Netflix debuts ‘original’ anime series

Netflix now has its own original anime series, except not really. Knights of Sidonia, a Japanese 12-episode science fiction animated series, began streaming exclusively on the service on July 4. Knights of Sidonia, unlike House of Cards or Orange is the New Black, isn’t really a Netflix original. Netflix obtained the exclusive distribution rights here in the United States. That doesn’t make it original.

I canceled my Netflix account some time ago, but plan on activating it again when the fourth and final season of The Killing debuts on Netflix August 1. I did the same thing for the second season of House of Cards. I finished the second season and then checked out the other Netflix streaming content. When I realized it was the same old stuff they had before, most of it available on Amazon Prime Instant Video for free with the Prime Membership, I canceled Netflix again.

I don’t remember Netflix having good anime available for streaming. I guess it’s good that they’re investing in Knights of Sidonia, which by all accounts, seems to be a good series. I haven’t read any hateful, negative reviews for it.

Here’s a trailer for Knights of Sidonia:

Cibola Burn

Cibola Burn - Bent CornerCibola Burn, the fourth book in the science fiction series The Expanse, written by James S.A. Corey, a pen name for two writers, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, came out on June 17. I didn’t even realize it was out yet until I saw something about it over at SF Signal. I knew last year that the fourth book was coming out June of 2014, but to be perfectly honest, I didn’t realize that was now. At the time, that seemed so far off into the future.

I’ve been really looking forward to this book. I read the first three books in the series, as well as two stand along short-stories, last year and loved them. To me, the stories represented everything a good science fiction book series should be. The characters all seemed like real people, people I cared about. As a writer, that’s not an easy thing to pull off. At least I assume it’s not since not a lot of writers seem to be able to do it.

The series has been referred to as space opera. I still don’t know what that actually means, but if these books are a true representation of the genre within a genre, then I love me some space opera.

Buy Cibola Burn on Amazon

Getting to know the cast of the new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy

The new Star Wars movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, is scheduled for release in December 2015. It will be the first movie of three, taking place after the 1983 movie Return of the Jedi. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have signed on to reprise their roles from the original trilogy, but who are the other actors playing major parts in the new trilogy?

Here is a current rundown:

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerJohn Boyega

British actor of Nigerian origin, he’s best known for his role in the 2011 British monster movie Attack the Block. He’s also in the current season of 24.

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerGwendoline Christie

British actress best know for playing Brienne of Tarth in the HBO series Game of Thrones. She is very tall, 6-3 to be exact.

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerAdam Driver

Probably best known as the love interest of Lena Dunham on HBO’s Girls. He is the lone American of the new cast. He served in the U.S. Marines for a few years and even deployed to Iraq. He will reportedly play a villain in the new movie.

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerDomhnall Gleeson

Born in Dublin, Ireland and graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology with a degree in media arts. Probably best known for his leading role in the movie in the 2013 movie About Time. He also appeared in the 2010 remake of True Grit. On a side note, it’s very hard to find a photo of Mr. Gleeson where he isn’t in dire need of a haircut.

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerOscar Isaac

Born in Guatemala and raised in Miami, Florida. He graduated Juilliard and was in a band before becoming an actor. He played Price John in the 2010 Robin Hood movie. He claims that he and his family are giant Star Wars nerds.

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerLupita Nyong’o

Born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents, she has Mexican and Kenyan duel-citizenship. She earned a BA from Hampshire College in film and theatre studies and then completed her master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama. She’s best known for her role in 2013 movie 12 Years a Slave where she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerAndy Serkis

The British actor is best known for his performance capture roles. He played Golum in the Lord of the Ring movies, the giant gorilla in King Kong, and Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes movies. He also played Nikola Tesla’s assistant in The Prestige. In that movie, he played a normal, regular human. No special CGI capture suit required for that one.

Getting to know the cast of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy - Bent CornerMax von Sydow

Born in Lund, Sweden and attended the Royal Dramatic Theatre’s acting school. He’s one of Sweden’s most admired and professional actors. He played Emperor Ming in the 1980 Flash Gordon movie. He also played Father Merrin in The Exorcist.

So there you have it. Looks like if you want a major part in the new Star Wars trilogy, one of the most iconic American movie franchises of all time, it would behoove you to not be American. If you are American, it may help to have done a few TV-MA naked love scenes with Lena Dunham.

Poster from the ‘Star Wars’ soundtrack

The Star Wars soundtrack, scored by John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, was released in 1977. It was a double LP album and it included a nifty looking poster. It featured the artwork of science fiction artist John Berkey. It showed brave and courageous T.I.E pilots protecting a space station, their home, against the dishonorable scum from the Rebel Alliance.

It was a sad day for the Empire, but it made for a visually striking poster.

May the Fourth be with you!

May the Fourth be with you! - Bent Corner
Today is May 4th, also known in geek circles as Star Wars Day. The reason is because May 4th sort of sounds like the beginning of the expression, “May the Force be with you.”

It’s kind of silly but not as silly as Talk Like a Pirate Day or Columbus Day.

The origin of the day supposedly goes back to 1979, and it wasn’t even invented by George Lucas or anyone else officially connected to the movie franchise. Strangely enough, its creation is connected to Margaret Thatcher becoming UK Prime Minister on May 4, 1979. The day after she was elected, her party, the Conservative Party, took out a newspaper ad that stated, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”

I have a love-hate relationship with Star Wars. There’s a lot I love about the franchise, but there’s also a lot I hate about it. I loved the original trilogy, but like most people, I thought the prequels are nearly unwatchable. Even though I loved the original movies, I think I loved the look of the original movies more than anything else; I think a lot of the writing and dialogue were really bad. Most of that, I think, can be blamed on George Lucas. Though he created Star Wars, he’s an awful director and an even worse screenwriter.

To say that George Lucas is a talentless hack is an insult to talentless hacks.