Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fukushima to Present Anime Documentary Films About the Great East Japan Earthquake


Fukushima to Present Documentary Animation Film of "Five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake"

"Letters to the Future -On Our Way There-“ - Special Website: http://miraitegami.jp/en/

Dispelling Harmful Rumors and Showing Current Reality of Disaster-Stricken Fukushima

FUKUSHIMA, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Fukushima prefectural government released a series of documentary animations entitled "Letters to the Future -On Our Way There-" on February 15, 2016. Presented as an anthology based on true stories, the animations depict events that occurred after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the various emotions experienced by people living in the prefecture. The animation films are available at a specially set up website: http://miraitegami.jp/en/

    “Letters to the Future -On Our Way There”

Five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Fukushima on March 11, 2011. Although reconstruction has progressed with the rebuilding of devastated buildings and such, the area is still burdened with a number of problems including harmful rumors that have damaged the reputation of the area's agricultural and marine products. In order to eliminate these problems, the prefecture has decided to introduce the world to the "light" and "shadow" of today's Fukushima through Japan's world-renowned culture of animation.

Production of the released animation was handled by “Fukushima GAINAX CO., Ltd.,” a new company established on January 16, 2015 by “GAINAX CO., Ltd.,” the studio behind Japan's popular anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” The animation consists of 10 stories based on real-life episodes.

For instance, “Atashi no Sensei (My Teacher)” is modeled after a high school teacher who grows his hair out after the disaster in a promise with his students to never forget feelings towards home, nor painful memories.

Another episode, “Odaka no hirugohan (Lunch at Odaka)” is modeled after a diner restaurant that provides meals to residents temporarily returning from decontamination or other such work in the evacuated area.

Each episode begins with a storyteller voiced by a popular actor Dean Fujioka. The support of such famous actors has helped the animations capture widespread interest across Japan.

March 11 of this year marked the fifth year since the disaster, and on this occasion the animations toured Japan's six major cities in nationwide screenings intended to dispel reputational damage from harmful rumors.


About the Great East Japan Earthquake
On March 11, 2011 at approximately 14:46 JST, the largest earthquake in recorded history in Japan occurred offshore of Sanriku in the Pacific Ocean. The earthquake had a magnitude of 9.0, killing 15,894 people in Japan and leaving an additional 2562 people unaccounted for. Fukushima prefecture was subjected to severe devastation due to the tsunami triggered by the earthquake, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster, and other events.

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VIZ Media to Publish "Sushi: Jiro Gastronomy" Fall 2016

VIZ MEDIA ACQUIRES THE NORTH AMERICAN PUBLISHING RIGHTS FOR SUSHI: JIRO GASTRONOMY

Concise And Comprehensive Guidebook By Japan’s Most Famous Sushi Chef Will Debut This Fall

San Francisco, CA – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, announces plans to publish a unique new culinary guidebook this Fall with the release of SUSHI: JIRO GASTRONOMY.

Succinct yet comprehensive, SUSHI: JIRO GASTRONOMY is scheduled for print release in October 2016 from the VIZ Media imprint and takes readers on a vivid journey through the delectable seasonal offerings at Japan’s most famous sushi restaurant, Sushi Sukiyabashi Jiro.

Jiro Ono is the master chef and owner of the world renowned, Michelin-rated three-star restaurant located in the Ginza district of Tokyo. The guidebook features descriptions of each type of sushi served in their omakase tasting menu, with commentary from Jiro Ono, and are accompanied by mouth-watering full-page photos. Readers will also learn the seasons in which the sushi is best served, the correct methods of eating it with either fingers or chopsticks, and how and when to use condiments. Small, portable, and stylish, SUSHI: JIRO GASTRONOMY is the distillation of a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and a great gift for sushi lovers.

Born in Shizuoka Prefecture on the coast of Japan, master chef Jiro Ono began apprenticing at a young age. In 1965 he opened Sushi Sukiyabashi Jiro, widely considered to be one of the best sushi restaurants in the world, and in 2011 he was the subject of the award-winning documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

For more information on other titles available from VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.


About VIZ Media, LLC
Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premiere company in the field of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular digital magazine WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan's largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.

Learn more about VIZ Media and its properties at www.VIZ.com.

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Negromancer News Bits and Bites from March 27th to 31st, 2016 - Update #24

Support Leroy on Patreon.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Disney is developing a live-action film based on Snow White's sister, "Rose Red."

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POLITICS - From YahooPolitics:  Matt Bai asks, "Are we getting the leaders we deserve?"  I'm scared to answer that question.

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MOVIES - From TheTrackingBoard:  Is Hollywood on the brink of a civil war over Sean Parker's "Screening Room."

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MOVIES - From EcoWatch:  Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio speaks on saving the Leuser Ecosystem.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Jonah Hill preps his directorial debut.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart are in talks to star in a remake of the 2011 French film, "The Intouchables."

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MOVIES - From TheTrackingBoard:  Oscar Isaac is reunited with director Alex Garland for the film, "Annihilation."  Garland directed Isaac in "Ex Machina."

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Oscar-winning screenwriter, Sofia Coppola, to write and direct a remake of "The Beguiled," a 1971 drama that starred Clint Eastwood.

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TELEVISION - From Mashable:  Leonardo DiCaprio texted Jennifer Lopez during the latest "Carpool Karaoke," with James Corden.

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SPORTS - From WashPost:  The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a secret video scandal that is connected to Iggy Azalea.

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COMICS - From CinemaBlend:  Fans start petition to remove Zack Snyder from the Warner Bros. DC Comics films - a waste of time for sure.

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MUSIC - From TMZ:  Elton John sued for sexual harrassment, and it sound ridiculous.

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OBITS - From Variety:  The actress Patty Duke has died at the age of 69; Tuesday, March 29, 2016.  Duke won a supporting actress Oscar for playing "Helen Keller" in "The Miracle Worker."   She also starred in the 1960s sitcom, "The Patty Duke Show."

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MOVIES - From IndieWire:  Woody Allen's new film, "Cafe Society" to open the 69th Cannes Film Festival.

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COMICS - From ScreenDaily: Disney to screen "Captain America: Civil War" on April 13 at Cinemacon in Las Vegas.

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OBITS - From TVLine:  The actor James Noble has died at the age of 94, Monday, March 28, 2016.  Noble was best known for playing the role of "Governor Eugene Gatling" on the ABC television series, "Benson" (1979 to 1986).

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POLITICS - From RSN:  Obama failed on his clemency promises.

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BOX OFFICE - From Variety:  With the actual numbers in for the 3/25 to 3/27/2016 box office weekend, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" wins with a haul of $166.1 million.

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TELEVISION - From Variety:  Viacome is "re-imagining" MTV.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Jason Blum of "Paranormal Activity" and "The Purge" talks the future of horror films.

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TELEVISION - From TVLine:  Norman Reedus teases about "The Walking Dead" Season 6 finale.

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TELEVISION - From SlashFilm:  "Thunderbirds Are Go" goes to WonderCon.

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BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  Early estimates place "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" as the winner of the Easter 2016 weekend box office.

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COMICS - From SlashFilm:  James Wan, director of "The Conjuring" films, talks about directing Warner's "Aquaman" film.

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COMICS - From CBR:  DC Entertainment reveals creator line-ups for its "Rebirth" relaunch.

COMICS - From CBR:  DC Entertainment launches talent development workshops for new writers and artists.

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COMICS - From CinemaBlend:  Tyrese Gibson believes that he has made headway with Warner Bros. in convincing them that he is there new Green Lantern.




