robotech_master: (chop stamp)
So I now seem to have three different editions of the Shadow Chronicles DVDs. I was curious how their special features stacked up against each other, so I went in and did some comparisons.

Lots of screen caps, ahoy! )

Too long/didn't view version: the new movie's disc has one more featurette and several more deleted scenes and animatics than the two-disc set. So if you're inclined to care about extras like deleted scenes, the 2-disc version might just be worth getting. My only concern is how the video quality stacks up. Did they have to compress the video further to make everything fit on one disc?

While I don't have the expertise to do a file-by-file comparison, I did notice when I put the discs in my BD-ROM drive that the original feature film disc weighed in at 6.04 GB (it had both Shadow Chronicles and the making-of documentary on it), the 2-disc Collector's edition at 4.42 GB for disc 1 + 3.83 GB for disc 2, and the two-movie set's version was 6.84 GB. So I guess they might have found a way to cram everything in at equivalent quality in the one disc by eliminating redundancies between the two.

My only regret is I don't have the Blu-ray version, too, so I can see how its extras stack up. Oh well, some other time.
robotech_master: (unicorn tree)
So, last night I finished watching the "new" Robotech movie, Robotech: Love, Live, Alive. (I quotate "new" for reasons that will become clear below the cut.) It was a nostalgic experience. I might just dig out Audacity and run off a one-off Space Station Liberty podcast to commemorate it, and excerpt some audio clips. But for now, I might as well set my thoughts down while they're still fresh.

Ready to take a spin down memory lane in a transforming motorcycle? )

So is it worth $12.86 for the 2-movie set at Amazon? On the one hand, there's not a lot new here. On the other, if you're wanting to show Shadow Chronicles to someone who's never seen Robotech before, or you're a completist, or don't have Shadow Chronicles yet, it's not a whole lot of money for at least something new, and it does help convince HG to put money toward making more new stuff. If nothing else, it's a cheap and easy way to get Shadow Chronicles on DVD.
robotech_master: (Default)
This week is the start of the two-week "Anime Bento" film festival event. Two films this week, two films next week. This week, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and the Full Metal Alchemist movie. Next week, Hayao Miyazaki's Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro and some other movie I've never heard of.

Now, given my handle, you would expect me to tell you to go and see Shadow Chronicles, wouldn't you? And I'll certainly agree that if you're going to see it, you might as well see it on a big screen at least once; it's a decent enough effort for Harmony Gold's first original feature film, even if as a feature film it's more of an OAV in terms of quality.

But it's not fit to sweep the floor for next week's Castle of Cagliostro, which has always been and still remains one of my favorite anime films (for which I contributed an mp3 commentary track, by the way). How unfair it is that it's showing, for the first time in a decade or more and one night only, in Kansas City and Saint Louis, but not anywhere near Springfield. Even if I had a car, I couldn't make it up to and back from KC in a resonable length of time, what with work that and the next day.

If you're living anywhere in driving range of one of the theaters showing Castle of Cagliostro on the 26th, you owe it to yourself to get tickets in advance and go and see it. Big screen, high-definition…even if it's shown in dubbed format (as it probably will be) it's still worth the time and effort. Who knows when or if it will screen like that again?
robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)
To commemorate the official release day of Shadow Chronicles, here's…yet another Shadow Chronicles nitpick!

This one contains a fairly large spoiler for the ending, so here's a cut. Wait'll you've watched it all the way through before reading this entry.

Click to spoil yourself! )

Note that just because I make these nitpicks does not mean that I care for the show any less, or would take back one word of the glowing review I gave it. Nitpicks are a way that fans can interact with the show, speculating about why it is the way it is. I still love the movie—and besides, it's not as if the original series was exactly free of weird continuity glitches either.

Remember, tonight on Space Station Liberty we'll be talking about Shadow Chronicles in detail. Don't miss out!
robotech_master: (unicorn tree)
Well, yesterday I went down to the local FLGS, MetaGames Unlimited, in the hope of demonstrating Universalis. Sadly there didn't seem to be anyone there interested in playing, but my brother sent a friend of his down to try it out and we played a nifty little two-player game right then and there. It was fun, and here's the post-session writeup.

Now I want more than ever to try to play this game online on a chatserver. I just need players. :/

I've gone ahead and done another half-hour-long prerecorded show for Space Station Liberty. This one fills in a couple of Robotech news items, and reviews a webcomic I discovered lately, [ profile] syke's Alien Dice. It also mentions the new shownotes blog I've set up for Space Station Liberty, as I was getting tired of mentioning links and then having nowhere to put them.

