The final trailer for Batman Begins is up and running, and I have to say that any doubts for the film that I had are pretty much gone.
The Batmobile is one ugly turd tank but otherwise everything looks on point. The cast is awesome, full of powerhouse actors like Freeman, Caine, Neeson and Bale, and emerging stars like Katie Holmes and 28 Days Later star Cilian Murphy (I just watched him in Intermission which is a quirky but great British film).
I can map out the path of the film via the trailer as an origin film but still looks both engaging and a lot of fun.
Hey, the Land of the Dead trailer is up too. George Romero back doing zombies. This is something to be excited about.
The final trailer for Batman Begins is up and running, and I have to say that any doubts for the film that I had are pretty much gone.
Space Ghost: Oh, okay. Chuck, you too are pretty good. I… can call you Chuck, can’t I?
Charlton Heston: You bet, you bet.
Space Ghost: How about Chuckles?
Charlton Heston: If you insist.
Space Ghost: Oh, oh oh, wait wait wait, how about Cheston? See, it’s a cross between your first name, which is Charlton, and your second name…
Charlton Heston: Um, no. I don’t think so.
Space Ghost: (pause) Never say “no, I don’t think so”. Try saying “yes, I think so”.
With that advice, I too am almost never saying “No, I don’t think so,” but instead saying “Yes, I think so.”
Space Ghost: The word “impossible” is a mistake, Chuck. It’s really “I’m possible”. (smile sparkles)
He’s right you know.
Typically I would just ignore emails like this one, from Warren Ellis’ [bad signal] mailing list:
Press: if you want interviews, get in touch. I’ll probably be conducting them in my hotel suite. All articles should feature a mention of the
Toronto Comicon… They brought me here, they should get a plug… Websites, fanzines, magazines, papers — I’ll talk to anyone, I consider it part of my job for the convention.
See, normally that wouldn’t click in my brain in the slightest, but I do write for a website (chud.com if you’re not paying attention) and I do live in Toronto and my editor at Thor’s Comic Column has been bugging my ass to start stretching out and getting some interviews an whatnot. So I wrote Warren and requested an interview time, although it looks kind of slim whether he will have the time to actually do interviews this weekend or not.
Another email, from Adrianne (of notwellplanned.com) was asking the GTABloggers list for contributors:
I thought I would see if anyone else is interested in being part of a “Cringe” night I’m thinking of organizing at a yet-to-be-determined local bar - a la the “Cringe” nights New York blogger Sarah Brown (www.queserasera.org) started. Basically it’s like a comedy kind of night, but instead of standup, you go onstage and read particularly ridiculous/humiliating entries from your adolescent diaries.
If you’ve got diaries and are willing to share (please! there’ll be booze!), or if you’d just like to be notified as to when it’s happening, please contact me…
And so I did. This sounds like fun (you can leave a message on her site if you too want to participate)… I’ve got journals from grade 5 and grade 6 (and perhaps some other miscellaneous ones from youth), but even better I’ve been keeping journals since grade 12 and there’s no doubt tonnes of torturous teenage gold in those early ones.
Another GTAB mailing list email, from Cheapeats Toronto publication. Forwarding along a message from a Cheapeats co-conspirator name Tara, they basically want to use some guerilla market research tactics in helping to make the next edition better:
I’m working with Tara Hunt of Rogue Strategies to do some market research to make the upcoming edition (available Aug 2005) even better.
We are looking for about 60 people who are interested in getting a
free copy of cheapeats toronto 2003/04, using it for 2-3 weeks (thumbing through, visiting some of the restaurants, etc.) and then answering a few questions to help us make the next edition (avail. Aug. 2005) even better.
Well, any excuse to eat out I say, so I said “Yes, I think so” to this one as well. If you’re interested, Tara can be reached at [tara at cheapeatstoronto dot com].
But it’s not like I’m pulling a Danny Wallace (see Yes Man) here and saying yes to everything. I will not, for instance, have various object shoved up my bum because you asked. But if it’s a reasonable question and if yes is a doable answer, then why not?
The “Yes Man” manifesto:
I, Danny Wallace [or insert your name instead], being of sound mind and body, do hereby write this manifesto for my life. I swear I will be more open to opportunity. I swear I will live my life taking every available chance. I will say Yes to every favour, request, suggestion and invitation. I Will Swear To Say Yes Where Once I Would Say No.
