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Posts Tagged ‘astro boy’

New DVD and Blu-Ray Releases – March 16, 2010

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

These are the movies being released this Tuesday: “Astro Boy“, “Did You Hear About the Morgans?“, “Ninja Assassin“, “The Fourth Kind” and “The Princess and the Frog“.

Astro Boy

Synopsis: Few characters have made as powerful or as lasting an impression on international popular culture as Astro Boy. The little robot first appeared in 1951 as a character in the celebrated artist and animator Osamu Tezuka’s legendary manga(Japanese comic book) and became an instant icon. He was subsequently featured as the star of his own television series in both black-and white and in color, eventually airing in over 40 countries. Astro Boy created the standard for a new form of animation that has become world famous as anime.

Now for the first time, Astro Boy will be brought to life on the big screen. Created with breathtaking computer animation from Imagi Studios, the film Astro Boy is a thrilling tale of a true hero. The film is set to debut in theaters on October 23, 2009.

Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist named Dr. Tenma (Nicolas Cage). Powered by positive “blue” energy, Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore) is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly. Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, Astro Boy encounters many other colorful characters along the way. Through his adventures, he learns the joys and emotions of being human, and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. Ultimately learning his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy marshals his awesome super powers and returns toMetro City in a valiant effort to save everything he cares about and to understand what it means to be a hero.

Cast: Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Bill Nighy, Freddie Highmore, Donald Sutherland, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Nathan Lane, Madeline Carroll, Sterling Beaumon; Directed by: David Bowers

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Did You Hear About the Morgans? DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Synopsis: Romantic-comedy regulars Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker finally unite in this fish-out-of-water laugher. The actors play Paul and Meryl Morgan, a Manhattan couple whose marriage is in danger. But it turns out all they may need is a change of scenery: when the Morgans witness a murder and are sent by the government to small-town Wyoming to hide from the killers, their marriage shows signs of recovery. DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? also stars Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, and Elisabeth Moss.

Cast: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Moss, Michael Kelly; Directed by: Marc Lawrence

Ninja Assassin

Ninja Assassin DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: Raizo is one of the deadliest assassins in the world. Taken from the streets as a child, he was transformed into a trained killer by the Ozunu Clan, a secret society whose very existence is considered a myth. But haunted by the merciless execution of his friend by the Clan, Raizo breaks free from them…and vanishes. Now he waits, preparing to exact his revenge. In Berlin, Europol agent Mika Coretti has stumbled upon a money trail linking several political murders to an underground network of untraceable assassins from the Far East. Defying the orders of her superior, Ryan Maslow, Mika digs into top secret agency files to learn the truth behind the murders. Her investigation makes her a target, and the Ozunu Clan sends a team of killers, led by the lethal Takeshi, to silence her forever. Raizo saves Mika from her attackers, but he knows that the Clan will not rest until they are both eliminated. Now, entangled in a deadly game of cat and mouse through the streets of Europe, Raizo and Mika must trust one another if they hope to survive…and finally bring down the elusive Ozunu Clan.

Cast: Rain, Naomie Harris, Ben Miles, Sho Kosugi, Rick Yune; Directed by: James McTeigue

The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind Prom Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Synopsis: In 1972, a scale of measurement was established for alien encounters. The final level, abduction, was classified as the fourth kind. This encounter has been the most difficult to document… until now. In modern-day Nome, Alaska, a disproportionate number of the population has been reported missing every year. Despite multiple FBI investigations of the region, the truth has never been discovered. Psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler began videotaping sessions with traumatized patients and unwittingly discovered some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented.

Cast: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Hakeen Kae Kazim; Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi

The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Synopsis: Disney returns to its roots with a fresh twist on the Frog Prince fairy tale, set in the the mystical, magical bayous of Louisiana. Tiana is a hardworking young woman determined to fulfill her father’s dream of owning an elegant New Orleans supper club. When Naveen, a handsome prince arrives in town looking for romance, the evil Dr. Facilier hatches a nefarious plot and turns Naveen into a frog. A kiss from Tiana should return him to his true form, but she is instead transformed into a frog herself! The pair must travel into the heart of the bayou to find the priestess who can reverse the curse in order to find their “happily ever after.”

Cast: Anika Noni Rose, Oprah Winfrey, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, John Goodman, Terrence Howard, Jim Cummings; Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Movie Review: Astro Boy

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Astro Boy is proof that Pixar has virtually ruined CG animated filmmaking for its competition. In the midst of sophisticated, multi-layered releases such as Up or WALL.E, Ratatouille, it’s easy to look at a basic, well-executed, family-friendly adventure and somehow think less of it. Astro Boy, for example, is not The Incredibles, nor is it trying to be. Rather, it’s a surface level bit of animated entertainment that’s certain to please children while preventing the parents from nodding off in their seats. It aims unabashedly for the adventurous youngsters in the audience and succeeds in delivering a fun, raucous, visually polished romp through a colorful sci-fi landscape. Nothing more, nothing less.

