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J!-ENT INTERVIEWS PUFFY AMIYUMI (2017) by Dennis A. Amith and Michelle Tymon (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

March 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

When I first discovered Puffy AmiYumi (known as “Puffy” in Japan), they took Japan by their storm with their simple style of t-shirts, blue jeans and sneakers.  Bucking the fashion trend and dance choreography of other Japanese female music artists during the 1990’s, Puffy AmiYumi impressed audiences with their style of music and presentation.

The duo consisting of Yumi Yoshimura and Ami Onuki burst into the Japanese music scene back in 1996 dominating the charts.  And while Puffy AmiYumi would release their debut album in America and perform in the U.S., it wasn’t until their music was featured in the Cartoon Network animated series “Teen Titans” that the duo would receive recognition internationally.

In 2004, the duo would have their own animated TV series titled “Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi”, would be featured on a GAP fashion ad and performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

And as I have interviewed Puffy AmiYumi for the next few years, our last interview with the ladies, was back in 2010 to celebrate the duo’s 15th Anniversary (view our 15th Anniversary Puffy AmiYumi special).

And here we are in 2017, celebrating the duo’s 21-year anniversary and knowing that there are not many female Japanese music artists that have had the same level of success of Puffy AmiYumi and continue to perform for audiences worldwide.

Starting on March 31st, the group will be performing at Anime Boston 2017 and on April 4th, the group will be performing at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, followed by a performance on April 6th at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco and on April 9th at Trees in Dallas, Texas as part of their Puffy AmiYumi US Tour 2017 “#NotLazyTour”.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Puffy AmiYumi about their upcoming U.S. performance:


I interviewed both of you when you made your debut in the United States and I have listened to your music when you first made your single debut “Asia no Junshin” in Japan. What is the biggest difference in your approach to music today versus when you first started out.

Ami: When we debuted, we really didn’t know anything. We were always surprised by how our producer, Tamio Okuda, and other musicians made music and the various things they concentrated on. But now, we really understand how that feels.

Very few Japanese acts were able to penetrate the American music scene, yet Puffy AmiYumi was able to create an audience thanks to the theme song for “Teen Titans” and you eventually had your own animated show in the United States. You had a GAP ad and performed on the Macy’s Parade on national TV. Looking back at your success and knowing that you accomplished something that many Japanese have not done, was there a lot of pressure on for the both of you to continue that success?

Yumi: There wasn’t really any pressure. We always make sure to have fun with anything we do as a part of Puffy’s style, so when we did all of those things, I believe we did while having fun. And those were all experiences that most Japanese people aren’t able to experience much, so we are very honored.

Last year, Puffy AmiYumi celebrated their 20th Anniversary and the music scene has changed a lot in the past two decades. One difference is the popularity of social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Do you feel that social media has changed the way for the both of you to communicate with your fans?

Ami: I believe that the spread of social media over the last 20 year is definitely huge. I personally have my own Instagram, and because of that, I’m able to directly receive messages of support from fans. And since we can see how our fans our reacting with so little time lag, it’s very helpful to us.

You are about to embark on another tour which includes performances in the United States (for Puffy AmiYumi US Tour 2017 “NOT LAZY”). It’s been awhile since you performed in the U.S., how does it feel to be coming back?

Yumi: Even though we hadn’t traveled to America for a while, we had been constantly doing concerts in Japan, so I think we’ve powered up even more since our last visit. So right now, we’re very excited!

As you celebrate your 21st year, after all these years…Ami, what are your top three songs that you love performing in front of a live audience?

Ami: “Asia no Junshin,” “Akai Buranko,” and “Circuit no Musume.”

I’m curious to see how your musical tastes have changed.   In our very first interview, Yumi you said you were listening to Nirvana, Eels, Hole and U2 and Ami said Red Hot Chili Peppers. But what about now?

 

Yumi: Of course, I still love all of those groups. When I listen to the albums that I love, I remember things from when I first heard the albums, or feel very nostalgic.

Back in 2002, for our second interview, I asked each of you to describe each other in one word. Yumi, you said of Ami, “Serious” and Ami, you said of Yumi “Young”. In 2010, Yumi said of Ami “Relax” and Ami said of Yumi, “Older Sister”. Ami, if you had to describe Yumi, what would you say today?

