Monday, February 29, 2016

Be among the first in New York City and Chicago to watch Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice in 3D on March 24th 2016.  Each city will have one winner win a pair of passes to the 6:00pm first showing of the film.

New York - AMC 34th Street
Chicago - AMC River East 21

Enter below (make sure to select your city, either New York or Chicago!), and tweet daily for additional entries.  Contest ends March 21st, midnight ET.  Good luck!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Boy and the Beast
Released February 26th 2016 (NYICFF 2016) March 4th 2016 (Limited Release) released July 11th 2015 (Japan)
1 hr 59 mins
Rated PG-13
Action, Adventure, Animation


Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Writers: Mamoru Hosoda

Kōji Yakusho as Kumatetsu
Shōta Sometani, Aoi Miyazaki (child) as Kyūta/Ren
Suzu Hirose as Kaede
Yo Oizumi as Tatara
Lily Franky as Hyakushūbō
Masahiko Tsugawa as Sōshi
Kazuhiro Yamaji as Iōzen
Mamoru Miyano, Haru Kuroki (child) as Ichirōhiko
Kappei Yamaguchi, Momoka Ono (child) as Jirōmaru
Sumire Morohoshi as Chiko
Keishi Nagatsuka as Kyūta's Father

Kumiko Aso as Kyūta's Mother

Review by Stephen M.

When Funimation decided to bring over The Boy and the Beast and that it would open the New York International Children's Film Festival, anime fans were excited to see Mamoru Hosoda's latest film.  With a solid track record including Wolf Children and The Girl Who Leapt Through  Time, Mamoru is slowly  building a reputation of amazingly original stories that are beautifully animated, drawing comparisons to Miyazaki.  The Boy and the Beast in comparison to his other works doesn't disappoint at all.

The story focuses on Ren who loses his mother while his father is not around since his mother and father divorced.  Sole child to a rich family, he rejects all of this angry that his parents are no longer there for him.  He is drawn into the Beast Kingdom world with one of the lords, Kumatetsu choosing Ren as his pupil and renaming him Kyūta because of his age.  The two's constant battling with each other with their strong personalities makes for a delightful tale of growing friendship with amazing voice acting by Kōji Yakusho and Shōta Sometani.  From the character designs to the backgrounds to the animation especially the battle scene with the whale is just jaw dropping in a good way of course.  The only negative for me for the film is a bit of predictability towards the end.

Overall, I would highly recommend this film which is appropriate for younger teens and up.  For the most part very light-hearted until towards the end.  Incredible adorable characters with humor that will appeal to both boys and girls, stunning imagery, this has been one of the best anime films that I have seen in ages.  I cannot wait to see what comes next from the creative mind of Mamoru Hosoda.

Rating: 5 Stars out of 5 Stars

Saturday, February 27, 2016

We were excited to be at the New York premiere of Lego's latest installment into the DC Universe animated films with Justice League Cosmic Clash out today digitally and on DVD/Blu-Ray March 1st.  On hand to speak with the press and fans as well sign for them were voice actors Khary Payton (Cyborg), Troy Baker (Batman) and James Arnold Taylor (Flash) as well as Director Rick Morales, Writer Jim Krieg, and Producer Brandon Vietti.  The talent first got to meet the press for photos and interviews before heading down to join the audience for the screening.


A little play time with the standees for the talent and audience.

We were excited to talk to my daughter's favorite character's voice actor Khary Payton.  He discusses his Cyborg character through the years and well as his role in the new Lego film in our exclusive video here:

Following the screening was the Q&A.  The kids got to ask questions and four were chosen to received the giant posters signed by the talent.  From the Q&A, the sense was that the voice actors really love their roles and working with each other on this project.  As opposed to video games where they may not see other voice actors, this project they often worked next to each other in the studio feeding off of each other's energy.

During the Q&A one of the questions was about including the Legion of Super Heroes in the film!  Our exclusive video here:

Back on upstairs for the signing.  Everything was just amazingly smooth and well run by Warner Bros.

All the kids walked away as winners as they each got a Batman Lego set making Troy Baker extremely happy.  And of course the adults got the signed mini posters.

Yes, my little girl, the huge Cyborg fan with her chipmunk voice won one of the giant signed posters and got to take a pic with Khary!  Review on the movie in a few days to follow!

Article by Stephen M. with photos by Anont C. and Nintendo NYC

If the Grand Reopening of the Nintendo New York store was any indications, there was gonna be huge long lines for the 20th anniversary celebration of Pokemon today.  Despite having wristbands for time slots, the lines still extended several blocks with the store packed from opening until closing.  Our photographer Anont got to take a look around and people that were able to get in and go up and shop were excited to bring home some cool 20th anniversary exclusive merchandise.  And of course what celebration would it be without Pikachu on hand to take pics with fans!

Some of the exclusives that were available today including Anniversary systems, T-Shirts and Nendoroid figure set:

To find out more about Nintendo NYC and their events visit them at:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gods of Egypt
Releases February 26, 2016
2 hr 7 mins
Rated PG-13
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy


Director: Alex Proyas
Writers: Matt Sazarna, Burk Sharpless

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus
Brenton Thwaites as Bek
Chadwick Boseman as Thoth
Elodie Yung as Hathor
Courtney Eaton as Zaya
Rufus Sewell as Urshu
Gerard Butler as Set
Geoffrey Rush as Ra
Bryan Brown as Osiris

Review by Stephen M.

