7 items from 2015
One evening in 1994, the BBC screened a documentary simply called Manga. Presented by Jonathan Ross, it showcased the rising popularity of Japanese animation, largely focusing on the output of Manga Entertainment, whose dubbed VHS releases had made a huge impact on anime fans and caused a certain amount of consternation among the mainstream press.
For British viewers, the anime boom took a long time to arrive. In America, Japanese shows like Kimba The White Lion, Gigantor and Astro Boy were a common sight on television in the 1960s, yet it took until the late 70s and 80s, and a string of European-Japanese co-productions, before anime finally began to find a hold on UK television.
As a youngster at the time, I didn't necessarily know »
When I first read the headlines, I swear I could hear the high-pitched tear of a needle being dragged across a vinyl record. After posting a few pieces of concept art, 20th Century Fox gave the go-ahead to Neill Blomkamp to take the reigns of their wounded Alien franchise. The one that has been so poorly manhandled that they couldn’t even make a decent movie out the back story with Ridley Scott at the helm, and couldn’t mine one moment of fun from crossing over the classic Xenomorphs with the Predator franchise. I mean, seriously. Even the terrible Freddy vs. Jason had a few fun moments.
The Alien franchise has been drifting aimlessly since James Cameron delivered the universally loved Aliens nearly 30 years ago. Since then, Alien fans have been perpetually disappointed by the series. »
- Anghus Houvouras
Paramount Pictures has a reputation for not making many movies.
The studio’s quest to maintain profit margins and the void created by the loss of its distribution deals with Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation and Brad Pitt’s Plan B has left Paramount without a deep bench of movies. It’s not unusual for the studio to go months between major releases.
That’s something Paramount wants to change and it’s the biggest challenge facing its next film group president following Adam Goodman’s dismissal from the job last week.
Paramount is looking to raise the number of movie it fields annually from its current eight to ten to 14 live action titles and an additional animated release, insiders say. The huge gaps in its release calendar is illustrated by the fact that five months separate the opening of the studio’s most recent film “Hot Tub Time Machine 2, »
- Brent Lang
Chalk it up to Valentine's Day looming on the horizon or the lowered standard for toy-to-movie adaptations set by Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but soon we'll be getting a feature film produced by a company [once] solely known for producing sex toys. Why would someone in the lucrative business of sex toys want to try their hand at filmmaking, where profits are decidedly less guaranteed? Are they just annoyed they weren't asked for product placement in 50 Shades of Grey? According to the company, Lelo, the film (called Beyond the Wave starring Casper Van Dien of Starship Troopers) will serve as "a creative intervention to show couples how important it is to physically be with each other and understand each other’s perspective, both inside and outside of the bedroom."
Yes, it's weird, and no it's apparently not a 90-minute long infomercial set in a dystopian future where men and »
- Lex Walker
If there's one thing that modern Hollywood doesn't know how to work with, it's weird. It can be off-putting, atonal, and just generally bizarre (though most of the time, it appears to be unintentional), but when it comes to taking an inherently strange concept and executing it with conviction, it's simply clueless, and nothing demonstrates that better than its attempt to revitalize decades-old properties. In the annals of comicdom, there may not be a weirder (successful) concept than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, nor one with a lower bar to clear for hitting that sweet spot between its original fans and their children. But when faced with a world that had turned about face since the last time the Turtles hit screens (in live-action), the powers that be did exactly what they did with Transformers and Robocop: chickened out, foregrounding the exceedingly boring characters while running away from its own appeal. »
- Anders Nelson
In front of me stands Kyle Rayner, Saint Walker, and Guy Gardner, each behind their impenetrable clamshell wall. Next to them, Alan Scott’s power battery. It doesn’t grant me the power of the Starheart, but when we lost power last week it provided enough ambient light to get me to the staircase. Beside that, a 6” Orion and a 10” Sandman.
To be honest, I sit here, in my man cave a veritable kid in a toy store. The entire Ultraforce sits to my right. Behind me, a cache of Nerf weaponry that would be illegal in ten out of ten office wars. And sitting over my TV, in front of my faux mantle, is my prized possession: the mini replica of Kyle Rayner’s power battery. How coveted is it? It’s out of box and totally played with.
It seemingly goes hand-in-hand with our shared brand of nerditry, »
- Marc Alan Fishman
After 35 years, it’s time for the Razzies to apologize. The annual occasion to dishonor the worst in movies has long been criticized for itself being one of the worst things to happen to cinema. They crap on easy targets more than they serve a good cause, and the majority of their nominees in recognition of awful filmmaking and performances in 2014 proves little exception. There’s another Transformers movie, another Adam Sandler movie, another movie starring someone from Twilight, and it’s mostly the same handful of titles represented in each category. Transformers: Age of Extinction tops with seven nominations and Saving Christmas and The Legend of Hercules got six, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got five, A Million Ways to Die in the West got four and each with three are Left Behind, Sex Tape, The Expendables 3 and Blended. The apology, however, comes in the form of a new Golden Raspberry category for past Razzie nominees »
- Christopher Campbell
7 items from 2015
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