Ami: For Yumi…“Hanashi ga Tomoranai” (She doesn’t stop talking)

Yumi, you told me you were playing the video game “Ryu ga Gotoku” (known as “Yakuza” in the U.S.) a lot back then.  Ami you were playing “Dragon Quest Monsters Joker II”. Any certain games that you are playing now?

Yumi: I still love “Dragon Quest” even now and continue to play. Right now, I’m trying to figure out if I want to buy a Nintendo Switch or not.

Both of you told me you love tea! But I didn’t get to ask what kind of tea that both of you enjoy? So, I have to ask…what is your favorite tea? And if there is an area in Tokyo that serves the best tea, which area would you recommend?

Ami: We like tea… Did we actually say that? Either way, I do like tea. I like chai. I think I’d recommend the café next to Saigoyama Park.

It’s funny because in our 2010 interview, both of you said that you wished Taco Bell would open a store in Japan and now you can find a Taco Bell in Japan. And now there are more Mexican restaurants in Tokyo. But with you returning back to America, is there a certain food that you have wanted to try but never yet had the chance?

Yumi: While we weren’t in America, I can now eat some foods that I couldn’t before. For example, cilantro and lamb. Because of that, I’d like to try out some places that I never got to try before.

What final words do you have for your fans worldwide?

Ami: This year, Puffy is now in our 21st year. The reason that we’ve been able to continue for so long is the countless support we’ve received from people from various countries!! We’ll continue to work even harder so we can someday hold concerts in countries we haven’t been to yet!

Yumi: Last year, we celebrated our 20th anniversary, and we are grateful to all of our fans! The upcoming concerts should be a lot of fun. Please come out and see us!

For more information, please visit their official website or their Facebook Page.

Photos courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Japan


Read our complete J!-ENT Puffy AmiYumi interviews and articles from 1996-2010 (Click on image)


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X Japan Shuts Down London For HMV Signing Event, Takes Top Spot On UK Rock Chart

March 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

On Saturday, March 4, X Japan performed their first major show of 2017 on #XDAY at SSE Arena, Wembley, following the release of their feature film documentary We Are X in theaters across the UK. The We Are X Soundtrack (featuring the theme song “La Venus”) was released worldwide on March 3 on Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings, taking the Number 1 spot in 9 countries on iTunes as well as the #1 position on the UK Rock And Metal Chart, Top 30 on the UK Albums Chart, and Number 3 on the UK Soundtrack Chart.

UK Official Charts (link): http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/rock-and-metal-albums-chart/20170310/112/

The award-winning We Are X made its UK premiere to a sold-out audience at Piccadilly’s Picture House in London on February 28 before launching in UK theaters across the country on March 2, adding to the excitement of the band’s upcoming show 2 days later at Wembley Arena. Fulfilling the band’s promise to return to the UK after last year’s concert had been abruptly cancelled by guitarist Pata’s serious illness, the band held a special CD-signing event at HMV in London on March 3, forcing the shut-down of Oxford Street as over 1000 fans gathered to meet the members of X Japan in person.
[Check out HMV’s photo album of the record-breaking event]

X Japan has created a buzz among UK fans and critics alike with last week’s back-to-back concert, film, and soundtrack events, promising more announcements later this year.
“Their show proves eye-poppingly captivating” — METAL HAMMER MAGAZINE
“Perfection” — POWERPLAY MAGAZINE
“Intoxicatingly triumphant” — METAL TALK
“Fervently mesmeric” — RECORD COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
“X JAPAN deliver a unique, moving experience.” — MY GLOBAL MIND
“Mesmerising, they hover around a magical musical sweet spot” — MUSIC-NEWS

The We Are X Soundtrack is available now worldwide on Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/WeAreX_iTunes
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/WeareX_amz
1. La Venus (Acoustic Version)*
2. Kurenai (from The Last Live)
3. Forever Love
4. A Piano String in Es Dur
5. Dahlia
6. Crucify My Love
7. Xclamation
8. Standing Sex (from X Japan Returns)
9. Tears
10. Longing ~Setsubou no Yoru~
11. Art of Life (3rd Movement)
12. Endless Rain (from The Last Live)
13. X (from The Last Live)
14. Without You (Unplugged)*
* New Recording.
Disc 2 – Japan Edition bonus tracks:
1. Rusty Nail (from DAHLIA TOUR FINAL ~Mubou na Yoru~)
2. Forever Love (from The Last Live)

