The Boy and the Beast is director Mamoru Hosoda‘s latest film. It’s about a nine year old boy named Ren whose world is unraveled when his mother dies. Hearing no news of his father he decides to run away and suddenly makes his way into the Beast Kingdom.
The good; I absolutely love this premise. This reminds me of the movies in the 80s (The Neverending Story, Flight of the Navigator, Labyrinth, Explorers…), it’s about a child being a fish out of water in a new fantastical world. Continue reading →
The last weekend in July has come and gone, and with it another comic con. It seems that comic con time is spent less about seeing cool things and more about waiting in a line to wait in another line.
The weather in San Diego was rather humid, more like Florida than Southern California.
Here are some costumed individuals;
Then I encountered some non-strangers dressed up as well;
Overall, I had a good time, despite the overwhelming amount of people and other negatives I made the most of it. Comic Con is definitely a community experience, to traverse these halls solo isn’t as much fun. And I’m not the only one to feel this way about how this “event” has changed, check this out. Till next year SDCC
Edge of Tomorrow is a sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, directed by Doug Liman and written by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth. It’s about the United Defense Force waging war on an alien invasion in Europe, Major Cage (Cruise) gets plunged into combat, without adequate training he stumbles upon a time loop. Throw in some very hand held camera work, nice visuals and Tom Cruise, and… go!
The good; there’s nothing new here as far as story, but boy do I like it. The aliens are called Mimics, and they’ve got humanity beat, but our newest latest, best weapon is this Battle Suit. It gives the common soldier more fire power, strength and speed capable of combating these mimics. Whenever we have a superior alien force battling humanity, in films anyway, common bullets always seems to be the answer (Starship Troopers, Battle Los Angeles, Battleship…), this time we get a little more firepower, which makes it more believable, although the battle suit isn’t all encompassing/enclosed for protection…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, love or hate Tom Cruise, but the man is a movie star, he carries this film. When we first see him in his pseudo-Marine uniform I first thought… “that hair cut isn’t regulation sir… but this is a world they’ve created, plus we’re in war time so maybe hair cuts aren’t the biggest priority.” But then he’s not a combat soldier, so that makes sense.
If you’ve seen the trailers, then you know that Cage (Cruise) dies over and over again, the film does a great job in explaining how this happens, it’s actually very satisfying, and builds up to how Cage can do what he does.
The bad; the action sequence… why all the hand-held crappy, I mean, camera work?? Did Liman go to the Michael Bay school of crapulence? There’s some great stuff going on, it’s the D-Day invasion of Normandy, but with exo-suits, frikkin’ exo-suits! It looks awesome… yet, I can’t see things.
The trailers give a lot away.
Overall, check it out, go see it on the big screen and enjoy the visuals with a very satisfying story.
Reading up on the production of this film, there were problems with the third act, I like to credit McQuarrie for making the script great. All through the film I had this anime feel/notion, then I come to learn that it’s based on the Japanese light novel (young adult) entitled All You Need Is Kill.
Have you seen Tron: Uprising? Probably not, it really is the best show that no one is watching. The series follows Beck, voiced by Elijah Wood, a program who lives on the grid and joins the fight against Clu‘s occupation. This series takes place inbetween the first movie Tronand the sequel Tron: Legacy.
There’s a lot of character development going on here, we even get the respective actors reprising their roles, Olivia Wilde and Bruce Boxleitner. Spoiler… they’re from other versions of Tron, haahha.
Other than the compelling stories, I love the soundtrack, they really emulate the Daft Punk soundtrack from the Legacy movie, and the action is pretty top notch.
But apparently this series is getting some acclaim and not just from me, hopefully this will give us a second season.
– Annie Awards –
– Primetime Emmys –Art Direction
The entire season is also on Netflix.
Here’s the webseries strung together as the first episode of the series;
Who would want to watch this? I’m sure Elijah… would…
We’re big fans of the Roku boxes but it’s not the only hockey puck internet connected device feeding dumb TV’s. Apple just updated the Apple TV with a few channels to please folks jealous of Roku’s wider content provider selection (except for the glaring lack of YouTube).
After updating your player’s firmware (Settings), you’ll be able to stream content from: HBO Go ESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line) Sky News Crunchyroll Qello
Apple recently enabled AirPlay to their iOS HBO Go app but now subscribers (or sneaky folks who are able to get login credentials from their buddy), can watch shows like Girls and Game of Thrones natively on the Apple TV.
Did you like what we did last year? Here we go again! Check out what this years anime fans.
00:00 – Pink castle crasher is known for throwing rainbows everywhere.
00:53 – this guy is a nameless character from the Monster Hunter series gets his armor from a slain Congalala. He took 3 months making his costume and hasn’t slept in 2 days.
