Sonic the Hedgehog: Running to the Big Screen

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Sonic’s promotional picture for the 2012 Disney animated film “Wreck-It Ralph.” No concept artwork for the new Sonic film is being produced at the moment, but this a close second. Courtesy: Wikia

If you saw Sonic among other video game characters in Disney 2012 animated film Wreck-It Ralph, you probably thought that will be the first and last time the Blue Blur would appear on the big screen, right? Wrong!

Sega Sammy has announced Wednesday, Feb. 10 that they are indeed working with Sony Pictures to produce a live-action/CGI-animated hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog movie to be released in…2018.

There were some Internet whispers about a Sonic film being produced by Sony a couple years ago, with some speculating that if the movie is being made at all, it would be released either this year or in 2017. Some fans, like myself, were elated to hear the news of Sonic scoring his own big-screen gig, and some got impatient when Sega Sammy said it would be completed by 2018. I consider myself to be on the border of excited and impatient. Excited because, like the majority of the Sonic fanbase (which I’ve been a part for 12 years and counting), I have been waiting for a Sonic film, or movie industry chatter of it, to see the light of day; and impatient because two years is too long for us to see the final cut in theaters. Then again, the original Sonic Adventure took 18 months to develop.

I’m also skeptical about the quality of the new Sonic film for two reasons. First, one of the laws of the gaming community dictates that films based on video games do not adhere to source material, therefore we shouldn’t waste our money on film adaptations of such games. To wit, the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie (1993). In this film, Mario and Luigi’s (Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo, respectively) plumbing business is being financially ousted by a major construction company in Brooklyn, Princess Daisy studies archaeology at NYU, and Bowser (or King Koopa) attempts to merge the dinosaur-civilized dimension with the human world 65 million years after a meteorite split the universe in two–a story that is the polar opposite of the canon’s plot. I saw some parts of the movie as a kid but not the whole thing, so I saved myself from an incessant head-banging session after hearing from the core Mario fans themselves how badly the movie performed. In 2007, both the late Hoskins and Leguizamo stated in an interview with The Guardian and the autobiography Pimps, Hos, Playas and the Rest of my Hollywood Friends, respectively, that the Super Mario Bros. movie was the worst film they ventured into as actors.
Secondly, live-action/CGI hybrid films suffered a 20-year history of harsh panning from film critics, who deemed Space Jam, Osmosis Jones, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and The Smurfs as extremely pale compared to the first live-action/CGI hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Space Jam was stellar because Michael Jordan was cast to play alongside the Looney Tunes in a intergalactic basketball game against aliens who usurped the talents of Jordan’s NBA peers, but I guess the critics attacked the other films mentioned above for implementing the same formula the 1996 Warner Bros. classic created: cast famous celebrities as either the voices of the cartoon characters or as co-stars with their favorite characters. You can guess which film did either-or.

I hope that whoever is directing the new Sonic movie is so loyal to the franchise he’ll follow the source material and keep the personalities of the Sonic characters intact. Whether the director will base the movie on the games, the comics, or even both remains to be seen. As for which actors will co-star with Sonic and Company…well, I’m expecting they will celebrities who have been Sonic fans since either ’91 or ’98. The game series’s voice-acting cast should remain as they are unless either Jaleel White or Ryan Drummond are called upon to reprise their role of Sonic.

For the next two years, let’s give Sega Sammy and Sony Pictures our best wishes on Sonic’s cinematic endeavor.

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Too Old for Parental Controls

Too Old for Parental Controls

At age 21, I never in a million years thought that I would be subjected to the same kind of parental control treatment as a 10-year-old would when it came to watching a certain TV show–specifically, ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter
Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter

How to Get Away with Murder is a legal drama and mystery created by Peter Nowalk and executive produced by Shonda Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy, anyone?) about renowned attorney and law professor Annalise Keating (Emmy Award-winner Viola Davis) and five interning students who get tangled up in a murder plot involving a student of Annalise’s husband Sam, who also gets murdered by the interns upon discovering that he was having an affair with said student. In the first season, the first nine episodes alternate between the present day timeline, with the interns covering up Sam’s death, and flashbacks of events leading up to the murder. This season, it’s the same thing with Annalise’s impending demise.

To me, How to Get Away with Murder is one of those shows that I would look forward to every week because of the suspense it builds. My mother and brother, however, do not like the fact that I am watching that show, especially my mother. Why? Because they believe it has too much sexual content. I have watched the entire first season of How to Get Away with Murder and the first three episodes of its current season, and while there are some sexual sequences, that is not what the show in its entirety is about. Otherwise, the FCC would’ve forced ABC to take it off the air by now.

I explained to my mom last week that How to Get Away with Murder is not a negative influence on me whatsoever, but she fired back with, “I’m very disappointed in you [for watching that show], Cristina.”

It’s one thing to punish a little kid for watching something that’s supposed to be for adult eyes only, which is why the TV content ratings system is in place courtesy of the U.S. Congress, the television industry and the FCC, so why should I have to be subjected to the same treatment for watching a TV show I’m already of age to watch according to the ratings system (How to Get Away with Murder is rated TV-14)? Just because How to Get Away with Murder exhibits some content that’s not suitable for some people doesn’t make me a bad person. Whatever, I’m sure that my family will eventually come to accept my interest in this show just as they did with my interests in everything else I’ve come across over the course of my lifetime.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch last night’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder–if my mom doesn’t chastise me for it, that is.

My Expectations for Summer 2015

I’m done with most of my classes for the semester, and my World Geography final is next Monday. According to the study guide my professor posted, it’s 70 questions long. Who the hell would have the audacity to write a final exam with 70 questions in lieu of 35, half of what he wrote? But enough about that. Here’s what I want to do after the semester ends and my summer vacation begins…

☆ Earn my driver’s license
     ~ I know what you’re all thinking. “Cristina, how come you still haven’t gotten your license at age 21 like everyone else in your generation?” Last summer, I flunked my learner’s permit exam three times in the month of August no matter how hard I studied for it. I have been learning about road rules whenever I’m being driven around by my mother, my brother, and/or my stepfather, so I might have a better chance at getting my license this year–and a car if my parents can afford it.

☆ Improve my social life
     ~ I love my family, but I kinda want to see my friends because I haven’t seen them in forever due to school and other life matters. Plus, I have a couple of BFFs–one of them graduating from high school soon–who may be attending colleges outside of Florida, so I want to make the most of the time I have with them before they go to school in another state.

☆ Attend SuperCon
     ~ In the past year, I’ve attended ANIMATE! Miami in January and November and I cosplayed Amy Rose (from Sonic the Hedgehog) and Grell Sutcliff (from Black Butler), respectively. This June, I want to go to SuperCon in Miami Beach. It’ll probably be a lot bigger and better than ANIMATE! Miami, which is scheduled October 23-25 (as if they couldn’t move it up earlier). Of all the voice actors that are gonna be at SuperCon, I want to meet J. Michael Tatum, who voices Sebastian (my dear Bassy!!) on the English dub of Black Butler. That way, I can ask him for details on the development of the English dub of Black Butler: Book of Circus, assuming FUNimation is working on it at all.

☆ Finish writing my first novel
     ~ I really would love to tell you what my first book is about, but it’s best to keep it a secret until it’s published. It’s been an on-and-off project for a year because of school and God knows what else.

Well, that’s all I got.