Cuphead is a classic run and gun video game developed and published by StudioMDHR. Announced in 2013, the game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One in September 2017, for macOS in October 2018, and for Nintendo Switch in April 2019. The game was inspired by the rubber hose style of animation used in cartoons of the 1930s, (created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional hand drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings.) such as the work of studios Fleischer and Walt Disney Animation, and seeks to emulate their subversive and surrealist qualities.
Cuphead features one or two players taking control of animated characters Cuphead and his brother Mugman to fight through several levels that culminate in boss fights as to repay their debt to the devil.
The game was praised for its art style and noted for its challenging difficulty. It was both a critical and commercial success, winning several awards and selling over four million copies by July 2019. An animated series based on the game is in production by Netflix. (wiki)
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (MINIMUM): OS: Windows 7 / Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, 3.0GHz or higher / Memory: 3 GB RAM / Graphics: Geforce 9600 GT or AMD HD 3870 512MB or higher / DirectX: Version 11 / Storage: 4 GB available space
timespace coordinates: 1964 Yokohama, Japan
From Up on Poppy Hill (Japanese: コクリコ坂から Hepburn: Kokuriko-zaka Kara, “From Coquelicot Hill”) is a 2011 Japanese animated drama film directed by Gorō Miyazaki, scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, animated by Studio Ghibli for the Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Walt Disney Japan, Mitsubishi, and Toho, and distributed by the latter company. It is based on the 1980 serialized Japanese comic of the same name illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurō Sayama.
Set in 1964 Yokohama, Japan, the film tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl living in a boarding house, ‘Coquelicot Manor’. When Umi meets Shun Kazama, a member of the school’s newspaper club, they decide to clean up the school’s clubhouse, Quartier Latin. However, Tokumaru, the chairman of the local high school and a businessman, intends to demolish the building for redevelopment and Umi and Shun, along with Shirō Mizunuma, must persuade him to reconsider. (wiki)
historical basis / imdb
Ape Out is a beat ’em up game developed by Gabe Cuzzillo and published by Devolver Digital. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and Nintendo Switch on February 28, 2019. (wiki)
APE OUT is a wildly intense and colorfully stylized smash ‘em up about primal escape, rhythmic violence, and frenetic jazz. Build up nearly unstoppable momentum and use your captors as both weapons and shields to crush everyone on your procedurally generated path to freedom. (steam)
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (MINIMUM): OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 x64 / Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E4500 (2 * 2200) or equivalent / Memory: 2 GB RAM / Graphics: GeForce 9600 GT (512 MB) / DirectX: Version 11 / Storage: 2 GB available space / Additional Notes: Controller Recommended
The second season follows the OA as she traverses to another dimension and ends up in San Francisco to continue her search for her former captor Hap and her fellow captives, as Prairie crosses paths with private eye Karim Washington to assist in his investigation of the surreal disappearance of a missing girl that involves an abandoned house with a supernatural history and an online puzzle game. Meanwhile, in the original dimension, a series of unfortunate events propels the OA’s five companions to embark on a road trip across America to assist the OA on her journey.
imdb / rt
timespace coordinates: New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
Déjà Vu (stylized onscreen as Deja Vu without accents) is a 2006 American science fiction action film directed by Tony Scott, written by Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio. The film stars Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer, Adam Goldberg and Bruce Greenwood. It involves an ATF agent who travels back in time in attempts to prevent a domestic terrorist attack. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: parallel universe – Victorian Jordan College in Oxford > retrofuturistic London > experimental station Bolvanga – far North
The Golden Compass is a 2007 fantasy adventure film based on Northern Lights, the first novel in Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials. Written and directed by Chris Weitz, it stars Nicole Kidman, Dakota Blue Richards, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, and Ian McKellen.
The film depicts the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan living in a parallel universe where a dogmatic ruling power called the Magisterium opposes free inquiry. Children in that universe are being kidnapped by an unknown group called the Gobblers who are supported by the Magisterium. Lyra joins a tribe of sea-farers on a trip to the far North, the land of the armoured polar bears, in search of the missing children.
Before its release, the film received criticism from secularist organisations and fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy for the dilution of elements of the story which were critical of religion, as well as from some religious organisations for the source material’s anti-religious themes. The studio ordered significant changes late in post-production, which Weitz later called a “terrible” experience. Although the film’s visual effects won both a BAFTA and an Academy Award, critical reception was mixed and revenue lower than anticipated. The film trilogy has not been continued, prompting actor Sam Elliott to blame censorship and the Catholic Church. (wiki)
Video game The game was released prior to the film and features a slightly different sequence of events towards the end of the story, as well as additional footage at the end of the game not seen in the film. (playthrough)
Controversies / Cancelled sequels
imdb / His Dark Materials (TV Series 2019– )