The hell? As if we wouldn't recognize him! He appears so often on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
as himself now that seeing him pretending to be someone else is weird and distracting. Plus, Pierre is an artist, not an actor, so hearing him deliver his one line was kind of awkward.
Bottom line, America? Pierre Bernard should only appear on the "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" segments, or on taped bits where he was invited to the set of whichever television programme he was complaining about two or three weeks prior.
Nah, I'm just kidding, Pierre. Anyway, I think the joke was that Barry Bonds minus steroids equals Pierre Bernard, so, if you recognize Pierre, you got the joke.
UPCOMING ANIMATED FILM RELEASE DATES
(and my "Pulled Out Of My Ass" total box-office take predictions)
EDIT: DAGNABIT! I FORGOT THE CORPSE BRIDE!
Please note that these dates are preliminary, based on the release schedule for upcoming films given at The-Numbers.com
and are subject to change. Also, I'm not bothering to cover anime films like Appleseed
that will be released on only a handful of screens in all of North America.
POOH'S HEFFALUMP MOVIE (Disney)
Another installment in the ongoing series of spin-off films for Winnie the Pooh supporting characters, produced "on the cheap" by Disney's TV animation division and released in February when there isn't all that much competition for children's eyeballs.
ROBOTS (20th Century Fox)
These films aren't critical darlings by any stretch of the imagination, but they make enough of a profit, at least in the long term on DVD, for Disney to continue making more.
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $40 million.
I haven't watched the trailer for this one yet, and I won't for this article since this is not a trailer review, but this is the second CGI feature film from directors Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldhana, whose Ice Age was quite a sleeper hit, pulling in $176 million at the domestic box office in 2002. Like Ice Age, this is being released in March, where the film has a chance to shine without being lost in the summer shuffle.
I saw the standee when I went to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and the characters looked appealing enough, in kind of a retro-cartoon robot way. I especially liked the look of one who looked kind of like a toy soldier. And I can't wait to hear Drew Carey as a cartoon voice. (Other cast members include Ewan McGregor, Greg Kinnear, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, and Robin Williams.)
Unless this gets critically-panned, I think it should do about the same business as Ice Age, which had some box-office "legs".
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $170 million.
I already talked about this one last March. This is Katsuhiro Otomo's first feature-length animated film as director since Akira, so the interest in this within the niche that Akira helped to create. Surprisingly, though, it seems that Sony will take a huge risk and release it wide, since they're marketing it under the "Tristar" banner instead of their more arthouse "Sony Classics" banner, and none of the upcoming movie sites is yet listing this as a limited release the way they are with Howl's Moving Castle. The question is, how many people outside of the niche will want to see it? I think the interest with the mainstream North American public will be negligible. Even in its home country, Steamboy only opened in 4th place and sank rapidly, falling off the Japanese top 10 in only a month. And the reviews have been mixed; most of them praise the quality of the animation, but many reviewers say the climax is too drawn out to the point that it's overkill.
MADAGASCAR (Dreamworks SKG)
I'm skeptical that this will in fact be released "wide", but, if Sony is serious, at least anime fans will be at last able to know one way or the other how well or poorly an anime film that isn't just a spin-off of a kiddy merchandising TV cartoon would perform at the box office in wide release.
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $20 million, tops, if Sony follows through with the wide release. Maybe $10 million, if Sony follows the tried-and-tested limited release route.
Another entry from Pacific Data, producers of Shrek, directed by Erik Darnell, one of the co-directors of Antz, and first-time animated film director Tom McGrath. A bright and colourful tale of a group of animals from Central Park zoo who decide that they weren't meant to live in captivity and who hijack a ship to go to Madagascar, where they think they will fit in, even though none of the motley crew of animals, which include a lion, a zebra, and even penguins, is native to Madagascar. Voices include Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, and David Schwimmer.
