Tag Archives: jodie foster

Search for Hu banner ad

Elysium Debuts on 4K Ultra HD on February 9

Elysium

Sony has announced that Elysium is coming to 4K Ultra HD on February 9 with hours of behind-the-scenes bonus materials.

Directed by Neil Blomkamp, the film features Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, and William Fichtner.

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will stop at nothing to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium—but that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. Max (Matt Damon) agrees to take on a life-threatening mission, one that could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

BONUS MATERIAL 
4K ULTRA HD BONUS DISC:

  • Exoskeletons, Explosions and the Action Choreography of Elysium
  • The Hero, The Psychopath and the Characters of Elysium
  • The Art of the Elysium Miniatures
  • Bugatti 2154
  • Theatrical Trailers

BLU-RAY™ DISC:

  • Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium
  • Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky
  • Extended Scene
  • Visions of 2154 – An Interactive Exploration of the Art and Design of Elysium
  • In Support of the Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium
  • The Technology of 2154
  • The Journey to Elysium
    • Envisioning Elysium
    • Capturing Elysium
    • Enhancing Elysium

Aspen Goes Back to Its Roots for its 15-Year Anniversary in 2018

Aspen Comics, the comic book publishing house founded in 2003 by the late superstar artist Michael Turner, will be celebrating its fifteen-year anniversary in 2018. To celebrate, the publisher is planning a yearlong initiative featuring a return to many of its classic properties. Three of Aspen’s flagship titles will be highlighting significant milestones, with Michael Turner’s Fathom and Soulfire’s twenty and fifteen year anniversary respectively, and Executive Assistant: Iris’ ten-year anniversary as well.

The publisher plans to focus on less variant covers as well as a reduced price on new jumping-on point issues including 25-cent primer issues and $1.50 zero issues.

Aspen will also be debuting a 4-page Aspen Mascots story premiering each month in the back of every new Aspen Comics release. The Aspen Mascots stories will be written by Vince Hernandez with art by Joie Foster and will feature Aspen’s lovable band of mascots, creatures and other fun Aspen critters in all-ages bonus content storylines.

In addition to the Aspen Primers, Legacy, and Aspen Mascot bonus content stories, the publisher has announced an Aspen Wave 1 of new properties and titles to debut as their first releases of the new year, in addition to the creative teams:

JANUARY:

Aspen will kick off their anniversary year in January with the release of the Aspen Legacy #1 issue, a yearbook-style offering showcasing everything from Aspen’s past, present and future, and collects a thorough look inside and behind-the-scenes of Aspen Comics. Aspen Legacy #1 will be released on January 17th and will be offered for only 15-cents with art by various Aspen alumni artists including Michael Turner, Talent Caldwell, Micah Gunnell, Marcus To, Francis Manapul and more.

FEBRUARY:

PortalBound #0 written by Mark Roslan and Gabe Carrasco with art by Alex Arizmendi and Wes Hartman is a new sci-fi/fantasy/action-adventure mini-series slated for five issues debuting February 7th with covers by Arizmendi and Adam Archer. PortalBound #0 will be offered for $1.50.

Charismagic Volume 3 #1 debuts on February 14th written by Vince Hernandez with art by Harvey Tolibao and Federico Blee with covers by Tolibao and Khary Randolph. Volume 3 is supported by the release of Charismagic Volume 2 in trade paperback form, as well as a re-offering of Charismagic Volume 1 as part of the continued release of the action-adventure/fantasy series.

Shrugged Volume 3 debuts on February 21st written by Frank Mastromauro with art by André Risso and Beth Sotelo with covers by Risso and Micah Gunnell. Shrugged is supported by the release of Shrugged Volume 2 in trade paperback form, as well as a re-offering of Shrugged Volume 1 in February as well.

For new readers unfamiliar with Aspen’s catalogue of titles, the publisher will be offering 25-cent Aspen Primer issues throughout the year for its classic titles: Michael Turner’s Fathom and Soulfire, Executive Assistant: Iris, Charismagic, Dellec, Jirni, No World and Shrugged.

Rumor: Downey Wants Who to Be in the Next Avengers?

RobertDowneyJuniorIronManThe new year has kicked off with a rather bizarre rumor published by Radar. The site is reporting that Robert Downey Jr. is attempting to get two of his friends, Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster roles in Marvel‘s upcoming Avengers movies.

Jodie Foster has had some spotlight with her role in Elysium, but Gibson has been mostly off the radar since his high-profile anti-Semitic rant(s) and various domestic issues. All three are close friends.

Downey has a five-year deal with Marvel Studios that will most likely see him in the next two Avengers films. The next film, Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters in 2015.

All of this is from a “source” for the site, so take it with a massive grain of salt. Marvel is run by a prominent Israeli businessman, so I doubt Gibson will go over too well with him. While Downey himself got a second chance at a career after his publicized substance abuse issues, the same can’t be said for Gibson and he’s generally faded away or what films that have recently been released have bombed.

