THE LIFE AQUATIC UPDATE...
Well, even if it didn't get a single Academy Award nod, Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic
is still getting a Criterion edition anyway, or, rather, TWO Criterion Editions
, one single disk edition and one double disk edition. (The Royal Tenenbaums
also was released both ways, but the hard-to-find single disk editions were released directly by Touchstone, not Criterion, and were bare-bones other than containing, depending on the region in North America, French or Spanish dubs not present on the common Criterion version.)
Both version feature essentially the same artwork as the movie poster on the cover, though the single disk version has a reversible cover with another drawing by Wes Anderson's illustrator brother, Eric Chase Anderson, on the back, should you not care much for the movie poster. If I had to hazard a guess, the double disk version will be the same deal as with the double disk set of The Royal Tenenbaums
: it'll be a double-case inside a cardboard sleeve, and the sleeve will have the movie poster on it while the case itself will have the Eric Chase Anderson drawings on both the front and back. And, if it's like the previous two Criterion releases of Wes Anderson's films, there will be a couple of inserts drawn by Eric and the art on the DVD labels will be from him as well. Since most of the film takes place on a fictional ocean that has elements of both the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, I'm hoping that Eric does a map of the ocean similar to his poster-map of the town where Rushmore
If you just want the movie and the commentary track, you can stick to buying the single disk version, which will be, as far as I can tell, identical to the first disk of the double set. The second disk will have deleted scenes, bloopers, interviews, and hopefully a better "making of" than the one for The Royal Tenenbaums
. (Some people found Eric Chase Anderson's "making of" he shot for Rushmore
a little dry, but it's exactly the kind of "making of" I like best, not overproduced or gushing or glib or self-serving.) Also, one of my favourite extras from the very-packed single disk special edition on Rushmore
was that we got a full episode of Charlie Rose
. I wonder if we'll get the episode of Charlie Rose
from last year where Wes Anderson himself was the guest host? Or will we get another "episode" of the fake Peter Bradley Show
, the Charlie Rose
spoof show which was featured in the movie The Royal Tenenbaums
(when Eli Cash was high and just walked out of the interview) and which Wes shot another episode of with minor cast members from the film, a joke TV interview segment too many people on Internet message boards seem to have taken at face value. (Of course, he's a horrible host and way too much went wrong. That's the joke.) According to Amazon.com, the MSRP for the regular edition is $29.99 and the MSRP for the double disk edition is $32.99 (which is, for those of you in Rio Linda, just three dollars more), so I will probably opt for the double disk set, even if I'm increasingly becoming of the opinion that far too many "Disk Two"s are wastes of plastic and foil and are expensive beer coasters, since I usually only watch them once, and don't usually bother watching everything on them.
Mainly due to lack of money and lack of a nearby theatre, I only ever saw The Life Aquatic
once. Even if my own personal situation had been identical to early 2002, when I saw The Royal Tenenbaums
at the theatre eight times, I would have probably only seen The Life Aquatic
three or four times. I admit it's not quite on the same level as either Rushmore
or The Royal Tenenbaums
as you don't ever get quite as emotionally involved with the characters, but even a lesser Anderson film is still better than nearly everything else coming out of Hollywood and The Life Aquatic
is quite safely on my top 5 from last year (which I still haven't quite worked out, though The Incredibles
would likely be at the top), and I am very much looking forward to adding this to my video library.
SPEAKING OF RUMOURS... AND LOONATICS, FOR THAT MATTER...
I've seen this pointed out several times over the past day regarding the undoctored version of the Loonatics
picture I used earlier.
Some people are saying that the character that is the futuristic version of Daffy Duck is doing a "Black Power" salute
. I don't deny the similarity, but I think people are reading way too much into a simple picture. It's a publicity shot of a group of characters, so, obviously, you have to have them each in a different pose just to keep the picture exciting, and, the way I'm reading the picture, Daffy, or whatever the character is supposed to be called, is doing just a generic victory pose, or perhaps a pose to show his strength.
I have heard a separate rumour, unrelated to that picture, that Future Daffy Duck is going to have kind of a Rastafarian kind of attitude (geez, could that possibly be any more "Poochie"
?), but, personally, I haven't heard much of anything solid yet about how the personalities break down, character by character.
By the way, if you're here for the picture of them in 20X6 with Stinkoman, it's in this entry
WEIRD SEARCH REQUESTS
Jon Heder fatal car accident
I've gotten several hits like this one over the past week or so, about Jon Heder, who played the title character in Napoleon Dynamite
, supposedly meeting his demise behind the wheel in either Provo, Utah or in California.
For the love of God, people, use a little logic when you hear a rumour like that. Jon Heder was the rising young star of a very popular recent movie, probably the most profitable comedy of the past few years, percentage-wise. If he was in an accident, it would be all over the news for days. Whenever you hear this sort of rumour, check Google News
first, not regular Google. You wouldn't have to search regular Google (or, in this case, AOL Search) for scraps of information. Regular Google usually takes at least 2 or 3 days to add recent blog posts to its search index, anyway. I think the only time that bloggers scooped most of the mainstream media for the death of a young celebrity was with the suicide of Seaquest star Jonathan Brandis in November 2003
, and most of the media didn't quite catch on for over a week because the family was trying to keep it quiet, and Brandis had been out of the public spotlight for several years anyhow. That was a very abnormal situation.
Anyway, I searched Google News and did find an article partly pertaining to this rumour, but, like me, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael Heaton is treating it like the urban legend it is
. 'Nuff said, gosh. You all need to develop discernment skills, because, if you vote for common sense, all of your wildest dreams will come true.jon heder rumor death accident john heder
LOONATICS: THE LOONEY TUNES GO "CHALLENGE AND FIGHTING AND FIGHTING AND CHALLENGE, TONIGHT"...
