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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

12 items from 2016


Extreme Ghostbusters: revisiting an underappreciated cartoon

14 July 2016 6:15 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Stephen Harber Jul 18, 2016

We look back at an often-overlooked part of the Ghostbusters legacy: it's Extreme Ghostbusters...

There was a time when no one cared about Ghostbusters. It was the late 90s - the pre-Pokemon, post-Mighty Morphin Power Rangers days to be exact. Nobody’s kid was exactly clamouring for a sequel, reboot, or a Ghostbusters continuation of any kind - except for Dan Aykroyd, who was practically lobbying for a third instalment while sitting front row at the Ghostbusters II premiere. Which is why we have this: an awkwardly timed, tonally disruptive Ghostbusters animated series.

Enter a brand new cartoon that picked up the sticky, ectoplasm-covered mantle of The Real Ghostbusters and wore it slightly askew to evoke that wholesome sense of 1990s irreverence: Extreme Ghostbusters.

Living up to its name, Xgb was extreme indeed. One glance at its radically inclusive team line-up is all you need to notice that. »

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Preview of Jade Street Protection Services #1

25 June 2016 9:00 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

This coming Wednesday sees the launch of Black Mask’s new all-ages series Jade Street Protection Services, which follows five bad girls at a school for young witches (doesn’t sound too all ages!), and we have a preview of the first issue for you here…

Jade Street Protection Services is our first All Ages book, but it’s All Ages done the Black Mask way. In this new series that mashes The Breakfast Club with Sailor Moon, Kai, Saba, Noemi, Divya, and Emma are (bad) students at Matsdotter Academy, an elite private school for magical girls. When they all meet for the first time in a totally unfair detention, these punk rock witch delinquents cut class and discover the fates Matsdotter has in store for them are even more sinister than they suspected. With Jsps, the creative team of writer Katy Rex, penciler/inker Fabian Lelay, colorist Mara Jayne Carpenter, »

- Amie Cranswick

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New Gravity Rush 2 Screenshots Reveal Bigger World And Comic Book Influences

24 June 2016 8:55 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

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It was the one sequel that was left on the sidelines during Sony’s E3 showcase, but make no mistake, there’s a crackle of excitement swirling around Gravity Rush 2, the physics-defying sequel in the works at Sony Japan Studio.

Heralding the return of clumsy amnesiac Kat, story details remain thin on the ground for the time being, but unlike its forebear, Gravity Rush 2 is being built from the ground up with PlayStation 4 in mind, allowing the team at Japan Studio to broaden its proverbial canvas.

That’s according to Creative Director Keiichiro Toyama, who took to PlayStation Blog to reveal new screenshots for the upcoming sequel. Here, Toyama-san touches base on location scouting, alternate gravity styles, and why PS4 has afforded the team with the necessary resources to craft a world that is bigger and better.

“We wanted to do everything bigger and better – more volume and space. »

- Michael Briers

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'The Space Between Us': Get Ready For a New Killer Martian Movie

25 May 2016 11:58 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Last year, the world had a hell of a time cheering for Matt Damon to get home from Mars in the Ridley Scott film, The Martian. Now, it's time to get ready for a different type of Martian flick, one that's not as based on human ingenuity as it is based on human emotion.

The Space Between Us poses many questions, though the chief among them is largely a sociological and developmental one: what would happen if a boy grew up on Mars and came back to Earth as a teenager?

Check out the official trailer for The Space Between Us below!

"In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. »

- Joseph Medina

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Listen to the Chilling Audio That Inspired 'The Conjuring 2'

25 May 2016 11:48 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Horror movies can be scary enough as they are. Just the ideas planted in the minds of viewers is often enough to get the imagination going. However, it's always a bit more scary when you know that the film is based on true events. This is especially true of the Conjuring films, which are based on the actual cases of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren

As such, the studio has a unique opportunity in that they have actual files and recordings from the incidents they are drawing from. They took advantage, and thrown together a bit of audio recording from the events chronicled in the upcoming film, The Conjuring 2

Check out the recording below!

