4 items from 2015
From anime to pitch-black thrillers, here's our pick of the underappreciated movies of 1987...
Sometimes, the challenge with these lists isn't just what to put in, but what to leave out. We loved Princess Bride, but with a decent showing at the box office and a huge cult following, isn't it a bit too popular to be described as underappreciated? Likewise Joe Dante's Innerspace, a fabulously geeky, comic reworking of the 60s sci-fi flick, Fantastic Voyage.
What we've gone for instead is a mix of genre fare, dramas and animated films that may have garnered a cult following since, but didn't do well either critically or financially at the time of release. Some of the movies on our list just about made their money back, but none made anything close to the sort of returns enjoyed by the likes of 1987's biggest films - Three Men And A Baby, Fatal Attraction »
As the Robotech film moves ahead, we look at the anime's history, knotty rights issues, cultural impact, and earlier failed film attempts.
"In the year 1999, high above Macross island in the South Pacific, a phenomenal event occurred in the skies which altered the cause of human history..."
With a blaze of animated light, a huge alien space craft bursts through Earth's atmosphere and collides with a city, reducing its buildings to atoms in an instant.
That dramatic opening heralded the arrival of Robotech - and American television had never seen anything quite like it. Here was animated show which told a sprawling saga set across multiple epochs, full of alien invaders and exotic transforming robots. Its characters seemed low-key and somehow real; there were brave pilots, nervy new-recruits, romances and love triangles. There was action, but also comedy, tragedy and pathos. It even provided a generous helping of bubblegum pop music. »
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 »
A big screen adaptation of Robotech has been in various stages of development for the best part of a decade, and it now looks like the movie version of the classic 80s anime series is finally moving forward.
According to Deadline, 300 and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra screenwriter Michael Gordon has signed on to write the feature, which is being produced by Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari. A director is yet to be secured, but the report goes on to state that the producers are keen on Mama helmer Andres Muschietti, who is also attached to the video game adaptation Shadow of the Colossus.
The sci-fi franchise launched in 1985, with Harmony Gold USA editing together content from three Japanese anime series in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada. It spawned the theatrical release Robotech: The Movie in 1986, and was followed by several direct-to-video releases, »
- Gary Collinson
4 items from 2015
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