Incidentally, I'm interviewing novelist James Luceno on Monday night. In addition to co-writing the Robotech novels, Luceno has written or is writing a number of Star Wars tie-ins, including three books from the New Jedi Order series and an upcoming book about Darth Plageius that a lot of fans are curious about. Check it out and tell your friends!
robotech_master: (dande)

(Click to enlarge.)

So here we see that Vince Grant comes from the state of America. I suppose geography lessons are not considered all that important when you're battling over entire star systems…

But the funniest thing to me is that his age is given as 36. That would mean Vince was born in 2008, fathered Bowie at the ripe old age of 5, and was all of 14 when the SDF-3 headed for deep space in 2022.

On the other hand, he does look remarkably well-preserved for the late-40s-to-early-50s age that he technically should be in 2044. Relativistic travel slowing the aging process? A result of exposure to protoculture radiation and shadow-dimensional fields? (After all, if they can increase bust size dramatically in the female, perhaps they just cause slower aging in the male? Oh, but wait—that wouldn't account for Rick Hunter, who looks about a million years old now.)

Incidentally, the tiny text at the top of the screen is, as nearly as I can make out, "Note that you need a verification code that will be sent to your e-mail to be able to activate your user…" So we find that the Neutron-S missiles are actually detonated by web forum registration software.

Props to Darkwater from The Unofficial Robotech Reporter for pointing the age and state things out to me.

Oh, and by the way, any Robotech fans who don't read the message boards and so forth, check out Space Station Liberty to see what future shows I've got scheduled. There's some good ones coming up. I've also posted a couple of pre-recorded shows lately.
robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)

(Click to enlarge.)

Hey, maybe they were separated at birth.

One of the things that Carl Macek talks about in the commentary track to Codename Robotech, the movie condensation of the first third of the Macross saga on one of the Robotech extras DVDs, is how they retimed and edited the animation as part of the dubbing process to eliminate what he calls "ethnic gesture." (And no, that doesn't mean mean how furriners give the finger, either.) He's referring to gestures, motions, or silly faces that are distinctly Japanese, or else specifically animé tropes; back then they wanted to make Robotech look as American as possible, or at least avoid confusing people. (Examples of the sorts of things that got eliminated included Annie's eyes becoming hearts when she saw someone handsome, or Rand bumping his head and making a big-eyed, big-mouthed face.)

This is, in part, why I find the above picture so amusing. Anyone who watches a lot of animé is probably familiar with the gesture that the above pictures represent: closing one's eyes and smiling to denote real or feigned embarrassment, often accompanied by sweatdrops either on the smiler or on the consternated person who is the object of the smile. And it's all over the place in Shadow Chronicles. I'm kind of surprised that we didn't get the sweatdrops, too—after all, we did in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles.

There are other little animéisms, too, like the fish-eye lens effect used on Alex Romero a time or two when he's startled into incoherence or asking if Marcus is out of his gourd. But the closed-eyes smile is the most obvious.

I'm not complaining about it, mind. Just really amused, given that part of the whole point of the original Robotech adaptation was cutting that sort of thing out. I would be inclined to guess the change is because the American public is more used to that sort of thing now, what with animé having made it so big over here in the last few years, but thinking it was an intentional change is probably too big of an assumption. I imagine it was just one of those things that happened in the animation process and nobody really even noticed it was there.
robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)
That was a truly marvelous experience.

I interviewed…Lisa Hayes. That's all there is to it. I interviewed Melanie MacQueen, the voice actress for Lisa Hayes and Marlene from Robotech, and her normal voice is very close to Lisa's. It was hardly a stretch at all to imagine Lisa Hayes sitting at a desk in her RDF uniform, with a phone held to her ear. It was just so amazing, and she had some great stories to tell. Such as an unusual acting tip given to her by Greg Snegoff, or the (slightly scary) Lisa Hayes groupie she encountered at RoboCon 10.

The only problem was the first couple minutes or so from my end was slightly garbled, as I had forgotten I had a bandwidth-intensive program running during the initial download. I've gone back in and rerecorded the introduction, and will slap it in, split it into parts, and reupload it as soon as the file becomes available. But for a three and one half hour show, processing takes a while.

Ah, there it is. Time to edit.
robotech_master: (kimkitty)

(Click to enlarge.)

It's kind of a funny thing, really. Hardcore Robotech nerds are going to be scrutinizing every second of Shadow Chronicles for signs that Harmony Gold has messed up their beloved continuity. I love these people—I like to call them "continuity pornographers." They're so fixated on details, like whether Space Station Liberty was supposed to be in the solar system or out in deep space, or what side of the moon that ALUCE was supposed to be on, and so on, that you have to wonder if they're able to enjoy the show at all.

