Showing posts from March, 2015

The 3D Film Archive--Keeping 3D Movie History Alive

For 3D film fans like me, the last few years have provided a mixture of good news and bad news. The good news is that 3D technology has become so commonplace that watching high-quality, on-demand 3D content on TV is possible. The bad news is that most of the 3D movies that were made prior to the recent 3D boom--namely, 3D films that were made between the 1950s and '80s--are not available on Blu-ray. Thankfully, a group known as the 3D Film Archive is working to change that by restoring and releasing 3D films from yesteryear for your home viewing pleasure.

The 3D Film Archive itself has been around for quite some time, but it has only recently entered the Blu-ray business. It was founded back in 1990 by 3D film fanatic Bob Furmanek, who has spent decades tracking down studio files, laboratory records and film prints of both popular and obscure 3D films. To date, the 3D Film Archive played a vital role in ensuring the release of older 3D films on Blu-ray, films such as Dragonfly Squa…

Sony Eyes Robotech as Live-Action Film Franchise

Oh, Robotech ... why can't I quit you?

Ever since this beloved anime franchise stopped publishing new novels and comic books in the '90s, it has largely been in a state of limbo. Aside from a few projects here and there--such as two video games and collector-grade toy releases--the franchise has been inert for over 15 years. The Shadow Chronicles in 2006 promised to launch a new chapter in the series--along with a retconned timeline--but that didn't make it past a pilot movie; last year, the Robotech Academy Kickstarter project, which would have delivered a new anime series had it reached its funding goal, crashed and burned within months of its announcement. Even Dynamite Entertainment's new run of Robotech comics began and ended with a non-canonical, five-issue crossover with Voltron.

One rumor that I've heard is that all animated Robotech projects have been put on hold because of the possibility of a live-action movie, a possibility that's been around since ac…

Transgenic Sins of the Flesh: A Review of The Fly: Outbreak #1

Many franchises have found an active life--or after-life--in the medium of comic books. Some use it as a way to build and explore an "expanded universe" (e.g., Star Trek, Star Wars) while others use it to continue a story that ended in a different medium (e.g., Millennium, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Given my interest in all things "Big Bug" related, a recent franchise tie-in comic book intrigued me so much that I couldn't wait for the trade paperback: The Fly: Outbreak by IDW Publishing, written by Brandon Seifert and drawn by menton3.

Outbreak picks up some time after the events of The Fly II. Martin, son of the late Seth "Brundlefly" Brundle, has returned to Bartok Industries to continue his research into his father's telepods in order to find a cure for his condition. He appears to be a normal human being, but he still experiences occasional problems that stem from his inherited insect genes. During the course of the first issue, Martin learns t…

My Five Favorite Classic Sega Arcade Games

I recently picked up a copy of Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed as something to satisfy my kart racing itch until the next DLC pack for Mario Kart 8 becomes available in May. Even though it's as plain as day that this game uses the Mario Kart series as a point of inspiration, it provides enough unique challenges and charms to make it fun in its own right. Furthermore, it's Sega we're talking about here--the company that's known for innovative racing games such as Turbo and Out Run--so it just wouldn't be right if Sega didn't contribute something to the current selection of game mascot-themed kart racing titles.

I've been playing video games for decades, so I was amused to see how Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed incorporates so many of Sega's past hits (e.g., After Burner, Golden Axe, Shinobi, etc.) into a single game. With Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony dominating the home consoles, I sometimes have to remind myself that Sega was once a major …

Memories of the Loch Ness Monster

Have you seen me lately?

It's a strange experience to be fascinated by monsters. If you are, an attraction to the monsters of myths and movies is inevitable ... but an attraction of so-called "real" monsters will eventually happen, too.

I honestly don't think that anything monstrous is swimming around in a certain lake in Scotland, but boy howdy did the Loch Ness Monster make regular appearances during my childhood in the late '70s and early '80s--and I was completely enraptured with it at the time. I even presented a report in one of my early elementary school English classes about how I wanted to grow up to become a cryptozoologist so that I could investigate Loch Ness. I tore through books that were aimed at my age group and alternated between blurry photos of something in the water and artistic depictions of how these blurs might really appear. Then again, if you were already reading about movie monsters in other books aimed at kids (as I was at the time), …

Acceptable Losses: Horror, Death, and Alien 5

Ever since 20th Century Fox has confirmed that Neill Blomkamp will be helming the next Alien movie, fan speculation has run rampant over whether Blomkamp's sequel will either retcon the later half of series--Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection--out of franchise canon or just ignore them. In the pro-retcon corner of the fandom, many have been repeating their biggest complaint with Alien 3 ever since that sequel arrived on the big screen back in 1992: the unexpected deaths of Aliens characters Hicks (Micheal Biehn) and Newt (Carrie Henn), the respective love interest and surrogate daughter of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver).

As a horror fan, I never had a problem with the sudden deaths of these two characters; after all, the Alien franchise started as a horror film and each film in the series has a sizable body count. Thus, I think that the roots of this 23-year-old complaint do not lie so much with the narrative of Alien 3 as they do with the fan expectations that were set up in the previous f…