Advertisements

Archive for November, 2013


Wind Rises clip

Hayao Miyazaki, along with becoming the well-established premier creator of Japanese animation, has brought Japanese art and culture to American audiences in past decades like no one before him.  His films have expanded what audiences expect when they see animated films, challenging viewers with a balance of the dramatic and the humorous and at the same time offering films that can entertain children as well as adults.  Miyazaki recently announced he was no longer making full-length feature films and his last film, The Wind Rises, comes to theaters in the U.S. in February 2014.

Although most of his work has passed muster with both the box office and critics, Miyazaki has veered from the type of controversial films you might find in other major international directors, using myth and magic as tools to express ideas about relationships and the importance of the natural world.  His new film appears to verge from the norm, as he documents the life of real-life Japanese engineer Jiro Horikoshi from boyhood to adulthood.  Based on a short story by Japanese poet Hori Tatsuo, The Wind Rises follows Jiro through pre-World War II Japan, the country’s devastating 1923 earthquake, a tuberculosis epidemic, and hard economic times that preceded the war, as Jiro comes to be the creator of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane.  The Zero was one of Japan’s most well-known tools of the war, used in kamikaze operations and its most successful fighting plane, having a kill ratio of 12 to 1 at the height of Japan’s brief period of air superiority.

Wind Rises Jiro Zero

Continue reading

Advertisements

Tennant and crew

BBC America is providing 50 years of Doctor Who fans with an unprecedented volume of new content this week as well as marathon runs of episodes as we gear up for an epic 50th anniversary worldwide simulcast of the new episode “The Day of the Doctor” featuring Doctors and Companions then and now, this Saturday at 1:50 p.m. Central/11:50 a.m. Pacific.

After a day-long Doctors Revisited marathon featuring a behind the scenes look at Doctors #1 through #10, last night BBC America premiered Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS, showing interviews with the cast of the series over the years, and The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox–an interesting lecture-format special by the rock musician turned physicist talking about theories of space and time.  Don’t miss out on this week’s schedule of features.

Baker

Here’s the rundown of what’s on:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Marathon – All day, starting at 9 a.m. Central — Get caught up with the adventures of Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Marathon – All day, starting at 1 a.m. Central — Get caught up with the adventures of Tenth Doctor David Tennant.

Continue reading

Parker as priest

Review by C.J. Bunce

It was one of our 24 films to look for in 2013 that we previewed here at borg.com at the end of last year.  With Parker you have Jason Statham’s umpteenth role as a thief who knows how to fight.  Really, how can you go wrong?

Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief, whose old friend and mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte) asks him to do a job with a five-man crew he hasn’t worked with before, made up of Melander (The Fantastic Four I and II and The Shield’s Michael Chiklis), Carlson (Wendell Pierce), Ross (Star Trek 2009’s #2 Romulan Clifton Collins Jr.).  The result is a successful crime, but the men betray him, shoot him, and leave him for dead, and the bulk of the movie is Parker’s efforts after recovery to locate and plan the ultimate revenge for the crew.

Parker_2013_Movie_Poster

Continue reading

Van Damme splits trucks

If you’re a fan of early Jean-Claude Van Damme action movies then you will love this new ad from Volvo Trucks.  It’s probably the best idea anyone has had to thrust back into the spotlight an actor/martial artist who once was on the heels of becoming the next Stallone or Schwarzenegger.  Expendables 2 wasn’t enough to do it, but showing off on TVs across America the physical skill and the result of a lifetime of martial arts prowess that Van Damme used in early work like Bloodsport could be enough to get him back into big movie roles.  Van Damme just needs to find his version of Mickey Rourke’s big comeback film The Wrestler.

If you haven’t watched Van Damme movies, you’re missing out.  First, add Bloodsport and Timecop into your Netflix queue.  Some may say it is blasphemous to compare Van Damme to Bruce Lee, but if you liked Enter the Dragon you will at a minimum appreciate Van Damme’s style, passion and effort in Bloodsport.  Like Schwarzenegger, Van Damme had the European immigrant with an accent action star shtick going for him.  He had proven fighting skill outside of movies, too.  And he had a real appeal–usually playing the underdog or defending the underdog, he usually had the good guy role in his best work.

Van Damme splits in Timecop

More splits. Could you save yourself if your kitchen floor was suddenly charged with electricity? Van Damme could, and did, in Timecop.

Continue reading

Paul McGann returns as Eighth Doctor

If you wondered why we never got to see Paul McGann’s eighth Doctor regenerate into Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, wait no further.  A new seven-minute episode on the Web written by Steven Moffat called The Night of the Doctor reveals the last minutes of the Eighth Doctor as the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who approaches next week.

If you haven’t seen the only appearance until now of the Eighth Doctor, you must get your copy of Doctor Who: The Movie, on DVD.  When everyone everywhere was speculating on the selection of what actor would be the Twelfth Doctor, which ultimately was given to Peter Capaldi, my instant pick for the perfect Doctor was Paul McGann, based on his role as Mr. Bush in the A&E Horatio Hornblower mini-series opposite Ioan Gruffudd, as well as roles in Kidnapped and Sea of Souls.  I was quickly advised by my brother-in-law, however, that McGann already played The Doctor.  Since I began my watching with Eccleston, I hadn’t known.

