movies

“Hideously tacky”? Japan’s poster for Academy Award-winning movie Birdman raises eyebrows online

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography at the 87th Academy Awards this year. Ever since the awards ceremony, everyone has been talking about the movie, but it hasn’t even been released in Japan yet. That fateful day is April 10, 2015. With a release date that is (as per usual) months behind most other countries, it allows for some time to adjust the advertising campaigns.

Bu the Japanese poster for Birdman is…well…we’ll let you decide.

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Artist’s new posters for classic movies will inspire you to watch them all over again

Making movie posters is tough. You not only have to catch the eye of people passing by, but also get them excited and inform them on what the movie is about, all at the same time. When a poster is done well, it can be just as memorable as the movie itself. And when it’s done badly, well, it can be memorable in a different kind of way.

Artist Olly Moss however, whom we’ve met before with his amazing video game-inspired ceramic plates, is a master of the poster medium. He’s recently been picked up by Japanese websites for creating new posters of classic movies, including Studio Ghibli films. Get ready: your nostalgia meter is about to be cranked up to 10, and you’re going to go hunting through your old DVDs very soon.

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Celebrate the start of the new Pirates movie with “Asian Johnny Depp” and a skull drink!

The newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, has begun principal photography in Australia, so the production team released its very first still from the set–something that is bound to fire up all the pirate fans and Johnny Depp fans around the world. A return of Captain Jack Sparrow is as exciting as, “yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum.”

After the cast and crew, the person most excited by the news is probably RocketNews24’s own Go Hatori, AKA Asian Johnny Depp! He’s back to toast the new movie with a costume and a special drink in the form of a human head analogue. Because… Well at least we kept him off the streets.

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Hayao Miyazaki has a bone to pick with consumerism and computers (but mostly consumerism)

Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki recently offered his take on French publication Charlie Hebdo running illustrations of Muhammad. That wasn’t the only strong opinion the Studio Ghibli co-founder put forth though. Aside from having harsh words for using others’ culture as fodder for satire, he’s also got a pretty big bone to pick with computer animation and consumerism.

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Transgender Thai actress called “too pretty” and “wonderful;” maybe world not so bad after all

It’s really nice that we live in a world where a transgender woman uploading pictures of herself onto social media results in comments like “oh my god you’re so pretty!” and “I love your dress!” instead of slurs and hate.

Most recently, Thai transgender sensation Nong Poy uploaded a picture onto her social media that some followers thought made her look exactly like Chinese model/actress/singer Aneglababy. In all honesty though, this author doesn’t really care who she looks like; she’s already plenty awesome just looking like no one else but herself.

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Still no hoverboards, but 2015 has now given us this cool Back to the Future Delorean iPhone case

Now that 2015 is upon us, futurists and move fans alike are up in arms about all the cool things Back to the Future II promised we’d have by now, but still don’t. Where are our self-lacing shoes, they ask? When can we except to be devoured by holographic advertisements, huh? And what in God’s name is the holdup with the hoverboards?

What all these complaints fail to recognize, though, is all of the other amazing stuff that’s become part of our daily lives. For example, not only do we have the Internet and all the wondrous knowledge it provides, but we can access it from our mobile phones! That’s something even Back to the Future II couldn’t imagine, which is why it’s taken until the real 2015 for someone to make these sweet iPhone cases modeled after the film’s iconic Delorean time machine.

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As Keanu Reeves sightings continue in Tokyo, we ask: Got time for a bowl of your favorite ramen?

I’ve always felt a certain bond with Keanu Reeves, seeing how we’re both graduates of San Dimas High School (me in real life, and him through his portrayal of Theodore “Ted” Logan in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure). So I was a little bummed when the Hollywood actor came to Tokyo but didn’t call me up to hang out with him in Akihabara.

I’ve got to say, my feelings are now even more hurt, since this new batch of photos of the good-natured Reeves posing with fans in Japan makes it seem like the RocketNews24 staff are the only people the actor hasn’t spent time with during his visit, despite the fact that we’d be more than happy to hook him up with a meal at his favorite ramen restaurant, which has a chain right by our office.

