This Weekend in the Nerdverse – August 15th-16th

D23

This weekend at the box office the N.W.A. biopic proved to be a hot commodity, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. made a decent while perhaps surprising showing, and Fantastic Four was almost entirely erased from the hearts and minds of the human race.

  1. Straight Outta Compton with $56.1 million
  2. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation with $17 million
  3. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with $13.5 million
  4. Fantastic Four with $8 million
  5. The Gift with $6.5 million

Also, the D23 expo happened over the weekend. You may have heard of it, or you may not have to be honest. It is an expo for Disney super fans and has really taken off now that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars. While Star Wars was allowed to be at SDCC 2015, many fans noticed an unbelievable lack of a Marvel presence. Disney wanted them to save all of their big announcements and stars for their own convention. And that they did over the weekend.

Benedict Cumberbatch appeared via video at the Doctor Strange panel to talk about what he plans to bring to the role and then he oozed enigmatic charm all over the damn place. God dammit I love that man. The panel also revealed and talked about plans for the film as well as concept art. Comicbook.com

Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie flew all the way from Germany to attend the Captain America: Civil War presentation and panel, where the first ever footage from the highly anticipated film was released. Comicbook.com

Kingdom Hearts will be teaming up with Disney Infinity in the third version of them game where you will have the chance to use none other than The Keyblade during combat. Comicbook.com

The Star Wars presentation is where it was really at for D23. The cast of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was there, including Harrison Ford, and the cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was announced as well as the news that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will be directing Star Wars Episode IX. Boom. Comicbook.com

In other news, Donald Trump, that lying sack of racist misogynistic psychotic shit, claimed he was Batman. I get it, if a little boy asks you if you’re Batman you say yes because it’s cute and all but Trump really sullied the name of a good man and hero by keeping that kid’s dreams alive. Twitter

New “The Good Dinosaur” Trailer Released

Disney Pixar’s newest project The Good Dinosaur has released a new trailer. In an alternate timeline, dinosaurs were not wiped out before human life began on Earth and after being orphaned, a lovable dinosaur (Raymond Ochoa) and a little boy (Jack Bright) engage on an epic adventure.

From the same creators as Finding Nemo and Inside Out, this movie looks very cute. My inner scientist is happy that finally a movie that involves both humans and dinosaurs is aware of the fact that these two creatures didn’t exist as the same time, hence the alternate timeline scenario. However, the main dinosaur looks super dopey. Pixar is so well known for their stunning animation, that it surprises me how much this doesn’t meet their standard. The rest of the characters are designed fairly well, but seeing as Ochoa’s character is the focus, you’d think he’d look a little nicer.

Visual aesthetic aside, this looks like a good kids movie and with Jurassic World being a little too violent for little kids (though it doesn’t seem to stop parents from dragging their screaming children into movie theaters anyway), The Good Dinosaur will be a good way to spark their interest in archaeology.

The Good Dinosaur comes out on Thanksgiving.

