Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Casey's Mix of the Moment 2007.01.31

Alright, so we've got another themed mix for this edition of Casey's Mix of the Moment. This time around we're doing movie score tracks. For those of you who listen to movie scores and haven't heard these tracks, definitely check them out. For those who've never thought about listening to movie scores, try out these songs, they just may convert you. Thanks for reading.

1. Central Park by James Newton Howard (King Kong)
2. Jazz Autographs by John Williams (The Terminal)
3. An Unlikely Outcome by Brian Tyler (The Greatest Game Ever Played)
4. The Park on Piano by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek (Finding Neverland)
5. Finale by Danny Elfman (Big Fish)
6. Oceanic 815 by Michael Giacchino (Lost)
7. Epilogue/End Credits by James Horner (Searching for Bobby Fisher)
8. I Do Believe in Fairies by James Newton Howard (Peter Pan)
9. I'm Happy Today by Mark Isham (Life As A House)
10. The Winner Is by Mychael Danna/Devotchka (Little Miss Sunshine)
11. The Healing by James Newton Howard (Lady in the Water)
12. Saying Goodbye To Those You Love by James Horner (A Beautiful Mind)
13. Bruce and Linda by Randy Edelman (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story)
14. Cast Away by Alan Silvestri (Cast Away)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Dying Breed

One night, I really can't remember when, I can't even remember where I was (for some reason i think it was a hotel), but I up late watching TV. And when there's nothing to watch, I usually turn to my 'kid' channels like YTV and Teletoon. Anyway, when I hit YTV I saw this strangely animated cartoon. The strangeness about it was how good it was animated. Like the quality just seemed beyond TV. I later discovered that it was the Ultimate Avengers movie. It's part of a straight-to-dvd high quality animated series that Marvel has started. And let me tell you, they are damn good.

So far, 3 movies have been released, Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Avengers 2, and The Invincible Iron Man. I think what's really cool about them, is that they're really well executed mature movies. When comic characters are brought to life on the big screen, there's a real gamble that it'll be screwed up. Even if the movie is genearlly good, there are things that don't translate that well. Now, I will say, hollywood has done an amazing job recently of doing pretty sick translations, but still, there is something missing. There's something about classic, 2D animation that just works so well. You can have your characters do things and have it still look really cool. I guess the thing is, the way characters can bend and move in animation doesn't translate well to real life. Like try putting Tobey Macguire in a Macfarlane Spidey pose.

WIth that said, it's really too bad to see that 2D animation is going the way of the dead. I mean, Treasure Planet was the last 'major' 2D Disney release in the theatres and due to its abysmal box office results, it just became a bad thing to invest in. It's not that I don't love 3D animation - Pixar has some of the greatest films in recent memory, but I just think it's sad that companies are investing less in 2D animated features, because after seeing this Marvel animated series, you realize that there's some really good stuff there. I would have loved to have seen these movies on the big screen, but alas, there just isn't the audience.

Marvel plans on continuing this series well into 2008 with announcements of Dr. Strange, a Spider-man feature, and many more. They've recently packaged all 3 of the current releases in a single gift set worth checking out. Either way, I think everyone should check out these movies if only to support this dying art. With movies like The Lion King, Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker, Ultimate Avengers, Tarzan, Balto, and many more, I'd hate to ever see 2D animation become a thing of the past. Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Return of the Hamster

So, it's come and gone. For all those Top Gear fans, yesterday was a monumental day, if not the most monumental day in the show's history. For those who don't know, Top Gear is a long running BBC show about cars. But it ain't your typical car show - and again, at some point I will write directly about the show. Anyway, one of the beloved hosts, Richard Hammond was recording a bit on a rocket car that could be powered up to 10,000 horse power. Anyway, during the taping, a tire blew, and Hammond was in a serious accident. The show missed its scheduled return, and many including myself were holding our breaths as Hammond made a remarkable recovery.

So yesterday, Top Gear made it's triumphant return with promises of showing the recorded footage of the actual accident. I tell you - it was something. I don't know how to describe it. Like I wasn't shocked or sad or worried, 'cause the man was alive and well commenting on the video. But the feelings and thoughts that go through your head. This is probably the first time I've truly thought to myself and tried to put myself in someone else's shoes who's suffered a crazy tragedy. 'Cause the thing is, Hammond is a cheerful guy, and I remember just how affected I was by the crash. Seriously, I was probably more affected by his crash than say Princess Di's death. I don't know what it is - I think it's just when you watch someone on TV for so long, you start to feel some kind of connection to them. Say, like I've watched the Simpsons DVD commentaries religiously, and by now, I feel like I know these guys. And 'knowing' Hammond, it's such a scary thing to see something like this happen, and see him talk about it. I'm not saying Hammond's more important than Di, or the other way around. All I'm saying is that, because I've watched Hammond so much, I feel more of a connection to him than Di. If Di was on TV all every week, talking about something for an hour, and I watched it, then I probably would have felt more when she passed.

