Archives for : October2012

Hell just froze over! Disney buys Lucasfilm! Star Wars Episode 7 in production!

Disney continues to take over the entertainment world.

Press release follows…

October 30, 2012

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT today, October 30, 2012. Details for the call are listed in the release.

Global leader in high-quality family entertainment agrees to acquire world-renowned Lucasfilm Ltd, including legendary STAR WARS franchise.

Acquisition continues Disney’s strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world’s best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value.

Lucasfilm to join company’s global portfolio of world class brands including Disney, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel and ABC.

STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 feature film targeted for release in 2015.

Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 – Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star

I SAID the line stars here!

Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

Note: Additional information and comments from Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and Jay Rasulo, senior executive vice president and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, regarding Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, are attached.

Investor Conference Call:

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT today, October 30, 2012. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to /investors/events or dial in domestically at (888) 771-4371 or internationally at (847) 585-4405. For both dial-in numbers, the participant pass code is 33674546.

The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney Investor Relations website through November 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM EST/2:00 PM PST.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media, and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company with revenues of over $40 billion in its Fiscal Year 2011.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Founded by George Lucas in 1971, Lucasfilm is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company’s global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties; Lucasfilm Animation; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore, produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Bait 3-D: Horror(ible) Blu-Ray Review

Anchor Bay
Director: Kimble Rendall
Writers: Duncan Kennedy (additional writing by), Justin Monjo (additional writing by), and some other people but I don’t believe it.
Stars: Richard Brancatisano, Xavier Samuel and Chris Betts
Purchase here! On second thought please don’t.

What they say: When a monstrous freak tsunami hits a sleepy beach community, a group of survivors from different walks of life find themselves trapped inside a submerged grocery store. As they try to escape to safety, they soon discover that there is a predator among them more deadly than the threat of drowning–vicious great white sharks lurking in the water, starved for fresh meat. As the bloodthirsty sharks begin to pick the survivors off one by one, the group realizes that they must work together to find a way out without being eaten alive.

What I say: I have been reviewing films professionally for a little over a year now. In that time I have seen god films, bad films, films that made me say wtf, and films that made me want to die. But I have never seen anything like Bait.

The movie starts with us meeting two lifeguards. One is hungover the other goes out into the water. The drunk goes his finds his girlfriend who looks like she has not eaten in like three years. A shark shows up to the eat the other lifeguard, the drunk hops on a jet ski to go save him. And in my favorite part in the entire movie, the skeleton girl shoves him off them screams “NOOOOOOOOOOO! Please don’t go!”

If she didn’t want him to go then why did she help him? After that brilliance you know you are in for it from here. The shark eats the other lifeguard who is the skeletons brother and drunk dude can’t handle the guilt. We then shift to a year later. The drunk is now a broken man, having gave up the surfer life to work in a grocery store that is luckily located below sea level. There is a cast of wacky characters working and shopping there. There’s a robbery being committed by Christian from Nip/Tuck and another dude. And in the most unbelievable part of all the skeleton girl shows up at the supermarket…in the food section. Look at her! We know that bitch doesn’t eat!

Then for no reason what so ever a giant wave washes in and takes out the whole town. Of course this leaves the supermarket and car park flooded. SO to make a too long story short there’s sharks in the market and car park. They start picking off folks left and right. Oh, and dog murderers are worse than people murderers…or something.

This film was shot in 3-D so everything in the world is thrown at the screen. You would think with 3-D being around for over 50 years that film makers could do more than throw shit at you. The cast is horrendous and the writing cliché, and the direction nonexistent. The people makes the most beetle headed decisions I have ever seen in a movie. And if you watched what I watched you know that would be saying something.

The picture quality is great but who cares on such an awful movie? This set comes with 2 discs. One Blu-Ray with regular and 3-D versions of the film and a DVD for you to play Frisbee with your dog. Trust me that would be more fun that watching the “movie”.

Bait: 3/10
Blu-Ray: 8/10

Fafner: The Complete Series: Anime Blu-Ray Review

Stars: Mari Devon, Chris Kent and Kohei Kiyasu
Purchase here!