"Batman v Superman" Dawn of of $500 Billion

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” Flies Past Half a Billion Dollars

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Super Hero Battle Hits the $500 Million Mark at the Global Box Office in Only Its Fifth Day of Release

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” continues to win at the worldwide box office. Soaring past $500 million after only five days in theaters with a total of $501.9 million and counting, the film joins a very rare group of movies that cross half a billion dollars in their first week of release. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

    “These incredible numbers are building momentum for not only this movie, but for the upcoming slate of DC Super Hero films.”

“We’re so proud that ‘Batman v Superman’ has become the must-see event film of the season for fans the world over,” Veronika Kwan Vandenberg stated. “These incredible numbers are building momentum for not only this movie, but for the upcoming slate of DC Super Hero films.”

The domestic box office total now stands at more than $193.3 million, and the international figure is $308.6 million.

From director Zack Snyder comes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing.

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with each other, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it has ever known before.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams (“American Hustle”) as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”) as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”) as Alfred, and Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film was produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers.

Snyder’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Larry Fong (“300,” “Watchmen”) and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos (“300: Rise of an Empire”), and from his “Man of Steel” team, editor David Brenner, costume designer Michael Wilkinson, visual effects supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin, and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”) working in conjunction with composer Junkie XL (“Mad Max: Fury Road”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film can be seen in IMAX, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, 3D and in 2D, and is being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

batmanvsupermandawnofjustice.com

batmanvsupermandawnofjustice.net

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VIZ Media Makes Announcements at 2016 Anime Boston

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES EXCITING NEW PUBLISHING ACQUISITIONS AT 2016 ANIME BOSTON

Leading Manga Publisher Expands Roster With A New ONE PIECE Box Set, Deluxe Release Of Junji Ito’s TOMIE, And The Launch Of PLATINUM END And JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 3 – STARDUST CRUSADERS

San Francisco, CA – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, thrilled a packed audience of fans during its panel held this Saturday at the 2016 Anime Boston convention as it detailed exciting new manga (graphic novel) publishing acquisitions.

VIZ Media previewed each of the new titles, which include the latest box set release of the epic high seas pirate adventure, ONE PIECE, as well as the print launch of PLATINUM END, the new dark fantasy series by the creators of DEATH NOTE. Additional manga releases joining the VIZ Media catalog include a hardcover deluxe edition of JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 3 – STARDUST CRUSADERS and the return of horror master Junji Ito’s long-awaited debut series, TOMIE, which will be published in a special, deluxe omnibus hardcover edition after being out of print for many years.

Additional information on each of these titles will be announced in the near future.

New Fall & Winter 2016 VIZ Media Publishing Acquisitions

ONE PIECE BOX SET 3 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens · Debuts Fall 2016

The third ONE PIECE Manga Box Set contains the arcs Thriller Bark, Sabaody, Impel Down, Paramount War, and New World, which make up vols. 47-70 of the epic pirate series. This new set offers a significant savings over buying the volumes individually, along with an exclusive premium 48-page mini-comic and double-sided color poster.

PLATINUM END, VOL. 1 · Rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers · Debuts Fall 2016

Digital Chapters Available Now For $0.99

Dive into the brand new series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the legendary manga duo that created DEATH NOTE. As his classmates celebrate their middle school graduation, troubled Mirai is mired in darkness. But his battle is just beginning when he receives some salvation from above in the form of an angel. Now Mirai is pitted against 12 other chosen humans in a battle in which the winner becomes the next god of the world. Mirai has an angel in his corner, but he may need to become a devil to survive.

JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 3 – STARDUST CRUSADERS, VOL. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · Debuts Fall 2016

The legendary Shonen Jump series is now available in deluxe editions featuring color pages and newly drawn cover art! JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE is a groundbreaking manga famous for its outlandish characters, wild humor and frenetic battles. As the beginning of the Stardust Crusaders Arc opens, a fiendish villain once thought to be dead has resurfaced and become even more powerful! To fight this evil, the aging Joseph Joestar enlists the help of his hot-blooded grandson, Jotaro Joestar. Together they embark on a perilous adventure that will take them around the world!

TOMIE: COMPLETE DELUXE EDITION · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · Debuts Winter 2016

Horror manga master Junji Ito’s long-awaited debut series, Tomie, returns in a new, deluxe omnibus hardcover edition! Tomie Kawakami is a femme fatale with long black hair and a beauty mark just under her left eye. She can seduce nearly any man, and drive them to murder as well, even though the victim is often Tomie herself. While one lover seeks to keep her for himself, another grows terrified of the immortal succubus. But soon they realize no matter how many times they kill her, the world will never be free of Tomie.

For additional information on manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.


About VIZ Media, LLC
Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premiere company in the field of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular digital magazine WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan's largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.

Learn more about VIZ Media and its properties at www.VIZ.com.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Nickelodeon Announces Release Dates for Animated "The Loud House"


10 SISTERS? NO PROBLEM! Nickelodeon’s New Original Animated Comedy Series, The Loud House, Opens Its Doors, Monday, May 2, at 5:00p.m. (ET/PT)

Nickelodeon’s New Original Animated Comedy Series, "The Loud House," Opens Its Doors, Monday, May 2, at 5:00p.m. (ET/PT)

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--10 sisters and one brother bring a whole lot of havoc in Nickelodeon’s newest animated comedy The Loud House, debuting Monday, May 2, 2016, at 5:00p.m. (ET/PT). Inspired by creator Chris Savino’s life growing up in family of 10 kids, the 26-episodes series follows Lincoln Loud and his 10 sisters as he gives an inside look at what it takes to survive the chaos of a huge family. A first-look at full-length episodes from the series will be available Friday, April 1, 2016, and Friday, April 15, 2016, on Nick.com, the Nick App, and Nick On Demand. New episodes will premiere weekdays at 5:00p.m. (ET/PT) through May on Nickelodeon. The Loud House is produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.

The Loud House follows 11-year-old Lincoln, the only boy in a family with 10 sisters who each have unique personalities: Lori, Leni, Luna, Luan, Lynn, Lucy, Lola, Lana, Lisa, and Lily. With his best bud Clyde, Lincoln always comes up with a plan to stay one step ahead of the chaos, but whether or not it works is where the adventures begin.

In the premiere episode “Left in the Dark,” Lincoln wants to watch the finale of his favorite show, but in order to do that, he must beat each sister to the couch first. Then, in “Get the Message,” after Lincoln leaves a scathing voicemail on sister Lori’s phone, he realizes he has to erase it before she hears it.

The Loud House is based on an animated short of the same name from Nickelodeon’s annual Animated Shorts Program. It is the first series to be greenlit out of the global program which is designed to mine and cultivate a new generation of creative talent. Created and executive produced by Chris Savino (Rocko’s Modern Life, The Powerpuff Girls), The Loud House voice cast includes: Grant Palmer as Lincoln Loud; Caleel Harris as Clyde McBride; Catherine Taber as Lori; Liliana Mumy as Leni; Nika Futterman as Luna; Cristina Pucelli as Luan; Jessica DiCicco as Lynn and Lucy; Grey Griffin as Lola, Lana and Lily; and Lara Jill Miller as Lisa.

Viewers can visit the The Loud House page on Nick.com and the Nick App to learn more about the show and its characters, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the series. Beginning Monday, April 25, witness some crazy antics in the new game “Welcome to The Loud House,” where users can place Lincoln in different environments with any four of his sisters to manipulate a fun mix of hilarious and unexpected results. Episodes of The Loud House will be available on Nick.com and the Nick App, along with platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Google Play, Vudu, Playstation, and Nick On Demand.


