Cluster Map

Revolver Map

February 2016
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Bump of Chicken

Japanese rock band Bump of Chicken have a new album coming out this Wednesday, February 10th, called Butterfly. The first song is the title track, the next is their 2014 hit Ray, and the third is Hello World, released as a single last April and now part of the new album. These tracks are a little more pop than I usually prefer; they started as Alt-Rock with some mainstream Rock tracks, but the songs that sold a lot of copies sounded like these, so their style has changed over the last few decades. But not every time; the tunes used in the Anime Neon Genesis Evangelion (the original series) and Blood Blockade Battlefront were excellent, so I had to include one of them here as well.

League of Legends: The New Dawn

This is a movie I want to see, from a game I should be playing; it is amazing. Blur Studios, the folks who put this together are heavy into both worlds, with movie special effects credits including Thor: The Dark World and the upcoming Deadpool. In this case, League of Legends happens to be a game, but after watching this video I am ready to plunk my money down on the counter to see the finished production on the big screen. Mind, I was gasping for sympathetic breath 30 seconds into the trailer; I suspect that same 30 seconds might end up being my best time staying alive were I to actually attempt to play.

CG: Ascension

This short CG film Ascension has won multiple awards and certainly made me smile when I watched it. As so many of these are, this is a graduation movie, meaning it was built to prove they deserved the degree or certification offered by their school, the same way you do it to get a degree for film school. The school in this case was the Supinfocom Arles in France (if you don’t speak French they have an English version of the site), and the students who created this are Thomas Bourdis, Martin de Coudenhove, Caroline Domergue, Colin Laubry and Florian Vecchione doing the animation, with Seth Stewart composing the music.

3D: Chemical Brothers and Beck Video Wide Open

I usually leave music for Saturday’s entry, but this one is about 3D modeling and motion capturing to create an amazing video. When The Chemical Brothers and Beck got together to record Wide Open they decided they needed the dancer in the video to be wide open as well. So they made a 3D model of Sonoya Mizuno and used it to transform her gradually into a 3D printed matrix of herself. The result is as enjoyable on the eyes as the music is on the ears. Thanks to Digital Trends for the heads up on this one.

VR: Dreams of Dali

For decades Virtual Reality has been expensive and flaky, but no more; this is the year it goes mainstream and affordable. Part of that is because of projects like Google Cardboard, allowing you to assemble your own VR headset for as little as $150 (cell phone, head set, and trigger button). Until recently there has been a lack of content for VR, but that has changed as well, with everyone from the Discovery Channel to the Dali Museum putting together presentations for it. In the case of the museum, they converted one of Dali’s paintings into a Virtual Reality exhibit entitled Dreams of Dali. Once at the museum they have Oculus Rift headsets for you to wear while exploring the VR environment they created of it.

Something to Do: Movies

This week Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be in the theaters, giving a whole new twist to the classic story. It is the kind of thing you might have gotten if Jane Austen was writing episodes of Buffy for Joss, and it might just be enough fun to watch to overcome my dislike of horror. There is a non-genre film that also looks pretty interesting, Hail, Caesar!. From the trailers it looks very amusing and the might just end up being the movie that gets my ticket money this weekend.

Something to Watch: Discs

The movies this week include The Last Witch Hunter with Vin Diesel. I missed this one in the theaters, I will catch it when it gets on one of the premium services I already have. There are also two animated feature films, Batman: Bad Blood is a direct to video story that may have The Dark Knight on the dark side. And the 1937 animation classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be released on Blu Ray/Digital HD for the first time, completely remastered and restored. Finally I have to mention Simon Pegg’s Man Up, which isn’t genre but is a whole lot of fun. Supposedly. Sadly it didn’t play at a theater close enough to me so I could see it on the big screen, but I will get to see it now.

TV has Falling Skies: The Complete Fifth Season and the continuing battle of alien invaders vs. human defenders. Since that was the final season, you will also be able to pick up Falling Skies: The Complete Series in Blu Ray or DVD. We also get From Dusk Till Dawn: Season Two this week, one of a number of spin-offs generated by the original film.

Anime finally gives us the next episode of a true classic after entirely too long a wait! Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo is hitting the shelves, and as a person who was trying to watch it 3 years ago, I am thrilled to finally see it make it into the light of day. It is a reboot of one of the iconic Anime series of all time, and now we just have to wait for the fourth and final part to be released. The other release this week is worth everyone’s attention is From the New World, where the lines between Time and Space may blur, but the lines between people are razor sharp.

Night on the Galactic Railroad is a classic from the 80s telling the story of a young kitten who faces problems well beyond his age. The Festival of Stars becomes his escape, and he and his childhood friend are thrilled as the Galactic Railroad whisks the two away for parts unknown! Then there was Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection, where maidens try to control spirits, before the Demon King gets their contracts before them.

Hysteric Lolita

The name of the first track from Hysteric Lolita is Distress, their second single which is also off of their upcoming first album Not Equal which will be released on February 3rd. The second is Emotional Girl from their 2014 debut single Despair of the Spiral. I really wanted to post their brilliant new track Voice for Voice, but they haven’t released an official full length video of it yet. If you like their music you can buy it on iTunes, they have all 7 of the singles available now, or you can wait for February 3rd and get the entire 14 track album.

Character Design 101

The Variety Artisans series is a collection of interviews that explain how all the stuff at the core of telling a story in a movie format works. This particular one is about the Oscar Ballot Guide: Animation Character Design, where you will learn the major points of making a character the audience will want to follow and become friends with. If you enjoy this one, you may want to watch the entire series.

Mardi Gras is coming!

Mardi Gras is coming, so here is a flash of one of the Crewe Assignments…

Could he be Burgess Meredith’s grandson?