I missed seeing it in the theaters, and it hasn’t been streaming anywhere that I could find (not even on Funimation who have the North American rights), but now it is finally available on Disc: Your Name. Featuring music by the Radwimps, it pretty much broke every theater record in Japan, and won multiple awards. Another winner this week is Westworld: The Complete First Season, an excellent reboot of the original franchise. You can stream at least some of the episodes at that SYFY link, if you haven’t seen it yet you should check it out. Project Itoh: Genocidal Organ is the latest Sci-Fi story in the Project Itoh series, dealing with some fairly current topics. Taken together, the series of feature films covers about 150 years of a parallel history, like yet unlike our own. Finally there is Trollhunters: Season One, with Season 2 available to stream beginning on December 15th.
There isn’t even a doubt, this weekend is all about Blade Runner 2049, the sequel I have been wanting to watch for 30 years. There are an awful lot of critics saying this story may be better than the original, I will reserve judgement until I get to see it for myself. But I have the feeling Philip K Dick would be both proud and paranoid about all the attention this film is generating.
The short answer is Steven King’s The Dark Tower is the one genre film this week, and I won’t be in the audience.
Starting 18 hours ago, and good for 48 hours only, you can download a free copy of The Way of Kings, the first volume of The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. To get your free copy you have to sign up for the Tor email that tells you about new Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, not a bad thing in my opinion. And of course you can opt out at any time.
Starz signed up to put Neil Gaiman’s American Gods into production, and it looks amazing so far. They have a new trailer I had to share here, and since they also posted their SXSW panel, I am throwing that in as well. The show premieres on Starz on April 30th, these should help you get ready for it! Thanks to Tor for the heads up on this one!
China has finally launched a film festival specifically targeting the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, called the Just Film Festival. The group appears to have organized in 2014, holding the first festival in 2015, as near as I can tell. It seems to have gotten them off to a good start, because this year around 200 industry professionals were running 3 tracks, with the most popular session being the projects, promotion, and investment presentation. That started off with around 500 potential films putting in their bids for funding, and by the time the dust settled it was narrowed down to just 3 titles: Immerse, Saving Human, and Planet X. I don’t know which or how many of them got the money to begin production, but over the last decade or two there has been an explosive growth in the Chinese Science Fiction literary scene. Some of those books and stories have won recognition world wide, and some of them are now in bookstores in North America; it is nice to see their SF/F film industry starting to get some momentum and recognition as well.