If you’ve ever tried to pick up a complete collection of the works of Hayao Miyazaki on DVD or Blu-ray, you may have had the misfortune of buying one of the several bootleg or substandard quality sets available frequently on both eBay and Amazon. Finally Disney and Studio Ghibli are set to release a Blu-ray boxed set by year-end, including all eleven of the director’s full-length films.
The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki will be available exclusively from Amazon and is expected to ship November 17, 2015. It includes Blu-ray editions The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and his last film, The Wind Rises.
If you have already purchased the individual Blu-rays, the special features may entice you:
- Yuki no Taiyo (Yuki’s Sun) — a 1972 television pilot based on a manga by Tetsuya Chiba. It was directed, storyboarded and animated by Hayao Miyazaki.
Doctor Who fans get to catch 2-part finale of Doctor Who Season 8 in theaters across the country in RealD 3D plus a never-before-seen prequel to Season 9 in a special two-night event hosted by Fathom Events. It all happens Tuesday, September 15, and Wednesday, September 16, leading up to the Season 9 premiere Saturday, September 19, 2015, on BBC America.
You can check local listings or sign up here for an email reminder or text TVRADIO to FATHOM (328466) for updates.
Tickets will go on sale Friday, July 31.
Wil Wheaton will host an interview with stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman as part of the show.
Today we have a smorgasbord of comic book previews for books hitting comic book stores everywhere on this Comic Book Wednesday. Topping the list, guest artist Simone Bianchi joins writer Jason Aaron for Marvel’s Star Wars #7, a standalone issue featuring Ben Kenobi. You can only get the rare Elite Comics cover with Chewie and C-3PO (shown above) at Elite beginning today and at Kansas City Comic Con August 7-9, 2015.
We have previews today with truly something for anyone and everyone, from Star Wars to The X-Files, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jungle Girl, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, to Deep State and Escape from New York, from Hacktivist to the latest Red Sonja, to Munchkin, Skylanders, and Transformers. Even Donald Duck and Betty and Veronica.
And don’t miss out on the preview for the first issue of the new Shrinking Man, adapted from the story that inspired the classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man–inspiration for this month’s big screen release Ant-Man.
Without further adieu, here are this week’s previews:
This weekend in theaters across the country you could see some exciting previews of coming movies, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Everest (as well as some that look like duds, which shall go unnamed). One of the best was this behind the scenes look at Mission: Impossible–Rogue Nation, which hits theaters this weekend.
The marketing folks for this fifth entry in the modern Mission: Impossible reboot series have been parading this poster of Tom Cruise hanging from the side of an airplane for months. For any other movie we’d yawn and note it as another action sequence in what has really been a solid action series. Each film has Cruise doing some physical maneuvers. Who can forget Cruise in the 1996 original film, hanging by two cables as he hacks a CIA computer after lowering himself from a ventilation duct into a secure facility room from after bypassing a laser grid.
But this movie has something different.
Check out this preview and behind the scenes look at Cruise’s airplane stunt. (Trust us, it looks pretty incredible on the big screen):
Ever thought about checking out what is in those monthly surprise boxes that have become more and more popular in the past few years? Some of our friends have been buying Loot Crate and Nerd Block for several months, and when our friends at Wizard World dropped us a note about their new Comic Con Box we decided it was time to check these out. We got in on the first three Wizard World Comic Con Boxes and three boxes from Loot Crate (we haven’t checked out any other companies’ boxes yet). So what did we learn?
Loot Crates run about $20 including shipping per month per box, and Comic Con Boxes roughly $37 including shipping. Each contain coupon opportunities, some with downloads, app opportunities, and similar items in addition to the main draw of the boxes–the shirts, comics, and collectibles. You can sign up for one or multiple months and can terminate membership so long as you do so before the next box ships. Customer service for these is very easy-going and helpful to explain if you think you messed up your ordering. Themes are pre-announced, so you can skip months with themes that don’t interest you.
