AS MUCH AS I CAN PUT IN BY 3 P.M.
(Which would appear as 8 p.m. as I set the time index to GMT.)
I want to get to the anime club today in time so I can properly sign up, so I'll just put in mainly cut-and-paste jobs.ITEM!
Wes Anderson's illustrator brother Eric Chase Anderson, who, as I mentioned last week
, has illustrated another cover and inserts for the Criterion release of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
, has written and drawn a 224-page "illustrated novel", Chuck Dugan Is Awol: A Novel With Maps
, set to be released on May 1st
, 2005, from Chronicle Books.
"On the day of his eighteenth birthday, midshipman cadet Chuck Dugan receives a startling letter, including a treasure map drawn by his late father and news that his mother is about to marry a rogue and scoundrel known as "the Admiral." When the Admiral warns Chuck away from his mother, and the Admiral's sons attack the young cadet, Chuck leaps into action, going AWOL from duty to stop the wedding and find the treasure. So begins this delightful illustrated novel and the thrilling adventures of Chuck Dugan—heroic, resourceful, a great swimmer, and master of disguise. In each cliffhanging chapter, Chuck must grapple with a new set of dangers, from sunken ships and buccaneers to survival on open water and a final race to the treasure ahead of the Admiral and his boys. Illuminated throughout with detailed maps of places, people, and things Chuck encounters along the way, and written with an electric sense of derring-do and whimsy, Eric Chase Anderson creates a totally original and captivating hero, and a swashbuckling adventure story for all ages."
You can see a couple of sample maps and charts at the Amazon.com listing
Just so no one's confused, by "illustrated novel", I think they mean a text novel with a copious amount of illustrations, not a "graphic novel", which is the term that comic book fans whom don't like calling comic books "comic books" use.ITEM!
This didn't take long: urban legend-debunking page Snopes.com
has gotten wind of the false rumour (or, for you Americans, "rumor") about Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder dying in a car accident
and/or of a drug overdose (I hadn't heard that one) and has put up a page entitled "Napoleon Die-namite" debunking the myth entirely
Barbara Mikkelson has an interesting theory about why this particular celebrity death rumour has "legs".
"Jon Heder is a Mormon, and popular culture regards the young male adherents of that religion to be particularly clean-living and upstanding. His sudden demise would therefore be regarded by many as a double tragedy in that not only would a promising newcomer to the film industry have been lost to the world, but so would a person of presumed moral fiber and virtue. All deaths are losses to be grieved over, but we are programmed to feel an especial sense of anguish over the passing of young people because their lives have ended before they've truly begun. This evocation of mourning gets elevated to an even higher level in instances where the short-lived decedent had already been dealt more than a rightful share of tragedy during his or her existence, or possessed talent now lost to the community, or was a singularly likeable or praiseworthy person.
In Jon Heder's case, while his talent and youth work to fuel the rumor of his demise, it's the presumption of a saintly lifestyle that gives it an extra push. Expiring in either of the manners described would tend to topple him from the pedestal widespread stereotyping would place him upon, and gossip so loves to feast on a fallen angel. Death by overdose of an illegal drug tends to be proof of illicit drug use, a hobby that would poke great holes in a choirboy image. Likewise, a young celebrity's perishing in a car crash gives off the aroma of foolhardy behavior on the part of the fellow called to glory — unstated yet worked into the fabric of the whisper is the supposition of the deceased's having been driving too fast, or in a reckless fashion, or having been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. More deeply buried in such hypothesis is the surmise that fame had gone to the lad's head, with success on the screen leading to fast cars and foolish living and ultimately a pine box."
I had previously written about the Mormon connection to Naopleon Dynamite
, but I admit that the "fame corrupting a good Mormon boy" angle to this urban legend hadn't occurred to me. I suppose it's as good an explanation as any.ITEM!
Just to do a quick top ten of 2004, in time for the Oscars tomorrow.
Just ranking, I don't have time to explain their placement (nor can I explain why I like some of these, I just do), and there are still some things I want to see, like Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement
(which my "cousin once removed" or "second cousin" or however that works, Julien Lecat, shot the "making of" for), so this is by no means "final".