About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 36th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

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"GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends" Honors 2016 Special Merit Awards Recipients

The Recording Academy® to Honor 2016 Special Merit Awards Recipients with New Television Special "GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends®" as Part of Landmark "Great Performances" Series on PBS

Awards Ceremony and Tribute Concert to Take Place Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Recording Academy® will honor its 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients with an awards ceremony and live tribute concert on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at The Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Dubbed "GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends," the event will be produced in partnership with THIRTEEN as part of the "Great Performances" series on PBS, set to air later this year. Led by music industry icon Don Was as musical director, the tribute concert will feature rare performances by honorees and never-seen renditions by those they've inspired. Tickets for the event will be on sale via Ticketmaster beginning Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 10:00 am PST.

    “The contributions of our honorees are innumerable, and we look forward to an unforgettable evening as we pay tribute to their exceptional accomplishments.”

This year's Lifetime Achievement Award honorees include Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt, and RUN DMC. John Cage, Fred Foster, and Chris Strachwitz are Trustees Award honorees; and EMT and Dr. Harvey Fletcher are Technical GRAMMY® Award recipients. Also being honored is Phillip Riggs, this year's recipient of the GRAMMY Foundation Music Educator Award. Performers will be announced shortly.

Previously held during GRAMMY Week, this is the first time that The Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a stand-alone event and musical tribute. In addition to the tribute concert, special celebrity guests will present recipients their award statues and guests will enjoy never-before-seen video packages celebrating each of the honorees' contributions to the music industry and our cultural heritage.

"For many years now, we've wanted to honor Special Merit Awards recipients on a larger scale with an event like 'GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends,' so I'm delighted to partner with THIRTEEN Productions and PBS to bring this worthy celebration to a bigger stage," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "The contributions of our honorees are innumerable, and we look forward to an unforgettable evening as we pay tribute to their exceptional accomplishments."

A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, "GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends" will be written by David Wild and directed for television by David Horn, with Mitch Owgang as producer, and David Horn and Neil Portnow as executive producers.

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in areas other than performance. Both awards are determined by vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by vote of The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing® Advisory Council and Chapter Committees, and are ratified by The Academy's Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.

About the Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:

Ruth Brown* began her musical career in the church choir at the tender age of 4. A singer/songwriter, record producer, composer, and actress noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music, Brown became one of the undisputed architects of the genre. She recorded a number of hit songs, including "I'll Wait For You," "I Know," "5-10-15 Hours," and "Mambo Baby." She later went on to have a successful theater career.

Celia Cruz* was one of the most popular salsa singers and performers in history. Known internationally as the "Queen of Salsa," the Cuban-American Cruz was a larger-than life-personality. She recorded 23 gold albums and was a recipient of the United States National Medal of Arts. Cruz received three GRAMMY Awards and four Latin GRAMMY Awards.

Six-time GRAMMY winners Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most important and innovative contemporary pop/R&B musical forces of the 20th century. Members Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Johnny Graham, Ralph Johnson, Al McKay, Fred White, Maurice White*, Verdine White, and Andrew Woolfolk built the group's distinctive signature sound, which has remained profoundly influential. Successfully breaking down all musical genre boundaries since forming in 1969, they recorded seven #1 R&B singles and eight Top 10 pop albums. Earth Wind & Fire earned more than 50 gold and platinum album certifications and more than 90 million albums worldwide, placing them on the list of best-selling musical artists of all time.

One of the most revered and idiosyncratic figures in jazz, Herbie Hancock has been at the forefront almost every development in electronic and acoustic jazz and R&B. A stylistically diverse and ever-intriguing canon of songs, including "Maiden Voyage" and "Rockit," has helped earn him 14 GRAMMY Awards during his impressive five-decade-plus professional solo career.

Marty Balin, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden*, Paul Kantner*, Jorma Kaukonen, and Grace Slick comprised Jefferson Airplane, pioneers of counterculture-era psychedelic rock. Emerging from the San Francisco scene to achieve international mainstream success, performing at the three most famous American rock festivals of the 1960s — Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969), and Altamont (1969). Their 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow is regarded as one of the key recordings of the "Summer of Love." Two hits from that album, "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit," are among Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

With roots in the Los Angeles country and folk-rock scenes, Linda Ronstadt is one of the most popular interpretive singers of all time, earning a string of platinum-selling albums and Top 40 singles. Throughout the 1970s, her laid-back pop never lost sight of her folky roots, yet as Ronstadt moved into the 1980s, she began to change her sound with the times, adding new wave influences. Her later years saw the 10-time GRAMMY winner exploring traditional pop, Latin, and musical theater.

RUN DMC, comprising of Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell*, and Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons, were one of the most influential and best-known acts in the history of rap. They were the first group in the genre to have a gold album (RUN DMC., 1984) and to be nominated for a GRAMMY Award. They were also the first hip-hop group to earn a platinum record (King Of Rock, 1985), and the first to earn multiplatinum certification (Raising Hell, 1986).

About the Trustees Award Honorees:

John Cage* was an avant-garde composer whose inventive works and unorthodox ideas profoundly influenced the entire music industry. His innovative ideas on composition and performance influenced a broad spectrum of artists including fellow musicians, dancers, choreographers, painters and more. Cage remained on the leading edge of both playful and profound experimentalism for the greater part of his career. One of Cage's best-known and most sonically intriguing innovations, the prepared piano, has become an almost commonplace compositional resource.

Music entrepreneur Fred Foster contributed a great deal to the Nashville music scene of the 1960s and 1970s as a producer and as the head of one of the city's strongest independent labels, Monument Records. He is best known for producing many classic hits by Roy Orbison. He also played a vital role in the career of Kris Kristofferson, and worked with Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ray Stevens, among others. From 1960 to 1964, Foster produced the overwhelming bulk of hit songs with which Orbison is associated: "Only The Lonely," "In Dreams," "Running Scared," "Blue Bayou," "Blue Angel," "Dream Baby," "Crying," "Candy Man," "Mean Woman Blues," "It's Over," and "Oh, Pretty Woman."

Chris Strachwitz has made his living celebrating the music he loves – music that forms the fabric of both American and international culture. He is the founder of Arhoolie Records and produces much of the content he releases. To blues fans he is a legend, releasing seminal works by Mississippi Fred McDowell, Mance Lipscomb, Charlie Musselwhite, Rebirth Brass Band, Big Joe Williams, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin' Hopkins, Earl Hooker, and Elizabeth Cotten, and many others. Strachwitz also produces Cajun music, highlighted by his releases by Clifton Chenier, and also focused on Mexican recordings, especially Norteño music.

About the Technical GRAMMY Award Recipients:

Known as the father of stereophonic sound, Dr. Harvey Fletcher* was a prominent physicist, credited with inventing the hearing aid and the first audiometer. Through his research, he was able to document and demonstrate the spatial effects of sound, which he called auditory perspective, or stereo. However, it was his profound interest in music that led Fletcher to partner with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and this collaboration produced more than 100 stereo recordings. In his tests, listeners were often unable to distinguish the difference between the live orchestra and the recordings.