While I doubt we’ll see either, Foster is a more likely possibility out of the two.

(via Radar Online)

History is Written by the Winners of the Marvel No-Prize

Guest commentary post from Emma Houxbois. Emma is a queer blogger for hire out of Vancouver, BC most recently attached to Girls Read Comics. You can follow her on Twitter @emmahouxbois.

no-prizeThe thing about history is that you’ve got to be really careful who you let write it. Herodotus, the guy widely acknowledged as the inventor of western history writing was known as both “The Father of History” and “The Father of Lies,” in his lifetime, and one of the reasons for that was that he never really made any kind of an effort to judge the credibility of the people he was collecting history from. It’s widely believed that he skewed towards the empowered members of society, meaning that the saying “history is written by the winners” is as old as history itself. This past week in comics, we got the rude awakening that it’s history is currently being written by the winners of the Marvel No-Prize.

For reasons unknown to anyone with a lick of sense, a panel consisting of Todd McFarlane, Len Wein, and Gerry Conway were assembled to publicize a forthcoming PBS documentary about superhero comics. While already dubious choices compared to more genuinely influential and knowledgeable prospects like Trina Robbins, Mark Waid, Karen Berger, or that mysterious Twitter account claiming to be Steranko, the trio put on an astounding display of jamming their entire legs up to the knee down their own throats. Todd McFarlane, creator of one of the best selling black superheroes in history, seems to believe that increasing diversity in comics will only lead to tokenism. Of course in 2006, when Robert Kirkman crashed McFarlane’s panel at the SDCCI, the Spawn creator had no idea who he was until he was informed by another panel member that Kirkman was “the guy who writes that zombie comic you like,” a comic published by McFarlane’s own Image Comics at the time. McFarlane also went on, during the same incident, to say in defense of having not done anything significant in comics since Spawn that “once you’ve created your Mickey Mouse or your Donald Duck, you don’t really have to do anything else.” So it isn’t as if McFarlane’s complete indifference to anything in comics that isn’t related to his personal legacy is a closely guarded secret or new information. Nor is it that he’s a noted hypocrite after having lost a lengthy legal action by Neil Gaiman to regain control of the characters he contributed to Spawn after years of McFarlane crowing about how the founding of Image was a victory for creator’s rights in the industry.

Gerry Conway was adamant that superheroes are strictly for men and boys, using a bizarre self defeating anecdote about his daughter’s disinterest in “guy stories,” mentioning Faith Erin Hicks who writes The Adventures of Superhero Girl. Of course Conway is responsible for the two most exploited fridgings in Marvel history, if not superhero comics as a whole; The Punisher’s self justification for his antics based on the death of his wife and child as well as the death of Gwen Stacy. If Conway’s own daughter is disinterested in what he calls “guy stories” and McFarlane wouldn’t use superheroes if he wanted to write a story catering to his own daughters, it has to be noted that Conway’s body of work is one of the chief culprits in disillusioning potential female readers. Of course Len Wein is the real elephant in the room, given that Alan Moore disclosed in 2006 when he approached Wein for permission to cripple Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joke, Wein told him “Yeah, okay, cripple the bitch.” Inviting Len Wein or Gerry Conway to talk about gender in comics is basically like asking Don Imus to talk about racism in sports.

At around the same time that this nonsense was unfolding, a beautiful and moving thing that happened in Japan was being circulated by Sailor Moon fans on Tumblr. The second live event detailing the festivities for the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon and the forthcoming series was being translated, capped, and analyzed by the fervent western fans of the pop culture juggernaut. However, instead of updates on the timeline for the new series, what dominated the fan discourse were the statements by the director of the 2013 edition of the live action stage show, whose cast is entirely female. By way of explanation, he related that his understanding of Naoko Takeuchi’s manga was that it was written by women for women and so it was only natural to put on the show using only women. Not satisfied with those bold and endearing statements, he went on to say “I feel like Takeuchi Naoko’s work flew in the face of the atmosphere at the time. It said ‘women are strong, there’s nothing wrong with being strong and we should be stronger’ and as a result in these twenty years, women have become stronger in our society. That part of her work has everlasting value and I feel like now we should remind society again of the same message.” While I’m not sure that twenty years of gains for women in Japanese society can be chalked up entirely to the influence of Sailor Moon, it is heartening to hear, especially from a man in this context, the fervent belief that comics can in fact inspire positive social change. It isn’t hard to see that same belief among the western fans, as it’s an unmistakable fact that a large segment of young women active in fighting for representation in western comics are Sailor Moon fans, and the most ardent supporters of Sailor Moon are staunch feminists. Sailor Moon also continues to deeply influence female creators to this day, most notably Adventure Time contributor and Bee and Puppycat creator Natasha Allegri, whose genderbent world of Fionna and Cake rests on Sailor Moon as it’s foundation from the rabbit ears on her hat to her feline companion and even her formal gown patterned after the future Silver Millennium version of Usagi.