- The Incredibles
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
- Shaun of the Dead
- The Aviator
- Napoleon Dynamite
- Spider-Man 2
- Dawn of the Dead (remake)
- Kill Bill vol. 2
- Team America: World Police
Somewhat eclectic mix there. Overall, unlike a lot of people, I thought that 2004 was heads and shoulders above 2003 in terms of films. (Didn't care much for Lord of the Rings
, sorry.)PREDICTION: Million Dollar Baby
, which Ebert gave momentum to, will win "Best Picture", but eternal Oscar bridesmaid Martin Scorsese will finally get "Best Director", so it will be a split that will send both Scorsese and Eastwood home each with one of the two most coveted statues (as Eastwood was also producer on Million Dollar Baby
). And I don't think there's any doubt that The Incredibles
will win "Best Animated Feature"; the other nominees are just formalities.ITEM!
Since the Oh My Goddess!
TV series has just been licensed, the current unlicensed anime (other than Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
, which is mainly a manga anyway) I want to see licensed the most is Production I.G.'s Windy Tales
, as, while I haven't seen it myself, I can see that it has a unique visual style and which looks intruiging. You can read screencapped reviews of a couple of episodes here
Unfortunately, this one won't likely be licensed for the same reason that Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
hasn't been licensed, either in manga or anime form: it's slice-of-life where the emphasis is on mood, atmosphere, and character interactions, rather than a continually advancing plot. These brief episode summaries seem to indicate that the show might be slightly less languidly-paced than YKK (I haven't seen it, so I wouldn't know), but it still doesn't seem like the kind of show more than a tiny sub-niche of domestic anime fandom would appreciate, and is certainly, even if it did get licensed, nothing you'll ever see on Cartoon Network or YTV.
And only 4 episodes appear to have been fansubbed as modern fansubbers would rather continue their little "pissing contest" of which fansub group can get the new episodes of "sure to be licensed soon shounen fighting show" on the Internet the fastest (since Naruto
's now been licensed, that title is Bleach
), rather than touching unique shows that dare to be a little different and which require some degree of patience to appreciate.
Ah, it's 3:15 p.m. Damn... Well, I'll get there soon after the start, not hours after.
A BEVVY OF ANIMATION NEWS...
I like the word "bevvy". People don't use it enough these days, even though there's a bevvy of circumstances where it can come in handy.ITEM!
As I mentioned last week
(in a brief paragraph at the end of the article), Warner Brothers could face a legal challenge should it call the Bugs Bunny of the Future in Loonatics
"Buzz Bunny", as there already is a copyrighted character from Holland called "Buzz Bunny"
. I also mentioned that there is a clitoral stimulator/vibrator named "Buzz Bunny"
, the existence of which (and ease at which it can be found using search engines like Google) might prompt some uncomfortable questions to parents should Warner Bros. proceed with calling the character "Buzz Bunny" anyway.
The website Toon Zone has picked up on this story:
"Will the real Buzz Bunny please stand up?
"Buzz" is the name of the Bugs Bunny descendent starring in Warner Bros. Animation’s recently announced Loonatics cartoon series. But it turns out that "Buzz" is also the name of a copyrighted character created by Dutch freelance designer and illustrator Metin Seven.
"I have only just discovered the issue, because my Figure Farm website traffic has suddenly gone berserk the last few days," Seven told Toon Zone.
"After some investigation I discovered that a few web pages around the world had linked to my page to illustrate that there already was a Buzz Bunny when Warner introduced their Loonatics. I actually hadn't heard of the Loonatics until those pages started linking to my Buzz Bunny at Figurefarm.com.""
The article goes on to mention that Metin Seven is checking his options in regards to his copyright on the name, but he hasn't initiated any legal action against Warner... yet.
The article also mentions the other "Buzz Bunny", calling it an "erotic device".
So, if anyone from Warner reads this, I have a couple of suggestions for names that I will revoke any claim to, should you want to use them: "Bash Bunny"
, a name I find moderately amusing, and it has the same "beat" as "Buzz Bunny", so, if you have any episodes already done, you'd only have to dub over one word. And I checked Google and the only "Bash Bunny" that exists, as far as I can tell, is a pseudonym for one message board poster on videogame forums. Or you can also have the more pretentious "futurebugs"
, which, anytime someone asks how to spell it, he'd say "all lower case, no space".ITEM!
Sunday night, Fox aired a controversial episode of a popular cartoon series dealing with an issue at the top of the headlines... back in the 1980s!
Yeah, since I didn't write a proper review of it, I might as well do a brief one here. Sunday's new episode of King of the Hill
, "Death Buys a Timeshare", dealt with that 1980s sitcom staple, timeshare resorts, though it took a bit of a different angle. Rather than the cliché story where the sitcom family goes down to the tropics or up into the mountains, thinking they're getting a free vacation only to be captives to high pressure sales rechniques from shady brokers working on commission.
