I’ll admit it. I really like Shakespeare in Love. I think it’s a clever and entertaining spin on Shakespeare with a great cast. The only Oscar victory I disagree with is Gwyneth Paltrow winning Best Actress, but that takes nothing away from the quality of her performance. I just preferred Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth.
Now, in London, you can see a live adaptation of Shakespeare in Love that looks like a lot of fun. Disney Theatricals teamed up with Sonia Friedman Productions to adapt the popular romance into a stageplay.
At ConnectiCon this past weekend, I debuted two new panels. The all ages panel was The Play’s the Thing: Shakespeare in Anime. It’s, as you can imagine, about anime adaptations of Shakespeare. I will be broadening the focus in the future to include manga so there is more territory to cover.
The panel was well-attended and led to some lively discussion about Shakespeare, anime, and the nature of translation/localization. I’ve embedded the full presentation below as well as video references (not the exact cuts due to copyright issues).
Unfortunately, the alternate video references are NSFW. I made it a point to selectively choose all ages-appropriate references for the live presentation, but I do not have the luxury when working with the available clips online. The Power Point is still safe for all ages, but the videos get more violent and sexual.
This weekend at ConnectiCon, I debuted two brand new panels. The 18+ panel was called Lovecraft on the Silver Screen. It was an exploration of the best and the worst attempts to bring H.P. Lovecraft’s stories to film.
Unfortunately, there were some major tech issues during the panel and the projector kept freaking out, preventing any of the full videos from playing. I want to thank everyone who came and stuck with the panel that largely turned into a lecture with guest appearances by convention A/V staff trying to fix everything from muted audio to the blue screen of death.
Below the jump, I’ve embedded the full PowerPoint presentation as well as the videos from the panel in order. You can read along if you choose or just jump straight to the videos for NSFW Lovecraftian madness.
I love it when my interests and needs can actually cross over. I watched The Call of Cthulhu as the last piece of my Lovecraft on the Silver Screen panel (this Saturday at ConnectiCon, come say hi) and knew it would also work for Horror Thursday. It’s the first (and probably only) time I’ve reviewed a short for the column. To be fair, at 45 minutes long, it is structured and feels like an actual feature film. It’s also surprisingly good.
Horror Thursday: The Call of Cthulhu
As part of the 3rd Annual Cinefessions Summer Screams Challenge, I’ve spent the past two days watching all of the films in the Hellraiser franchise. I’ve been obsessed with this series since seeing the trailers for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth when I was seven years old and have only grown to love the universe and Clive Barker’s expanded works since.
However, because I so disliked Hellraiser III, I never really paid attention to the six subsequent sequels released straight to video. I’ve seen bits and pieces of most of them, but not the whole way through while actually paying attention.
This time, I paid attention. Oh, goodness, how I paid attention.
The first thing you need to know about X-Men: Days of Future Past is that it’s not actually the story you might know as “Days of Future Past.” In order to fit in with the framework established in First Class and the popularity of certain mutants, the time setting, key characters, and metaphors (and by metaphors, I mean what metaphors anymore?) have been altered significantly.
Get past that disappointment, and it turns out that Days of Future Past is the strongest X-Men entry yet.
Dredd is one of the most successful comic book to film adaptations I’ve ever encountered. Sure, it’s not 100% faithful to the source material, but the tone, characters, and style are just right. Screenwriter Alex Garland spins some well-worn tropes for police/action films into something that feels unique, even when blatantly lifted from other sources.
The universe of Dredd is an interesting dystopia. There are no more courts. The police officers are referred to as judges because they capture, interrogate, and punish criminals on the spot. Judge Dredd is assigned a new trainee, Anderson, on an investigation into an apartment tower run by notorious criminal mastermind Ma-Ma. Anderson, who has possessed psychic abilities since she was a young girl, and Dredd get trapped by Ma-Ma’s high tech security and must fight their way to the top with their suspect to dispense justice.
I couldn’t let AniMAY 2014 pass by without at least one review of a horror anime. Shiki is a doozy. It’s like a mash-up between Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Twin Peaks.
A town is dealing with an inexplicable run of deaths. Natsuno, our hero, is fascinated by death but won’t be of much use in the story for quite some time. Things turn strange when a high school girl, Megumi, is found in a catatonic state brought on by anemia and dies later that night. Her parents refuse an autopsy so that her suffering isn’t extended even though the only thing wrong with the body is a few bug bite wounds. At the same time, a new family, the Kirishikis, move into a long-abandoned Western-style mansion in the middle of the night and are never seen around town. Megumi was on her way to visit them when she fell because of the anemia.