“Inside Out” is Pixar’s Most Important Film

Note: This is not a spoiler free article. Sussing out your emotions can be a incredibly difficult thing to do. So often our instinct is to suppress our sadness, fear, anger and disgust because our lives are busy and it’s more convenient to deal with unpleasant emotions later on. We tell ourselves and other to “just be happy,” “suck it up,” or “be a man!” Children especially are told so often to “stop crying” rather than really accept their feelings. This might save some time, but the damage we’re doing by pushing these emotions to the side takes a major toll on us. What Pixar’s newest film “Inside Out” does is bring this damage to the forefront and advocates for being emotionally honest with ourselves and others. “Inside Out” takes place primarily inside the mind of 11 year old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), a girl who has just moved to San Francisco with her family and is grappling with the major change in her life. Riley is controlled by her five major emotions, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Each emotion operates Riley’s reactions through a control board and Joy tends to lead the group’s decisions. This usually means Sadness doesn’t get much time at the wheel, as Joy loves Riley so much she just wants her to be happy. Up until the move, Riley has had a pretty good life. She loves hockey, has a strong relationship with her friends and family, has an honest but goofy disposition and is described by her mother (Diane Lane) as their “happy girl.” Most of Riley’s memories are happy and represented by yellow orbs, yellow standing for joy rather than blue (sadness), red (anger),  purple (fear), or green (disgust). Joy is very proud of this fact. However, once Riley starts to realize how much her life is changing because of the move, things get a little hectic for the emotions inside her head. After a scuffle over Riley’s long term memories, Joy and Sadness are accidentally sucked out of Headquarters and into Riley’s long term memory bank along with all of Riley’s core memories, the ones that make Riley, Riley. With Riley in major distress, Joy and Sadness must find a way back to headquarters or she may never be happy again. What makes “Inside Out” such an important film is that it shows just how important actually talking about one’s emotions is. There is such a huge stigma on mental health that we often don’t want to talk about or listen to anything but what makes us joyful. We see Riley’s mother compliment her daughter on being so happy despite the difficult time their family is going through, and while the sentiment is well intentioned, it ends up making Riley feel like she can’t be sad around them. With Joy and Sadness stuck in long term memory, guiding Riley’s actions falls to Anger, Fear and Disgust, showing how children so often lash out during difficult times and how depression isn’t just about being sad. The longer Riley isn’t able to feel Joy or Sadness, the harder her life becomes. Unable to express what she’s truly feeling, she starts to lose her favorite parts of herself. She drops Hockey. She dumps her best friend back home. The strong bond she has with her family starts to crumble and she begins to lie to get what she wants. By the end of the movie, Riley is about to run away.

Anger isn’t always the best leader.

What’s more interesting than what’s happening to Riley on the outside, is what’s going on between Joy and Sadness inside the young girl’s head. While Joy is a kindhearted character at first, it slowly becomes apparent that she isn’t the greatest leader when it comes to Riley’s best interest. She is constantly pushing Sadness out of the way, determined to make only happy memories for Riley. She even draws a circle on the floor and tells Sadness to stay inside it on Riley’s first day of school to keep her from ruining things for the little girl. What Joy doesn’t realize is that sadness is just as important in life. When Joy and Sadness run into Riley’s old imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind), he leads them to Riley’s Imagination, which is under demolition. When Bing Bong’s rocket is tossed into the forgotten memories pit, he is incredibly upset. As one of Riley’s less used memories, he feels as though he’s becoming obsolete and the loss of the rocket just further drives in that idea. Joy tries to cheer him up by acting goofy and telling jokes, but Bing Bong isn’t hearing any of it. He continues to be upset until Sadness walks over and sits next to him. “I’m sorry about your rocket,” she tells him and finally Bing Bong opens up about his fears and grief; how he misses being a part of Riley’s life and all the memories they used to have together. Instead of trying to force Bing Bong to be happy, Sadness validates his feelings. “That must of been really hard,” she tells him and after a good cry, the imaginary friend is able to pick himself up and continue to lead them back to Headquarters. Joy is baffled by Sadness’ success.

Joy and Sadness work together.

The biggest message in this film is, “Embrace your emotions.” It’s great to feel joyful, but it’s also okay to feel sad, angry, fearful or disgusted. What’s wonderful about “Inside Out” is that it isn’t until Sadness is accepted by the other characters that any of them really find any solace. When Joy finally gives up being the leader and gives Sadness free reign over the control board, Riley is able to leave what would have been a dangerous run-away and goes back to her family. Once there, she opens up to her parents about how she wants to be happy for their sake but misses her life back home. The memories that used to bring her joy are now just sad. When she finally allows herself to be upset and her parents are there for her, a new core memory rolls into headquarters. Instead of being one color, it’s part blue and yellow; equal parts sad and joyful. It’s this new memory that fixes “Family Island,” the part of Riley’s personality that stands for her supportive familial bond. It isn’t until Riley accepts the fact that her life is complicated with a mix of different emotions, that she’s able to feel okay again. Afterwards, we see Riley thriving in her new environment. She’s playing Hockey again with her parents cheering her on. Inside of Riley’s head, we see the five emotions working together to help Riley score a goal. Along the walls are dozens of multicolored memories. The emotions have finally learned that each of them have value in Riley’s life. With the major stigma on mental health, this film might be Pixar’s most important project to date. It can be hard to open up a dialogue about our emotions and for children, being emotionally honest is an incredibly important message to instill. “Inside Out” serves as a good example and spring board for parents to talk to their children about the importance of letting yourself feel. Not to mention, it’s an incredibly well crafted story that both kids and adults will enjoy. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much during a children’s film. Films like “Inside Out” spread the message that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Depression isn’t something anyone should be ashamed of. Emotions are something we should be talking in depth about, even at a young age. “Inside Out” provides the resources to do that, making it an incredibly profound and important film in today’s society.

