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October 2014
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The Imitation Game trailer

In 1938, the Nazi’s were poised to take over the world, and one of the tools that gave them the power to attempt it was the Enigma Machine. This device let them encrypt their communications in a way impossible for anyone else of the time to break, and Europe was at risk of being lost because of it. But then a very small group of mathematicians led by the legendary genius Alan Turing became the team assembled at Bletchley Park to break the code. In the process, they re-invented the modern computer, for the first time since Babbage’s Difference Engine. This movie, The Imitation Game, is another retelling of that very exciting and important story, and this time they have Benedict Cumberbatch doing Turing, a man who had a lot in common with Sherlock Holmes, so the casting is perfect. The film is on the festival circuit at the moment, I can’t wait until it hits the theaters on November 21st!

Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser

The teaser trailer for the latest variation: Avengers: Age of Ultron. It won’t hit the big screen until May of next year, but I love that we got to catch a glimpse of it up front.

Nightwing: The Series

This is a Fan-made series about what happened when Robin left Batman and struck out on his own as the hero Nightwing. The first 4 episodes are posted online over at Ismahawk YouTube Channel, with a fresh episode each week. It is not authorized by DC or Warner, but hopefully they will let them continue to create the show.

JUDGE DREDD: Superfiend Teaser

A new animated Judge Dredd miniseries put together by Adi Shankar had it’s teaser posted online today, with the full trailer due out on Thursday, and the miniseries itself scheduled to come out on the 27th. Since he is the guy that did the 2012 reboot of the Dredd film, this could be quite tasty. I haven’t found a link to where you can watch the episodes, but it should be announced with the full trailer, hopefully. In the mean time the teaser is hosted at Machinima’s YouTube Channel, so that’s a place to start.

Something to Do: Movies

There don’t seem to be any genre films this week, but John Wick looks like the choice if you are looking for an adrenalin rush disguised as a movie.

Something to Watch: Discs (formerly DVD’s)

When I first started posting about videos coming out in a package you could buy and take home in 1993, VHS was the format, eventually replaced by DVDs. But DVDs got replaced more-or-less by Blue Ray (augmented is a better word, since lots of folks are still perfectly happy at Standard Def), and Blue Ray by 4K, and owning a physical object was supplemented by owning something you could stream online any time you wanted to watch it. Streaming things you didn’t own a license to has also grown into a huge industry, of course, with legal payment plans ranging from advertising-supported free, through monthly subscription service payments, to Video On Demand pay per view options. And yet here we are almost half way through the 20 Teens, and a decades old habit has me still referring to the Discs as DVDs. So even though I still own a working 1964 black and white 1 inch reel to reel General Electric video recorder/play back device (my first personally owned video processing system, the size of a desk and the weight of a full-size refrigerator, with An Unearthly Child as one of those spools of tape), and I still have close to 40 VHS tapes of movies like Mutant On The Bounty and Witch Hunt which were never released in more modern formats, I think it is time I changed the title of this series of posts to reflect reality a little closer. If you are interested in the timeline about the VHS/DVD/HD evolution, check out the Wikipedia Article to find out what happened when.

We get an assortment of movies out on Disc this week in a range to appeal to most tastes. There is the family friendly upbeat story of Earth to Echo, not a remake of ET, but appealing to the same sensibilities and audience. Life After Beth is also somewhat light-hearted, but with a darker side to it in a zombie love story. Snowpiercer went to the edge of Mad Max land, with a tale of after the end of the world. This South Korean sci-fi action film is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige and has a world-class cast; I can’t wait to see it, because it certainly never came by a theater near me! the historic epic Kundo is about the end of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, and the group which fought to bring an end to it. It was an 800 year long part of their history most remember with both longing and horror as an age of brutal repression by a hereditary aristocracy.

The Scribbler is darker yet, with a woman wiping out her multiple personality disorder wondering if she is going to be one of the personalities that does not survive; the critics were less than kind to this one. Finally, The Purge: Anarchy is the latest tale in a franchise that they perhaps should not have started, let alone continued.

TV had nothing I could find this week, other than a confused animated Batman reference which was only the Blue Ray version of something released weeks ago on DVD.

In Anime, Ghost in the Shell Arise: Borders 1 & 2 is finally being released domestically, after months of being available only as a very pricy import. It is the first half of a 4 part OVA that is somewhere between a prequel and a re-imagining of Masamune Shirow’s classic cyberpunk story, with all new character designs, voice actor assignments, and music. In a related story, the word is that Scarlett Johansson may star in the live-action feature film version of Ghost In The Shell that is ramping up for production in Hollywood. Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is a feature length Anime that brings the video-game favorite to the small screen, in all her heavily armed glory.

Sunday Without God: Complete Collection is the story of how Humanity got along after being abandoned by god. With the dead staying on Earth and no more children being born the Gravediggers are our only hope. A Letter to Momo is about a young girl and her three Yokai friends, who are doing their best to get her into trouble. This feature length anime has won multiple awards and been compared with From Up On Poppy Hill and Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

Passepied in English

Passepied is a great little alternative band with a wonderful graphic sense and some good animation work that I have featured here before, but this is the first time I have heard an English vocal track on one of their songs. The song is Tokyo City Underground, and I posted the Japanese version back in June when it came out; I like it even more now that I know what they are singing about. If you are thinking about putting together your own short animation like the ones they create you might also want to check out their Making-Of video to get an idea of what all goes into the process. And yes, you can pick up a lot of their music at iTunes.

Moon Embrace The Stars

It is called both Moon Embrace The Stars and You Came From The Stars, depending on who is doing the translating, but this looks like it could be quite the tasty little Sci-Fi TV show out of Asia for 2015. OK, I admit I find the music for this show wimpy beyond belief and in need of being retired behind a barn somewhere with extreme prejudice, but the premise and the plot elements are both quite good. And if this only holds a partial candle up to Korean Dramadies like Spy Myung Wol, Detectives In Trouble, or Rooftop Prince, it will be in quality company and worth checking out to see just how twisted this show ends up becoming. Pretty much the best cult TV SciFi/Fantasy stories I have found seem to come out of South Korea, not because they are inherently better, but because the writers work so hard to squeeze every last twist and turn out of the plot that you can’t help but say “I never saw that coming!” at least once per TV series, and often once a week.

More Amazing Pictures: Space

This time the images are not computer generated creations, but actual photographs of space. This is an astrophotography contest held by Ciel et Espace Photos in France, and I hope they do it every year. This is their very first year, and the competition is called the Photo Nightscape Awards, or PNA for short. They had a Pro and Amature category, as well as Junior categories for several age ranges, and the images are spectacular. You can catch a glimpse in the video below, but you want to go to the Winners Page and see the full resolution versions for yourself. Many thanks to the folks at Universe Today for the heads up on this one.

E-On Software Competition Winners

I wish I had permission to post the winner’s images here, because they created some amazing places. You will have to visit E-On Stoftware’s 3D Environment Competition Winners 2014 to see them, but they are worth your time to check out. They were all created using VUE Infinite, the professional environment creation software suite from E-On. When I say professional, I am not kidding; check out their 2013 customer showcase video below to see just how many times you watched their product in a movie that year. But while their top of the line software is a bit pricy they have a full range of VUE 3D creation products including versions that range from VUE Pioneer priced at FREE up to versions priced to $500 for those of us not trying to create a feature film. And even the free version comes with full support including an active community, also priced at free.