But here's a "continuity" error of a different sort. At 1:00:25 into the film, Vince Grant turns to Janice, Ariel, and Scott to ask them a question. First we see them in long-shot, then it jumps to a close-up. And what an interesting change we see in Scott's outfit!

When next we see him, a few minutes later, he's back in the uniform again.

Props to Justy from RDF Underground for pointing it out in his review, and Darkwater from The Unofficial Robotech Reporter for telling me exactly where it was.
robotech_master: (dande)
If you liked the music of Robotech at all…go to "Yellow Dancer" singer Michael Bradley's site and drop $1.19 on his new cover of his old song from Robotech: The Movie, "Underground." One of my favorite songs from the Robotech soundtrack CD, the new version replaces the synth-heavy '80s accompaniment with a driving guitar and drum track. His new duet partner Khristina Kay does a good job on the female vocals (formerly by Joanne Harris), too.

Bradley really won't break even on this sale, after payment processing and licensing costs are taken into account, but he wanted to put it out there for fans to hear. And it will serve to promote the new album of Robotech-related music he's going to be releasing soon.

And it's just such a kick-@$$ song…
robotech_master: (Default)
Got my Shadow Chronicles DVD today—a week and a half early, courtesy of Watched the movie again, and now am watching the full documentary for the first time. I'd seen parts of it already at GenCon and the St. Louis screening, but it's neat to see them again in full DVD quality.

I'll bang out a full review soon, but I'm quite happy with the DVD on the whole. Marvelous transfer quality, excellent sound. And a great continuation of the Robotech story. What more can a fan ask for?
robotech_master: (Default)
Tomorrow night, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I get to interview Chase Masterson, and I'm really looking forward to it. Funny thing—just about everyone I've mentioned Chase's name to has said she's one of the nicest people in show business. And as it happens, she's also an experienced podcast talkshow host. But I also need to be thinking about who I'm going to have on the show next week, or in a couple weeks, and I've been looking into that very matter today. And found out a couple of interesting things.

Did you know that the Screen Actors' Guild has a phone number you can call to get the contact information of stars' agents? I did that today, to try to get messages to a couple of the stars of the old Robotech TV show. I emailed a couple of others who have their own websites, too. Hopefully they'll all say yes.
robotech_master: (Default)
Woohoo! Friday, January 12th, at 10 p.m. Eastern, I will be interviewing Chase Masterson—Deep Space Nine Dabo girl Leeta, and Janice Em's voice from the upcoming Shadow Chronicles—live on Space Station Liberty. I'm really excited about that.

I've put together a press release about the whole thing, which you can find below the LJ cut. I've gone around sending it to all the major SF and Star Trek news sites I could find. Wonder if there's anywhere else I could send it…hm, maybe I should check for major Trek-related blogs.

For Immediate Release: Actress Chase Masterson will be interviewed live on talk show Space Station Liberty )
robotech_master: (chop stamp)
Well, today I did the Storyteller's Bowl TalkShoe interview show with Diane Duane, Sharon Lee, and Steve Miller. It ended up going just over an hour, and it went very well for the most part. I stuttered and stammered a few times toward the end after I basically ran out of things to say, but there was a lot of good stuff there for fans of the Wizardry and Liaden series. I hope that I can have all three of them back for longer reviews on more general topics in the future.

Checking my stats, so far I see it had 4 participants and 11 streaming listeners, and has had 18 downloads as of the latest time tallied by TalkShoe's meters. (Well, actually, there have been 18 downloads of all episodes of my show since then. I'm going to assume they're all or mostly the latest show, however.)

I also did a two hour, fifteen minute Robotech show, where a bunch of Robotech fans got together and talked about the show. I cut it off at 2h 15m because I didn't want to intimidate people who don't want to download five-hour monsters, especially when there aren't any guests to attract the more casual fans. I'll be honest, it's basically a whole lot of arguing over minutia again: stuff people have heard about Shadow Chronicles and whether General Leonard really was "evil." There's only so much of that I can take at a time, and I'm one of the biggest Robotech fans I know.

Anyway, both shows can be found via my TalkShoe page.
robotech_master: (Default)
Well, I just discovered that the iTunes Music Store has a Talking Heads album, Bonus Rarities & Outtakes, that I can't seem to find anywhere else. Even Amazon doesn't have it, which is something remarkable.

Anyway, I couldn't give a darn about most of the songs on that album—they'd be nice to have, but I'm not going to shrivel up and die without them. But the album also has one song I've been seeking for a long time. And I couldn't was just 99 cents. So now I'm sitting here grooving to it on infinite repeat.