"Director James Wan brings this supernatural thriller to the screen with another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.. Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson »

- Joseph Medina

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Wesley Snipes Comments on Possibility of More 'Blade'

25 May 2016 11:08 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

While much is being said about Black Panther and how great it is to see a black character leading a superhero film, we can't forget that Wesley Snipes trail-blazed this territory with the Blade trilogy way back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Sure, comic book movies may not have been the cash cows they are now, but it was certainly great for its time.

Since Blade's introduction to the big screen, it's had two sequels (Blade II and Blade: Trinity) and a single season of a Spike TV series (which, interestingly enough was created by David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns). As good of a run the character made in its on-screen iterations, they were iterations that occurred before the current golden age of superhero movies we live in now. 

Recently, there have been rumors of Blade making a return with a Netflix original series, á la Daredevil, »

- Joseph Medina

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One-Punch Man: a new anime series that lives up to its hype

29 April 2016 1:02 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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New Manga adaptation One-Punch Man gleefully celebrates and subverts the anime genre. Here's why it's well worth your time...

Anime may have developed a loyal and feverish following outside of Japan since the dawn of high-speed internet but in reality, fans will likely always have to contend with looks of bemused, quiet judgement when their grandparents ask why they’re watching “those funny Asian cartoons again”.

Now and then however, a series will come along with crossover, mainstream appeal that seeps into western pop culture and introduces a new generation of viewers to the world of anime and manga. Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon and Pokémon all found homes on international T.V. Channels, and even casual television watchers are likely familiar with at least one of those franchises, if only because of the “it’s over 9000!” meme. Likewise, it’s no coincidence that Hollywood is currently in »

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Joe Corallo: Shell Game

19 April 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

This was supposed to be a lighter column for me. I had seen Iggy Pop play over at The Capital Theatre in Port Chester last Thursday. I was going to write about how it was an absolutely incredible show, talk a bit about Iggy Pop’s career and how he was a major influence on the comic book series The Crow. Then I read this. And this. I saw friends of my get incredibly upset over this. Hell, I’m upset too. So without putting up much of a fight with myself, I decided this week I’d tackle the growing embarrassment that is the Ghost In The Shell live action adaptation.

Ghost In The Shell was one of the first anime movies I had watched. When I was a kid, I grew up on Voltron, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and many others. The Sci-Fi channel (before it was »

- Joe Corallo

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UTA, Viz Media to Develop Live Action Versions of Anime, Manga Properties

23 March 2016 9:18 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Viz Media will partner with United Talent Agency (UTA) to develop live-action programming based on titles from Viz Media’s extensive catalog of manga and anime properties, the companies announced Wednesday. Viz Media is the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America. The company’s roster includes massively popular titles such as “Bleach,” “Death Note,” “Naruto,” “One-Punch Man,” “One Piece” and “Tokyo Ghoul.” “We are excited to start this partnership to push the boundaries of storytelling, innovation and character through Viz Media’s prolific portfolio,” said UTA’s Howie Sanders, co-head of the book department. »

- Joe Otterson

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Senran Kagura Estival Versus Review

17 March 2016 6:42 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

When you consider that there are hundreds of games released each month, you quickly realize how important it is to have a hook. In fact, if there’s not a unique selling point for your game, then you’re essentially sending it off to die. If a title fails to captivate, then the press won’t cover it, and nobody will buy it. A game can’t simply just be released anymore, there needs to be something more to it.

Not all selling points are created equal, though. While No Man’s Sky promises an endless adventure filled with unique planets to explore, Senran Kagura Estival Versus promises large breasted Shinobi battling it out. Hey, it’s something. Whether or not you enjoy Senran Kagura‘s hook, you have to give some credit to Tamsoft for coming up with something that has been successful enough to gain a following. Gaming is a business, »

- Tyler Treese

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The Rise and Rise of Samantha Bee

8 February 2016 8:02 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Samantha Bee, a tattooed centaur with heat vision in a room full of men, is about to become the only female late-night host currently on television. If you’re familiar with Bee’s work, you’re well acquainted with the Canadian-American’s 12-year tenure as a correspondent on The Daily Show, though there are lot of smaller, important steps she took that brought her to this moment. Ahead of tonight’s premiere of TBS’s Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, let’s remember how she got here.Mid '90s: Samantha Bee attended McGill University for one year, eventually leaving for the George Brown theater school in Toronto. As she struggled to make it as an actor, Bee did a series of commercial spots for Pillsbury and Kraft while also working in a Canadian children’s theater troupe. At one point she played Sailor Moon in a live-action production of »

- Lauren Duca

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'The Boy and the Beast' Dir. Mamoru Hosoda on Shared Fatherhood & Why His Films Deal with Two Worlds

15 January 2016 7:10 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Populated by fantastical creatures that stem from the inexhaustible imagination of one of the most important figures in Japanese animation today, the realms depicted in Mamoru Hosoda’s films might visually appear to be removed from our world by design; however, the profoundly wise artist makes use of their absorbing façade to insightfully address some of the most emotionally relevant human tribulations.