Warner Brothers is preparing a cartoon, set to air on Kids WB this fall, Loonatics, with radically re-imagined and razor-sharp new versions of the Looney Tunes characters set in the far future
, where everything is now "extreme"
From the Associated Press:
NEW YORK - "Bugs Bunny and his pals are being updated for the future — way in the future. The WB network will take the famed Looney Tunes characters as models for a new children's series, "Loonatics," that will air on Saturday mornings starting this fall. The characters' descendants — Buzz Bunny and the like — will be superhero action figures for the cartoon set in the year 2772.
The network's animators have re-imagined Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote as sleek new figures for a modern age.
"We all flipped for it," David Janollari, president of the Kids' WB, said this week. "We just said, `Wow, what a great way to take the classic Looney Tunes franchise that has been huge with audiences for decades and bring it into the new millennium.'"
Janollari said both boys and girls enjoyed the new action figures in test runs of the show. Their parents may be a little surprised, however.
"I think the legacy is intact," he said. "If anything, it's an homage to the legacy instead of a destruction of the legacy.""
Hmm... take an existing American cartoon franchise... change the character desgins to make them more streamlined and Japanese anime-esque... add a bit of fighting... set it in the distant future? That idea sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't quite place where I've seen that done before... maybe I'll remember in a minute or two?
Actually, most of those character designs look okay, so I wouldn't touch them, but I never liked Lola Bunny, the "Skeeter"
of the Looney Tunes world created for Space Jam
just to add a token female character. If a character doesn't have an unseen penis, it's not a true Looney Tunes character, damnit! So I suggest dumping the character based on Lola Bunny and adding another character who would bring a strong male presence to the show. And what kind of character would personify a "strong male presence" better than a "real wrestle man"
? That's right, Stinkoman
, the Strong Bad
of the future, would fit in perfectly in the amazing year
2772, though what would make Loonatics
even better would be if it was set in 20X6 (pronounced "Twenty-Exty-Six"
If you couldn't follow the preceding paragraph, don't worry! I made a helpful Photoshop picture of my idea of how to improve Loonatics
, or, as I like to call it, Looney Tunes 20X6
Though, to be serious, I'm just having a little fun. I am not bashing a show sight unseen. I shall wait and see the cartoon before I have an opinion on it. I mean, Tiny Toons Adventures
was also a re-imagining of the Looney Toons characters in a different way, and that show was fairly successful on its own merits.
On a tangent unrelated to Homestar Runner, will the makers of the Buzz Bunny vibrator/clitoral stimulator
sue Warner Brothers for trademark infringement? The Figure Farm
division of Dutch visual production company, Seven's Heaven
, also already have a character named "Buzz Bunny"
, so Warner might have to pay them off too.
PJ PHIL UPDATE!
If you're like me, you spend a disporportionately high amount of time wondering whatever happened to "PJ Fresh Phil" Guerrero from YTV's The Zone
(and Anti-Gravity Room
, for those of you who remember that one). And, if you're like me, you often wonder if he still has any of the Sailor Moon
postcards you drew at the age of 21, or the thing with the ALF Pogs from that episode of The Simpsons
. No, wait, that one's just applicable to me, not you! (Once he showed a video of his office at YTV, and he had a postcard of Zoisite on the merry-go-round that I drew two copies of, one because some girl sent an e-mail to YTV requesting that I do one for her, so I did.)
Well, Jesse Betteridge pointed out to me that Phil has surfaced in, of all places, a Naruto
forum, and he wrote a little update about himself
"Wow, I'm sitting in a stairwell in my apartment building in Hollywood stealing wireless internet, and on a whim I typed "PJ Phil" in Google's search engine because that's what happens when boredom and narcissism cross paths and came across this thread. It was nice to see that a lot of people still remember all the stuff that myself and all the other PJ's did on YTV back in the day. Thanks for all the kind words, honestly, they mean a lot. Just so everyone knows the real scoop, I left YTV in 2000 'cause I was getting bored. Sounds crazy but ten years is ten years. I needed new challenges. What a terrible mistake that was. Just kidding. I'm glad I left when I did. No regrets. Did some acting. Here's the short list. Made out with a girl for 10 seconds in that terrible movie, "The Ladies Man" I co-starred in an Adventures of Shirley Holmes episode as "Eddie the Manager", did the voice for "Ace" in the Nickelodeon cartoon "Pelswick" for two seasons. Played a Columbian soldier in an episode of "Relic Hunter", another manager in a terrible VH1 movie of the week called "Lip Service" (I have one line that I did in an english accent and you can't understand a damn word) I found a used copy of it here in Hollywood and I put it on when I want to feel like killing myself. What else........hosted a show called "Feng Shui Life" that aired on FTV. I gotta tell ya, I am possibly the WORST actor ever in this lifetime and the next. Hilarious. In 2004 I joined, get this, an industrial/goth rock band in the U.S called, Razed in Black playing guitar. Their website is www.razedblack.net. It was nuts, here I was, a guy who used to talk to puppets, on stage in front of 600 people playing guitar acting like a rock star. Sounds cool? It was damn hard work. No sleep, always on the road, loading and unloading equipment, sharing a bed with my drummer, driving all night to get to the next city, eating Wendy's or, God forbid, The Waffle House in Georgia all to play for an hour or so on stage. Was it worth it? You bet your ass. The tour ended in Hawaii. So now I'm here in Los Angeles looking for work with one of the top three agents in Hollywood who never returns calls and manager at the ready looking for work. It sounds glamorous but it ain't. I am having fun though. Los Angeles is one crazy town and Hollywood is even crazier. Stars are all over the place. I was vintage shopping in Venice beach, looking through a rack of t-shirts and bumped into, and conversed with, are you ready for this, Winona Ryder. She tried to kiss me too. No she didn't. We talked about rock t-shirts for a couple of minutes and when I left the store, I proceeded to call everyone back in Canada to tell them who'd I'd just met like a giddy schoolgirl. The point of the story is, well, there is no point really. Where was I? Right, I ran out of weed......Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that I appreciate all the kind words and memories from everyone and I'll check this thread every so often or you can email me at [e-mail address removed] I have the time these days so I'll try to get back to everyone. By the way, I got a message from PJ Paul tonight and the message ended with, "What the hell happened to us?" I laughed my ass off.
