Monday, August 31, 2009


Something that had not occurred to me until I decided to read in detail just now on the Disney take-over of Marvel: Of course, it is so obvious... the comic book characters could appear at the Mouse House's theme parks. Something does not seem right about that.

Needless to say the terms of the deal -- all sales are built on some conditions -- could spell out something like "under no circumstances are Marvel characters to appear at your goofy and overpriced theme-parks".

Disney could make a Marvelopolis park: "With heroes and villains, the bad and the good."


Speaking of evil corporations (see previous posting), The Walt Disney Company is purchasing Marvel Comics for 4.1 billion dollars. I had the impression that the ol' comic book company was doing very well, especially with their film division. (Admittedly I haven't heard a lot, lately.)

Great, now we can see Spiderman take on Donald. It would make a great film; Spiderman Meets the Duck. Sounds like what happened when Universal Studios started making light fun of their 'horror' characters -- in 1948 they released the comedy picture Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


This article is music to my ears...

... yes it is. Someone read it to me this morning. (I wanted to hear it spoken.) Economics professor Andrew Zimbalist is absolutely right on all counts, I'm sure. But he does not understand, perhaps, that "sense" is not an operative word in the Southern Ontario NHL market. MLSE (Maple Leafs, Sports and Entertainment) is a bunch of thugs, using their tentacles to manipulate and put themselves in power, and for optimal positioning to counter any threat such as what is happening with the Phoenix Coyotes and the possibility, or wish, by some, of putting that team in Hamilton (which is next door to Toronto).

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman does nothing to keep the MLSE creeps in check. Speaking of creeps...

Saturday, August 29, 2009


One of the most useless electronic treats introduced in the last few years has to be "Twitter". Unless it is used as a genuine news-breaking device, or something comparable, the whole idea seems foolish. I really don't care if you are "going to bed"! Yes, we all go to bed. Maybe that is news... and something to "tweet" about.

Barry tweet: "I just filed a blog posting."

Average reader: "... great... "


As reported by the National Post newspaper today, there is a Facebook campaign afoot to get famous starship captain, and sometimes actor, William Shatner to be designated as honourary Captain in the Canadian navy. (To be technical about it, the 'naval arm of the Canadian Forces' would be accurate; formerly the RCN, or Royal Canadian Navy, and after that the seagoing part of the Canadian Armed Forces.)

There are 200 members so far signed up on the Facebook page. If I were on that social networking site I would throw my name into the pile.

"I'm a soldier, not a diplomat. I can only tell you the truth."

"Peace or... utter destruction... it's up to you." (Captain James T. Kirk was not referring here to an external threat -- by him -- but "self destruction".)

Make him captain!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Senator Edward M. Kennedy dies at the age of 77 from brain cancer. When I read the news this morning I was shocked and sad as he seemed to be someone in the "U.S. government" who had a heart in addition to a brain. Hard to believe, I know. The good news is, angry right-wingers can rejoice now that another political conscience (and consciousness) has vacated the power structure. Let's face it, a lot of Republican-brains are happy -- they are a hateful lot.

The CBC National news last night had a story about Wikipedia and how that outfit is getting tough on people who get carried away with editing pieces on "those still living". In the story was an example of this: When Ted Kennedy was stricken last year with his malady, someone had re-written the Senator's entry to say he had "died".

It may have been one of those angry right-wingers I mentioned above.

Toronto Star obituary...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


In the name of deserving a welcome break I turned on Doctor Who just as the opening titles started up. The episode was "Midnight"; soon after I realized I not only saw this one before but had actually liked it, which is saying a lot with my relationship being the way it is with the new Who.

It reminded me very much of an episode of the old Outer Limits television series. "Counterweight" appeared in that series' second season, a year considered by many fans to be lesser than the first. By the way, this particular OL installment features a cool stop-motion animated creature. Knowing what I do about visual effects I would guess that that bit of animation cost more money to render than the entire visual effects for Who's "Midnight" did. No question about it, in fact. (Ah, technology!)

"Counterweight" is a more successful episode: It enjoys a better sense of drama, and is supported by Harry Lubin's spooky music.


Don Hewitt, creator of the CBS news magazine program 60 Minutes (1968 - ), and who passed away last week, is being profiled on tonight's installment of the show.


After reading in the Toronto Star about an hour ago that there is a battle between two Russian female tennis players at this year's Roger's Cup final today in Toronto, I decided to pop on the CBC when I got back home.

My god, and I do mean God, that Maria Sharapova has a beautiful body. She looks tall, too. To die for.

(That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Barry is getting a little excited. With his short attention span, however, it never lasts very long: "Hey, my hot dogs are ready!")

Time for me to go into that sport... I heard there is better money in it than in blogging.

(As I post the above it is Sharapova 4, Dementieva 6 -- they are at 40 each; whatever that means. I have never understood how scoring works in tennis.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


As I mentioned in previous postings, I read about someone and the next day I get the news they died. Last evening I read up on 60 Minutes creator/producer Don Hewitt; who passed away today at the age of 86.

I watched 60 Minutes on Sunday, which had an interview with Michael Vick (now I know who he is and I do remember the 'dogfighting' story), and yesterday I read the Wikipedia entry for the venerable CBS news magazine program and its creator.

