Doctor Strange is the latest Marvel Studios film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s about the character with the same name. It’s directed by Scott Derrickson, who also wrote the film, along with Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular character, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. Doctor Stephen Strange is a brilliant surgeon who learns magic and the mystic arts after a surviving a car accident that ends his career in the medical field. Continue reading →
Ant-Man is the latest installment into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s about Scott Lang as he becomes the new Ant-Man, but his troubled past catches up with him when he plots a heist with an older inventor bent on saving the world from certain destruction, so this time his criminal skills are put to good use.
This film is directed by Peyton Reed with a screenplay from Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd. The film stars Rudd (as Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Tip Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, and Michael Douglas.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is about our favorite superhero team venturing out on another mission to save the world, in this case, it’s a mechanized creation that that’s highly intelligent, highly resourceful, and highly charismatic. The film is written and directed by the great Joss Wheadon, and stars an all-star cast; Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. It opened at $187.7 million this weekend.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest Marvel film, this time we’re propelled way in to cosmos instead of New York. It’s about some shady characters that are unwillingly brought together due to a highly coveted orb and certain galactic destruction. They’re then forced into an alliance and have to work together. Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn, he also co-wrote the script with Nicole Perlman, it stars; Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly,Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro.
The good; this film is truly inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not in story and plot, but in feeling and tone. It was great to have someone who loves Raiders so much that they wanted to make a film that channeled the spirit of what they felt when they watched that movie. James Gunn does a great job in doing so, the makers of Star Trek: Into Darkness need to take a page from Guardians, we know you like Wraith of Khan, but don’t do your version.
Then the choice of re-recorded music, I love this film’s soundtrack! I actually have most of the songs already, but the use of these “oldies” actually fits in to the movie. From the moment go on that first trailer where Hooked on a Feeling was used, I knew I was going to enjoy this movie, just for the soundtrack alone. Then I learn that the song used in the trailer is actually going to be in the film itself??? That’s unheard of these days, what with marketing lying to us at every corner. The use of the songs in Guardians is evocative of Tarantino’s films (Reservoir Dogs) and Wes Anderson’s films.
I have to mention the camera work and use of CG with practical sets. This film puts anything Michael Bay can throw at us, more specifically our eye balls, to shame! I was so thankful that the action was in focus and there was a sense of geography with what was going on. It’s something that when done right goes unnoticed. But I appreciate the way they covered the action and made it coherent.
The bad; it ended. I didn’t want it to end.
They didn’t use Spirit in the Sky 😉
Overall, such a fun movie, perfect way to end the summer movies of 2014. This is the way to build a world and introduce us to a variety of characters.
They made use of a mix-tape, which speaks to me, a product of days gone by that’s part of the character and plot, but it’s not hokey. I highly recommend seeing this movie in the theatres, especially if you can get it with DolbyAtmos.
Finally got to see Iron Man 3,it’s the third installment in to the Iron Man franchise, this film being directed and written by Shane Black. I’m a Shane Black fan, he’s done;the Lethal Weapon movies, Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, The Last Boyscout… In short, the third movie is about Tony Stark battling a new villain as well as personal demons.
The good; Robert Downey Jr, he carries this movie completely and thoroughly. His comedy timing and delivery is great, there’s some scenes in particular with a kid, but I won’t get in to it.
The scene where Iron Man has to rescue passengers suddenly ejected from a plane is great. There’s a real sense of geography and urgency amidst this chaotic situation and it’s pulled off very well.
The bad; it wasn’t the movie I had hoped for, not typical of Shane Black’s previous work. The twists and turns aren’t hard to spot, and much like The Dark Knight Rises, there isn’t much of Iron Man in this film. It seemed that there was too much to service in the story, you have the Extremis stuff as well as the Mandarin.
Overall, enjoyed it better than the second movie, but the first movie is still the best one out of the trilogy.
Again… wait till the end of the credits (as you should) for a tag at the end.
We didn’t capture as much footage of last weekend as we had hoped. Sorry guys. There’s no costume contest video 🙁
Check out some interviews with cosplay fans below.
00:00 – Steampunk fans tell us why they love the culture. It’s very accepting but remember to bring some katanas for self-defense
02:03 – Marvel Girl and a gender bender Catwoman. He loves her because she has good taste. Marvel Girl wanted to take a picture with Stan Lee. She wants another X-Men movie done right and Catwoman agrees. Her favorite moment is watching other fans loose their cool while meeting Stan Lee
04:20 – Henchman of the Mighty Monarch (Venture Brothers) are a little older than most of the kids out at Comikaze but they just as much spirit and enthusiasm. They would love to see a movie made or a Dr. Strange.
07:10 – Tifa Lockheart is a standard cosplay character at conventions and this one picked Tifa Lockheart because of peer pressure. She games a lot and hopes to one day work for Disney.
10:02 – This New California Republic Soldier (Fallout) is somewhat obscure but still gets recognized by gamers. He wanted to cosplay a character that was less known and he really pulled it off. He’s studying history but doesn’t know what he’ll do with the degree. His flag doubles up as a signature canvas.
13:10 – The R2D2 couple caught the attention of many people and cameras. All you could hear is “Awwwww”
14:28 – Walter White (Breaking Bad) is a fan of the show and shares with us the secrets to making the meth used in the show (raspberry rock candy)
16:09 – I ran into a lot of memory card issues while recording this interview. What a shame. Suki (Avatar: The Last Airbender) wanted to show her face entirely. She made the costume herself and worked on her costume for months. She liked the costumes of the movie but doesn’t offer any praise for the movie.
18:25 – Steampunk Storm (X-Men) is part of a group of cosplay friends who really turned heads with their rendition of a steampunk X-Men. It’s hard to tell, but she’s a bit older than she looks (came to this country in the 60’s).
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.