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GOLD arrives on Digital HD on April 18 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and On Demand May 2

March 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“***** A deliriously entertaining ride.”
— Variety

“Matthew McConaughey is exhilarating!”
– Rolling Stone

“Ranks among Matthew McConaughey’s best performances”
– The Hollywood Reporter
A Modern-Day Journey of the American Dream

Academy Award® Winner Matthew McConaughey Stars in the Epic Tale Arriving on Digital HD April 18
and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on May 2

SANTA MONICA, CA (March 13, 2017) – Strike it rich with Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey (Best Actor, Dallas Buyers Club, 2013) in this fascinating story of dreams and greed when Gold arrives on Digital HD on April 18 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD, and On Demand May 2 from Anchor Bay Entertainment and Dimension Films. From director Stephen Gaghan (Syriana), and written by Patrick Massett & John Zinman, Gold follows the story of Kenny Wells, a gold prospector desperate to achieve success, no matter the cost. Nominated for a 2017 Golden Globe® for Best Original Song – Motion Picture (“Gold” by Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse), this jungle adventure features an incredibly talented cast, including Edgar Ramirez (Hands of Stone), Golden Globe® nominee Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), with Golden Globe® winner Stacy Keach (American History X) and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek).

Gold is the epic tale of one man’s pursuit of the American dream — to discover gold. Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, who teams up with a similarly eager geologist, and they set off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street. The film is inspired by a true story.

The home entertainment release is packed with must-see bonus features including: Feature commentary with director Stephen Gaghan, a dynamic deleted sequence of the film, an exploration of the movie’s origins, a journey through Gold’s locations, and a behind-the-scenes look at Matthew McConaughey’s unforgettable performance as Kenny Wells. Gold will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

BLU-RAY/ DVD/ DIGITAL HD SPECIAL FEATURES
· Deleted Sequence
· Feature Commentary with Director Stephen Gaghan
· “The Origins of Gold” Featurette
· “The Locations of Gold” Featurette
· “Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells” Featurette

For Artwork: www.lionsgatepublicity.com/home-entertainment/gold/
Trailer: https://youtu.be/kOSV0AhRlhI
Website: http://gold-film.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoldTheMovie/
Twitter: @GOLDTheMovie

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production: 2016
Title Copyright: All Program Content © 2016 BBP GOLD, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Package Design © 2017 Starz Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, LLC, 2700 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California 90404.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Closed Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 120 Minutes
BD Format: 1080p High Definition, 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
BD Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

ABOUT ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT

Anchor Bay Entertainment, a Starz Company, is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases a wide array of theatrical and home entertainment content, including STARZ Original series, children’s programming, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others.
For further information:

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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY on Digital HD March 24 and Blu-ray April 4

February 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Announced today on The Star Wars Show and StarWars.com, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” will be coming home on Digital HD on March 24th and Blu-ray on April 4th. This news comes on the heels of the start of production announcement of the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story. “Rogue One” has established its place within the Star Warsuniverse and the hearts of moviegoers, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S.

Arriving early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on March 24, and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on April 4, the release includes never-before-seen “Rogue One” bonus material that will take fans behind the scenes with the movie’s diverse, dynamic cast and inspired team of filmmakers. An intimate collection of stories reveals how the film came to life, as well as hidden Easter Eggs and film facts that audiences may have missed in the theater.

Bonus features include*:
A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes– – back to the screen.
Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe.
* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.

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LION arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand March 21 and on Digital HD March 7

February 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Arriving on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand March 21, 2017
Available on Digital HD March 7, 2017

SANTA MONICA, CA (February 9, 2017) – The journey begins for audiences everywhere when Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company release the critically acclaimed LION on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand March 21, 2017 and on Digital HD March 7, 2017.

