Monday, January 31, 2011

Ghibli Art Books - Kiki's Delivery Service

Here is my sixth Studio Ghibli Art Book! This one is for Kiki's Delivery Service and much like the others features hard cover, preliminary art work, final art work, character profiles and lots lots more. The only book I am missing now (from the local releases) is Ponyo, however I am not sure that I will get it as it is a soft cover version that does not match my current collection. Guess we shall wait and see.

The Ghibli Art Books are being released by Anime & Manga distributor Madman here in Australia and so far they have released Ponyo, Howl's Moving Castle, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, Kiki's Delivery Service and of course My Neighbor Totoro. The books are retailing for around $53.95 each and with the exception of Ponyo are all hard cover.

The books are an essential buy for fans of Studio Ghibli films. They offer a rare opportunity to learn more about the people and the creative process behind some of the most influential and fascinating animated films of the last decade! I will be adding a page for each book as I get them!

You can find details on the 5 other Ghibli Art Books books I own here: Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind & My Neighbor Totoro

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Episode 66 - Time Travel

This week we delve into the past and look forth into the future as we discuss our experience with time travel (or at least movies depicting it).

The challenges were:

Matthew - The Jacket (2005)

Steven - Somewhere In Time (1980)

A rather odd choice from Matthew to be sure, you can hear our reviews and more below:

As usual you can find us on Facebook, listen to us live at Edge Radio on Sundays at 10pm (AEST) or listen to all past episodes at B Grade Online.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Battle Royale Blu-ray Limited Edition

A week or so ago my Limited Edition of Battle Royale arrived. It took a month to get to me due to various weather related drama in the UK, but as the saying goes... good things come to those who wait:

The set features all manner of goodies starting with both the theatrical and director's cut of the movie (each cut getting its own Blu-ray). I sat down to watch the theatrical version the other night and I was not disappointed. Arrow have done a fantastic job with this release. I previously owned the 2 Disc Tartan Asia Extreme edition and whilst it wasn't the worst version out there, it certainly left a lot to be desired. The presentation here is still not perfect, but it is certainly the best this film has ever looked on home video!

The set also includes a DVD featuring the bulk of the extra features that were present on previous releases. I have heard some people complaining about the lack of the sequel being included in this set, but I am glad it is not. This film deserves to stand on its own and (aside from the price hike that would have resulted) the sequel would only have dragged it down a notch.

As you can see Arrow have included all manner of goodies in the box, these include:

  • 32-page Comic
  • 36-page Booklet
  • 16-page Booklet- including concept artwork for the limited edition set.
  • 5x7 Postcards of stills from Battle Royale
  • Fold-out reversible poster of original artwork

I am very pleased with this addition to my collection. I had forgotten how much I truly enjoy this film and this edition is by far the best one to get!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flipped (2010)

Once in a while a movie crosses my path that I have heard very little about. Usually I always look up the title on IMDB to get an idea of what it might be about or who might be in it etc., but in some ways I am glad I did not do that with Flipped, as I fear if I had, I would not actually have watched the film.

It turns out that Flipped is the latest addition to Rob Reiner's "coming of age" or "revelation" movies ala When Harry Met Sally or Stand By Me. It tells the story of two eighth graders and their relationship from the perspective of each. In other words, we see the first part of the story through the eyes of the boy (Bryce - played by Callan McAuliffe) and then the screen flips to show the same events as seen through the eyes of the girl (Juli - played by Madeline Carroll). It is an interesting plot device and has some great uses throughout the film.

The acting is spot on and the film features a great ensemble cast including the likes of Penelope Ann Miller, Rebecca DeMornay and Aidan Quinn, but it is the two leads that steal the show. Their performances carry the film well above the norm for this genre. It is also splendid to look at with a very ethereal glow throughout most of its running time. It is not without its flaws of course, but these are few and far between and certainly don't detract from the majority of the film that is genuinely solid. I will happily admit that I quite enjoyed Flipped and would more than happily recommend it if you are looking for a light romantic drama slash comedy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trailer Alert - Hanna (2011)

From the director of Atonement and Pride and Prejudice comes a completely different tale of a 14 year old girl raised as a killing machine. It has quite a decent cast with Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan and Olivia Williams.

I am really looking forward to this one!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How B Grade Movies Saved (or Ruined) My Life

As I mentioned in my post prior to the new year, I am a little behind in posting the podcast version of our radio show. Those of you who have subscribed through other means will likely be up-to-date, but for those left behind I present the 3 shows that I have missed posting due to holiday season madness!!

Episode 63 - Christmas Show
As promised in our Holiday Show, we did an entire show dedicated to films of a festive nature. The show also included a selection of awesome Christmas tracks selected by yours truly, but I am afraid due to licensing issues we are unable to use them in the podcast version (I was really bummed about that!) Of course we had our challenges as usual. My challenge was Santa's Slay featuring Bill Goldberg and Matthews challenge was The Ref starring Dennis Leary!

Episode 64 - Movies Based On Comic Book Characters
As with our Vampires show, I was surprised to learn that we had not done a show on comic book based movies. Of course we rectified that situation straight away!

The Challenges:
Matt - The Rocketeer
Steven - The Swamp Thing

and here is the show:

and last, but by no means least, our latest effort:

Episode 65 - 2010: A Year in Review
We take a look at the films released last year and each provide 5 of our favorites.
This show went a little haywire, but still managed to get through it.

The Challenges:
Matt - Exit Through The Gift Shop
Steven - The Expendables

To keep up with the goings on of the show, you can find us on Facebook, listen to us live at Edge Radio on Sundays at 10pm (AEST) or listen to all past episodes at B Grade Online.