Photos by Disney Pixar.

‘Maleficent 2’ Announced

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Disney fans rejoice! The much loved Maleficent franchise is not over yet. In an exclusive article, Deadline announced that a sequel to the blockbuster hit is in the works. The original film cost a whopping $180 million, but seeing as it brought in $760 million worldwide, it’s no wonder Disney is taking another crack at it. Not to mention it was just a really incredible film.

While little information has been released about the film, a script penned by Linda Woolverton is in the works and Angelina Jolie is rumored to reprise her role. This is a big deal given that the actress typically has a “no-sequel” rule attributed to the Tomb Raider franchise. She hasn’t signed onto the project yet but was once quoted saying, “there might be an opportunity to play [Maleficent] again.” The character was a childhood favorite for her.

There’s nothing to point toward Elle Fanning being involved with the project but Joe Roth will produce again. There is also no word on whether Robert Stromberg will be back directing.

If you ask me, it’s way too soon to release this news. The way things work in Hollywood, nothing is set in stone until the script is locked and that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Fingers crossed this thing actually gets off the ground.

Photo by Disney.

Source: Deadline

‘Night on Bald Mountain’ Scene from ‘Fantasia’ to be a Live-Action Film

One of the most famous scenes from the 1941 Disney film Fantasia, “Night on Bald Mountain”, is going to be a live-action film, the studio announced.

The 11 minute scene was undoubtedly one of the scariest, particularly from the earliest Disney films. The skeletons, goblins, and winged creatures who whirl around the screen certainly terrified me, and I know I wasn’t alone.

The film will surely be terrifying. It is hard to imagine it becoming live-action; my guess is that there will still be quite a bit of CG incorporated.

Disney has tapped Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless to co-write the project. The two writers also worked on Dracula Untold and The Last Witch Hunter together. It makes me a bit nervous, but I think under the direction of Disney, the movie will be worth the watch.

You can see the whole “Night on Bad Mountain” scene below.

Source: THR

Best of 2014: Movies

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

This year’s nominations are…

Best Comic Book Film

  • Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Results here.

Best Straight-to-Video Movie

  • Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • Justice League: War
  • Mudbloods
  • Son of Batman

Results here.

Film of the Year

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Interstellar
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
  • LEGO Movie

Results here.

Best Drama of the Year

  • Birdman
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Fury
  • Noah
  • The Normal Heart

Results here.

Best Horror/Thriller of the Year

  • Gone Girl
  • Horns
  • Nightcrawler
  • The Purge: Anarchy
  • Under the Skin

Results here.

Best Comedy of the Year

  • 22 Jump Street
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • Knights of Badassdom
  • Neighbors
  • Sex Tape

Results here.

Best Sci-Fi/Action of the Year

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Godzilla
  • Interstellar
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction

Results here.

Best Family Flick

  • Big Hero 6
  • Book of Life
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • LEGO Movie
  • Maleficent

Results here.

Best Independent Film

  • Chef
  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness
  • Snowpiercer
  • Wish I Was Here

Results here.

Onto: Best of 2014 – Television

Star Wars Rebels – “Empire Day” S1E8

Sabotage

Star Wars Rebels has reached a pivotal point.  All the basics have been covered.  Who are the rebels?  How do they work as a team?  What are their biggest strengths and weaknesses?  What challenges lie ahead?  We now know the answer to those questions.  So, now begins the true test for Rebels.  Where will Weisman and his team take this series from here?  It’s a defining time for Rebels.  This week’s episode, “Empire Day,” did a lot to give me confidence that the direction this show is headed is a good one.

The Empire may be evil, but they've got style!
The Empire may be evil, but they’ve got style! 

Before the beginning of the episode I thought to myself, “I wonder how Ezra’s Jedi training is progressing?”  Almost as if bending to my exact desires, the opening sequence brought us Kanan instructing Ezra in the ways of The Force.  This scene was well done.  Kanan is turning out to be an excellent mentor.  His insight to The Force is impressive and watching him use that insight in action is consistently cool.