(”Yes Man”, the book, ships in the UK in July, in North America in August. The movie rights have been purchased by “Black and White Productions” (that’s Jack Black and Mike White’s production company) and it looks like the film is slated for 20aught6).
so there you have it. Do you feel informed?
For all my TiVo braggodoccio, well, it seems the system is kind of cocked up and it freezes all the time (and the time is 7 minutes off, which sucks for a PVR). We’ll contact D and see if he knows anything to fix it… otherwise, easy come easy go.
Hotness and notness
YAY: Joss Whedon’s Serenity trailer
BOO: Waiting until September 30th… (the original in-theatre date was this Friday but got pushed back due to competition from the Hitchhiker’s Guide)
Hey, we’re actually on time this week!
I poke around at some non-Big Two titles this week over at Thor’s Comic Column, with a review of the new Beowulf title from Speakeasy Comics, and Oni Press doles out some manga-esque madness with Sharknife.
Oddly enough, even though it’s a DC title, Klarion, Grant Morrison’s latest Seven Soldiers title, is probably the least mainstream of the three (mystic Pilgrims?).
Russell tosses in another hat-trick this week with a retrospective of the recent Question mini-series, the end of Jenkin’s run on Spectacular Spider-Man, and the first followup to Countdown to Infinite Crisis: the Omac Project.
Rob tackles the new legend of Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, and Sean takes a snap, crackle, pop at Warren Ellis’ friggin amazing Iron Man.
Thanks to Emma’s friend (and now mine) D, we’ve been hooked up with a (shhh) TiVo, and after a mildly aggrivating set-up process it’s working swimmingly.
I won’t go into details about set-up because D did the majority of it, just to say that Emma and I are both ever so excited for it to finish it’s internal set-up and start inputting favourites and season sets.
I need to learn now how to export files and make some dvds.
I wasn’t going to go, but then I decided I might go when Marmy and Toast said they might go, and then today I was just bored so I went to the Toronto Comic Convention by myself.
I’m not a big fan of the Cons, as I’m not much of a bin-digger anymore and I don’t really want stuff signed unless it’s fairly meaningful, and I don’t have a sketchbook I want filled. The only reason to go is big discounts on trades and sets. I still can’t believe how “collectors market” some of the vendors are (the Omac Project I saw marked up to $20. The damn thing just came out this week and they’re reprinting it and shipping it next week) and how few stores bundle their back issues into sets.
I snagged nearly $200 worth of trades for about $80, and I had a chat with Leonard Kirk, the artist from Bloodhound. I managed to buy from him pages 17-19 from issue 2 of that series (my favourite action sequence from last year, involving a motel sink) for a very respectable price. Thanks Leonard (look for him on Amazing Fantasy, an Image project and some fill-in issues on JSA).
It was actually my first comic art purchase, and really it’s the first pieces I’ve actally been interested in, so I was both excited that he had them and completely excited that he sold them to me. Now I just need to finde a huge frame and tryptic matting to put them up on the wall behind me.
And only because Jeremy did it too:
It’s happy hour for Sugarman (it took nearly 90 minutes and the brutal “arresting” of at least 200 trolls and four superheroes to get him to this point).
Here’s the new Superman, Brandon Routh as you’ll see him in Bryan Singer’s upcoming movie.
Nerds and geeks alike are abuzz, judging the entire film on a handful of photos and a few rumours (read: disinformation) being spread about the net. Yeah, it probably is going to be Episode 1 level entertainment (ie. initially exciting, but once we geeks get some time to calm down and really look at it, it will kinda suck, in an entertaining way though) but I can’t say for sure based on the picture. He looks like a swimmer, all lithe and lean, and those tiny red speedos…
The “S” shield on the belt is kinda redundant though.
d: AJ Schnack
With a title like that, what could it possibly be about? A John Holmes biopic? A story about whooring? Why no, silly folks, it’s the story of They Might Be Giants!
John Flansberg and John Linnell met at a young age and became acquainted with one another musically a few years later. A little later they moved to New York and made themselves a band - just the two of them and a tape player - and also made themselves a reputation.
