Asian film releases in the UK and Trailers for The Viral Factor, Intruders, Hindsight, In Time, Smuggler

For Asian film fans in the UK there has been some great news released in recent days some of which I have been following but the first one is a surprise:

Jackie Chan’s Police Story trilogy will be re-released by Cine-Asia’s Hong Kong legends label on the 1st of August.

Police Story DVD CoverIf you haven’t seen Police Story then you haven’t seen some of the most enjoyable films ever made and perhaps Jackie Chan’s best work. My advice (let us pretend you care about it) Pre-order now.

Also released by Cine-Asia is the latest from legendary Hong Kong director, Tsui Hark in the shape of Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. The film has wowed audiences at various film festivals and stars Andy Lau as the titular Detective Dee.

Detective Dee DVD Cover

First pictures emerged from the set of Takashi Miike’s adaptation of the videogame Phoenix Wright. The folks at ANN managed to get this rather blurry picture of the courtroom that should be familiar to anybody who played the game. The Ace Attorney Wiki provides a neat comparison.

aceattorney1

The court from Phoenix Wright

Sion Sono’s cult film Suicide Club will finally get an official UK release from Cornerstone Media on the 19th of September.

Suicide Club DVD image

The film features stunning sequences but is somewhat uneven so check out reviews before making a purchase and judging from some comments on Amazon it might be worth picking up one of the Region 1 releases.

Now that I have mentioned Sion Sono Japanese news site Natalie has released images from the set of his latest film Himizu. Based on Minoru Furuya’s manga about an average kid who goes to the dark side after a traumatic incident. Shota Sometani and  Fumi Nikaido in HimizuDue for release in 2012 it will be premiere at the Venice film festival. Right, the trailers come next.

  Continue reading “Asian film releases in the UK and Trailers for The Viral Factor, Intruders, Hindsight, In Time, Smuggler”

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My Anime Heroines Part 1

Hello dear reader. Either you have stumbled upon this blog entry or you read previous posts discussing anime but this is the first in a series examining major female characters involved in my anime education. I quickly realised that by examining the sorts of anime heroines I grew up with that this would turn into a personal journey through anime screened in the UK since the early 90’s.

Like most western kids of the 90’s I didn’t have the sort of choices that are available today so I grew up watching things like Transformers (which I found dull), Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Duck Tales, The Real Ghostbusters and Gummi Bears (which I loved). Also broadcast on British television were anime like Battle of the Planets (Gatchaman), Ulysses 31 and The Mysterious Cities of Gold but I never attributed nationality or cared about it at the time. One day I actually paid attention to the credits for The Real Ghostbusters and Dennis the Menace and saw that the animators had strange names – not American strange but totally different.

My mother informed me they were Japanese. That was probably my first realisation that cartoons could come from countries other than Britain and America (as silly as that sounds).

Continue reading “My Anime Heroines Part 1”

The Unbearable Likeness of Haruhi

Whilst researching titles for my series of posts about anime heroines I came across this awesome website which compiles most, if not all of the Japanese releases for consoles both new and old. There are pictures and YouTube videos… descriptions but hey, a picture is worth a thousand words. Anyway I came across a arcade game with this Battle Athletes menu screen and I thought I recognised somebody.

Battle Athletes Menu Screen Haruhi Suzumiya… それ では

Haruhi and Gang

Let’s compare the two…

Haruhi Battle Athletes ComparisonHaruhi Comparison

Okay, so her hair is longer in the Battle Athlete picture but they have the same look and the same colour ribbon. Now I knew that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya involved time travel but little did I suspect that she had inserted herself into an old video game from 1996.

Well, tomorrow sees the start of an intermittent series I mentioned not so long ago. I hope it goes well.

I tried to make a pun on The Unbearable Lightness of Being but my brain was too tired out…

House ハウス (1977)

Only recently released in the west, this horror film has earned cult status for being one of the silliest, surreal, inventive and fun horror movies ever, House is an exciting experience because  director Obayashi uses various cinematic tools to create a cross between Poltergeist and Scooby Doo.

