Category Archives: Movies General

DVD Catchup

I had some extra time on my hands the last day or so and I decided to put into the DVD player some discs I have been wanting to watch for awhile. First up: Star Trek Nemesis. I still agree with my review from when I saw it in the theaters, but at least the DVD makes the film look all nice and shiny. The special features were OK, but nothing on the level of the Trek 1-6 stuff. I did notice how easily those DVD menus look to make, but from my one time trying to master them for my Covina Chaos movie, I know they can be hard. I just wish I was that good at graphics.

The other movie I dropped into the player was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This time out, I listened to the Michael Palin, Eric Idle, and John Cleese commentaries. After all these years, this thing still cracks me up in all the right places and listening to the Pythons made it even more so. I was a bit put off that each person was obviously recorded separate from each other, but the editors blended it together nicely. Palin gets most of the time – I wanted to hear more from Eric Idle. Cleese comes off as a bit pompous, but it is hard to tell if it is an act or if that really is him. I had watched the extras before, but I still enjoy seeing the Japanese translation version of the French Soldier taunting the Knights of the Round Table.

Movie and TV Catchup

I tried really hard to get more updates onto the site, but I have been busy with crazy schedules at work. I did want to fire off a quick update on some movies and TV shows.
Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me: An oldie, but goodie. Dunno why I have been in a Peaks mood lately, but I did manage to get Daniel to sit down with me and watch the DVD of FWWM. Man, I love this movie. I know Daniel was lost during most of it (He’s only ever seen the pilot), but I enjoyed seeing it over and over. It has gotten to the point where I can recite lines from it. Sad, oh so Sad. I wish season 2 of the series was on DVD so I can sit down and have a marathon that I have been wanting for a long time.
Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country: Another Trek movie has made it onto DVD with all sorts of expanded features. Save for the disc art error on disc 2 (they show the Enterprise-B from Generations), this is a great set. I really enjoyed the features and of course the text commentary. I never would have guessed that it was the same bridge from Trek V – they did a great job of transforming it. Now its time for Generations and First Contact SE’s to replace my laserdiscs! I was thinking that I should finally sit down and watch Nemesis – I suppose I’ll get to it eventually.
Airline: Totally Daniel’s fault. He started watching it and made me TiVo it. Now I am hooked. It follows crews from Southwest Airlines as they deal with issues at LAX and Chicago Midway. It airs on A&E and I think it is one of the best reality shows out there.
Survivor All Stars: What can I say? It’s back – I haven’t watched the full thing yet, but the snippets I have seen prove that this might be the best show yet. Now if only Amazing Race was on!!!!
That’s all in the roundup.

Two Years with the Big Cheese

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since I started working at Disneyland. I would have never imagined all the events that have happened in the two years since I first walked into the park without any guests. Friends have come and gone and the attractions I work have changed, but deep down inside I am still having a good time. I am a trainer on two attractions, but am still hoping to become a lead (AKA foreman) for one soon. I am also hoping to learn a new attraction in the next few month that with any luck will be one of the last ones Walt supervised. Where will I be two years from now? I have no idea and I dare not offer any predictions. I do know that 2005 will be Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, and hopefully I will be a part of it in some form. One thing that is particularly interesting is that I have worked for Disney as long as I had worked for Edmunds.
I am nearly done with the photo resizing. Just the World Showcase and the Magic Kingdom left to do. Daniel still needs to give me his photos so I can combine the photos into a truly great site. I am going to be using the new Trip Diary format (maybe called something else like Journeys – dare I say Magic Journeys? OK, I am a dork) and when all is said and done it should be really sharp. Next step is to get Gallery installed (yet again – I think this is the third install on my server — gotta love customization!) in the Diaries directory. I hope to have it all up and pretty next week.
I also noticed today that my homepage design will be turning two. That is an amazing amount of time to have a static design like that. I keep looking at the page and trying to improve it, but I just love its simpleness and elegance. I think I might redo one or two if the icons (like the dorky mug shot of me), but overall I am still happy. If my Trip Diary redesign goes well I might just roll out the design site-wide. But then again you have all heard that before.
One last note: I received my DVDs from the Company’s 80th anniversary sale: Peter Pan, The Great Mouse Detective, Treasure Planet, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Complete Goofy all for $7.50 each. Can’t beat that! I’m trying to curb my DVD spending in order to wrangle my finances under control, but this month is tough. The Lion King, Star Trek V: CE, and The Adventures of Indiana Jones all come out this month.

