Blog Archives

The Kirishima Thing (2012)

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Kirishima Thing Poster

It’s funny what kind of impression you get from movie posters, and I guess in that light, movie poster design isn’t anywhere near an easy thing. Take for instance the poster for Daihachi Yoshida’s The Kirishima Thing. Looking at the dominating image of the bespectacled student with the 8mm camera, you would think it’s a movie about one person, probably a school student, who makes movies. You’d only be partially right. Kirishima Thing doesn’t have nearly that level of … (read more)

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Blue Exorcist the Movie (2012)

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blue_ex_movie

There’s something fundamentally appealing about stories about siblings – particularly brothers and specifically twins. Socially, twins are still seen as something worth remark. Scientifically, the study of twins might even help science identify where genetics influences human development and growth and where it doesn’t. But mythologically, brothers have long held a strong and undeniable fascination. Cain and Abel, Romulus and Remus, Castor and Pollux, Famamir and Boromir, Thor and Loki, Dean and Sam, Dante and Virgil. Brothers are either at … (read more)

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Killers (2014)

Killers (Poster)

Indonesian/Japanese co-production Killers screened at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival in the Freak Me Out program, which is exactly the right place for it. Programmer Richard Kuipers said in his intro for the screening that their intention for Freak Me Out is to show films that sit at the extreme ends of genre cinema, from horror spectaculars heaving with gristle and gore to the weirder side of arthouse. He suggested that Killers could be a worthy entry on both fronts, … (read more)

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Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie (2012)

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Naruto_the_Movie-_Road_to_Ninja's_main_poster

One of the questions that apparently many Japanese are asked – at least if you go by the awesome pre-recorded Q&A session that ran before the Gold Coast Film Festival’s screening of Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie and featured the voice actors for both Naruto (Junko Takeuchi) and Kakashi (Kazuhiko Inoue) – is why do foreigners like anime?

It’s an interesting question, in fact. Why do we like anime (well, those of us who are fans at least)? The … (read more)

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Unforgiven (2013)

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unforgiven_poster

It’s nice to see some turn about being fair play in Lee Sang Il’s Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 cowboy eulogy, The Unforgiven, and in some historical sense it is in fact satisfyingly apt. The samurai period film and the American western have a long history of inter-relatedness, both thematically and as a matter of record. In 1954, inspired by the early films of American western directors like Howard Hawks and John Ford, Akira Kurosawa made what is … (read more)

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The Wind Rises (2013)

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The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises is Hayao Miyazaki’s first return to the director’s chair in five years (since Ponyo) and — if his statements in interviews are taken at face value — his final feature film in a career spanning six decades in Japanese animation. If that is indeed the case, it is in many ways a fitting swansong: it’s a layered, nuanced film that tells a story that is definitively Japanese yet universal, rooted in history yet filled with flights … (read more)

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Harlock: Space Pirate (2013)

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Harlock: Space Pirate

The Nordic premiere of Harlock: Space Pirate at the last Stockholm International Film Festival packed a full house. This futuristic, intergalactic pirate caper, set around the turn of the 3rd millennium, finds the infamous and (thought-to-be) immortal Captain Harlock (Shun Oguri) commandeering the mysterious spaceship Arcadia, the last of its kind and powered by dark matter — a self-generating energy based substance that comes in pretty handy in spaceship battle damage predicaments.

Earth has been declared a sanctuary in this … (read more)

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Space Dandy (2014)

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Space Dandy Promo image

Space Dandy opens with a diatribe about boobs.

I know. Classy, right? Well, I guess there’s no arguing that boobs get your attention. Just the word is kind of distracting. Boobs. You’re distracted, right? I’m using them to distract you from realising this review isn’t nearly as loftily intellectual as I’d like it to be, and Shinichiro Watanabe is possibly using them to distract you from noticing that Space Dandy isn’t nearly as instantly fantastic as his other shows were.… (read more)

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