Either way, it was a really crazy thing to watch, but I'm glad Hammond's doing ok, and I'm glad they showed the footage. And when it comes down to it, I'm glad one of the greatest, if not the greatest show on TV today is back. Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and of course, Richard Hammond host Top Gear, Sunday nights at 8:00pm, on BBC2. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Casey's Mix of the Moment 2007.01.27

Alright, so every now and then, Casey's Mix of the Moment will have a theme to it. I walked into HMV today and heard the best of Oasis playing, and Oasis being one of my older favourite bands, I decided that today's edition would be a mix of Oasis songs. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

1. Hello by Oasis
2. Stand By Me by Oasis
3. Go Let It Out by Oasis
4. Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis
5. Supersonic by Oasis
6. Acquiesce by Oasis
7. Talk Tonight by Oasis
8. Don't Go Away by Oasis
9. Live Forever by Oasis
10. Some Might Say by Oasis
11. Columbia by Oasis
12. Round Our Way by Oasis
13. Little By Little by Oasis
14. Slide Away (Acoustic) by Oasis

This is the Straw, Final Straw

Oh Henry? Snickers? 3 Muskateers? Mars? Turtles? Crunch? Coffee Crisp? Crispy Crunch? Junior Caramels? Caramilk? Aero? Mirage? For anybody who likes chocolate and is not allergic to nuts - how many of those don't you like? Well, for me it's none. And there's a lot more I can name. What is it about the chocolate bar industry? I mean seriously, I can't name another industry that has so many successful products. I find myself maybe once every 5 or 10 years disapointed in a chocolate bar. Now, small chocolates that come in boxes is a different story. I've been many a time dissapointed in eating those. But never in a chocolate bar. I think the reasoning is that the chocolate bar industry doesn't mess with a good thing. If it ain't broke don't fix it. They've realized that caramel works, nuts work, nugget works, and chocolate works. All they've been doing is working around those. I mean every now and then you get a small addition - say peanut butter, or pretzels (k, pretzels in Max 5 was a major addition, but that's an exception), but other than that, most chocolate bars when it comes down to it are basically the same. And that's probably why they're all good.

Y'know what? I started writing this blog entry thinking that I had a lot to say about chocolate bars, and I kept erasing this paragraph - and realized, I really don't have anything that interesting to say. So hopefully I've wet your appetite to go get a chocolate bar.

Don't forget, Top Gear returns tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's not just Cold, it's Special

Ok, so the other day, my friend Alayne wrote me and expressed her shock to find out that I exhibited the human quality of being in a bad mood. I'll admit, that I'm a pretty damn happy guy, and especially in public and around friends, I'm very rarely in a bad mood. The other day, for those readers of mine, I blogged about my crappy day of running errands like nuts only to end up with a lamp and a blown fuse. So what would put Jonny Smileface in a bad mood twice in a week?

Was it the fact that I wrote an awesome blog entry about Hasselblad that I lost because Safari crashed (the uncrashable mac, yeah, right)? No. That may have triggered it, but really it always comes down to one thing when I'm in a bad mood. Because I'm generally a happy guy, the only thing that really puts me in a bad mood is being cranky. That is, when I'm hungry, or tired, I just get very irritable, and something like losing a great Hasselblad blog entry would tick me off.

And what's one of the worst forms or being cranky? Being sick. Yes. The reason I was cranky yesterday, and partly today was because I've caught the nasty flu or cold that seems to be stretching all across North America. God, it just sucked the life out of me. I mean it's really crazy how every just sucks when you're sick. Like I was telling my friends how everything around kind of becomes sick when you're sick. Case in point, my apartment yesterday became very sick, in that it got really messy and gross. I mean when you're sick, you're lazy, and when you're lazy, nothing gets done, and everything gets gross. I guess I'm trying to be pseudo clever by saying that it metaphorically gets sick.

Well, to combat my sickness, I started taking some medicine that my dad gave me over the Christmas break. I came into school this morning and started talking about it, and my buddy said, "you mean, Cold-FX?"

Yeah, so apparently Cold-FX has been sweeping the country without me knowing anything about it. I thought it was just something my dad had access to because he was a doctor. But apparently it's like the new Echinacea. And like Echinacea, apparently it's very natural, and very case-by-case in it's success. Some people will swear by it, and others will think it's utter crap.

I recently watched an episode of Frasier called Selling Out where Frasier was deciding on what products he would endorse for a little extra scratch. Well, I'm deciding to do a little endorsing myself. I started my 3 day cycle of Cold-FX today, having just contracted the cold about a day ago, and today although not a 100%, I was feeling great, and I could carry on with my day. Some muscles were still a little sore, and my throat was feeling a little dry, but it's nothing as bad as a cold could really get. So here's my official plug. If you've got a cold, and you haven't tried it, have some Cold-FX lying around and it may be your miracle drug. Today being a pretty crucial day in my schooling, I know it has been for me.

Just a few notes before I leave you guys, my buddy Nic (sp?) has recently reminded me that we are two days away from a major TV event, although for us North Americans, it'll be an online event. But anyway, he's talking about the return of Top Gear, which isn't only major because it's been on a hiatus, but which is major because the hiatus was due to Richard Hammond's rather scary accident. So it'll be good to have the boys back for sure.

Alright, that's it, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs

When it comes down to it, if I was really hard pressed to pick my absolute favourite sitcom, in the end I would probably have to pick Frasier (not favourite show, favourite sitcom). I'll probably write a whole other entry about the show, but it's got really original humour, pokes fun at two sides of a lot of coins, when it got emotional it didn't get stupid (cough, Friends), it had a lot of good experimental episodes, and the list goes on. I appreciate's Seinfeld's amazing feat of being the only sitcom to never ever get emotional, but I do like the emotional half of the sitcom, and I don't think any sitcom does it better than Frasier. Whatever, there are a LOT of close seconds, but Frasier I think I'd have to say is my favourite sitcom. For DVD collectors like myself, we've been sitting forever on 9 seasons (1-8 and 11) of Frasier on DVD, and no annoucements of new sets (only 2 to go). Well, alas, an official annoucement has been made and Season 9 of Frasier will be released May 15th!!! Special thanks to for being the best news for well, tv shows on dvd. If you are waiting for any show to be released on DVD, this is the site to be at. Well, just wanted to share the news. Thanks for reading.

