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FUNimation Entertainment will release the live-action dramatic epic KAMUI GAIDEN on Region 1 DVD and Blu-ray on December 20th. Produced by Shochiku Co. Ltd., the film was released in September 2009 in Japan. An adaptation of Sanpei Shirato’s 1964 manga series of the same name, the movie is directed by Japanese Academy Award winner Yoichi Sai (BLOOD AND BONES), written by Kankuro Kudo (PING PONG) and stars Kenichi Matsuyama (DETROIT METAL CITY, DEATH NOTE).
Both the DVD (SRP $24.98) and Blu-ray ($29.98) present KAMUI GAIDEN in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio with both Japanese and English dubbed audio tracks. There are also 45 minutes of extras, including “Making Of” and behind the scenes footage. Continued…
See the New Movie Before It Opens in Japan, Courtesy of VIZ Pictures and SciFi Japan!
Source: VIZ Pictures
Official Movie Site: gantz-movie.com (Japan)
Premiere Event Page: GANTZ
Special Thanks to Rieko Fuji and Erik Jansen
The live-action feature GANTZ, based upon the popular Japanese manga and anime series, will be screened in American theaters nine days before the film opens in Japan. NEW PEOPLE and NCM Fathom are bringing the world premiere of GANTZ to cinemas nationwide for a one night live event on Thursday, January 20th at 8:00 pm ET/ 7:00 pm CT/ 6:00 pm MT/ 8:30 pm PT (tape delayed). It will be English over-dubbed exclusively for this big screen event.
Following the feature, the two stars, Kazunari Ninomiya (LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA) and Kenichi Matsuyama (DEATH NOTE, DETROIT METAL CITY) will participate in an exclusive live interview that can only be seen at this premiere.
Tickets for this special event are available at participating theater box offices and online now. For a complete list of theater locations and ticket information, please visit FathomEvents.com/Gantz.
As an added bonus, our friends at VIZ Pictures have offered SciFi Japan readers a chance to win free tickets to see this film on the big screen. We have three passes to give away… and here is your chance to grab one for yourself! Continued…
In 1990, Paramount Pictures’ fantasy/romance hit GHOST earned more than $500 million worldwide and was nominated for five Academy Awards (winning two). Two decades later, Paramount Pictures Japan has remade the film for Asian audiences.
The new version is a co-production between various Japanese companies such as NTV, Vap, and Shochiku plus Korea’s CJ Entertainment, along with its Japanese branch CJ Entertainment Japan. Marketed with the same English title as the original, the film was released in Japan as GHOST: IN YOUR ARMS AGAIN (ゴースト もういちど抱きしめたい, Gosuto: mou ichido dakishimetai) on November 13th, and in Korea on November 25th as GHOST: LOVE AND SOUL (고스트 : 보이지 않는 사랑, Ghost: Boiji Anneun Sarang). Continued…
Director of DRAGON WARS Returns to His Comedic Alter-Ego for New English Language Movie
Author: Kim Song-ho
Source: Younggu Art and CJ Entertainment official press materials
Official Movie Site: THE LAST GODFATHER
Shim Hyung-rae, the comedian-turned-director who brought us such SFX-monster films as YONGGARY (aka REPTILIAN, 1999/2001) and DRAGON WARS (D-WAR, 2007), travels to the United States in the 1950s and becomes the son of a mob boss! This hilarious premise comes true as Shim’s new comedy, THE LAST GODFATHER (라스트 갓파더), has officially set its release date in Korea for December 30.
Directed by and starring Shim himself, the film also features such American actors as Harvey Keitel (TAXI DRIVER, RESERVOIR DOGS), Michael Rispoli (THE SOPRANOS, KICK-ASS), Jocelin Donahue (THE BURROWERS), Jason Mewes (CLERKS, JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK) and Jon Polito (THE CROW, THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE). Continued…
The action/adventure film THE WARRIOR’S WAY opens today in the US. The film was produced by Barrie M. Osborne (of THE LORD OF THE RINGS fame) and written and directed by Korean filmmaker Sngmoo Lee. In Korea, the film has been much anticipated because not only was it a major studio production directed by a Korean, but also the first English-language feature of Jang Dong-gun, who happens to be the superstar of the superstars in his native country. The film opened December 2 in Korea.
