Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Fantasia Film Festival 2022’s 15 Top Picks to Feast Upon

5 Jul

Fantasia Film Festival

Fantasia Film Festival is back as an in-person event in 2022! There’s over 80 films being offered during the course of the two week event in Montreal, Quebec, and if I was to average two a day, that’s barely scratching the surface. There’s also all the special events, panels, and  shorts to consider and they will be held at the Concordia Hall,  J.A. de Sève cinemas, the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée and McCord Museum.

Ticket pre-sales will open at the end of this week, on July 9, 1:00 EST, and people travelling this event might want to consider booking their hotels now. Anyone still concerned about the pandemic are advised to still wear face masks and use personal descretion until the Health Authority declares otherwise.

Polaris-movie-film-action-revenge-2022-Viva-Lee-Fantasia-posterThe film to begin the festivities is Polaris, a Canadian sci-fi eco-adventure and I get the feeling its a work that’ll rival the cult film, Turbo-Kid (2015). I’m glad to say that I got the early bird ticket on a few flicks.  One work I admire is The Witch 2: The Other Side (review link), which received limited screenings across North America courtesy of Well GO USA. Another is The Girl From The Other Side which first screened at Fantasia 2019 as a short, and this year, it’s been expanded to a feature length movie! It’s a parable that I throughly enjoyed (review link) when it played at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival a few months ago. All the detailing in this work really must be seen on the big screen!

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Lightyear, How Painful Can it Get When Time Stands Still?

21 Jun

Lightyear Movie PosterSpoiler Alert

Buzz Lightyear is a hero for all ages, and the feature film that inspired the toy which Andy from PIXAR’s Toy Story owns is here! While rewatching Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, I couldn’t help but find a few ideas put into the CGI tale.

A few seeds were no doubt sowed concerning season two’s “Lost in Time,” but I’m fairly sure writers Angus MacLane, Matthew Aldrich and Jason Headley were drawing more on the movies of the 70s and 80s–namely Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Flash Gordon–while writing this tale. One detail not everyone will notice is the name of Buzz’s new spaceship, a spaceship named XR-1. It’s a soft nod to the robot from the animated series.

However, this movie introduces Sox (voiced by Peter Sohn), a robotic scene-stealing cat, to lighten up an otherwise dark tale. Chris Evans voices the titular hero, and I think the choice is perfect since he is Captain America after all!

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Just How Wicked Can The Witch Part Two Can Go? A Tale From The Other One

19 Jun

The Witch Part 2 The Other OneWell GO USA
Playing at Select Cinemas (Please check listings)

Park Hoon-jung‘s imagination is bloody dangerous! This screenwriter is better known for the South Korean film, I Saw the Devil and his contributions to the horror and superhero scene are few. When I heard about The Witch, I hoped his version of Firestarter is better and it is. The first film, Part One: The Subversion, is absolutely terrifying. The story ends with a cliffhanger which I thought might continue with Part Two: The Other One.

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It’s Delightful Disney’s Lilo and Stitch is Celebrating 20 Years! So Where Are They Now?

15 Jun

Lilo and Stitch

Lilo and Stitch are celebrating their 20th anniversary! Disney’s commitment to this odd couple is ongoing, including have a few pieces of exclusive merchandise (a pin and stuffed doll), and their plan for a live-action remake is late. There’s been no word on when or if it has begun filming. All fans can hope for is a release this year at least if it’s supposed to be for this celebration. 

Ever since this film’s release June 16, 2002, I’ve been obsessed with the blue fuzzy alien. The television series was about the duo collecting accidentally released experiments at the height of Pokémon’s popularity. Thus, I can’t say it was an appropriate continuation. I tuned in because Stitch’s silly antics never grew old.

But time would take its toll on this franchise. This extra-terrestrial phoned home. As a result, Disney Japan delivered two original animation videos, Planet of Sand and Perfect Memory to continue the alien’s adventures. More often than not, he found himself back on Earth, setting the course for further adventures on Disney Asia’s network. It’s sad Lilo grew up, but it had to happen. 