Hank Hill's father, Cotton Hill, inherits $10000 from the death of a friend (meant to cover his funeral, but, after the cremation and ashbag, Cotton still has $9920 left) and decides to take advantage of the offer of a free vacation offered by a timeshare resort in Mexico, thinking all he needs to do is sit through a 20 minute sales pitch at some point during the week, and he takes Bill with him to go and spend it on what "Topsy" would have done, "Hell raising and girl chasing". Hank decides he has to go with those two to make sure that Cotton doesn't do something crazy, and to baby-sit Bill, whose wages are still being garnished by Columbia-House. In Mexico, they get taken on a tour of "el Grande Vista", and then to the closing room, where each of them get assigned a closer: Hank ("Mr. Consumer Reports") gets "Jimmy", a guy who acts like he's down on his luck in his personal life and his wife is about to leave him if he doesn't make this one sale, Bill gets "Wanda", who thinks of Bill as "the Bald, fat Guy who's going to look down my shirt", and Cotton gets Mitch, the slickest "closer" of all. Hank knows that timeshares are about the worst investment you can make, so he doesn't bite. Bill falls for Wanda's fake charms but, when the first credit card he tries fails the credit check, he tries everything else in his wallet including his Blockbuster card, and, when he finally finds the one credit card he has with no credit limit, Hank has to wrestle him away from Wanda, telling him that Americans can't own land in Mexico, so everything he's hearing about it being a great investment is bullshit. But Mitch gets Cotton to sign away his money by convincing him that he'll fit perfectly in their "exclusive" community, along with O'Kelly, the man who founded the community who is allegedly a rugged adventurer and explorer, and who has a yacht, aboard which Cotton is promised to receive "el Presidenté's Medal of Achievement." Unbeknowst to Cotton, Hank tries to get them to tear up the deal, since they don't realize that Cotton is a pensioner who lives in a small apartment on just $300 a month.
Hank: He can't even afford real Cheerios. He eats something called "Oat Loops". It's made right around here.
Mitch: What? But then... How can we raise his monthly ownership dues? And If he's not a homeowner, then... What are we going to foreclose on?
But, even if Hank succeeds in getting them to tear up the contract, how will Hank be able to break it to his father, who feels that he is getting the honour and respect he deserves at last with the promise of the "medal" and who thinks he finally has found a place where he belongs? Is it worth sacrificing an old man's happiness just to stop him from getting into a fradulent "investment"?
Also, there was a somewhat bizarre B-plot on this episode where Peggy and Bobby, along with Dale Gribble, stuck back in Arlen, go to the pools of vacant houses, either because they're up for sale or because their owners are on vacation, just to go swimming.
Anyway, this seemed like another "Hills go to Mexico" episode, but you saw very little of real Mexico this time, just a couple of mariachi guys in sombreros who follow Hank around for a while. They've actually already done the mariachi guys joke in the second season episode, "Three Days of the Kahndo", but I'll let it pass since my brother has been to Mexico before and the mariachi guys in their sombreros really do follow tourists around (annoying him). It's an episode that falls squarely in the "Hank tries not to disappoint his father" category (I'd say "bond with", but Cotton's too stubborn to change his mind about his son), and, while Hank was trying to avoid his father being milked too much, it didn't particularly remind me of any other episode, unlike the previous couple of episodes, so I thought it was one of the better episodes of the last little while. Just don't take the rather dubious "resolution" at face value as a moral.
Also, I presume that the money Hank was spending while in Mexico was Cotton's, as didn't he just blow all his vacation money on the military cat he was taking care of in the previous episode? Well, maybe this episode doesn't take place right after, as it is warm enough to go swimming somewhere in mid-Texas.King of the Hill Real-Life Brand Watch:
Several brands are mentioned in jokes, including Columbia-House, Blockbuster, and Cheerios.
Also on Fox on Sunday, blah blah Simpsons
blah blah Springfield legalizes gay marriage
blah blah controversy
yada yada I knew it was Marge's sister Patty since last summer
something something the woman tennis pro she was marrying turned out to be a guy in disguise blah blah not close to being the worst recent episode of The Simpsons
by any means but it was still an anti-climax after the hype. And that's all I have to say about that.ITEM!
Well, this was quick.
From Anime News Network
"At their Katsucon panel today, Media Blasters announced that they hold the rights to the Oh! My Goddess TV series, Genshiken, Hinotori, and a 3-part OVA called Phantom. John Sirabella said that he believed that they also has the rights for Kujibiki Unbalance (the show watched by the Genshiken characters), but has to double check. A full panel report will follow later, which will also include their live action acquisitions."