Set in the American West, this stylish-looking martial arts film is about Yang, a master swordsman. Seeking refuge in a rundown town, Yang is unexpectedly involved a feud between the locals. Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston, and Tony Cox also star.
The world premiere and red carpet ceremony for THE WARRIOR’S WAY were held on November 22 in Seoul with Jang, Bosworth and director Lee in attendance. It remains to be seen whether the film is strong enough to match the large amount of hype surrounding it.
The following US production notes are courtesy of production company and distributor Relativity Media. Accompanying the article are images, advertising art, and video providing by Relativity and the Korean company SK Telecom. Continued…
The monster crocodiles return in a frightening new installment of the successful horror franchise when the unrated LAKE PLACID 3 debuts on DVD October 26 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Colin Ferguson (TV’s EUREKA), Yancy Butler (KICK-ASS), Kacey Barnfield (RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE), and Michael Ironside (TERMINATOR SALVATION) star in the latest incarnation of the campy, blood-thirsty horror series. Fans will eat up the steamy, sexy and gory LAKE PLACID 3 when it arrives on DVD for $24.96 SRP, boasting unrated, unreleased scenes suitable only for adult audiences.
Get ready for a living, feeding nightmare when a swarm of gigantic crocodiles terrorizes a secluded country lake. When local wildlife is brutally mauled and campers are reduced to carcasses, biologist Nathan Bickerman (Colin Ferguson) knows a voracious predator is on the loose. So does a feisty female hunting guide (Yancy Butler) out for her next trophy. As the body count rises, the local sheriff tries to keep things quiet and keep the tourists coming. But when the horrifying, hulking truth emerges, can anyone stop these cold blooded killers before they claim their next victim? Lake Placid 3 is pulse pounding, adrenaline pumping, pure horror film fun.
LAKE PLACID 3 has a running time of 93 minutes and is unrated. The film contains graphic violence and full frontal nudity, has a running time of 93 minutes and is unrated. LAKE PLACID 3 contains graphic violence and full frontal nudity. Continued…
The deranged genius behind TOKYO GORE POLICE (Tokyo Zankoku Keisatsu, 2008) is back with a chilling new flick that’s re-writing the hallowed history of the horror genre. VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL (Kyuketsu Shojo tai Shojo Furanken, 2009) is the terrifying story of two classic monsters re-imagined as super hot – and extremely lethal – Japanese school girls. Gore rules supreme in this blood-cake cavalcade of carnage chosen as the winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 NY Asian Film Festival and also took home the Guru Prize for Most Energetic Film at the Fantasia Festival. Fan boys and movie blogs are already buzzing over this bloodbath du jour, and aficionados of psychedelic blood-filled chocolates, mad scientist principals, sumo wrestlers from hell, and sex-crazed school nurses are guaranteed to lose their heads over this old school splatter-fest.
VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL has now been released on 2-disc Blu-ray and DVD in North America by FUNimation Entertainment. Continued…
Magnolia Pictures has provided clips from their new movie, MONSTERS. The film is now available through Video On Demand, iTunes, Xbox Live, Playstation Marketplace, Amazon and Vudu. MONSTERS opens in US theaters October 29, 2010. Continued…
Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear there and half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE.
Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain “the creatures”…
Our story begins when a US journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.