Constantly setting his tales of unconventional families and young people at a crossroads in two parallel worlds, Hosoda emphasize our longing for significance, connection and belonging by observing them from the vantage point of an alternate reality. For his latest epic animated saga, “The Boy and the Beast,” the seasoned director, who has worked in films based on classic anime series such as Dragon Ball, Digimon, and Sailor Moon, concentrates on fatherhood and the relationship between a boy and the multiple role models he encounters along the unstable road from angry childhood to young manhood.

Though he is often referred to as Hayao Miyazaki’s successor (an artist whom he does credit as one of the catalysts that sparked his love for animation), Hosoda’s works feature they very own mythologies, thematic concerns and stylistic particularities that differ from the signature magical characteristics associated with Ghibli. In Hosoda’s stories the concept of identity in relationship to parenthood is a striking force that drives the narrative. His characters yearn to find meaning in their origin or find an outside source that can provide a sense of community. Clearly, the clash between the real and the extraordinary transform his impressively intimate premises into mesmerizing animated visions, but their essence remains grounded on Hosoda’s compassionate and inspirational view of mankind.

His most recent marvel is a martial arts adventure ruled by its very own mythology, yet grounded on his usual universal thematic elements. Following his mother’s death, Ren runs away from home and accidentally finds his way into Jutengai, a kingdom inhabited by beasts. Reluctantly, young Ren is taken in by Kumatetsu, a bear-like brute desperate to train a disciple in order to be selected as the realm’s new leader. Despite countless arguments and numerous rough patches, a profound bond that transcends the divide between their worlds forms between the two lonely fighters.

Mr. Hosoda opened up about his marked interest in identities composed of what’s on the surface and what lies beneath, the concept of shared fatherhood, and the films that inspired him to work in this medium. 

"The Boy and the Beast" is nominated for the Best Animated Feature-Independent Annie Award and will be released theatrically in the spring by Funimation

Carlos Aguilar: One recurrent subject in your films is the battle between two worlds, our human world and some sort of alternate reality, why does this interest you in particular? The non-human worlds in your films, including that in “The Boy and the Beast,” teach us a lot about human emotions.

Mamoru Hosoda: The depiction of two worlds is directly connected to the idea of identity. For example, in "Wolf Children," the difference in the ways Yuki and Ame live constitutes two worlds, and the "country" and the "city" are also two different worlds. And I’m not saying that one of these two worlds is good, and one is bad, either. On the contrary, I think that they are both right. In the case of "Digimon," you have analog and digital; it's not that either one is greater than the other, it's that by having both halves, you get one single world.

Usually, people tend to see someone on the surface and think that that's who that person is. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who think that what is on the outside is a complete falsehood, and that their true self is what's on the inside; their public face is a fabrication, and what they really feel is actually who they are. However, I think both of those approaches are mistaken. I think the inner and outer aspects of the self together make one person. People who are open about their own faults, especially, often want to ferret out “inner feelings” beneath the surface and expose any falsehood, and they think that it's in their inner feelings that the truth lies. But I don't think that's the truth. I think that this one-or-the-other-is-right way of thinking is nonsense. I think that it takes both halves to make a single whole.

It is for that reason that I always have two different components in my movies. I also don't say which one of those two is better. People have two sides, and a person first becomes appealing when you discover both of those sides--and worlds work exactly the same way. Shibuya works the same way. I believe it's having both Shibuya and the Jutengai that makes the film’s setting an interesting one.

Another element that appears often in your films is the relationship between parents and children. Can you talk about why this topic is important to you as an artist?

