Sunday, March 26, 2017
Of the many, many parodies/tributes of horror and sci-fi I've seen over the years, DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) remains one of my all-time favorites. It's got everything for which a fan of Atomic Age creature features could ask: smart humor, a talented cast, great 3D animation, and enough references to horror/sci-fi history (some more overt than others) to put a goofy grin on any geek's face. It may not be as popular as other DreamWorks titles such as Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda, but MvA knows its target audience of monster kids well and delivers accordingly.
Being the fan that I am, I picked up a copy of The Art of Monsters vs. Alien by Linda Sunshine a while back to learn more about the creative process behind the film. Like other "Art of" movie books, Art of MvA is filled with glossy, full-color pictures of concept art and it arranges them in an order that readers can follow from the early stages of the film's development up to the finished product. Read on for my complete review.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
With Alien: Covenant inching closer to its May release date, I thought I would take a gander at one of the Alien franchise's more ambitious publications: Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report by S.D. Perry, with illustrations provided by Markus Pansegrau and John R. Mullaney.
The WY Report recounts the events of the Alien movies (including 2012's prequel Prometheus) from the perspective of Weyland-Yutani itself, the seemingly omnipresent megacorporation that has been hell-bent on learning the secrets of the parasitic, biomechanical Alien (which is referred to as "Xenomorph XX121" throughout the book).
A book has already been published that included all four Alien movies in a single volume: Alien: The Archive, which was published in 2014 by Titan Books. However, that book detailed the real-life production of each of the movies; in contrast, The WY Report provides a fictitious, in-universe examination of the many details both within and between the movies, thus creating an overarching meta-narrative that pulls the movies' characters, settings and technology together into a coherent and engrossing whole. Read on for my complete review.
Friday, March 10, 2017
In case you haven't noticed from any of my other blog posts, the life of geekhood involves countless obsessions with various pop culture artifacts. One of my recurring fixations is with 3D entertainment, a fixation that has been greatly satiated by the release of 3D films on high definition digital media. These releases initially consisted of only new movie titles but as time went on, releases of vintage titles from Hollywood's "golden age" of 3D films in the 1950s have been appearing as well. This post is devoted to one of the vintage titles, It Came from Outer Space, a sci-fi thriller from 1953 which Universal released on Blu-ray last October. While this film may look very low-tech in comparison to the sci-fi films of today, its reappearance in 3D marks a special milestone for geeky 3D aficionados like me. Read on ....
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Given pop culture's never-ending focus on nostalgia, it stands to reason that reissued merchandise from popular TV shows, movies and cartoons keep popping up in stores, catalogs, and other places where such items are sold. However, what is being released now doesn't always match what has come before, which is certainly the case of the toy company Super7 and its recent acquisition of toy licenses of Shogun Warriors and Robotech. Even though both of these titles are known for giant, fearsome robots, the figures that Super7 recently displayed at last weekend's International Toy Fair in New York are anything but intimidating. Read on ....
Monday, February 13, 2017
I've been hearing rumors that a few independent filmmakers are trying to revive the Italian horror subgenre of giallo, a type of murder mystery film that was made in Italy during the '60s, '70s and early '80s. With so many gialli finally seeing the light of day again through high-definition blu-ray releases, it stands to reason that giallo fans who are also budding directors will try to emulate that particular style of cinema in their own work.
This particular blog post focuses on Luciano Onetti, a screen writer, director and composer from Argentina who has produced two giallo films: Sonno Profondo (2013) and Francesca (2015). Unlike other neo-gialli that have surfaced in recent years, Onetti has gone to great lengths in both films to emulate the specific look and feel of gialli from the '70s. Read on for my complete review.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
This weekend marks the debut of The Lego Batman Movie. Even though it is a semi-sequel to The Lego Movie from 2014, it's also a spin-off from and satire of the live-action Batman movies (and all things Batman in general).
I probably won't see this film at the box office and will wait for home video. Then again, it's not like I owe anything to this particular version of the Batman brand--I already own copies of the three Lego Batman video games and reviewed two of them on this blog. Regardless, the release of The Lego Batman Movie marks a new milestone for licensed superhero merchandise. Before, the superhero movie drove the licensed superhero toy sales; now, the licensed superhero toys ARE the superhero movie. Holy meta-movie licensing, Batman!
Read on for my thoughts about the licensing accomplishments for Lego, something that hasn't been seen since Mego applied its 8-inch action figure design to just about every kid-friendly franchise in the '70s.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Horror is at its most effective when it takes something ordinary and recasts it as something terrifying. However, such a feat is easier said than done, which brings me to two 2016 films that I recently watched: The Neon Demon and Let's Be Evil. Both try to find the sinister in the simple, but one does it with much more skill and creativity than the other. Read on for my complete review.