The Reitman for the Job

Thank you for smoking anybody? One of the great independent hits of last year? Well, the director, Jason Reitman came to talk to our school today. It was my first dose of stardom in terms of directors, so that was really cool. He's a great guy with a lot of good things to say about filmmaking. For those who don't know, he's the son of director Ivan Reitman (Animal House, Dave) and he talked about how even with that fact, it's been a hard road to get to where he is. And despite churning out an award winning hit like Thank You for Smoking, and working under a studio to direct Juno, he said he's still trying to make a name for himself. That he wanted to get to a point where he's trusted as a director, which really proves how hard the film industry can get. You'd think that after making a film like Thank You for Smoking, you'd be set - apparently not.

Again, he was a really cool guy who's made a lot of good films - be sure to check out his shorts if you get a chance. His breakthrough In God We Trust is a really good film. And of course, if you haven't seen Thank You For Smoking, be sure to check that out. It was a nice dose of stardom, and hopefully it'll be the first of many. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Casey's Mix of the Moment 2007.01.23

1. Love and Mathematics by Broken Social Scene
2. Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie
3. Swallowed by the Sea by Coldplay
4. Fake by the Frames
5. Eve, Apple of my Eye by Bell X1
6. In The Deep by Bird York
7. Anything at All by Mere
8. So Much More by Peter Mulvey
9. Meet Me By the Water by Rachael Yamagata
10. I Don't Know What it Is by Rufus Wainwright
11. Somehow, Someday by Ryan Adams
12. Joan by Butch Walker
13. Sao Paolo by The Guillemots

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Score to Settle

So, the thing is, what I'm about to talk about spreads off into 3 major topics: movie scores, Top Gear, and Craig Armstrong. While movie scores and Top Gear will for sure get their own entry at some point, today, we're gonna focus on Craig Armstrong. Alright, so ever since Jurassic Park came out, I've developed a strong liking for movie scores. I listen to them all the time, and I found out quickly that I wasn't alone. Anything from Horner, to Williams, to Zimmer, to Silvestri, to Rabin, and the list goes on. Recenlty, I've grown to love James Newton Howard (King Kong, Lady in the Water) and Michael Giacchino (Lost, M:I:3). But there's a new kid in town. And by new kid, I really mean, he's been around forever but I've only discovered him recently. That's the way it usually works with movie score composers for me. They have one score that grabs me, then I IMDB them and find that they've been around forever.

Well, the "new" kid in town is Craig Armstrong. He has been around for awhile. Probably most famous work is featured on Moulin Rouge (he did the original scoring for it, and possibly worked on the songs, not sure. But someone else was the main guy in charge of the actual songs). Anyway, the reason he came into my eye...errr...ear, was a little show called Top Gear (cough, greatest show ever). Top Gear is notorious for using pre-recorded music, whether it be Coldplay, the Chemical Brothers, or movie scores from The Matrix, Apollo 13, and Batman Begins. It works superbly well.

But the scores that really hit home in Top Gear are the ones done by Craig Armstrong. These scores really rock. I use the word rock 'cause they really do. Like Craig Armstrong does an amazing job of taking traditional movie score arrangements, and pumping them up by adding strong percussion and electronics. For all those Top Gear fans, you have to get your hands on this music. For those who don't, just take a listen to "ESCAPE" on Craig Armstrong's Plunkett & Macleane soundtrack - you'll get an idea of how cool his music is. I mean he does have his regular sounding stuff, and mellow sounding stuff (World Trade Center), which is really good for sure - but it's his heavy percussive, crazy epic scores that really shine.

So for any Top Gear or Movie score fans, you should definitely get your hands on Craig Armstrong's work. Can't decide what to get? I'd start with any album that has "Escape" on it (either the Plunkett & Macleane soundtrack, or the Craig Armstrong's Works collection). He's definitely made it into my list of new favourite composers. Oh and by the way, if anybody wants to know what song was playing that certain episode of Top Gear, check out:

Stay tuned for a write up on Top Gear itself, and on score composers themselves. Until then, thanks for reading.

Celebrating the Light

Alright, so if you didn't read my last posting "Sitting in Darkness", do so now, 'cause this won't make any sense if you don't. I woke up this morning with my computer/MSN left on. So when I jumped out of my screensaver, my friend Jenn had left me a message "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow, don't stop, it'll soon be here" in response to my "today sucks" MSN name. So perhaps, just perhaps, this was some foreshadowing for the way the day was gonna go. My basic dilemna remained. I have an IKEA lamp with a blown fuse. Do I buy another $19 IKEA lamp, or spend more than $19 on a fuse, solder, and soldering gun? Pros of the IKEA lamp: cheaper, no work involved. Cons: don't have a car to get to IKEA, I live in a furnished place, what do I do with the old one? What do I tell my landlord? Pros of fuse, solder, soldering gun: back to original way things were. Cons: cost more, not sure if it'll even work. But then my engineering mind kicked in. What if I just bought the solder and the fuse, I'd be paying less than $19 saving money by not buying the gun. And then just create my own home made holder and maintain metallic contact. So I got home late today, tried it out, and BOO-YEAH! My lamp is back in working order. Now of course any sudden jolts it'll break the circuit, but in the end, I'm damn proud and completely surprised that I was able to find the problem, much less fix it.

So, a note to anybody who has an electrical problem - if I can fix it, anybody can fix it. Seriously.