In the words of my hero, South Park's Towelie, "Remember what?"
I removed the e-mail address because I would feel weird reposting that kind of information here (though it's in the original post he made
). I'm sure you're all wondering if I'd e-mail him. Eh, I don't think I will. What would I say? "Hey, remember me? I sent you all those hand-drawn postcards I did with Prismacolors? Remember that one time I sent you a big postcard with Gundam
characters and you showed it on Anti-Gravity Room
, except you called the show "Gatchaman"?" Eh, I'm too shy to do that. I'm sure he's seen this blog countless times anyway, so he knows I'm still around.
I may as well repost the scan of the postcard with PJ Phil and Snit from The Zone
that YTV sent you if you get stuff shown on the air, since I've been getting so many hits for it lately. (It's, by far, the most popular picture on this site, though, weirdly, 90% of the Google Image search hits I get are all from this one potpourri entry I did at the end of August
I'm putting some text here because of this weird theory I have about how Blogger gets all sluggish if you begin or end a recent post with a picture.
GEORGE MICHAEL LETS THE SUN GO DOWN ON HIM...
(Yeah, I know that "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" was originally an Elton John song, with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It's just "George Michael Loses Faith"
seemed too obvious a headline.)
From the article "George Michael quits "dead" pop" by Ben Townley of Gay.com UK
"George Michael has announced he is to quit the pop world, although he is yet to decide on what his next steps will be.
Introducing a documentary on his life at the Berlin Film Festival, the gay singer announced his decision by declaring that the "genre is dead" and that he no longer has any competitors to fire him up.
He said the film, which includes complete access to the star and his friends, was the closing chapter and a chance for him to "explain" himself to his fans.
"I just thought it was very important to explain myself before I disappear," press reports said.
"I truly believe that there's a life for me that is not this one."
He said that the demise of pop music and the absence of political ideology left him uninspired.
The singer and songwriter, who made his name with Club Tropicana and Wake Me Up, said he also feels disenfranchised by the increasing diversification of music and radio.
"That genre is just dead as far as I am concerned," the Independent reports him as saying.
"Radio is now completely aligned with television which has never been my forte. Nobody wants to hear about politics or any kind of strong ideas in pop any more.""
Wait... I admit that WHAM's Make it Big
is one of the greatest British pop albums ever recorded, with "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!", "Careless Whisper", and the underrated "Freedom", and Music from the Edge of Heaven
has "Last Christmas"
, one of the most frequently-covered songs of the last two decades, and George Michael's early solo career produced some more classic hits like "Faith", "Father Figure", "Kissing a Fool", and "Freedom 90", but since when were George Michael's songs ever political?
Maybe the political songs are on one of the two original studio albums he released since Listen Without Prejudice
15 years ago? The albums Older & Upper
that hardly anyone bought?
Actually, no, the correct answer is that the politics were there all along, you plebians were all just too thick to get the message.
Let's look at some Wham! lyrics, shall we?
Let me take you to the place
Where membership’s a smiling face,
Brush shoulders with the stars.
Where strangers take you by the hand,
And welcome you to wonderland -
From beneath their panamas...
Club Tropicana, drinks are free,
Fun and sunshine - there’s enough for everyone.
All that’s missing is the sea,
But don’t worry, you can suntan!
This song is actually decrying "orientalism"
, the exoticization of the third world "other" as being more simple-minded and eager to serve their first world "masters" who come to these resorts as tourists for their own decadent pleasure, paying little attention to the frequently dire poverty just a few miles from the gorgeous white sand beaches, and giving the locals menial service industry jobs that do nothing to help them build sustainable economies. And it's about the rampant over-development of tourist resorts in tropical areas, spoiling the delicate ecosystems of the coastal and island rainforests.
Also, I don't think I need to point out that the real Club Tropicana is in... CUBA
! So, with this song, George Michael was encouraging tourists from the English-speaking world to flout the embargo imposed by the evil and dangerous American government, ruled by, at the time the song was written, the dastardly stupid actor warmongerer president who will nuke us all and zap us with his "Star Wars" satellites, Ronald Reagan, and pump some much-needed dollars into a cooperative "Worker's Paradise" administered by the benevolent Fidel Castro. And the "stars" you "brush shoulders" with? Communist party officials from the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact states. I mean, the Red Star was another international symbol of communism, wasn't it? And remember, under communism, the drinks are free!
What about the chorus from "Everything She Wants"?
Somebody tell me,
Won’t you tell me...
Why I work so hard for you?
All to give you money,
All to give you money...
It's a song about the exploitation of the proletariat class by the capitalist class, the corporations and the shareholders and the stereotypical rich men at their Men's Clubs with their tuxedos and their top hats and their monocles. And this typical proletariat worker is almost at the point of revolt and is looking for an answer as to why he is helping other people get rich in the unsustainable capitalist system but, like most of the proletariat, he looks for the answer in the wrong sources as big media is all owned and controlled by the capitalist class with a vested interest in prolonging the status quo, and they're not going to tell him to cast off his shackles and join the revolution. But the capitalist media is just delaying the inevitable fall of the corporatist state.