EMT (Elektro-Mess-Technik) was founded in Berlin in 1940, originally manufacturing high-end pro measuring devices and turntables for broadcast, television, and recording studios. In 1957, the company made a huge breakthrough with the release of the EMT 140 Reverberation Unit — the first plate reverb. Upon its introduction, the EMT 140 Reverberation Unit quickly garnered popularity, providing a smoother substitute to spring reverb systems, simplifying the process of affecting recorded sound while providing the engineer with a more versatile and customizable interface than acoustic chambers. With the plates' introduction, the sound of popular music changed dramatically as evident in English recordings made at Abbey Road by the Beatles and Pink Floyd, as well as RCA Victor recordings by Nashville’s Chet Atkins and many others.

*Denotes posthumous award


About The Recording Academy
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education, and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, "like" The GRAMMYs on Facebook and join The GRAMMYs' social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.

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BET Announces "Black Girls Rock! 2016" Honorees; Including "The Walking Dead's" Danai Gurira

Rihanna, Shonda Rhimes, Gladys Knight, Danai Gurira, Amandla Stenberg, and Black Lives Matter Founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi Celebrated for Their Black Girl Magic™ as This Year’s “Black Girls Rock!™” 2016 Celebrants

Brandy, Monica, Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day, Marsha Ambrosius, Corinne Bailey Rae and Living Legend Celebrant Gladys Knight Confirmed to Rock the Stage During “Black Girls Rock!™” 2016

Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black Girls Rock!™” Will Tape April 1, 2016 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

#BLACKGIRLSROCK

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BET Networks is thrilled to reveal the empowering celebrants of “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016:

  • Rihanna, Rock Star Award
  • Shonda Rhimes, Shot Caller Award
  • Gladys Knight, Living Legend Award
  • Danai Guira, Star Power Award
  • Amandla Stenberg, Young, Gifted & Black
  • Black Lives Matter Founders: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, Community Change
  • Agent Award

Additionally, Brandy, Monica, Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day, Marsha Ambrosius, Corinne Bailey Rae will be hitting the stage as performers for “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016 along with “Living Legend” Celebrant Gladys Knight gracing the stage for an unforgettable performance. This year the dynamic “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” movement, founded by Beverly Bond, celebrates its 10 year anniversary and its sixth televised broadcast on BET Networks. The NAACP Award winning “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” on BET continues to represent a revolutionary landmark in media as it delivers edifying, entertaining and inspiring content honoring the nexus of achievements made by powerful Black women and girls. Tracee Ellis Ross will return as host of the event at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Tune in to watch “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016 on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 8:00 P.M./ET.

This years’ presenters for “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016 will feature exceptional Black women who rock including BET’s “Chasing Destiny” star Kelly Rowland, songstresses Erykah Badu, Dionne Warwick, Spiritual Life coach Iyanla Vanzant, activist Bethann Hardison and actresses Naturi Naughton, Tatyana Ali, Teyonah Parris and Yara Shahidi.

Coca-Cola® is this year’s sponsor of the M.A.D (Making A Difference) GIRLS, an honor bestowed upon young girls who strive for excellence within their communities. Each year, “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” celebrates dynamic young women and girls who have been recognized as change agents due to their resolve to come up with enterprises and ideas that promote progressive change in their communities. The 2016 “Making a Difference” a.k.a. “M.A.D. GIRLS,” are Marley Dias, Maya Penn and Haile Thomas, young women who remind us that there is not an age requirement for community action and social responsibility.

For updates or more information about BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™ visit http://www.BET.com/blackgirlsrock and www.blackgirlsrock.com

Join the conversation on social media by logging on to our social media platforms:

• On Twitter by using hashtag: #BlackGirlsRock; follow us @BET and @BLACKGIRLSROCK

• On Facebook by liking the fan pages at facebook.com/BET and facebook.com/BLACKGIRLSROCK

• On Instagram @betnetworks and @BLACKGIRLSROCK


ABOUT BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™:
Founded by celebrity DJ, model and executive producer, Beverly Bond, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™ is a multifaceted movement dedicated to shifting the culture of media images depicting Black women and girls. Since 2006, BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ has been committed to empowering women through media and enriching girls through leadership, education, and positive identity development programs. For additional information on BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™, visit http://www.blackgirlsrock.com.

ABOUT BET NETWORKS:
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

ABOUT NEW JERSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER:
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey -- where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over seven million visitors (including more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit http://www.njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.

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VIZ Media Announces Two New Art Books

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLISHING ACQUISITIONS AT C2E2 CONVENTION

Leading Manga Publisher Previews The Upcoming Release Of New Art Books YOSHITAKA AMANO: ILLUSTRATIONS And THE ART OF CASTLE IN THE SKY

San Francisco, CA – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, excited fans this past weekend at Chicago’s premier pop culture and comics convention – C2E2 – as it announced a pair of notable new publishing acquisitions.

During the VIZ Media Industry Panel held this past Saturday, the company thrilled a packed audience as it previewed the upcoming Summer release of YOSHITAKA AMANO: ILLUSTRATIONS, a vivid new art book presenting a curated selection of works by one of Japan’s most famous illustrators and character designers.

VIZ Media also spotlighted the latest forthcoming addition to the Studio Ghibli Library – THE ART OF CASTLE IN THE SKY. This comprehensive book traces the animated film’s development from conception to final cut and will be the final Art Book edition to complete the Studio Ghibli feature film collection. THE ART OF CASTLE IN THE SKY’s publication in October also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the film’s original release.

New Summer & Fall 2016 Art Book Acquisitions:

YOSHITAKA AMANO: ILLUSTRATIONS · MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN · Debuting Summer 2016

Since beginning his career at age fifteen with the legendary animation studio Tatsunoko Production, Yoshitaka Amano has become one of the most acclaimed artists and illustrators at work today. Displaying a rare range, his oeuvre encompasses everything from minutely observed still-life sketches to full-color paintings on an epic scale, from children’s storybooks to dark adult fantasy, from theatrical productions to video games to sculpture to commercial design. YOSHITAKA AMANO: ILLUSTRATIONS offers a concise survey of this remarkable artist’s career to date. It includes selected full-color pieces for series such as Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D and Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets), as well as for Amano’s own creations like Hero and N.Y. Salad. Packed with sketches, commentary, and interviews, this beautiful volume opens a window into the world of Amano.

ART OF CASTLE IN THE SKY · MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Debuting Fall 2016

Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky was the first feature film produced by the legendary Studio Ghibli. Sheeta, a girl who has the power to defy gravity, is on the run from pirates when she meets the young inventor Pazu. Together they explore the secrets of Laputa, a flying city constructed by a long-lost race of people. All of Miyazaki’s major themes – the power of flight, the bravery of young women, and a world wrecked by change – are captured with beautiful animation and joyous storytelling.

For additional information on art book and manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit www.VIZ.com.


About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SuBLime Announces the Publication of the Two-Volume "Midnight Stranger"


GLOBAL YAOI IMPRINT SUBLIME ANNOUNCES WORLDWIDE DEBUT OF BOHRA NAONO’S SUPERNATURAL ROMANCE MIDNIGHT STRANGER

New 2-Volume Series About The Passion Between A God And His Goat-Spirit Servant Launches In Print This Spring

San Francisco, CA – SuBLime, the leading global English-language yaoi manga (graphic novel) publisher, delivers a new supernatural series from highly requested author Bohra Naono with the launch of MIDNIGHT STRANGER on April 12th, 2016.

The paranormal fantasy series about the love between a god and his goat-spirit servant will be released in print and is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers. Each volume of the 2-volume MIDNIGHT STRANGER series will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN. The second and concluding volume of the series is scheduled for release later this year.

