History of My Old
September 15, 2005 - 11:00pm
my sister videogame weblog V - The Next Generation,
I wrote a history about my old zine, which was called simply
V. I wrote and published eight issues, during which I became
a part of underground videogame journalism, and even freelanced
for a couple professional magazines. I still have the first issue
preserved digitally, and I'll likely have it available for download
soon. I'd also like to do the same for the entire series run.
- A History of the Fanzine That Gripped a Nation...sorta
of the Day
September 15, 2005 - 2:00pm
photos were taken at the University of Minnesota.
Interview in Guardian
September 14, 2005 - 1:30pm
Guardian UK managed to score a rare interview with Hayao
Miyazaki during the Venice Film Festival, where he was awarded
the Golden Lion. It's a fairly interesting read, one that highlights
the filmmaker's fatalism mixed with hope for future generations.
A good read, overall.
- The Next Generation...My
September 14, 2005 - 2:30am
have a new videogames weblog at Digital Press called V - The
Next Generation. The name is a reference to an old fanzine that
I wrote and published at various points between 1993 and 1996.
It resulted in a freelancing job with GamePro magazine, and a
small bit of fame. I don't think this will affect this website
in any way - it's just a small thing, really - but I have some
long-winded thoughts about games that just wouldn't fit here.
- The Next Generation is added to the links section on the left
side of this page, so please pay it a visit and add it to your
bookmarks alongside danielthomas.org. Enjoy!
September 12, 2005 - 9:30pm
aren't those the pigeons from Animaniacs? Probably explains why
they're ganging up on that poor squirrel.
September 11, 2005 - 12:45am
of Think Progress, who this week offered a detailed timeline
of Hurricane Katrina and the terrible aftermath, including the
Bush Administration's shameless lack of action. As always, it's
an essential read, so pull this out for the benefit of your friendly
neighborhead dittoheads, Fox News zombies, and Bush Cult members.
Approval Ratings - 38%
September 10, 2005 - 11:45pm
of the major polls over the past week show Bush's approval drop
below 40 percent. Now
Newsweek has chimed in as well, and it's at 38%. We're talking
Richard Nixon during Watergate numbers.
forget that the grand jury investigation into the Valerie Plame
affair is expected to wrap up this fall, and if there is any
justice left in this country, Karl Rove will be slapped with
a criminal indictment. I'm voting for conspiracy and obstruction
of justice, but that's just me. Wonder how low Bush's numbers
will drop by the end of the year.
this President was given advance warning of this hurricane, was
personally briefed on the matter, and then chose to do nothing.
George Bush is responsible for the death of a major American
city. He went to John McCain's birthday party, he golfed, and
he played with his new toy guitar - instead of doing his damned
job. Bush is a disgrace to the American Presidency. What a rotten,
have been reading all the weblogs I link to, right? Right?
of the Day
September 10, 2005 - 11:30pm
are a few black-and-white photos using the Canon A510. Not too
bad for a low-end digital camera. Remember, of course, to puruse
the weblog archives for older pictures.
Moving Castle R2 DVD - November
September 8, 2005 - 11:30pm
release date for Hayao Miyazaki's latest - and possibly greatest
- film has just been announced in Japan. Howl's
Moving Castle will appear in three different packages. The
Standard DVD (2 discs) will include Japanese and English soundtracks;
storyboards; trailers; a documentary on the movie's premiers
in Venice and the US; and interviews with Diane Wynne Jones,
Pete Docter, and various staff and casts.
Special Edition DVD (4-discs) includes all the above, plus audio/subtitiles
in Japanese, English, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin; documentaries
featuring Miyazaki and Mobius, John Lasseter, the US premier;
and a lecture by CG director Mitsunori Kataama on the CG in the
film. Strangely, the first disc (Japanese audio) doesn't include
third package includes the Standard DVD of Howl's paired with
Ghibli Ga Ippai Special Short Short. Short Short (mentioned below
in an earlier post) includes 22 short films, television spots,
and promotions from Studio Ghibli. The early listing at YesAsia
and CD Japan claim the disk doesn't include English subtitles,
and that's downright strange. All the Region 2 DVD's in the Ghibli
Ga Ippai Collection include subs on the main disk. Hopefully
this situation will change.
Howl's Standard DVD will cost 4,936 Yen, while the Special Edition
and Short Short box set will cost 8,925 Yen. The standalone Short
Short DVD will cost 3,900 Yen. Please note that in the US, Disney
has scheduled Howl's for a March 2006 release, alongside My
Neighbor Totoro and Whisper
of the Heart. As for extras, we should expect the standard
Disney treatment - which means barely anything at all. Whatever.