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (Ghibli/Disney)
Thankfully, unlike the overrated Shrek films, it appears that most of the humour in this film will come from the characters and the situations that they find themselves in and it will be funny in-and-of-itself, and not be an expanded version of one of Jay Ward's Fractured Fairy Tales shorts held together with just a bunch of rapidly dated in-jokes about Hollywood and references to recent movies that make too many critics think the Shrek films are a lot more "clever" than they actually are.
I think this film will perform quite well at the box-office, but it won't be breaking any records.
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $200 million.
The latest Studio Ghibli film from Hayao Miyazaki, who won the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2003 for Spirited Away. I discussed what I thought of the full-length Japanese Howl's Moving Castle trailer last June.
A SCANNER DARKLY (Warner Bros.)
The general critical consensus of those critics who have seen the film thus far is that it is another exceptional film from Miyazaki, though it's not quite the alleged "masterpiece" (groan, how I hate that word unless it's preceded by "cheese") that Spirited Away was, and the Japanese box-office has been very high, though not quite as phenomenal as with Spirited Away, since Spirited Away had the advantage of being released in July, during the summer break period for Japanese schools. Hopefully, I will find this film to be a bit more focused, tighter, less disjointed, and less pretentious than Spirited Away, but I think Miyazaki's critical success has gotten to his head and he takes himself too seriously as an artist and a living treasure and he adds scattershot subtexts where it's not needed. I think the guy's best works are Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro, which are relatively simple tales that are about the characters and little else. His more recent films are just bloated with pretentious layers of "meaning", and many of his character designs are taking a turn towards the grotesque.
Anyway, I think Miyazaki's Oscar has given him critical "street cred" in North America and Europe on the level that very few living animation directors will ever achieve (I'm not one for "pedestal status" myself), but he's still not a household name among North Americans who aren't already animation fans, and, while I think it will take in more than Spirited Away did at the domestic box office, it's not going to make the same sort of dough that most American animated films make.
Several web sites are listing this as a limited release; my semi-educated guess is that it will open on between 300 to 500 screens, wider than most anime films but not quite wide enough to make it into the suburban multiplexes, and it's opening on the pre-July 4th holiday weekend against Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds and the Marvel comic book adaptation, Fantastic Four, so it will have to struggle to get attention, especially with the other big summer films, like Batman Begins, still in theatres. It may scratch the top ten for a week or two in one of the lower spots, but I doubt it will make the top five. Also, with an eye on the Best Animated Feature Oscar, is it being released too early in the year for it to benefit from critical momentum, unlike Spirited Away, which was released in the uncrowded month of September?
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $25 million.
This is Richard Linklater's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's sci-fi novel with a script written by Charlie Kaufman, the writer (and subject) of Adaptation, and it stars Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr.
THE CORPSE BRIDE (Warner)
Like Linklater's ridiculously prententious Waking Life, a lot of us have trouble calling this "animation", since it's really just a live-action film processed into animation using Photoshop filters like "Cutout" (though it seems to be a more sophisticated variant of "Cutout" than the one supplied by Adobe) and then black outlines are rotoscoped onto the image by comic book artists, to give it more of a "graphic novel" look. (That's my guess as to how they're doing it based on the pictures shown at AICN.) But, unlike Waking Life, at least this one is actually based on a story and Linklater didn't just film a bunch of people talking and a college philosophy lecture, so maybe it won't be quite as insufferable.
I doubt this will make many ripples at the box office, though it will still do ten times the business that Waking Life received, if just for the Charlie Kaufman fanboys.
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $25 million.
This is Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton's latest foray into the world of stop-motion animation, though, this time, he's not working with his Nightmare Before Christmas collaborator, Henry Selick (whom I guess was too busy working on creatures for Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). Fort The Corpse Bride, Burton's co-director, whom I presume is the actual animation director, is Mike Johnson, from Will Vinton Studios. Johnson's biggest credit seems to be that he was one of the team of directors who worked on the short-lived claymation series, The PJs (the one featuring the voice of Eddie Murphy). Hopefully, Burton's involvement will mean that the characters won't look anything like Will Vinton Studio's most famous creation, the excreable California Raisins.