The companies each insert random bonus items in boxes and have a deluxe box opportunity worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars that some lucky subscriber will get. And if you film your “unboxing” and upload it to YouTube you can be eligible for other prizes, and other contests are also available throughout the year. We didn’t get the big prize pack in our three months of boxes but did get a good bonus item in one box and in another we got a 1 of 2 variant that ended up being a rare insert. The bonus item came with a Comic Con Box, and it was an authenticated, personally autographed photo of actress Karen Gillan in her Nebula garb from Guardians of the Galaxy. Her autograph can sell for $70-$85 so this was the big win of all the boxes. A close second was a Greg Horn rare variant cover for the recent issue of Wolverine #1 also in a Comic Con Box. It also was selling online for around $70-$85.
Of the regular boxes we were most impressed with Loot Crate’s “Cyber” theme box. The exclusive Terminator Genisys half-scale skull was just dead-on for our love of sci-fi and borg tech. And that’s the thing about these boxes: The broader your interest in pop culture, the more value you’ll get for your dollar because each company varies the licenses/franchises in each box. You can easily add up the price of each item and tally more than the price of the box but ultimately it is your own taste that will be the judge of value. If you have a spouse or friends or kids to share with or friends to trade items with, or if you’re accustomed to selling on eBay, then it can be easy to make these boxes a “win”. Expect to see plenty of “trinkets” and the kind of swag you might find at San Diego Comic-Con plus a few higher valued items in each box.
So what exactly can you expect to find in the boxes?
Review by C.J. Bunce
Good movies often ride on the backs of their earlier incarnations. The Incredible Shrinking Man. The Greatest American Hero. Beetlejuice. Innerspace. Memoirs of the Invisible Man. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The classic original Tron. Sources you might not first think of like Wallace & Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers. Even Thoreau’s Walden (who hasn’t marveled at the coordinated work of ants, or fantasized about being very small?). Marvel’s new hit Ant-Man borrows bits and pieces from all of these and more. Yet it also adds something new to those, such as improved special effects, including make-up, CGI, and many action sequences. It mirrors our place in the big world. Throw in a hero battling a giant spider with a nail for a sword and I’m sold.
Ant-Man is a rollercoaster ride. All fun and not too serious like the steadfast captain America arguing with the cocky Tony Stark over the roll of the disinterested Bruce Banner that we all have now seen too many times on screen. Paul Rudd’s heroic Scott Lang has one motivation, yet he lacks the typical superhero ingeniousness to accomplish his goal. That element endears the character to everyone and is the gateway to an ensemble cast effort that pushes the story forward. You just know Lang is like Rudd, that same guy we cheer along with at Kansas City Royals games.
Equal to Rudd’s role is a surprisingly strong performance by Michael Douglas. Looking like the twin of his father Kirk these days, as Dr. Hank Pym he anchors the film with gravitas. His role in the story is substantial and should require sharing top billing as co-lead. His work here rivals all his prior best work in The Game, The Ghost and the Darkness, The American President, Falling Down, Wall Street, Romancing the Stone, The China Syndrome, and Coma. An Academy Award nod is warranted for both Douglas as well as the CGI team that provided the single best use of facial modification to replicate his younger self (done in part by firm Lola VFX who made skinny Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger). Tron: Legacy made a good attempt at what Ant-Man has perfected in its opening scene–we’re now ready for an entire film using this approach, an entire film starring a 40-year-old Wall Street era Douglas, for example, relying on the acting prowess of the veteran actor today.
Evangeline Lilly’s role as Pym’s daughter is secondary, yet her role supports enough of the backstory that it makes us anxious for Ant-Man 2, previewed in two of the film’s end-credit codas. Michael Peña portrays what could be an over-used stock Latino criminal by bringing some humanity and humor to the role. Even the villain, played by Law & Order: LA’s Corey Stoll, is interesting although more loathsome than needed for the part.
The Renaissance of movie and TV tie-in action figures arrived in 2013 with Funko’s classic Kenner-style ReAction figure line. Other companies focus on single licensed figures and getting the likenesses spot-on, but Funko’s diversification of lines meant everyone could find something that fit their personal niche at an affordable price point. A true throwback series, one of the overlooked features of the line is the incredible variety of no-names-taken, classic kick-ass heroines represented.
