Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Classic Cujo

Old Timer Reminds of Old Times

Last night, I had the luck to see Curtis Joseph play like his old self against the Atlanta Thrashers. Joseph picked up his 450th win, and reminded everyone why he was probably the most popular Leaf back when he joined the club the first time.

There's been talk that Joseph is on his way to an early retirement this season, but if he continues to play like he did last night, the decision to push him out may not make a lot of sense.

Anyways, it was nice to hear chants of "Cu-jo! Cu-jo!" at least one more night.


Friday, December 26, 2008

UFC 92

If I Only Had Pay Per View and $55 to Spare

Tomorrow UFC 92 goes down, and on paper, it's one of the most interesting cards in recent memory. Ben Miller takes a look at the event here

Unfortunately, barring coming across a free (read: illegal) Internet hook-up, I don't think I'll be seeing this event.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'09 Films

Watching Trailers...

Having just started my twelve days of Christmas aka my longest time off from work in eight years, I had some time to watch new trailers that appeared on Apple's site. All of these films will be released next year (a complete aside: wasn't it just the year 2000 last week?). Here are my non-substantive thoughts on these movies:

9: Tim Burton? Oh my... wait, he's producing. And the guy who's directing made this. Ugh.

Obsessed: This one looks ordinary and would probably be completely ignored if Beyoncé wasn't starring in it. 

Good: Yawn.

Based on my reactions one would think I'm rather "negative" but I assure you these movies look regrettable.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Words 2008

New York Times Looks Back

Always a fun article, the New York Times offers up their look at the buzzwords of the past year right here. If I was really creative, I would have thrown to that article using several words from their review, but alas, this post is a fail.


Friday, December 19, 2008

More Sundin

Everything You Need to Know About the Sundin Deal from...

Damien Cox: yeah, sometimes he's talking shit but his analysis of the Sundin signing, found here, is dead on. A good read, especially for those Leaf fans sore about Sundin signing with the Canucks.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

No Cup

Sundin Joins Vancouver

My first reaction to this news is that Mats Sundin went for the money and not the chance to win the Cup. New York, the other team that had been in contention for Sundin's service, is tied for first in their conference. Vancouver is no slouch, fifth in their's, but I would say less likely to be contender for the Cup. Of course, adding Sundin helps that issue quite a bit, but I'm skeptical that he'll make a huge difference. Major free agent signings, especially mid-season ones, have a tendency to disappoint.

I guess Leaf fans circle Feb. 21, 2009: Vancouver plays at the ACC. Two questions: 1) will Sundin play? 2) if he does, how will he be greeted?


Monday, December 15, 2008

Quitely: Batman

Frank With Grant, Again; This Time The Other Big Guy

Care of Rich Johnston:
Grant Morrison is indeed writing a monthly Batman book after “Final Crisis"/"Whatever Happened To…"/ "Battle For The Cowl" and the like have wrapped.

And the penciller?

Get ready.

DC people tell me it’s one Frank Quitely.

Quite, quite excellent. I’ve got a couple of Frank’s art pages from his previous Batbook “The Scottish Connection" hanging in my hall. I doubt I’ll be able to afford any more now.

Yes, he is already working on it. Obviously.


Christmas Issue

The New Yorker's Gift ToC

I'm just going to link the entire Table of Contents of this week's New Yorker: Go here.

Hell of a good line-up:
  • Mark Twain
  • Alice Munro
  • Robert Bolaño
  • Zadie Smith
  • Colson Whitehead
And that's just the non-regulars.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Too Many

When There Aren't Enough Shelves

I've just tried (not terribly hard) to organize my books.

I hadn't realized how many I had to shelve away until it became clear that I had probably two full shelves worth too many. I don't write this to impress you with my bibliophilic character, but to say that I really a) need to get more shelving and b) need stop with the books; such space-taking things.

Perhaps this is my great weakness: If only I am so lucky.


El Clásico

Hope They (The YouTube Powers That Be) That Pull This One Down

That's how it's done.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

On Mac

Bye, PC

After more than five years using an increasingly underperforming PC, I have now returned to using a Mac. I'm a bit rusty on the Apple shortcuts, but I'm sure in time I will remember them and regain my Mac form. It is nice, again, to be using a fast computer.

The problems with my PC, which had been multiplying exponentially in the last two years, were enough for me to consider a new computer. This time, I went back to the Mac. Not sure why, but it felt right.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Bad Break

Corey Hill Snaps One


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jay Leno

Leno Moves to 10 p.m. Slot

From the Times:
NBC will keep Jay Leno five nights a week, but in prime time, competing not with David Letterman, but with shows like “CSI: Miami.”