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Yakuza-Vampire movie, Yakuza Apocalypse, release date set

Takashi Miike’s long-awaited film Yakuza Apocalypse (Gokudou Daisensou) has been given a release date of 20 June. The movie follows a yakuza who bites other people and turns them into yakuza…or vampires. We’re not really sure which, and maybe neither is the film itself, but it looks pretty cool.

The cast line-up has also been announced including Hayato Ichihara (Rainbow Song, God’s Puzzle), Riko Narumi (The Great Yokai War, Ikigami), and someone in a bright-green frog suit.

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Ghibli producer reveals the studio’s current anime production project: absolutely nothing

Since last summer, producer Toshio Suzuki has been dropping hints that Studio Ghibli, the animation house he co-founded along with legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, might be restructuring. While the cagey veteran has avoided saying that Ghibli would be shutting down, he’s made several oblique references to “dismantling” its standing production team and taking a hiatus from creating feature films.

Still, the true Ghibli faithful have been holding out hope, clinging to the belief that it’s not over until the fat baby from Spirited Away sings. Hearing some of Suzuki’s recent remarks, though, it sounds like it’s going to be a very long wait until the next Ghibli film, as he described the production team’s current project as absolutely nothing.

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Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo’s sprawling mural will soon welcome travelers at Sendai Airport

Surely any list of Japan’s greatest animators and directors must include Katsuhiro Otomo, the man behind the likes of Akira, Domu, and Steamboy. Otomo’s distinctive mix of neo-futurism, cyberpunk, and dark humor has earned him both a legion of fans and numerous accolades throughout the world.

We mentioned in a previous article that Otomo would be designing a giant mural for Tohoku’s Sendai Airport. Now it looks like the wait is almost over. The 12-ton mural, which depicts a squat, bespectacled boy sitting astride a cybernetic carp flanked by the gods of wind and lightning, will be unveiled on March 12, one day after the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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Australia’s Animal Logic Entertainment announces plans for live-action Astro Boy film

Live-action comic book movies are a big deal these days, with four of the 10 highest-grossing films in the U.S. hailing from that category in 2014. All four of those are Marvel properties, though, and while American rival DC Comics has found sporadic movie success in the past, Western adaptations of Japanese manga haven’t even fared that well.

Still, it looks like one studio is getting ready to roll the dice again, and the dice don’t get much bigger than Japan’s most exalted manga of all, as Australia’s Animal Logic Entertainment has announced its plans for an Astro Boy live-action movie.

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Disney’s Baymax appears in curry, hot pots, and more, thanks to cheesy food-based pun【Photos】

You might not guess it, given the country’s well-known acceptance of stoicism as an admirable virtue, but Japan absolutely loves puns. In fact, the characteristics of the Japanese language, such as multiple potential pronunciations for the same kanji character, make it a veritable pun-producing machine.

For example, the character for “rice,” 米, is usually read as kome. When it’s combined with other characters, though, it’s read as mai or bei, with the latter being pronounced like the English word “bay.”

Of course, that also means bei is pronounced like the first half of Baymax, the loveable caretaker/combat robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6. And now that Japanese fans of the film have figured out how to put a little rice into Baymax, they’re also coming up with ways to put a little Baymax into their meals by making Baymax curry rice, rice balls, and nabe hot pots.

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French literature classic ‘The Little Prince’ coming soon to cinemas as an animated film!

Calling all movie-goers, animation fans and literature enthusiasts! It’s not often that we get the chance to pique the interest of individuals from these three groups all at the same time, but the animated version of The Little Prince, one of the most famed pieces of French literature of our time, is set to hit the big screens in the later half of this year! If you haven’t already seen the trailer, read on and get ready to be mesmerized!