What they say: Terrorized by a hostile alien race’s mental warfare, humans hear only this question just before their lives-essentially their minds-are assimilated by the violent invaders. Kazuki and his classmates lay everything on the line to pilot their heavily-guarded island’s secret weapons: towering mechs for which only they are genetically qualified to control. With most of Earth destroyed, humanity’s survival relies on these youths’ selfless determination to protect the only home they know. But when each battle pushes the pilots to the brink of assimilation, who will protect them?

What I say: At first glance Fafner looks like a watered down version of Evangelion. But you know what? At second glance it still does. And after watching 26 episodes it STILL does. There is technically nothing wrong with this series other than the fact it has been done better and been done better repeatedly.

This anime was first released in 2004 and unfortunately it shows. The Blu-Ray presentation looks fantastic. But if you are not all ready a fan this will not win you over. The art style also looks really dated this also does not do the show any favors.

If this looks at all interesting to you check you Evagelion or Raxpherion. Give Fafner a pass.

Anime: 6/10
Blu-Ray: 9/10

Juan of the Dead: Horror DVD Review

Focus Features/Entertainment One
Director: Alejandro Brugués
Writer: Alejandro Brugués
Stars: Alexis Díaz de Villegas, Jorge Molina and Andrea Duro
Purchase here!

What they say: When Havana begins to fill up with zombies, Juan, a 40-year-old slacker, is forced to become a hero, defend his country and protect his own on an island that has turned into a real bloodbath.

What I say: The zombie genre is pretty damn tired at this point. When zombies are a big hit on TV you can tell they have lost their scare factor. In order to stand out a zombie film would have to have a fresh perspective. Luckily Juan of the Dead accomplishes this. Set in Havana, Cuba Juan is a low level hood who hangs with his best friend and their gang. Running scams, fishing, and slacking off make up most of their days. But when the undead start to appear it’s up to Juan and his crew to step up and combat the zombie menace and possibly profit from it as well.

The film does a pretty good job of letting us get to know Juan and his crew before all hell breaks loose. There are several complications along the way that keep the story moving. The film does a great job of slowly setting up the zombie threat before it really hits. The film also touches on the power of friendship and following your dreams. The film is well made, well acted, proficiently directed, and a lot of fun. Juan and the rest of the cast elevate the scenario above the typical zombie fare and make this an enjoyable romp.

Film: 8/10
DVD: 8/10

Extraterrestrial: Sci-Fi DVD Review

Focus Features/Entertainment One

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Nacho Vigalondo
Stars: Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces and Julián Villagrán

Purchase here!

What they say: A man wakes up in a beautiful woman’s bed just as an alien invasion begins. Now, he has to face a deserted city, a jealous ex-boyfriend, an eccentric neighbor and possibly the end of the world.

What I say: Director Nacho Vigalondo burst on the scene in 2007 with the sharply written and superbly directed sci-fi/horror mash-up Timecrimes. Based on that film I was very much looking forward to seeing what the man came up with next. Four years later Extraterrestrial dropped. How did Vigalondo’s sophomore effort stack up? Read on my friends…

Julio wakes up, hungover, in a strange apartment. He finds he is still with the woman he had a one night stand with the night before. While they were passed out an Alien invasion has occurred and the entire neighborhood has been evacuated except for Julio, Julia (the woman he was with, and her nosy neighbor Carlos. Being as a Alien ship is hovering nearby Julio decides to stay put. But complications arise; Julias boyfriend Angel shows up. SO the lies begin as the three work together to fortify the apartment. But Carlos has other ideas. You see he is also in love with Julia and tries to throw a wrench into the budding triangle.

In a panic, Julio tells Angel that Carlos is a disguised Alien and paranoia reigns from then on as lies get stacked on top of lies. This sounds pretty decent right? Well, it’s dull as can be. Do you like Woody Allen movies? You know when nothing really happens and they never have an ending? If not, this is not for you. One wonders why they even bothered with the whole Alien angle, it added nothing except the excuse for the lies that drove the plot. It tries to be either a drama or romantic comedy but fails at both.

The true shame is that the entire cast is excellent. All the performances are stellar and the actors all do a great job of selling their roles. It’s not their fault that the story lacked. Hopefully Vigalondo still has a great follow up in his because this isn’t it. We all ready have one Woody Allen and believe me one is more than enough.

Film: 6/10
DVD: 8/10