The releases to the Asian market aren’t in order, and it’s easy to get confused if the two new series (Lilo and Ai, and Stitch! The Series) are supposed to exist in the same universe, or chronology. According to the Wiki, the Chinese production is standalone and I enjoyed this alternate take of the classical formula. My look at this series can be read here.

The Japanese series has a better developed content, and follows after the events of the home video release, Leroy and Stitch. 

This program is more mature and shows Yuna (Stitch’s new companion) facing the same hurdles as Lilo did. One good thing about this show is that she’s not always a country bumpkin. This girl becomes has other problems to face. Also, she’ll have to learn how to live in the city with the blue alien in tow. Thankfully, an episode (“Reunion with Lilo”) in Stitch! suggests that the story is ongoing. It resolves any problems the two had. Lilo looks more like Nani and to see them back together brought tears to my eyes. 

But we got more stories than that. The manga series, Stitch, and the Samurai, was released last year.

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Fans can purchase each individual volume here (along with volumes two and three), or by clicking at each individual image through these Amazon USA links

While fleeing the Galactic Federation, Stitch’s spaceship malfunctions, and he makes an emergency landing not in Hawaii, but in Sengoku-era Japan! Lord Yamato and his clan find Stitch, and his cuteness is no match for the battle-weary samurai who brings the “blue tanuki” home and tries to make a pet.

Jumba and Pleakley aren’t too far behind, since the rodent is their responsibility. With no surprise, they help make Japan technologically advanced, and that’s not good for the rest of the world. It’s best not to spoil the three volume work, but it made for a fun weekend read. Plus, this graphic novel is also a flip-page animation book.

I hope there’ll be more manga featuring Stitch in these standalone works. Although he’s no longer a huge star like he was during his debut, his presence can still be found at Disney’s parks, and elsewhere. But for those who haven’t been keeping track of where he can be found in print, there’s also:

Comic Zone Volume 1: Disney’s Lilo and Stitch 

This trade paperback is a compilation of the comics that were printed in Disney Adventure magazine. These shorts are non-canonical.

Disney Manga: Stitch! Volume One

Stitch Volume One and Two

These stories by Yumi Tsukirino take place in the Japanese series continuity and are side-stories. The content is more for the K9 crowd than long time fans, but for completists, it’s something to have on the shelf just to show how much of a fan one is of the series.

Stitch! Best Friends Forever!

This particular volume has more substance to it when compared to the latter two. To note, the tales presented in this books are standalone works rather than a continuation of the series.

But for completists, viewers shouldn’t forget that these direct to video releases still hasn’t made the transition to Blu-ray just yet, and are available to purchase as DVDs:

Lilo and Stitch Direct to Video Releases (also available to Stream)

Leory & Stitch Stitch! The Movie

(Disclaimer: Otakunoculture.com is a member of Amazon Associate’s program, and any sales made help supports this site).

 

 

Dark Horse Comics to Publish “Navigator” by Award Winning FX Master John Bruno

10 May

NavigatorPre-order Navigator on Amazon USA

From Academy Award-winner and Director John Bruno—the visual effects mastermind behind Avatar, Terminator 2, and original Poltergeist movie—comes his first graphic novel, Navigator! This idea is based on an original tale he made with Steve Burg and Ron Thornton.

The screenplay is by John Bruno and William Wisher (Terminator 2). Illustrating this epic space adventure is Jordi Armengol who, with his atmospheric work, helps bring the cosmos to life.

An alien navigator, captured in battle on Jupiter’s fourth moon, Europa, seeks sanctuary. In return, the alien will provide his advanced technology to help defend humankind from the alien force that enslaved him and has come to destroy us. In this backdrop is a story of love and reconciliation between a young Marine officer—placed in command of Earth’s forces—his estranged wife, and Amy, the daughter he’s never met.

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