Where Have All the Rhinos Gone?

Chaos in Print

Well, we’ve got another federal election upon us. We started with a Liberal minority, and it looks like we will, again, get another Liberal minority. But, until the votes are counted that becomes a certainty, we’re going to be faced with a few more weeks of TV ads where the Liberals defend their record, and everyone else attacks the Liberals. It’s enough to drive a man batty. It makes one long for the good old days of the Rhino party.

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Hey! It Doesn’t Suck!

Chaos in Print

If there’s one thing you should know about me by now, it’s that I love the movies of Pixar. I think that they are some of the funniest and well-thought-out computer animated films out there. So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I feel rather concerned when I watch the trailers for their next film, Cars. It’s the latest one from John Lassetter, the Pixar genius who gave us both Toy Stories and A Bug’s Life. In fact, it’s his first time in the big chair since Toy Story 2. What gives me cause for concern is that, in the trailer, most of the jokes seem to be falling flat. It’s not quite popping like other Pixar films. This, invariably, leads to heated debates as to whether this will be Pixar’s worst film. And, there’s something that always comes up in these debates that upsets me.

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Movie Review – King Kong

King Kong

Directed by Peter Jackson

Starring Naomi Watts, Adrian Brody, Jack Black, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Kyle Chandler, and Andy Serkis as Kong.

You know, I’ve been following movie news online for so long now, that it’s common for me to walk into a theater knowing pretty much the whole history of what it took for a movie to be made.  Case in point:  King Kong.  Peter Jackson was originally going to make it way back in 1997, for a summer 1998 release.  But, in the summer of 1998, the American Godzilla was already slated to come out, as was Disney’s remake of Mighty Joe Young.  Fearing that the world was getting too many giant monster movies that summer, Universal Studios pulled the plug on the project.  So, Peter Jackson went off, made The Lord of the Rings Trilogy instead, and the success of that caused Universal to back a truckload of money up to Peter Jackson’s door to get him to do King Kong again.  And now, we finally see Jackson’s vision of King Kong.

New York, 1933.  It’s the throes of the Great Depression.  Ann Darrow has just lost her job as a performer in a vaudeville theatre.  Jack Driscoll is a barely-afloat screenwriter.  And Carl Denham is the greatest con artist of a filmmaker.  Denham has to stay one step ahead of the studio that wants to shut him down, so he sweet-talks Ann into being his new leading lady, abducts Driscoll to be his screenwriter, and they go chugging off to the mythical “Skull Island.”  And, on Skull Island, they run into bloodthirsty savages who abduct Ann to sacrifice her to the great Kong.  And Kong, as we all know, is a giant gorilla.  So, before you know it, Ann and Kong are actually striking up a friendship in the depths of the jungles of Skull Island, and Driscoll is hot on their tale, leading the rescue party and fighting all manner of dinosaurs and giant insects.  And then they get to New York….

Umm…wow.  This film is so painfully close to be absolutely fantastic.  Instead, it’s simply really, really good.  The characters are very good.  I was amazed by Jack Black.  Kind of like most other comedic actors right now, I tend to think that all Black can do on screen is his shtick.  But, he manages to make Carl Denham the almost lovable slimeball.  And yes, the first hour is kind of slow, but as it’s mostly dedicated to character development, you can’t really fault that.  And yes, the special effects are amazing, except for one or two shots that are obviously bad CGI.  In the end, it’s a lot of fun, with some good, strong characters, but it just falls just a few millimeters from the goal.

3.5 Nibs


The Justice League of Star Trek

Chaos in Print

As we all know, there won’t be any new Star Trek movies. At least for a while. But, when Nemesis was about to hit theatres, and there was all kinds of coverage, I did happen to read an interview with Nemesis co-writers John Logan and Brent Spiner. They mentioned that, yes, they had a bit of a concept as to where to go for the eleventh film. Logan mentioned that the idea they had involved a concept that had been much rumoured by the fans: a movie with an “all star team;” a crew consisting of characters from The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Spiner added his two cents by saying, “It would be the Justice League of Star Trek.” So that just got me thinking. If I were to create my “Star Trek All-Star Crew,” who would it be?

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Chaos in Print

One of my father’s favourite movies is National Lampoon’s Vacation. There’s a scene in the film that my father loved to emulate on every vacation we took when we were kids. In the film, there’s Chevy Chase and his family driving down the highway to the fabled WallyWorld. Chase points out the window and says, “Hey kids, look! A deer!” The kids look out the window, awestruck at the wildlife. Chase then asks, “Did everyone see it?” The kids all say yes, and Chase pulls this clipboard off the dashboard. On the clipboard is a sheet of paper labelled “Family Vacation Checklist.” He goes down the list and checks off “see deer.” That just always made my father laugh.

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