Garth Davis’ directorial film debut garnered six Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture. The film features an astounding cast with Best Supporting Actor nominee Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), David Wenham (300), Best Supporting Actress nominee Nicole Kidman (Academy Award® winner for The Hours) and newcomers Abhishek Bharate and Sunny Pawar. Additional Academy Award® nominations include Best Music (Original Score), Best Cinematography and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

LION follows five-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who gets lost on a train traveling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands of miles away, in chaotic Kolkata. Somehow he survives living on the streets, escaping all sorts of terrors and close calls in the process, before ending up in an orphanage that is itself not exactly a safe haven. Eventually Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), and finds love and security as he grows up in Hobart. As an adult, not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, Saroo (Dev Patel) suppresses his past, his emotional need for reunification and his hope of ever finding his lost mother and brother. But a chance meeting with some fellow Indians reawakens his buried yearning. Armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, Saroo sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

Inspired by a true story, LION shows us that even if we lose our way we should never lose hope. LION is “majestic and moving” Pete Hammond.

The Blu-ray and DVD bonus content includes Deleted Scenes, Behind the Scenes Gallery and “Never Give Up” Official Lyric Video performed by Sia.

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein. During Harvey and Bob’s tenure at Miramax and TWC, they have received 357 Oscar nominations and won 82 Academy Awards.

Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; SCRE4M; SPY KIDS: THE KING’S SPEECH; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; SCARY MOVIE 5; LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER; PHILOMENA; THE IMITATION GAME; PADDINGTON; WOMAN IN GOLD; SOUTHPAW; CAROL; THE HATEFUL EIGHT; SING STREET, HANDS OF STONE, THE FOUNDER and Academy Award® nominee for Best Picture: LION.

TWC boasts an active television production division which garnered twelve Emmy nominations in 2015. Weinstein Television produces the reality powerhouse Project Runway, with its spin-off series Project Runway All Stars, hosted by Alyssa Milano, Project Runway Jr, featuring supermodel Hannah Davis and fashion critic Kelley Osbourne Under The Gunn, and Threads. Scripted series include Peaky Blinders with Netflix and critically acclaimed miniseries War & Peace, which debuted on Lifetime, A&E and HISTORY in 2016. Scripted projects in development include Stephen King’s The Mist (a straight-to-series 10 episode order) for Spike TV, military drama Six (a straight-to-series 8 episode order) for HISTORY and animated series Spy Kids for Netflix (a multi season commitment). TWC will also launch several new projects in 2017 across several networks, including MTV, Lifetime, and AMC. For more information on The Weinstein Company, please visit:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Official Website

ABOUT ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
Anchor Bay Entertainment, a Starz Company, is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases a wide array of theatrical and home entertainment content, including STARZ Original series, children’s programming, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others.

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Fifty Shades Darker in Theaters on February 10, 2017

February 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015’s blockbuster film that grossed more than $560 million globally, the new installment arrives for Valentine’s Day and invites you to slip into something a shade darker.

 

When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.

 

Also returning from Fifty Shades of Grey are Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini, who are joined for the first time by Oscar® winner Kim Basinger, Bella Heathcote and Eric Johnson.

Fifty Shades Darker is directed by James Foley (Fear, House of Cards) and once again produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi, alongside E L James, the creator of the culture-spanning blockbuster series. The screenplay is by Niall Leonard, based on the novel by James. www.fiftyshadesmovie.com

 

 

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Walt Disney Animation Studios “MOANA” on Digital HD Feb. 21 and Blu-ray March 7

January 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Epic Comedy-Adventure Sails Home on Digital HD Feb. 21 and Blu-ray™ March 7

Continue the journey with hours of fun-filled extras showcasing an all-new mini-movie, the charismatic cast, famed filmmakers, dynamic musical team, the beautiful people and cultures of the Pacific Islands, a deleted song, deleted scenes, and more!

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 13, 2017 — Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana,” the sweeping story of a spirited teenager who sets sail on a daring adventure to save her people, starring newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho as the voice of brave and tenacious Moana and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (HBO’s “Ballers,” “Central Intelligence”) as the larger-than-life demigod Maui, has dazzled both critics and audiences. The film earned a 95% critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes and the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office opening weekend. Now, “Moana” sets a new course, arriving to homes on Digital HD/3D and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) on Feb. 21, and on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on March 7.

