NYCC 2015: Cosplay Costume Highlights

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Every year at New York Comic Con, cosplayers find a new way to up their game and open it up to new fandoms. Once a parade of Batmans, Iron Mans, Harley Quinns, and Black Widows, the crowd is now much less homogeneous.

Not that there is anything wrong with dressing up as Batman (and many people did), but this year, it was gratifying to see a wider variety of characters walking around the show floor. There were more women, more people of color, and more LGBTQ characters. For every Power Ranger or Spiderman, there was an Effie Trinket, a Kamala Khan, or Frank N. Furter.

Young fandoms, like Agent Carter, Rick and Morty, and Mad Max: Fury Road, were well-represented. Peggy Carter’s red fedora and Furiosa’s mechanical arm were everywhere, and it was nearly impossible to go anywhere without seeing a white lab coat and a shock of bright blue hair. Many nostalgic properties for millennials also made a comeback, like The Magic School Bus and Hook, while others opted for a fresh take on old favorites, like Team StarKid’s Hipster Harry Potter or Bodybuilder Umbridge.

The variety of characters and fandoms represented by cosplayers at New York Comic Con is a reflection of the convention broadening itself as a whole. It is an encouraging development, and while there is still work to be done, it means that the geek community is becoming more inclusive as a whole to people of all ages, races, gender identities, and sexualities. Check out the gallery below for some cosplay highlights from New York Comic Con.

Oct
22
2015
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In October, Criterion Has "A Special Day" on "Mulholland Dr." in its "Own Private Idaho", and More

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Like any studio, with the invention of each new, better iteration of physical home video mediums, the Criterion Collection begins anew the process of making its massive library of culturally significant classic and contemporary films available on the new format. Ever since Blu-ray made its mark, Crtierion Collection has been releasing 4-6 of its films a month in the HD form, and in October, we get a couple of titles that fans have been clamoring for including: David Lynch's twisting mystery, Mulholland Dr.; David Cronenberg's tale of psychotherapy gone mad, The Brood; Masaki Kobayashi's ghost story anthology, Kwaidan; Ettore Scola's World War II drama, A Special Day; and Gus Van Sant's lauded tale of hustlers and sexuality, My Own Private Idaho.

It's one of Criterion Collection's best monthly slates of contemporary films in a while, and for a full-run-down of what each release has to offer, read on.

Oct
12
2015
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Win the First Season of "Jane the Virgin" on DVD

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Last fall, one of the most refreshing little comedies to make its debut was the CW's Jane the Virgin, a telenovela for English-speaking audiences that's just good enough to make people consider giving soap operas another try (but don't, none of them are this funny). The show's excellence hinges on some solid writing, a saucy Latino narrator (think Ron Howard in Arrested Development, but with a swarthy accent), and the breakout performance of Gina Rodriguez as the virginal Jane who is impregnated via a medical mishap. The show's first season goes all over the place in the lead-up to the birth of the child, and it's consistently entertaining from start to finish.

If you want to find out how you can win a copy of the first season of Jane the Virgin, read on.

Sep
22
2015
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The Monopoly Movie Is A Go: Here's Some Inspiration From The Game's Long History

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According to a post from Screenrant earlier this summer, the long-rumored Monopoly movie is officially happening. The film will be a product of a partnership between board game company Hasbro and Lionsgate, and Andrew Niccol (perhaps best known for having written The Truman Show) is writing a script. The same report provided a small synopsis of the film, which will evidently center on a boy who starts his life at Baltic Avenue and uses classic game elements (Chance and Community Chests) to find success, all while "avoiding jail time of course." The idea as it's presented is meant to be an adventurous and uplifting film for families.

This is a far cry from what previous rumors of a cinematic Monopoly adaptation have suggested, with the wildest idea being that Ridley Scott would direct some kind of bizarre fantasy epic in which a couple of nefarious brothers get sucked into a game board fraught with danger. Nevertheless, it's a concept that lends itself to unlimited possibilities when it comes to employing concepts from the Monopoly game.

Sep
16
2015
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Tribeca Film Festival 2015: Home Improvement

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Home Improvement is one of nine collections of short films presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. These six documentary short films are centered on the saying, “Home is where the heart is,” and all of the subjects in their own way are finding ways to improve and contribute to their respective homes. In Body Team 12 and The Trials of Constance Baker Motley, home is country, and it is worth putting one’s life on the line to make that country better for future generations. In The Gnomist, The Lights, and The House is Innocent, home is smaller communities like cities or neighborhoods, and art and humor can transform a forest into a magical place, a house into a Christmas spectacle, or a notorious murder house into a real home. Even Interview with a Free Man asks whether these men can meaningfully contribute and find their place in society after incarceration. Read on for a rundown of Home Improvement.