THE WALLACE AND GROMIT MOVIE: CURSE OF THE WERERABBIT (Aardman/Dreamworks SKG)
The Corpse Bride is based on an Russian folktale (which you can read in the link I gave for the title), allegedly inspired by a true story, where a man accidentally married a corpse, though a corpse that will somehow have the voice of Helena Bonham Carter (who is also featured as a voice in the Wallace and Gromit film). Other voices include frequent Burton collaborator Johnny Depp, Harry Potter's Emma Watson, and Absolutely Fabulous's Joanna Lumley.
I was vaguely aware that Tim Burton was working on this, but, when I think of upcoming Tim Burton films, I think mostly of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also starring Johnny Depp, the new adaptation of the Roald Dahl story, which I'm not really calling a "remake" because Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (which I honestly never liked, even as a kid) took much too many liberties with the source material. So, when I was initially preparing this article, The Corpse Bride flew under my mental radar completely. Also, The Nightmare Before Christmas is one animated film where I appreciate the artistry of it but it never really did much for me *as a film*, so I'm not someone who was eagerly awaiting a film that is a thematic follow-up (but not a sequel, since I think Disney controls the rights to the Nightmare Before Christmas characters, but this one is from Warner). (I think my lukewarm feelings towards Nightmare was that it hit theatres when I was 19, too old to like it as a kid, too young to appreciate it as an adult.)
Anyway, for my box office prediction, mark me down for $70 million. It's being released a few weeks too early to capitalize on Hallowe'en, and North American kids are still settling into their back-to-school routine in mid-September. So, I don't think this film is going to bomb, but I think it's going to "underperform".
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $70 million.
The first feature-length film featuring the characters from Nick Park's three classic Wallace and Gromit "shorts", two of which won the "Best Animated Short" Oscar (and all three of them were nominated; Park also won the BAS Oscar for Creature Comforts). This film is co-directed by Park and Steve Box, and feautres the voices of Ralph Finnes and Helena Bonham Carter in addition to Peter Sallis, the voice of Wallace.
CHICKEN LITTLE (Disney)
Assuming the film lives up to the quality of the stop-motion-animated shorts, this is the animated film that will be riding a wave of critical momentum come Oscar nomination time.
Since the characters already have a fairly large fanbase, I'm predicting that it should easily outgross Park's previous feature-length film, 2000's Chicken Run.
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $150 million.
Chicken Little was originally going to be Disney's big summer movie, but, since Pixar's Cars was delayed half-a-year until June 2006, Disney pushed back the release of Chicken Little to November to fill that gaping hole in the early "holiday" movie season (meaning Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hannukah).
BONUS: 2006 BEST ANIMATED FEATURE OSCAR PREDICTIONS
The nominees shall be:
I already gave my opinion of the film based on what I've seen thus far here, but it's from The Emperor's New Groove director Mark Dindal and, as such, looks to be hilarious and smart.
It's still not going to do the quite same sort of business as a Pixar film, and I think pushing it back until November shaves at least $50 million off the potential take compared to how well it would have done in summer, but I can confidently predict that this will be Disney Feature Animation's highest-grossing film since, at the very least, Lilo & Stitch and should put some wind back into the sails of the floundering Feature Animation division.
MY POOMA TOTAL B.O. TAKE PREDICTION: $200 million.
If there are five nomination berths, pick two out of these three:
Howl's Moving Castle
The Wallace and Gromit Movie: Curse of the Wererabbit
The Corpse Bride
I'm predicting now that there will be no clear favourite, and it will be a dogfight between the two critical front-runners, Howl's Moving Castle
and The Wallace and Gromit Movie
, with someone who has already won an Oscar in this category, Hayao Miyazaki, up against someone who has already won two Oscars for shorts with the same characters as in the film for which he will be nominated next year, Nick Park, and the critical momentum will likely be with Park.