The summer holidays have arrived and for seven high school girls named Melody, Prof,, Sweetie, Kung-fu, Mac, Fantasy and Angel they have the chance to go camping with their teacher Mr. Togo. Angel declines because her father is back from Italy and she’s looking forward to staying at a villa with him. Her plans are ruined when he introduces her to his potential new wife. Angel is upset at the presence of the woman and decides to visit an eccentric spinster aunt, inviting her friends along for the trip. After a long journey the girls arrive at the aunt’s house but find their presence has triggered a hostile force that immediately attacks them, picking them off one by one while the eccentric aunt watches.

Yoko Minamida as Auntie in House

Continue reading “House ハウス (1977)”

Dream House, Kill List, Rabbit Horror 3D, The Grandmasters, The Dark Knight Rises Trailers

Before I start this trailer post I have to say that I am enjoying Torchwood immensely although the CGI in the second episode was a let down. A real mixed bag of trailers this weekend culminating in two brilliant ones from the Far East. I’ve saved those two for last.

Dream House

Release date:  30th September 2011 (US)

Running time: N/A

Director:

Starring: Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel

A couple move into a new house with their two children but find that it was the location of a murder. Sounds like Danny and Oxide Pang’s 2008 film, The Messengers.

Publisher Will Atenton (Craig) and his wife Libby (Weisz) move from Manhattan to a small New England town with their two daughters. Will and Libby soon find their new house has a dark history – it was the scene of a brutal murder of a mother and children and the town think the husband did it. Will decides to investigate with the help of a neighbour named Ann (Watts) but finds the parallels of the case with his circumstances, the stress of the investigation and the threat of the killer’s return causing great strain.

Continue reading “Dream House, Kill List, Rabbit Horror 3D, The Grandmasters, The Dark Knight Rises Trailers”

Villain Theatrical Release from the 19th of August

When Third Window Films announced that it had acquired the Japanese film Villain back in May/June I was intrigued by the film’s genre combination of thriller, character study and doomed romance so I reported it in my weekly trailer post. Now I’ve got more information on the film I’m very excited at the prospect of it being released theatrically across the UK, partly due to the awards buzz and critical acclaim but mostly because of the acting talent in it (including the rising talent that is Hikari Mitsushima!).

Villain (2010)

Villain Poster

UK Theatrical Release date: 19th of August 2011

Running time: 140 mins

Certificate: 15

Director: Lee Sang-il (Hula Girls)

Starring: Eri Fukatsu (The Magic Hour, Bayside Shakedown), Satoshi Tsumabuki (Tokyo!, Villon’s Wife, Pandemic), Hikari Mitsushima (Love Exposure, Death Note, Sawako Decides), Masaki Okada (Confessions)

In Japanese with English subtitles; Colour/35mm and Digital release

Villain Doomed Romance

-Synopsis-

Yuichi (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is a construction worker who has lived his entire life in a dreary fishing village. With no girlfriend or friends, he spends his days working and looking after his grandparents, with no enjoyment in life other than his car. Meanwhile, Mitsuyo (Eri Fukatsu) also lives a monotonous life pacing between the men’s clothing store where she works and the apartment where she lives with her sister. When the two lonely souls meet using an online dating site, they immediately fall in love with each other. But there’s a secret Yuichi had been keeping from Mitsuyo: Yuichi is the one suspected of killing the woman whose body was found at Mitsue Pass only a few days before…

As Yuichi and his new lover try to elude the police, the events that led up to the murder and its aftermath are revealed. We learn the stories of the victim, the murderer, and their families – stories of loneliness, love hotels, violence and desperation, exposing the inner lives of men and woman who are not everything they appear to be.

The talent behind this film is immense and I haven’t even mentioned that the musical score was provided by Studio Ghibli favourite Joe Hisaishi. Indeed, Villain comes with a lot of award buzz and has been heavily praised in Japan where it was nominated for 15 Japanese Academy Awards and won 5 including:

Best Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor and Music Score

Eri Fukatsu also won the Best Actress at the Montreal Film Festival while Satoshi Tsumabuki won Best Actor at the 53rd Blue Ribbon Awards. The film was also selected by the famous Kinema Junpo critics’ organization as best Japanese film of the year so you can see the high calibre of the film we have here. Just reading some reviews this looks like it could be one of the best films out this summer.