The low budget indie UK film MONSTERS will be distributed in the United States by Magnet Releasing, a division of Magnolia Pictures (THE HOST, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN). The picture will first be available on Video On Demand, iTunes, Xbox Live, Playstation Marketplace, Amazon and Vudu starting September 24th, with a limited theatrical run beginning in Los Angeles and New York on October 29th. Continued…
Light Yagami is good looking, a great student, and rich. But it’s not enough. His attitude is about to change when a Shinigami death god accidentally drops his notebook down into the human world and into Light’s hands. The thing about this notebook is that whoever’s name is written down in the book dies. Now the death games begin as Light decides to use his new power to rid the world of evil. But is he doing more harm than good in his quest to kill off every criminal? And when the talented and mysterious L is brought in to solve the mystery behind all this death, will Light be able to outsmart him or end up in prison?
With over 25 million copies sold, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s hit manga series Death Note has spawned an internationally successful anime series, and been adapted into two box office smash live-action feature films directed by Shusuke Kaneko, widely known for the popular Gamera monster film series.
Now British distributor 4Digital Media will release a 4 disc special edition box set with both feature films in Blu-ray; DEATH NOTE and DEATH NOTE: THE LAST NAME, plus two discs packed full of extras on DVD. Continued…
Internationally acclaimed Japanese media phenomenon ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano’s (ZATOICHI, BATTLE ROYALE) 2000 crime thriller BROTHER will be released on DVD in the United Kingdom by distributor Park Circus on October 4th. Kitano wrote, directed and starred in this straight-ahead gangster saga with a cross-cultural twist.
The film focuses on Yamamoto (Kitano), a Yakuza gangster, who is forced out of the country when a gang war all but wipes out his clan. Armed with a fake credit card, a forged passport and a bag of money, he travels to Los Angeles, where he organizes one of the most powerful criminal syndicates in the city. Yamamoto seems unstoppable, until his gang runs afoul of the Mafia. Soon all that he built quickly and bloodily starts to unravel, as every member in his gang is marked for death. Continued…
The award-winning, international blockbuster THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy will be released individually on Blu-ray for the first time on September 14th. The Blu-ray discs have a MSRP of $24.98 each.
Warner Bros. is giving SciFi Japan readers a chance to win a great THE LORD OF THE RINGS Blu-ray Prize Pack containing all three films and host of cool LOTR collectibles. THE LORD OF THE RINGS Blu-ray Prize Pack contains…
• THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING Blu-ray disc
• THE TWO TOWERS Blu-ray disc
• THE RETURN OF THE KING Blu-ray disc
• Two Bookmarks
• One New Zealand Jade Necklace
• One Navy Blue Ornament
• One Deck of LOTR Playing Cards
• One Travel Candle
• One Poster
Read on for contest details and to view clips from all three films. Continued…
Roger Corman, Caroline Munro, David Hasselhoff, Marc Singer, MST3K on DVD and/or Blu-ray
Source: Shout! Factory press releases
Special Thanks to Tom Chen
B-movie fans are in for a treat as Shout! Factory prepares to unleash several Roger Corman films and another MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 DVD collection in the coming weeks and months. Look for the STARCRASH 2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION on Blu-ray and DVD, NOT OF THIS EARTH SPECIAL EDITION DVD, THE TERROR WITHIN / DEAD SPACE DOUBLE FEATURE DVD, and MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: Volume XIX (with ROBOT MONSTER, BRIDE OF THE MONSTER, DEVIL DOLL and DEVIL FISH). Continued…
Ban Daisuke, star of KIKAIDA (Jinzo Ningen Kikaida, 1972), KIKAIDA 01 (1973), and INAZUMAN (1973) will visit Los Angeles this upcoming weekend for Japantown’s annual Nisei Week Festival. Sponsored by the popular collector’s shop Anime Jungle, Ban Daisuke will take part in autograph sessions, the Nisei Week Parade, and a special dinner and talk show on the weekend August 14-15.