More than two decades later, They Might Be Giants aren’t necessarily a household name, but no doubt there’s not a lot of people that havn’t heard them. From Malcolm in the Middle’s theme to songs featured on Animaniacs to their permanent spot on College radio rotation… they may not be the biggest thing ever, but they’re still pretty big.
d, w: Neil Marshall
My video store has been recommending Dog Soldiers to me for over two years, and it’s not that I don’t trust them (they’re not a friggin’ razzy Blockbuster, these people have taste) but I still didn’t know what to think. A modestly budgeted British horror-action movie… I mean, there havn’t exactly been (m)any good werewolf films have there?
The opening sequence was fairly typical as two lovebirds tenting in the woods get mauled by an unseen assailant. Blood flies across the screen. Umhmm. Inexplicably we jump back a year where Cooper has won a hard faught battle to join an elite military team… however he can’t complete the final task Sgt. Wells asked of him, which is to shoot one of the tracking dogs and he’s sent back to basic squad duties. Then we jump ahead two years (or something like that) and Coop is a good man on a rag-tag troop led by Captain Ryan. They’re in the highlands somewhere, dropped off by chopper, competing in a fairly routine strategy operation with another troop, no live ammo. Alright, this is a little better.
Bloodhound, yet another in a long line of comics too good for comics, ended its run with issue 10 last week. Over in Thor’s Comic Column I look back on the series that was.
Our man Russell does a whopping four reviews this week with two Spidey related, one Batman thang, and Great Lakes Avengers(?!) which seems to be a knock off the ol’ Giffen-era Justice League (now that DC has effectively dismantled it in the build up to Infinite Crisis… I wonder if Infinity Inc. will factor back into things?).
Also reviewed, the Ultimates (as it’s Thor-centric this month) and the Athiest, Phil Hester’s new Image series which sounds great.
My friend Gary (who barely operates the site GAK.ca) lives in New York… Brooklyn to be precise. So imagine his surprise when he saw a man in a cape hopping across rooftops overhead (or it may have been a garbage bag blowing in the wind, but let’s just suppose it was a man with a cape). Are you imagining it?
Now, what would you, not knowing Gary (or some of you kinda knowing Gary), expect his first response be? Well, whatever it is you’re thinking you’re wrong… I think. I don’t actually know either. But my first response would be “Awesome, I need me a cape to” (actually my first response would be to try an follow the caped individual as they were hopping rooftops, but I wouldn’t be watching where I was going and I’d walk face first into a pole, fall over, concuss my head on the sidewalk, slip into a coma following which one of my Go Team Action Blogger teammates would sneak into my room and go all “Million Dollar Baby” on me, clenching tightly onto my emailed testament from earlier this week stating that I “didn’t want to go out like no punk Shiavo (sic)” ).
SOOOooooo, following my first train of logic, where would I - or if you’re still imagining Gary’s thoughts - where would Gary get a cape from? And what if he needed other action supplies, like a bottle of antimatter?
Well, in Brooklyn at least ye need look no further than the Brookly Superhero Supply Store. Yup, it’s an actual storefront.
Sure the website ain’t nothing special, but take a peek inside (with super secret spy snaps from a “mysterious source”)
Click for larger image (pop-up)
How cool is that. Now obviously these aren’t really REAL (they are all physical items that you can purchase, but they’re more props than powers), but still it’s a fun and quirky concept, like a shop straight outta City Of Heroes come to life.
The shop is part of David Eggar’s McSweeney’s empire but its profits support the charity 826 NYC which helps develop student literacy and writing skills.
And the ball keeps rolling.
Saturday I woke up, felt a tad on the wrong side of awful, and promptly went back to sleep. I slept roughly until 11:30 when I decided the sharp stabbing pains in my belly were telling me “I hungy”. The moment I stood I knew things were all askew as my lower back didn’t just hurt but seemed to be vibrating in spasms. I ate a heaping helping of imitation Shredded Wheat with some brown sugar on top and then resigned myself to the basement for some digestion of [adult swim] cartoons on DVD (Harvey Birdman vol 1 and Space Ghost vol 3 out now). As I settled in, my whole body began to ache, starting with my joints and working through every muscle.
I was in and out of consciousness for hours (I must have played the Space Ghost episode “Switcheroo” five or six times as I fell asleep when I first hit play and would wake up when it was finished hit play again and fall asleep).