So, as we can see from these two examples, George Michael isn't just using politics as an excuse as to why he hasn't had a major hit song since that duet with Elton John a decade or so ago now. His songs have always been really, really poliitical. The subtexts to his seemingly simple pop songs are so obvious. I'm not being really pretentious into reading these hidden meanings. It's what he meant all along!Quoth Homer Simpson: "In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic."
HERE'S A DEFNINITE SIGN THAT THE ANIME BUBBLE MAY BE BEGINNING TO DEFLATE...
(...not "burst", I don't think the niche market is going to disappear any time soon, just that the days of the relative explosion in growth of the popularity of anime in North America may be coming to an end, and the market will, at best, plateau, or, more likely, deflate a bit. Even the announcement that Naruto
is going to CN has, I think, a lot more to do with CN wanting to keep the Dragonball Z/GT
audience that they already have watching the channel at those hours than it does with CN wanting millions of new tween and teen "eyeballs" (and the DBZ/GT
well is almost completely dry; I think the "new" Dragonball GT
episodes are just ones that FUNimation skipped over the first time). I'm not saying that I don't think Naruto
will be popular, I just don't see it being any more popular than Dragonball Z
was, and DBZ
, as popular as it was, was always a lot more "cult" a show than something like Pokémon
Anyway, this announcement has kind of thrown me for a loop
. I didn't see this one coming.
Animerica Gets 'Conventional'
Publication Will Be Distributed at Cons
February 17, 2005
Animerica, the anime and manga monthly magazine that Viz has been publishing for over a dozen years, is ending its run as a newsstand, direct market and subscription publication with its June issue (Volume 13, No. 6). But the publication of the June issue will not mark the end of this venerable source of key information about Japanese culture -- Viz plans to distribute a revamped Animerica at numerous anime conventions starting at Anime Expo in July. The (presumably free) distribution at anime cons should allow Viz to make the publication available to a larger fan audience, while keeping the majority of its current readers, who are already attending at least one major anime convention anyway.
Translation: the magazine was going nowhere in terms of circulation, but it's an institution within anime fandom, so Viz doesn't quite have the heart to kill it off completely just yet. It's a two-stage cancellation, and this is just the first stage.
I don't buy the excuse that most of the hardcore anime fandom niche market goes to conventions. I sure as hell don't, and I'm sure there are tens of thousands of other anime fans who don't have the money, time, ability, or interest to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to a con. (I'll go to the small-scale AC3
in Ottawa this November, since I'm already in Ottawa, but I have little interest in travelling to a con, even if I did have money, unless they got a huge name guest, like Megumi Hayashibara, or someone less-known who's of interest to me, like Gals!
creator Mihona Fujii.) Even for those former readers, be it through subscription or newsstand, who do go to cons, will they go to 12 cons a year to get every issue, or will Animerica
be publishing only an issue or two in the summer, the peak of the con season?
Eh, I know that the English version of Newtype
, which is ridiculously expensive (and more style than substance), ate away at the bulk of Animerica
's circulation, and I stopped buying Animerica
about two years ago, since I stopped having the kind of money I had prior to 2003 to spend on anime and manga and, what limited money I do have to spend on such things I would rather spend on the anime and manga itself rather than spend on a magazine telling me what I should spend mone on (and there are plenty of free Internet sources for anime news and reviews), but I'm thinking if the domestic anime market was as robust and growing at the rate the "BOOYAH! ANIME IS TAKING OVER!" types1
you find on certain popular anime information sites, including as editors, suggest it's still growing, it could support multiple magazines on the topic, the way that there are many different general videogame magazines, plus magazines for individual systems and genres of games. With Animerica
's almost the only high-circulation (meaning medium-circulation in real terms) game in town, with Anime Insider
, whose coverage has expanded beyond just those kiddy franchise anime shows with the popular CCG's (collectable card games), for those people who don't have the big bucks to spend on Newtype
, and Protoculture Addicts
, which recently synergized with AnimeNewsNetwork.com, but that one's just a glorified fanzine (not that I'm saying that as an insult) which never aspired to be high-circulation.
I haven't seen the internal numbers and I'm sure the economics were such that Animerica
couldn't continue, but I would have rather seen Animerica
go back to their old format, where the majority of the pages were black-and-white (or more accurately grey-and-white) and they had comics like Lum/Urusei Yatsura
in the middle of the issue. To be honest, it was actually easier to read when it was black-and-white. For whatever reason, my eyes and brain often have difficulty processing text when there's too much colour (which is why this blog will never, ever be primarily anything other than black text on a white or slightly grey background). The magazine added too much colour in an attempt to duplicate the flashiness of Newtype
at a cheaper price, and that gambit seems to have failed.
I haven't read Animerica
lately, but it's still sad to see it cancelled, even if it's not quite an all-out cancellation yet, as it was one of the few remaining artifacts from fandom from the early 1990s, when anime was still truly underground. Well, aside from Protoculture Addicts
, but that one never stopped being underground.1 By which, I mean the people who think that, in North America, anime films will soon be as popular as Shrek and The Incredibles and that as many adults will watch Samurai Champloo or Fullmetal Alchemist as watch Monday Night Football or CSI or Desperate Housewives, which will never happen and will never even come close to happening. I have no problem admitting that anime is more popular now than it was 10 years ago, I just don't think it's realistic to think that a niche market will grow much larger than it already is, since anime is now readily available at mainstream retail locations, so that pretty much every adult who would care about anime if they were exposed to it have been exposed to it in one form or another. Anime is no longer "underground", but it is still very much "niche".
