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Film, TV and Video

Nerdarchy > Film, TV and Video (Page 40)

Science fiction, fantasy community not immune to 2016 celebrity deaths

Carrie Fisher

The three lead protagonists of Star Wars, from left to right: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Fisher passed away Dec. 27, 2016, after suffering a stroke. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2016 has become known to many as something of a tragic year for celebrities and public personalities. The entertainment industry seems to have had more than its share of deaths this past year, with the world suffering losses of the likes of Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, George Michael and many others.

Eye of the Beholder Movie Co-Producer Brian Stillman is on the Fan2Sea Cruise

The Eye of the Beholder movie promises to be a nostalgia inducing trip through the stories, influences, and history of the art that inspired decades of Dungeon & Dragon players.

encounters eye of the beholder movieFor those of you not getting the title the eyes of the beholder meaning originally comes from the Greeks (like most of everything else) and it speaks of how everyone sees beauty differently, it is subjective.

A Beholder, a terrible aberrant creature in Dungeons & Dragons, ironically has many eyes but does not see beauty anywhere, not even in others of its kind. It only sees itself as beautiful and perfect.

It exists as a strange twisting of the original idiom. Pretty deep for a guy goofing around making up monsters and rolling platonic solids with numbers on them.

I have always liked the D&D art and I am particularly impressed with the level of art in D&D 5e.  From the small taste of the film below I am super excited to view the art of Dungeons and Dragons through the eye of this beholder.

Blast from the Past: Dungeons & Dragons Animated Series

blast from the past dungeons & dragons animated

The first 9 episodes only cost me 99 cents. May you be so lucky, if you choose.

1983 was a big year for me. Over the summer I turned 14, and in the fall I would begin ninth grade, kicking off my high school years as a freshman. But more importantly, it was a big year for my role-playing habits.

TSR’s sci-fi game Star Frontiers had been out for a year and was coming out with new products left and right. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was riding high with a ton of new modules, including the original Ravenloft module (the maps!), and even the D&D Basic Set was getting a slight reworking with a new boxed set. Then towards the end of the year there hints of something major coming from TSR in 1984, and eventually that would be known as Dragonlance.

So, 1983 had a lot happening in the worlds of D&D. But perhaps the most noticeable, at least for the 13-soon-14-year-old me was the Dungeons & Dragons animated TV series.

blast from the past dungeons & dragons animated

Our heroes. Yep, that’s Bobby the Barbarian at center.

Saturday morning cartoons were a huge deal then, and TSR big shot Gary Gygax had pulled off the unthinkable when he traveled to Hollywood and got Marvel Productions (yes, of the comic book Marvel company) and Teoi Animation of Japan involved with this new animated show.

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Victorian Japan by Sarah G. Rothman

Presenter – Sarah G. Rothman (Author of “Suicidal Samurai”)otakon anime


Attendance – Approximately 200 Anime Fans


The Otakon 2016 Panel “Victorian Japan” presented a wide range of information on the Meiji Period of Japan (1868-1912), the time in which Japanese Emperor Meiji ruled and how that distinct period has influenced Anime.


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenter Covered)

Anime based on Meiji Period – Rurouni Kenshin (taking place in the Boshin War) Laughing Under the Clouds Gin-tama (technically Edo Period, but featuring strong Meiji ascetics) Otome Yokai Zakuro Sakura Wars (steampunk alternative history, a story about a musical group who pilot steam armor to fight demons)

Video Games based on Meiji Period – Way of the Samurai 1 and 4 Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai An Empire Under the Sun Victoria Dai Gyakuten Saiban (Japan Only)

Comic Book University: YouTube for the super hero in all of us

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="326" class="zemanta-img"] The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962). Cover art by Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption] I don’t normally do a shout-out for a solitary YouTube channel, especially one that is fairly new, but the channel called Comic Book University...

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Japanese Car Culture and Anime by LostGamers Studios

Presenter – LostGamers Studiosotakon anime

Attendance – Approximately 100 Anime Fans

The Otakon 2016 Panel “Japanese Car Culture and Anime” presented an eclectic mix of data on car culture in Japan as well as how cars are depicted various Anime series.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenter Covered)

Anime that Features Car Prominently – Speed Racer Redline Capeta EX Driver F GeGeGe no Kitarou Circuit Angel Machine Hayabasu Barbari Densetsu Gunsmith Cats

Pivotal Car Anime (Initial D) – Without a doubt the finest car anime ever produced Focused on downhill racing

Pivotal Car Anime (Wangan Midnight) – By the creators of Initial D Focused on racing the Wangan Loop (a huge circular highway surrounding Osaka)

Pivotal Car Anime (Next A Class) – A beautifully drawn anime that was fully funded by Mercedes Benz Features a group of friends chasing a magic noodle truck in a Mercedes Coupe

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Mechapocalypse

otakon animePresenters – Members of Anime Rest Stop

Attendance – Approximately 600 Anime Fans

The Otakon 2016 Panel “Mechapocalypse” focused on a succinct history of the Mecha (Big Robot) Anime Subgenre, as well as a discussion of the current state of the genre.

Garibay Note – I attended this Panel due to my long history of Mecha Fandom, which began with playing the Miniature Combat game Battletech and the Tabletop Roleplaying Game MechWarriors. I currently enjoy Gundam Modeling (which was discussed in the Panel) and also watching modern Mecha Anime Series.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenters Covered)

Super Robots, distinct from Real Robots – Super Robots are functionally superheroes. Super Robots do whatever the story needs the robot to do. Super Robots are often powered by their Pilot’s Love or Willpower or Friendship or Angst. An example of a Super Robot Anime is Escaflowne. Real Robots are military equipment. The functionality of the robot is limited to what has been demonstrated within the story, to what has been established. (Exceptions to this are mysterious prototypes, which are foreshadowed, and then will expose a new significant power.) Real Robots are powered by energy or gravity or a rare fuel source. An example of a Real Robot Anime is Gundam.

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Anime and Dice by Jon Barron

Presenter – Jon Barron (An Author on Tabletop Roleplaying Game “MajiMonsters”)

Attendance – Approximately 300 Anime Fans

The Otakon 2016 Panel “Anime and Dice” presented wide coverage of the Tabletop Roleplaying Games that focus on Anime.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenter Covered)otakon anime

Early History of Dungeons & Dragons – Chainmail in 1971 Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 1980s, other companies join the fray, Gary Gygax is run out of TSR (as Jobs was run out of Apple) Today, hundreds of Tabletop Roleplaying Games Systems vie for a niche market

TSR Travails – 1996, TSR creates collectible dice game “Dragon Dice” and then later bankrupts itself on printing the expansions Bankrupted, TSR is sold to Wizards of the Coast (which is fat with cash from the unprecedented success of the genre pioneering trading card game Magic: The Gathering)

History of Modern Dungeons & Dragons Editions – 2000, 3.0 Edition 2003,  3.5 Edition 2008, 4.0 Edition (prompting a schism in the D&D Community) 2014, 5.0 Edition (a healing event in the D&D community)

Anime Based Tabletop Roleplaying Games – Mekton by Michael Pondsmith (R Talisorian), a Roll Over Target Number d10 and add bonuses system that dealt with Gundam Type Mecha (www.mektonzeta.com) Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM) by Mark C Mackinnon (Guardians of Order), a Roll Over 2dX (all polyhedrals) system with stats Body, Mind and Soul – Licenses included Sailor Moon, Dominion: Tank Police, Demon City Shinjuku and Tenchi Muyo! Ova by Clay Gardner (Wise Turtle), a Roll Over pool of d6s (add dice that are same) system Legend of the Five Rings by John Wick (of Seventh Sea fame (Alderac), a Roll Over pools of d10 (keep and total some) system – The world of which, Rokugan was brought into D&D canon Valor by Austin Mackenzie (Valorous Games), a single d10 system (combined point buy/level) MajiMonsters by Late Knight Games, a Roll Over 2d6 and 2d8 system (www.majimonsters.com)

Blast from the Past: Godzilla vs. Megalon

Blast from the Past: Godzilla vs. Megalon13942695_10211113762699167_27537422_n

My dad put up with a lot from me when I was a kid in the ’70s. It’s not that I was a bad kid, but he was more of a Roy Rogers and Lone Ranger kind of guy while I kept wanting Star Trek and Star Wars toys between dragging him to science fiction and horror movies.



In the summer of 1976, when I turned seven, I made him take me to yet another film I’m sure he did not want to see. We parked downtown and walked the distance to the only local theater that showed foreign films.

I don’t remember what it was that drew me to his movie. Perhaps I had heard of the main character, or maybe I had been mesmerized by the newspaper advertisement artwork which showed two giant monsters battling it out atop the World Trade Center towers (a scene which is nowhere to be found in the movie).Megalon

I’m talking about the epic Godzilla vs. Megalon, originally released in Japan in 1973 though it didn’t make it to the U.S. until 1976.

This is not everyone’s favorite Godzilla movie. In fact, it tends to be one of the lower rated of the big guy’s series of films, but for the seven-year-old me, it was simply awesome. See, this was my first Godzilla experience, and I would be something of a fan for the rest of my life.

And what wasn’t to like? First off, you’ve got the big guy himself, Godzilla, leading a monster-packed story with the likes of Gigan, a beaked and hooked horror; Jet Jaguar, a robot who can perform martial arts and change size (and looking vaguely like a later generation’s Power Rangers); and the other star of the title, Megalon, a giant bug-like monster with a star-shaped spike sticking out of its head and some kind of earth-digging drills in place of hands or claws. Even Anguirus makes an appearance, a somewhat rare site, with his dinosaur-like body with armored plates and spikes sticking out everywhere, along with Rodan, a flying, dragon-like beast.

Warner Bros, Your Dungeons and Dragons 2017 Movie Script Is Broken – Here Is the Fix

An Open Letter to Warner Bros

Let me start by saying that on the Dungeons & Dragons 2017 Movie, I am very happy with many of Dungeons & Dragonsthe decisions you (as a company) are making. You are pulling this film together with a solid investment of money, excellent actors, a superb script writer and a skilled director. Thank you for how well you have respected the Dungeons & Dragons brand thus far, taking seriously the task of turning this classic American Game into a movie.

Unfortunately, your script is broken. I know this because you were kind enough to share the basic shape of the script publicly so that the Dungeons & Dragons community can know the direction you are heading. (I am truly thankful for this transparency.) Having read what Script Write David Leslie Johnson has planned I can tell there is one major problem with the movie.

You are focusing on the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons. You are focusing on the races and classes of the Dungeons & Dragons game.  The one part that you are clearly not focusing on in the the script is the players. The Dungeons & Dragons Game does not have the best fantasy worlds. There are many better fantasy worlds written in novels, presented in movies and on television (in both animated and live-action variety) as well as in video games. The Dungeons and Dragons fantasy worlds are not even remotely the best fantasy worlds available to reader, viewers or video game players. However, the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy worlds are unique in that they are not the singular vision of one writer. They are not even the collected vision of a team of writers (as would be the case with a movie or television show). What the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy worlds are are shared fantasy worlds created by the Dungeon Master and then deeply affected by the players. None of that is currently in the script. It needs to be.

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