I went upstairs to have a pee and as I was letting the pee free the persistent but controllable nausea all of a sudden couldn’t be controlled. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had this happen before, but you’re faced with a pretty snap decision when you’re in the midst of taking a wizz (yes, I’m 8 years old again, thanks) and throwing up… do I buckle over and vomit in the toilet I was just (actually still am) peeing in or do I lean over an clog up the sink with whatever comes out?(Too sexy, yes!) I opted for the latter which later required me to fetch a metal coathanger to help unclog, as well as grab the Comet and clean up a little.
I drew myself a tub, which is always a challenge in our place, since the capacity of the tub is greater than that of the hot water tank. I can never seem to get an almost full tub at that partially boiled temperature I like so much. It’s either a hot bath with partial coverage, or full coverage of mostly warm water (if I’m patient I can draw the bath in two stages allowing 20 minutes for the tank to heat up once again). After that I took another nap and then, around 8:00 attempted to make myself a dinner that didn’t completely revolt me (spaghetti with parm and butter), but it did revolt me and so I settled on the comfort of crackers and raisins with some tea.
More Space Ghost and more sleepy, bedtime hit around 11:30 and I stayed down until 10 am the next day. I woke up with an almost hungover feeling, and a bit of a pit for a stomach but otherwise I was’ a’aight. I had cereal and pancakes and ice cream, took a walk to the video store and got to actually enjoy the nice weather, even though it was overcast.
I’m still not sure what it was, by all rights seems like the flu. But perhaps it was an allergic reaction (although I have no allergies), food poisoning from the previous night’s dinner (which I did see when it came back up, but Emma had the same and she wasn’t ill), complications from ongoing antibiotics use, a really nasty hangover (from 6 or 8 oz of alcohol from the evening before which isn’t all that much), or fatigue maybe (the optomotrist noted on Friday that my occasional hazy vision is usuall a symptom of exhaustion). I shrug, but I’m feeling (mostly) better now.
Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure closed out it’s four-night run in Toronto, and if you didn’t go, even despite my incessant promotion, then you surely missed out. Even though I’ve read the book and had already seen the live show in New York, it was still funny as hell.
Gorman is a master storyteller, great at pacing and emphasis, and he’s a slight unassuming man to start with, but he’s got a big, booming, god-like voice when he’s enacting his pissed-off moments.
It’s a magnificent show, which he mentioned may be back this summer (as he tours across North America, I’ll keep you informed). He’s honed the show to perfection, and, even though it’s on DVD in the UK, you’re not likely to see it again once he stops touring.
Meanwhile, Chud.com reports that Warner Brothers has already bought the rights to Dave’s ex-flatmate (and writing partner on “Are You Dave Gorman?” and leader of the “Join Me” not-a-cult) Danny Wallace’s next book, “Yes Man”, in which Danny decided to start saying yes to everything (and apparently fortune favoured the bold). The book will be out in the UK this summer and hopefully domestic release will soon follow.
Following the Dave Gorman performance, I was a bit peckish, as was Emma, so we stopped at the Harbourfront neighbourhood Mama’s Pizza (good pizza, not as good as my homemade stuff, but good pizza). There we had a hot slice which, well, was a little too hot, and I burnt the roof of me mouth… actually it was more like I burnt my gumline.
We’ve all done it and we know exactly what happens when the gums blisters and you start feeling that loose skin with your tongue and you can’t help but jam your fingernail up there and start scraping the dead skin off.
And then, later in the evening you have to brush your teeth, which normally is a fairly easy task, but now, with those raw, exposed, charred gums, it’s like brushing with a barbecue grill scrubber, and the toothpaste is not only abrasive but corrosive as it tastes like burning. And then you’re surprised when you spit out blood.
The next morning, sure they’re a little sore, but you think everything’s okay, until you pour yourself a bowl of bran flakes which might as well be labelled “broken glass flakes” as shards jab into the soft pink flesh around your teeth.
And don’t get me started on the canker sore…
the canker sore
Everything you wanted to know about canker sores can be found here. Now those are American canker sores… I’m still trying to see if Canadian canker sores are different.
In brief, canker sores are not the same as fever blisters or cold sores. The latter are actually herpes and are a viral infection and contageous. Canker sores are non contageous and it’s not really known what causes them (stress, allergies and nutritional deficiencies are noted as potentials… I seem to get them from excess sugar, hard candies usually). There aren’t cures, per se, except time, but there are alleviators as noted in the link.