I wasn't remotely considering downloading Oh My Goddess!
TV, as I knew it would be licensed very, very quickly, but I was still expecting it to be announced at a bigger con later in the year and that it would be either Geneon or ADV which would get it (or, pipedream, AnimEigo).
I'm not particularly bothered by Media Blasters, but I hope the quality of their DVD releases have improved since their release of the Magic Knight Rayearth
season 1 DVDs five years ago (the only Media Blasters DVDs I have), where the picture and sound were reasonably good (well, as good as can be expected from an early 90s TV anime) but there were a lot of odd things about the DVDs, like no time indexes for the episodes.
Also, it would be nice if it were out this year, but I won't suddenly get bothered if Media Blasters announces that the first volume won't be out until next year, as some "lag time" between the Japanese DVD releases and the American DVD releases is completely normal and expected. Even as someone for whom OMG!
TV is my most anticipated series (other than, maybe, the second half of Super Gals), I don't have the entitlement mentality that a show must be available really soon after the licensing announcement "or else", and there are shows from 2003 and 2004 that I never bothered downloading that I will buy in the meantime.
Probably one reason they announced it so early was to nip the "ethical" digisubbers in the bud, before they could fansub too many episodes and distribute them online through Bittorrent and other file-sharing services. (Not that it will stop the more blatant license-ignoring fansubbers, upon whom I hope the domestic anime industry opens some MPAA-esque cans of legal whoop-ass soon.) You're still getting some bitching from the "entitlement kiddies" (the people who don't want to pay for any anime ever), like in the thread at AnimeNewsNetwork from which I copied and pasted some of my comments
, but not remotely close to the volume of so-called "Narutards" who bitched about Naruto being licensed last week
Also, what did I think of Mew Mew Power
, the localized version of Tokyo Mew Mew
, which I said last week
I was going to tape on Saturday morning?
Well, I did set up the VCR to tape Fox on Saturday morning at 8 a.m., it was on the right time and the right station, and the cable didn't go out nor did the power, and, when I got up, I had indeed taped half-an-hour of Fox television at the right time. Just... WJBK 2
, the Detroit Fox affiliate (the Fox station Rogers Cable carries in Ontario) doesn't bother at all with the low-rated 4Kids TV (formerly FoxBox) block, so WDWB 20
, the Detroit WB network affiliate, carries it instead, but Rogers doesn't carry the WB Network at all, so, long story short, I can't warch Mew Mew Power
even if I wanted to. I think the only way I could see it would be to switch back to Bell ExpressVu, but we can't possibly afford that right now.
I haven't heard any opinions from level-headed fans who are neutral on 4Kids like I am, so I'll just link to this fan reaction of the other type
. Probably it's the most thorough analysis of the changes 4Kids made to make the show more appealing to its target audience in North America, but I wouldn't normally link to something so... umm... opinionated. Just it's late, and I'm feeling too lazy to look for any other opinions.ITEM!
For those of you that care, the episode guide for Episode 2 of Super Gals!
is finished, though I still need to make screencaps (and my DVD-ROM drive seems to be almost completely dead).
WELL, THAT WAS QUICK!
(...by bureaucracy standards.)
Remember how I applied for my OHIP health insurance card on January 11th
? Well, I got it yesterday, about a month earlier than I expected, based on what my sister told us. But it still doesn't come into effect for another few weeks.
Obviously, because of identity thieves, I don't think it would be a good idea for me to post a scan of my OHIP card, even with the important bits mosaiced out, so, to compensate, you can look at my Dawson College ID from 1997-98
. Geez, what's the deal with the headphones? I couldn't have taken them off for a fricking minute? I didn't even have a portable CD player back then, that was just for the bulky shortwave radio I carried around to attempt to listen to Rush Limbaugh in the days before he was on the Internet. And, as you can probably tell from looking, I was quite into eating Double Big Mac sandwiches back then... that was before I switched to eating regular Big Macs, which are like health food in comparison. And I had just come back from a month in Europe, where I ate McDonald's excessively, even for me.
Anyway, I hope to write one, maybe even two, if you're good for a month, articles this evening, but first I'm going over to Red Lobster, to eat dinner with my parents. Hopefully, it will be a little less crowded then the last time we wanted to eat at that particular Red Lobster location
, in October 2003, but that was a Sunday. It's gotta be less crowded on Wednesdays.
MORE BLATANT TROLLING FOR GOOGLE HITS...