Unfortunately, even if I think that I will likely prefer Steamboy
of the two anime films I've covered here, I'm already predicting that Steamboy
will be shut out of the nomination completely, as Howl
will be the anime film that will get the bulk of critical attention based on the fact that Miyazaki has an Oscar and Katsuhiro Otomo doesn't, and, since the Oscar is an American award, I highly doubt that you will ever see two Japanese cartoons nominated for the same award in the same year.
With the addition of The Corpse Bride
into consideration, I think the film stands a reasonably good chance at being nominated if there are 5 nomination slots, but I'm guessing that it will be overlooked in favour of Chicken Little
should there only be three. Maybe TCB
will get in in a three slot situation if the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
...it's weird. We're getting some pretty intense lightning flashes here in southwest Ottawa tonight. I initially thought it was my father shining a flashlight around the backyard for some unknown reason. But I'm not hearing much in the way of thunder. And my mother hasn't head any crackling interference on CFRA. Some thunderheads are visible on the radar
It's not completely unexpected. We're getting a brief warm front
, with temperatures soaring to... 10ºC (50ºF) tomorrow, though the bottom will fall out quickly, as the evening temperature will be -13ºC (8.6ºF). Don't tell that to Melissa
, my friend in San Antonio, Texas; she thinks that it's cold when the temperature gets in the "fifties"
APPLYING FOR OHIP NOT TOO PAINFUL...
My mother, my father, and I went downtown on the 86 bus yesterday just after noon. I had come across the building with the Ontario Health Insurance Plan during my first troddle around downtown as an Ottawa resident on New Year's Day (which I never got around to writing about). It was in the eastern part of downtown somewhere, but I'm still very shaky on street names. I was scared my father might ask me to find it again, only to have me try and find it in the nearest phonebook. But he knew that it was on Albert, about a block east of the World Exchange Plaza, where I saw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
over the weekend.
My sister had told us to be prepared to be sitting around for hours, so I brought my travel bag, in which I put many things, including my little Casio television, my Gameboy Advance, my CD player, and the French version of volume 6 of the Gals!
manga, which I bought at Chapters the other day. But it took us only a couple of minutes to get the forms, which we then filled out. The forms weren't too difficult, for the most part, except there were a few YES/NO questions, followed by a question that was something like "Have you recently been discharged from the Canadian Armed Forces or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?", to which the answer in my case is "No", not being an ex=serviceman or an ex-policeman, however, for whatever weird reason, the two possible answers were reversed to NO/YES, and I accidentally checked "YES", since it was where I thought "NO" would be located. I had to put the X in "NO" and blotted out the "YES" box completely to make it obvious it was a mistake. I was afraid that bureaucrats would be bureaucratic and interrogate me on that item since both the "YES" and "NO" boxes were filled out in one way or another, but I guess they weren't being nitpicky that day and they could tell that I just made an honest mistake because they didn't say anything. The other minor problems I had filling out the form were that I still don't know my own postal code, but I got my father to tell it to me, and there wasn't enough spaces for me to put my full Quebec Health Insurance number, so I had to write two digits in a "Do Not Write" area.
After filling out the forms, we sat down and took a number, and assumed that we'd be staring at the "Now Serving" number indicator thingie for hours, but, surprisingly, we were served in less than 15 minutes. I didn't even bother opening Gals!
. I guess my sister just went at a really busy time of year like September when she applied for her OHIP card. We presented our necessary documents, where we encountered the only real snag of the day: one of us, and I won't say who, didn't have her passport... oh, wait, "her" kind of gives it away, doesn't it? :P So my mother has to come back some other day, but my father and I filled out the signature for the card and then posed for the photo. That's it. Rather painless.