In celebration of the Nisei Week events, Anime Jungle is giving SciFi Japan readers in the United States a chance to win a free KIKAIDA BROTHERS Poster, signed by both Ban Daisuke and the late KIKAIDA-01 star Shunsuke Ikeda (who sadly passed away June 11, 2010). Continued…
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video, courtesy of the Nancy Hirsch Group.
Piano Rendition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Source: Nancy Hirsch Group press release
Official Site: elewrockjazz.com
Special Thanks to Rebekah Stein and Teddy Getz
Japanese filmmaker Ryuhei Kitamura— director of such movies as VERSUS, AZUMI, GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, and MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN— has directed the debut music video of Rockjazz Pioneer ELEW; a cover of Nirvana’s iconic rock anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Continued…
On July 1st, J-Pop’s #1 idol and Hello! Project singing sensation Erina Mano attended the world premiere of her feature film debut, KAI-KI: TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO (怪談新耳袋-怪奇), at the world famous Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. KAI-KI is the latest in series of films based on the hit Japanese TV franchise TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO AND ALL OVER JAPAN (怪談新耳袋*, Shin Mimi-Bukuro), which adapts actual urban legends collected from across the country by writer Kihara Hirokatsu.
Club Nokia hosted two screenings of KAI-KI: TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO. A mini-concert followed each showing in which Erina Mano sang the film’s them song “Returning Home” as well as “Sekai wa Summer Party”, a happy pop song that from her first tour album. Both Miss Mano and Tales of Terror creator Kihara Hirokatsu took part in an autograph signing.
In addition, there was also a Q&A featuring Erina Mano, J-Idol producer Tamon Andrew Niwa and representatives from the Toyota Creative Lounge who financed the project. Toyota Creative Lounge reps included the prominent designers Agga B., Anna Fong, Melissa Serpico Kamhout (Serpico), and Lidia Wachowska (evil kitty); all of whom designed exclusive outfits for Mano-san to wear during her stay in Los Angeles. Continued…
Giant monsters once again return to Keene, New Hampshire at The Colonial Theatre’s SPOOKTACULAR, Saturday, July 31st 2010 at 2PM. Curated by SATURDAY FRIGHT SPECIAL, New Hampshire’s first home-grown horror host TV show, the event features a rare 35mm screening of the 1967 Japanese monster melee SON OF GODZILLA (English dubbed version). In addition to the main feature, vintage monster movie previews, a cartoon, and snack bar ads will precede the film, along with prize giveaways and on-stage appearances by Scarewolf and other SATURDAY FRIGHT SPECIAL characters. The event will be the finale of the Colonial’s annual Family Film Series, and will be an all-ages event, bringing back the feel of an old-time kiddie matinee.
“We’re thrilled to be able to present a Godzilla film to the Colonial audience on a Saturday afternoon, the same way that so many kids in the 70s first saw these films, both in the theater and on TV,” said Mark Nelson, SATURDAY FRIGHT SPECIAL curator for the event. “In fact, we’re giving fans an opportunity they never had back then to see SON OF GODZILLA on the big screen, as the film was released directly to television in the US.” Continued…
More than 50 Asian Films to Screen at Huge Festivals in New York City
Source: Subway Cinema, Japan Society
Special Thanks to Kristen Osborne, Grady Hendrix, Tahmid Mannan, and Shannon Jowett
Beginning June 25th, New York City once again plays host to America’s leading large-scale festival of popular Asian cinema. Subway Cinema’s New York Asian Film Festival (June 25- July 8 ) and Japan Society’s JAPAN CUTS: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema (July 1-16) combined will feature more than 50 movies, world and US premieres, exclusive Q&A’s with filmmakers, and other special events. This year also marks the fourth annual collaboration between JAPAN CUTS and NYAFF, who will co-present several films at the Japan Society from July 1-4. Continued…
J-Pop’s #1 idol and Hello! Project singing sensation Erina Mano will be attending and performing at the world premiere of her break-out feature film role in KAI-KI: TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO (怪談新耳袋-怪奇) on July 1, 2010 (World Premiere at noon and 2nd screening at 3:00 pm) at the world famous venue, Club Nokia, in Los Angeles, California. Advance tickets for both events are now available at club2themax.com.
