Shout! Factory TV Hosting Kaiju Monster Movie Marathon This Weekend

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory TV/Shout! Factory/Pluto TV

Courtesy: Shout! Factory TV/Shout! Factory/Pluto TV

Shout! Factory TV and Famous Monsters of Filmland have teamed up for a very special event this weekend.

This Saturday, July 18th, Shout! Factory TV and Famous Monsters of Filmland will present a twenty-four hour Kaiju movie marathon. The livestream will run from midnight to midnight (EST) July 18th – 19th online at http://www.shoutfactorytvlive.com and on Pluto TV on channel 427 as well as on various mobile platforms. It will be hosted by Kaiju expert August Ragone and will feature no fewer than nine classic Godzilla movies. It will also feature fan favorite episodes of Ultra Seven and Ultra Q. Ragone, the two-time Rondo Award-winning author of Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters, will offer a complete, in-depth introduction to each of the marathon’s movies. Ragone has commented on Japanese film and culture on a variety of mediums and at countless live events for more than three decades.

The complete listing and schedule for this weekend’s marathon is listed below.

KAIJU CONTENT STREAMING ON SHOUT! FACTORY TV LIVE:

 

Godzilla: The Uncut Japanese Original (1954)

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

 

Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

Godzilla battles an irradiated Ankylosaur and destroys Osaka in the process.

 

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1954)

A 400-foot dinosaur-like beast, awoken from undersea hibernation off the Japanese coast by atomic-bomb testing, attacks Tokyo.

 

Rodan (1956)

Mutant pterosaurs and prehistoric insects terrorize humanity.

 

Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964)

A greedy developer unwittingly hatches a gigantic baby moth upon Tokyo, while Godzilla strikes once again.

 

Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster (1964)

After a meteorite unleashes a three-headed beast upon Tokyo, Mothra tries to unite with Godzilla and Rodan to battle the extraterrestrial threat.

 

Monster Zero (1965)

Aliens from Planet X request the use of Godzilla and Rodan to fight off King Ghidorah, but have a better use for the three monsters.

 

Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)

A bullied schoolboy dreams of traveling to Monster Island, where he befriends Godzilla’s son, who is also having bully troubles.

                                  

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Godzilla comes to the rescue when an alien race rebuilds Mechagodzilla to destroy Earth’s cities.

 

ULTRA Q – 8 fan favorite episodes

“For the next 30 minutes, your eyes will leave your body and arrive in this strange moment in time…” In the world of Ultra Q, the very fabric of nature is warped into a state of unbalance, and all manner of strange phenomenon, and unearthly creatures, threaten the very future of mankind! On the scene are a world-renown scientist and his young friends—a girl photojournalist, an aviator, and his co-pilot—who investigate these supernatural menaces. When sheer military might is futile, the intrepid trio comes to the rescue, armed solely with their ingenuity, and scientific prowess, to quell these malevolent forces and restore the balance of nature.

The precursor to Ultraman, Ultra Q is a seminal science-fantasy television series in the monstrous mold of The Outer Limits and The X Files, which is deeply ingrained in the psyche of Japanese pop culture as The Twilight Zone is to America. Eiji Tsuburaya, the visual effects wizard behind Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra, creates a spectacular cavalcade of bizarre beasts and mass mayhem in each and every episode of this wildly popular series. Never before broadcast in the North America, Ultra Q stars Kenji Sahara (Rodan), Hiroko Sakurai (Ultraman), Yasuhiko Saijo (Destroy All Monsters), and is now available on Shout! Factory TV.

 

ULTRA SEVEN– 8 fan favorite episodes

The Earth is in danger! Even now, fiendish hands are stretching out from the distant stars to seize the world…From their massive underground complex near Mt. Fuji, the Ultra Guard, an elite unit of the Terrestrial Defense Force, equipped with a squadron of Ultra Hawks, stands vigilant as our decisive first-line to combat the myriad of alien aggressors, who threaten the very existence of our planet. But, unbeknownst to his fellow teammates, Dan Moroboshi, is secretly an extraterrestrial aiding them in their fight to preserve the future of humanity — considered the “7th member” of the Ultra Guard — better known as “Ultra Seven!”

Produced by the creative team behind Ultraman, Ultra Seven is the third entry in the “Ultra Series,” and is arguably the best of the long-running franchise, with its emphasis on science fiction and themes touching on subjects ranging from the cruelty of war to social and racial injustices in the grand tradition of Star Trek and The Outer Limits. Plus, Ultra Seven features the colossal monsters and spectacular visual effects viewers expect from the men who brought Godzilla to life!

 

Schedule of Films*

12:00 a.m. – Godzilla, the Uncut Japanese Original (1954)

1:45 a.m. – Ultra Q episodes

5:15 a.m. – Ultra Seven episodes

6:30 a.m. – Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954)

8:15 a.m. – Ultra Seven episodes

9:00 a.m. – Rodan (1956)

10:30 a.m. – Ultra Seven episodes

11:15 a.m. – Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

12:45 p.m. – Ultra Seven episodes

1:30 p.m. – Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

3:15 p.m. – Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)

5:00 p.m. – Monster Zero (1965)

6:45 p.m. – Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)

8:15 p.m. – Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

10:00 p.m. – Godzilla, the Uncut Japanese Original (1954)

11:45 p.m. – Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)

1:15 a.m. – Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

3:00 a.m. – Godzilla, the Uncut Japanese Original (1954)

*Times listed are Eastern time, approximate and subject to change.

Audiences can check out a trailer for this weekend’s marathon online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh5PrOaCTZw.