Continuing the fun-filled adventure, families can continue their journey filled with hours of extensive and entertaining bonus offerings including: a new, hilarious mini-movie featuring Moana and Maui; an in-depth look at how the people, cultures and heritage of the Pacific Islands shaped the story of “Moana;” revealing Q&A with co-stars Auli‘i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson, and famed animation directors Ron Clements and John Musker; insider access to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foaʻi, the trio behind the film’s moving music; four mini-documentaries highlighting the movie’s groundbreaking effects; deleted scenes; a deleted song; hidden Easter Eggs; music video; “Inner Workings,” the theatrical short film directed by Leo Matsuda that spotlights the internal struggle between a man’s Brain and Heart; and much, much more.

“Moana” stars Auli‘i Cravalho as the voice of Moana, Dwayne Johnson as the voice of Maui, Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Once Were Warriors,” “Six Days, Seven Nights”) as Moana’s no-nonsense father, Chief Tui; Rachel House (“Whale Rider,” “Hunt for Wilderpeople,” “Eagle vs Shark,” “Boy,” “White Lies”) as Moana’s trusted Gramma Tala; and Nicole Scherzinger (Grammy®-nominated singer, West End’s “Cats”) as Moana’s playful and strong-willed mother, Sina; Jemaine Clement (“The BFG,” “Despicable Me,” “Rio,” “Rio 2,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” Flight of the Conchords) voices Tamatoa, a self-absorbed, 50-foot crab; and Alan Tudyk (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Big Hero 6”) lends his voice to stowaway rooster Heihei.

According to directors Ron Clements and John Musker, the story of “Moana” was inspired by the great explorers who masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. “Voyaging is a real source of pride for many Pacific Islanders, a part of their identity,” says Clements. Many experts believe that about 3,000 years ago, those deep-sea exploratory voyages halted for about a millennium before resuming. This rebirth of exploration sparked the filmmakers’ imaginations, and the heroine at the heart of the story. “The idea of a teenage girl who dreamed of becoming a navigator—considering the abilities of her ancestors—was so appealing,” explains Musker. Moana’s quest to become a wayfinder also serves as a journey of self-discovery, empowering her to find her own identity – a beautiful and powerful message for audiences of all ages and genders.

Bonus features include*:

Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & Digital 3D/HD/SD:
Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings” – With introduction by the filmmakers, is the story of the internal struggle between a man’s pragmatic, logical side and his free-spirited, adventurous half. Created by a small team at Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique, fast-paced style that blends CG and traditional hand-drawn animation, the short explores the importance of finding balance in daily life.
Maui Mini-Movie: “Gone Fishing” – When Maui decides it’s time to take charge of the ocean and catch his next meal, Moana must show him the error of his ways … with a little help from her friends!
Voice of the Islands – An in-depth look at how Pacific Island people and cultures inspired the filmmakers to create the story of “Moana.”
Things You Didn’t Know About …
Meet the stars of “Moana” in this dynamic Q&A featuring Dwayne Johnson, newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho, and famed animation directors Ron and John.
Meet the musical team behind “Moana” in this fascinating Q&A featuring Opetaia Foa‘i, Mark Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Island Fashion – Find out how costume designer Neysa Bové took on the unique challenge of creating costumes using materials and techniques native to the islands of Oceania.
They Know the Way: Making the Music of “Moana” – Musicians Opetaia Foa‘I, Marc Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda take us on a personal journey through their involvement in the movie and how it changed their lives.
Fishing for Easter Eggs – Dive deep into the ocean and fish for the Easter Eggs hidden by the animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
The Elements of … – This series of four mini-docs explores the technical achievements behind some of the ground-breaking effects used in the film.
Mini Maui – Meet “Mini Maui,” Maui’s tattoo sidekick. Animated by legendary hand-drawn animator Eric Goldberg, we explore how the 2D world collides with CG animation to bring the demigod’s tattoos to life.
Water – In the movie, the ocean is a character. This piece explores how the water is given a personality, along with the technical feats of creating a believable ocean landscape farther than the eye can see.
Lava – Te Kā is a creature made of lava, smoke and fire. This piece dives into the challenges of making an animated creature of massive scale brought to fiery life by character, technical and effects animators.
Hair – One of the greatest technical achievements of the film was the animation of the beautiful, curly hair on Moana and Maui. Take a look at the hair-raising detail that goes into animating each strand, adding performance to the movie that has never been seen before.
Deleted Song: “Warrior Face” – With introduction by songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Deleted Scenes – Ron and John introduce the following deleted scenes: Race the Wind/Ties that Bind; Discussing Moana’s Future; Under the Sea; Grandmother’s Warning/Legend of Maui; Education of Moana; Father, Daughter, Boat; and Canoe Race.
Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go” – Performed by Alessia Cara.
“How Far I’ll Go Around the World” – Multi-language reel of the song “How Far I’ll Go.”
Audio Commentary – With directors Ron and John.

