I have always been a Holmes fan, and Sherlock is the best there has ever been. So here are two offerings from this weekends Comic Con event, the new trailer, and the related gathering from Nerd HQ 2016 which benefited Operation Smile this year. The sessions of this project are referred to as A Conversation For A Cause, and it is exactly that. The format is a small intimate room at the San Diego New Children’s Museum, which seats a limited number of people, all of whom pay a noticeable (but not exorbitant) amount of money to attend. A small group of major players of some cult favorite show gather on stage, with another cult favorite actor from an unrelated property as the moderator. The folks on stage have a chat about the program they are involved in, then the moderator invites questions from the audience.
As near as I have been able to tell, 100% of the money raised by this series of events goes to the charity. The audience gets to have the kind of one-on-one experience with the show makers that used to be common several decades ago, when only us nerds and geeks even knew this kind of convention was happening, but which seems to have evaporated around the turn of the century. The participating actors, writers, and directors of these shows all get to contribute their time (and money; lots of them also make a contribution beyond their mere attendance), connect even more personally with their most loyal fans, and by doing so generate an impressive amount of revenue for the charity. As a person who was a member of the group who created the original Beg-A-Thon which was then used as the model all PBS radio and TV stations put into play to raise public awareness and money (crowdfunding decades before most people became aware that it was an option), I don’t see a downside to this project. The fact that they then make these sessions available to the general public (with or without editing, it could go either way but what I see makes me think without) is just yet another bonus as far as all us fans are concerned. Enjoy!
A year before he became the 2nd Doctor, Patrick Troughton did a BBC Radio production of George Orwell’s 1984. He wasn’t the first actor to give voice to Winston Smith, because that was David Niven in 1949, within a year of the books original publication. He was the first actor to ever play Robin Hood on TV in 1953, and I can’t help but wish at least one complete episode of that show still exists in some format so I could watch it. Video Curios posted his 1984 online a few years ago, and Open Culture posted the heads up, so here you go; enjoy.
The Martian is out on disc this week, based on Andy Weir’s book and starring Matt Damon. The film has been nominated for a number of awards already, it will be interesting to see which ones it takes home. For animated family silliness we also get Hotel Transylvania 2, with the further antics of Dracula’s daughter. While Mr. Robot: The Complete First Season may not be genre, it is cutting edge TV you should be watching, and it too is up for an assortment of awards. From now to January 21st you can watch all 10 Season 1 enhanced and uncensored episodes on their website, especially if you are voting for any of those awards.
In Anime, Argevollen Collection 2 continues to up the ante in the war, with newer and better combat mechs rolled out to both sides. It is beginning to look like the only winners will be the companies that create the giant robots. The IGPX Immortal Grand Prix: Complete Collection originally came out in 2005 as 2 box sets, this is the first time the entire thing is in a single package. It combines auto racing with combat mechas for a rather unique sport.
The Studio Ghibli masterpiece Only Yesterday is finally being released in North America 25 years after its Japanese debut thanks to the folks at GKids. Rather than the fantasies of Miyazaki which Studio Ghibli is famous for, this one is one of the sumptuous slice of life presentations of co-founder Isao Takahata. GKids financed a whole new English dub of the film, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley to voice Taeko, the heroine of the story. It is on the big screen today, January 1st, in NYC, and come February it will get a wider release to the rest of the continent. I can not think of a better way to start off the New Year than with a Ghibli film I have never seen; what a treat!
2015 was a great year with some excellent films, and 2016 looks like it will do just as well. Zootopia is an example of one of the ones I am waiting for, filled with the kind of animals-as-humans animation Disney is famous for and looking quite tasty in the second trailer for the film. This will be hitting the big screen on March 4th, and has an amazing cast doing the voice overs. Other movies worth checking out in 2016 include La belle et la bête, The 5th Wave, Ip Man 3, Kung Fu Panda 3… and that is just in January!
This is about a terminally kawaii game called Mice and Mystics which Wil Wheaton brought in and showed on his program Tabletop!. Not being content to let it stop there, he also brought in some family members, specifically Anne Wheaton, Ryan Wheaton, and Nolan Kopp to demonstrate how the game should be played. Or maybe he was trying to show us how his family plays simple but interesting games together, which quite frankly reminded me about how my families gaming sessions go. This is the TableTop Season 3 finale, or at least the first part of it, and if you haven’t been following from the beginning this episode should make you realize why you want to go back and binge-watch the entire season. And then maybe the 2 before that. And if you have missed this, perhaps the channel the program is on might have snuck past you in the darkness; Geek And Sundry is a Felicia Day project that has gathered together some of my favorite people on the planet and given them a platform to prove to the rest of us why they are fun folks.