In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, after years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.
Starring Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Sharon Brown Jr. (Mikey), Micah Abbey (Donnie), Brady Noon (Raph), Jackie Chan (Splinter), Ayo Edebiri (April), Ice Cube (Superfly), Seth Rogen (Bebop), John Cena (Rocksteady), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), Post Malone (Ray Fillet), Hannibal Buress (Genghis Frog), Natasia Demetriou (Wing Nut), Maya Rudolph (Cynthia Utrom), and Giancarlo Esposito (Baxter Stockman)!
I really love how much the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has inspired American animation companies to experiment, visually.
Also, real actual teens as the turtles themselves is an inspired choice.
Flick looks to be a nice, late-Summer jam.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem hits theaters on August 2, 2023.
In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. With control of the future and the fate of the world at stake, and dark forces from Ethan’s past closing in, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all-powerful enemy, Ethan is forced to consider that nothing can matter more than his mission – not even the lives of those he cares about most.
It’s crazy how, though the franchise has always been — at least — good, over the last few installments, I’ve absolutely become a drooling fanboy for the Mission: Impossible films.
Tom Cruise is a crazy, crazy man, but I’m so glad that Christopher McQuarrie pushes him to make these incredible action ballets.
Have a poster, too.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One runs into theaters on July 12, 2023.
Billund, May 16th, 2023: The LEGO Group announces its latest addition to the LEGO Batman Collection – the LEGO “Batman Returns” Batcave Shadow Box. An official collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products and DC, this highly detailed set combines beautiful display pieces with iconic iconography perfect for ultimate Batman fans.
Based on the Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Batman Returns,” the set is incredibly detailed and features the full Batcave, inside a display box with a cutout in the shape of the iconic Batman emblem. At the heart of the set is the Caped Crusader’s Batmobile and, just like Batman’s Batcave, the set features clever functions and gadgets including the ability to move furniture, change images on the big screen, open a vault and open a door, and several light bricks.
In addition, the set comes with brand new minifigures of Catwoman and The Penguin, as well as various minifigures including Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, and Max Shreck.
A brisk $449.99 USD gets you this absolutely astonishing set on June 5th, 2023.
If I had the money to blow and the space to house it, I’d get this in a heartbeat. It’s truly a work of art.
I joke often about the reason why toys now are so cool to adults of my age group is not because we’re in some sort of never-ending-childhood (ok maybe we are a bit), but because people are age are making the decisions now.
This may be one of the purest versions of that, hybridizing toy, art, presentation piece and commercial good. Amazing work by the designers.
Last night at Midnight, many excited fans finally got a hold of something they’ve wanted for a very long time.
I, of course, am talking about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the long-awaited sequel to Breath of the Wild, the beloved Switch installment of the long running franchise. That said, I couldn’t join them last night1.
Instead, I found myself hitting play on another long-awaited release, last night’s drop of the 10th Anniversary edition of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.
Besides being gobsmacked that it’s been 10 years since the release of what would — unbeknownst to us — become Daft Punk’s last album, I immediately wanted to jump into the second “disc”2, filled with different odds-and-ends from the album’s sessions.
When Random Access Memories dropped a decade ago, the response was mixed, to say the least. Daft Punk was coming off of the stunning career one-two punch of their score to Tron: Legacy, an amazing step-up in profile and difficulty for the French dance music duo, and their Alive: 2007 tour and album, an amazing, enthralling mix of literally their entire career to this point. A mashup of literally all their work to this point, Alive: 2007 served as a celebration of their success, recontextualizing songs from Homework, Discovery and Human After All into one massive celebration of music, grooves and a career well spent. They dug deep into the music they made and generated a new appreciation of it all.
When the massive marketing campaign for Random Access Memories hit, people were expecting something the next Discovery, but instead, they got something quirkier. Sure, Daft Punk received the greatest charting single of their career in “Get Lucky”, but after decades of sample fueled dance hits, the masked robots of Thomas and Guy-Man chose to look back to the records that made them, and put together a true 70’s disco record. In the 2010s.
This was extremely polarizing. Though the appreciation of the record has grown over the years, the hardcore Daft Punk fan base didn’t know what to do with the album placed before them.
And that’s part of what I found so intriguing with this 10 year release. Sure, you’d be getting the expected international release B-Sides (“Horizon”), but you’d also be getting a look at the duo’s creative process, with a number of demos and unspoken of lost tracks. Even the bitter-sweet alternate version of “Touch” which soundtracked their 2021 farewell video.
I’d heard “Horizon” previously, and knew there was a lost Julian Casablancas song (“Infinity Repeating”), but what was this?
In turn, at about midnight last night, that was the first track I hit play on.
I played it once. I played it twice. I played it three times.
Turns out, for a fan of Daft Punk, this track is almost like a Rosetta Stone.
It’s the inflection point from the Tron: Legacy score into the Random Access Memories-era.