The network will announce Tuesday that Mr. Leno’s new show will appear at 10 o’clock each weeknight in a format similar to “The Tonight Show,” which he has hosted since 1993.

The only question left to ask: But will this move make him funny?


Monday, December 08, 2008

Live Fables

The Next Comic to Screen Adaptation

From the Hollywood Reporter:
DC Comics' "Fables" is heading to ABC.

The network has handed out a put pilot commitment to the fantasy project, based on the comic book created by Bill Willingham and published by DC's Vertigo imprint.
I've only read about the first thirty or so issues of the series with the rest (a lot of it) piling up. It's good stuff, probably best adapted on television rather than film.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Marketing Totalitarianism

Randy Boyagoda on Steven Heller's Iron Fists: Branding the 20th Century Totalitarian State

My old prof has a good review of a new book about the marketing of last century's totalitarian regimes in this weekend's National Post:
This obsessive control over the words, symbols and images of daily life under Fascism and Communism extended from predictable, politically loaded items, such as flags, military uniforms and modes of salute, to mundane items, like crossword puzzles and board games, comic books and buttons. And while such reach seems absurd, as does the accompanying significance placed upon advertising, marketing, image management and commodity consumption, it is entirely of a piece with the basic premise of totalitarianism itself: that the State's prerogative extends to every dimension of its people's lives.
At the heart of any successful movement is a brilliant marketing/p.r./advertising plan. Look south to Obama, look east to Harper... er, that's not working out so well...


Miller's Batman

Part Two: A critic's Praise

This Tuesday the Dark Knight DVD hits the shelves, which means it's a good time to look at what's the best comic book depiction of the character out there right now. Of course, I'm not actually going to anything in depth, because I'm partly lazy (some may some more than partly) and partly bored with the idea of taking a serious look at a Batman comic.

But I will say that while Grant Morrison has done interesting work on his "Batman: R.I.P." storyline, the best Bat title out there is Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder. I'll quote some praise from the Newsarama Blog to do my talking:
It’s bold and brassy, and when you read it in trades, it’s much clearer that Miller has a very clear plan for this series. His deliberately off-putting versions of Batman and the JLA are building the importance of Robin in the DC pantheon. The all-powerful, naïve farmboy, the caustic Greek warrior, the fearless and thoughtless flyboy, and the uncompromising, brutal vigilante, each of them show tremendous potential for heroism, yet it is the humanity of young Dick Grayson that seems destined to bring that potential out of them. Miller also seems to want readers to ask themselves questions about the influence of Batman’s violent actions, and do we really want to trust our protection to a handful of powerful beings? Plus, honestly, it’s just brutally, ludicrously over the top fun and a breath of fresh air in the nostalgia-heavy superhero market.
The one thing to keep in mind about ABRTBW (I'm not sure if that is the accepted acronym nor do I care), is that it is one of the most reviled high-profile superhero series being published today. Pretty odd considering it is better than most of the superhero work being critically praised today, which I often find over-serious and puffed up with bizarre self-importance. It's a superhero comic for god's sake.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Killers Christmas

With Elton John?


The Killers other Christmas songs are much more fun, and therefore, better. Why so serious?


Prospekt March

Coldplay's New EP

Earlier this week I listened to the new EP from Coldplay, Prospekt March; a bit light, but an enjoyable 27 minutes or so. However listening to it, I was a bit distracted by comments Chris Martin had said last month, suggesting the band would disband at the end of 2009. This suggestion from Martin changed the listening experience, sort of like if someone knew The White Album was the beginning of the end for the Beatles.

But today I came across this:
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has laughed off rumors the band is on the verge of splitting, insisting the group will never break up.

Last month, Martin hinted that the band would cease in 2010, adding: "I'm 31 now and I don't think that bands should keep going past 33."

But now he has reassured fans that the band still has a lot of music left in it, and is focusing all its energy on the next album.

He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "We're proceeding as if it's our last because it's the only way to proceed.

"You've got to have deadlines, you know. What that means is we're going to pour everything we can into next year and not think beyond that. We always say that and we always mean it. But every time we say it, someone writes that it's over.

"I don't think we'll ever split up but we have to do a lot before we're 33."
Changes things, but doesn't change the fact that Martin is an attention seeker.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008