And now you know.
return to senda
The second disk of Space Ghost: C2C v.3 was glitchy so I needed to retrun it to amazon.ca, but I was kind of nervous. How do you return something via mailorder?
Turns out it’s really easy, but only if it’s something you got in the past 30 days. You log into your amazon.ca and select the “help” and “returns” under “Shipping and Returns”. It’s fairly simple as they give you a list of all items delivered over the past 30 days and you just click on it, enter in a few details and click next, and you get a shipping label and barcode to print out.
Once printed cut it out, affix to the return package with defective item inside, and pop in the mail (no postage necessary!). I checked my email shortly thereafter and the automated responder expressed apology and mentioned that my replacement item was being prepped for shipping. Wow, what service.
Very easy, very pleased.
w,d: Ryuhei Kitamura
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? “Raging God of Battle”. But oh how it deceives. Simply put, Aragami is a Japanese reinvention of the Vampire mythos, making a new mythic creature, one that invites its victims over for a little tea and a chat and perhaps a little duelling afterwards.
And that’s quite literally it. Two men sit on a floor for an hour eating and drinking wine (”It’s from France, and it’s made from grapes”) and vodka (”This is a Russian drink, distilled from potatoes.”) The the host tells his guests a fable. The guest laughs hysterically. Then the host reiterates the fable but in the context of his own life. The guest gets serious. The host says he’s bored of living and wants to die but he can only die in battle and there is no warrior great enough to defeat him. Perhaps his guest might prove him wrong.
They talk a little more, then they fight, three or four times. It’s all pretty tedious. So tedious in fact that reading this write up on IMDB I think a film on the making of the film would be more spirited and engaging. Snoozefest, but it looked pretty nice (good job with lighting, costumes, sets and weaponry).
d: Nick Cassavetes
w: Jan Sardi and Jeremy Leven
Ah, the Chick-flick. Those testicle shrivelling cinematic experiences which both emasculate and move men to tears in the shadow. Guys profess to hate them (especially if John Cusack is nowhere in the vicinity), but how can you hate them when they’re so full of emotional complexity, twists and turns of the heartstrings, and their effect on the ladycrowd is definitely palpable.
Oh, I can see why guys claim not to like them, because they’re so lovey-dovey, so un-He-Man, so flowery with their melodrama and their happy endings. Who wants to see a happy ending in a rowboat when you can watch John McLane jump off the top of a skyscraper with only a firehose wrapped around his waist. He did it for his lady, now that’s romance.
But, I can’t hate them. I don’t seek them out, but when I do watch them, they win me over almost every time. The Notebook was no different. It’s a sweetly told, charmingly acted and intriguing film. It has its faults but nothing so profound as to ruin the overall effect.
I love Lewis Black on the Daily Show. His “Back In Black” segment most Wednesdays is the highlight of the show’s week. His spastic hand gestures and frenetic ramblings amplify whatever mildly stupid things happened in the news over the past week into something outrageous, infuriating and hysterically funny.
Lewis Black: Unleashed is a compilation of three of his comedy specials from the Comedy Network, one from 1998, one from 2000, and one from 2002. While they’re funny and all, Black’s humour depends greatly on analysing the politics of now, and, well, even politics from three years ago seem quite dated. I noticed this when I used to watch Saturday Night Live repeats with Dennis Miller as Weekend Update host, that the humour of politics changes and history provides perspective.
Of course, so much of Black’s routine is his personality, his manic shouting and his frenzied body language, so the routines are still funny, but they lack the punch they would have when they were fresh.
d: Danny Leiner,
w: Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
There’s a few good films about demoralized post-graduate youth, the people that try to fit in and yet seem uncomfortable in their own skin. Usually these kind of films see their protagonists rebel against the system that they voluntarily jumped into.
In Office Space, Peter is trapped in a cubicle world that drives him to the brink of madness. He knocks down cubicle walls, comes in when he wants and parks in his boss’ reserved parking spot.
In Waydowntown, Tom’s found himself stuck in a claustrophobic bet in which he cannot go outside of the connected downtown core of Calgary. He’s busy running stupid errands for his boss and watching his coworkers slowly self destruct. It’s not what he envisioned life to be.
In Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, there’s not as much pondering going on but Harold fits the mould as a whipping boy at his office job too nice to say anything otherwise. Kumar would much rather gang-a-bong than go to medical school entry interviews. They’re young and they’re bored, frustrated and hungry.