NHL = "NO HOCKEY, LOSERS!"
To quote the Blockbuster commercial, "It's over, it's over, it's OVER!"
"NHL commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled the hockey season Wednesday after a series of 11th-hour offers by the league and the Players' Association failed to produce a new collective bargaining agreement.
"When I stood before you in September, I said NHL teams would not play again until our economic problems had been solved," Bettman said from New York.
"As I stand before you today, it is my sad duty to announce that because that solution has not yet been attained, it no longer is practical to conduct even an abbreviated season. Accordingly, I have no choice but to announce the formal cancellation of play for 2004-05.
Bettman refused to budge this time after giving the union until 11 a.m. ET Wednesday to accept a so-called final offer, which featured a $42.5 million US per team salary cap without linking player costs and salaries. The league had already moved from Monday's position of a firm $40 million cap.
The NHL is planning for the 2005-06 season, but Bettman warned the league is going to have to look at a "completely different economic model."
"The best deal that was on the table is now gone," said Bettman, adding the NHL will revert to its demand for linkage in future negotiations.
The last offer by the NHLPA was $49 million per team with a luxury tax component that the NHL swiftly turned down in less than an hour Tuesday evening.
"We weren't as close as people were speculating ... We were still very far apart," Bettman said, noting the gap of $6.5 million multiplied by 30 teams is close to $200 million.
Neither side contacted the other following the exchange of letters around 12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday."
Not that I really care all that much one way or the other, I just wanted an excuse to make an amusing Photoshop.
ONE PIECE OF NEWS THAT MIGHT GET LOST IN THE SHUFFLE...
As expected, Naruto is coming to Cartoon Network's Toonami block
. But that's not the only thing coming to Toonami.
"Cartoon Network today announced several major acquisitions for their venerable Toonami action-animation block. Fan-favorite Naruto will join the block in the third quarter of 2005, while One Piece will move to Toonami in May. Toonami original IGPX will expand into a full series from Production IG. The Batman will see a Toonami airing beginning April 2, ShoPro acquisition Zatch Bell will start in March, and nosehair-fighting anime Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is coming in the fourth quarter."
Some people may be surprised that One Piece
is moving to Toonami, but it's no shock to those of us who actually follow the Saturday morning ratings amongst the "Kids 6-11" demographic
(the Nielsen ratings demographic the advertisers care about the most for that time of day on those channels). In the 9:30 a.m. timeslot, old reruns on Spongebob Squarepants
on Nickelodeon have been slaughtering One Piece
on FoxBox (now 4Kids TV
) in the ratings, usually by a margin of about 5:1 (though the margin has exceeded 6:1).
Even if I don't give much of a flying fuck
about One Piece
either, it is a show that would be a much better fit on Toonami, where the overall audience demographics skew slightly older than on Saturday mornings, and where Dragonball Z
, which was also floundering in syndication before it came to CN, became a cult hit. And, for those of you who want One Piece
subtitled and uncut on Region 1 DVD, this would be great news as it means that 4Kids Entertainment
is now explicitly targeting the young teen audience, meaning the market for bilingual DVDs would be larger than it is for most of the anime they market.
Hopefully, this will be the last time I feel the need to write about anything related to the Naruto
announcement. By the way, since I forgot yesterday, I'll write the affectionately derogatory term "Narutard"
just for the additional Google and Technorati hits.
Also, speaking of 4Kids Entertainment, Mew Mew Power
, the Americanized version of Tokyo Mew Mew
has a preview episode showing on 4Kids TV on Fox this Saturday morning, February 19th
, 2005, at 8 a.m. I'm fairly apathetic about that one too, but I might just set the VCR to tape something for the first time in a couple of years anyway, just out of raw curiousity as this is the first attempt to market a Japanese mahou shoujo
(magical girls) cartoon to a mainstream children's audience since Cardcaptors
flopped almost half-a-decade ago now. We'll see if Al Kahn succeeds where Nelvana failed.
MY "PRIME" VALENTINE'S DAY...
Ooh... Yesterday morning, I received only one Valentine's Day card, from my
This could be the best Valentine's Day card I've received in all of my 30 years!
You can have a look at it if you like...FRONT
Well, I hope I'm not alone next Valentine's Day.
We actually did have a nice Valentine's Day dinner, with my brother, Nick, my sister, Alison, and her boyfriend, but it was on Sunday. We got a little circular (meaning "advertising leaflet/menu") from a Chinese food place, the Mandarin Court restaurant
on Baseline, and it (the food, not the circular) was pretty tasty, expecially considering we haven't had Chinese food in over two months. My only real beef is that I guess it's a Mandarin and Szechuan place (which also does Thai and Malaysian cuisine), but it doesn't seem to do Cantonese food so I couldn't order fried jumbo shrimp in batter, usually my favourite Chinese dish. I decided to have the spicy orange beef dish instead, which was delicious, spicy enough but not overly so. And they cook it with the peels, though I think the peels are either there just for decoration or to give it an additional orange flavour as they were a bit hard to chew. I don't know if it's that the restaurant didn't do them or that my mother just didn't order them, but we didn't get egg rolls, just spring rolls, which are more or less the same thing but thinner crusts and, I think, less meat.
Also, my mother got a bag of (artificially-flavoured) tiny cinnammon candy hearts, and they're cinna-riffic, but I don't get the point of the "Say Nope to Dope" PSA on the back of the bag. You can agree or disagree with the anti-marijuana sentiment as you choose, but it's a real non-sequitur on a bag of Valentine's candy. Will we be seeing "Babies are born perfect: Say NO to Circumcision!"
on Cadbury's Easter Creme Eggs this year? Or "End Daylight Savings Time NOW!"
on the Hallowe'en-sized crates of the mini Aero, Coffee Crisp, and Smarties chocolate bars? Makes about as much sense...