Celebrities Galore

This past weekend I had the opportunity to work the ABC Primetime Preview weekend at DCA. Basically, standing around trying to lure people into the audience for ABC’s Casting Call and ABC’s Reality Check. Both shows allowed members of the audience a chance to re-create a scene from an ABC hit with a star from that show. One of the highlights for me was with Constance Marie of “The George Lopez Show”. I had the chance to escort her with her VIP guide back to the hotel. She was good humored and was always willing to pose for a quick pic with a fan in attendance as we made our way back to the hotel. She even made an elderly Latino woman in a wheelchair start walking.
All in all, the stars I got to see up close and personal were:
Anthony Russell from “Life with Bonnie”
Kevin Weisman from “Alias”
Constance Marie from “The George Lopez Show”
Amy Davidson from “8 Simple Rules”
Bill Brochtrup from “NYPD Blue”
Zachary Levi from “Less than Perfect”
and Andrew Firestone and Jennifer Schefft from “The Bachelor”
It was a welcome change of pace from the grind. Monday, I spent the entire day training some new people at Winnie the Pooh, only to have them both either call in or get out of their training on Tuesday. I was a bit bitter (mostly cuz it felt like I was wasting my time all day Monday), but I did get to go into rotation at trainer rate.
I decided to go ahead and leave early so I could pick up my Sleeping Beauty DVD. I almost got the Core as well, but I decided to skip it for now since my vacation is coming up in just two weeks. I will say that the Sleeping Beauty movie on the DVD is stunning – rich, crisp colors. It’s too bad it is just a regular release, the extras are a bit dull and standard (very similar to Dumbo). Next month is the release of the Lion King and then in November it is Finding Nemo. Time to save the pennies!

Queen Mary and Other Adventures

It’s been a busy week! Kicking it off was last Thursday’s outing with Granny and Jerri to the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I have been wanting to go for one reason or another but mainly because scenes from the classic disaster flick “The Poseidon Adventure” were filmed aboard. It was cool being aboard, but truth be told, the ship needs some work. I noticed a lot of wood rot as well as some places just being worn out. I then realized that the Queen Mary has been in Long Beach an awfully long time (close to 40 years). the ship has also been through a lot (including one trans-Atlantic voyage as a troop transport with over 16,000 people crammed everywhere.
I really think that someone needs to buy the whole Hotel/Tourist Landmark and pump some money into it. The whole area is depressing, especially with the Spruce Goose dome sitting empty next door. To top it off, the admission price without a discount was $26 – way to high. I wonder where that money is going, because it sure doesn’t seem like it is going to renovate the ship.
One of the thrills was being in areas that inspired the infamous boat-flipping-over ballroom scene in the Poseidon Adventure. I took some pictures and will try and get them online soon.
That night, Daniel and I headed to Walmart so he could develop his digicam pics. He has a Canon S230 3.2 MP camera, and the photos came out excellent. It did a lot to fuel my consumer lust. While we were waiting for his photos, I noticed both the Poseidon Adventure and “The Towering Inferno” in the $5.88 DVD bin. Both were great deals since I only had them on laserdisc, and with the recent demise of the player, it is nice to replace some movies on the cheap. Over the next few nights, we watched both, with Daniel agreeing with my assessment that TI is a better made movie, but overall, we both liked PA better.
The rest of the weekend was spent working long hours at Pooh and Matterhorn. Some rumblings are afoot regarding the reorg of cast members, and I know a lot of people are worried about where they will end up when it is all done. Hopefully, I will end up at Pooh.
Today, I began my first day of training as a trainer on Matterhorn. It is weird being in this situation given the problems I had when I first learned the attraction. It went well, and I hope to learn a lot more over the next two days.

The death of Laserdisc

I have held out for a long time. I think I even liked the shock value when I would tell people, “Yeah, I still have one of those”. But no more. Not after last night. I decided to watch Lost Highway with Daniel. It is one of the few movies that I own on Laser that has not come out in one form or another on DVD in the US (It has apparently come out in Pan and Scan in Canada – more on that in a bit). So I decided to open my box of laserdiscs and plop it into the player. I should have known something was up from the get-go. The image was fill of pixelations due to laser rot. I decided to keep watching the movie, thinking that I needed to go through my collection and see which discs were OK and which were kaput.
An hour into the movie, it’s time to flip the disc. Thankfully, I own a model of player that flips the laser so that it can read the other side. Sadly, as I went to the other room for a sec, the player gave up and began to make this horrible rattling noise. After a half hour of trying, it was no use. Not only had my player died, but my precious Lost Highway laserdisc was stuck inside. Now I have to figure out what to do. The player is giving a diagnostic code, but I am thinking if I call Pioneer, will anyone still know the old codes?? Also, where would I find a place that someone can fix the player for a reasonable price? I think it’s time to dump the discs on Ebay. I know I can at least get some good money for my Star Wars box set, and maybe a few bucks here and there for some others. I also might try Amoeba records in Hollywood. I know they buy lasers as well.
It is really sad. An end to an era for sure. But I am determined to finish watching Lost Highway, so I bid on a Canadian P&S DVD. I want widescreen, but there are no region 1 ones out there. I hope they release it in the US at some point in widescreen with extras and such. I figured the only other way to watch the movie would be to get rent a video which is Pan & Scan, so I might as well get a DVD for less than 10 bucks.
Another surprise was a quick visit from Matt. It was great to see him! I haven’t seen him since last year, and before that it was almost three years. He was driving home from San Diego, and happen to pass Disneyland as I was getting off work. We were able to hang out for almost two hours before he got back on the road. It was cool to catch up, and I am hoping that we get to see more of each other soon. He ended up getting home at 3am – almost 9 hours after leaving my house due to an accident in Burbank on the I-5. Yeesh. I don’t know how he made it!