We stopped by the World Exchange Plaza for a "potty break" after (and bought stamps and bus tickets while we were there), and then just went home. I still want to see some of the movies I didn't get around to seeing at Christmas, like Lemony Snickets
, but I wasn't really in a movie mood yesterday.
Something else that happened yesterday was that our father was trying to get our older golden retreiver-mix dog, Luke, who is about 7½ years old, to come downstairs to get him out of the way while he let our other dog, Sam the black Labrador-mix, on the leash out back, and we realized that, in the over three weeks since moving here, Luke hadn't come to the basement once. He was just frightened of the stairs, which are a little bit steeper than those at the old house in Pincourt. I had to grab him by his collar and drag him downstairs, but, once he was down, he had a wonderful time exploring our rather large basement with lots of nooks and crannies (which I describe better in the moving article I still haven't finished). He needed a bit of pushing to get him back UP the stairs after, but, once he had gone down and back up once, it was clear that he had gotten over his fear and last night he was just following me around the basement so much that it got a bit annoying. I think the novelty has worn off by now, though, since he's upstairs. I guess last night he just hung around me because I didn't go to bed until very late (like usual).
THE TORRENTIAL RAINSTORMS: IS LOS ANGELES JINXED?
Who is to blame for the rainstorms currently wreaking havoc in coastal California, particularly around Los Angeles
Absolutely no one, other than the stalled jetstream which is further south than normal and which is sucking wet weather southwards.
But I can't help but wonder if the southwest is just a little jinxed...
See, you know I like listening to Rush Limbaugh
. Since I don't currently have a credit card with which to subscribe to Rush 24/7
anymore, I have to listen to free streaming audio from those radio stations that have Rush Limbaugh and which let you listen online
. I listened to WJNO from West Palm Beach, Florida
, for a few months, but I didn't care much for Randi Rhodes, who comes on immediately after Rush on that channel. So, after trying a few more radio stations, I settled on KFI, from Los Angeles
, since, on KFI, he's followed by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who I also like to listen to if I'm in the mood.
Anyway, one of the big advertisers on KFI is Kevin Jewelers
, which is a chain of jewelry stores with locations all across the southwest, mainly around Los Angeles, though they also have a few in Arizona. Kevin Jewelers' ads are easy for me to remember, because I think the owner, "Kevin", talks remarkably like Dr. Nick Riviera from The Simpsons
; his words often just kind of flow into one another without the brief pauses, and sometimes the wrong syllables are accentuated. ("ThirTYnineNINEtyfive." though that's a Dr. Nick example.) Not that I'm mocking the guy's accent, I'm merely pointing out a similarity.
For a month or so before Christmas, Kevin Jewelers ran ads on KFI with an amazing, somewhat risky, promotion: any piece of jewelry, no matter how expensive, bought from Kevin Jewelers within a certain time period would be "free", meaning that they'd refund your money, if it rained on Christmas Day. (There were conditions: I think it had to be at least an inch of precipitation recorded at the National Weather Services Station closest to each Kevin Jewelers, and it would only be on a store-by-store basis.) As far as I know, Kevin didn't have to refund anyone's purchases, but one line in the commercial, spoken by his wife, was eerily prophetic: (paraphrasing from memory) "Free jewelry is just what you need to cope with the rainy weather to come."
Then, around a week later, it started raining. And raining. Coincidence? Almost certainly, but it makes you wonder a little about the power of "the jinx".
RANDOM SCANNER FUN...
I'll try and get back to issue blogging this week, but, as weak as this may make me sound, I'm still emotionally recuperating from the move three weeks after, so I've been very distracted by the shock of being in a new place and just haven't quite been following the news as closely as I usually would. Not that I would have written much of anything about the massive tsunami disaster anyway, not that I don't find it horrific, just that I don't have anything particularly original to say about it, especially considering that the only person I know in that part of the world is in Kuala Lumpur, which was largely shielded from the worst of the tsunami by Sumatra. I decided long ago that, if I can't say something I haven't already seen expressed elsewhere, there's no real point in posting about it at all. Merely posting just to register my horror would be trite.