Gods of Egypt is this year's first blockbuster disappointment as far as entertainment level for a big budget film.  The film which contains a bevy of actors that I admire such as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Chadwick Boseman (42), stunts their ability to perform with cringing mind numbing dialogue and plot.  Also not helpful is the abundance of CGI that doesn't seem to mask itself in anyway leading more to an eyesore than eye candy.

The tale of a mortal, Bek (Brenton Thwaites) looking to save his love, reluctantly joining forces with a God, Horace (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) looking for revenge seems like a good idea for a plot on the surface.  However poor execution in many ways as mentioned before doomed the film making you wish the movie was buried under the sands of Egypt forever lost.  The sliver of enjoyment came usually from the cleverness of Bek played adequately by Brenton Thwaites despite the outlandishness of the situations that he faced.  Sure it is just a movie and the impossible happens, but certain scenes are just too silly  that you want to ignore.

Overall, I am deeply disappointed by this film given the trailer and my love for mythological tales.  The screening in which I attended was 3D, but it seemed to matter little as they try to add extra cost to a ticket but fail to deliver the goods.  While I look forward to Chad's next biopic movie, Nikolaj as the King Slayer again and Elodie as Elektra, this is one movie where their performances won't be missed.  Wait for this on free TV or Netflix if you really must watch.

Rating: 1.5 Star out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

To say that this has been eagerly anticipated by Disney Tsum Tsum fans is an understatement.  Tsum Tsum which is a stacking puzzle game based off of Disney characters in a cute way originated in Japan and is extremely popular with its fans who also usually collects the plush figures as well based off of the game.  The Marvel game just released in Japan only features similar game play but with an added Marvel touch by developer XFlag.  If you have ever played Marvel's Contest of Champions or Marvel's Puzzle Quest, then you'll see some similar aspects as far as leveling up characters, fighting other Marvel characters, quests and utilizing strategy as far as some players (P > B > S) will do better against others.

So just where do you get the game?  It's available on both Android and iOS.  The links are here:

You'll need the apk file for the Android version and for iOS you'll need to make sure you are logged into the Japanese App Store.  Once you have it downloaded, the game will probably update it self as shown above left.  And after that you will have to accept the terms and condition as shown in the above right pictures.  Accept by clicking the lower right button.

The game will start you off with one random character.  You can purchase more characters with five ORBS (your total Orbs is located in upper right corner).  As far as game play as you see below you will do quests in which you will either need to beat the stage by a certain number of points, reach a certain number of combos or other task or defeat another Marvel character.  

When playing the game, you can add additional boosters like the Disney game to help you.  Also similar in game play are the bubbles and powers.  In regular stages where you're just aiming for a minimum number of points the game play really is exactly like the Disney version.  Instead of hearts though you'll be expending energy (lightning bolt).

Other additional things you can do as mentioned before, you can actually choose three characters as your primary three which while you don't get to tag them in and out, the other two will show up as part of the five in the game.   When fighting against other Marvel characters your objective is to bring down their health to zero before they do to you.  You can deal damage to them by using your power or popping bubbles adjacent to them.

As far as leveling up your character you can earn items to level up various aspects.  As you see in Thor below there are four red buttons.  The first plus signs is to level up his level.  The second plus sign would be his primary skill.  The locked button indicates a secondary skill you can possibly unlock.  And finally the last plus button is a passive skill the character may possess.

I haven't quite figure out the adding of friends yet.  And as I explore that more and advance further in the game and discover new things I will update.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Badge of Honor

Released January 26th 2015 (UK), released February 2nd, 2016 (US DVD)
1 hr 34 mins
Not Rated
Crime, Drama, Thriller


Director: Augustin

Writers: Anthony Thorne, Kevin Barrett


Martin Sheen as Captain Richards
Mena Suvari as Jessica Dawson
Jesse Bradford as Mike Gallo
Lochlyn Munro as David Miles
Natasha Henstridge as Rebecca Miles
Haylie Duff as Brittany Gallo
Patrick Muldoon as Aaron Wilde
Aleks Paunovic as Samuel
Travis Milne as Jacob
Chelsea Baker as Screaming Girl

Review by Stephen M.

Badge of Honor follows a internal affairs investigation into the shooting death of a teenager by a police officer by a rookie auditor Jessica Dawson (Mena Suvari).  The film while good does nothing to stand itself out from the plethora of cop dramas in which cover ups nowadays can hit a certain nerve with the public.  Average acting by Mena better known for her younger days in the comedy American Pie, along with the rest of the cast makes the film none too memorable.

The plot itself is not too bad if it didn't have so many holes with the beginning premise stemming from the shooting of the child.  And as Jessica picks apart the story of the two cops involved, so do the viewers and there isn't much sympathy toward the victims and players in the chess game  of good cop, bad cop and thugs.  Martin Sheen's steady performance as well as that by Jesse Bradford are probably the two highlights of the film, but not worth rushing to see the film just for them.

Overall, I would recommend this as a Netflix watch or a rental.  It's not horribly bad, but also not incredibly great either.  There is just not enough in the film that stands out to make this worth paying full price for the DVD or watching multiple times.  The film could have been streamlined with less side plots and characters and make for a great television episode of say Blue Bloods than a full feature film.
Rating: 2.0 Stars out of 5 Stars