The groove is there, but so are the real instruments. The strings, the hypnotic vibes, you lose yourself in it. And yet, you’re teased by what could’ve been. It says it in the title — 2012 Unfinished — this was a song they weren’t able to figure out. It’s a puzzle minus a key piece.
Yet, at the same time, it’s incredible. It’s funny how a creative never sees the full positives of their work. They see the poorly drawn lines, the grammatical errors, the hook that didn’t hit the heights they wanted. “Prime”, even in this form, snakes its way into your brain, and won’t let you go.
I was immediately reminded of another of my favorite musical acts, The Appleseed Cast, who in 2012 as a creative project, opened the doors to their demos in process. Those have been long since archived, but one track lived on on a compilation album. The song later became “North Star Ordination” on Illumination Ritual, but in hearing the demo, found here, there’s a similarity to “Prime”. It’s a work trying to find itself. All the pieces may not be there, but you’re enthralled. And you wonder what could be.
It’s been two years since Daft Punk called it quits. One half of the duo, Thomas Bangalter, did press recently surrounding his original ballet(!), speaking to the BBC.
In it he said, about their robot-era:
As much as I love this character, the last thing I would want to be, in the world we live in, in 2023, is a robot.
Is it any wonder then, that today, 10 years after the release of Random Access Memories, with “Prime”, we’re getting a look at Daft Punk at their most human. Creating something real and true, and wondering what could have been.
Random Access Memories (10th Anniversary Edition is streaming now.
I promised my wife, who is out of town, that I’d wait until she got back to start the game. She likes watching me play through different games. It’s like real-life Twitch, I guess? ↩
Weird to call it that, given, you know, streaming. ↩
Since Comixology was folded into Amazon last year, and founder David Steinberger left the company, many have seen him and former Comixology executive Chip Mosher hanging out together quite a bit. Many surmised they were working on a new thing and today we learned what that new thing is: DSTLRY, a new comics publisher that brings together an innovative relationship with creators, and a “StubHub-Style Resellable Digital Marketplace.”
On paper, DSTLRY is saying all of the right things, for example:
Each “Founding Creator” will hold an equity stake in the company, and an additional 3% of DSTLRY’s company equity will be distributed among all creators who release projects during the first three years of DSTLRY’s publishing slate, with money allocated based on title performance.
And the lineup of creators and talent is hard to ignore, e.g.:
The line-up of Founding Creators is loaded: Scott Snyder (Batman, Wytches), Tula Lotay (Barnstormers), James Tynion IV (Something Is Killing the Children, The Joker War), Junko Mizuno (Pure Trance, Ravina the Witch?), Ram V (Detective Comics, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr), Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika, Mercy), Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer, Catwoman), Jock (Batman: One Dark Knight, Wytches), Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman, Batgirls), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Joker), Elsa Charretier (Love Everlasting, November), Stephanie Phillips (Grim, Harley Quinn), Lee Garbett (Spider-Man, Skyward), Marc Bernardin (Adora and the Distance, Star Trek: Picard), Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine, Captain Carter), and Founding Editor Will Dennis (Y: The Last Man, Snow Angels).
But it’s their business plan that has me scratching my head.
Unlike Comixology, DSTLRY will launch with oversized 48-page issues in both print and digital, distributed to comics shops in the usual way. Collected editions will be widely available in print and digital.
That much is like a traditional publisher. But DSTLRY is adding what they bill as “a Stub Hub for digital comics.” Digital drops of individual issues will come with various benefits – special discounts, exclusive drops, and meetups with the creators – and while they are NOT NFTs they will be fully ownable and resellable. Owners will be able to resell their items on the DSTLRY marketplace. Although they can set their own price, a percentage of resale goes back to the creators. Physical issues will be limited-edition collectibles in the traditional sense.
So I’m glad that…
This isn’t NFT-based.
Collected editions will be wildely avialable in digital
As a trade-waiter with a massive collection on ComiXology, I feel like this is somewhat being catered to me, even though I’m pretty sure their books won’t be available on Amazon. (Maybe I’m wrong?) This marketplace idea, overall, sounds massively misguided and as if it’s trying to capture a part of the audience that just isn’t there. The idea behind selling digital content is the lack of overhead, the lack of rush, the ease of accessibility. Sure, you can’t “lend” in many traditional senses, or re-sell, but…that’s the compremise made.
This feels like a fools errand that, if the company gets acquired or goes belly up, you’re out the whole shebang.
I appreciate the effort to cut in the creators on the resale, but is that a massive concern? Please, creators, I know I know some of you, and you might be reading this…what does that mean to you? Is it a given of extra funding, or is it sort of a “nice if I get it, but I don’t expect it” scenario?
At the end of the day, like with any new comic company, the core business will rest on if the books are good. We can debate the rest. But right now? I’ve got a very raised eyebrow at their plans. Wish them the best just the same.