May
26
2015
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Tribeca Film Festival 2015: The Wolfpack

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On the Lower East Side of Manhattan lives the Angulo family, six brothers ages 16 to 23, one daughter, the diminutive mother Susanne, and the overbearing father Oscar. When they moved into the apartment in 1995, Oscar decided the city was not safe, and he would not allow his children to leave the apartment without his permission. Sometimes they would leave the apartment once or twice a year, as some of the older brothers remember, and one year, they never left the apartment at all. Homeschooled by their mother, the children had almost no contact with the outside world, and their only means to learn about the outside world was through their father’s extensive movie collection.

May
26
2015
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Tribeca Film Festival 2015: Thank You For Playing

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From the moment his baby son Joel was diagnosed with terminal cancer, game developer Ryan Green struggled to wrap his head around why this was happening and how his family would live with it. As time went on, he and his wife Amy got used to the hospital visits, the treatments, and seeing their tiny child hooked up to all those machines. Their other sons adjusted to the idea that their brother was fighting to stay alive, and the odds weren’t in his favor. How did Ryan cope in the face of such a devastating, unexplainable tragedy? To borrow the words of Neil Gaiman, he made good art, specifically a video game titled That Dragon, Cancer.

May
26
2015
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Tribeca Film Festival 2015: Be Yourself

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Be Yourself is one of nine collections of short films presented at the Tribeca Film Festival, focusing on personal stories about self-identity. Out of the six films in the collection, four of the films are reviewed below. All-American Family, a documentary about an all-deaf high school football team, and Eternal Princess, a portrait of gymnast Nadia Comaneci, were also part of the collection. The subject matter ranges from faith and love to art and passion for an era long gone. All of them are unique and personal, and all of them are part of the human experience. Read on for a rundown of Be Yourself.

American RenaissanceAmerican Renaissance is a look into the New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, New York and a profile of some of the performers, including jugglers, fairies, and a Queen Elizabeth. For people who are already familiar with these kinds of events, American Renaissance only scratches the surface of the subject matter. The interviews are entertaining, particularly the Queen Elizabeth actress, and the film has some good cinematography with some great shots of the jousting. Overall, though, the filmmakers could have gone deeper with the material, gotten more into this subculture and why someone dedicates so much time or their career to celebrating this era in history. I have family members who work a lot of these festivals, and there is plenty more to explore.

ElderElder is a true life love story about Tom Clark, a gay Mormon youth who fell in love for the first time during his mission in Italy. The story is recounted by Tom Clark with pictures and video taken by Clark during that time. He talks about how he was treated for his homosexuality with medication and so-called reparative therapy, and even as he was in love, he was praying to God and struggling with reconciling his faith and his sexuality. Elder is incredibly moving film. In its short runtime, it captures the elation and butterflies of first love and the aching heartbreak when it ends. It also shows why staying in the closet or seeking reparative therapy is so damaging, how it deprives people of love and affection while also forcing them to lie on a regular basis.

Live Fast Draw YungLive Fast Draw Yung follows the career of Yung Lenox, a six-year-old artist who specializes in illustrated hip-hop album covers. His work first got noticed after his father shared his drawings on Instagram, and since then, he has done portraits of Biggie Smalls, 2 Live Crew, and Tupac. Like Yung’s work, Live Fast Draw Yung is colorful, loose, and a little rough around the edges, and Yung is a charming kid and the perfect kind of subject for a short-form documentary.

In the short running time, the interviews delve into whether it is appropriate for a kid Yung’s age to be listening to music by artists like Biggie, and on a similar note, whether it is appropriate for him to be drawing some of these album covers. The 2 Live Crew cover, a popular one, prominently features women in bikinis with their butts taking up most of the cover. Also, Yung’s father talks about the allegations made by critics that he is pushing his son into it and that he is using his son to gain fame or a quick buck. It doesn’t necessarily resolve all of these questions that it brings up, but as a portrait of a six-year-old who loves drawing hip-hop artists, Live Fast Draw Yung is worth a watch.

