He may be the world’s greatest living director. Hayao Miyazaki, master storyteller and moviemaker, retired but rumored to be coming back for another film, and animator extraordinaire. He is one of Japan’s national treasures and international film icon. His catalog of works have garnered literally hundreds of awards and nominations. Miyazaki’s only film to receive an Oscar, 2001’s Spirited Away, is returning to theaters next month to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its release.
Spirited Away is on many critics’ lists as one of the top five films of the century thus far, and it is Japan’s highest grossing film. It’s the story of a brave young girl who enters a spirit world to rescue her parents and herself. It is an incredible fantasy, with dark undertones about real-world concerns including human greed, borrowing bits and pieces from classic children’s stories Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Pinocchio. It offers spectacular characters and is a story of great courage.
We have yet to be disappointed with any anime production from Miyazaki and the house of Studio Ghibli. Whether it’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Whisper of the Heart (1995), Princess Mononoke (1997), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Ponyo (2008), From Up on Poppy Hill (2011), or The Wind Rises (2013), you know you’re getting sumptuous visuals and a compelling story.
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is one of the all-time best fantasy movies, in the same league as Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films. Rarely has any classic book been adapted so well to the big screen. This year’s sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is even better. Nothing is better than being surprised by an extraordinary new fantasy film. Looking Glass features the original top-notch class plus new characters, an exciting time travel tale, more of Academy Award winning costume designer Colleen Atwood’s lavish costumes, and brilliant visual effects. This time The Muppets and The Muppets Most Wanted’s James Bobin has taken over directing reins for Burton. Changing from Burton’s signature look and feel of creepy darkness for an almost bright and shiny Doctor Who-inspired universe makes for a movie that truly stands apart from the original and on its own footing.
Mia Wasikowska’s Alice was a girl when we last left her, making the adult decision to leave behind an arranged marriage. Now she is a mature young woman, a sea captain leading her father’s ship. The girl who doesn’t like the word “impossible” is confronted with an unfortunate decision to live the life she has chosen or give it all up for her mother. Thankfully, Absolem, voiced by Alan Rickman in his final performance, leads her into a mirror where she returns to Underland. Unanswered mysteries from the first film are revealed as Alice begins a new quest to help her old friend the Mad-Hatter, even no more mad than ever before. Her journey is a classic fantasy quest, where she confronts a fantastic new character: Time itself, expertly played by Sasha Baren Cohen.
If you’re looking for an escape from reality this week, this is for you. Alice is an oppressed woman of the past who pulls herself up by her own bootstraps to eliminate those around her who would keep her down. Wasikowska, superb as the girl in the original and as the lead in Guillermo del Toro’s haunting Crimson Peak, is still the perfect Alice. And Johnny Depp, the greatest actor of his generation, continues to dazzle as the enormously likeable and sympathetic Hatter.
The third day of Kansas City Comic Con wrapped with attendees making last-minute purchases, obtaining remaining autographs and photos with celebrities and cosplayers, and picking up sketches and comic books from the hundreds of creators on site throughout the weekend. No doubt the weekend was a success for vendors, and visitors had a great time.
And as promised yesterday, we have more photos from the weekend.
It wouldn’t be a Kansas City Con without a merry duo of those Nausicaan cousins, the Predators. As with prior years Elizabeth C. Bunce (above) hunted them down, this time as iZombie’s Liv Moore (seriously, this keeps happening–check this out).
What makes for great cosplay? Surprises. Characters that are classic or iconic that you’ve never seen before are a real treat. Like this spot-on Beetlejuice cosplay–Wynona Ryder’s Lydia Deetz:
Superb! And while we’re in 1980s mode, wait ’til you get a load of this: We spotted the very best Joker cosplay we’d ever seen, Jack Nicholson’s Joker from the 1989 Batman movie (above).
The rest of the cosplay we singled out mainly followed the superhero genre. Like the dynamic indigo X-Men duo pictured under the headline above. We’ve seen Mystiques before but this was the best constructed outfit and Beast’s make-up was excellent.
We saw two great Wonder Woman outfits, first from the new movies and then a classic comic book variant:
Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass is almost here. Based on Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass, with Tim Burton producing and James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted) in the director’s chair, this film looks like a fantasy lover’s dream. (We previewed the first trailer for this fantasy film here at borg.com back in November).