The song in question is the one from the climax of the Talking Heads movie True Stories, "People Like Us," sung by John Goodman. It's not been available on any other albums, as the record label never got around to releasing a true "soundtrack" to the movie, just an album with all the songs performed by the Talking Heads themselves. It's a wonderful upbeat country song, all fiddles and twangy steel guitars, and John Goodman really puts his heart into the song. It's no wonder he ended up joining the Blues Brothers band and starring in Blues Brothers 2000.

True Stories is a marvelously offbeat little movie. Kind of like something you'd expect David Lynch to make; great music, too. You can generally find it on DVD for under $10 these days. Unfortunately it was put out in 1.33:1 pan and scan back in the early days of DVD, and has never been reissued in a proper aspect ratio.

Other news: I've made a Wikipedia entry about There wasn't any sort of entry there before, and I spent the day coming up with something good and comprehensive. I figure it'll get cut down by Wiki regulars soon enough, but better to write too much than too little. It's also a sort of job application for a tech writing gig for my bro Aaron's employer. Aaron got my my last job, with the ISP where I worked for two years; maybe he'll get me this one too. Hope so. I need to do some other writing stuff for it, but that can happen after I get up today.

Also, tonight I'm doing an interview with Harmony Gold representative Tommy Yune on my TalkShoe talk show, Space Station Liberty. I've got my questions all ready and I'm really looking forward to it—partly for the sake of the interview, and partly for seeing how many people show up for a program that's actually gotten some advance publicity. Any and all Robotech fans are welcome to call in!

Oh bed.

Well, after this run-through of the song finishes, anyway.

"...there's something special 'bout people like us! People like us, the kind who answer the telephone..."
robotech_master: (Default)
They put my face on the front of I have hit the big time. Now if only I didn't look quite so dorky...

Thursday, December 7th, 9 p.m. Eastern will mark my second interview with Harmony Gold staffer, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles co-writer/co-director Tommy Yune. (My first was when I want up to St. Louis for the film festival. At least this time I should have slightly better audio quality than a microcassette recorder.) It's an exciting opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the big names of Robotech (and to mix other metaphors like that).

f anyone has any specific questions they'd like to make sure I ask, post 'em in the comments and I'll collect 'em up and ask the good ones. If you want to make sure your question gets asked, make sure you phone in because I'll take questions round-robin style after I've run through all my own questions.

Wow. I'm on the front page of That's awesome.
robotech_master: (Default)
In a half hour, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on December 1, I will be interviewing controversial Robotech fan Peter Walker on my TalkShoe Robotech show, Space Station Liberty. Feel free to listen, chat, or call in, using the Talkshoe client! Just register and it's a free download. After the show is over, it will be available as a free download in mp3 format. See the link below for information on ways to call in.

Also, Thursday December 7th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, I will be interviewing Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles co-writer/co-director Tommy Yune. Feel free to tune in!
robotech_master: (dande)
All right, now I'm amused. Maybe I shouldn't be, but I am.

In a random blogsearch for Robotech, I came across this MySpace blog post (warning: comes with streaming Internet radio feed that I haven't managed to figure out how to disable, so turn your speakers down) by someone who watched Robotech way back when and just got around to watching it again.

And this guy is pissed—downright angry—that Rick chose Lisa Hayes over Minmei at the end of the Macross saga.

Takes all kinds, I guess.
robotech_master: (Default)
I'm planning to try out this Talkshoe thing and do a live call-in talk show relating to Robotech tonight at 8 eastern/7 central. I've posted the information about it in various Robotechy places on-line, and hope I'll get enough listeners/participants to make an interesting hour of it. Here's the show information; hope I'll hear you there!
robotech_master: (dande)
This is me at a Panera in St. Louis, getting ready to conduct an interview with Harmony Gold representative Tommy Yune. (Click pic for larger version.) The interview took half an hour, and was pretty cool; I tried not to ask some of the same things I knew he'd been asked before in other interviews.

The interview can be heard in episode #58 of the RDF Underground podcast; or downloaded and played separately. Some interesting stuff came out about the future of the Robotech franchise, although of course there was a lot Tommy couldn't say. He shot the photo at right with his digital camera; there are some other photos, some also of me, at his photo gallery of the film festival event.

How was Shadow Chronicles? Pretty good. It wasn't perfect; it had just a few flaws, the largest of which was that there wasn't enough time in a 90-minute movie to focus adequately on all the new characters. I would like to have seen the same events covered by about eight 22-minute TV episodes, to provide more time for characterization. I'll post a more detailed review on my essay journal or as part of RDF Underground soon enough. But by and large, it was a great experience and a worthy successor to Robotech. If I had the opportunity to see it again I would do so immediately. February 6th cannot come soon enough.

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