More information on this weekend’s marathon and all programming offered by Shout! Factory TV is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactorytv.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactorytv

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactoryTV

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philpicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

When Santa Fell To Earth Is A Holiday Tale Unlike Almost Every Other

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment’s new Christmas-themed movie When Santa Fell To Earth is one of the best holiday-themed movies to come along in a very long time. The movie, which is based on author Cornelia Funke’s 1994 book by the same name, is actually surprisingly entertaining. This is the even with the movie being just another adaptation of a book. The main reason for the movie’s success is that despite being adapted from a book, its story actually stands out quite a bit from all of the other cookie cutter Christmas-themed movies. It follows the formula used by so many major studios lightly at best. Another reason for the movie’s success is its minimal use of special effects. And while it was originally done in German or another European language, the work of those responsible for dubbing the film made that dubbing nearly invisible. It may seem like a minor factor. But in the grand scheme of things, dubbing foreign films whether foreign to English or vice versa is very important. Good dubbing results in a movie such as this. Bad dubbing can make a movie into a third rate product not worth even finishing let alone watching. Luckily for this movie, that poor dubbing didn’t work. The end result is a movie that along with its somewhat original script and its minimal use of special effects proves to be as enjoyable as any other holiday-themed movie released each year.

The central reason for the success of When Santa Fell To Earth is its writing. More specifically, the script is to thank for its success. Given, it is based on a two-decades old book. But that book in question is not one that most would consider well-known. What’s more, while there are some alterations in the transfer from the printed page to small screen, they aren’t nearly as much as some adaptations of other more well-known literary works. The story itself also stands out from other holiday movies out there. Most Christmas-themed movies see an average person saving Christmas by filling in for Santa or getting others to realize the “true meaning of Christmas” through a series of events. Those are the most common plot lines in most Christmas-themed movies. This movie takes a road not just less taken but a road no one else saw, period. According to this story, there are actually multiple Santas. But they’ve all been frozen by an evil figure that wants to rule Christmas and turn it into a fully corporate holiday. Enter Nikklas Julebukk (pronounced YULE-uh-buck). Nikklas is the last Santa standing between the evil Gerald Geronimus Goblynch. It’s up to Nikklas to stop Gerald and his henchman, and save Christmas. Nikklas crashes to Earth in his flight from Gerald and his henchman, leading to his meeting Ben and Charlotte, who help him to stop Gerald. There are no big red sleighs. The only reindeer in the movie is one that audiences definitely won’t recognize. Its name is Twinklestar. And instead of the North Pole, Nikklas is trying to keep the story’s villain from taking over Yuleland. Some names and places have been changed in the transition from the printed page to the small screen. But by and large, the story has been kept the same. That and the fact that this story is unlike nearly any other out there within the Christmas-themed genre is more than enough reason to see this movie at least once.

The overall originality of this movie’s script even in its transition from the printed page to the small screen is the most important factor in the movie’s success. Another reason that audiences will enjoy this movie is its minimalist use of special effects. The only special effects come courtesy of some CG work to create a pair of “Christmas elves” and a pair of tiny angels who serve as Nikklas’ companions. The elves are entirely CG. The angels (yes, they actually incorporate angels alongside Santa—a very young Santa at that) are live actors. But their wings and flying effects were obviously created via CG and green screen. Even Gerald’s evil giant nutcracker “soldiers” looked like they had been crafted by hand. Other than that, everything else within this movie looks to be live action. Again, one can’t help but make a comparison to other holiday movies out there today. Set against most American holiday movies its balance of live action elements and special effects gives it a rare feel that audiences of all ages will appreciate. It’s one more way in which When Santa Fell To Earth stands out among the already overcrowded market of Christmas-themed movies currently on the market. And together with the its largely original adaptation from its literary companion, this foreign import becomes even more enjoyable.

The balance of live action elements and CG-based special effects in When Santa Fell To Earth and the largely original story adapted from the book of the same name are both important to the overall success of this straight-to-DVD feature. Rounding out the entire presentation is the movie’s dubbing. It would seem that the movie’s original presentation was German simply by observing the movie’s credits and its setting. That would make sense considering that the author of the book on which this movie is based is herself German.   Those charged with dubbing the movie into English are to be commended for taking such painstaking efforts to present a clean product. There are movies dubbed into English that don’t exactly translate very well. The end result is something that looks like the old school kung-fu flicks and Godzilla movies imported from Japan and China. That’s not a good thing. Luckily in this case that poor translation didn’t happen. Audiences almost can’t tell that what they are hearing is in fact American voices speaking over European actors. There are points here and there where audiences will be able to catch the dubbing. But it’s nowhere near as obvious as in those noted old school Asian imports. The end result is a movie well worth watching at least once this holiday season when taken into consideration along with the movie’s story and its balance of live action and CG elements.

The story presented in When Santa Fell To Earth is one of the most original holiday stories presented to audiences in a long time. Given, it is based on a book that was originally published two decades ago. But in comparison to all of the other holiday movies out there it still stands out. And for the most part, it actually stays largely true to its literary link. Only a few minor items were changed in the story’s small screen adaptation. The minimalist use of special effects makes the story even more worth the watch. In an age when even holiday movies seem to rely increasingly on special effects and CG elements, this movie’s balance of live action to special effects makes it all the more worth the watch. Rounding out the presentation is the dubbing process. It’s assumed that the movie, in its original 2011 release, was presented in German. Those charged with dubbing the movie into English for its release this year carried out their duties expertly. The end result of these factors together is a movie that every family should see at least once this holiday season. It will be available on DVD Tuesday, October 14th. It can be ordered direct online now via Anchor Bay Entertainment’s website at http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/detail.aspx?projectID=bd0b8d9a-21f7-e311-a502-d4ae527c3b65. More information on this and other titles from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Anchor_Bay

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.