By the way, sorry for the boring traditional, what-happened-to-me-today blog entries recently, but one, I don't have anything else to write about recently, and two, I was frustrated about yesterday, and proud today that I had to tell somebody. So, thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sitting in Darkness

Alright, so I'm in a pretty bad mood, and I'm pretty sure it's not much more than being tired and hungry, but today as a whole just sucked. It started out ok. I got a good sleep and slept in til about noon. As I was taking my shower, I started going over in my head all the things that I had to do, and it turns out, it was a heck of a lot of errands and a notable amount of homework. From groceries at two different places ('cause most grocery stores don't sell good rice like the chinese ones do), toilet paper and paper towel, soap/shampoo and some extra school supplies. I wasn't sure I was gonna do it all today, but as the day went on, I decided, yeah I'd do it. So things were going pretty well at first as I walked to Staples to get my school supplies, and when I went to the grocery market to get most of what I needed. So far so good. So then it was off to the closest asian supermarket to get some rice. Turns out they had no good rice. First snag. So I decided that rice would come afterwards. Besides my groceries were already feeling quite heavy, so walking around was becoming more and more tiring. I hit up Shoppers Drug Mart next to get my soap and shampoo (not realizing that I was forgetting paper towel and toilet paper). So I was feeling pretty good about myself. Had gotten a lot done. So I went back home to unload my first round of errands. Next, it was to pick up the rice. Now understand that at this point, I was already getting kind of cranky. All the running around with all the groceries, and generally being kind of out of shape, I was getting kind of tired. But it was one of those things that hey, since I was this far, may as well keep going. So I walked out my door again and down to the other asian supermarket near me. Luckily this one had a good selection of rice and I got what I wanted. So then I was lugging this heavy bag of rice back to my house which was tiring and cranky-ing me out without realizing it. I got home, and that's when the snowball started to gather more steam (no idea what that means). I got home, and flipped on my light - boom, it burnt out. And the thing is, this is my main room's main source of light. So, I was damn. With no extra bulbs in the house, I'd have to go out yet again. So there I go, off to Shopper's Drug Mart again, but nope, no light bulbs there - but it did remind me that I'd forgotten about my paper towerl and toilet paper. So this was frustrating me more. Finally got to a place where they sold light bulbs and my paper stuff, and I walked back home. By this time, I was really tired, hungry, and overall cranky. I put in the light bulbs, and flick on the light. Nothing. WHAT THE HELL!!?! So after fiddling like crazy, looking stuff up on the internet, I decided to open up the footswitch for my lamp. And look at that - burnt fuse. So now I've got a dilemna on my hand - do I get a new IKEA lamp which'll cost $19, or do I buy a fuse, and replace it. The thing is, I have no soldering gun, and I have no car to get to IKEA. Not particularly fond of solving this problem right now. All I know is today sucked, and now I'm sitting in the darkness. Thanks for reading.

A Jag to C

Let's talk cars. Specifically, let's talk about exterior styling. Ok, let's start with my favourite car of all time: The Porsche 911. Each of its variations are pretty subtle, like say the differences between the Carrera, the Carrera 4, the Carrera 4S, the Targa, the Turbo, the GT3, in terms of looks are very subtle. I personally like the Turbo, the Targa, and the last generation Carrera 4S the best, but all the 911's are gorgeous. In fact up until a few years ago, the 911 in my opinion had no competitor for most beautiful car. I mean sure, there were very good looking cars, but to me, the 911 was always so much more gorgeous.

Then the new geneartion Aston Martins came. Specifically, the DB9 came.

The Aston Martin DB9 is in my opinion the only thing that touches, if not surpasses, the 911 in terms of exterior styling. It is such a gorgeous car. I guess technically I'd have to praise the Vanquish and Vantage too considering how close their designs are. Well, it looks like now Jaguar has recruited the designer of the beautiful aston martins and now is making gorgeous cars on their end. I've never really liked Jaguars in terms of exterior styling. But then this Aston Martin designer (sorry i don't know his name) churned out the new XK - the first great looking Jaguar. And now, there's a new trick up their sleeve. Yes, it is a concept, but still, remember, concepts dictate where things are going. And from the looks of it, Jaguar is heading in a good direction. Enter the C-XF, the best looking Jaguar hands down. Head over to or or wherever. I've included a single image with this blog, but you really have to see this thing. It is a gorgeous piece of machinery.

But I guess in reality, the reason the XK and the C-XF look so good is that they look so much like Aston Martins. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Keeping up with the Irwins

Ok, so about a week ago or so, I can't really remember exactly when, I was watching my nightly late night watching. Y'know, the Leno, Letterman, Conan circle. On Leno, he announced his second guest, some animal specialist named something er rather Irwin. And it took me a second or two, but then I think I said it aloud "No way!" thinking in my head, the crocodile hunter's wife? Sure enough it was, Terri Irwin. It was a pretty light hearted interview, with lots of warming comments about Steve. Eventually, towards the end of the interview she broke down into tears, and it was pretty sad to see. I mean, it was a sad thing when he died for sure, but it doesn't really hit home til it manifests itself in ways like a wife crying on what's generally a comedic show.

So yesterday, Terri Irwin was on Letterman, and it was kind of the same interview except that Steve and Terri's daughter was on too. And the thing is, she was a really cute, well behaved, bright eyed kid who shared the enthusiastic nature that her Dad and Mom had. You could tell they were an amazing family who all loved each other very much.

So as such, I just thought I'd give my praise to the crocodile hunter himself. I'll admit I wasn't an avid watcher of his show or other productions, but from interviews and various clips, and general publicity, there was something I abosutely admired about him - and it comes out in a lot of people. You see, Steve Irwin was one of those people who was so genuinely in love with something that he didn't care what other people thought, he didn't care about the danger, nothing - he just loved what he did to the full extent and embraced it all the way. There's too many people who grow up nowadays who get caught up in what other people think to some extent, that they don't fully indulge in their love and passion. Steve was someone who was so passionate about what he did, and again had a genuine love for what he did. It's almost like Roberto Benini - he endlessly loves his wife and is not afraid to express it in enthusiastic ways.

Basically, I hate people who get too cool for things and they lose their enthusiastic nature. I love people who get so excited about things - and it could be anything - your job, a video game release, a movie, a book, whatever - I just love people who get so aboslutely, genuinely passionate about things that nothing could bring them down. I hate the line "calm down there" when people get excited about things. Just let them be excited.