I was on the phone with my mother over the weekend and she was grilling me on the current state of my health, which, if you’ve been paying attention has been pretty damn wonky as of late.
Anyway, I was mentioning how I was still a little congested, but also how that’s quite normal for me. For years I’ve had some sort of sinus difficulty, and I seem to have overproductive snot glands which get runny whenever I exert myself (I’m lucky if it comes out my nose, but more often than not it runs down the back of my throat causing me to gag on it… I soooo sexy) or sometimes when I sleep. When I’m not active, it just kinda sits there in between my nose and throat and compounds, until I have to do this little cough-sneeze-hork amalgam to loosen it from its perch (did I mention how sexy I was. I am so The Sex, yes!).
Anyway, my Mom was saying how my Dad also has a lot of sinus issues, to which I said “I know”. Where do you think I learned the cough-sneeze-hork thing from (it’s not quite clearing your throat and it’s not quite snorting either… somewhere in between)? Must be genetic.
Emma and were talking earlier as well about this, and she was saying that her mucous glands also seem to be overproductive, to which I then surmised “Our kid is going to be one big ball of snot. He’s going to be that kid you always see at the playground with a crusty-snot moustache over his lip, only our kid’s going to have a full beard.”
Sad, but likely true. We’ll love our little snotball nonetheless. Whenever s/he may come.
Though completely unrelated, I’ve also had this issue where I can usually only breath well through one nostril at a time. Sometimes it’s the left one, sometimes it’s the right. On a rare occasion I’ll be able to breathe well through both nostrils, but that’s a transitionary moment while whatever it is switches sides (like how tennis players alternate sides after every set). I think this trouble stems from the slight crook of my nose, which I believe was caused when my sister belted me in the face in the McDonald’s drive-thru back when I was 15. Or maybe not.
Yesterday’s highlight involved the Textile Muesum, a room full of knitters and the question “Are you one of those knitting whores too?”
But all I’ll say is Congratulations Stephanie whose book is an unstoppable bohemoth and will soon dominate the world, much to her apparent chagrin. Stephanie’s a funny and talented lady, a great humourist and storyteller accessible even outside her cult of knit, so she’s much deserving of her successes, and next year better see a “best knit blog” category in the “Bloggies” or I’ll continue my apathy towards them (oooh, what a threat).
But I’ll digress.
The not so good part of yesterday included waking up feeling mighty awful, carrying through that feeling for the majority of the day, and then winding up at the Phoenix for what was truly a huge disappointment of a show.
I wasn’t expecting Vegas-style theatrics, but I was hoping for a little more than a live band providing the music for prerecorded vocals. Okay, that makes it sound worse than it actually was… no, Ashlee Simpson did not make an appearance (and can I say how much I hate the spelling of that name, ugh).
The Handsome Boy Modeling School live performance was, well, Vaudvillian in nature. It was part comedy act, part audience participation, part musical, part multi-media (okay, Vaudville never had projection screens showing cutout cartoon representations of De La Soul, Cat Power, or Jack Johnson overtop some random stockfootage imagery from varying sources like educational films, pornos, and cheesy Mexican cinema), but in whole it wasn’t very entertaining.
Dan (the Automator) and (Prince) Paul came out in their Handsome Boy disguises (ie. moustaches) as Nathaniel Merriweather and Chest Rockwell. The struck a pose at the front of the stage and then proceeded to explain the introductory seminar to the Modeling School which they have prepared for us.
The show, as I said, comprised primarily of the vocal tracks from the album, sung by animated characters, and backed by a live band and Paul and Dan sharing the turntables. The audience was invited to participate a few times, with a handful of people getting pulled up on stage for makeovers (involving the addition of fake moustaches to face), serenading, and a modeling strut contest (the winner of the fabled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stripped his sweater off and tossed it into the crowd…what a sport).
There were actually a few guests, which included emcee Casual and singer Josh Hayden (who could sing just fine but had less stage presence than an American Idol reject). The hilight of the evening was the emergence of Dres from Black Sheep. It’s been over 10 years since the Sheep broke up, and Dres disappeared but he’s back and he’s as smooth as ever. He’s not a very active performer but his mere presence was awe inspiring. It’s too bad he didn’t work the whole show as the crowd and the whole thing didn’t amp up until he came out… as if the crowd was solely there waiting for him.
