Star Wars Blips - Morning Watch

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, a series of animated shorts called Star Wars Blips feature Porgs and BB-8’s evil droid nemesis BB-9E. Plus, watch an alien from the future named Garyx Wormuloid review Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and go behind the scenes of Netflix’s adaptation of Death Note to learn more about the demon Ryuk. Read More »

Death Note Clip

This weekend brings another Netflix original movie to the streaming service, and it might be their most controversial yet. Death Note is an American adaptation of the famous manga of the same name, and while there has been some backlash about the whitewashing of the cast, it sounds like the most offensive thing about the movie is the fact that it doesn’t do anything fresh with the material to justify it. There’s nothing explicitly American about this new take on Death Note from director Adam Wingard other than focusing on a mostly white cast in a condensed adaptation that lacks any of the substance of the original.

Check out what some of the early Death Note reviews have to say below. Read More »

Ghost in the Shell Video Essay

It’s no secret that Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of Ghost in the Shell did not make a splash at the box office in the way executives had hoped. The film pulled in $169.8 million worldwide on a budget of $110 million, but that’s not including the massive, expensive marketing campaign, and the movie was considered a failure in the film industry.

It’s easy to attribute the failure of Ghost in the Shell to the fanbase that turned its back on the sci-fi adaptation due to the whitewashing of much of the cast, including actress Scarlett Johansson in the lead. But a new video essay breaks down the various ways that Rupert Sanders‘ adaptation of the beloved anime falls short, including aesthetic choices and a misunderstanding of the significance of the visuals from original anime that the film attempts to mimic throughout. Read More »

Voltron LEGO

We’ve featured plenty of custom LEGO sets here, but only a handful of them get a legitimate shot at being turned into real sets that end up on the shelves of toy stores around the world. Thanks to the creation of LEGO Ideas, master builders have a chance at having LEGO fans vote on which custom sets they’d like to see go in front of the board that decides which of the sets get turned into official LEGO products. One of those sets has been given the greenlight.

Soon LEGO builders will be able to assemble five lion robots to form the giant robot known as Voltron: The Defender of the Universe. That’s right, an official LEGO Voltron set has been approved, and if you missed it the first time around when we featured it as a custom creation last spring, you can check out images below. Read More »

Live Action One Piece TV Show

One Piece is one of the most popular — and baffling — anime staples in Japan. While the wacky, surreal pirate romp hasn’t quite accumulated the same amount of fervor over in the United States as it has in Japan, it’s still one of the most well known anime properties today. And it’s still going, 20 years after its inception. That’s unheard of, even in the anime world. It can be chocked up to just how obsessed Japan is with One Piece — when I went to Japan last year, there were entire stores dedicated just to One Piece. Not anime, One Piece. It’s a phenomenon all on its own.

So for a show of such pop culture impact as One Piece, the only logical next step is…an American TV series?

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

robotech movie

Andy Muschietti, the director of the 2013 creature feature Mama and the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s horror tome It, has signed on to direct an adaptation of the ’80s anime series Robotech for Sony.

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Castlevania cast

Producer Adi Shankar, the guy responsible for bootleg short films like the R-rated Power/Rangers and Venom: Truth in Journalism, has been hyping his upcoming animated television adaptation of the popular Nintendo video game Castlevania for a while now, and when the teaser trailer was released last month, fans finally got a taste of what he was talking about.

Now, in a new video, Shankar and actor Graham McTavish (whom you may recognize from his role as The Saint of Killers on AMC’s Preacher) have announced the major Castlevania cast members – including McTavish himself, who’s voicing Dracula, and The Hobbit trilogy star Richard Armitage, who’s voicing the vampire hunter Trevor Belmont.
Read More »

death note trailer

Adam Wingard‘s adaptation of the popular anime and manga Death Note has been wracked by controversy, but you got to give them props for trying. I think.

While the movie has not proven to be loyal to the ethnicity of the characters, the setting, and the cultural context, the new Death Note trailer at least proves that the Netflix movie is at least loyal to the dark, mid-2000s emo aesthetic of the original series. And hey, at least Willem Dafoe‘s Death God Ryuk looks better than the Japanese live-action’s attempt at CGI. So, yay?

Read More »

Cowboy Bebop Live Action Series in the Works

Way back in 2008, Keanu Reeves was pegged to star as Spike Spiegel in a live-action film adaptation of the influential 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop. An ambitious script was written by Peter Craig (The Town), but it may have ultimately been a bit too ambitious: Reeves speculated it would cost $500 million to film it, and the project eventually faded away.

But Cowboy Bebop is too popular to ignore, and now a new live-action adaptation is in the works: this time, though, it’s being devised as a television series.
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never ending man hayao miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the best living filmmakers in the world, in and outside of animation. So it was a loss for us all when he announced he would retire in 2013 — and a perplexing but exciting gain for us when he nixed that retirement and stated that he was coming back to direct a feature-length CGI animated film.

And because we got a lovely, melancholy documentary following the end of the last phase of his career — if you haven’t seen 2013’s The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness by Mami Sunada, do so now — we’re getting yet another documentary on Miyazaki titled Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, which follows his newfound passion for CGI animation and the making of the film bringing him out of retirement, Boro the Caterpillar.

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