To me, Steve was someone who was famous, and had this awesome enthusiasm on the side. I just love that someone as famous as him was still a kid inside and just did what he loved to do. I'll be honest, I'm having a lot of trouble articulating what I'm trying to say, and I'm repeating it over and over again, but basically what it comes down to, is I think Steve Irwin is an awesome guy and represents a lot of what I love about people, and his wife and kid seem just as great. I'm not quite sure how to end this entry, so I guess I'll just say, I really respect Steve Irwin, and it's too bad we had to say goodbye to him. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Blues of Blu-ray

Alright, sorry about the title, it's cheesy. Ok, so this Christmas, I was one of the lucky kids that actually got a PS3. It wasn't for Christmas, it was just 2 days before when I was walking in Wal-mart and spotted they had a new shipment in of 3 PS3s. Couldn't resist, and I picked one up. Now my family recently bought a 720p projector, so the PS3 setup I have going on is ridiculous. Safe a 1080p projector, it's the sickest setup you could possibly imagine. Now, the launch library for PS3 was lacking - and in my opinion, Resistance was highly overrated. It became a very reptitive game after awhile. But mind you, I've never been a huge fan of FPS. So that said, my main enjoyment with owning a PS3 was the Blu-ray capability. Now, before Blu-ray, I had been an extensive DVD collector for about 5 years. I actually own all 3 DVD versions of Lord of the Rings (regular release, extended release, collector's release). I actually own a whole whack of DVDs. Now you're probably thinking that I'm going to complain that I'll have to buy my whole collection again on Blu-ray. Not true. Of course, it would be ideal to own every movie that I have in high def, but the fact of the matter is, I don't have that much money, and on top of that although worse, DVDs aren't so terrible you can't watch them.

So what's my beef with Blu-ray? The uncertainty of its battle with HD-DVD? No. The fact that they cost $10 more than a DVD? No. The ugly looking translucent blue case? No. What has me ticked off about Blu-ray then? Well, here's the deal. The thing I absoutely loved about DVDs, is that not only did they provide a medium that was much higher quality than VHS, but they completely changed the viewing experience. With things like menus, scene selections, and of course endless bonus features. I loved how DVD studios were upping one another to see who could make the greatest DVD with the greatest special features.

What has Blu-ray done? It seems that Blu-ray has taken a step back. And this ticks me off. It seems that to maximize video/audio quality, and not to spend money on the BD50 discs, studios have opted out for BARE BONES DISCS!!!! We're talking nothing but the movie itself (ok, and maybe some cool menus that you can bring up during playback). But c'mon. Viewers nowadays demand that you have everything that a DVD had and more. So higher quality video/audio yes, but package some other stuff in there. And I know HD video and 7.1 audio takes up more space leaving no room for special features, but either go to the BD50 discs, or package another disc. But if I'm paying $30 for the movie, I don't want it to be bare bones. Now, I know this probably won't continue for long. I'm sure Blu-ray and HD-DVD will find really cool ways to use there HDi and BDJ technologies and maximize the use of the disc space, just as DVDs did (remember how 'special features' used to be scene selection and interactive menus), but I gotta say, right now, it's a really sad showing that a Blu-ray disc contains less material than it's DVD equivalent. Of course I want the high quality video/audio, but seriously, studios, don't cheap out on the bonuses. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Itsa nice to see you

Alright, so here's the deal. I love the Ali G show. I have ever since I took a trip to L.A back a couple of years and watched my first episode in some dank hotel room. I love all the characters for sure, but I think I'm one of the rare ones who actually likes Ali G better than Borat. Either way, Sacha Cohen is a ridiculously good comic genius who manages to stay so well in character it's unbelievable. I mean, I remember people being so surprised that it was the same person playing Ali G, Borat, and Bruno. Just amazing. And damn funny too. What about the Borat movie? Well, I haven't seen it, but I've heard that people who've never seen Borat before love it, and those who have think it's just ok. And I can see that. 'Cause I'm not sure how long a Borat skit can work for. It's like the Family Guy movie. Pretty good, but not nearly as good an episode. It's like they took the amount of jokes in one episode and stretched it to a length of a movie reducing the frequency of jokes. Either way, I'll reserve my judgment of the Borat movie until I see it.

Now, here's the thing. I think Sacha Cohen is so damn good, and anytime I admire somebody, I always want to see them for who they are - say on talk shows, or making-of's, etc. I remember when I first saw Dan Castellaneta, it was so cool to see him speak in his normal voice and see the man behind Homer. So ever since I've known about Ali G, I've always wanted to see the man behind the characters and find out what he's like when he's not putting on an act. But the thing is, to catch Sacha Cohen being himself has been a really hard feat over the years because he's ALWAYS been in character. Even when he went on Leno, SNL, Letterman, even a cameo in Talledega Nights, he was always in character. You were hard pressed to get a sense of what Sacha Cohen was really like.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, my prayers were answered last night as Sacha Cohen accepted his golden globe as Sacha Cohen and not as Borat. It was really nice to see him as a normal person and to get a glimpse of the genius behind the comedy. If you haven't see him out of character yet, hop over to the Golden Globes website and watch his post-acceptance conference. So thanks Cohen for finally revealing yourself, and congrats on your win. Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Process of Removing Weeds from One's Garden

Alright, so I'm currently watching an episode of Simpsons and thought I'd write about how much I'm laughing at it. Now here's the deal - everyone knows the older episodes, say season 4-10 are a lot better than what's being churned out right now. But I think everyone's being way to hard on the Simpsons. The recent episodes although not as heart-warming, not as cohesive, and not as funny as the older episodes, they're still good. The Samsung MP3 player's not as good as the iPod, but it's still a good player. I'm still a huge fan of the Simpsons, and I still like the new episodes. In fact, in this season (18), I'm finding myself laughing a lot again. The scene with the White Stripes I thought was hilarious. Now, I will admit, that as first time straight up laughs, Family Guy is the funnier show on television right now. But I still think people are way too hard on the Simpsons right now.