DVD:
Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings,” Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go” and Audio Commentary
Helmed by Clements and Musker, the directing team behind “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “The Princess and the Frog,” and co-directed by Chris Williams & Don Hall (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6” -Best Animated Feature Film in 2015), “Moana” is produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), and executive produced by John Lasseter. Jared Bush (“Zootopia”) wrote the screenplay. “Moana” features original songs from a diverse and dynamic team that includes Tony®-, Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning lyricist/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and multiple Tony-winning “Hamilton,” Tony-winning “In the Heights”), Mark Mancina (“Speed,” “Tarzan” “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foaʻi (founder and lead singer of the award-winning world music band Te Vaka). Mancina composed the original score.

DISC SPECIFICATIONS:
Product SKUs: Digital 3D/HD/SD, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy),
Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy),
Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand
Feature Run Time: Approximately 90 minutes
Rating: PG in U.S., PG in CE, and G in CF.
Bonus material not rated with exception of Inner Workings which is rated G.
Aspect Ratio: Blu-ray 3D Feature Film = 2.40:1; Blu-ray Feature Film = 2.40:1 &
DVD Feature Film = Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA & 2.0 Descriptive Audio,
Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks;
DVD = English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks,
English 2.0 Descriptive Audio
Languages/Subtitles: Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray = English SDH, Spanish and French;
DVD = English SDH and Spanish

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Facebook: Facebook.com/DisneyMoana
Website: Movies.Disney.com/Moana
Twitter: Twitter.com/DisneyAnimation
Instagram: Instagram.com/DisneyAnimation

ABOUT DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE (DMA):
Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) is an engaging and family-friendly cloud-based digital movie service that makes it easy to buy Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies once and watch them anywhere. Viewers can enjoy their digital movies from the comfort of their living room and across multiple mobile platforms by simply adding the free DMA app or channel to their devices, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android mobile phones and tablets, Android TV, Amazon’s Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Xbox 360, and connecting to their DMA account with participating providers including iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV and Fios by Verizon. DMA users can explore Disney’s library of over 450 digital movies, discover hours of new and exclusive short-form content, redeem Digital Movie codes found in eligible Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars product, and earn Disney Movie Rewards points with every digital purchase.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!

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MARVEL STUDIOS’ “DOCTOR STRANGE” on Digital HD Feb. 14 and Blu-ray™ Feb. 28

January 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Own the critically acclaimed blockbuster with 80+ minutes
of extras highlighting the award-winning cast!

BURBANK, Calif., January 6, 2017 — Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange,” the story of Dr. Stephen Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, has mesmerized both audiences and critics, pulling in more than $658.3 million at the worldwide box office to date and earning a 90% critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes. The biggest single-character introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it also carries on Marvel Studios’ winning streak as the 14th consecutive MCU film to debut at #1 at the domestic box office.

On Feb. 14, “Doctor Strange” fans can bring home the critically acclaimed blockbuster early on Digital HD/3D and Disney Movies Anywhere, or on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray, Digital SD, DVD and On-Demand on Feb. 28. The Blu-ray and Digital releases come packaged with over 80 minutes of fascinating, never-before-seen bonus materials, including five behind-the-scenes featurettes, five deleted scenes, hilarious outtakes, part two of the comical mockumentary “Team Thor,” audio commentary, and an exclusive look at the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The film boasts an award-winning cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game,” “Black Mass”) as Dr. Stephen Strange, Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave,” “Triple 9”) as Mordo, Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight,” “Southpaw”) as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Wong (“The Martian,” “Prometheus”) as Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg (“A Serious Man,” “Steve Jobs”) as Dr. Nicodemus West, Benjamin Bratt (“Traffic,” “Piñero”) as Jonathan Pangborn, and Scott Adkins (“El Gringo,” “The Expendables 2”) as Lucian/Strong Zealot, with Mads Mikkelsen (“The Hunt,” “Casino Royale”) as Kaecilius and Academy Award® winner Tilda Swinton (2007 Best Supporting Actress, “Michael Clayton”; “Julia”) as The Ancient One.