KAI-KI: TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO is based on the hit Japanese TV franchise TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO AND ALL OVER JAPAN and is comprised of two separate short stories: TSUKIMONO: THE POSSESSED and NOZOMI, both starring Erina Mano. The film was written by Ryuta Miyake and directed by Makoto Shinozaki (TOKYO ISLAND), and features the song “Returning Home” performed by Ms. Mano.
Erina Mano will be in attendance at both screenings and will also partake in a Q&A session with audience members and perform a mini-live concert at the event as well. In addition, she will also be take part in a fan meet & greet and a mini-autograph session for a limited time at the event. Also in attendance will be legendary J-Idol producer Andrew Tamon Niwa (the man behind Pocky 4 Sisters, Tokyo Shojo, and Miyazaki Aoi; in addition to Miss Mano) and the acclaimed horror/ghost-folktale aficionado and Tales of Terror author Hirokatsu Kihara, whose work inspired the hit Japanese TV series and now the highly anticipated theatrical release. Continued…
4 DVD Set to be Released in the UK on 31 May, 2010
Source: 4Digital Media, Organic Marketing press release
Official Movie Site: 20th Boys (Japan), 4digitalmedia.com/20cb (UK)
Special Thanks to Alexandra Beedell and Louise Rivers
One of the biggest undertakings ever attempted in the Japanese movie industry… a positively epic exercise in filmmaking and storytelling, the blockbusting 20TH CENTURY BOYS trilogy has proven to be one of the most ambitious, expensive and successful undertakings in Japanese Cinema. Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s epic efforts to release three films in one year based on Naoki Urasawa’s acclaimed manga (selling 28 million copies) has brought to life a stunning doomsday thriller that spans multiple generations and genres, and bites into conspiracy theory, pop culture, nostalgia and spectacular special effects.
The 20TH CENTURY BOYS TRILOGY: THE COMPLETE SAGA DVD set comes with all three films in the trilogy, plus Chapter 1 is packaged as a Special Edition 24 Page Book with an extra disc packed full of bonus extras. The box set boasts Special Features totaling 4 Hours!
The 20TH CENTURY BOYS saga begins in 1969 when a young boy named Kenji and his friends write The Book of Prophecy. In the book, they write about a future where they fight against an evil organization trying to take over the world and bringing about Doomsday. Years later in 1997, a mysterious cult being lead by a man only known as “Friend” has emerged and gained a strong influence over society. A series of catastrophic events begin to occur, mirroring the prophecies made up by the young Kenji. The greatest fear is that the climax of The Book of Prophecy will become a reality: on December 31st, 2000, a terrifying giant virus-spreading robot will attack the entire city of Tokyo, leading to the end of mankind. The only people who know about The Book are Kenji and his childhood friends. Who is Friend? Will Kenji and his friends be able to save mankind and live to see the 21st Century? Continued…
NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe S.A.S. has announced the forthcoming launch of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM 2 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation 3, the first game based on the global hit Naruto Shippuden manga and anime to appear on the consoles. Packed with new features and enhancements, a comprehensive character line up and stunning graphics, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM 2 is scheduled for launch across PAL territories in autumn 2010. Continued…
Coming to US DVD and Blu-Ray this Summer
Source: Media Blasters
Special Thanks to Richard York
Media Blasters has released the English language trailer for DEATH KAPPA, a new Tokyo Shock original film produced with Fever Dreams Japan. DEATH KAPPA is an “old school” daikaiju movie from the creators of cult favorites THE MACHINE GIRL, DEATH TRANCE and TOKYO GORE POLICE and director Tomoo Haraguchi, the celebrated make-up, creature and effects master whose credits include the last four Gamera films, ASHURA, UZUMAKI, RING 0, Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR series. and REIGO: THE DEEP-SEA MONSTER VS THE BATTLESHIP YAMATO. Haraguchi has also directed a handful of films such as MIKADROID, SAKUYA, and KIBAKICHI. Continued…
Directed by Gordon Chan (THE MEDALLION; BEAST COPS) and starring martial arts superstar Jet Li (THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR; THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM; FEARLESS; HERO), FIST OF LEGEND gets the Ultimate Edition treatment courtesy of Cine Asia with an extra features-packed Blu-ray and two-disc DVD release on 22nd March 2010.
