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)

Whose, indeed?

I suppose it's a little petty to nitpick the grammar of a subtitle (it should be "but who's counting?" without the comma), but still, it's the sort of thing you would think they could have caught in editing, wouldn't you?
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)

Left: Vince Grant as played by Samuel L. Jackson. Right: Vince Grant as played by Denzel Washington. (Click to enlarge)

Well, all right, seriously…isn't it just amazing what a little plastic surgery can do? It's good to see he got that cross-eyedness taken care of, too.

Note also the major advance in REF clipboard technology.

Well, all right, maybe not quite so seriously after all.
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)
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: (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.
robotech_master: (Default)
Tomorrow morning, I get up at 6 a.m., eat a meager breakfast, and then head up to the airport to rent a car. From there, I go to St. Louis, thence to see Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, something I've been looking forward to doing for quite some time; I've got plans to wear my Robotech T-shirt from GenCon and everything. I'll be meeting my friend Captain JTF of Roboblog III: The Odyssey, as well as my brothers Aaron and Alex. I'll be able to pick up the sword-canes I purchased at GenCon. Then afterward I'll turn around and drive back home. I got a pretty good deal on the rental car, too; $15 for the economy car, from Thrifty Rental via Travelocity, plus $10 for liability insurance (have to comply with state law) + $5 for an additional 250 miles, which I need to get me to Saint Louis and back. And I'm getting refunded the $5 from Travelocity afterward, because their site lists the mileage as unlimited instead of a 250 mile limit. And I have to pay for gas too—but even so, it'll still end up being cheaper than a round trip bus ticket, and more convenient too.

But that's not all. ) I love being able to accomplish not just one but three distinct goals with that one trip. Makes me feel like I'm really getting stuff done.

Edit: And even that may not be all. I've just discovered that the Schlafly microbrewery is also located in that area, and offers hourly tours on Saturday. So I may just stop in there before heading home. After all, I toured Anheuser-Busch last time I was in St. Louis...

So now I'm prepping for my trip. I've got Google Maps printouts out the wazoo to help me when I hit the St. Louis area. I've dug up the cigarette-lighter-to USB power adapter I got somewhere, for to run my iPod off of while in the car. Hopefully it will have a tape deck that I can buy a cheap cassette adapter to throw in. If not, I'll get by somehow. I am set. Depending on the weather tomorrow morning, I may try to bicycle the eight miles to the airport, lock my bike there, pick the car up, and drive it back down to my house to load my stuff into it before setting out for St. Louis. Then I will repeat the maneuver in reverse when I return tomorrow evening—drive the car home to unload my shopping purchases and stuff, then up to the airport to turn it in and retrieve my bike. If the weather is just too bad to pull it off, I may take a cab in both or one direction instead, but I'd rather save the money.

I just hope I'll be able to drive safely. It's been a few years since I was last behind the wheel for any length of time—though to be honest, that's part of why I'm looking forward to this trip. I love travelling...although I'm not a Catholic, I've always figured it was appropriate that St. Christopher is the patron saint of travel.


Aug. 2nd, 2006 05:36 pm
robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles comes to DVD on November 21st.

That is all.

Edit: Oops, pasted in the wrong URL. The right one is this link.

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