The return of the original cast–and an all-star cast at that–points to another winner ahead following up on the brilliant Alice in Wonderland. Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, and Helena Bonham Carter are back, with Rhys Ifans and Sacha Baron Cohen joining the cast. Danny Elfman will again be producing the musical score.
Tim Burton just released an extended preview that will convince you this is a must-see:
When Jon Favreau matched up Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” at the end of the first Iron Man film the all-encompassing coolness of the Marvel Cinematic Universe emerged and the classic 1970 rock tune came full circle. So Tim Burton bringing the voice of Grace Slick with Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 classic “White Rabbit” into a trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass is something that was simply meant to happen.
Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass is of course based on Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass, with Tim Burton producing this time around and James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted) in the director’s chair. (We previewed the first trailer for this fantasy film here at borg.com back in November).
The return of the original cast–and an all-star cast at that–points to another winner ahead for fantasy fans. Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, and Helena Bonham Carter are back, with Rhys Ifans and Sacha Baron Cohen joining the cast. Danny Elfman will again be producing the musical score.
Here’s the latest superb trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass:
It’s not every day that Hollywood makes a sequel to one of your all-time favorite fantasy movies. It’s Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, based on Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass, with Tim Burton producing this time around and James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted) in the director’s chair. We previewed the first trailer for this fantasy film here at borg.com back in November.
Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, and Helena Bonham Carter return, with Rhys Ifans and Sacha Baron Cohen joining the cast. Danny Elfman will again be producing the musical score.
Here’s the second, fantastic trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass slated to air during this weekend’s Super Bowl coverage:
The great British actor Alan Rickman died yesterday in the same week as singer and Labyrinth star David Bowie, and the Internet is full of tributes. Alan Rickman gave us some great performances and as genre performers go, few have traversed more of our favorite franchises than Rickman. In honor of Mr. Rickman let’s take a walk through our favorites in case you might have missed one.
Most of us first met Rickman as the villain Hans Gruber in 1988’s Die Hard, the first of action-packed films featuring Bruce Willis as John McClane. Rickman’s ability to portray the seething, classic, moustache-twirling villain won us over from the beginning, and would be a hallmark of the characters he would play over the course of a quarter of a century. At least one of my friends would recount Quigley Down Under as his next memorable film, but most remember well his Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.
All in, Rickman was featured in three of my all-time top ten fantasy film favorites: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. It is the sequel to the latter, Alice Through the Looking Glass, where we will witness Rickman’s last performance on screen later this year, as the voice of the blue caterpillar. It will be difficult not to tie Rickman to his Severus Snape incarnation in all eight Harry Potter films for an entire generation–and many generations to come. He stepped into the shoes of Snape more than any of his film roles.
But Rickman won’t be remembered only for his major fantasy film roles, as two of his films struck chords for fans of sci-fi movies. His parody of a Spock-type alien Dr. Lazarus in the 1999 Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest was second to none. And his voicing of the droopy robot Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy opposite Martin Freeman and Zooey Deschanel added the gravity needed to make the 2005 movie another sci-fi classic.
It’s not every day that Hollywood makes a sequel to one of your all-time favorite fantasy movies. When that movie is based on a classic story sequel then you know something unique is coming. It’s Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, based on Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass, with Tim Burton producing this time around and James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted) in the director’s chair.
Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, and Helena Bonham Carter return, with Rhys Ifans and Sacha Baron Cohen (playing Time) joining the cast. Danny Elfman rounds out the original crew providing the new film’s score.
Here’s the first, fantastic trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass:
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
Wild’s End, a new comic book series from BOOM! Studios, is quite strange and enchanting—it reads like a Masterpiece Theater version of Winnie the Pooh. Complete with talking animals, it’s also very British and old worldy. At the same time this is no ordinary town at its core, more like the town of Haven of the Syfy Channel TV series based on the Steven King story “The Colorado Kid.” And its inhabitants are as idiosyncratic as those troubled people of Haven.
But Wild’s End is more than that. Think Alice’s Wonderland of odd fellows versus an attack like you’d find in H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, as a downed ship is about to wreak havoc on a peaceful Hobbiton-like community.
Mr. Clive Slipaway, a stout two-legged, walking-talking Great Dane, is new to the town of Lower Crowchurch. He’s clearly trying to find a quiet place to retire after years of military service or some kind of similar tough life experiences. He’s a bit like John Wayne’s Quirt Evans from Angel and the Badman—a tough customer who wants to mind his own business until circumstances require him to take action to protect the lives of local innocents.