That said, the film doesn’t stray too far from the relative darkness of its source material. The story of Astro Boy’s creation remains generally the same: The brilliant Dr. Tenma (Nicolas Cage) and his colleague Dr. Elefun (Bill Nighy) have extracted the power of both red and blue matter – blue representing positive energy and red, of course, representing evil. But when General Stone (Donald Sutherland) seizes the red energy source to power his new unstoppable war machine, Tenma’s son is caught in the crossfire and killed. Yes, killed. Not fake-killed or quasi-killed, but real, 100 percent, no-coming-back dead. And so Tenma, in his grief, creates a robotic replica of his son, Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore), equipping him with unlimited defenses, powered by the blue energy, and downloads the boy’s consciousness into the robot copy.

For all intents and purposes, Astro believes himself to be human, but Tenma quickly learns that a robot is no replacement for a son, and dismisses the boy in his confusion. Sent out into the wasteland below the city, Astro meets a group of orphans supervised by former scientist Ham Egg (Nathan Lane). Among them is Cora (Kristen Bell), a tough pre-teen with a grudge against robots. Hunted by General Stone for the blue energy source within him, Astro must come to terms with his robotic self and prove to Tenma, Cora and the world that despite being a machine, he’s equally as human.

Astro Boy deals with some pretty heavy themes – the death of a child, rejection, robot slavery, warmongering politicians – and if it fails on any real cinematic level, it’s in choosing not to explore these notions in a more meaningful way. The colorful animation and fast-paced action washes over the more complex emotional core of the film, never taking the time to explain these issues to the younger viewers and failing to address them dramatically enough to move the adults in the theater. That said, the very same colorful animation and fast-paced action are both refreshingly executed, so if your kid can either grasp the heavier themes or simply choose to ignore them, there’s a lot of sci-fi spectacle to keep them entertained.

As Astro Boy becomes increasingly aware of his powers and General Stone closes in on him and his newfound family of friends, the action escalates into some fairly impressive sequences of Astro battling giant, city-destorying robots. Meanwhile, the presentation itself is very soft, very clean, offering a stylized look that combines the previous iterations of the series with the polish of CG animation. The vocal performances are all passable, though Cage seems terribly miscast as Tenma, turning in a performance that ultimately fails to capture the character’s struggle. Highmore gives Astro a kind of “golly gee” innocence that makes the boy considerably more affable and Bell’s Cora is a suitable friend-slash-potential love interest.

Overall, Astro Boy is a reasonable, if not perfect, adaptation of the popular franchise that’ll no doubt captivate the kiddies if they can push past some of the darker themes into the vivid, sci-fi action.

Astro Boy is now playing in theater near you. Click HERE to read the synopsis and watch the trailer.

New Movie Releases: October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

These are the movie opening in wide release this, Friday: Amelia, Astro Boy, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, and Saw VI.


Amelia DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: A look at the life of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 in an attempt to make a flight around the world.

Hilary Swank, Ewan McGregor, Mia Wasikowska, Richard Gere, Christopher Eccleston; Director:
Mira Nair

Astro Boy

Synosis: Set in futuristic Metro City, “Astro Boy” is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist. Powered by positive “blue” energy, “Astro Boy” is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly. Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, Astro Boy learns the joys and emotions of being human, and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. Ultimately learning his friends and family are in danger, “Astro Boy” marshals his awesome super powers and returns to Metro City in a valiant effort to save everything he cares about and to understand what it takes to be a hero.

Cast: Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Bill Nighy, Freddie Highmore, Donald Sutherland, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Nathan Lane, Madeline Carroll, Sterling Beaumon; Directed by: David Bowers

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: “The Vampire’s Assistant” follows the life (and nonlife) of Darren (Chris Massoglia), a typically lonely and maladjusted teen hero. When a peculiar circus comes to town, he and best friend Steven (Josh Hutcherson) take in the freak show. But they become fascinated with the vampire magician, Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly), and before long, both boys will become bloodsuckers themselves.

Cast: John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe, Chris Massoglia, Josh Hutcherson, Patrick Fugit, Ray Stevenson, Michael Cerveris, Frankie Faison, Jane Krakowski, Orlando Jones, Kristen Schaal, Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe; Directed By: Paul Weitz

Saw VI

Saw VI DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

The makers of the Saw films continue to make Rube Goldberg roll over in his grave with this sixth film in the series. SAW VI finds Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) the target of a FBI investigation, but that won’t stop him from continuing the murderous mayhem started by Jigsaw.

Cast: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Tanedra Howard; Directed by: Kevin Greutert

Astro Boy Preview

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Astro Boy Movie Poster Print - Style A

The boy robot zooms into the 21st century with a new film.

