Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Last Airbender

This may be difficult. I think that I'm going to try to NOT SEE this movie. I never had high hopes for it to be better than the cartoon- Avatar: The Last Airbender, but the review I read from Topless Robot sank my heart. I think it will be better to just watch the cartoon again instead of watch this film.

Everyone Loves The Last Airbender
By Rob Bricken in CartoonsMovies
Wednesday, Jun. 30 2010 @ 3:33PM

THE-LAST-AIRBENDER-23-550x297.jpg which I mean the Nickelodeon cartoon. Unfortunately, M. Night Shyamalan's Airbender movie isn't quite so lucky, with a massive 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Sure, there are only 12 reviews when I'm writing this, but when the reviews include lines like:

The picture drags along the ground like a fresh corpse, treating its own myth as homework and the participants as burdens, while feeling around a fantastically wasted world of weathered environments and ornate set design.
Does the number really matter? Roger Ebert -- and by no means do I agree with everything Ebert says in reviews, but I do find them thoughtful and informative even if I may disagree -- well, let me just give you a few highlights:
• "The Last Airbender" is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here.
• Let's start with the 3D, which was added as an afterthought to a 2D movie. Not only is it unexploited and unnecessary, but it's a disaster even if you like 3D.
• The dialogue is couched in unspeakable quasi-medieval formalities; the characters are so portentous they seem to have been trained for grade school historical pageants. ... All of the benders in the movie appear only in terms of their attributes and functions, and contain no personality.
• His first inexplicable mistake was to change the races of the leading characters; on television Aang was clearly Asian, and so were Katara and Sokka, with perhaps Mongolian and Inuit genes. Here they're all whites. This casting makes no sense because (1) It's a distraction for fans of the hugely popular TV series, and (2) all three actors are pretty bad.
• Try sampling a Nickelodeon clip from the original show to glimpse the look that might have been.
The fact that Ebert is also irked by the "racebending," and he also thinks the original cartoon is swell is fascinating by itself, but since so many of you feel the same way, I would hope that you don't dismiss his criticisms out of hand. I think I'm most upset by the confirmation that the dialogue sucks, and contains none of the humor of the cartoon, although frankly, I never suspected Shyamalan of doing otherwise. He's a terrible screenwriter and director. And unless something weird happens with the box office this weekend, he's managed to kill the live-action Avatar movie franchise all by his lonesome.


Captain Harlock

I'm not sure where this came from and I hadn't heard anything about a CG animated Captain Harlock project in the making. Either way I think this looks pretty darn cool. It's also a bit surprising to see it in English. There doesn't seem to be much coherent translated Harlock available. Hopefully this will redirect that. Captain Harlock is one of the rather well known creations by Leiji Matsumoto. The other is Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers (adding note that a live action version of Yamato is coming out soon or has...). 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Arietty the Borrower - first glimpse

Not long after Ponyo came out on DVD we find a new trailer for Studio Ghibli's next project. Adapted from Mary Norton's children book series The Borrowers, Arietty the Borrower is about tiny people and their relationship with the much larger human beings. Hiromasa Yonebayashi directs Arietty instead of Miyazaki, but as one can see from the trailer, the realistic detail Ghibli adds to all their work is still there.

I'm afraid this movie will always remind me of an '80s cartoon I was fond of... The Littles, no doubt influenced from the same source.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ryan vs Dorkman

Torchwood season 4

Torchwood is coming back.

BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and US premium entertainment network, Starz Entertainment, have today announced a three way co-production partnership that will develop a new series of the hit BBC sci-fi drama TorchwoodBBC Worldwide will also distribute the series to broadcasters globally.
The 10-episode instalment will be written by a team led by  Torchwood creator, Russell T Davies, and produced byBBC Worldwide Productions. Davies and BBC Worldwide Productions’ SVP Scripted, Julie Gardner, return as executive producers with BBC Worldwide Productions EVP Jane Tranter. The series has been commissioned by Controller BBC One, Jay Hunt, Controller BBC Drama, Ben Stephenson, and Starz President and CEO, Chris Albrecht.
While previous series were based on location in Cardiff, Wales, this new instalment will see storylines widen to include locations in the U.S. and around the world. John Barrowman and Eve Myles will return in their roles as Captain Jack and Gwen respectively, along with new faces.
Announcing the commission, Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning said: "We have a long history of working with many U.S. networks but it is incredibly exciting to be working with Starz for the first time, as well as to be reunited with the best of British in Russell, Jane and Julie. Torchwood will burst back onto the screen with a shocking and moving story with global stakes and locations that will make it feel bigger and bolder than ever"
Jane Tranter, EVP, BBC Worldwide Productions, added: "Torchwood has attracted remarkable attention and loyalty in both the UK and US, and in this new partnership with Starz, the next chapter will not only reward our current fans, but also introduce new viewers to the most impressive instalment yet." "We're committed to programming exceptional television that is entertaining, imaginative and provides a premium TV experience, and by any measure the new concept for Torchwood fits that mandate," Starz, LLC, President and CEO Chris Albrecht said. "I've been part of successful partnerships with Jane Tranter and the BBC previously, and I'm very much looking forward to working with them again."
Torchwood is a drama that puts extraterrestrial threats into a very real world, and asks how humanity deals with the danger - while fighting human's darkest instincts. The series was originally commissioned and produced in 2006 by BBC Cymru Wales, with the latest high octane series capturing UK audiences of more than 6 million.
BBC Worldwide has distributed previous Torchwood series around the world to territories such as Korea, Japan, Italy, Spain, Israel, Russia and across Latin America.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


There is a new Thundercats animation in the making:

(June 3, 2010 – Burbank, CA) – Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) has begun production on “ThunderCats,” an all-new animated series for Cartoon Network, based upon the iconic 1980s action classic. “ThunderCats” is the newest series from WBA, joining “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” which was recently renewed for a third season, and the following forthcoming programs: “The Looney Tunes Show,” “MAD,” “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” and “Young Justice.” The announcement was made today by Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, Warner Bros. Animation.
“In addition to being Warner Bros. Animation’s first anime series, ‘ThunderCats’ marks our most ambitious foray yet into fantasy,” said Register. “The realism and dynamic visual style we’ve achieved are sure to thrill viewers, and the cool weapons, vehicles and technology should help the show appeal to a diverse audience.”
The 21st century reimagining of the series marks a creative collaboration between WBA and Studio4°C, one of the most vibrant animation studios in Japan, with credits including “The Animatrix,” “Gotham Knights” and “Halo Legends.” WBA is working closely with Studio4°C, utilizing the latter’s expertise to give the “ThunderCats” characters a new cutting-edge look while remaining true to the compelling storylines and mythology of the original series.
“We at Studio4°C are excited to be in this creative partnership with Warner Bros. Animation to bring ‘ThunderCats’ to life,” said Eiko Tanaka, President and CEO, Studio4°C. “This collaboration combines the strengths of our two companies – high production values and great storytelling – toward reintroducing this classic fan-favorite to a new audience.”
Roaring to life through WBA and Studio4°C’s use of the Japanese animated artistry of anime, “ThunderCats” characters Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, Panthro, Cheetara and others will spring off the screen with realistic cat-like characteristics inconceivable in previous incarnations.
The new “ThunderCats” will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise. A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne – and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost – takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.
“ThunderCats” is executive produced by Sam Register (“Teen Titans,” “Ben 10,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”). Michael Jelenic (“Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” “Wonder Woman”) and Ethan Spaulding (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”) are the producers.

A press release with the above has been sent out including this poster:

art by zenemig
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