My Enemy, My BrotherMy Enemy, My Brother tells the true story of Zahed and Najah, two soldiers who were on opposite sides during the Iran-Iraq war. During a battle, Najah was the only soldier still alive in his bunker, and Zahed was sent in to kill any survivors. Instead, Zahed decided to spare him and hid Najah, saving his life. Against all odds, the two were reunited years later when they both visited the same veteran’s hospital in Toronto. Their story is incredible, almost unbelievable if it was not true, and seeing these men brought back together all these years later is an emotional experience of itself. The reenacted flashbacks are also acted and filmed expertly. I am not usually a fan of these kinds of re-enactments in documentaries, but they are done well and used sparingly. This is a story that has stuck with me, and My Enemy, My Brother is one of the few films from the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival that I have recommended whole-heartedly without reservation to anyone. It is a powerful film, and its message of shared humanity is universal.

Apr
30
2015

Win a Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD Copy of "Dumb and Dumber To"

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Nothing says "I Love You" quite like a copy of a movie you won online, and so it is with that sentiment that we here at JustPressPlay want to give you our readers (and/or the general internet public), the chance to win Dumb and Dumber To. It's the sequel to Dumb and Dumber that was 20 years in the making, and now it's yours to own. All you have to do to get your hands on this Jeff Daniels, Jim Carrey, Peter Farrelly, and Bobby Farelly reunion is email us and give us some social media love.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts. Own DUMB AND DUMBER TO on Digital HD, Blu-ray & DVD now. From Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

To find out how you can win, read on!

Feb
14
2015
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Sex Toy Maker Produces an Actual Non-Porn Film, Because if Hasbro Can...

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Chalk it up to Valentine's Day looming on the horizon or the lowered standard for toy-to-movie adaptations set by Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but soon we'll be getting a feature film produced by a company [once] solely known for producing sex toys. Why would someone in the lucrative business of sex toys want to try their hand at filmmaking, where profits are decidedly less guaranteed? Are they just annoyed they weren't asked for product placement in 50 Shades of Grey? According to the company, LELO, the film (called Beyond the Wave starring Casper Van Dien of Starship Troopers) will serve as "a creative intervention to show couples how important it is to physically be with each other and understand each other’s perspective, both inside and outside of the bedroom."

Yes, it's weird, and no it's apparently not a 90-minute long infomercial set in a dystopian future where men and women have chosen to live apart from one another after a history of war and bloodshed (that's the actual premise). In fact, the company's products don't feature in the film at all.

Feb
10
2015
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'Don't Look Now' as Criterion Takes 'A Day in the Country' One 'Autumn Afternoon' & more in February

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Every month, the Criterion Collection selects a number of cinematically and culturally important films and makes an effort to preserve them with specialized DVD and Blu-ray releases. For February 2015, the Criterion Collection brings a new mix of classic films into the modern era with new restorations that mark the first time they've ever been available in high-definition (usually). In the mix we have Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now, Martin Rosen's animated adaptation of Richard Adams's Watership Down, Jean-Luc Godard's Every Man for Himself, Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country, Federico Fellini's Satyricon, and Yasujiro Ozu's An Autumn Afternoon.

For full details on all six releases, read on.

Feb
08
2015
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The Gambler Remake Slated for December Release

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James Toback’s The Gambler has been remade by film director Rupert Wyatt this year and will hit the cinemas globally on December 19. The film, which will star Mark Wahlberg as Jim Bennett a failing English professor who is struggling to hold down a respectable job while engaging frequently in high stakes gambling is joined by the enigmatic John Goodman in what promises to be a great end to a year of amazing movies.

Dec
10
2014
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NYCC 2014: Amber Benson Talks Witches, Writing, and Passing the Bechdel Test

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The multi-talented Amber Benson is best recognized as Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but recently, she is starring in Geek & Sundry’s new show Morganville: The Series and wrote the Calliope Reaper-Jones series for Penguin. Her newest book The Witches of Echo Park is coming out in January 2015. She sat down with me at New York Comic Con to discuss her life-long fascination with magic and how to make it through the saddest moments of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

 

Nov
04
2014
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"Birdman," "Once Upon a Time," and More Highlights From NYCC - Friday

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Friday at New York Comic Con is over, and wow, it was a busy day! On the main stage, there was ABC’s Once Upon a Time, as well as Michael Keaton and Edward Norton’s new film Birdman. Meanwhile, “Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender and the Comic Book Medium” was at full capacity (and then some!), and it definitely did not disappoint with a wide variety of artists, writers, and creators. Here are the highlights from Friday, including a preview of Michael Keaton and Edward Norton's new film Birdman, social justice superheroes, and great cosplay from New York Comic Con!