Get your DVD or DVD-ROM fixed for multi-region use and buy the
Best Puzzle Game Since
September 8, 2005 - 6:30am
is the game that does for Nintendo's new DS handheld what the
great Soul Calibur did for Sega's Dreamcast. It's a wonderfully
stylized game that's endlessly challenging, loaded with options,
bonus features, and breakneck speed. At the point when when Tetris
becomes too fast to play, Meteos starts.
a fiendishly complex game, a mutant offspring of Tetris, Soul
Calibur and Robotron. It plays more like a strategic fighting
game than the standard match-the-blocks formula. Did I mention
Meteos includes four-player deathmatch? This game was made to
Nintendo DS is turning into an excellent system, and that's a
real surprise. I expected Sony to steamroll with their Playstation
Portable, but after an impressive launch, Sony has little to
offer besides movies on mini-disc. DS has the games, and that's
what counts. And Meteos is the best videogame to come along in
(aka Bob Denver) Has
September 6, 2005 - 6:30pm
coffin will be made entirely out of cocoanuts. Sorry, couldn't
resist (little MST3K joke).
a little-known fact: back in the 1980's, Bob Denver and Bob Hale,
Jr. appeared as Gilligan and Skipper for a commercial promoting
the city of Duluth, Minnesota. It was an effort by the city to
draw in tourism. Needless to say, this was a major event for
a small-sized (population, not geography) city. Duluth was beaming
for months. Bob Denver will be missed.
Miyazaki and Takahata DVDs
September 6, 2005 - 3:00pm
is becoming a great year for fans of Miyazaki and Takahata. Last
month saw the long-awaited DVD release of Takahata's great movies
Pom Poko and My Neighbors
the Yamadas, and now more films are set for DVD release.
the UK, Optimum Home Entertainment is scheduled to release The
Adventures of Hols, Prince of the Sun on October 17. The first
major collaboration between Miyazaki and Takahata, Hols was released
in 1968 and is widely considered a landmark of Japanese animation.
This DVD will be the first with English-language subtitles.
will also release Lupin
III: Castle of Cagliostro on October 17, and hopefully this
will be a DVD worthy of the film. The US DVD (by Manga Entertainment)
has correct subtitles but uses an old film print and no extras.
The Japanese R2 has the picture quality but poor subtitles. So,
needless to say, our hopes are high.
France has seen most of the pre-Ghibli films re-released in theatres
and DVD (compare this to Disney's sweep-under-the-rug policy
in the States). Takahata's 1981 comedy Jarinko Chie (Chie the
Brat) appeared on the big screen earlier this year, and the DVD
is set for this fall with French, but not English, subtitles.
Japan, Studio Ghibli will release the DVD for Howl's
Moving Castle in November, which, like Miyazaki's previous
two films, was monstrously successful in its home country. And,
once again, Disney put Howl on 202 screens in the US. Two-hundred-freaking-two.
set for a fall release is "Ghibli Ga Ippai Special Short
Short," a collection of short films created by the studio
over the years. Included on the DVD is Miyazaki's On Your Mark,
Sora ino no Tane (a charming 90-second short credited to Miyazaki
but possibly directed by Yoshifumi Kondo), Portable Airport,
Space Station No. 5, and various commercials. None of the short
films created for the Ghibli Museum will be included, however.
Anime on DVD reports that Discotek Media is planning to release
classic anime movies, including Animal Treasure Island, Puss
'n Boots, and Taro the Dragon Boy. Animal Treasure Island and
Puss 'n Boots stem from Miyazaki's earliest years as a key animator,
where he also contributed many ideas of his own. Taro was originally
pitched to Takahata, who was committed to other projects, but
animation director Yoichi Kotabe had worked with the two masters
on Heidi and 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (aka "Marco"),
and Taro is considered a classic. No release date has been set,
but the movies should include animorphic widescreen and the original
Japanese language tracks.
of the Day
September 6, 2005 - 1:45pm
September 5, 2005 - 10:00pm
the worst week Americans have faced in a century, we need anything
to lift our spirits. Thank God for squirrels.
Cross Banned From Entering
September 3, 2005 - 8:45am
swear on a stack of holy books I am not making this up. TalkLeft reports
from the Red
state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues
to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New
Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people
from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
fiddled while New Orleans drowned. Condi Rice bought shoes and
watched Spamalot on Broadway. Cheney just disappeared (don't
f'n tell me he's on vacation). I've never been so damned angry
in my life.