The boy robot known as Astro Boy is readying for his return to the spotlight this coming October when Imagi Studios and Summit Entertainment will release the 3-D animated film of the same name. A revival of the classic Japanese anime character, Astro Boy was directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away) and stars the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, and Bill Nighy. IGN and some other media outlets recently got the chance at a sneak peek of some footage from the film, presented by Bowers himself.

“It’s a classic superhero origin story, really,” says the helmer of Astro Boy. “You find out what Astro Boy is and where he comes from in the story. And it’s hard. It’s a very emotional story. … It’s the first big-screen incarnation of the character.”

Astro Boy Pic 1

Created by the legendary Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy began life as a manga in 1952. The first anime series followed in 1963, and a variety of permutations have followed over the years, though modern mainstream audiences in the United States remain largely unaware of the character. That is something that Bowers thinks could change very soon. Certainly the character’s origins make for an appealing story.

Created by a scientist (Cage) who wants to replace his deceased son, Astro Boy (Highmore) proves to be more than the bereaved egghead bargained for.

“The movie explores all the problems that come with attempting something like that,” says Bowers.

The first clip screened for the press plays directly to those themes, as Cage’s Dr. Tenma works nonstop on his Pinocchio-like robot. Combining his dead son’s DNA with pieces of missiles, the scientist is half-mad in his attempts to revive the boy — or a semblance of him anyway.

We see the robot’s interior parts even as lasers create a semblance of Tenma’s son around the construct. Nighy’s Dr. Elefun appears in order to provide Tenma with the power supply for the robot, a blue energy source. As the energy is fed into the robot, a bluish lightshow erupts — the robot boy then crashes to the ground. For a moment, silence, and then the machine begins to move its hand. It stands, eyes glowing, and it speaks!


And Dr. Tenma carries his son home.

“After [he] takes Astro home they go through a sort of normal day, but it doesn’t work out quite the way he expected,” Bowers told us. “Astro’s a bit different from [the dead son] Toby. The doctor’s disappointed. He ends up eventually breaking the truth to Toby that he’s not his son; he’s a robot who looks like his son and he doesn’t want him anymore. Toby is heartbroken and flies out of the apartment.”

After Astro Boy leaves his father/creator, he attempts to come to terms with the truth he has learned. He also takes to mastering his powers, including his ability to fly, but this has resulted in his showing up on the government’s sensors. And the president wants the power source behind the robot for his own nefarious purposes. This leads to the next clip we watched, where Astro Boy is surrounded by a bunch of Yellow Jackets — a type of attack aircraft.

President Stone (Sutherland) wants the robot at any cost. The Yellow Jackets pursue him, shooting green wire-like cables at Astro. But he races away through the air, navigating around the city. Eventually the planes get stuck in part of a building and a pilot falls out of his cockpit — but Astro Boy’s natural heroism kicks in and he saves him. Finally, Stone sends the Spirit of Freedom after the robot — a huge vessel that blows Astro Boy away, causing the mechanical boy to fall to the streets below.

Astro Boy Pic 2

“He runs into a bunch of kids who befriend him,” says Bowers. “He meets a guy called Hamegg [voiced by Nathan Lane], who he thinks could be another father for him. But eventually he has to make a choice … whether to help the people of Metro City or just fly away from the people who haven’t treated him so well.”

The clip that followed comes after Astro makes that choice. President Stone orders a Peacekeeper robot to go after our hero. It’s an eight-foot-tall monster that has the power to absorb everything around it. If it’s around guns, it would take the guns and be able to use them, for example. And it grows from absorbing things — and those things include the President, who has merged with the ‘bot.

Astro Boy Pic

As Astro faces the Peacekeeper, it is now voiced by Sutherland and huge in scale, having also absorbed buildings and even the Spirit of Freedom. It’s a classic superhero battle, with the robots firing on one another and Astro Boy utilizing his butt-cannons!

Some of this footage will also be screened at Comic-Con this weekend, so stay tuned for more coverage on the film as we have it!

Astro Boy Movie Posters

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Astro Boy Movie Poster

Release date: Friday October 23, 2009
Genre: Animation/Adventure/Sci-fi
Director: David Bowers
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Screenplay: Timothy Harris
Producer(s): Maryann Garger
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Donald Sutherland
Official Site:
Rating: None This film is not yet rated
Available film art: Astro Boy movie posters

“AstroBoy” was created by the “god of manga,” Japan’s Osamu Tezuka, in the early 1950s. The animated television series first aired in 1963 in Japan and found great acclaim and success around the world. In the U.S., it quickly became a top syndicated children’s show. The iconic character’s fame grew in the 1980s and 2003 with two new “AstroBoy” TV series attracting new generations of fans.

“AstroBoy” tells the story of a powerful robot boy created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Our hero journeys to find acceptance in the human world, and ultimately discovers true friendship as he uses his incredible powers to help others and save Metro City from destruction.

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