Planet MadDog

"Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion."

Germain Lussier has posted an article over on io9 entitled "Either Donnie Darko Hasn't Aged Well or the Director's Cut Isn't As Good", and it got me thinkin'.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Director’s Cut of Donnie Darko. When I watched the original, non-Director’s Cut version for the first time back in 2003, I was filled with a longing to know more; to make sense of it all. This led me to the official website which contained a lot of the extra clips that would eventually be inserted into the DC, as well as excerpts from “The Philosophy of Time Travel” given to Donnie by the old science teacher woman. Learning this extra knowledge gave me an immense satisfaction, cementing Donnie Darko as an amazing cinematic experience for me.

Now, the Director’s Cut, with the spoon-fed explanations woven through the story is technically the same content as I had viewed, but I felt that someone watching the Director’s Cut as their first exposure to the film would find the whole experience to be boring, or even worse, ordinary.

I think the perfect way to watch Donnie darko would be the original theatrical cut, with the extra scenes watched later as special features, but only if needed to fill in some gaps.

Posted by a very reflective MadDog on Friday April 29, 2016 at 11:09:02 PM - 0 comments

Mikey Goes Viral! Fine Bros Trademark Shenanigans

Hi gang. Long time no see. I thought I'd post an update because it's been one crazy week for me.

Earlier this week I made a dumb joke video about the whole Fine Brothers 'REACT' trademark controversy, and it went a bit crazy-viral. Now, I’m not a YouTuber or anything, just a bloke who had an idea for a quick jokey-jokes video one night in response to a current situation, and slapped something together in 20 mins before going to bed. Anyway, at the time of writing this, it's sitting at 400,000 views, and I got a handful of new subscribers from it, so I thought I’d ramble here for a bit about my thoughts on the matter.

Oh, and if you don’t who the Fine Bros are or what this all means, go Google it yourself for fuck’s sake. I’m not your mum. :)

Anyway, The Fine Bros have now apologised for being greedy bastards, owned up to their mistakes, and will be fixing these mistakes, starting by delisting their existing REACT-related trademarks, cancelling their applications for their trademark on the word “REACT” which was the big one that the internet was losing its collective shit about, and have buggered-off the whole idea of going forward with their React World licensing scheme.

So what does this mean? Well it means that our voices were heard justice was served in the form of an epic slap to the nuts of their subscriber count. They put an end to their shenanigans, the internet cheered a collective huzzah and all was once again right with the world.

Their response was driven mostly out of fear, with their subscribers dropping like flies. I think they definitely realised they just got smacked-the-hell-down.

This whole thing had to have knocked them down a peg or two. This had to have been a wake-up call. I'm taking their latest apology at face value for now. They arrogantly stumbled into the bull pen and got the horns. They'll be licking their wounds for quite some time.

What happens now? Well, I believe that right now, they are genuinely sorry, but like a child who just had his hand smacked for trying to steal a cookie, I think they're probably too arrogant to change permanently.

They'll be hurting for a while. They need to hurt, to send a message not only to them, but to anyone else who tries to pull this shit. And it will take time for them to recover whatever trust they can, but I think that this experience will forever be at the front of their minds.

Do I want to see their company razed to the ground and their 40-or-whatever staff laid off? Nah, that’d just be dickish. I know, the mob mentality of the interwebs usually hungers for blood, but I think they’ve addressed their mistake and paid the price.

Will I be resubscribing to the Fine Bros? Hell no! I’m not even sure why I was still subscribed! They haven’t made anything creative for the past 5 years, and I'm not convinced they'll change now.

But I do hope dumb pre-teen kids on the internet who enjoy the Fine Bros brand of terrible, terrible entertainment continue to do so. I also hope that many of them realise that there is much better stuff out there for them to watch, and - god forbid – maybe learn something.

I also hope this shines a favourable light on those who are being creative, and showing their talents. If even a fraction of those 13 million or so remaining Fine Bros subscribers share the love to these folks, it might go some way to making YouTube the haven for creativity it once was.

Anyway, it’s been a crazy couple of days. Am I going to keep making YouTube vids? Maybe, I dunno. I did follow up with this equally-as-dumb-but-much-less-successful video, and I’ve got some other ideas floating around relating to retro gaming and game dev, but nothing too flash. I would hate to be one of those generic YouTubers, copying what famous channels or doing dumb stuff to appeal to the masses. We’ll see.