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New Star Wars toys are rolling their way into our galaxy right, right here

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…an enormous franchise was born, and with it a clearly ludicrous amount of merchandise. Perhaps the most coveted kinds of “merch” were the Star Wars toys. Thousands of figures and collectibles were made for children, although, many were snapped up by teen and adult fans. The smartest of whom would keep them in their original packaging to preserve their mint condition and value. But what good is a toy if you can’t play with it?

With a Star Wars new movie heading to cinema screens in December 2015, hundreds of new toys will be hitting the market. Just like before, the toys are aimed, at least partly, at children, but that won’t stop the grown-up fans from wanting them too.

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Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya nominated for Academy Award

We’re just about a month away from the 87th Academy Awards presentation, and if you’re a general cinema fan, odds are you’ve been looking forward to the event. However, if the only thing that can make you take a trip to the theater is a screening of a Studio Ghibli anime, you might not have been expecting too much from the gala to be held at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater.

Ghibli’s newest film, When Marnie Was There, hasn’t been getting the sort of rave reviews of a Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. Six months after its Japanese release, Marnie is mostly forgotten in its home country and still unreleased in North America, making it ineligible for this year’s Oscar race.

Thanks to the time lag caused by international distribution, though, Ghibli does have one film eligible for the upcoming academy awards, and it just cleared the first hurdle with the Academy announcing The Tale of Princess Kaguya as a nominee in the Best Animated Feature Category.

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Big (Bust) Hero 6 – Cosplayer recreates Disney’s Baymax using only her chest

There’s just something soothing about the face of Baymax, the caretaker (and superpowered) robot that plays a prominent role in Disney’s Big Hero 6. Baymax looks like a big pillow to some people. Others say he more closely resembles Japanese dumplings, or the rounded discs of mochi used as New Year’s decorations in Japan.

Or, as these photos show, you could also duplicate Baymax’s inviting aura of soft plumpness with a white T-shirt and large pair of breasts.

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Teaser trailer released for new Ghost in the Shell movie, set to open summer 2015 【Video】

The recent news that Scarlett Johansson is interested in starring in a live-action version of science fiction anime Ghost in the Shell got fans around the world excited earlier this week. But while the actress sounds ready to step in front of the cameras as cybernetic public security officer Motoko Kusanagi, the project itself is yet to be greenlit, odds are you’re still a couple of years away from being able to buy your tickets (provided the film avoids the common fate of would-be Hollywood anime adaptations that never make it off the ground).

There is one sure thing Ghost in the Shell fans can look forward to in the near future though: a new anime movie in the franchise, which is set to open in 2015.

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Bad Disney girls: Fan artist reimagines princesses as the seven deadly sins

While I was growing up, my family never got that involved in the discussion over whether the idolization of Disney princesses is a healthy thing or not. With three boys and no girls in the family, most of my parents’ time was instead channeled towards more immediate topics like telling their sons not to aim for the face during their regular battles in the backyard with their stockpiled arsenal of plastic battleaxes and broadswords.

As an adult, I can sort of understand both sides of the debate. On one hand, a little fantasizing seems harmless, and in and of itself, there’s nothing inherently wrong with little girls being drawn to such trappings of the princess lifestyle as a luxurious home and elegant clothes. On the other hand, criticisms about overemphasizing the value of comfort and beauty have some validity too, as if left unchecked those desires can turn into sloth and vanity.

As a matter of fact, one talented artist thinks Disney’s leading ladies make excellent stand-ins for all of the seven deadly sins.

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Seven cool things set to happen in Japan during 2015

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that you should always wash your hands after going to the bathroom. If there’re two things we know, though, the second is that you’ll never get anywhere in life being fixated on the past. So while 2014 was a pretty good year for us, we’re already looking to the year ahead, which is already promising seven cool happenings for Japan in 2015.

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Variety: Scarlett Johansson signs on to Hollywood’s Ghost in the Shell

Entertainment news source Variety reported on Monday that Scarlett Johansson has signed on to star in Dreamworks‘ adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. Deadline reported in October that the actress was offered the role, but she was still undecided at the time.

The film has not yet been greenlit for production, but Variety notes that Johansson’s involvement should make production more likely.

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