It is not uncommon for a film to be based on material from a different medium. For one, it allows the filmmakers a sense of whether there’s a desire for the film before they even start pre-production. For two, audiences… Read More ›
Writer/director Yūdai Yamaguchi brings his martial arts actioner “One-Percenter” to whoop ass at Fantastic Fest 2023. [Fantastic Fest]
Who doesn’t love a little meta-angle in their entertainment, something that’s willing to poke fun at itself all while telling its own version of the very thing it’s potentially satirizing? We’re talking movies like Hollywood Shuffle (1987), The Player (1992),… Read More ›
At the 2022 Fantastic Fest, actor/stunt choreographer/director Kensuke Sonomura unveiled his second feature film Bad City, the follow-up to the 2019 release HYDRA. His sophomore crime drama packed in as much intrigue and even more blood-letting, all aided by stellar… Read More ›
Allow yourself to be swept up in director Junta Yamaguchi’s time loop comedy “River.” [Fantasia International Film Festival]
One of the best films I discovered during Fantasia 2021 was director Junta Yamaguchi’s feature-length directorial debut Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (ドロステのはてで僕ら), a time travel comedy presented entirely in one take. Now, two years later, Junta returns to Fantasia… Read More ›
Takahide Hori’s unique film experience “Junk Head” is now available for home viewing via Synergetic Distribution.
Remember in school during group projects when you would be randomly assigned with the worst possible people possible, and then, unsurprisingly, you end up doing all of the work? And the ensuing urge to tell the teacher as many times… Read More ›
The fourth entry in the “Shin” Universe, “Shin Kamen Rider” explores the battle of hope against nihilism within a tokusatsu package. [Fantasia International Film Festival]
Released in March earlier this year in Japan, Shin Kamen Rider (a.k.a. Shin Masked Rider) is the fourth film in the Shin series developed by writer/director Hideaki Anno and others in order to make modern reimaginings of popular Japanese tokusatsu… Read More ›
There are some films whose descriptions pique your interest and under-deliver, some which meet expectations, and some which blow your mind (the diamonds in the rough). The 2021 crime comedy Baby Assassins, written and directed by Yûgo Sakamoto, is the… Read More ›
From “The First Slam Dunk” to the last, this manga adaptation will have you on the edge of your seat. [Fantasia International Film Festival]
Born first as a manga series that ran from 1990 – 1996 under the title Slam Dunk, the creation of Takehiko Inoue has been adapted for television, film, and video games since its debut. The series ran in Shueisha’s Weekly… Read More ›
*Disclaimer: Elements of Madness received check-discs of this product, and as such this review will not cover any box art, packaging, or included literary materials that are included with the product.* Katsuhito Ishii, Japan’s Robert Rodriquez, rebel V-Cinema wave filmmaker,… Read More ›
The third film in the Hideaki Anno “Shin” series arrives on VOD and home video in July with director Shinji Higuchi’s “Shin Ultraman” via Cleopatra Entertainment.
Trigger Warning: Shin Ultraman features multiple sequences featuring flashing lights that might impact those with photosensitivity. In 2016, Shin Godzilla hit theaters and rocked audiences with a version of the kaiju story that hadn’t been presented in such a way…. Read More ›
Shoni Imamura’s final film, Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001) has finally come to Blu-ray. The last work of this Japanese New-Wave master, Warm Water Under a Red Bridge finds office worker Yosuke Sasano, played by Koji Yakusho (Cure,… Read More ›
Radiance Films releases director Kinji Fukasaku’s crime drama “Yakuza Graveyard” on Blu-ray for the first time.
Photosensitivity Warning: During an interrogation scene late into the film a brief but prolonged flashing sequence occurs. Within crime stories, there is a specific subgenre born from Japan: yakuza films. These stories center on the lives or operations of members… Read More ›
The Criterion Collection re-releases Seijun Suzuki’s “Branded to Kill” in a newly remastered 4K UHD edition.
Since November 2021, physical media boutique distributor The Criterion Collection has included at least one in 4K UHD in their monthly new releases. These might be first-time additions to their collection (Terry Gilliam’s The Adventure of Baron Munchausen) or remasters… Read More ›
There was a viral tweet going around recently of a meme account getting roasted for implying that high school in 2002 was “so chill,” leading millennials of that age to share their horror stories of attending high school in a… Read More ›
“Suzume” is another breathtaking tale of grief, love, and healing from writer/director Makoto Shinkai.
Writer/director Makoto Shinkai’s been telling stories since the late-1990s, but didn’t become as widely well-known in the United States until his 2016 release Your Name. (君の名は。) which combined science fiction/fantasy elements through a natural disaster with young love, creating one… Read More ›
Behold the mighty weirdness of director Gakuryu Ishii’s “Punk Samurai” outside Japan for the first-time thanks to Third Window Films.
The concept of “punk” is a rebellion against the mainstream. As it relates to music, the term was used to describe rock bands of the late-‘60s to early ‘70s that played rock tunes fast, hard, and, often, in brief. For… Read More ›
The lesser-known aftermath of World War II is brought into the light thanks to director Mizuho Nishikubo’s “Giovanni’s Island,” now available from GKids Films and Shout! Factory.
Acts of aggression always come with unintended consequences. On the smaller scale, as when my children fight, it could be that the toy they’re fighting over takes a break for a bit and neither gets to use it. On the… Read More ›
Director Kei Ishikawa’s dramatic thriller “A Man (ある男)” explores the value of self and identity. [Santa Barbara International Film Festival]
Who are you? Stop for a moment. Read not a line further, and think on that. Are you one thing or are you many? Are you your thoughts and fears? Your anxieties or successes? Your actions? Are you your present… Read More ›
Whenever I see a film that is on a subject that I know is controversial, I try to place myself in at least the headspace of the main character (when able to) to see if I can connect and resonate… Read More ›