From Drudge, Paris Hilton had a brilliant idea of storing the private phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all the celebrities and rich people she knows using a service that is easily accessible to hackers on the Internet
PARIS HILTON PHONE HACKED; PRIVATE NUMBERS OF STARS FLOOD INTERNET; FBI INVESTIGATES
Sun Feb 20 2005 09:39:20 ET
"Private telephone numbers of celebrities have been unleashed on the Internet after an apparent hacking into Paris Hilton's T-MOBILE SIDEKICK Address Book, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The FBI has opened an investigation into the hack, a government source said.
The DRUDGE REPORT has confirmed the authenticity of many of the unlisted and super-secret numbers: Private phone numbers and email addresses of Eminem, Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera, Andy Roddick, Ashlee Simpson, Victoria Gotti, Vin Diesel, Anna Kournikova and many others!
One top star reached Sunday morning expressed total outrage at Paris.
"I gave her my number after we met in Miami, I did not know she f**king kept it on her cellphone!" the star explained.
A website posted the digits over the weekend, with the message: "I'm Sorry Bitch :) GG FGT SLT BTCH! HACKED BY THE NIGGAS AT DFNCTSC"
Also splashed in the hack, Paris Hilton's private notes, listed by date.
From Hollywood to Vegas to New York -- and back, Paris Hilton's notes, road directions, hotel and airline preferences are exposed."
Since I'm sure that there's going to be prosecutions-a-plenty resulting from this, I'm not going to say whether or not I looked at the information, like tens or even hundreds of thousands of other people did, but my anonymous American friend, the one who also watches episodes of South Park
a couple of hours after they air in the United States and tells me absolutely everything that happens, read it. Not that he saved any of the information, be it direct from the Notebook itself or re-posted in threads about the Notebooks, he doesn't really care about knowing and he's certainly not going to try contacting the celebrities himself, he was just looking because forbidden information is always tempting.
He found out some shocking things... like how Paris Hilton, when she travels, usually stays at... get this... Hilton hotels! My god, what an incredible development! The hotel heiress stays at the international hotel chain that bears her surname! Whodathunkit?
Also... I don't care about most of the rest of the celebrities (and I can't even hum a song of most of the singers who are apparently on the list), but my American friend knows I like Wes Anderson movies and told me that Luke Wilson, who played "Anthony" in Bottle Rocket
and "Richie Tenenbaum" in The Royal Tenenbaums
, is among the celebrities. Damn, Luke Wilson seems like such a sweet guy... what's he doing hanging out with cheap rich trash like Paris Hilton? If his brother Owen Wilson were hanging out with Paris... wouldn't surprise me, but Luke? Well, he's not going to like her much now
And, strangely enough, T-Mail
seems to be the free webmail provider of choice of big celebrities. I'd say they are really slumming compared to those of us who use G-Mail
now, but maybe they use it for the translation capabilities. (EDIT:
Oh, sorry, it's T-Mobile TMail
, not the translation mail T-Mail.)
Oh yes, there are a bunch of pictures of Paris lesbian-groping another woman very similar to Margot Tenenbaum's groping of that woman in the Paris apartment in the "Judy is a Punk" flashback montage in The Royal Tenenbaums
, from what I understand of course, I mean. Those will be all over the Internet in days.
There are sites with audio of people calling the celebrities, but they're on the boards where people are posting the private information, so I'm not going to link to them. Some of those phone calls will surely be on radio programmes like Howard Stern tomorrow morning anyway.EDIT:
I forgot to insert the joke I thought up: Pat O'Brien's e-mail address is on the list too, which is a little ironic, since anyone who reads it is now an "insider" able to "access hollywood" (well, until they change their phone numbers and e-mail addys). :PEDIT II:
While I'm not the type to prank call celebrities as I respect their privacy and, even if I didn't, I'd be far too shy to do it, just, for the sake of argument, let's say I had the exact same taste in celebrities but I wasn't too shy to actually do anything with the information, the truth is that I'd have no interest in calling or e-mailing pretty much every celebrity on the list with the exception of Luke Wilson, who is one of my favourite young-ish stars in Hollywood. So, yeah, I will admit to wondering what would happen if I tried phoning Luke Wilson's phone number. But, I don't have to wonder anymore because I found a blog entry of some girl named Nancee who did just that. What happened? It had already been disconnected. So, if you want to compliment Luke directly for his fine work in Bottle Rocket
, or ask him what he was thinking when he agreed to do Blue Streak
, you're out of luck. C'est dommage!
(I won't give a link because the entry contains a link to one of the pages with all the phone numbers and e-mail addresses on it.)