Mamoru Hosoda: I fear that the image of the family that is necessary to live in these times, as well as the times to come, is in a very uncertain state. We are on the verge of losing the traditional idea of the family, especially in Japan, where the declining birth rate shows no signs of stopping. This is precisely why I think we should consider with a sense of urgency what the new image of “family” should be like, and not fall into the nostalgism that days gone by were just better.

In “The Boy and the Beast” Ren has a two father figures. His biological father and Kumatetsu, what do you think is the role of each of them in his life? Fatherhood appears to be very important in your film.

Mamoru Hosoda: In this movie, representing fathers, there is the "Kumatetsu and Kyuta" thread and the "biological father and Ren" thread. Outside of those, you also have "Hyakushubo & Tatara and Kyuta" thread, and the "Kaede and Ren" thread running through it as well. There is also the "Iozen and Ichirohiko" thread, the "Iozen and Jiromaru" thread, and so on. That might even go for Kaede and her father, as well. In any case, they are all fatherhood concepts, with different types of father-child relationships appearing, and each one of them is slightly different.

It's a seemingly simple story--and this also goes for the traditional model of friction and tension between father and child--but ours is not an age which has an ideal model for parent-child relationships, which we then go about trying to adhere to.

Rather, I was deliberately trying to express how possible it might be for unmarried men and adults not blessed with biological children to become "fathers of choice."  In an old-fashioned, traditional world, this might not matter. But I think that it's probably going to become terribly relevant as time goes on. Anyone could end up like Tatara or Hyakushubo, in that they could be put in the role of Hyakushubo yelling at Kyuta, or Tatara holding him in tears. Maybe everyone will eventually get a role to play doing these things that parents do with children. By doing so, they might experience the fulfillment of being a parent. That’s why, with those things in mind, I wanted to present one possible form for the parent-child relationship to take in the years to come.

Also, the reason why I wanted to present a parent and child in this film, although in a pseudo-family, was in order to depict growth. I wanted to put them forward to show that process. For example, if you were to ask how much Kumatetsu discernibly grew during this movie, who can quantify that? Kyuta did not completely grow into a young man, either. I do think, however, that the relationship between Kumatetsu and Kyuta did change dramatically.

As to whether Kumatetsu is the ideal father, no, he might not be the ideal. That goes for Kyuta, too—I don’t map ideals onto the individual characters. But I did relay my ideals through the relationship fostered by the two of them. At first, they were on edge with each other, but in the end, the bond between them is strong enough to become tangible and visible. I portrayed it in an interpersonal relationship, as a type of yearning admiration.

Your films deal with teenagers or young people coming to terms with who they are, their purpose, and their origins. Why do you think you are so attracted to stories about people at this particular stage in their lives?

Mamoru Hosoda: I think of movies as depicting moments of change. Change is growth, and that change also possesses the same dynamism that movies do. The most shining example of the dynamism of that change is children. This is exactly why I empathize with and wish to support those who have that kind of independence and resolve, who carve out their own futures. It is the solidarity between those individuals that I portray in movies, and I’d like us all to share that solidarity and head into the future with them.

Do you think that working on films based on anime series like “Dragon Ball,” “Sailor Moon,” or “Digimon,” has influenced the type of stories you like to tell?

Mamoru Hosoda: I learned a lot of things from the history and context provided by the personal jumping-off point that Toei Doga (now Toei Animation) was for me. For example, I learned from Shigeyasu Yamauchi, director of many "Dragon Ball" movies, what movies and being a director consisted of, and he taught me uncompromising strength for the sake of the product.

Visually Jutengai, the alternative world in “The Boy and the Beast,” seems more mythological instead of futuristic like the world in “Summer Wars.” What was the visual inspiration or style you wanted to use in this particular film for both the world and the characters?

Mamoru Hosoda: I was influenced by the culture and history of Japan. When I thought about untangling our history anew from the westernization of Japan, these were the ideas that arose from it.

Tell me about designing the creatures in the beast world. Every single one of them blends human and animal qualities.

Mamoru Hosoda: It struck me that when we read picture books to children, we parents, and people as a whole, do not appear in them very much, and that they are more constructed to be a world of children and animals. That got me thinking that before children live in the world of their parents and other people, they must learn the principles, truths, and important things they need to live in the world of animals, so I created the characters with an animal motif.

