Blog Archives

Big Man Japan (2007)

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I’ve always wondered exactly what it was that made giant monsters and their traipsing through downtown Tokyo a genre unto itself. Having watched merely a handful of examples of the genre, I can still say I really don’t ‘get it’.

But watch it I will, and having seen a handful of examples and with a cerebral understanding of what others might see in the genre, maybe I can at least get the gist of what Big Man Japan is about. … (read more)

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Vexille (2007)

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I must admit that of all the films being shown during Reel Anime 08, Vexille is perhaps the one film I knew nothing about. Appleseed I managed to catch at SIFF; Girl Who Leapt Through Time has been on my radar for at least a year now though I never got around to actually watching it and Batman… – well Batman is Batman isn’t it? How much do you really need to know about Batman that, as an internet-browsing, … (read more)

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Reincarnation (2005)

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Ah, The Ring. The film that drew our collective attention to Japanese horror after being desensitised by rivers of blood and latex gore. It took a slow moving, internalised film to really bring back that sense of dread that made you sleep just that little less soundly than before. And we were hardly disappointed — soon what followed were films like Ring 2, Dark Water and The Grudge (though admittedly I wasn’t that big a fan of that … (read more)

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Robotech: Shadow Chronicles (2006)

I have been a Robotech fan. I followed the Macross Island saga religiously and my affection for anime has no doubt been largely influenced by my one-time membership amongst the fanatics of Robotech.

However, once the Macross Saga ended, the enthusiasm that had driven this obsession waned, and interest in the adventures of Maya Sterling declined in parallel to Saturday morning Television programmers’ willingness to air just the episodes, without the long and uninteresting fluff of ‘kid’s TV’ in amongst … (read more)

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Godzilla: Mothra vs Godzilla (1992)

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Disaster movies are rarely the stuff of inspiration, and the visual effects they use to portray their particular apocalypse hold little attraction beyond that niggling voice in the back of your head telling you to ‘burn it all’.

Despite the anthropormorphised aspect of it, the giant monster films of Japan are essentially disaster films where the hubris of man brings upon its own destruction as atomic fire rains down upon the fleeing populace of Tokyo. The natural conclusion one reaches … (read more)

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Together (2003)

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Let’s set some things straight. Yes I have some Chinese ancestry (quite a lot of it actually) which does mean, yes I did have Chinese immigrant parents. However, that does not automatically lead to me having studied any kind of instrument, in particular (rather aptly) the violin. If anything, my musical talent totals to a few shrill notes on the recorder and drunken bouts in karoake bars – both of which the less said the better.

That does not mean, … (read more)

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Springtime in a Small Town (2002)

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There is a certain restraint that seems common to Chinese cinema. Where characters live at an emotional detachment with each other and passions are inhibited for the sake of duty and respectability. It is this suppression that means that not everyone lives happily ever after and sometimes an ending and a resolution are enough.

This certainly holds true for Springtime in a Small Town. Basically a remake of a favourite post-war Chinese film, Springtime follows a man who returns … (read more)

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Spirited Away (2001)

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Can I just say I recently had the fortune to see this film for the fourth time, most recently in the new English dub by Disney, which it looks like they like they will be promoting much more than Princess Mononoke.

And yes, this is good thing.

Everything you may have heard about this movie is true (unless of course what you’ve heard that this movie is terrible and only deserves to be archived in the deepest darkest pits … (read more)

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