Ok. Now that that's out of the way. I have to talk about one of the older episodes. The one I'm watching right now. It's the one where Homer feels "slow" and decides to teach an adult education class on the successes of marriage only to enrage Marge by telling personal secrets. Now, this episode is freakin' hilarious! There's gotta be a frequency of a joke every two minutes that's really funny. And if you're lucky enough to catch the uncut version (syndication seems to cut the really funny parts out), you're in for a real treat. Let's recap shall we?

"Something said. not good..."; "...get out of here!"
"Alright, so here's the 411. Let's say some gansta is dissin' your fly girl, you give him one of these."
"If he can teach a class, then he can teach a class, I mean I can teach a class."
"Correction Marge, 2 good jackets."
"What is a wedding? Webster's dictionary defines it as the process of removing weeds from one's garden."
"If I wanted to learn how to eat an orange, I would have taken the orange eating class."; "Eating an orange is a lot like a successful marriage."; "Just eat the damn orange!"

And the list goes on.

Plus this was back in the days when they drew Homer's scruff as a bushy beard line - I love that. Even say the way that the "he can teach a class" line is delivered is a lot more convincing than Dan has been delivering recently. Perhaps it's the dialogue, and not the delivery. Either way there is something lost in the genuineness of Homer's stupidity.

Yes, Simpsons isn't as good as it was before. But before, it was the greatest show ever. There is a lot of reasons the new episodes don't stack up to the old ones. But in my opinion, it's still a quality show, I still watch it, I'm liking the new episodes. People, give it a chance.

And here's the other thing, people keep saying the "older" ones are better. And they've been saying that probably since season 12. Now, the thing is, the same people are saying this nowadays, and considering season 12 and 13 the good episodes. This has my thinking that it's just a warming up issue. 'Cause I bet you if I named and episode from season 12-14, you'd say it was good. But back then, you were saying "these aren't as good as the old episodes". Just a thought.

Speaking of new Simpsons material, this is a whole other conversation, but I think the stuff that's coming out of the Movie is some of the funniest stuff that's come out of the Simpsons in awhile. Which has me confident that the movie's gonna be good. Check out the trailers online if you haven't already. They're all on quicktime, follow my link on my right bar. Alright. Out. Thanks for reading.

Two Blogs Are Better Than One

Alright, so I've been browsing around, and now that me and some of my friends have blogs setup, my daily surfing includes their sites. Today, I'm going to talk briefly about NELSON - a blog started by a couple of my friends who actually introduced me to blogspot (the host of this blog). So anyway, today I was reading there blog when I noticed that both of them started posting - not just one guy. It's great, because personal blogs are usually done by one person speaking their mind. Here you actually have some conflict within the same blog which makes for interesting reading for sure. Like Aaron (my former roommate actually) goes on about how he hates how long his roommates can go on about hockey - his roommates being the other bloggers (well, mainly one now, Brodie, the other being on his belize blog). Anyway, if you guys get the chance, check it out. It's the NELSON blog under my "LINKS - Friends" section to the right of this page. We'll see how it all unfolds. It'd be awesome if they got into a scrap. Alright, later. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Casey's Mix of the Moment - 2007.01.12

(note this was taken from a facebook post, that's why the date is off)

1. Another For the Darkness by Gemma Hayes
2. Trains to Brazil by The Guillemots
3. Breathe A Lot by Stabilo (Boss)
4. 9 Crimes by Damien Rice
5. Cathedrals by Jump Little Children
6. Fear by Paddy Casey
7. On The Radio by Regina Spektor
8. Star Witness by Neko Case
9. Strange by The Feeling
10. What Happens When The Heart Just Stops by The Frames
11. Look After You by The Fray
12. Ah-la Song by Joe Purdy
13. Girl In The War by Josh Ritter
14. Anchor the Sun by Mundy

Casey's Mix of the Moment

Alright, so, I was gonna start a Casey's "Mix of the day" or "Mix of the week", but since I know I probably wouldn't be able to do it regularly, I decided I'd just do it whenever, hence the "Mix of the Moment". So, it's just a collection of songs you can put together on a CD. It'll probably range from 12 to 20 songs depending on the moment. So without further a due (or due? a dieu? never known what the real expression is), here's the first Mix of the Moment for January 7th, 2007.

1. Rain Awhile by Stabilo
2. The Winner Is by Mychael Danna
3. Lie in the Sound by Trespassers William
4. Boston by Augustana
5. Elevator Love Beat by The Stars
6. Ghosts of You by Chantal Kreviazuk
7. Grey Rom by Damien Rice
8. Thin Blue Flame by Josh Ritter
9. Girls by Nizlopi
10. Turn the Lights On by Pilate
11. Annie, Let's not wait by The Guillemots
12. Ain't No Love by David Gray
13. Song For a Friend by Jason Mraz

10 Memorable Movie Moments

Alright, before we get on to this edition of Casey's notes, I gotta reveal the songs that the last quotes were from, so here they are:

15. "...I heard from someone you're still pretty..."
The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine

14. "...come pick me up, take me out, fuck me up, steal my records..."
Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams

13. "...I was surprised equally to you and I..."
Eve, Apple of my Eye by Bell X1

12. "...what sort of man goes by, I will bring you water..."
#41 by Dave Matthews Band

11. "...and the last letter said, that she had to get out, but I couldn't make out the rest of the note, as the blood stains all over the page of the letter, there's a lot to learn about Joan..."
Joan by Butch Walker

10. "...I'm going under over you..."
So Right by Dave Matthews Band

9. " god help me if I'm wrong, but I love all the things you do..."
Question Mark by Stabilo

8. "...they try and they try, but everything that they do, is the ghost of a trace of a failed imitation of you..."
Kathleen by Josh Ritter