Bonus Features (Bonus features may vary by retailer. The DVD does not include any bonus materials.):
DIGITAL HD & BLU-RAY:
Featurettes
A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambitious, imaginative films ever.
The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
Across Time and Space – Explore the countless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
The Score-cerer Supreme – Join Composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
Deleted Scenes
Strange Meets Daniel Drumm
Kaecilius Searches for Answers
The Kamar-Taj Courtyard
Making Contact
Lost in Kathmandu
Gag Reel
Audio Commentary by Director Scott Derrickson

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE:
Through the Keyhole: The Science of the MCU – Discover how Marvel grounds all its films in real science, and explore the connection between science, magic and imagination.
From Marvel Studios comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident renders his hands useless. When traditional medicine fails him, he travels to the remote Kamar-Taj in search of a cure, but instead discovers the mystical arts and becomes a powerful sorcerer battling dark forces bent on destroying our reality.

Scott Derrickson (“Deliver Us from Evil,” “Sinister”) is directing with Kevin Feige, p.g.a., producing. Louis D’Esposito, Stephen Broussard, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Jon Spaihts (“The Darkest Hour,” “Prometheus”) and Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill (“Sinister,” “Sinister 2”).

The talented team of filmmakers assembled for “Doctor Strange” includes Ben Davis (Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), cinematographer; Charles Wood (Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), production designer; Alexandra Byrne (Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), costume designer; Wyatt Smith (“Into the Woods,” “Ricki and the Flash”) and Sabrina Plisco (“Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” “Charlotte’s Web”), editors; Stephane Ceretti (Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Thor: The Dark World”), visual effects supervisor; and Paul Corbould (Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), special effects supervisor.

DISC SPECIFICATIONS (applies to film content only):
PRODUCT SKUs: Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy),
Blu-ray 2D Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy),
DVD, Digital HD/3D/SD and On-Demand
RUN TIME: Feature run time is approximately 115 minutes
RATED: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence
ASPECT RATIO: Blu-ray 3D = 1080p High Definition Widescreen (2.39:1/1.90:1)
Blu-ray = 1080p High Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)
DVD = 2.39:1
AUDIO: Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio,
Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD = English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks,
English 2.0 Descriptive Audio
SUBTITLES: English SDH, Spanish and French

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Facebook: Facebook.com/MarvelStudios
Website: Marvel.com/DoctorStrange
Twitter: Twitter.com/MarvelStudios
Instagram: Instagram.com/MarvelStudios

ABOUT MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT:
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com. ©MARVEL

ABOUT DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE (DMA):
Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) is an engaging and family-friendly cloud-based digital movie service that makes it easy to buy Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies once and watch them anywhere. Viewers can enjoy their digital movies from the comfort of their living room and across multiple mobile platforms by simply adding the free DMA app or channel to their devices, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android mobile phones and tablets, Android TV, Amazon’s Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Xbox 360, and connecting to their DMA account with participating providers including iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV and Fios by Verizon. DMA users can explore Disney’s library of over 450 digital movies, discover hours of new and exclusive short-form content, redeem Digital Movie codes found in eligible Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars product, and earn Disney Movie Rewards points with every digital purchase.

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Disney’s Pinocchio Signature Collection on Digital HD Jan. 10 and Blu-ray Jan. 31

January 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Disney’s Timeless Tale Joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection
Debuting on Digital HD Jan. 10 and Arriving on Blu-ray™ Jan. 31

D23 members received the exclusive news and first look at the new “Pinocchio” trailer!

