Movie Review: Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 may seem like the umptieth Disney movie, especially the umptieth digitally animated one. Considering it’s by the team of Frozen, people may expect something along those lines. Nothing is less true as Big Hero 6 is one of the best things released by the Disney Studios since well, quite a while (possibly since Princess and the Frog, which was full of excellent Dieselpunk elements).

This Marvel/Disney collaboration is proof that both companies should work together more often, because this feature film is not only a magnificent feat when it comes to animation, but also has the same kind of imaginative storytelling and feel of adventure that Marvel movies have become famous for in the last decade.

Based on an old, rather obscure Marvel title of the same name (which I think may be re-released soon [but that’s just my guess!] considering the success of the movie), Disney reinvents both story and characters in the fictional, high-tech and futuristic world of San Fransokyo where traditional Japanese influences are crossed with the best of futurepunk and futuretech. Zeppelins cloud the skies alongside vehicles that have only been dreamt up in sci-fi settings. Japanese battlesuits, monsters and robots are go hand in hand with Tokyo style streets, traditional San Francisco trams whilst Japanese and Western architecture stand next to each other. Some of the background scenes are done so realistic that for a second you think you’re watching an actual live action movie rather than a digitally animated one. The use of colours is splendid, and the detailing on backgrounds as well as characters is amazing.

A lot of criticism has been made on this movie online, especially on sites such as tumblr. One of them being that Disney is stuck on the same character design over and over. Let me tell you something: once you are watching the movie you will see that this critique is entirely unjustified. Whilst the character Honey Lemon may look slightly like Rapunzel in some of the portrait type promo images, in the movie she is very much an original character. Also: most of the male and female characters have distinctively different body types, which is something that can only be encouraged. The characters are well developed for their part in the movie, and are as loveable as the casts of many other Disney movies people have come to love over the years. Even though the movie is all about science, robotics and superheroes, it has more than enough features to be interested to those that don’t much care about these topics as it is pretty well rounded as a whole and there is much more to the story than a bunch of students going after a villain. The only thing that can be said against it is that it is a mite predictable, but in the end of the day, it’s an animated Disney movie, so some measure of predictability is to be expected.

In short, Big Hero 6 is a fantastic piece of cinematography for animation fans of all ages. Fans of sci-fi, futurism, futurepunk and colourful animation in particular will find this movie appealing. And as this is a Marvel collaboration, yes, there is a Stan Lee cameo, and yes, you really should wait for all the credits to end, because in Marvel tradition there is a last piece of film to come after that. But I won’t say more, you’ll have to go see and hopefully enjoy this movie as much as I did for yourself.

Happy Vintage Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day 2015

Today is Valentine’s Day, the time of year to celebrate the people you love and appreciate (because let’s face it, it’s stopped being just a couple’s holidays and became something that friends celebrate amongst themselves as a sign appreciation a while ago) and because we appreciate all our readers, today we’d like to share an excellent tumblr with you which has plenty of weird, fandom, yet all fun to look at vintage Valentine’s Day imagery!
Check out vintage gal’s tumblr account for more images from back in the day, not just V-day themed!

Movie Review: “Jupiter Ascending”

Jupiter Ascending

Imagine a space opera style movie with both casual, practical and elaborate costumes, visually pleasing combat scenes, all kinds of alien, human and everything in between species, interesting villains and bombastic space ships as well as magnificant scenery. Well you don’t have to imagine it much longer, because the creators of the Matrix trilogy are back with a new cyberpunk style sci-fi epos: Jupiter Ascending.

Enter Jupiter Jones (played by Mila Kunis), are reluctant heroine, stuck in a crap dead and end job and hating her life, ‘till one day it turns out that she’s more than she, or anyone she knows, has could have ever imagined. Suddenly her universe is expanding (quite literally) and she’s trying to figure out who, or what, she really is, aided by a not quite human new ally Caine Wise (portrayed by Channing Tatum), whilst trying to figure out what direction to give to her life and more importantly: how to stay alive.

Jupiter Ascending is a fantastic movie. Not only is it visually pleasing, with tons of cyberpunk and futuristic elements, the plot itself is masterfully executed and what really sets this movie aside is that it continuously makes you wonder what the hell is going to happen next, even though from the beginning on you can see the happy end coming from miles away. That said, the ending remains quite unsuspecting as Jupiter’s choice is quite remarkable. Timing is also superb in this movie, scenes are exactly the right length, and even with combat scenes you’re never wondering when the hell things are going to move past characters beating on each other.

In short, Jupiter Ascending is a remarkable and well executed example of what a sci-fi movie should be. Space opera is seldomly done well, and thankfully this movie is the example. A definite recommendation to everyone who loves sci-fi and/or cyberpunk.

Manga Review: “City Hall, tome 6″

City Hall tome 6

With the 6th instalment to the ongoing City Hall saga we continue to regret that these manga are only available in French, as they are without a doubt one of the best things around when it comes to steampunk graphics, and it should be available in other languages to reach more steampunks all over the globe! (Seriously Ankama, get it translated and distributed in other languages already!).

Even though the series is written in French, you only need pretty basic (nearing intermediate rather than the barest basics) knowledge of the language and French contemporary slang to be able to understand what’s going on, which makes it rather a bit more accessible to those that have a different language as their mother tongue.

Every issue, or tomes as they are called by the creators, has been better than the one before, and the story continues to unfold via masterful storytelling and fantastic art.

Tome 6 once again presents a genius mix between history, literary elements, fiction and even sneaking in the odd reference to today’s political culture and issues in the west. The last are very subtle though.

Cover underneath the cover :)

Without giving away too much of this tome (no spoilers here!), the story picks up where it left off in tome 5, with old foes and new heroes fighting for the greater good and to either make sure, or attempt to stop, our trio of heroes, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle and Amelia Earhart from achieving their goals. Most characters may be existing authors from the past, but they continue to be portrayed in unique and original ways. The characters also continue to develop and with every issue a little more about their personality and or back story, or their abilities, is revealed, which only contributes to making this series as brilliant and fresh as it is and has been from the very start.

And as always, there are plenty of little extras inside the manga, such as some fun features, a cover underneath the flap and the pages pre-prepared in case you get the chance to ask the creators for an autograph, all little things that just make an already fantastic series even more awesome.

A definite recommendation, just like all the City Hall tomes, to everyone that loves steampunk and can read French.