Friday, March 30, 2007

Trek Remastered -- "The Tholian Web"

A new remastered episode this weekend, "The Tholian Web". This one has quite a few visual effects for the CBS-Digital team to work on. See a preview on the official Trek site.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Upcoming DVD News

Some notes on upcoming DVD releases:

Warner Brothers is releasing 12 cult classics on DVD in four themed sets of three (also available individually). This appears to be their version of MGM's Midnite Movies line. The Sci-fi set is OK. The historical epics set is good. It might be a must-buy, but I hoped that there would be more Greco-Roman sword-and-sandal movies like Colossus of Rhodes. The real gem is the Terrorized Travellers set which includes Hot Rods to Hell, the Charlton Heston disaster film Skyjacked, and... Zero Hour! On DVD at last!

A word of explanation: This is the '50s movie that inspired Jim Abrahams and the Zucker Brothers to create the immortal comedy Airplane! They purchased the rights to ZH! and many of the lines in Airplane! are from it. Ever since I learned about ZH! in the late Eighties I've been trying to see it. ZH! popped up on cable TV once or twice around that time but I never caught it and it never saw a home video release. It's been on my Most Wanted DVDs list since the beginning and I'm very excited about finally having a copy. There was talk early on that it would show up as an extra on the DVD of Airplane! (both of them), but that didn't happen.

So far the only listed extra is the trailer, which is a shame. WB is missing a golden opportunity to get some perspective from the ZAZ team, either in a commentary track or a mini-documentary... something. I should be grateful they are releasing it from the vault, I suppose.

WB's Cult Camp Classics are due on June 26th.


Classic Media postponed their release of Godzilla Raids Again and Mothra vs. Godzilla from Nov. '06 to April 3rd.

The next two in the series are Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster and Invasion of Astro-Monster (G vs. Monster Zero), two of my faves. These are on the schedule for June 5th. If you've seen their disc of the original Gojira, you know what to expect. I'm still amazed, considering Toho's history of video releases in the US. Original Japanese versions and the original AIP English dubs we grew up with. These are true gems that any self-respecting monster fan will want to check out.


Media Blasters keeps up the good work on their kaiju film offerings by releasing Frankenstein Conquers the World on June 26th. Like the Classic Media/Toho releases, this is a 2-disc set with Japanese and English versions -- again, the AIP theatrical release.

I'll pick it up, but the one I'm really waiting for is their release of Latitude Zero. It's still in production so there isn't a release date yet. Scratch another off my Most Wanted list...


June is going to be an expensive month. : (

Friday, March 23, 2007

All the gaming intelligentsia in one place

Mike Sugarbaker of Ogre Cave has set up a blog of blogs. The Planet Story Games site checks the RSS feeds from the blogs belonging to a who's who of indie games (or story games, as they're calling them these days) and aggregates the latest posts on the main page. It's a great idea... pretty clever. Take a look if you're interested in what's on the minds of this generation of designers and don't want to dig through various layers of forums.

Trek Remastered -- another rerun

"The Naked Time" is being rerun this weekend. The next "new" episode is the effects-heavy "The Tholian Web" one week from now.

Friday, March 16, 2007

What kind of RPG gamer am I?

According to the categories discussed in Robin's Laws:

You scored as Storyteller. The Storyteller is in it for the plot: the sense of mystery and the fun of participating in a narrative that has the satisfying arc of a good book or movie. He enjoys interacting with well-defined NPCs, even preferring antagonists who have genuine motivations and personality to mere monsters. To the Storyteller, the greatest reward of the game is participating in a compelling story with interesting and unpredictable plot threads, in which his actions and those of his fellow characters determine the resolution.

With apologies to Robin Laws.



Casual Gamer


Character Player


Weekend Warrior






Power Gamer


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Trek Remastered -- Repeat of "I, Mudd"

This weekend is a repeat of "I, Mudd". It's a fun episode, and the remastered version has an absolutely gorgeous shot of the Enterprise in orbit around the robot planet, where glowing rings cast a reflection against the hull. A screen cap of that has been my desktop wallpaper since December.

Friday, March 09, 2007

300: Today is the day

The long wait is over. 300 opens today. Most of the people I know are seeing it today...even taking off work to do so.

Mrs. Kaiju and I are seeing it Saturday night. Don't spoil it for me!

Trek Remastered -- "Wolf in the Fold"

This weekend's episode is "Wolf in the Fold". This is one where Scotty is accused of...murder! Scary! It's another fun show; not many special effects to redo. We'll see what they change or enhance.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Oscars

Mark Evanier on a good way to watch the Oscars, plus some ways to spruce up the show.

Mrs. Kaiju and I make it a point to watch all the awards shows in general, but the big one, the Super Bowl of awards shows, is the Oscars. I have a soft spot in my heart for it. Even though it hardly seems that there is much connection to Old Hollywood anymore, it feels for me like the only real way to be a part of the magic of Hollywood for us normal people -- that is, short of hanging out on Hollywood and Vine. You have a much better chance of seeing movie stars at the Oscars, at least.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Perils of the Warp...I mean, Web.

This is a cautionary tale about the ephemeral nature of the internets. In the grand scheme of things it's not really important, but this story does speak to several issues that we will all need to come to terms with now and in the future.

So, there was this good gaming blog titled "Deep in the Game", in which the author expounded on current gaming theory and various ways to incorporate some new thinking into your own games. This particular blog was nice because, along with the theory, it gave practical advice anybody could use. And going by the chatter on several message boards, plenty of people did.

I had the site linked in the list over there on the right side of the page. I checked in on what was new every so often, but the best articles concerned flag framing and what the author named a "conflict web".

I just happened to click on my link to the site last night and got a generic host page instead. From there it was on to the forums at to see if there was any news about a site migration or whatever else might have happened. With a quick search I found this thread from the day before. I won't go into details; check the posts if you want to know more. Basically, he had written all that he wanted, and felt that many new games already incorporate the things he was talking about, so he took down the blog.

The moral of the story is this: If you see something you're interested in, or find useful while surfing, save a local copy. You could go back to see it the next day and it could be gone. While the interweb is perhaps the greatest collaborative communication device ever invented, its strengths are also weaknesses. It's all bits and bytes existing in nebulous space out there, not fixed in print. Something that exists today could be deleted (or re-written) tomorrow.

Of course like any creative author, this person can do with the data whatever he pleases. I think that's part of the original point of copyright. However, it's not like it was published and out-of-print copies still exist (well, there are partial archives in search caches, but that's another story) in the real world. It's just gone. That's something to consider as more and more content goes electronic and stays in that form.