A few highlights from SIGGRAPH Asia 2017, and an invitation to make the 2018 gathering. If you are into creating your own animations, or you like doing 3D modelling, you really don’t want to miss this event.
For the second week in a row we get a movie worth checking out. Annihilation is based on the multiple award winning book of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, and since it is the first book of a trilogy there may be more coming if this one does well. As with most books turned into movies, there are differences between the two, but hopefully not too many.
There hasn’t been anything worth mentioning for a while, but this week there are a couple of good choices. Top of the list is Marvel’s Black Panther, possible the only Marvel superhero to address the U.N. periodically as part of his day job. As near as I can recall, anyone else that went before the U.N. did it as part of their superhero persona, or worked for a U.N. agency. Also this week, Early Man from Aardman is a comedy about the Stone Age getting overrun by the Bronze Age, with all the highly detailed stop motion animation they made famous with Wallace & Gromit.
The winner this week has to be The Shape of Water, a story by Guillermo del Toro that seems to be an evolution of one of the characters from his Hellboy films. I am looking forward to seeing this one on the big screen.
There are a number of choices this weekend, but top of the list in my mind is Pixar’s Coco, which just looks like too much fun to miss. It actually starts playing on Wednesday, to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. John Cusack’s new film Singularity could be interesting, but the trailer makes me think I have already seen this movie through a few dozen earlier iterations. I will have to see the documentary Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, but I don’t think it requires the big screen to make it worthwhile, so I will catch it when it streams. Firangi on the other hand may need the larger venue, so I might have to check that one out this weekend as well.
Topping the list, Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets was an instant classic that didn’t do well in the US, since almost no one here was familiar with the French comic it was based on. We get another French film this week as well in the form of the animation Leap!, original title Ballerina. Birth of the Dragon is also out this week, and while it isn’t genre, The Hitman’s Bodyguard looks like a fun film. The Korean action-thriller The Villainess also hits the shelves this time around, if you haven’t seen it, now is your chance. TV brings us a couple of comedy favorites in the form of The Librarians, Season 3 and Red Dwarf: XII