A stunning reinvention of Bruce Lee’s timeless 1972 classic, FIST OF FURY, FIST OF LEGEND delivers scene upon scene of intense and magnificently composed martial arts action for what is now considered by many to be the greatest kung fu movie of all time. Showcasing exceptional action-choreography from ace martial arts director, Yuen Woo-ping (THE MATRIX Trilogy and KILL BILL), FIST OF LEGEND is a brilliant martial arts masterpiece that justifiably has been awarded iconic status by fans and critics worldwide.
FIST OF LEGEND (cert. 18) will be released on DVD (£17.99) and Blu-ray (£24.99) by Cine Asia on 22nd March 2010. Continued…
Winner of the Best Action Choreography Award at the 2006 Hong Kong Film Awards and hailed by Variety as “a must see” for martial arts and action movie fans, the action-thriller KILL ZONE (aka SPL: Sha Po Lang, 2005) comes to Blu-ray and DVD (as a two-disc Ultimate Edition) in March packed with special features that include behind the scenes featurettes, plus exclusive interviews with the stars and filmmakers.
Directed by Wilson Yip and featuring the work of many of the creative talents who helped him in bringing IP MAN, FLASHPOINT and DRAGON TIGER GATE to the screen, KILL ZONE stars Donnie Yen (IP MAN; AN EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS), Simon Yam (IP MAN; TRIANGLE), Sammo Hung (THREE KINGDOMS; KUNG FU HUSTLE; THE MEDALLION) and Jacky Wu (INVISIBLE TARGET; FATAL CONTACT) and combines hard-hitting martial arts action with gritty police thriller conventions.
Climaxing in a long-awaited, extended screen showdown between martial arts legends Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen and featuring a breathtaking mano-a-mano face-off between Yen and Jacky Wu, KILL ZONE is an electrifying and suspenseful thriller guaranteed to keep action fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish.
KILL ZONE (cert. 18) will be released on DVD (£17.99) and Blu-ray (£24.99) by Cine Asia on 8th March 2010. Continued…
Source: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Inc.
Official Movie Site: disneypictures/ponyo
Special Thanks to Jackie Cavanagh
Today, March 2, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment releases several titles from legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki’s latest, PONYO, will be available in both Blu-ray and DVD, while the classics CASTLE IN THE SKY, KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, and MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO are returning as Special Edition DVDs with brand new extra features.
Release Date: Jan. 29, 2010 (US), Jan. 29, 2010 (UK)
Genre: VS. Fighting
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Rating: T (US), PEGI 12+/USK 12/OFLC PG/BBFC 12 (UK)
Producer: Ryota Niitsuma
TATSUNOKO VS. CAPCOM: ULTIMATE ALL-STARS pairs well-known characters from Capcom’s roster of games with some of Japan’s most-beloved characters from anime powerhouse Tatsunoko Production. From Capcom’s 30-year history come characters like Ryu and Chun-Li from the STREET FIGHTER series, Morrigan from DARKSTALKERS and Mega Man Volnutt from MEGA MAN LEGENDS. Tatsunoko’s near half-century of Japanese animation excellence is represented by the likes of Ken the Eagle and Jun the Swan from the SCIENCE NINJA TEAM GATCHAMAN anime (known in Europe and North America as BATTLE OF THE PLANETS or G-FORCE), cybernetic warrior Casshan and comedic action hero Yatterman No. 1. All together, there are more than 20 colorful combatants to choose from in order to form the ultimate tag team combination. Continued…
If you give an older anime fan a chance to wax poetic, you’ll hear wistful stories of what it was like before the internet came along. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is a perfect tool to follow the hobby and it delivers exponentially more than we could get in the “old days.” But at the same time, the internet makes it too easy. It requires less of you. When your only search engine was your own brain and email had to be hand-delivered on paper, the demands of being an anime fan were intensely challenging.