7. "...time was never too friendly to me, somehow changed just avoided to greet me..."
Rain Awhile by Stabilo

6. "'s the wrong kind of place to be cheating on you..."
9 Crimes by Damien Rice

5. "...I don't know where, confused about how as well..."
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

4. "...I'm all dressed up for you, I'm all dressed up for him too..."
Prague by Damien Rice

3. " for me well, I'll find someone who's not gonna cheap in sale. A nice little housewife, who'll give me the steady life and not keep going off the rails..."
Say Hello Wave Goodbye by David Gray (Soft Cell)

2. "...all the time you thought I was sad, I was trying to remember your name..."
Your Ex-lover is Dead by the Stars

1. " me from the ranks of the freaks that suspect they could never love anyone..."
Save Me by Aimee Mann

as for today's list, again, it's just a list of memorable moments from movies with NO rank. So here it is:

10. The first time Molly speaks in Corrina, Corrina.

9. When Billy Crudup tells the story at the end of Big Fish

8. The first encounter with the Brachiosaurus in Jurassic Park

7. The endings to Sixth Sense, Usual Suspects, The Others, and more

6. The Rooftop bullet-time scene in the first Matrix

5. "My friends, you bow to no one" in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

4. "Sure, doctor Van Brahn is a great scientist, but he isn't my hero" in October Sky

3. When the warden throws the rock/chess piece through the poster in Shawshank Redemption

2. When Jim Carrey's boat hits the sky painted wall in The Truman Show

1. When Optimus Prime dies in the Transformers Movie

15 Memorable Song lines

So, this edition's list is NOT a Top 15 list, it just a "memorable" list. That is, these are in no particular rank, and aren't even necessarily all in the top 15, just 15 memorable lines from songs. I was gonna tell you guys what songs they were from, but I'll leave that as a bit of a game. I'll reveal the songs next entry. Enjoy these 15 memorable lines from songs:

15. "...I heard from someone you're still pretty..."

14. "...come pick me up, take me out, fuck me up, steal my records..."

13. "...I was surprised equally to you and I..."

12. "...what sort of man goes by, I will bring you water..."

11. "...and the last letter said, that she had to get out, but I couldn't make out the rest of the note, as the blood stains all over the page of the letter, there's a lot to learn about Joan..."

10. "...I'm going under over you..."

9. " god help me if I'm wrong, but I love all the things you do..."

8. "...they try and they try, but everything that they do, is the ghost of a trace of a failed imitation of you..."

7. "...time was never too friendly to me, somehow changed just avoided to greet me..."

6. "'s the wrong kind of place to be cheating on you..."

5. "...I don't know where, confused about how as well..."

4. "...I'm all dressed up for you, I'm all dressed up for him too..."

3. " for me well, I'll find someone who's not gonna cheap in sale. A nice little housewife, who'll give me the steady life and not keep going off the rails..."

2. "...all the time you thought I was sad, I was trying to remember your name..."

1. " me from the ranks of the freaks that suspect they could never love anyone..."

Top 10 Movie Trailers

Alright, so I don't know if it's exactly underrated, but it's definitely underacknowledged - the art of making movie trailers. How many times can you recall a bad trailer...maybe 3, 4 times at most? The thing I find amazing, is that no matter how bad a movie is going to be, somehow, they manage to make the trailer good. It's really an amazing type of advertising. I mean the only time you usually say a movie is going to be bad is usually 'cause you've seen the story before, or you know the actor is bad, or whatever, but you can never criticize the trailer itself, the way it's put together, or the music that is used. It's really rare that the trailer is that atrocious. There's this level of goodness that all trailers have, and my hat goes off to the outsourced companies that make these wonderul 2-3 minute pieces of art.

Now with that said, it's not a perfect art. There are definitely some bad trailers, some really disappointing ones for movies that are great, and some music choices that are questionable. But the thing is, this usually appears in the TV spots for movies rather than the actual theatrical trailers. So keep in mind, the top 10 list below is of the theatrical trailers that you can get from the internet, and the ones you actually see in the theatre.

Another thing to note, is that you need to separate yourself from the movie itself. The Lake House was a pretty bad movie, but the trailer wasn't too bad, especially with the use of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know. In some cases, the below choices were based on the fact that the trailer was so good for a movie that was so bad. There's the opposite effect too...Office Space didn't have the greatest trailers, but it was one of the funniest comedies I can name. Actually, one of the best examples of that was probably the original Matrix. The original Matrix trailers although absolutely effective in the sense that they didn't reveal anything made the movie look not so great. And sometimes, there's a misreprentation. For example, The Village's trailer portrayed a horror suspense thriller, but The Village itself didn't concentrate on those monsters as much as the trailer purported.

So with all that in mind, the trailers below are analyzed for the trailers themselves (and considering my memory of trailers is pretty limited, this list will probably be of pretty recent movies)

10. The Prestige

9. The Transformers (the trailer released recently)
I love this one 'cause it's not at all how I would see a
Transformers trailer. Like the very quiet sound with the
short glimpses of the Transformers was done really well.

8. Finding Neverland (Trailer with Come On by Ben Jelen)
This version of the trailer is SO hard to find nowadays.

7. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

6. Children of Men
The use of Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros was so perfectly

5. The Village
The way they showed blurs of the monsters was amazing
in creating suspense within the trailer.

4. Big Fish (Trailer with Edward Scissorhands score)

3. The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions Trailer
Opening the trailer with the green code instantly
brought the fans back to the series they all been
waiting sequels for.

