This time around Humble Bundle is offering a Doctor Who Comics Bundle currently with about 50 titles in it. If you haven’t hit Humble Bundle before, they have deals on various nerd-approved things, often including ebooks, games, and audio dramas. You get to select what price you will pay, but if you pay above a specified amount you unlock additional titles. Each deal comes with a charity being supported, and you also get to select what percentage of your payment goes to the creator, what goes to the charity, and what goes to the site itself for setting it all up. I generally just leave the percentage at the default since it is usually very equitable, and for the Doctor Who Comics Bundle the charity is Children In Need, a most worthwhile organization. As little as $15 unlocks all 50 issues of the comics and puts money into the Children in Need coffers; or if you are not a Doctor Who fan, look into their other current bundles, odds are good you will find something you like coupled with someone you want to support.
A classic lost story of Doctor Who will be available in select movie theaters for one night only. On Monday, November 14th, Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks will be on the big screen thanks to BBC Worldwide. This was the 1966 story with the very first regeneration, when William Hartnell’s Doctor was killed off, and regenerated into Patrick Troughton’s version of the character. No one had any idea if it would work or if they would lose the audience, but with 20/20 hindsight it is obvious it worked very well indeed. The original broadcast now only exists as a handful of 15 second film clips totaling maybe 3 minutes or so, and a number of semi-complete audio recordings. So they compiled, cleaned up, and merged the best of the audio into the full soundtrack, and had a team of animators create the visuals to go with it. I have never heard this particular story, and while I could just buy the DVD and watch it at home (it becomes available in November as well) I feel the need to be in a large auditorium with a bunch of other serious Whovians and experience it for the first time it has been shown in public in 50 years.
I loved the UK version of Dirk Gently back in 2012, and now it looks like we have another winning version. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency comes to BBC America beginning Saturday the 22nd of this month, and it looks hysterical. The cast includes Elijah Wood, who brings the quirkiness to his character that a show based on a Douglas Adams book needs. In case you were not already aware, here are a few trailers to give you the general idea.
Or if you prefer Every Harry Potter Spell in a single video edit, and in alphabetical order no less. I didn’t realize how many times they used some of these until I saw them back to back. Davide Rapp was the editor with Giorgio Zangrandi as the assistant editor, and just finding all of these probably meant they had to re-watch the series from the beginning; I’m sure they were heartbroken about that! *grins* They did an excellent job on this project, thanks to Games Radar for the heads up on this one.
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!
The Anthem of the Heart at JICC, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Neon Demon, and The Call Up gives us a wide range of cinematic goodies to select between this week.
Topping the list from a box office perspective is Independence Day: Resurgence, taking place 2 decades after the original film. Based on the trailer, it looks like the aliens once more manage to wipe out a sizable percentage of the Earth’s population during their attack, but you know I will be in the theater for this one. If nothing else, the trailer also makes it obvious that some of the visual effects, especially the combat scenes, will require the big screen to see them fully and completely they way they were intended. The Call Up is a British movie where a group of gamers are invited to try a new VR game, only to discover some of them will die before they can get out of it again. At least one reviewer compared it to Gantz, so I may have to check it out, although I will probably wait since the trailer on this one did not look like it needed the big screen. While I am not a horror fan, The Neon Demon looks stylish and interesting enough (complete with a visual referent in the trailer to another stylish horror/thriller I dearly love, the 1982 remake of Cat People) that I may need to see it as the thriller it started life as. This is also the first Amazon Studios project I became aware of that will be available in theaters before you can stream it online. That isn’t to say there aren’t others before this, but only that this is my first time to notice one.
There is also an Anime in extremely limited release this Friday that was nominated for Best Animation at the 2016 Japan Academy Awards: The Anthem of the Heart. Once a very happy girl, Jun said something when she was very young that tore her family apart. The Egg Fairy (more of a Kami really) appeared before her and sealed away her words in order to stop her from hurting anybody else. Years later she finds herself in a situation which gives her the strength to fight her way back to communicating with the world again. The author, Mari Okada, was awarded the 16th Animation Kobe Award (Individual Award) for her output in 2011, which included such titles as Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and Fractale, among others. She has two Anime shows currently streaming from Japan, The Lost Village and Kiznavier, and if you are a fan of anime I guarantee she has written for at least one of your favorite shows over the last few decades. When I said this was in extremely limited release, I wasn’t kidding; you will only be able to see it at the Japan Information and Culture Center theater, which is part of the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C., at the moment. It has played at a number of other theaters in the US in the past (maybe 20 or so nation wide) and it will no doubt be available to stream or buy sometime in the next year in North America for those like me who can never afford to buy the imported disc. If you do make this showing, perhaps we will get a chance to chat before or after the program.