That Conway feels comics follow instead of lead culture is no actual reflection on the real state of the world’s last living mythology, it’s a reflection on three men who never pushed themselves or their work to a level beyond what could be most comfortably and easily sold. None of them put their careers on the line with bold statements like Dwayne McDuffie’s infamous Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers memo or created entire critical frameworks for discussing women’s place in popular fiction like Gail Simone’s Women in the Refrigerator polemic or Alison Bechdel‘s eponymous test. It also really begs the question if any of them are aware that Captain America punched Hitler a full year before the United States entered World War II. In every decade that superhero comics have existed, they’ve lead culture. In a landscape where Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox, (directed by Jodie Foster in the episode revolving around her character), is making headlines and shattering the long history of cis actors being cast as trans* people, comics are leading culture. Matt Fraction is currently surfing the crest of the wave of positive portrayals of trans* people in a team book that is three quarters female. Gail Simone is poised alongside him selling out her Batgirl title in which Babs’ roommate is a trans woman. The critical importance of all three narratives cannot be underscored any stronger than by Chloe Sevigny’s current shameful behavior wearing a prosthetic penis to portray a trans woman and throwing around slurs that demean real trans women behind the scenes. Which is just one singular issue, one singular anecdote in a sea of progressive storytelling in comics that has taken the lead on issues as diverse as addiction, sex work, homophobia, racism, sexism, and domestic violence to name a few. The true history of comics isn’t a soulless echo chamber of privileged men writing exclusionist power fantasies for each other. The true history of comics is as queer and beautiful as it is ugly and heartbreaking, when it’s told by people who actually participated in and benefited from it’s queerness and beauty. Sadly many including Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, and Dwayne McDuffie have passed away but there do remain several other creators and commentators who, if given the chance, would gladly sing the praises of those and other trailblazers.

Movie Review: Elysium

elysium-firstposter-full2Elysium is one my most anticipated movies of the summer. More than Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, really any of the comic movies or other “summer blockbusters.”  Set in the year 2154, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. Written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, the genius behind District 9, I expected another allegorical sci-fi tale whose special fx looked more impressive than the budget would make you think possible.

The movies boasts an impressive cast headlined by Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, the film can be summed up as a science fiction heist movie. I went into the film with a general idea as to the plot, you can figure that out from the various trailers and advertisements. The overall plot isn’t a shocker at all. It’s straightforward and the overall arc isn’t surprising at all, especially the ending. There are numerous small details though that did catch me off-guard. I had the general idea right, but not many of the specifics as to the “how.” And if you go into the film knowing what’s going to happen, there’s enough in the small details that’ll surprise you.

And it’s those small details that are amazing. The movie has a modest budget of $115 million, but looks like it should be double that, and that’s Blomkamp’s strength as his vision. The sets, the fx, the guns, the tools, the robots, it’s all amazing, beyond amazing. This is a science fiction film to the utmost level with a vision and look that challenges the best of the best. It all flows nicely and every detail just adds tot he movie enjoyment. The level of detail is amazing, down to small tattoos and marks on skin that makes the vision stand out.

The story too, while straightforward is fun and enjoyable. Though it’s predictable, Blomkamp also has the ability to do what great sci-fi does, reflect upon the real world and deliver an allegory. Elysium, and District 9, are both commentary on today’s society. In this case it’s pretty obviously about the 99% vs. 1% and how we treat those least fortunate in society and how the most powerful do or do not give back. That’s a hammer to the audience as far as message, but at no point does the story feel preachy. A thing that did catch me was that the film mostly takes place on Los Angeles, but other than some text, there’s nothing there to reinforce this is the US. Instead we actually see a South African flag on a vehicle. The film was shot in Mexico and looks like it was shot in Mexico. A minor quibble, but an important one.

Damon, Foster, the whole cast are good. It’s nothing that blows me away, but they do a real good job. There’s no Oscar worthy performances, but nothing that causes issues either. In fact, I liked the supporting cast a lot, each character with their own quirk and unique feel about them.

The biggest issue I had with the movie is Blomkamp’s direction. Here, he covers up some of the fx limitations with an overuse of shaky cam. It’s not a few scenes, the camera bounces around throughout the entire film, this isn’t one for those with motion sickness. Even at quiet moments, when characters are just standing around talking, shaky cam. Shaky cam is the bullet time of modern movies. Used too much, especially at inappropriate moments. The movie would be damn near perfect if it wasn’t used nearly as much.

Overall, Elysium is an excellent follow up to District 9. Blomkamp does slip a bit as expected moving into the studio system and given more of a budget to play with, but his vision is undeniable and commendable. Here’s to what’s next, whatever it is, it’ll have a strong vision and voice and that’s something I can get behind. Elysium is sci-fi done right in both look and message and one of the more entertaining films this summer. One that entertains and and makes you think, even just for a shallow minute.

Direction: 6 Acting: 7.5 Plot: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

Almost American