You can follow me on Twitter - @madwebskills. You can also Like or Subscribe on Youtube or whatever if you wanna… or not. I don’t care. :)

Posted by a very crazy MadDog on Friday February 5, 2016 at 6:33:11 PM - 0 comments


Wow! Here I am adding an update to this blog for the first time in almost 4 years. How about that?

What was so amazing that compelled me to make an update after so long? Why, a wee bit of alcohol of course? Nothing too groundbreaking to share, just a couple of observations.

  • First, damn you Netflix for making it so easy to watch the next episode of a show immediately after watching the previous one. It's almost 1AM! I've already watched 8 episodes of Parks and Recreation tonight. Do I really need to watch another one? ... Okay, FINE! One more, then I'm off to bed. Crazy to think that the last time I updated this blog Netflix wasn't even a thing.
  • Next, do you think it's strange that our toilet air freshener has a warning that says "do not inhale contents"? I mean, isn't that the point of air freshener?
  • Who do you think would win in a fight: an Oompa Loompa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or one of the Munchkins from Oz? I mean those Oompa Loompas would have some pretty sick moves, but I think a Munchkin would fight dirty.

And before you say anything, no I'm not drunk; I'm just tipsy. You know how I can tell? First of all, it's all grammatically correct and free from typos. Secondly, the CMS on this site is so old that the WYSIWYG editor has stopped working (hell, I don't even know if this will save when I click 'Submit'), so I need to code all this HTML by hand, and it's all perfectly valid!

And I just used two <abbr> elements. Whoa! And a <code> element. Let's see a sober person do that!

Posted by a very wonderful MadDog on Sunday July 19, 2015 at 12:44:11 AM - 0 comments

Ba ba ba-ba baaaa... SU-PER-MAAAAN!

I've been watching the Superman movies on blu-ray with Amy (now 7) recently. Last week it was Superman; today it was Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, and next week we'll conveniently-but-rightly forget about a certain couple of other movies and finish it up with Superman Returns.

One thing I quickly wanted to mention was that it was quite mind-bending to watch the Richard Donner version of Superman II. It had me fondly remembering scenes that never actually happened in the original theatrical version (directed by replacement, Richard Lester, after Donner was unceremoniusly dumped from the project after shooting about 83% of the film, concurrently with Superman I).

For example, part-way though the movie, Gracie (who was reading a book in the next room) came in to ask me to rewind the last scene so she could watch it. She said she loved this part as a kid and just wanted to watch this part. I said "Yeah, it's one of my favourites too," and replayed the scene again.

The scene was when Lois, realising that Clark Kent was in fact Superman, pulled a gun on Clark and said "I'm willing to risk your life that you are the man of steel" and pulled the trigger. Of course, the gun only fired a blank and Supes was stooged into revealing that Lois was correct in her assumption. It was a great scene, Gracie and I smiled at each other and we continued to watch the movie. It wasn't until about an hour later that I realised something that blew my mind.

That scene never happened in the version of the film I grew up with.

The Lester-directed version had Clark tripping over and burning his hand in their hotel fireplace, revealing his identity to Lois. The scene we watched today was pieced together from old pre-production test screening footage. Looking back, all the signs were there. The set looked like it was made from plywood. Clark's hairstyle and glasses were much different, and his physique was much slimmer.

It's been literally decades since I last saw this movie, so it got me thinking about all the other parts of the movie I was probably remembering incorrectly. After a good Wikipedia'ing (that's a word, right?) I suddenly remembered all of the other campy jokes and bad visual gags that was removed (thankfully) from Lester's theatrical version. (I'm not goting to list them all here; go read the wiki article.)

All I can say is that I'm thankful for this new(-ish) version of Superman II, which lines up almost perfectly with next week's viewing of Superman Returns. I say "almost" because Donner's ending was a bit of a mess, in a "best-we-could-do-under-the-circumstances" kind of way. Richard Donner sounds pretty bitter towards the producers of the Superman films, and quite resentful about the fact that some of Lester's footage was required to complete his vision of Superman II. I just hope he is proud of the movie he put together, because I loved it.

Posted by a very super MadDog on Saturday September 10, 2011 at 7:56:03 PM - 0 comments

Drunken post incoming!

Hey, hey listen... listen up.

I just wrote a LIMERICK. I think I might become a professional limerick writer. They make loads of money, right? Okay, here goes...