03:18 – LeBlanc from League of Legends has definitely put some time into her costume and has plans to design them for a living.
04:40 – Porco Rosso was a flying ace but avoids planes himself. He’s a video editor that shares his thoughts on 3D.
05:49 – An announcer from an upcoming steampunk webseries, Tinker, is out trying to promote their work. Check them out at on facebook. Their gear was provided by Wonderland Studios (Anaheim)
07:12 – I catch a special rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody performed by some guys and Master Chief.
08:19 – Static Shock is known for putting a shock to your system and shares his suggestion to story tellers of ending things on a high note rather than dragging them out.
10:20 – Gender bender Ran Yakumo from Touhou has a very complicated background as being a boss. She’s a middle child of the Yakumo family. His outfit has amazing stitchwork. You definitely want to go full screen HD for this guy. He also talks about the difference between the Los Angeles convention versus Sakuracon.
13:24 – My Neighbor Totoro is one of Miyazuki’s most noteable works. Her mom helped her with this costume and also helps a lot for Halloween. I express some concern and she tells me she feels like she’s in a sauna but about to take a break. She mentions getting very excited over seeing some no-faces.
15:37 – Madame Red from Kuroshitsuji is known for killing whores and loves her character’s depth and awesomeness.
17:13 – Lulu from Final Fantasy X loves her character’s costume and is seriously warm in her costume.
19:17 – Rikku from Final Fantasy X has taken years to create her outfit.
20:55 – One of the most talked about costumes, Fiddlesticks from League of Legends, bouts with another champion.
21:29 – Morgana from League of Legends isn’t a big gamer because she’s busy studying nutrition. She hasn’t heard about the proposed big soda ban in New York but thinks it’s a good idea. Check her out on facebook
22:54 – Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII is known for looking cute and being the main character’s lover. She talks about the logistic challenges of living far away from a convention.
25:01 – Mumbo Jumbo from Banjo-Kazooie is a magical character.
26:26 – The Green Ranger from the Power Rangers loves that his character took on all of the rangers and the ability to summon his monster on his own. He shares his thoughts on rebooting the series and the joy he had living in Japan.
28:40 – I can’t make out who this character is. She’s known for being pretty and also cosplays Black Rock Shooter. She loves anime because it’s fun to watch.
00:00 – Jinbei (One Piece) spent 3 months working on his outfit because he has no sewing skills.
01:08 – Genderbender Marissa (Tohou) is a jerk and has me looking at myself through his glasses. He notes the weekend is super packed since the X Games were going on at the same time. I ask him how he’s celebrating the 4th of July and without missing a beat he shows me his patriotic undergarments. He’s a civil servant.
02:14 – Dr. Kawashima from Brain Age has plenty to say and is very passionate about the game.
04:14 – Hetalia: Axis Powers represented by Italy, Prussia, Germany, America, England, and Hungary. They say the worst thing they’ve seen is ugly naked people.
07:28 – This version of the Cheshire Cat has a few tattoos recently graduated with a drawing and painting degree that she thinks is useless. Check her out anyway: facebook / jentakeda.com
09:29 – Majora’s Mask (Legend of Zelda) is Japanese and feels a strong connection with Anime. I ask her where the best place to get ramen and she says there’s a great place in Fullerton
12:29 – Axe Cop is a web comic that Fox recently picked up and talks about a few people mixing him up with real security. He’s an actor that’s done some commercials in Miami
14:19 – Who says Twilight Sparkle My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic can’t have a goatee? He loves seeking out knowledge.
16:47 – A steampunk couple explain why they love the genre.
18:32 – Rick Grimes loves killing zombies and cosplaying other zombie killers like Chris Redfield
20:02 – Tony Tony Chopper (One Piece) and Splicer (Bioshock). Tony Tony Chopper is holding cotton that she wishes was cotton candy
22:00 – Batman (cubecrafting edition) is a bit of a mashup and likes everything about anime and is studying criminal justice
23:20 – Reggie “My body is ready” Fils-Aime is a meme that has trouble seeing
24:54 – Thor finished her costume in 3 months because she got lazy. She explains that she likes gender bending because she’s not a big giant strong man but still loves the characters
26:36 – Pico (Boku no Pico) / Yuki (Tsuritama) are having a dangerous amount of fun and probably scaring children away. His water gun is definitely rated mature
28:20 – Jenova (Final Fantasy 7) definitely recognizes me. She talks about the challenges of making a costume being in your head and where she buys her materials. Check her group, SAUCEtown Cosplay. They are one of the best cosplayers out there drawing cameras towards them constantly at conventions. And how does one from SAUCEtown cosplay celebrate the 4th? Eating a trifle, of course!