Anyway, I've been unpacking more stuff out of boxes, and I scanned a few things I found, which I won't post directly but which you can click on if you're interested.
Here's a drawing I did in Edgewater elementary school
, probably in Mme. Mollica's class in grade four, when I was nine or ten. You can see my love for corporate logos, even as a young child. I think I even tried to emulate the Volkswagen font, which I know now is Futura, the same font Wes Anderson uses in his movies. The paper has aged badly and fractured around the edges, but I must have done this in charcoal, as it's still easy to see.
Here's one of only a handful of photos taken of me in my young teens
. I think this was on the field trip I took to downtown Montreal, to the cruise on the Saint Lawrence around the Old Port, at the end of grade eight, in June 1989, so I would have been fourteen. Not a very flattering pose, and those glasses are huge compared to the thin light ones I wear now. I have no idea whose hand that is (maybe Kelly T.?) nor who actually took the photo (Jamie Smith, maybe?).
Okay, this isn't something old I found, this is just a scan of Ran Kotobuki from Mihona Fujii's Gals! manga dressed up in an especially amusing way
. (It's from volume 6 of the French translation, which I bought on Sunday.) I think the afro is a wig, since it's gone a couple of pages later. In a weird way, Ran Kotobuki, in this panel, reminds me of Yankee Poodle
from Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew
, not that Mihona Fujii would have ever encountered an American comic that
On Tuesday, I will be going downtown with my parents to apply for the OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) card
, which will take a couple of months to process, so I better not get too sick. (Well, I think, in a pinch, I could always just cross the river and use my Quebec Medicare card in Hull/Gatineau.) My sister warned us that the office is as slow as molasses, so I'll bring lots of reading material and my Gameboy Advance. Maybe I'll see another movie downtown, but I can't see Sideways
, which I really wanted to see since both of my brothers loved it and I also loved Alexander Payne's previous film, About Schmidt
. I didn't get around to seeing it because I was so preoccupied with moving, and, this past weekend, it wasn't playing anywhere in town. Curses! Hopefully, it will make it to one of the second-run cinemas before it hits DVD.
I DON'T NORMALLY ENDORSE INTERNET PETITIONS...
...but I want Steve Zissou's "Adidas Rom Zissou" sneakers
I'd probably wear them a bit more often than the Men in Black
Rayban sunglasses that I plunked down something like $300 Canadian on back in 1997 at the Sunglasses Hut in Mirabel airport.
You can read a little more about the effort to convince Adidas to sell shoes like the custom ones they made for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou here
, or you can just buy some plain Adidas Rom Classics and do the monogramming yourself
I FINALLY SAW THE LIFE AQUATIC...
...Wes Anderson's new film, and, to be honest, I don't know what I think. I read all the spoilers, but it still seemed a little weirder than I expected, even if it had more comedic moments than The Royal Tenenbaums
. It's another slightly alternate world, with real countries, at least the large ones, but imaginary cities and islands, and there's something just slightly off-kilter about the whole film that's tough to put my finger on. I will definitely have to see it at least one more time before I feel I can have a proper opinion as to whether or not it lives up to Wes's past films, though I know that I won't break my record of seeing The Royal Tenenbaums
eight times in the theatre, since I simply do not have the same kind of money to spend on movie tickets that I had three years ago and there are other films out that I want to see that I still haven't seen yet.
This was also my first time at the Cineplex Odeon theatre in the World Exchange Plaza, which seemed slightly better than any of the old Cineplex theatres in Montreal, the bulk of which closed when the Famous Players Paramount and AMC Forum 22 megaplexes opened. The screen wasn't quite as big as the ones at the Paramount, though I paid $9.95 for a ticket, which is about 45 cents more than at the Paramount, last time I checked.