I'm getting so drunk on wine;
It's blowing my tiny human mind;
I might have another;
But soon I'll discover;
I can't think of something that rhymes.

Okay, so when do I get my cheque?

Posted by a very drunken MadDog on Friday July 15, 2011 at 8:15:04 PM - 0 comments

My babies.

Both of my babies were just published in the Shepparton Adviser, a local advertorial newspaper. Check 'em out.

Posted by a very proud MadDog on Friday July 15, 2011 at 7:55:21 PM - 0 comments

Happy 10th Birthday Planet MadDog!

Wow! I totally missed the anniversary date (March 21, 2000), but this website is now 10 years old! Ten years and 225 posts later, this blog has been neglected of late in favour of my web development business's blog, but I still like to come back from time to time to post something off-topic or to read over my past posts and remember. (I'm a sucker for nostalgia, remember?)

Anyway, I don't really have anything else constructive to add at the moment. I really just wanted to mark the occasion, but lets see what else has been happening lately with me...


See you next year, I guess... :-)

Posted by a very MadDog on Thursday April 8, 2010 at 10:14:12 PM - 0 comments


I've always been a bit wary about "The Secret", the same way I'm wary about psychics and mediums. Many people are sold on the idea based on some kind of silver-bullet or magic-wand notion that it's going to make them feel good or change their lives forever.

While I personally believe that psychics and the supernatural like are a load of old bunk, I can understand the reasons and the value placed on them by those that who do believe, such as grieving relatives looking for closure after the passing of a loved one. What makes me angry are those that prey on the weak minded, giving false hope instead of comfort and closure with the aim of extracting more money, but that is a rant for anther day.

Unlike psychics, I have no doubt that The Secret can work, but not in the way that the author and her publisher would have you believe. While it may work, that doesn't mean it will work. It's not like some kind of magic switch, in fact, there's nothing spiritual, mystical or phantasmagorical about it. There's no Jedi force, glowing auras, harmonic resonance or any phoney "Law of Attraction" at work here. It basically boils down to one basic truth.

Your chance at being successful at something increases exponentially the more passionate you are about it.

I'm not talking about a casual hobby or a passing interest. I mean an all-consuming passion for the subject where you can work so hard on achieving your goals but you're so focussed that it doesn't feel like work. Look at the successful people throughout history. They weren't bestowed with phenomenal cosmic powers or share some ancient powerful secret. Their success came from their passion, their will to see it through, and the hard work that went along with it.

I'm a web guy. It's not just what I do; it's who I am. I'm always being approached by people with the idea for the "next big thing", even having to sign the odd NDA or No-compete Clause. You know how it always ends?

  1. I build out the project on spec, on time and on budget.
  2. The client sits back rubbing their hands together, waiting for the money to come in.
  3. The website is left to stagnate, usually closing within 2 years, rarely turning a profit.

I swear, it's like South Park's Underpants Gnomes every time.

You can have the best idea in the world, the best plan, the best execution, but I guarantee you will be beaten by someone who wants it more and will work harder. I can also guarantee you will fail without the correctly channelled enthusiasm required to see your plan through to success.

That's not magic. It's what's called "applying yourself".

I'm not up on a soap-box here. I'm not entertaining any ideas of becoming a motivational speaker and I'm certainly not telling people anything they don't already know.

I just think it's worth reminding ourselves that you don't need to spend your hard-earned money to have Oprah or anyone else tell you what you already know about life and living.

Posted by a very whimsical MadDog on Thursday March 25, 2010 at 9:51:51 PM - 0 comments

Insert annual update here.

It seems I only update this blog on an annual basis now, so without further ado, my favourite points from this year's 100 things we didn't know last year.

11. Naked rambling is legal in Switzerland.

29. Parts of cremated bodies are recycled.

61. Trousers used to be called unmentionables.

71. You're as likely to be hit by lightning as killed by a mentally ill person.

98. French babies cry with an accent.

See you next year!

Posted by a very fluffy MadDog on Tuesday January 26, 2010 at 9:16:27 AM - 0 comments

Nostalgia strikes again.

Now, I've been on the internet a long time, and I thought I'd already sought out or otherwise stumbled across every single skerrick of nostalgia from my childhood, but just now I hit upon a trifecta of forgotten memories.

Primary school television in the 80s was awesome!

Posted by a very nostalgic MadDog on Thursday January 8, 2009 at 9:47:14 PM - 0 comments

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