In MIDNIGHT STRANGER, Roi, a black goat spirit, is getting bullied when out of nowhere he’s rescued by the beautiful fire god Xiu. Xiu gives Roi the ability to take human form, and a grateful Roi decides to serve Xiu as his new master. Now by Xiu’s side every day, Roi wishes to become more than just his servant. Painfully aware of just how ugly he is, Roi believes Xiu could never care about him, and one day something happens to bring Xiu's wrath down on Roi. What must he do to gain the fire god’s favor?

“Manga creator Bohra Naono has drawn wide praise for her previously published English titles Yokai’s Hunger and SuBLime’s very own THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN. Because of this, readers have consistently requested we publish more of her work, and we think they will be pleased with this new release,” says SuBLime Editor Jennifer LeBlanc. “We are excited to expand the SuBLime catalog with this new series and look forward to fans of Bohra Naono adding it to their own collections.”

Yaoi manga artist/creator Bohra Naono has created over twenty manga, some of which also have been adapted into popular drama CDs. She has also published several doujinshi (independent comics) under the circle name “NAIFU.” Naono's previous English-language releases include Yokai's Hunger and Three Wolves Mountain (published by SuBLime; rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers). To find out more about Bohra Naono, please visit her website at www.bnlyz.com.

For up-to-date news and release information, please visit the SuBLime website at www.SuBLimeManga.com, or follow SuBLime on Twitter at @SuBLimeManga, on Facebook at facebook.com/SuBLimeManga, and on Tumblr at sublimemanga.tumblr.com/.


About SuBLime
SuBLime is a global yaoi/boys’ love manga publisher presenting English-speaking fans everywhere with a broad selection of high quality titles. SuBLime will offer titles digitally worldwide available at www.SuBLimeManga.com, with many available in Download-to-Own format, and selections in print also available in English-language editions worldwide.

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Disney Sets Dates for "D23 Expo 2017"

All of Disney’s Wonderful Worlds Come Together at D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—July 14–16, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif.

Advance Tickets on Sale July 14, 2016, for the Biggest Disney Fan Event Ever

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--All the magic and excitement of the past, present, and future of Disney entertainment will come together once again when D23: The Official Disney Fan Club presents D23 Expo 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center the weekend of July 14–16, 2017. Each of Disney’s magical worlds will unite under one roof to celebrate what’s new and what’s on the horizon from theme parks, television, music, gaming, and films, including Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel.

Highlights planned for D23 Expo include the Disney Legends Ceremony, which honors the talented men and women who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy; an all-new exhibit curated by the Walt Disney Archives; D23 Expo’s costume contest, Mousequerade, showcasing the most creative designs by fans; the D23 Expo Emporium, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, merchandise, and more; and the D23 Expo Design Challenge. (Details on the Design Challenge and Mousequerade will be forthcoming.)

The 2017 Expo will feature a massive show floor full of immersive experiences and special opportunities to see what’s next for Disney around the world—and guests may run into their favorite Disney stars, characters, Imagineers, animators, and filmmakers. StagePass, the popular ticket distribution system that allows attendees to obtain guaranteed seats for some of Expo’s most popular presentations, and StorePass, which allows priority entry to select shopping venues at the event, will once again enhance the guest experience. Hall D23, the popular presentation and performance venue featuring more than 7,000 seats, will return, as will Stage 23, Stage 28, and Center Stage.

The fifth event follows the success of D23 Expo 2015, which drew tens of thousands of Disney fans for three star-studded days and nights. Guests were treated to appearances by such celebrities as Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Evans, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Dwayne Johnson and watched performances by Ne-Yo, Sabrina Carpenter, the cast of Teen Beach 2 and stars of Disney’s shows on Broadway. Guests previewed costumes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and were the first to hear about the new Star Wars-themed lands coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. They also enjoyed a look back at Disney’s rich history through extraordinary panels, presentations, and exhibits and discovered the newest entertainment, technology, and products coming from Disney.

Advance tickets for D23 Expo 2017 will go on sale at D23Expo.com beginning July 14, 2016. D23 Members will receive special pricing on both one- and three-day tickets to the event, which is open to the general public. D23 Gold and Charter Members will also be entitled to special benefits at the 2017 Expo. Gold Members will also have an opportunity to purchase the Sorcerer Package, which provides a host of special benefits and amenities. Ticket prices will be announced this summer.


About D23 Expo
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. Presentations, talent, and schedule are subject to change. For the latest D23 Expo news, visit D23Expo.com. To join the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 on Twitter and use #D23Expo.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a member-exclusive website at D23.com; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($74.99), Gold Family Membership ($99.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

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Freddie Mercury Returns as a Figure from Tamashii Nations


BLUEFIN ROCKS MUSIC FANS WITH THE RELEASE OF A NEW FIGUARTS FREDDIE MERCURY FIGURE FROM TAMASHII NATIONS

Savor The Debut Of A Stunningly Detailed And Fully Poseable Recreation Of The Legendary Queen Singer As He Appeared At Famous 1986 Wembley Arena Concert

Anaheim, CA – Bluefin, the leading North American distributor of toys, collectibles, and hobby merchandise from Japan, Hong Kong and more, proudly announces the forthcoming release of the newest exciting addition to the popular Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts line –singer/front man, Freddie Mercury, of the celebrated rock band, Queen.

The extraordinary highly detailed figure captures the legendary performer in his iconic yellow leather jacket and will take music fans and collectors straight back in time to Queen’s famous 1986 Wembley Stadium live concert.

The Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts Freddie Mercury is scheduled for release in May 2016 and stands nearly 6 inches tall. The figure will carry an MSRP of $55.99 and will be available from authorized Bluefin retailers nationwide and also from a variety of leading online outlets. Pre-orders are available now.

For its newest release, Tamashii Nations integrates advanced S.H. Figuarts joint technology to give maximum articulation to recreate all of Freddie Mercury’s dynamic on-stage moves. Cutting edge digital facial coloring technology was also used to capture every realistic detail and nuance of the singer’s face. The set includes interchangeable hands (x6), interchangeable faces (x2), microphone, and short-style microphone stand.

Freddie Mercury is one of rock and roll’s greatest singers and front men. Widely known for his flamboyant style, stage moves and powerful voice, Mercury wrote and performed a variety of hit songs for Queen including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Don't Stop Me Now,” “Killer Queen,” “Somebody to Love,” and “We Are the Champions.” Mercury had an astounding vocal range and has been consistently voted one of the greatest singers in the history of pop and rock music.

Bluefin is the official North American distributor for Tamashii Nations, an umbrella label that encompasses Japan’s top collectible brands and features products from popular giant robot shows like Mazinger Z and Gundam, anime series like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon, live action series like Kamen Rider and iconic sci-fi properties such as Star Wars The mission of Tamashii Nations is to bring “tamashii,” the Japanese word for soul or spirit, into everything the company creates. For a complete listing of Tamashii Nations products available from Bluefin, please visit: www.bluefincorp.com/catalog/tamashii-nations.html.