Oct
23
2014
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Thrilling Adventure Hour, Cary Elwes, and More Highlights from NYCC – Sunday

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Sunday is the last day of New York Comic Con, and in the past, it has been a more leisurely day without many big panels or events. 2014 has been a year for defying expectations, however, as Sunday morning started with John Hodgman, Paget Brewster, Mac Evan Jackson, and the rest of the cast of the Thrilling Adventure Hour making a major announcement about the future of the show, and it ended with Cary Elwes telling stories about the making of The Princess Bride. Read on for all the highlights, quotes, and best cosplay outfits from Sunday!

Oct
22
2014
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Gail Simone, Mike Tyson, and More Highlights from NYCC - Saturday

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Saturday at New York Comic Con is traditionally the biggest day as far as events, special guests, and crowds, and 2014 was no different. The stars of FX’s hit comedy The League including Paul Scheer, Mark Duplass, and Nick Kroll screened a new episode and answered questions from the fans. Meanwhile on the other side of the Javits Center, writers Gail Simone, Paul Tobin, and Brian Wood talked about the challenges of adapting beloved video games to comic books, and the stars of Black Dynamite, The Heart, She Holler, and Mike Tyson Mysteries talked about this year’s new Adult Swim programming. Read on for a full rundown of Saturday’s highlights, including The League, Bee & Puppycat, Dark Horse, and Adult Swim!

Oct
21
2014
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New Clips from Big Hero 6, Tomorrowland Premiere at NYCC 2014

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Brand new clips from Walt Disney Picture's upcoming films Big Hero 6 and Tomorrowland premiered on Thursday at New York Comic Con. Since cameras were strictly not allowed in the hall once the presentation began, here are recaps of all five Big Hero 6 clips as well as the brand-new teaser and extended clip from Tomorrowland.

Oct
21
2014
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Tomorrowland, Big Hero 6, and More Highlights from NYCC - Thursday

Thursday was the official kick-off for New York Comic Con 2014. In the past, Thursday has been mainly for press, exhibitors, and eager con-goers wanting to get a jump on exclusive merchandise. This year, however, Disney opened New York Comic Con with a bang with panels for Big Hero 6 and the highly anticipated Tomorrowland. There was more to Thursday than just the main hall, however, so read on for a rundown of best pictures, quotes, and highlights for Thursday.

Oct
21
2014
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Make 'Em Laugh: Gaffigan's "Obsessed" isn't Jim at his Best

Jim Gaffigan ranks among my favorite comedians, but even I have to confess that I’ve found his comedy specials to be declining in quality as the years have marched on. His early appearances on Comedy Central stand-up shows and his first special Beyond the Pale remain some of my favorite comedy bits of the 00s, but since then there’s a fair argument to be made that he’s been coasting, or worse, repeating himself a bit. Some of that sentiment stems from his transition from his safe zone of all food comedy, all the time. That and his self-condemning audience persona were his two mainstays that made him a terrific stand-up act. Understandably, not wanting to be pigeon-holed as “the food comedy guy”, he’s been branching out since King Baby (which was still pretty food-centric and consistently funny from start to finish), but it hasn’t been working too well for him, especially not with Obsessed.

Jun
16
2014
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Tribeca Film Festival 2014: Chef

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is a chef who loves his work, but his work is starting to consume him. His restaurant’s owner Riva (Dustin Hoffman) is stifling his creativity, and when he is urged to play it safe on his menu, he receives a devastatingly bad review from prominent food blogger Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt). After Carl’s son Percy (Emjay Anthony) introduces him to the joys of social media, Carl accidentally starts a Twitter feud with Ramsey, culminating in Carl confronting Ramsey in his restaurant and throwing a chocolate lava cake in his face. Out of work and short on options, Carl takes a trip to Miami with Percy and his beautiful ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara), and he is inspired to create a different kind of food truck, selling Cubano sandwiches. Together with his former line cook Martin (John Leguizamo) and Percy, Carl takes a road trip through Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, selling their Cubano sandwiches and taking in the local cuisine, and ending their trip in Los Angeles.

Jun
12
2014
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