Interestingly, Villain is based on Shuichi Yoshida’s award-winning novel of the same name which sold over half a million copies in Japan. It has recently been translated into English and is due to be released by Random House publishing on the 18th of August – a day before the theatrical release of the film.

After reading the buzz I’m very excited but I was already sold when I heard it starred Hikari Mitsushima.

Hikari Mitsushima Villain

For more information including cinema screenings just go to the Third Window Films site.

Uta No Prince Sama First Impression

NicoNico announced they were streaming two shows outside of Japan with English subtitles. The first I took a look at was the latest incarnation of the Blood franchise, Blood-C, which I had a hissy-fit over, and the second was Uta no Prince Sama – Maji Love 1000%. The world must be spinning backwards or something because I like the second show a lot.

In this coming of age comedy the main protagonist is Haruka.

Uta no Prince's HarukaShe is a girl with dreams of becoming a composer and writing for her favourite idol. She enters Saotome Academy which is a performing arts school run by legendary idols past and present. If she can graduate she will become a member the Shining Agency. Also at this academy are others following similar dreams.

Uta no Prince IdolsThese other wish to be idols and composers. Haruka will have to dig deep to reach her potential as she finds herself paired up with fellow classmates with varying skills in order to compose music to pass various tests.

Uta no Prince RivalsUta no Prince Rivals2 Continue reading “Uta No Prince Sama First Impression”

Contagion, Tintin, The Thing(2011), Exit Humanity, Berserk – Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the Supreme King Trailers

This week saw the return of Torchwood to BBC one and I have to say the show is looking better than ever. I found Mekhi Phifer’s bewilderment at the Severn Bridge rather amusing and for the first time, a show that has aimed for a Hollywood feel gets it. It looks better than ever and Russel T. Davies’ imagination is given free reign for a decent conspiracy thriller.

Contagion

Release date: Friday 21st October

Running time: N/A

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Sanaa Lathan, Elliot Gould

Is this Steven Soderbergh’s last film? I read an article that stated it was in a reputable magazine. So the trailer is released. What do I think? Awesome.

An international team of doctors work with the CDC to fight an outbreak of a deadly disease.

Continue reading “Contagion, Tintin, The Thing(2011), Exit Humanity, Berserk – Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the Supreme King Trailers”

AMV of the Week Gay Bar

Electric Six were popular for a brief while – only very briefly – and yet when I think about their music it seems unfair because they are the most infectiously enjoyable songs ever and they have this strange but hilarious polymorphous sexuality to the lyrics… or something along those lines. Just listen to the music in the AMV.

Anyway, grafting the anime Serial Experiments Lain, Azumanga Daioh and Revolutionary Princess Utena and Black Lagoon into the perverted world of Electric Six and Photoshopping amusing elements like Google Maps, erotic Ghost in the Shell wallpaper and l33t speak onto Lain’s many electronic devices showed ingenuity in bringing together a melange of sources to create a brilliant comedic AMV whilst subverting some of the more interesting and endearing female characters in anime.

Speaking of female characters, this AMV marks the start of a self-analysis I’ll conduct looking into my response to anime girls over the long period of time I have engaged with the medium. Prompted be a comment in a post from yesterday I decided that this would make an interesting series of posts as well as reviewing some of the older titles in my anime collection. At the end, I’ll top it off with another AMV celebrating female’s in the anime medium. Hope you hang in there with me as I reveal some classic anime heroines.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Blood-C First Impression

As a fan of the gritty anime Blood: The Last Vampire I was pleased to see Japanese video website Nico-Nico Douga recently began streaming Blood-C. They are streaming each episode with English subtitles a day after the Japanese television broadcast. The quality is good and there are no adverts. What isn’t so good is the anime. After watching the first episode I felt somewhat let down because the direction it took injected too much sugar into the franchise.

Blood-C's Saya Continue reading “Blood-C First Impression”