In fact you can find here the top of the world’s best, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners, genre heroines. Buy them for yourself, for your friends, or get your favorite as a totem to inspire you each day from your desktop. And where the early sculpts in Funko’s line admittedly looked nothing like the actresses that made the roles famous, the new lines have only improved. And nobody has better packaging designs than the ReAction line.
Who would you add to the Funko roster of heroines? Compare your list to our more than 85 suggestions for future kick-ass women action figures below.
First, check out this Baker’s Dozen of our favorites in the current Funko pantheon:
Review by C.J. Bunce
If you agree last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is among the best superhero films of all time, and probably the single best film in the Marvel Universe, then you’ll want to see a new director’s cut released this month: X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Rogue Cut. Especially if you haven’t picked up a copy of the 2014 version on Blu-Ray, this new edition brings together the original theatrical release and The Rogue Cut, plus a disc full of new features, making this the definitive edition for most fans.
It’s the lack of a 3D edition that is the only miss with the new release. For most people that won’t be a problem. But if you have embraced 3D television technology like us, you’re just going to be buying a new Blu-Ray to add to last year’s superb Ultimate Edition so you can watch each version from time to time–because you just can’t miss this new edit of the film.
If you’re not aware of the quality of this movie by ace director Bryan Singer, check out our review from last year here at borg.com. On repeat viewings X-Men: Days of Future Past proves its worthiness as a superhero flick future superhero films will be compared to. This expanded edition certainly does nothing to diminish the original. It instead provides 17 minutes of additional scenes that explain plot elements skipped over in the original cut and it provides a better character study of nearly every major player: Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, Mystique, Trask, Beast, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, and of course, Rogue. More Quicksilver (Evan Peters) would have been fun, but you can’t have everything. But we do learn more from Singer on his audio commentary about that character’s role, and that of Mystique, Beast, Magneto, and the rest of the mutants in next year’s sequel X-Men: Apocalypse.
The features disc includes a nine-part “making of” series and a 30-minute roundtable featuring Singer and most of the show’s stars. The audio track features Singer and editor/composer John Ottman. Both provide an excellent look at the storytelling process as adapted to the filmmaker’s role.
The same agency that taunted James Bond in five classic James Bond films (Thunderball, Dr. No, The Spy Who Loved Me, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and You Only Live Twice) is the subject of SPECTRE, the 24th in the current franchise and 26th to feature Bond (if you include David Niven’s Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again). SPECTRE, which stands for “SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion,” is the movie incarnation of the less gritty sounding SMERSH, a Russian acronym for “Special Methods of Spy Detection” in the original Ian Fleming Bond novels. Two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz will star as the next Bond villain “Oberhauser.” SPECTRE is also the agency led by fan favorite Bond villain Blofeld, which has led to speculation that Oberhauser is really an alias for Blofeld. Soon we shall see.
Skyfall director Sam Mendes again directs Bond in SPECTRE. New cast members include the BBC Sherlock’s Moriarty, Andrew Scott, as Denbigh, Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Colour) as the new Bond girls Lucia Sciarra and Madeleine Swann, with Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista as Waltz’s henchman Hinx. And of course, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, and Ben Whishaw will reprise their roles from Skyfall as will Jesper Christensen as Mr. White.
Here is the latest trailer for SPECTRE:
Last year I interviewed two stars of Vikings here at borg.com just before the premiere of Season Two of the landmark series. It’s hard to believe a show this good, and as historically and culturally focused as Vikings has managed to survive this long when so many other good series get cut from the network and cable line-up. Season Four has been filmed and will premiere next year, but we have a first look at what’s to come.
Three new major players will enter the scene in Season Four: Peter Franzen (The Gunman), Jasper Paakkonen (Frozen Land, Secret Lives), and Dianne Doan (Once Upon a Time). Franzen plays Scandinavian King Harald Finehair, a threat to series lead Ragnar (Travis Fimmel). Paakkonen will play Halfdan the Black, Finehair’s younger brother. Doan will portray Yidu, a new Chinese character who, along with Ragnar’s growing sons, will have a big role in the next season, which skips ahead a few years after the events in last season’s stunning finale.
Historians also know the role Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) is destined to have in the series. How the series writers reveal her role, the fate of Ragnar, and the subplot with Alyssa Sutherland’s Aslaug, is plenty reason to watch this coming season.