About Bluefin
Based in Irvine, CA, Bluefin built its reputation as a leading distributor of Japanese toys, collectibles, novelty and hobby products. In recent years, Bluefin has grown to include a range of high quality collectible lines from the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore and established itself as the official North American consumer products and retail development partner for Studio Ghibli. Selling to thousands of specialty, chain and independent stores, Bluefin is an official North American distributor for Bandai Hobby, Kotobukiya and Capcom, is the sole provider of Bandai Tamashii Nations products, and is also the exclusive and official distributor for Hero Cross, Beast Kingdom, Comicave, Mr. Hobby, SEN-TI-NEL and X-Plus. Bluefin also represents TruForce Collectibles products worldwide. Additional information is available at: www.bluefincorp.com.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

"Batman v Superman" Dawns on Worldwide Box Office

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” Soars in Its Opening Weekend at the Global Box Office With $424.1 Million

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Screen Pairing of the World’s Most Iconic Super Heroes Answers the Question “Who Will Win?” by Winning Over Movie Audiences and Setting Box Office Records Around the World

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” had a winning opening weekend, earning an estimated worldwide box office total of $424.1 million—the top Super Hero movie opening of all time and the fourth-biggest industry opening of all time—and breaking numerous records domestically and internationally. The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The highly anticipated big-screen Super Hero battle earned $170.1 million at the domestic box office—the biggest Warner Bros. Pictures opening weekend ever—with the widest pre-May release (4,242 locations) and, at $27.7 million, the biggest Easter Thursday pre-show opening.

With the film opening day-and-date in 66 markets outside the U.S., the international box office take was an estimated $254 million over the weekend on an unprecedented 40,000+ screens. It marks Warner Bros.’ biggest opening of all time in China (at $57.3 million), Mexico and Brazil. It is also the second-largest overseas opening for a Warner Bros. film (after the final “Harry Potter” film).

Both domestically and internationally, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” enjoyed the biggest March opening ever, the industry’s biggest opening of 2016, the biggest Easter weekend opening, the top opening of all time for a DC Comics film, and the highest opening for a Zack Snyder-directed film, a Ben Affleck film and a Henry Cavill film.

Globally, it also broke the IMAX opening record for Easter weekend with a worldwide gross of $36 million on 945 IMAX screens, the widest IMAX footprint to date. In North America, the film set a new box office record for an IMAX release outside the summer and Christmas play periods, with $18 million, and internationally set records with $18 million, which includes $7 million in China.

In making the announcement, Sue Kroll stated, “We’re so excited by the fantastic global success of this film. Anticipation has been building with movie fans everywhere for ‘Batman v Superman’ and the buzz has been nothing short of amazing. This tremendous result at the box office is a tribute to the cinematic world that Zack Snyder has created to bring these two iconic heroes together, and it’s so gratifying that audiences everywhere are loving the film.”

Veronika Kwan Vandenberg said, “We are thrilled with the phenomenal numbers for ‘Batman v Superman,’ which has broken records both in the U.S. and around the world. The results are a testament to the enduring popularity of these Super Heroes and to the dedicated filmmakers and talented cast. Our excellent date allows us to take advantage of the spring holidays with a five-week window until the next Super Hero film. Based on the strong word of mouth by fans we can look forward to a long and prosperous run.”

Greg Silverman, Warner Bros. Pictures’ President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, added, “Zack Snyder, Chuck Roven and Deborah Snyder and their creative teams have set the stage for an expansion of the DC Films universe, and the success of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ tells us that not only are moviegoers eager for more, but that this film truly delivers. We congratulate them and our on-screen talent, including Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, as well as our partners at DC Entertainment, on the success of the movie, and we look forward to continuing to bring more of these great characters to movie audiences everywhere.”

From director Zack Snyder comes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing.

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with each other, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it has ever known before.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams (“American Hustle”) as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”) as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”) as Alfred, and Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film was produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers.

Snyder’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Larry Fong (“300,” “Watchmen”) and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos (“300: Rise of an Empire”), and from his “Man of Steel” team, editor David Brenner, costume designer Michael Wilkinson, visual effects supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin, and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”) working in conjunction with composer Junkie XL (“Mad Max: Fury Road”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film can be seen in IMAX, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, 3D and in 2D, and is being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

batmanvsupermandawnofjustice.com

batmanvsupermandawnofjustice.net

"She Wolf" Howling for Image Comics This June


SHE WOLF LEAVES READERS HOWLING FOR MORE

The new series will be love at first bite for fans

SHE WOLF, by fan-favorite cartoonist Rich Tommaso (DARK CORRIDOR) will lead the pack this June with a chilling, fever-dream mystery that will keep fans hooked from page one.

A surreal exploration in horror, SHE WOLF follows a teenage girl who believes she's been bitten by a savage werewolf. Soon after, she begins to experience feverish nightmares that seamlessly bleed into her everyday reality.

"This is the most surreal thing I've ever written—a horror tale about a teenage werewolf who uses witchcraft to become a higher level of demon," said Tommaso. "The backdrop is Sparta, New Jersey—where I grew up during the wild '80s. As strange as this story is, the tiny parts that ARE autobiographical are more vivid blended into this mysterious world than some of the 100% straight-auto-bio comics I've done in the past."

SHE WOLF #1 (Diamond Code APR160661) will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016. The final order cutoff deadline for comic book retailers is Monday, May 30th, 2016.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

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Baltimore Comic-Con to Attend SC Comic-Con

Baltimore Comic-Con Visits SC Comic-Con

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - The Baltimore Comic-Con will be visiting the SC Comicon on April 2-3, 2016 in Greenville, SC. Run by our friend Robert Young from Borderlands Comics and Games, this growing event promises to be a fantastic weekend for all comics fans!

Featuring great guests (and friends of the Baltimore Comic-Con), including Neal Adams, Greg Capullo, Frank Cho, Steve Conley, Ron Marz, George Perez, and so many more, this show is a great opportunity to meet your favorite comic creator, pick up some new comics or merchandise, and just experience the wonder that is a Comicon!

And, of course, be sure to stop by the Cards Comics & Collectibles/Baltimore Comic-Con booth at the show. We will have Exhibitor forms, Artists Alley forms, and we may even have a secret or two we can share with you about our plans for September.

The SC Comicon will be held at the TD Convention Center, 1 Exposition Drive, Greenville, SC 29607 on Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10am-6pm and on Sunday, April 3, 2016 from noon-6pm. Tickets are $15 for Saturday only, $10 for Sunday only, or $20 for two-day passes, and can be purchased online or at the door during show hours. Kids 12 and under get in FREE with a paying adult. For more details, please visit the website at sccomicon.com.

In the coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Contact Information
Please use the following e-mail addresses to contact the Baltimore Comic-Con:

press@baltimorecomiccon.com - for any general press inquiries or to be added to our PR distribution

promoter@baltimorecomiccon.com - for requesting exhibitor, publisher, and Artist Alley applications

registrar@baltimorecomiccon.com - for inquiries about submitted registrations

harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com- for the Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet

general@baltimorecomiccon.com- for general Baltimore Comic-Con inquiries


About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 17th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 11 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.

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Image Comics Announces "Jupiter's Legacy 2"



JUPITER’S LEGACY RETURNS WITH ALL-NEW STORY

The comic book series of the century will take readers on an emotional, action-packed ride

The sequel to the industry sales-beast JUPITER'S LEGACY is back and it boasts monthly jaw-dropping, eye-popping story from bestselling creators Mark Millar (CHRONONAUTS, HUCK, Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Frank Quitely.

In JUPITER’S LEGACY, VOL. 2 #1, superhero offspring Hutch and Chloe have come out of hiding with son Jason to assemble a team of super-crooks from around the globe.

JUPITER’S LEGACY, VOL. 2 #1 will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016. The final order cutoff deadline for comic book retailers is Monday, June 6th, 2016.