All my fondest memories of that time resulted from rising to that challenge, and when I learned that SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO: REBIRTH CHAPTER would open in Japanese movie theatres on December 12, 2009, the challenge had been issued anew. YAMATO was what got me into anime in the first place. Seeking it out in all its forms has been a steady preoccupation for me since 1980. I could’ve continued to do that online and waited a few months for a DVD, but that just seemed wrong. Here, at last, was a chance to see it the way it was meant to be seen, on a big screen with big sound and surrounded by a big merchandising campaign. Going to Japan to see that in person was a new opportunity not just to relive the challenges of yesteryear but also to experience them in real time as Japanese fans did. I knew I’d regret it if I let the opportunity pass. And now I regret nothing. Continued…
43 years from it’s creation, Ultraman has consistently remained a beloved character for three generations. This staple series is now reborn with the aim at an all new stage. After Tsuburaya Productions joined TYO Group, Japan’s leading film relations enterprise, their first new theatrical film MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY combines the top staff of the film world from Hollywood and Japan. Abolishing the miniature SFX used until now, all the SFX cuts are presented with digital composites of CG and live action characters, with the images of the Ultraman home world the “Land of Light” and other worlds at the end of the universe being fully realized. And with the images of this world and the speedy activity of the Ultra heroes who move around freely within it having been totally reformed, it’s not wrong for the generations who have witnessed the former ULTRA series to be amazed at this evolution. Continued…
The Heisei Gamera trilogy — GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE (Gamera: Daikaiju Kuchu Kessen, 1995), GAMERA 2: ADVENT OF LEGION (Gamera 2: Region Shurai, aka GAMERA: ATTACK OF LEGION, 1996) and GAMERA 3: AWAKENING OF IRYS (Gamera 3: Iris Kakusei, aka GAMERA: REVENGE OF IRIS, 1999) — will be screened in Korea at the 6th Megabox Japanese Film Festival, running November 11 to 15 (Korean date). Shusuke Kaneko, director of the Gamera trilogy, is visiting Korea for the festival and will meet the audience in person for most of the showings.
Megabox Japanese Film Festival (J-MEFF) is a collaboration between Megabox Cineplex, a large cinema chain in Korea, and the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. Since the premiere festival in 2004, J-MEFF is held in November. Each year it introduces both new and classic Japanese films to Korean audiences and is now one of the most well-known Japan-related film festivals among Korean film buffs.
Kim Song-ho previews what attendees can expect to see at this year’s Megabox Japanese Film Festival, and looks back at the history of Gamera in South Korea. Continued…
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new movie.
Every now and then, a movie comes along and takes you by surprise. Sometimes it flies under the radar and you never hear of it, sometimes it looks unremarkable and you pay it no mind, or perhaps you just think ‘you gotta be kidding, I’m not going to bother.’ In the case of CYBORG SHE (Boku no Kanojo wa Saibogu), the 2008 romantic sci-fi comedy film from Korean director Kwak Jae-Young (MY SASSY GIRL), it was a little bit of all of these.
Towards the end of a long flight back from Japan, I turned to the in-flight entertainment system to pass the time. I saw a listing for this film, in Japanese with English subtitles. I’d never heard of it, the title sounded odd, the two sentence summary didn’t sound very promising. Japanese comedies are very much hit and miss for me, but boredom got the better of me and I decided to take a chance. Continued…