With time travel at the core of the story, Terminator Genisys is poised for a reboot in ways orther movies haven’t been able to touch, spinning off its own parallel timeline as part of the acknowledged plot. I loved the first two films in the franchise, the ones after not so much. This trailer makes me want to be in the theaters for a Terminator movie for the first time in a long while; hope to see you there. Too bad we have to wait until July of next year.
The final Miazaki masterpiece The Wind Rises hits the shelves this week, in a combo BD+DVD pack. Unusually for an anime, it tells the true story of one of Japan’s top aircraft designers, or at least as true as any movie ever gets. It follows his life from that of a young man almost to the end, with all the style and compassion Miazaki is known for. With a totally different attitude we also get Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, another twisted story from Frank Miller told from the pages of his graphic novel, with an excellent cast. Automata goes in still another direction, with Antonio Banderas as the robot hunting enforcer in a world where the machines are more human, and humane, than the people. Even though several versions are already on the shelves, I had to mention that the Frozen Sing Along Edition is being released this week as well; follow the bouncing snowflake!
The only genre TV show I found a reference to being released this week is Wolfblood: Season 2, and for a 13 episode series to go for $10 on its day of release says something about the level of quality you can expect from this one, I suspect. Although it is a BBC (or CBBC, more accurately) show, and airing on Disney in the US, so that says some good things.
In Anime, besides the previously mentioned The Wind Rises, two other Miyazaki animation classics are being released on Blue Ray for the first time; Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke. I am thinking I will have to upgrade my copies from DVD.
New this week is the very amusing I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided To Get a Job, about a man who graduated Hero School, then had to get a job in retail when the war against the Demons ended unexpectedly, also ending his paycheck. But his culture shock is nothing compared to his new co-worker, the daughter of the now-deceased Demon King! We also have One Piece Season 6 Part 2, bringing us up to episodes 349 through 360 on disc, while streaming just showed episode 670 this past week.
A Certain Magical Index: Complete Season 1 brings the entire first season together in a single box set for the first time, which means you can pick it up for a bit under half as much as you would have paid by buying the previously released Season 1 Part 1 and Part 2 individually. This story is a heady mix of science and sorcery in the same universe as the genetically modified parapsychics of A Certain Scientific Railgun. Likewise, Death Note: The Complete Series includes all 37 episodes of the TV show for a decent price, but none of the movies, either live action or animated.
Another tale of the future from South Africa, co-written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp, the man who brought us District 9. Chappie is a robot with a brain based on learning heuristics and a neural net, meaning he starts out with only the instinct to learn, knowing nothing. Actors include Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er (those last two you probably know better under the name Die Antwoord), and the trailer tells me I need to see this film. In the US it will be on the big screen on March 6, 2015.
You could not fit in the drivers seat and roll out with this prototype model on the highway quite yet, but I love the fact that there is a crew of engineers working their butts off to build an actual working transformer system! Looking at their progress to date, I guesstimate something in the 10 to 20 years range to have working versions you could actually use to commute to work. Thanks to Tech Crunch for the heads up on this one!
Starring Antonio Banderas and Melonie Griffith, Automata looks to be on the cutting edge of the revolution that might be coming if the world evolves in the AI direction. It has a tip-of-the-hat to Asimov’s 3 Laws, and it is a pretty convincing Turing Test if the robots are more human than the people, after all. It says something interesting about the current state of the film industry that it was written and directed by a Hispanic team, filmed in English in Bulgaria, and will be released on October 10th, 2014, with a world premiere in South Africa.
This short film from Patrick Kalyn looks like a trailer rather than a short, giving me the impression I will see it posted to Kickstarter, looking to be funded into a full feature film. I would consider contributing if it was, because I like what I see so far. I also think he did a nice job with his PSA and the viral design web site Don’t Do Mech attached to it. Considering he is a Visual Effects guy who’s credits include Avatar, District 9, X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper, Dead Like Me, and King Kong, plus being writer/director on 4 projects including Mech, I think he has a shot at making something interesting. Thanks to SF Signal for the heads up on this one.