Doctor Who the Movie

After watching Doctor Who: The Movie this week, “my good idea” was confirmed as he is simply brilliant as the crazed Doctor with amnesia stuck in 1990s San Francisco, in his first adventure regenerating from Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, with a new companion played by Daphne Ashbrook, who made an appearance at Planet Comicon this year.  And now McGann returns to the role for the first time on-screen since his first appearance in the role.

Continue reading

Alien retro action figures

It’s time to pull your vintage Kenner Star Wars and Indiana Jones figures and spaceships out of the closet.  Remember wanting to pit your vintage Boba Fett action figure against the alien from the movie Alien, but there was no Alien figure out there of the correct scale?  Did you ever want to set Han Solo and Firefly’s Mal on a mission to the Outer Rim in the Millennium Falcon? Have you ever considered teaming up Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Bill and Ted to take on Ahnold’s Terminator?  Or stage the ultimate face-off between Snake Plissken and the alien from Predator?  Funko toy company is going to make your dreams come true.

ReAction logos

With the December 2013 release of a retro 3 ¾-inch line of action figures with 5 points of articulation from the movie Alien, Funko is beginning a series of more than a dozen licensed properties that will get the vintage Kenner-style, retro action figure treatment under a vintage Kenner font “ReAction” brand.  Based on drawings and prototypes of a halted 1979 line of Alien movie action figures intended to add to the Star Wars action figure toy market, Funko is releasing its first line of five Alien action figures to whet collectors’ appetites.

ReAction Retro Alien figures series

Continue reading

star-trek-juan-ortiz

In September we previewed here at borg.com a great new coffee table art book, the beautiful Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz.  Next week an original art poster exhibit of Ortiz’s work will open at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California.  Artist Juan Ortiz will be present for a book signing at the preview reception on Monday, November 18.

Ortiz created retro-styled movie posters for each of the 79 episodes and the pilot of the original 1960s Star Trek.  His vibrant colors and 1960s imagery captured the essence of the episodes and demonstrated his love for the classic sci-fi series.

Mirror Mirror Juan Ortiz

The exhibit will open to the public Wednesday, November 20, 2013, and close January 5, 2014.

Continue reading

Aliens Naked Vegas

Reality TV is going back to the basics with the fall Syfy Channel series Naked Vegas, and creating something fresh and novel in the process.  The tantalizing title might bring viewers to give the show a try, but it’s the team effort of the five cast members taking on strange client requests and the stunning results of their artistic skill that will keep them coming back for more.  Naked Vegas is the name of a recently developed business by body painting artist Kelly “Red” Belmonte.  Finding her niche by taking her make-up skills to the one city where you should be able to get recurring body painting gigs, she brings together three artists and a friend with some business savvy and we get to watch what happens.  And in an age of tired competition series, it’s a refreshing and fun show to get hooked on.

Herrera Naked Vegas

If you’re looking for name calling, melodrama, and snarkyness, look elsewhere.  You might think this series was modeled after the long-successful Food Network cake shop reality series Ace of Cakes.  Like that series the team is doing a full-time job and like the actual real world, results are expected and required and failure cuts at your reputation and could tank your future business prospects.  But after the first three episodes there are no signs of failure here.  Camaraderie and collaboration win out over attitude and emotions, as the skilled team produces stunning works of human art.

Continue reading

Juliens LOTR auction

It could go down as the best auction of The Lord of the Rings props and costumes ever sold at auction simply from four of its offerings.  Called “The Trilogy Collection–Props and Costumes from Middle-Earth,” Julien’s is offering several items on the auction block next month.  The key items being auctioned belong to a group of screen-used props that were given away as part of a Hasbro Toys/New Line Cinema contest to promote the release of the third LOTR installment, the 2003 Academy Award winning best picture The Return of the King.  Described as “one of eight main character props used heavily in The Lord of the Rings,” look for Aragorn’s sword, Frodo’s “Sting” sword, Eowyn’s sword, and Gimli’s battle axe, each expected to fetch prices ranging from $30,000 to $70,000, with Frodo’s sword expected to sell between $100,000 and $150,000.  These four pieces are the true headliners of the Julien’s auction, and by themselves would make for a great auction.  Although it raises the questions: Why didn’t these props get dispersed to fans in the sweepstakes, and if they were given away how did four of the props end up in the same place?

It’s because collector Troika Brodsky is selling his collection of four of the sweepstakes prizes he tracked down and bought from prizewinners discussed here.  He refers to the Frodo sword in the linked article as a stunt prop, based on wear and damage.  An interview about his entire collection being auctioned can be found here.

Aragorn sword

Continue reading

Jaina and Jacen Solo

Disney has issued a casting call for November 14, 2013–this Thursday–for a 17-18 year old female and a 19-23 year old male to star in Star Wars Episode VII, to commence filming at London’s Pinewood Studios in early 2014.  The casting call will be held in Chicago, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Park West in Lincoln Park.

A similar casting call is out for Great Britain.  A call was held in Bristol November 9 & 10.  Glasgow will hold a casting session at Wasp Studios November 16 & 17.  Manchester will hold a casting session at Progress Centre November 16 & 17.  London will hold a casting session at Apiary Studios and Dublin will hold a casting session at Filmbase, both November 23 & 24.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: