360 – Nova Seed (2016)

Nova SeedNOVA SEED is a 2016  sci-fi fantasy adventure 2D animation.   a solo effort by  Nick DiLiberto, the film is the product of four years’ work and is comprised of 60,000 hand-drawn frames.  It is DiLiberto’s directorial debut feature.

Nova SEED is an action-packed, post-apocalyptic, Sci-fi adventure that follows a lion-man (a Neo-Animal Combatant or NAC) who must save the NOVA Seed, a mystic force of nature in the form of a girl, from Dr. Mindskull, an evil half-man bent on remaking the world in his image.

Nova SEED is written by Nick DiLiberto (who worked in the animation department for Asura’s Wrath, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Mass Effect) and Joe DiLiberto, and executive produced by Ricardo Curtis , Adele DiLiberto, John DiLiberto, Nick DiLiberto and Wes Lui . Music by Canadian musician, Stephen Verrall.

DiLiberto said, “I grew up with 2D animated shows like He-Man and Thunder Cats and I wanted to be a part of that, but as an adult I was disappointed that everything I saw and worked on was so slick and manufactured. I wanted to make something that made me feel like I did when I was a kid, and I was tired of waiting for Disney or DreamWorks to make it for me. So, I made it myself.” (read more)

About Gorgon Pictures: Gorgon Pictures Inc. is an Independent animation studio located in Fukuoka, Japan, established by Canadian filmmaker Nick DiLiberto, which is dedicated to creating fully 2D hand drawn animated films. With its first feature film NOVA SEED (2016), an award-winning Sci-fi adventure, Gorgon Pictures has become an inspiration to artists and filmmakers around the world and continues to push the envelope in its approach and techniques to the medium.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5569618/

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359 – The Farthest (2017 documentary)

The Farthest Abr_JohnMurrayPoster_8-9_FPO” 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space. It is the first human-made object ever to do so. Slowly dying within its heart is a plutonium generator that will beat for perhaps another decade before the lights on Voyager finally go out. But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth. In all likelihood Voyager will outlive humanity and all our creations. It could be the only thing to mark our existence. Perhaps some day an alien will find it and wonder. 636213257540063350-768825167_goldrec2The FarthestThe story of Voyager is an epic of human achievement, personal drama and almost miraculous success. Launched 16 days apart in Autumn 1977, the twin Voyager space probes have defied all the odds, survived countless near misses and almost 40 years later continue to beam revolutionary information across unimaginable distances. ”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6223974/

http://www.pbs.org/the-farthest/home/

346 – Dunkirk (2017)

spacetime coordinates: 1940 Francedunkirk_poster_4Dunkirk is a 2017 war film written, directed, and co-produced by Christopher Nolan that depicts the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II.  The film is a British, American, French, and Dutch co-production, and was distributed by Warner Bros..dunkirk-teaser-artDunkirk portrays the evacuation from three perspectives: land, sea, and air. It has little dialogue: Nolan sought to create suspense instead from cinematography and music.

Dunkirk has extensive practical effects, and employed thousands of extras as well as boats that participated in the evacuation, and period aeroplanes.dunkirk-poster07dunkirk-poster-8The film received praise for its generally realistic representation of the historical evacuation. It accurately depicts a few Royal Air Force planes dogfighting the Luftwaffe over the sea, limited to one hour of operation by their fuel capacity. In 1940, destroyers and fighter planes were indeed held back from battle, as the Royal Navy and Air Force would have been the sole defenders against invasion. Also praised were accurate depictions of how a small boat attempted to evade aerial attack, and how soldiers returning to England saw a civilian population largely unaware of or unaffected by the war. British officers did initially refuse to evacuate French soldiers, although Churchill later insisted that the French be evacuated alongside the British. The overall realism of the film was acknowledged by surviving Dunkirk veterans, although Branagh said that some thought it “was louder than the battle” (read more: Historical accuracy)

*by_jwolforange13

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5013056/

345 – Pacific Rim (2013)

spacetime coordinates: 2020 – 2025 Alaska // Hong Kong // Manila // San Francisco // Pacific Ocean //  Tokyopacific_rim_coverPacific Rim is a 2013 American science fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Charlie HunnamIdris ElbaRinko KikuchiCharlie DayBurn GormanRobert KazinskyMax Martini, and Ron Perlman. The screenplay was written by Travis Beacham and del Toro from a story by Beacham.Pacific-Rim-Quad-PosterPacificRim_DOM_RGB_3200x1600.inddThe film is set in the future, when Earth is at war with the Kaiju,  colossal sea monsters which have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers,  gigantic humanoid mechas each controlled by at least two pilots, whose minds are joined by a mental link. Focusing on the war’s later days, the story follows Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori as part of a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaiju.

Knifehead, the first Kaiju to appear in the film, is a tribute to the plodding kaiju of 1960s Japanese films, and is intended to look almost like a man in a rubber suit; its head was inspired by that of a goblin shark. Leatherback, the bouncer-like Kaiju which spews electro-magnetic charges, is a favorite of del Toro, who conceived it as a “brawler with this sort of beer belly”; the lumbering movements of gorillas were used as a reference.  The Kaiju Otachi homages the dragons of Chinese mythology. The director called it a “Swiss army knife of a Kaiju”; with almost 20 minutes of screen time, it was given numerous features so the audience would not tire of it. The creature moves like a Komodo dragon in water, sports multiple jaws and an acid-filled neck sack, and unfurls wings when necessary. It is also more intelligent than the other Kaiju, employing eagle-inspired strategies against the Jaegers.  Onibaba, the Kaiju that orphans Mako Mori, resembles a fusion of a Japanese temple and a crustacean. Slattern, the largest Kaiju, is distinguished by its extremely long neck and “half-horn, half-crown” head, which del Toro considered both demonic and majestic. 

Gipsy Danger, the American Jaeger, was based on the shape of New York City’s Art Deco buildings, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, but infused with John Wayne‘s gunslinger gait and hip movements. Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, was based on the shape and paint patterns of a T-series Russian tank, combined with a giant containment silo to give the appearance of a walking nuclear power plant with a cooling tower on its head. Crimson Typhoon, the three-armed Chinese Jaeger, is piloted by triplets and resembles a “medieval little warrior”; its texture evokes Chinese lacquered wood with golden edges. Striker Eureka, the Australian Jaeger, is likened by del Toro to a Land Rover; the most elegant and masculine Jaeger, it has a jutting chest, a camouflage paint scheme recalling the Australian outback, and the bravado of its pilots.

Rather than popular culture, the director drew inspiration from works of art such as The Colossus and George Bellows‘s boxing paintings.

The classic Japanese woodblock print  The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai was a common motif in the ocean battles; Del Toro recalled, “I would say ‘Give me a Hokusai wave’… we use the waves and weather in the movie very operatically.”  The director asked that Knoll not necessarily match the lighting from shot to shot: “It’s pretty unorthodox to do that, but I think the results are really beautiful and very artistically free and powerful, not something you would associate with a big sci-fi action movie.” Del Toro considers the film’s digital water its most exciting visual effect: “The water dynamics in this movie are technically beautiful, but also artistically incredibly expressive. We agreed on making the water become almost another character. We would time the water very precisely. I’d say ‘Get out of the wave [on this frame].'”

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Rim_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/

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335 – Screamers (1995)

spacetime coordinates:  SIRIUS 6B, Year 2078Screamers-3Screamers is a 1995 Canadian-American dystopian science fiction film starring Peter WellerRoy Dupuis, and Jennifer Rubin, and directed by Christian Duguay. The screenplay, written by Dan O’Bannon with a rewrite by Miguel Tejada-Flores, is based on Philip K. Dick‘s short story “Second Variety“, and addresses themes commonly found in that author’s work: societal conflict, confusion of reality and illusion, and machines turning upon their creators. Although critical reaction to the film was generally negative at the time of its release, it has gained a cult following.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114367/

331 – War of the Worlds (2005)

spacetime coordinates: 2000s New Jersey // New York // Boston

war_of_the_worldsWar of the Worlds is an 2005 American science fiction thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh Friedman and David Koepp, loosely based on the novel of the same title by H. G. Wells. It stars Tom CruiseDakota FanningJustin ChatwinMiranda Otto and Tim Robbins, with narration by Morgan Freeman. In the film, an American dock worker is forced to look after his children, from whom he lives separately, as he struggles to protect them and reunite them with their mother when extraterrestrials invade the Earth and devastate cities with towering war machines.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407304/