Cracking Open The Croods in the Home Video Release of the New Age

22 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

4K, DVD & Bluray Release
Feb 23, 2021

Movie review can be read here.

Fans of The Croods will definitely have a better appreciation with the new film after checking out the bonus material in the home video release. Even a greater respect is earned after seeing how much time was spent on story development. Joel Crawford and the writing team certainly struggled to figure a balance between the picturesque wonder that makes up this newly expanded universe, and a sequel worthy tale

The finale is established when Eep leaves the nest for good to create a family of her own with Guy. Part two is about the obstacles they face, including testing whether this teenage romance is just that, or can it be more?

Besides the usual package of added material–two new shorts, the gag reel and director’s commentary–there’s deleted scenes (seven pieces in all, and one is a variant of another), a “family album” introducing the characters and the performers providing their voices, the “Evolution of” segment showing how the film was put together, and with four how to activities for kids to do with parents. They include how to draw the Croods and how to make a few tasty delights featured in the film.

This release is far better than the first one. I bought the Walmart variant which came with a Belt stuffed doll. No Sash is spotted yet, but hopefully a future package will offer the two sloths together. This second film has an exclusive which isn’t as exciting–a puzzle and water bottle. At least Target is offering a variant which includes an art book since no official one is being offered when compared to the first film’s colourful tome which is now out of print.

Not to be forgotten in this release is an original animated piece, To: Gerard, which not everyone will take note of. DreamWorks shows they are able to create that PIXAR level magic. This short about an elderly man using the power of magic to brighten the day of a young girl is particularly enchanting (pardoning the pun).

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The Legend of Hei is Coming to America on April 30th!

20 Feb

Over five years in the making, The Legend of Hei is a heart-warming fantasy movie adventure, bolstered by beautiful animation and enchanting narrative. Filmmaker Ping Zhang (a.k.a MTJJ) derived this story from a popular flash animation series he created in 2011.

The series gained immense popularity when it debuted online in China, and Zhang then decided to develop it into a feature-length movie. Following successful openings in China and Japan, The Legend of Hei screened at Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Japan Media Arts Festival to great audience enthusiasm.

Shout! Studios is proud to present The Legend of Hei on Digital in Digital platforms beginning April 30, 2021 and offer the DVD and Blu-ray™+ DVD combo pack May 11, 2021.

Pre-orders are available through ShoutFactory.com or Amazon USA

Official Trailer:

Synopsis:

Cat spirit Luo-Xiao Hei’s goes on a journey of self-discovery after his home gets deforested by humans. On his search for a new home, he runs into a group of other spirit creatures who take him under their wing with dreams of reconquering the land they say is rightfully theirs. However, the group runs into a human known as Wuxian, who separates Hei from the other spirits. The two go on a journey that teaches Hei to control his abilities as well as forming his own thoughts on whether or not he should ally with the spirits or humans.

THE LEGEND OF HEI also features an exceptional English voice cast, featuring Chinese American talent, including Emi Lo (Bofuri, Valentine), Aleks Le (Funan, Ne Zha), Howard Wang (Dragon Ball Z, Marvel Avengers Academy), Kaiji Tang (Justice League, Grantz-O), Caleb Yen (Black Clover, Scott & Crowley), and Suzie Yeung (Kemono Friends).

Comic Cons, Concerts and Concerns in the Midst of a Continuing Pandemic

18 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Usually around this time, I’d be planning (or have attended) a pop culture convention by now. Emerald City Comic Con may run their 2021 event at the end of the year, but by then, are we sure it’ll happen when information of COVID-19 variants is the new concern? We’re in a pandemic, and although a vaccine is available, it’s not guaranteed to completely placate the virus. LiveScience published an article explaining how they work. People can still be carriers and not show any symptoms.

Plus, not everyone are able to get the shot right away. The rollout will target particular public health sectors first, before the public, and most regular joes–the fandom–is last in line. Changes to these events are expected because any show that doesn’t incorporate safety measures as a precaution is not only hazardous to everyone’s health but also a breeding ground for another wave.

As much as I like to resume that life of an avid con goer in a normally busy month of March, I don’t see myself feeling comfortable being at one unless these events invest in “the new norm” which includes plexiglass barriers to put between fans, dealers and guests along with many sanitizing stations. Whether that’s with ultraviolet portals to pass through or a table with cleansing dispensers, it won’t be enough. The shows that want to take place sooner than later may include waivers for everyone to impress their fingerprint upon so that the company can’t be sued if an attendee gets sick.

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Korea’s K-Pop “Treasure” is Coming to Japan March 31st

18 Feb

Release date: March 31, 2021

Korea’s hottest boy band is preparing for a Japanese language debut!

In 2020 they dominated the rookie category at many awards ceremonies, including the Mnet Asian Music Awards, and in order to grow, they must blow up other markets. Feb 14th saw the release of their song “Beautiful” in another language, and it’s a hit! As a follow-up, they will release the album “The First Step: Treasure Effect,” March 31st!

This release will be the fourth consecutive work in their THE FIRST STEP series of releases that has already achieved over 1 million sales since the release of “Chapter One” in Korea in August 2020. The album will include the Japanese version of “Beautiful” and hits such as “Boy,” “I Love You,” “MMM” and “My Treasure,” with all 13 tracks on the album sung in Japanese. A Blu-ray/DVD is also planned, featuring music videos for the Japanese versions for the very first time.

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