Do you animate your films yourself? What do you think is special or unique about hand-drawn animation in comparison to films made entirely using CGI?

Mamoru Hosoda: I do not draw any of the pictures for my movies as an animator. The reason for that is that I am terribly lucky to have many staff members who I look up to, and who are overflowing with talent, that work with me on each project.

As far as CGI and hand-drawn animation, I consider them both nothing more than tools for drawing pictures, the same as crayons or oils. Which is why, to me, the most important thing is what it is you are drawing, and in the themes that I depict, I think hand-drawing is the most effective.

What’s your favorite part about the process of creating a new film? Is it writing the story or bringing these worlds to life with through animation? Why?

Mamoru Hosoda: The process of producing a project is one long string of delight and anxiety, but I think the real thrill of animation would have to be drawing the pictures.

Tell me about creating Kumatetsu. He is a great character. He is at once funny, stubborn, but with a big heart underneath. Where did he come from?

Mamoru Hosoda: I wanted to ponder, "What is the significance of a father's existence to children?" Digging back through the events of the past, I found that there have been all sorts of people who had a greater effect on us than our own fathers. Perhaps an adult that we wanted to become like, or someone with such a strong presence that even now, they remain in our hearts—someone who might be referred to as a "father of choice." I think that sooner or later, everyone has someone like this. I, too, realize that there have been many people, both famous and unknown, who have been like that to me, and have had a greater influence on me growing up than my own father. The Kumatetsu-as-father-figure that we have here is not about him being someone who takes the place of a biological father. It’s more about there being multiple people out there in society who fill a fatherly role, and it is these people who come together to raise a child.

I imagine men of all different types gathering together to watch over a child. What's more, not all of them are necessarily going to be older adults. Like when you enter middle school, and you have classmates who are surprisingly well-versed in western music, or know a lot about railroads. There are fellow students who, despite being the same age, know a lot more about the world than you do, and are nice enough to teach you about this and that without you even having to ask them. In other words, though classmates, they also sufficiently fulfill a fatherly role.

So I think that for a child, there are many different patterns to what an essential father figure is. What becomes interesting when you think about it that way is that one may not be able to fulfill a fatherly role with one's own child, but on the other hand, and this goes for me as well, one might still be a "father of choice" to someone else out there in the world. Fatherhood is something that can be shared worldwide. Meaning that in terms of the substance of a father’s role, perhaps we are all pseudo-fathers. It is out of that idea that Kumatestsu came about.

Animation is a boundless medium. What attracted you to it in the first place? Why do you think it’s the best way for you to tell your stories?

Mamoru Hosoda: The impetus for me to get into the world of animated movies was seeing two movies in the summer of 1979. One of them was the Rintaro-directed "Galaxy Express 999,"  and the other was the Hayao Miyazaki-directed "Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro." I want to take themes that are shared throughout the world, express them through animation, and make movies from them. And with the assumption that animation is a medium for children, I want to make movies that reaffirm the future, and let them know that this world is a world worth living in.

Why did you feel Ren had to have two names, Ren in the human world and Kyuta in the world of beasts?

Mamoru Hosoda: I thought it would be necessary in order to express the identity uncertainty and tension of wondering who he really was. I wrote the story with the hope that those children who were lost in their own lives would find some kind of answer in this movie, and be able to share in it as well.

Ren reminds me of one of your characters in “Wolf Children,” are there any conscious or unconscious relationships between the characters in your films?

Mamoru Hosoda: Kyuta's growth is a growth of the heart, where he deals successfully with the question of his identity, develops independence and resolve, and proactively carves out his own life for himself, so you could say that his character has that in common with the main characters of my other films.

After the success of “The Boy and the Beast” in Japan, are you working on a anew film? Or are there any ideas that you want to explore in your next project?

Mamoru Hosoda: I really am grateful to have so many people watch, and to be given the chance to create my next projects. I want to once again tackle the boundless possibilities of animated movies, and I hope to be able to create something that will leave both children and adults thinking that this world is a sparkling, brightly shining place.

"The Boy and the World" is nominated for the Best Animated Feature-Independent Annie Award and will be released theatrically in the spring by Funimation

»

- Carlos Aguilar

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

12 items from 2016


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