Midnight Ramblings V

Chaos in Print

NOTE: You know the premise. It’s late, I’m groggy, I have a few things I want to get off my chest. So, I e-mail my friend “Neelix.” Enjoy!

Hey Neelix!

Argh! I’m starting to hate ICQ. This always happens: someone sends me a message, but it freezes my computer. After I finish re-booting, I don’t get the message and I spend the rest of the day obsessing over who sent it to me. I think I’ve narrowed down the problem. It’s the sound clips! If I don’t want my computer to freeze anymore, I have to eliminate all the sound clips when stuff happens. But, I don’t want to think about that now.

I just read about this, and I have to gush to someone about it. I just read online that in June, Independence Day: Special Edition comes out on DVD! It’s got all kinds of neat goodies for my favorite movie! One of them is the option to watch either the theatrical version, which I own on video, or the “special edition,” with an extra 10 minutes of new footage! It was originally released on laserdisc about a year ago. It’s also got a running commentary by director/co-writer Roland Emmerich and producer/co-writer Dean Devlin! But, what I’m thrilled about is it has the original bi-plane ending!

OK, this is how ID4 ends: in the film we are presented with Russell Case. He’s an alcoholic. His kids don’t love him anymore. Many think he’s a crackpot for his alien abduction all those years ago. His life has hit rock bottom. So, when the army puts out a call for trained pilots, he sees his chance for redemption. He signs up to be a pilot, gets in an F-18, and goes off to fight for mankind. When, by a bizarre twist of fate, he is the only fighter left armed, he charges off into the heart of the alien ship. His missile launching mechanism jams, so he gives the ultimate sacrifice to save his kids, and Earth, and dies a hero.

This is the original bi-plane ending: in the film we are presented with Russell Case. He’s an alcoholic. His kids don’t love him anymore. Many think he’s a crackpot for his alien abduction all those years ago. His life has hit rock bottom. And now, it’s the end of the world. Life just isn’t worth living anymore. So, he gasses up his old Stearman bi-plane, swipes a sidewinder missile, and straps it to the underbelly. He goes off on a Kamikaze mission, and crashes his Stearman bi-plane into the heart of the alien ship. But, his suicide run just happens to destroy the ship, and he is forever remembered as a hero. They didn’t use this ending because it didn’t do well in test screening.

So, when I get a DVD player, I’ve got to get this disc!

Finally, another thing I have to gush about. I discovered that Rebirth is out on video. Rebirth, is, of course, the final episode of the Transformers cartoon! It was a big three-parter that went into the origins of the Headmasters and Targetmasters. I always remember the cliffhangers from that 3-parter. At the end of Part I, the Autobots who were to become Headmasters reached up, casually removed their heads, and set them on the ground in front of them. And Spike said “Autobots, you’re about to become Headmasters.” Then, at the end of Part II, we see Lord Zarok (was that it? Anyway, the leader of the evil Nebulons) getting into a Headmaster exo-suit. And he says “Thanks to the stolen Decepticon technology, my vengeance will be complete. I have created the most powerful headmaster ever.” We cut to a battle between Autobots and Decepticons. The ground rumbles. The Nebulon city off in the distance transforms into a huge robot, and Lord Zarok yells out “Now, Autobots and Decepticons, feel the wrath of SCORPONOK!” Gotta get it.

Actually, while I’m gushing about what’s on video and DVD, let me just take some time out to tell you that the animated Batman movies (Batman: Mask Of the Phantasm and Batman: Sub-Zero) are now available on DVD! Not only that, but the first six episodes of Batman Beyond have also been released on DVD! This becomes reason #5,198,456 why I should start saving for a DVD player.

Switching gears to more modern cartoon now, I watch Gargoyles on the Family channel almost religiously. Just last night, I saw the episode called Revelations. It was the only true Bluestone episode. If you don’t remember, Matt Bluestone was Elisa’s partner. The big obsession in his life was the secret society known as the Illuminati. He was dedicated to proving their existence. In fact, we eventually learn that it was that obsession that got him kicked out of the FBI. The episode ended with Bluestone finally learning about the gargoyles, and becoming a member of the Illuminati so he could learn about them from within. The last we heard of Bluestone was in the big three-part episode (and finale of the second season) called Hunter’s Moon, in which he was appointed to head up a special gargoyle task force. And then, after that, he was completely left out of The Goliath Chronicles. I wish we got to learn more about him. From what little we got, he seemed to be a rather intriguing character, with more than a few similarities to Special Agent Fox Mulder on X-Files. Actually, I’ve got this huge list of Gargoyles fanfics that I’d like to write someday, and I have more than my fair share of Bluestone stories planned.

Hey! Guess what I got in the mail today? Back in October, I sent away for this free CD from Dr. Pepper called Get The Buzz. It came today! I had no idea what would be on it, but I got it! It’s just like one of those radio samplers that the radio station back at Augustana always gets. When my sister asked my what it was like, I said “Just like those radio samplers, some of it’s good, some of it’s crap, and there’s a token French Canadian song.” Actually, there’s a surprising amount of good stuff on it. It makes me wonder how many good songs I would have discovered if I ever took the time to listen to all those radio samplers that the station got. It’s almost like the end of Schindler’s List: “I could have done so much more.” Oh, well, that CD is the best $2 and 4 proofs of purchase I ever spent!

Well, and that’s about all I have to gush about right now. Man oh man, I see Fantasia 2000 is going to be hitting theaters soon. I think it’s going to be just you and me going to see that. Everyone else I’ve talked to about it always says “Dude, I just never got Fantasia. All that music and no talking! How can you stand it?” So, whatcha doing January 1?

Mark