BURBANK, Calif., Nov. 21, 2016 — This weekend at D23’s Destination D: Amazing Adventures event at Walt Disney World Resort, Tyler Slater and Nicole Nalty announced the addition of Disney’s triumphant animated classic “Pinocchio” to the celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection and gave members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club the first look at the film’s all-new trailer. “Pinocchio,” which inspired the world to wish upon a star, arrives for the first time on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on Jan. 10, and on Blu-ray™ and DVD on Jan. 31 with hours of new and classic bonus features.

“Pinocchio” is considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, with two Academy Awards® — for best original score and best original song “When You Wish Upon a Star” – and a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, it will delight a whole new generation of dreamers with its masterful animation, unforgettable characters and award-winning music.

The Walt Disney Signature Collection release includes hours of classic bonus material and exclusive features including a reinvented rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star” created and performed by music influencers from Disney’s Maker Studios; never-before-seen artwork from the film’s Pleasure Island sequence; archival recordings of Walt himself during “Pinocchio” production; and a recently restored and scored 1927 short featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

“Pinocchio” tells the tale of wood-carver Geppetto’s beloved puppet who embarks on a thrilling quest – with faithful friend Jiminy Cricket – that tests his bravery, loyalty and honesty, all virtues he must learn to fulfill his heart’s desire: to become a real boy.

D23 is the official Disney fan club named in honor of the year 1923, when Walt left Kansas City, headed for Hollywood and founded what would become the Disney Studios. D23 celebrates Disney’s stories, characters, songs, and experiences that have captured imaginations the world over, offering members behind-the-scenes exclusives, member events, discounts and special offers.

Bonus Features:
BLU-RAY, DIGITAL HD* & DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE:
· Walt’s Story Meetings: Pleasure Island – The Pleasure Island scene in “Pinocchio” had much more development than what is seen in the film. Join Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman as they explore artwork recently discovered in Disney’s animation research library revealing some of the attractions, gags and games, which Disney animators created for this iconic location of the film, that never made it on screen.

· In Walt’s Words – “Pinocchio” – Hear Walt himself discuss the making of “Pinocchio” through archival recordings and interviews.

· The Pinocchio Project: “When You Wish Upon a Star” – Music influencers Alex G, Tanner Patrick and JR Aquino from Disney’s Maker Studios, a global leader in short-form videos, gather in a creative workspace to create their rendition of the film’s signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and produce a fresh new music video.

· Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in “Poor Papa” – This recently restored and scored 1927 short features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who gets multiple visits from the stork and is forced to attempt various methods to help stop the onslaught of baby deliveries.

· Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as the making of “Pinocchio,” deleted scenes, sing-alongs, storyboards and theatrical trailers.

*Bonus features may vary by retailer

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J!-ENT Interviews Wednesday Campanella (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

December 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Back in 2012, Dir.F, a label manager at Tsubasa Records wanted to create a new music project featuring provisional female members. While the music and lyrics for the group would be created by music producer, Hidefumi Kenmochi.

The name of this group project would be “Suiyoubi no Campanella”, which translates to Wednesday Campanella.

That same year, Dir.F was at a house party for a friend and he would meet KOM_I and he invited her to join Wednesday Campanella as one of the provisional female vocalists and the group would upload two tracks on YouTube that year, “Oz” and Kukai”.

Wanting to push their album later that year, the group’s first CD titled “Suiyoubi no Campanella Demo 1” was sold at Design Festa Tokyo Autumn.

The following year, KOM_I would perform live performances with just her on stage and the group released their first mini album titled “Crawl to Saka Agari” and it was released at Village Vanguard Shimokitazawa.

But it wasn’t until 2014, when the group’s track “Momotaro” appeared on J-WAVE and would become popular.
In 2016, Wednesday Campanella would make their American debut at SXSW in Texas and would perform in July in San Francisco at J-POP Summit Festival.

While the first five mini albums were released by Tsubasa Records, the group would be signed by Warner Records and would release their first major label album “UMA” in 2016.

And since then, Wednesday Campanella’s popularity has skyrocketed. From a promotion and music video with Toyota for the Prius, multiple television performances, magazine interviews and live performances throughout Japan, KOM_I also appeared on the popular variety show “SMAP x SMAP” with SMAP (who also sung along with her).

J!-ENT’s Dennis A. Amith had the opportunity to interview KOM_I the day after Wednesday Campanella’s performance at J-POP SUMMIT.

Please click her for the full interview

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