JUPITER'S LEGACY VOL 2 #1, Cover  A by Quitely (Diamond Code: APR160648)
JUPITER'S LEGACY VOL 2 #1, Cover  B by Jae Lee (Diamond Code: APR160649)
JUPITER'S LEGACY VOL 2 #1, Cover  C by Mike Mayhew (Diamond Code: APR160650)
JUPITER'S LEGACY VOL 2 #1, Cover  D Blank Cover (Diamond Code: APR160651)
JUPITER'S LEGACY VOL 2 #1, Cover  E Quitely Sketch Cover (Diamond Code: APR160652)

JUPITER’S LEGACY, VOL. 1 trade paperback (ISBN: 978-1632153104) collects the first story arc of the series—issues #1-5, and is available at comic book stores now. It can be re-ordered by retailers from Diamond Book Distributors with Diamond code FEB150526. It can be ordered now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, and Indigo.

Select praise for JUPITER’S LEGACY:

“Millar and Quitely have constructed a world as rich and vibrant as our own, peopled with individuals who are neither heroes nor villains.” —IGN

It definitely lives up to the hype.” —Bloody Disgusting

What Millar and Quitely do here, and do so well, is show us a world where superheroes exist, yet nothing is better, then invite us to consider what that says about the way we have chosen to abdicate responsibility in favor of comfort. I wish more creators were willing to push the boundaries of the genre in such a compelling way.” —Newsarama

Elegantly written and drawn… this is a book to be proud of.” —Comic Book Resources 

Mark Millar and Frank Quitely have successfully created a new superhero universe.” —Comic Vine


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

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Image Comics Announces New Howard Chaykin Series, "Midnight of the Soul"


CHAYKIN WEAVES A STRIKING JOURNEY IN MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL

Begin an all-new miniseries from the artist of SATELLITE SAM

Fan-favorite and cult cartoonist Howard Chaykin (AMERICAN FLAGG!, SATELLITE SAM) will launch an all-new, full-color, noir-infused, miniseries entitled MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL, which will hit comic book stores this June.

Set in 1950, MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL follows Joel Breakstone, a former G.I., one of the liberators of Auschwitz, and a walking pile of seriously damaged goods. He hasn't exhaled a sober breath in five years—until the sheltered life he's created for himself unravels and he begins the long night that will change his life forever.

"Midnight of the Soul is a labor of love," said Chaykin. "A dream project I've been working on for nearly twenty years—and I'm thrilled to finally get the chance to put it on paper."

MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL #1 (Diamond Code APR160655) will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016. The final order cutoff deadline for comic book retailers is Monday, May 16th, 2016.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from March 20th to 26th, 2016 - Update #33

Support Leroy on Patreon.

BLACK LIVES MATTER - From PopSugar:  New York City cop arrest Black mailman because he didn't want them to hit him with their car.

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COMICS - From Forbes:  "Batman Vs. Superman" could have a $185 million weekend at the box office.

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POLITICS - From Politico:  #CruzSexScandal

POLITICS - From RSN:  The coming Republican Party crack-up also needs to occur to the Democratic Party.

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OBITS - From Variety:  The writer Earl Hamner, Jr. has died at the age of 92, Thursday, March 24, 2016.  He is best known for creating CBS' beloved drama, "The Waltons."

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POLITICS - From Harpers:  Richard Nixon started the "war on drugs" in order to wage war on the anti-war left and Black people.

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POLITICS - From RollingStone:  The magazine endorses Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, and publisher, Jann S. Wenner explains why.

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OBITS - From Variety:  Comedian, actor, writer, and producer, Garry Shandling, has died at the age of 66, Thursday, March 24, 2016.

From YahooCelebrity:  Hollywood reacts to the death of Garry Shandling.

From YahooTV:  Garry Shandling's most memorable roles.

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OBITS -  From YahooSports:  Legendary baseball broadcaster, Joe Garagiola, has died at the age of 90, Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

From YouTube:  An interview with the late Garagiola, conducted by David Spada.

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COMICS - From iDigitalTimes:   Some early reviews are in for "Batman Vs. Superman."

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MOVIES - From Collider:  Shane Black talks about his "Predator" reboot.

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CRIME - From HoustonChronicle:  Keeping Black people of juries in Wharton County, Texas.

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OBITS - From DeadlineTV:  The Emmy-winning actor, Ken Howard, has died at the age of 71, Wednesday, March 23, 2016.  He was best known for his role on the CBS television drama series, "The White Shadow" (1978-1981).  He was the current president of the actors' union, SAG-AFTRA.

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COMICS - From CinemaBlend:  Marvel's "Captain Britain" may get his own television series.

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OBITS - From THR:  The actress, Rita Gam, has died at the age of 88, Tuesday, March 22, 2016.  She was considered a "glamorous actress" in the 1950s.  Gam was also the wife of director Sidney Lumet, and she was a bridesmaid at Grace Kelly's 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier.

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OBITS - From TheWrap:  The rapper, Malik Taylor, has died at the age of 45.  He was better known as "Phife Dawg," the founder of the seminal rap group, A Tribe Called Quest."

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POLITICS - From BuzzFlash:  Sarah Palin hits far-right hot buttons.

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CULTURE - From TheDailyBeast:  Banksy strikes back.

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SPORTS - From YahooSports:  Sports broadcaster/sideline reporter, Craig Sager, known for his colorful and odd suits, has said that his doctor has given him 3 to 6 months to live.

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COMICS - BleedingCool:  A look at a nice copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, worth over $3 million.

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COMICS - BleedingCool:  A look at some of Marvel Comics' hot comics for June 2016.

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STAR WARS - From Twitter:  See a Star Wars bonus clip featuring Maz Kanata.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Emma Stone to star in film about Rose Marie "Rosemary" Kennedy, "Letters from Rosemary."

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COMICS - From BleedingCool:  There will be an all-new and all-different Batman comic book debuting later this year from writer Scott Snyder.

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TELEVISION - From Variety:  Ryan Murphy reveals who will be back for the next season of "American Horror Story."

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BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 3/18 to 3/20/2016 weekend box office is "Zootopia" with an estimated haul of $38 million.

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From MintPressNews:  Daniel Ellsberg - top military brass knew in advance that the Vietnam War would fail.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER - From SeattleTimes:  Tim McGinty could not do his job and prosecute Cleveland Patrolman Timothy Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, for killing Tamir Rice.  So the voters decided that he could not keep his job as Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

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COMICS - From CBR:  Jeremy Renner says he would be "open" to a Hawkeye Netflix series.

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COMICS - From CBR: The writers, artists, and editors behind Marvel Comics's "Civil War II" talk.

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COMICS - From BleedingCool:  An overview of news from C2E2 about Marvel's "Civil War II" comic book event.

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COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Mike Mignola says he does not know how the film, "Hellboy 3" would end, although that movie seems unlikely to happen.

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STAR WARS - From CheatSheet:  The site's weekly Star Wars round-up.

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POLITICS - From TheWrap:  Scott Baio ("Happy Days") endorses Donald Trump.

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TRAILERS:

From YouTube:  A clip from Richard Linklater's "Everybody Wants Some," entitled "Cologne."

From YouTube:  A sneak peak at "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" deleted scenes.

From YouTube:  I think this is the first trailer for the "Ben-Hur" remake, which is due August 2016.