When I was downtown, I also went to both HMV stores in central Ottawa: the one on Sparks Street and the one in the Rideau Centre. Meh... both of them seem smaller than the HMV in Fairview Pointe-Claire even, and they don't remotely compare to the HMV megastore at the corner of Sainte Catherine's and Peel, especially for anime. Damn, I miss that store. And Metro Video too. But I've found one certain kind of store that's a mile better than any comparable store in Montreal, but I'll save the boring description for one of the other boring shopping articles that I've been meaning to write for a couple of weeks but just lacked the energy to do it, since I'm still feeling discombobulated after the move.
Another stop downtown was Chapters, which does have a decent (for Ontario) selection of French-translated Japanese manga comics, and I prayed to God, or maybe Belldandy, very hard, and, sure enough, one single copy of volume 6 of the French translation of Mihona Fujii's Gals!
manga was in, which was exactly
what I wanted. I got it and then walked over to the English
-translated manga section, and it was about 80% Tokyopop titles, but they did have the first volume of one of their titles that I have been looking for, Maki Murakami's Gravitation
, which is a yaoi comic about a gay relationship, though written for a female audience. The perfect thing to make my mother wonder about me some more should she come across it (though, ironically, I seem to be pretty much exclusively heterosexual again, at least compared to how I felt last year; I just want to pick it up because it seems funny, from the small samples of it I've seen in places). I didn't pick it up, since I really, really wanted Gals!
and I didn't have that much money, but it's on my short list of manga to get in the immediate future. I may still cross the river into Hull/Gatineau to go to Renaud-Bray at some point soon, since I also want the third volume of Planetes
, and I didn't see that one in Chapters in either official language.
Between going to Chapters and seeing the movie, I had an hour and a half to kill, so I walked around the Byward Market area and then I walked up Sussex Drive, past the American Embassy and the National Gallery and the Royal Canadian Mint, almost as far as the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, and I had half-a-mind to cross over the bridge and just put my foot in Quebec for a second, since I am feeling a bit homesick. But I didn't want to miss the movie.
I was a little disappointed to see no Marines guarding either side of the American Embassy. I'm sure the security there is impeccable, but absolutely no one was visible anywhere.
After the film, I had to wait something like 45 fricking minutes for a bus, since the 86 bus only operates once an hour at that point on Sunday evenings, and it was damn cold. And it's also very difficult to turn the pages of the Gals!
manga I bought when I was wearing gloves, but it was just too cold to take them off every minute to turn the page.
I was in a very Wendy's mood, so I had dinner there, except not downtown, since there aren't any fricking Wendy's anywhere downtown! I had to eat at this one on Merivale, which is less than a mile from my new house. Kind of defeats the purpose of eating out, but, damnit, Dave Thomas's crew makes a damn fine Spicy Chicken burger and I haven't had a Wendy's Spicy Chicken burger since moving from Montreal. Walking back home after was a bitch, though, since it had gotten even more bitterly cold, so I had to warm up with a cup of tea and a hot water bottle.
Speaking of burger places on Merivale, I figured out something I find amusing about my local McDonald's: it's on Merivale, and, about a kilometre further north on Merivale, there is CJOH studios. So? Well, what semi-popular children's programme, shown on CTV and YTV and Nickelodeon in the 1980s, was shot at CJOH studios? You Can't Do That On Television
, that's what. And the Barth's Burgery sketches often made fun of McDonald's. So, since my local McDonald's is the closest one to the Barth's Burgery set, you can almost say it's the inspiration for Barth's Burgery, and I think I'll whisper "What do you think's in the burgers?" next time I'm eating there. ("Duh, I heard that!") Though, from the look of the McDonald's, it may have been built since You Can't Do That on Television
went out of production in 1990, so it's not actually fair to think of it that way. Just a little something that makes me chuckle because I think about things way too much.