Live in the Los Angeles area and hoping to start the new year with a healthy dose of cosplay action? Anime Los Angeles, a three day event, starts next Friday, January 6, 2012 and ends Sunday, January 8, 2012. Those who hesitated on getting a presale tickets are out of luck and will have to register at the door. Prices are $50 for the whole weekend, $25 for Friday-only, $35 for Saturday-only, and $20 for Sunday-only.
This year, I attended my first Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I had a brief love affair with anime during high school but I have since been a bit out of touch with the latest franchises and hottest series. The wonderful thing about expos is that there really are no qualifications into getting in besides your ticket and an open mind. One can visit to see characters they love have developed or discover and fall in love with new ones. The Los Angeles Anime Expo is North America’s biggest convention that caters to hardcore fans and recent converts alike. One of the distinct features of an anime expo is that the show isn’t just made up of vendors, publishers, and creators. The fans play a huge role in creating a world that attendees are transported to once they enter the building and sky’s the limit when it comes to how far some fans will go to express how much much they love the genre.
Here are some things I discovered while at the Anime Expo, watching and talking to cosplay fans
Disconnect from reality
Anime has a huge following but relative to live action, it’s fan base is still considered minor. When you think about it, anime isn’t very different. It’s all about story telling. Unlike western cartoons and animation, there’s an anime series for every genre one could ask for: sci-fi, love, action, adventure, comedy, and that other category (the one with tentacles and other interesting visuals). The great part about a scene that’s so big is that outsiders like myself can’t even tell the difference. Once you take the red pill, even security guards, janitors, and information booth attendants look like they are cosplaying!
Come as you are
Anime comes in all different forms. Artists embrace liberties to alter your notion of realism with elements like gravity defying hair, disproportionate female measurements, vibrant eye colors, vampire fangs, giant impractical weapons… just search youtube for clips and you’ll get the point. Humans, in contrast, are pretty boring. We come in a few sizes and colors and that’s it. The key part of making a great cosplay outfit is really ignoring any of your limitations. Disregard differences in height, weight, skin tone, age, sex, cup size (In fact, NEVER get implants for any reason. It will just look even more silly if you are cosplaying), ethnicity, and MOST of all, don’t be discouraged to cosplay if you have braces. Regarding age, it actually seems the younger you are, the more drive you have at making an awesome costume. I was totally blown away discovering that high school students were making such detailed, professional looking costumes. Maybe there’s a connection between growing up and losing a connection with dreaming.
You don’t need THAT much time to make your costume
Some of THE best costumes/makeup I saw were done by fans that claimed the time they spent was only days. Don’t listen to what Hollywood tells you. All the required materials can be found at your local Michaels/Home Depot! The most important ingredient in your costume is sheer determination. If that means calling sick from your H&M part time job or missing a day of class to complete your costume, it will be worth it. Honestly though, some costumes obviously require more time than others. I met one fellow who cosplayed a Space Marine Scout who spent two months making his awesome costume. It definitely turned heads. On the flip side, the most affordable costumes I saw included a simple inkjet print and some tape to cover your face (I’m looking at you Mr. Trollface)
Mashups = fun!
My biggest takeway from the Anime Expo was discovering the Pokemen. That’s not a typo! I’m talking about the fit Asian guys who wear bright colors, suspenders, and wafer sunglasses. Who says you can’t add your own twist on a series.
Mobility is inversely related to costume appeal
Let’s face it: there are a lot of guys into photography, and what do guys LOVE? Duh! Girls cosplaying. This is Los Angeles. Fashion is always evolving. We’ve seen attractive people in those same outfits our favorite celebrities rock. But the Anime Expo is like an alternate fashion show for outfits that will never make it to retailers. So if we see fantasy become reality, we are most certainly obligated to document it. If you’ve invested enough time and resources into your costume, chances are people will stop you to take pictures and this is how that goes:
Me: “Awesome work! Mind if I take a picture?”
Me: “Great… 1 sec”
(30 seconds to pull out phone from pocket and switch to camera mode or 1 minutes to put down backpack and take out camera out)
Me: “Cool! 1 sec”
(5 shots quickly taken that all look identical)
Me: “Oh shoot! I had it on the wrong setting. Can I redo those shots?”
Just remember: that exact scene will happen with multiple people all starting at different times. Looking for the most popular person on the floor? Just stand still and look for the person with the biggest crowd around him/her looking around in all angles in confusion trying to figure out which camera to pose for.
Sorry ladies. The ratio of topless guys with 6-packs to pretty girls in costume is roughly 0:(pretty girls in costume)
Trolling is not allowed! If you think there’s any costume that you can’t do, you’re doing it wrong! One of my favorites was a mid twenties red-head guy who cosplayed Misty from Pokemon. Check out the video after the break for some Q & A with cosplay fans.