Amazon Announces "Thunderbirds Are Go" for April 22, 2016

Amazon Debuts Original Animated Kids Series Thunderbirds Are Go on April 22 on Prime Video

Special one-hour sneak preview will premiere on April 15 with Ring of Fire Parts 1 and 2

The five Tracy brothers catapult back onto television screens following the 50-year-old classic Thunderbirds series; Rosamund Pike stars as Lady Penelope

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced its brand-new Amazon Original Kids Series, Thunderbirds Are Go, is scheduled to premiere on Friday, April 22, 2016 on Prime Video in the US. Ahead of the series launch, Prime members will get a sneak preview on April 15 with the one-hour special Ring of Fire Parts 1 and 2. Thunderbirds Are Go is a reinvention of classic Thunderbirds, and features the world’s most famous family of heroes, International Rescue. Rosamund Pike (The World’s End, Gone Girl) also stars as Lady Penelope. All 13 episodes of the first season will debut on Prime Video in the US on April 22 for streaming and download for Prime members, and will subsequently air on Prime Video in the UK, Germany and Austria, following a deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

    “We’re delighted that Thunderbirds Are Go will be blasting off in the US on Amazon next month”

Thunderbirds Are Go catapults the five brave Tracy brothers back onto television screens, where they’ll pilot their remarkable, cutting-edge Thunderbird vehicles from the depths of the oceans to the highest reaches of space, performing impossible rescues across the globe. Produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures in collaboration with world-famous Weta Workshop, the series is made using a unique mixture of CGI animation and live-action model sets. Thunderbirds Are Go will deliver a new level of action-adventure animation for today’s audience while paying tribute to the characters and locations from the original series.

“We’re excited that our customers and their families will partake in a new rendition of a classic property with the Tracy brothers at the helm,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios. “The new series will pay tribute to the legacy of the original series while adopting a new level of action-adventure and groundbreaking mix of animation and live-action.”

“We’re delighted that Thunderbirds Are Go will be blasting off in the US on Amazon next month,” said Dan Gopal, EVP EMEA Distribution and Global Digital Partners for ITV Studios Global Entertainment. “This will give children and families across the country the opportunity to enjoy the full, action-packed series whenever and wherever they want.”

Thunderbirds Are Go is executive produced by Estelle Hughes (Driver Dan’s Story Train), Giles Ridge (Pocoyo), Richard Taylor (The Lord of the Rings), and Andrew Smith (District 9), written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, Teen Titans), and directed by David Scott (LEGO Star Wars) and Theo Baynton (The Wotwots). It is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

The first season of Thunderbirds Are Go will be available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Customers who are not already a Prime member can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream. Thunderbirds Are Go will also be available as part of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat subscription service designed from the ground up for kids. FreeTime Unlimited is available exclusively on Amazon devices including Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, and a year-long subscription is included with every Fire Kids Edition.


About Amazon Video
Amazon Video offers customers unlimited access to tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including award-winning Amazon Original Series, through Amazon Prime; monthly subscriptions to SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more; and hundreds of thousands of titles including new-release movies and current TV shows for rent or purchase.

The entire range of selection can be instantly accessed through the Amazon Video app on TVs, streaming media players, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online at Amazon.com/amazonvideo. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices visit www.amazon.com/howtostream.

Prime Video, included in Amazon Prime, enables Prime members to enjoy binge-worthy TV shows including Amazon Original Series airing now such as the multi-Golden Globe award-winning series from Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, Mozart in the Jungle, the multi-Golden Globe award-winning and Emmy award-winning series Transparent, the breakout hit The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, the hour-long drama Bosch, based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling books, and the comedy created by and starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe, in addition to favorites like The Sopranos, True Blood and Girls, and popular primetime series including 24, Downton Abbey, Extant, Falling Skies, Grimm, Hannibal, Justified, Orphan Black, Teen Wolf, The Americans, and Under the Dome. Prime members also have access to a collection of kids shows now airing including Amazon Original Series Just Add Magic, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and the Annecy, Annie and multi-Emmy award-winning Tumble Leaf, as well as popular shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, and Blue’s Clues. Customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/primevideo.

About Amazon
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.

About ITV Studios Global Entertainment
ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) is one of the world’s leading international TV distribution, home entertainment, publishing, merchandising and licensing businesses. ITVS GE distributes celebrated content across all genres from both its in-house production business, ITV Studios, and in collaboration with leading producers from around the world.

Part of ITV PLC, which includes the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV Studios Global Entertainment has offices in London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Sydney.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: "American Ultra" is Impossibly Good

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 6 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

American Ultra (2015)
Running time:  96 minutes (1 hour, 36 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, drug use and some sexual content
DIRECTOR:  Nima Nourizadeh
WRITER:  Max Landis
PRODUCERS:  David Alpert, Anthony Bregman, Kevin Scott Frakes, Britton Rizzio, and Raj Brinder Singh
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Michael Bonvillain
EDITOR:  Andrew Marcus and Bill Pankow
COMPOSER:  Marcelo Zarvos

ACTION/COMEDY

Starring:  Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walter Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman, Tony Hale, Stuart Greer, Michael Papajohn, Monique Ganderton, Lavell Crawford, and Sam Malone

American Ultra is a 2015 action-comedy written by Max Landis and directed by Nima Nourizadeh.  The film focuses on a stoner who finds himself targeted for extermination because he is a government sleeper agent, facts of which is he unaware.

American Ultra opens in small town Liman, West Virginia where we meet Mike “Mikey” Howell (Jesse Eisenberg), a stoner and slacker.  He lives with his girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart), in a small wooden house, and he works at a convenience story.  Meanwhile, in Langley, Virginia, CIA section boss, Adrian Yates (Topher Grace), has decided Mike's fate.  Mike is the sole remaining asset of “Wiseman” which was part of the “Ultra” program, and Yates considers Mike a liability, thus targeting him for extermination.

Yates deploys a team of “Toughguy” operatives to kill Mike, but Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton), who once supervised the Wiseman program, is determined to save Mike's life.  She arrives in Liman ahead of Yates' men, but reactivating Mike is a bit more difficult than she realized.  Mike slowly begins to remember his training, but it is a messy and chaotic process... for everyone.

American Ultra's CIA conceits are preposterous, of course.  What sells this is that the screenplay by Max Landis constructs a love that feels real and a relationship that seems genuine between Mike and Phoebe's characters.  Director Nima Nourizadeh takes the time to properly transform Landis' romantic conceit into a true-blue movie romance.  Once you buy the Mikey-Phoebe dynamic, the rest of the movie – the believable, the ridiculous, and the sublime – encourages the audience to suspend disbelief so they can enjoy one of the most inventive action-comedies of the 21st century.

Landis's script offers some interesting ideas, and Jesse Eisenberg's turn as the stoner Mikey distracts the viewer from taking a good, hard look at those ideas.  After all, the fun is in running through the world of secret and sleeper agents, not in examining what is and isn't plausible in that world.  [Of course, how many people actually take that hard look in the real world.]  Landis' concept is perfect for Eisenberg's performance, and Eisenberg's performance makes Landis' concept work perfectly.

I admire how director Nima Nourizadeh maintains the off-beat, slacker charm of this story even as the movie turns increasingly violent, but here, the gore actually has a splattery charm all its own.  In truth, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables movie franchise could use the Nourizadeh-Landis touch.  I cannot emphasize enough that this movie is just a blast to watch, and it is fresh and imaginative in a genre, CIA-themed films, that is rapidly growing stale.

Any action-movie franchise could use some Kristen Stewart.  There is something about her that goes beyond merely being the spine of a billion-dollar movie franchise (Twilight).  Stewart is authentic in this movie, and her performance is one of the many things that come together like serendipity to make American Ultra one of the best films of 2015.

9 of 10
A+

Saturday, December 5, 2015


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