THE RECENT HISTORY OF STEVE BRANDON...
2001(?) to 2003:
Becomes vaguely aware of Naruto
from seeing the French translation of the Naruto
manga by Masashi Kishimoto at Renaud-Bray bookstores
in Montreal. Doesn't give a flying fuck.January 1st, 2004, to December 16th, 2004:
Hopes the Naruto
anime, basically a kiddy cartoon about superpowered ninja teens, gets licensed, not because he started giving a flying fuck about the cartoon or comic, which he doesn't, but rather just to get fanboys to shut up with their worthless whiny speculation as to who is going to license it (especially when they jump to the stupid conclusion that 4Kids Entertainment would get it).December 17th, 2004, to February 14th, 2005:
Moves from Pincourt, Quebec, to Ottawa, Ontario, but his level of annoyance at the whiny anime message board speculation about Naruto
getting licensed and his level of not-giving-a-flying-fucktitude about the whole franchise remains unchanged.February 15th, 2005:
ShoPro Entertainment, which recently merged with Viz, announces that it has licensed the Naruto cartoon for the North American market
, presumably to be shown, in edited form, on Cartoon Network and sold on DVD in uncut and bilingual format. Steve Brandon continues not giving a flying fuck.February 16th, 2005, to whenever Steve Brandon dies:
Resumes not giving a flying fuck about Naruto
in blissful peace, hopefully. Though I'm still sure that there will be some "Waaaahhhh! I can't get fansubs anymore!" whining for a while.
By the way, here's half-a-run-on-sentence from the, I'm sure, exhaustively proofread press release. Can you spot the grammatical error?
ShoPro Entertainment, Inc. which recently announced it’s upcoming merger with VIZ, LLC to form one of the entertainment industry's most innovative, comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies(...)
Quoth Strong Bad
: "Ohhhhhhh! If you want it to be possessive, it's just 'ITS.' But, if it's supposed to be a contraction, then it's 'I-T-apostrophe-S,' scalawag."EDIT: Arxane already has one of those 16-bit RPG sprite comic thingies up about it.
"$150 FOR A FELINE ENEMA? I COULD DO IT FOR HALF THAT!"
("I wish I could let you, Peggy.")
In last night's episode of King of the Hill
, "The Petriot Act", Bill Dauterive's life temporarily becomes charmed as he participates in a military program wherein civilians (or, in Bill's case, military barbers) can look after the pets of servicemen whilst they're on their tours of duty ("supporting our enlisted men one dog at a time"). Bill gets a friendly and well-trained pooch (perhaps a golden retreiver, though I don't recall them identifying the breed) named Buster. So, Hank decides to sign up as he has years of experience taking care of Ladybird and he feels it's his patriotic duty to offer help to America's troops any way he can, and he pledges to "perform all functions necessary and possible for the animal's well-being." But he tells the military not to give him a pet until after he goes on vacation, as he's getting ready to take Peggy and Bobby on a trip to Memphis, Tennessee. (Bobby: "Why do we need toilet seat covers?" Peggy: "One word: Tennessee." Bonus line: "Hank. In a week, we'll be at Graceland. I wonder if they'll let us shoot a television?") This being the King of the Hill
-verse, of course, Hank gets the pet a little earlier than he wanted or specified, and it's not a dog, it's a rather vicious and scratchy cat named Duke, who proceeds to poop and puke all over the place. Hank's not sure if anything's wrong with the cat, so he takes him to the veterinarian, but not the vet whom treats Ladybird. Instead, he takes Duke to the vet specified by the Army, Dr. Bradley Leslie, whom has machinery much more advanced than anything Hank's vet has, and whom won't sign a clean bill of health until he does tests. And exploratory surgery. And more tests. And so on. And the cat is Hank's responsibility, so all of Dr. Leslie's bills are on Hank's own dime, eating away at Hank's vacation cash one procedure at a time.
Yep, this is another "Greedy professional out to milk Hank for all he has" episode like the episode, "After the Mold Rush", with the mold in Hank's house from last season (though, yes, before anyone points it out, the mold hunter was technically milking the Insurance company, not Hank, but the object Hank wanted was the same, a clean bill of health). I'd call them out for recycling parts of other episodes, but we have a cat and she had a medical problem, scratching where my mother put some anti-flea drops to the point where a huge part of her back near her neck was bald and there was a painful scab, and our veterinarians were also doing a lot more tests on her than we thought were necessary. Not the same amount as Dr. Leslie did to the cat Hank was taking care of, but that's an exaggeration because it's a cartoon. Also, this episode did touch on the scientific pet food scam, where the pet store owner, who apparently uses a lot of the products meant for cats himself, tries to convince Hank that the food he's giving the cat is garbage.
Hank: I just need to get some cat food. See, I was recently forced to take care of a cat, and I need to know which one of these I should buy. Quickly.
Pet Shop Owner: Oh, all that stuff is garbage. What your cat needs is this: Scientific formula.
Hank: $18 A Bag? What's wrong with all this other stuff?
Pet Shop Owner: Well, between you and me, it's practically inedible. We should really be in jail for carrying it.
Hank: (Sighs) All right, fine. Give me a bag of the Scientific formula.
Pet Shop Owner: Which flavor? I recommend the italian Herb chicken. Delicious.
And then the veterinarian has an even more premium brand.
Dr. Leslie: First off, we're gonna need to ensure that Duke has been getting the proper diet.