As the training continues it’s obvious that Ezra is struggling and distracted.  We learn that this day in particular is “Empire Day.”  Empire Day is an Imperial celebratory occasion that marks the day the Imperial Empire was established throughout the galaxy.  It is the 15th Empire Day on record, meaning (finally) we have a bit of time-reference.  15 years have passed since Order 66 and the downfall of the Old Republic – a good amount of time has passed since Episode III!

Empire Day is a tough day for Ezra
Empire Day is a tough day for Ezra

What better day to rebel than Empire Day?!  Our heroes feel the same way.  They’ve picked up a new mission to sabotage a brand new type of TIE fighter to be presented at the Empire Day parade on Lothal.  This new line of TIE is similar to Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced X1 – it looks sweet!  It’s almost a shame that the rebels have to blow it to bits.  Watching Kanan and crew carry out their mission jogged my memory of the plot in the episode prior – who is giving the rebels their missions?  The name we got last episode was Fulcrum.  I held out all episode long hoping there would be some mention of what happened to him.  I’m very frustrated to say that I did not get my wish.  I’ve said it before and I’ll continue saying it until it’s fixed: The primary hurdle in making Rebels great (as opposed to just “good”) is continuity!!!  So far the continuity has been decent, though verging on mediocre.  So much is to be gained by simply stringing these episodes together in a clear and simple fashion.

The rebels have a new ally - Tseebo!
The rebels have a new ally – Tseebo!

In the midst of the rebel’s destructive scheming both Agent Kallus and The Inquisitor are on Lothal working an assignment.  Surprisingly enough, their mission has nothing to do with Ezra, Zeb or any of the rebels.  They’re looking for a Rodian named Tseebo.  What’s so important about a single Rodian that would warrant the attention of BOTH Kallus and The Inquisitor?!  More on that in a bit.

After successfully carrying out their mission the rebels search for a place to lay low.  Ezra offers to take them all to a location where they’ll be safe for a while.  We come to find that this place is Ezra’s old home.  We get major insight to Ezra’s past this episode.  He used to live here with both his parents who were outspoken anti-Imperialists.  “Used to” being the key words.  Ezra’s parents were abducted by the Empire for hosting a secret, rebel radio show on Lothal.  We also learn that Empire Day is Ezra’s birthday!  By way of chance (or perhaps The Force!!), on-the-run Tseebo has also chosen to hide in Ezra’s old home.  We learn that Tseebo was a good family friend of the Bridgers and that he has joined the intelligence branch of the Empire.  Only now he is on the run.  It’s unclear why he’s running, but that’s mostly because he’s a little unstable and incoherent due to the faulty cybernetic headpiece attached to his skull.  All this could be the lead into the defining event of Rebels.

Kanan defending his team from the persistent Agent Kallus
Kanan defending his team from the persistent Agent Kallus

With historic ties to Ezra and potential for obtaining valuable Imperial secrets, the rebels opt to help Tseebo escape off world.  An exciting chase takes place as Kallus, The Inquisitor and numerous Imperial troops team up to try and thwart the getaway.  I can’t get over how awesome The Inquisitor looks.  This week he dons a flight suit with a bad ass helmet and it took all I had to not drool all over the remote.

Darth Vader could pick up a few style tips from The Inquisitor!
Darth Vader could pick up a few style tips from The Inquisitor!

The extraction is just barely successful and the rebels shoot out into space.  But not before Tseebo encounters a brief moment of lucidity and realizes where he and who he is with.  He recognizes Ezra and excitedly exclaims that he knows what’s happened to his parents!  That’s where the episode ends – a true-blue cliffhanger!  What I like most about this is now Weisman is forced to deliver continuity.  Maybe this is a statement from the Rebels production team that they understand what this series needs and that they plan to deliver.  In any case the trajectory is positive.

“Empire Day” scores an A this week.  The entire episode felt deeply rooted in the themes of the original trilogy.  This was an episode that focused on a story and an upcoming journey.  It was accentuated with action and suspense and it left me wanting more.  We’re getting close to the home stretch for season 1 – fingers crossed for a worthy buildup and conclusion!