Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Cinematic Dystopian Future is now!

Could this be how Skynet started?

"While I was off on a vacation recently, the slick game console spent the week talking about me behind my back and posting snarky comments on the Web.

Whoever thought an A.I. blog could lead to the near extinction of the human race? Of course, the fact that Microsoft® would be responsible should come as no surprise to several crackpot futurists.

The fate of all mankind hangs in the balance, all you XBox 360 owners! If you want to stop a future of cybernetic horrors delivering campy one-liners in flattened Austrian accents, better get your game on.

Those doors are pretty strong now, eh?

"Let me in, eh?"

At least we know now that the improvements to cockpit door-strength really work. I can only imagine the embarassment of the pilot if the door had malfunctioned before he made it to the lavatory.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Animaniacs DVD vol 1 - skimpy on the extras

Yes, the DVD contains all 25 episodes of season 1, so I can't complain really at all, but...There is only 1 (!) extra in the collection.  Granted, it's funny and informative, just what every connoisseur of DVD collections is looking for.  Maurice LaMarche, the voice of several characters, but most notedly The Brain and Squit (yep, it's his Ray Liotta impression), interviews the producers, and the 3 main voice talents behind the characters of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.  And for 30 minutes, the audience gets great insight into just why someone with the clout of Steven Spielberg and his production company Amblin Entertainment needed to be involved in order to put together the kind of cartoon show that had not been given this kind of studio backing since the salad days of the studio animation departments.  Every single episode was soundtracked by a live 35 piece orchestra...that's just crazy!  Not to mention all the musical parodies, almost single-handledly composed by the late, inimitable Richard Stone, and you start to understand just why Animaniacs, when it first came out in 1993, just felt so different than anything that came before.  It's no wonder that this DVD was, for adults of certain age, mainly college students when the series premiered, the most anticipated DVD release of the year (at least before Lucas announced that a limited edition Star Wars collection will have the original theatrical releases of the Episodes 4-6).  For 30 minutes, it's a retrospective that as well-done as any DVD bonus out there.  The only regret is that there isn't more, like actor or director commentary for an episode, or footage of the voice-over work, or even a behind-the-scenes of getting the animation from idea to broadcast.

Yes, by all means, definitely buy the thing!  Now you can pause the credits at the end and read every in joke ever devised at the expense of Kathryn Page, one of the Assistant to the Producer.  Here's hoping the Volume 2 and beyond give us fans just a little more.