Hank: Oh, I'm way ahead of you, doctor. I already have him on the Scientific formula.
Dr. Leslie: You can't feed that to a cat. Mr. Hill, Duke should only be eating Vet's Brand.
Hank: You're asking me to spend $57 on a bag of cat food?!
Dr. Leslie: Well, we can't expect Duke to buy it on his salary! (Chuckles)
Yeah, we've gotten the hard sell for the science/vet type brands before, but we're horrible people and feed our cat, Ember, President's Choice-brand kibble and she's still alive. (Note to non-Canadians: President's Choice = store brand at Loblaws supermarkets and other affiliated supermarket chains like Provigo. Generally it's a higher-quality store brand than No Name, the other Loblaws store brand.) So, yes, I did appreciate that minor plot point since it's true-to-life.
Also, it's nice seeing Bill have a good time, for a change (not the first time, but he hasn't had an episode like that in a while). Especially when he meets Buster's owner at the end of the episode (but how did Bill get ON the carrier?).King of the Hill Real-Life Brand Watch:
Peggy says that "This is the smallest bottle of Prell that I have ever seen.", Prell Shampoo being a brand manufactured by Procter & Gamble. They do show the logo, but it's kind of tiny.
IN THE NEWS: WILL CHRIS "ROCK" THE OSCARS?
Sorry, I'm just not buying the controversy over Chris Rock's comments
about the Oscar ceremony.
"Veteran members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have grown concerned over the choice of Chris Rock as host of this month's awards show, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
Concern deepened after Rock claimed only gays watch the Oscars!
"I never watched the Oscars. Come on, it's a fashion show," Rock recently declared.
"What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one!"
Rock added: "Awards for art are f---ing idiotic."
Academy members have privately called for Chris Rock to be removed as host, sources claim, fearing Rock may "tarnish" the reputation of the Academy.
"Simply put, this is a disgrace," one veteran Hollywood mogul, who asked not to be identified, said from Los Angeles.
"This guy is out there saying 'awards for art are f---ing idiotic' and he is hosting the show produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? I guess the joke is on us!""
This controversy feels completely manufactured, too contrived and "phoney-baloney, plastic banana, good times rock-and-roll" to be believable. They're trying to create an illusion of tension between the ceremony, seen as being (allegedly) stuffy and traditional, and the host, Chris Rock, seen as "fresh", "unpredictable", "uncompromising", "off the cuff", "in your face", and yada, yada, yada to maximize ratings. I'm not saying that I think that Chris Rock and Oscar producer Gil Cates explicitly conspired and scripted everything in advance in some smoke-filled room in that city-sized bunker the conspiracy theory wackos believe the "New World Order" built under Denver International Airport, just that Gil Cates is a very smart man and knew precisely that Chris Rock is the sort of guy who enjoys taking shots at the establishment, and, since the Academy Awards are very much an "Establisment" ceremony, by giving Rock the honour of hosting, Rock would indeed "shoot his mouth off" against the stuffy traditional image of the ceremony, so that he won't appear too "Establishment" by hosting.
Gil Cates and Chris Rock, or at least their public personas, live in kind of a cartoon world of celebritydom where image is everything and a larger-than-life personality is essential to keep in the public eye and the entertainment headlines. I believe what Rock's saying against the Oscars with about the same amount of credulity as I afford to a "bad guy" professional wrestler talking trash against his "good guy" opponent just before they climb in the ring. In other words, it's just an act; don't take it at face value. It's all in good fun. The show will go on as usual with Rock as host. The Oscars are in no way tarnished by Chris Rock's association with them.
I'm still not sure what kind of host he will make, but, eh, at least he's gotta be better than Whoopi Goldberg. I probably won't sit through the whole thing and will instead switch back-and-forth between channels, but the only one I ever did sit completely through was when David Letterman was host (and I still think, contrary to popular opinion, Letterman's performance as host was terrific.) I'm certainly going to watch more than I did last year, when I was outta there as soon as the Best Animated Feature award was announced as I'm not a Lord of the Ring
fan and had no desire to see Return of the King
sweep (which was pretty much a foregone conclusion).Drudge is also trying to outrage pro-lifers against Rock by highlighting an abortion joke Rock made
"Abortion, it's beautiful, it's beautiful abortion is legal. I love going to an abortion rally to pick up women, cause you know they are fucking."
Eh, I like Matt Drudge and I am one of the minority of Canadians who will openly admit to being pro-life on the abortion issue, with a handful of rare exceptions, but it's hard for me to be offended by that when you take into account the fact that Chris Rock is going out of his way to equally offend both sides of the abortion debate in just a few words, considering so many pro-choicers view abortion as a means of female empowerment but Chris Rock, if you take his words there at face value as being what he actually thinks (which I don't), is coming across as being extremely anti-feminist, in effect calling the women who get abortions "sluts".
If you ask me, the real scandal regarding the Oscars is how they moved them from March to February, taking away a whole Sunday night's worth of sweeps month programming when we've already lost another sweeps Sunday night to the Super Bowl, which has gone from January to February. So we only get two original episodes of King of the Hill
I HAD A HEADACHE...
...for most of the day, culminating around 9 p.m. with this weird migraine headache that felt like pounding or squeezing on the back of my brain, just above the neck. I've had migraines before, but I don't ever remember having one back there. I hope it doesn't mean anything's wrong with my brain (keep your comments about my opinions and/or writing ability to yourselves). Anyway, it had been too soon since I had taken an Asprin for it, back when it was just a mild, garden-variety headache, so I rubbed some A-535 brand Ice Rub, and, believe it or not, the menthol cooling sensation actually did work. I just laid back on the loveseat for a while, reading the newspaper and watching Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
on DVD, which my brother, Nick, brought over from Toronto, since he's taking a short break in Ottawa as he's been stressed for reasons I'm not sure I can discuss on the Internet (nothing too bad).