2. The Lost World (Teaser Trailer)
This was short with a "Something" "has" "survived" and then
a T-Rex growl. So good.

1. (i really don't know)

Honourable Mentions:
Miami Vice (use of Jay-z/Linkin Park was brilliant)
Kingdom of Heaven (Trailer with rock music)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Cinderella Man
Spider-man 3
Red Eye (most brilliant 'screw you' to the audience)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Trailer where they explain the common movie trailer)

Top 10 Movie Songs

Alright, so last time I left you guys, I was talking about WB songs and how the line between what is and what isn't has been significantly blurred with the advent of recent movie songs. Some movies do opt for the WB song style, but other pick more independent sounding songs that work just as well to evoke emotion. The funny thing is that some of these movie songs really wouldn't work as WB songs - some would, but some wouldn't. This makes that definition really confusing. Anyhow, here's my top ten list of movie songs in the genre and definition in which I'm talking about - i.e., the songs that change and confuse the definition of a WB song which excludes movies scores, songs composed for the movie, and iconic movie songs.

10. Don't Panic by Coldplay
9. Elevator Love Letter by The Stars
8. Wise Up by Aimee Mann
7. Consequence by The Notwist
6. Trains from Brazil by The Guillemots
5. Out of Egpyt, Into... by Sufjan Stevens
4. The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine
3. Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley
2. Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros
1. How It Ends/The Winner Is by Devotchka/Mychael Danna

(Note: People might argue that The Winner Is was composed for Little Miss Sunshine and shouldn't qualify for this list, but it's the exact same song as How It Ends which was composed before LIttle Miss Sunshine came out. The Winner Is is just the instrumental version put together for Little Miss Sunshine).

WB Songs (couldn't think of a clever title)

Alright, so WB Songs is probably one of the hardest things I've had to explain, but I think I finally got it. Around the Dawson's Creek, Felicity, early Smallville era, the WB network always had an amazing knack for picking music. They always managed to find unknown artists, or unkown songs from artists we know that fit their shows. There was always this feel to a WB song that was hard to explain, but I think I've got it. Soundtrack scores is to classical music, as WB music is to regular music. Here's the deal, when we listen to soundtrack scores and classical music, they're both instrumental. And while classical music evokes images and stories, soundtrack scores has one soul purpose - to evoke emotion. That's what WB songs do. I mean, they're not written to do so, but WB songs always evoke emotion. With this in mind, not every song can be a WB song. For example, Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis, Shiver by Coldplay, Mercy by Pilate, Perfect Opening Line by the Frames, Something On by Tragically Hip are all great songs - but they aren't WB songs. Now there are some bands that are completely non-WB, there are some bands that are complete WB, and then there are some that are a mix. David Gray for the most part is WB. Gavin Degraw is completely WB. Coldplay has WB songs (Scientist, Fix You) and non-WB songs (Trouble). The Frames with the exception of 'Seven Day Mile' are not WB. Dave Matthews for the most part isn't WB (Crash maybe the exception).

Now the thing is, in recent memory, the line between what makes a WB song and what doesn't has been dramatically blurred because of a few reasons. First, Smallville, a textbook WB show started picking songs that cross the WB music barrier - they were top 40 songs that every one knew. One of the biggest things about WB songs is people usually like them instantly, they are poppy, they sound top 40ish, but they aren't actually songs that people know about in masses. So when Smallville, a WB show, started playing songs like Weapon by Matthew Good, that stupid Green Day song, and such, they started to cop out on the WB music movement, and started to confuse people about what a WB song is. Now, mind you, Smallville still has its WB song gems here and there, but as a whole Smallville is the worst WB show for WB music (especially with that selection of Weapon - amazing song, terrible WB song). Another thing that started blurring the line in recent memory is movies. Movies for sure pick music to evoke emotion, but the music, or at least the really good music that movies pick to evoke emotion usually don't fit in the WB music mold. They follow this new age indie kind of mold. Perfect example, Little Miss Sunshine has some of the best music I've heard in ages, and it's amazing for emotion evocation and just amazing to listen to and so suitable, but not really WB.

So the deal is, just at the point when I think I've defined WB music, there's a lot of things that are blurring the line. I mean the network's not even called The WB anymore. These elements that blur the line aren't by any means bad (again, I absolutely love the choice of music for Little Miss Sunshine), but it just makes it harder for me to explain WB music. Basically, WB music is like your poppy, top 40 style music that no one knows about yet that evokes emotion. Felicity was the greatest show to date to master the art of picking amazing WB music. It was amazing to listen to, not that many people knew about it at the time, and it made your life a living movie/tv show.

Again it's really hard to explain, but I have a clear vision of what a WB song is and what isn't. If you play me a song or ask me about a song, I could probably tell you instantly whether it's WB or not.

With that said, here is my Top 10 WB songs of all time (now keep in mind, they might have been WB at the time but have made their way into not being WB anymore). Basically if I were to explain WB music to people, I'd play these 10 songs for them.

10. Final Answer by The Calling
9. Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk
8. Sullivan Street by The Counting Crows
7. Angel by Sarah Mclachlan
6. Like Lovers Do by Heather Nova
5. Everything by Lifehouse
4. Hermes Bird by Remy Zero
3. Say Hello Wave Goodbye by David Gray
2. La Cienega Just Smiled by Ryan Adams
1. Come On (Instrumental) by Ben Jelen

(disclaimer: this list will probably chnage everytime you ask me about it).

Coming Soon: A Top 10 Movie Soundtrack songs - which you'll find differs quite greatly from the Top 10 WB songs, and then maybe you'll get a sense of what I'm talking about

Faced Migration

Alright people, so I have a couple of 'blog' entries (blog in quotations 'cause there were really just facebook notes), but I thought they were interesting enough and could give you guys something to read in the meantime. So I'm gonna migrate a lot of those entries over here. Enjoy. Thanks for reading.

The Start of a new Era

Alright, this has been a long time coming. After many fake MS Word created, myspace and facebook blogs, my buddies brodie and aaron finally showed me an easy free wasy to setup a blog. So we'll see how this goes.