Toronto Star obit...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I took a stroll about an hour ago and walked past a novelty store which has interesting items on display in the window. Where back on June 3rd I reported seeing a Sigmund Freud action figure, tonight I saw something every bit as bizarre... "Paparazzi". Through the box's cellophane window were 8 or 9 riff-raffy-looking paparazzi action figures; in various obnoxious poses. Admittedly I looked around for a Sean Penn action figure -- in a 'bust-up' pose. There weren't any. Maybe it's something you have to mail away for. (Include "paparazzi" box top and 25 cents.)


See if you can outdo me here...

I was cleaning up last week, looking for some important paper files, when I came across a box full of odds and ends of bills, receipts and that sort of thing. There before my eyes was this:

Amex Bank of Canada
Listing of Charges and Credits -- Shoes... ($)57.49
Total -- ($)57.49
Billing Date -- 04/11/92

... get the joke?

See if you can beat that! (Yes, I know I might just qualify as a loser.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Okay, so I am not as pop-culturally literate as some of you might think -- if you did at all -- and here is the evidence. Yesterday as I slid around on the Internet I was jolted twice by the realization that I am not 'with it': There was a poll on which asked 'do you think Michael Vick should be allowed to return to the NFL?'. Even with the "NFL" prompt I still blurted "who's Michael Vick?". Next... I kept seeing headlines about some television series, by the name of Mad Men, coming back. I did not know what Mad Men was, nor that it had even left.

I still don't; no, I did not go to Wikipedia to read up. The joke is better that way.

(I titled this posting with the add-on "One", fully expecting there could be more.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


One property which could be considered for a movie remake is Perry Rhodan, a literary spaceman who first hit the bookshelves in West Germany back in 1961 and then appeared on that country's big screens in 1967 in the feature film Perry Rhodan - SOS aus dem Weltall (or Mission Stardust, or ...4 ...3 ...2 ...1... morte).
Like Barbarella, Perry Rhodan is an art directors' dream.


Italian super-producer Dino De Laurentiis has decided to go ahead and start pre-production on a remake of his own 1968 film Barbarella. This project has been in the works for a while -- filmmaker Robert Rodriguez had been slated to direct for Universal Studios -- but De Laurentiis has taken over the property and is shopping around for complete financing.

While the 41 year-old film, which starred intersteller hottie Jane Fonda, would be considered more a cult item, there appears to be a need for a new version. Trivia: Barbarella was rereleased to theatres not long after Star Wars became a hot item in the spring and summer of 1977. Like a lot of folk, when I saw the tv spots for Barbarella, I thought it was a new film, made to cash in on Star Wars.

December 1976; yes, I saw the same producer's remake of the classic 1933 film King Kong. With great fanfare, De Laurentiis, with his usual aplomb, made sure every living thing new that he was going ahead with his take on the big ape -- making a film which was derided by many but seen by more than a few. (His King Kong ran for a month at my local small-town cinema; it had a plum spot in the biggest house.)

While King Kong 1976 became a victim of its own pre-publicity (we knew when Jessica Lange was cast, we knew when the full sized mechanical ape was transported across the U.S., and we knew when the production shot around the World Trade Center towers) by under-performing a little considering what kind of money was at stake. But we saw Dino De Laurentiis' name emblazoned on the movie posters... his name was as familiar at that time as super-producer Irwin Allen's. It was the end of the era of real movie showmen.

What this means for the new Barbarella is anybody's guess. But we will know everything about it before it even hits the screens -- which is par for the course, these days.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Star Hollywood executive Robert Evans had been walking around with the feature film rights to the old British TV series UFO. His company has decided to "green-light" the production with veteran visual effects supervisor Matthew Gratzner as director.

By the sounds of it the producers are staying faithful to the original series' concept -- smart move! The original show is outstanding. And better than the Sci-Fi crap on television these days. (I saw a handful of episodes again a few years ago. While obviously dated, it still stands up as grand entertainment; with a brain.)

I mentioned in a previous posting that back in September of 1970, my family and I sat down in front of the tube to watch the premiere of UFO on the CTV network. We rarely missed an episode. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, it was very dark at times... but "good dark", not just for the sake of being so.

Variety story on the new planned feature film of UFO...

Friday, August 7, 2009


The New York Daily News recently ran this great photo of a "jumping" Great White shark.

Give me open water, a little rubber (vinyl) dingy, and a plastic baseball bat -- and I'll take care of 'im!


While perhaps not as cool as the Batmobile from the 1960s TV series Batman, the Toronto Public Library's "Bookmobile" might not be far behind. As some people do not have easy access to any TPL branches, this vehicle provides yeoman service in bringing material to them. (There are 32 stop locations which the magic machine visits regularly.)

The Toronto Public Library system is nothing short of wonderful and underutilized by the city's population as a whole. Even with the Internet and all it's well-known qualities there's... nothing like a good book!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


As I was very busy last evening with too much to do, I figured I would stay up to 1am to catch the CBC's showing of the monster classic, Rodan.

Unfortunately, I never made it. Too bad as that would have been the most fun I've had at that time in the morning in a while... and without laughing.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Get this: The "Television Critics Association" has awarded the 2009 grand prize to Battlestar Galactica. All I can add is this group's standards are pretty low, considering they are already rating an arena made for limbo dancing.

Battlestar Galactica is listed as playing on "Syfy". What, as in syphilis? For some reason I don't think most fans of that show risk contracting a venereal disease.

The story...