(And now you'll get a headache too, reading the boring details about my shopping trip!)
Anyway, I know I said that I was going to go to that social event at the University of Ottawa anime club today, but I didn't know last weekend that my brother was coming over (since it's something he didn't arrange until the middle of the week). And I had the headache and didn't feel like going out far. I'll just try and get out a little earlier next week and arrive at the club for the starting time and see if anyone's interested in chatting then.
I did go out a bit, though. My brother needed to get a copy of Boris Karloff's Frankenstein
and I needed to show him how to get to the various stores on Merivale/Clyde. The first stop was CD Warehouse
, which is a store that Alison's boyfriend, Sacha, really likes, especially for DVDs. They advertise as a place you can sell your old CDs and DVDs for cash, but most of the DVDs there were new. The selection of used DVDs was rather slim, at least for anime. However, I did spot one real bargain: the first 9 episodes of Outlaw Star
for just $12 Canadian! This is the anime that a handful of fanboys made a fuss about Joss Whedon
's short-lived series Firefly
allegedly ripping-off, when, in fact, it just so happens that both Joss Whedon and Outlaw Star manga creator Takehiko Ito
happened to be heavily inspired by pulp sci-fi author E.E. "Doc" Smith
's space western novels, so the similarities are due to them both drawing from the same source. Anyway, I know that this anime has been out several years now, but, unlike in the United States, Outlaw Star
never made it to Canadian television and is still towards the top of the list of anime shows I want to see but never got around to seeing. But I didn't buy it today, because I got an anime DVD yesterday, which I shall talk about a couple of paragraphs from now.
After that, we drove a little more up Clyde, but, after the Burger King, the long Merivale/Clyde commercial drag abruptly ends, and the road curves around into a residential area, so we turned into one of the rabbit warren of streets, up a dead end, and turned the car around, back down Clyde/Merivale, all the way to Best Buy. Best Buy has a pretty good selection of DVDs, almost rivaling that of the downtown Montreal HMV store, but it didn't have much in the way of classics. Ooh, I spotted the Thinpak'd Sailor Moon SuperS
boxset, the only season of the four seasons that are commercially available in North America that I don't own (except for one orphan DVD), but it was $140 Canadian.
The Future Shop store, which is more or less the same thing, was right next door so we popped over there. The Future Shop also had a comparable selection of DVDs, and a much better selection of anime DVDs than any of the Future Shop stores in Montreal. We actually did spot the "MacGuffin"
of the day, Boris Karloff's Frankenstein
, but it was part of a mega-boxset of Universal monster movies, complete with little busts of the creatures, and that cost way more money than what my brother was willing to spend. I also noticed that they were still selling the original non-slim edition of the Fushigi Yugi
"Suzaku" box set, subject of one of my more "creative" Alternate Angle reviews at AnimeOnDVD.com
from "back in the day". It STILL cost $330 Canadian (more or less what I paid for it including border fees ordering it off the Internet in late 1999). Gee, Merivale Future Shop, I wonder why that particular copy of the first Fushigi Yuugi
set has been sitting unsold on your shelves for over five years now? The days of anime box sets costing $300 Canadian are long over.
On the way out, I wasted a quarter trying to get Reese's Pieces out of a gumball-type machine, not aware that some asshole had clogged up the chute with chewed gum.
We were going to go to Blockbuster, where Nick had earlier spotted a copy of Karloff's Frankenstein
, but he was hoping he could get it cheaper, and I pointed out that there was an HMV right across the street (which I wanted to visit anyway, as I still have some $35 or so left on the gift card I got for Christmas). But it was already 6:30 p.m. and the HMV closes at 6.
We walked across the street and went to Merivale Blockbuster, and Nick got the not-too-cheap copy of the Boris Karloff Frankenstein Legacy set
(with the four sequels), which cost around $40, and, since I was there anyway, I rented Maria Full of Grace
, which my Internet friend Mayukh has been wanting me to see for a while.
So, that's about it for my shopping trip today.
However, Friday was a momentous day that forever altered the path of human history. Years from now, your grandchildren will ask you where were you when...
Steve Brandon bought Super Gals!
Volume 6, "A Gal's Heart Never Stops!", thus completing his collection of all the Super Gals!
DVDs released in North America up to this point. Yup, I got a phone call from The Comic Book Shoppe
on Friday afternoon saying that the DVD had arrived, and my mother was going out anyway, so we dropped by the Bleeker Mall and I stopped into the comic book store whilst my mother brought frozen meaty goodies at M&M's Meats. I'm happy to have the complete collection of my favourite anime in years, though I'm still hoping that ADV licenses the other 26 episode pronto, so as to make my collection of Region 1 Super Gals!
DVDs temporarily incomplete.
Also, when we were out, we stopped by a certain store which I won't mention for reasons that shall become clear in a moment, and several girls I find attractive work there, including an Asian girl of the sort that looks great in glasses (real life meganekko
girls, woo-hoo!). Going out of the store, I noticed that they are hiring, so I'm going to put in a CV and see what happens. I can think of far more unpleasant work environments than this one.
By the way, for those of you who slogged through all this, I sent a second e-mail to Strong Bad
, one that is a little more open to letting "The Brothers Chaps"
do whatever they want to do than the first one I sent back in September. I still think the idea of the first one I sent is a solid one, so I still won't reveal what the subject was just quite yet on the odd chance it's one they want to do but haven't gotten around to yet on their queue.