After each of the “Handsome Boy graduates” finished their two or three songs (Dres performed his big hit “The Choice Is Yours” which wasn’t nearly as good as his performance of the Handsome Boy track “First…And Then” in which Paul and Dan backed him up) one of the Handsome men would interview the graduate and ask them how the Handsonium Institute has changed their life.
Though the whole thing really, really tried to stay in some sort of character, the show came off messy and cheap, more like a bad variety show than an audience-captivating spectacle. I lay the blame primarily on the lack of live singers (blessedly the cartoon singers were truncated versions of the songs), there just wasn’t much to hold my interest, except anticipating Dres.
I think if Paul and Dan had stuck even closer to the Handsome Boy role play things would have been far more entertaining, but they seem to fall in and out of character, and they really didn’t have much to do (they’re producers, not rappers, singers or djs). Even the band seemed bored, the guitarist especially had little to keep him engaged.
I found gaging crowd reaction difficult, but some people really enjoyed themselves, others got bored and left early. The crowd was a little over 200, which isn’t nearly enough to fill out the Phoenix and seemed partially comprised of the same frat boys from the Quannum show on Monday (which was a far more entertaining show).
But, beside it all, I got this schwanky new t-shirt that says:
which has been a real hit at work, and really isn’t that what live shows are all about? The merch table?
Dave Gorman gets the cover of this week’s Now, which is wonderful, as this seems to be the first bit of promotion I’ve seen in T.dot since I first blogged about the Googlewhack Adventure’s arrival back in Mid-march.
It’s about time.
The other day I went on Amazon UK and picked up a couple copies of Gorman and Danny Wallace’s “Are You Dave Gorman” (since my last copy got appropriated by a friend), and also a copy of the Googlewhack Adventure of Region 2 DVD (even though I don’t have a region-free DVD player… I live life on the edge!), plus Wallace’s new book “Random Acts of Kindness”, the sequel to his “Join Me” book (Join Me is available in Canadian bookstores, as is “Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure” but not “Are You Dave Gorman” nor “Random Acts of Kindness”)… I seem to be rambling.
Anyway, Now is frightfully neglectful of box office details, so here they are (my tickets are for the Sunday show, as the Friday and Saturday shows should be doing brisk business from the Johann-come-latelys).
April 14 - April 17, (8:30 pm each night)
The HarbourFront Centre.
235 Queens Quay West,
Toronto, ON M5J 2G8
Box Office: 416 973-4000
This week at Thor’s Comics Column I pose the question of “When’s A Blog NOT A Blog”… why, when it’s James Kolchaka’s “Sketchbook Diaries”. Well, I don’t *actually* ask that but his sketchbook diaries are very blog-esque, and he now even posts them on-line daily at americanelf.com
On the complete opposite of the spectrum, a scriptwriter for Law & Order:SVU (starring the most intriguing woman since Gillian Anderson, Mariska Hargitay) Christos N. Gage makes his comics debut with a pretty decent superhero mini-series about the master marksman-for-hire, Deadshot. Not wonderful, but solid stuff.
Other books covered in this week’s column include the Pirate/Vampire book “Sea of Red” (VAMPIRATES!), a retro look at Marvel’s “The Sentry”, the tweeny book “Death Jr.”, and the fishnets’n'magic of “Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1″. The next column, expect Stray Bullets, Bloodhound recapped, and a couple others.
The doc prescribed them on Friday and I waited until the weekend was over before I had the prescription filled. My ears still hurt so I figured it would be a good idea to get the little penicillin pills.
But, ugh, they’re wreaking havok on my immune system and now my ears hurt and I’m feeling really fatigued, a little nauseous and a tinge in the back of my throat that can only spell trouble.
Stupid human bodies… they’re stupid.
in other news…
I just scalded my lip on hot tea.
It really fucking hurts.
David has started a blog for the City of Heroes super-version of himself.
Thisboyistoast is a part of the GTAB supergroup in Paragon City (we need to get an updated photo of the group), which is comprised of myself (geekent aka “Kent”), Marmalade Girl (aka “Marmy”), Metrogeek (aka “Metro”), and wNoodle (aka “Primadonna Sensei”, “bossman”, “Nananana Leader!” etc).
We meet up once or twice a week on-line an kick ass. Methinks Toast is getting a little too into his role. But it makes me laugh.