Lots and Lots of Boxes

So moving is a pain. Not that it should be a surprise to anyone. But you see, for every year you live in a place, the degree of difficulty multiples on a logarithmic scale. Actually, as I look around my place, I think I have done OK. One of the casualties of the move is the white Steelcase desk I picked up at the UCD Bargain Barn back in 1996 (Sorry Peggy – she let me and Darren move it in her old Blazer back in the days). I am excited about getting a smaller computer station, especially one with good placement for the keyboard and mouse. The way I will have my dining room configured is that it will end up being a combo dining area and office. I just need to make sure there is additional room for my still-in-the-box scanner.
I am still trying to put together my entertainment center. I’ve been to the local Fry’s (closer than the one in Burbank was to my old apartment), and I’m trying to go completely S-Video. The biggest item I need to hook up is the TiVO. It will require running a super long phone cable, so I am still trying to track it down in my boxes of cable. My deadline is Thursday so that I won’t miss an episode of Survivor.
Ya know, things have been so chaotic in my personal life that I didn’t even realize just how close the Academy Awards are – only a few days away! I might have to break from tradition and not post my annual prediction list – heck I haven’t even seen Chicago! I did manage to see the American version of the Ring and I can honestly say it was not nearly as good as the Japanese version. I want to see Dark Water which is a recent movie by the Japanese director of Ringu. Dan managed to see it, and hopefully he can score me a copy.
I have the cable modem hooked up to the laptop and that is my only contact with the outside world. It is connected via a USB port which I think is contributing to my perception that it is slower than my DSL. When I get the network up and running, I’m hoping that things will move faster, and that I’ll be able to sit out on the patio, enjoy a nice beverage, and surf the web. Maybe I’ll even resurrect the web cam.
That’s all for now, I’m hoping to return to more frequent updates soon!

Top 20 Favorite Movies

Far be it for me to pass up the latest and greatest internet fad. I was sent the link to YMDb by several people, but first by Cooper. Basically, you post and rank your top 20 movies and see how you rank according to other users of the site. It was very difficult for me to come up with only 20 movies, and even harder to rank them.
Here is the link to my list. Why not join up and create your own list and see how much affinity we have for each other? (Cooper and I have a 15.59% affinity for each other – I suspect I will have a hard time finding anyone close to 30% like he has.)
If you are too lazy to click the link, here is my list posted for fun:
Aladdin
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
The Sound of Music
Dr. Strangelove
Fantasia
Gone With The Wind
2001: A Space Odyssey
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Mary Poppins
Amelie
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Poseidon Adventure
Goldfinger
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
Mulholland Drive
Driving Miss Daisy
Earthquake
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
The Lion King
Now, I know I will get some heat for it, but as I said ranking was the most difficult part.
Ah yes and Happy Birthday Walt Disney and Gary!

Doingworld.com

After years and years of waiting, I was finally able to snag Doingworld.com. Ok, maybe not years and years, but since December 1, 1999, I have waited for it to expire. I guess the person neglected to renew it in December and I just now noticed it or it just became available. Either way, I am happy. Back in the 1990’s I wanted the domain name to host a more expansive Doingworld site. Dave suggested that I get crackin’ on it since I have experience working at a major theme park. Now that I have the domain name, I just might do that. Right after I get the new Daily Update launched.
Tonight I hopefully will finally get to see Lilo and Stitch. I have been wanting to see it since it came out but with work schedules the way they are, time has been premium.
An email surprise today – an actual response from a resume submission! Keep your fingers crossed!

Spring Booboojeebies

I have noticed that I have been more frustrated than usual. I think it is the end of Spring booboojeebies that I seem to get every year. Last year, it sent me off to French Polynesia, and if I had the time and money, I’d probably be off somewhere again in the next month or so. By this time last year, I had already been to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite before heading off to Tahiti last June. This year? I haven’t even made it to Arizona to see Mom and Kevin (sorry Mom).

I think an extended weekend is due soon. One of the things I hope to do is see the Pet Shop Boys in Concert. They will be at the Universal Amphitheater the first week of June. It might be good for the soul (and sole for that matter) to have a change of pace and do something different. I picked up the PSB’s latest CD Release last week and really liked it, especially the tracks “London” and “Here”.

Oh yes, at least there is Episode 2 (in case you forgot) tomorrow night. I will try and have something posted on Thursday about it, but mind you I will have bizzaro schedule for the next few days with Grad Night and all.