Sailor Suit and Machine Gun is a film built on dichotomy. The lead character, Izumi (Hiroko Yakushimaru), is a high school teen, suggesting innocence or, at the least, a touch of naiveté. She’s not old enough to have been touched… Read More ›
GKIDS’s complete series Blu-ray release for “Neon Genesis Evangelion” is a strong way to kickstart a new fandom obsession.
Somehow, in one way or another, stories transcend times and locations, growing to become global phenomena. We’ve seen it with the characters of DC Comics and Marvel Comics, the Transformers series (based on the run of Hasbro toys), and, of… Read More ›
Large in scope but small in focus, “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” is everything and nothing like you’d expect from the long-running series.
Just after season five of popular anime My Hero Academia ends its run in the U.S. and before the sadness of no new episodes can set in, fans of Class 1-A may rejoice in a new adventure featuring their favorite… Read More ›
Writer/director’s Kaneto Shindo’s “Onibaba” joins the Criterion Collection in two different editions.
There are many proverbs or common phrases that have worked their way into the moral fabric of society. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” “Treat others the way you’d like to be… Read More ›
“Baby Assassins” is a bubbly action crime comedy that’s not afraid to kick a lot of ass. [Fantastic Fest]
If you’ve ever sat absorbing something for the first time — a song, a book, a play, a movie — and thought to yourself, “I can’t wait to revisit this,” then you’ll have some sense of what will await you… Read More ›
As with previously reviewed films Giants and Toys (1958) and Irezumi (1966), Arrow Video is restoring and offering up to audiences outside of Japan another Yasuzô Masumura film: Blind Beast. Arrow Video provides an opportunity to expand what viewers may… Read More ›
In the style of teen classics like “The Breakfast Club” and “Dead Poets Society,” Daigo Matsui’s “Remain in Twilight” appeals to our restless youthful spirits with wit and sincerity. [Fantasia International Film Festival]
It’s not every day we get the chance to chat with a loved one who has passed on. Skeptics would say that we never get that opportunity. If you’ve lost someone important to you, you’ve probably at least imagined having… Read More ›
“The 12 Day Tale of the Monster that Died in 8 (8日で死んだ怪獣の12日の物語)” is a carefully produced, lovingly crafted COVID-related tale. [Fantasia International Film Festival]
I don’t mess with COVID-related content. I’ve lived it for the past 18 months and, when I watch a movie, I absolutely do not want to be reminded of it in any way. Locked Down? I refuse to watch it…. Read More ›
Beautiful, strange, and bonkers, welcome to “Wonderful Paradise (脳天パラダイス).” [Fantasia International Film Festival]
Japan is gonna Japan whether or not you want Japan to Japan, and when it Japans, it Japans hard. That in and of itself could be the singular tagline for Masashi Yamamoto’s Wonderful Paradise (脳天パラダイス), celebrating its North American premiere… Read More ›
You’ll want to travel “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes” more than once. [Fantasia International Film Festival]
Every now and then this gig, writing about movies, is an absolute godsend. It’s not that you get to travel the world from the safety of your couch, learning histories, seeing unimagined sights, but that there’s incredible opportunity to be… Read More ›
“Follow The Light (Hikariwooikakete)” paints a beautiful picture of adolescence with romance, family drama… and a crop circle [Fantasia International Film Festival]
For most people, the teen years come with a myriad of confusing emotions, drastic life changes, and embarrassing incidents. For Akira and Maki, the young protagonists of Yoichi Narita’s Follow The Light, those formative years also bring a number of… Read More ›
The Criterion Collection welcomes writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 1998 philosophical drama “After Life.”
The question of what happens after this life has plagued humanity for centuries. Nothing, Nothingness, Valhalla, Heaven, or Hell: these and others have all been theorized as the next step once we’ve shuffled off this mortal coil and moved into… Read More ›
Documentarian Julien Faraut successfully preserves the incredible story of the 1964 Japanese volleyball team, even if the presentation lacks the energy the true story deserves. [North Bend Film Festival]
Storytelling is all about execution. You can have the most fascinating, compelling, edge-of-your-seat concept, but, if the execution flounders, nothing else matters. Take the story about the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo which saw the introduction of volleyball as an… Read More ›
Adventurous, heartrending, and undeniably raw, “CODE NAME: Nagasaki” offers a reimagined documentary told through the language of cinema. [North Bend Film Festival]
When it comes to self-discovery, there is no one right path, no universal means for those who walk this earth to become comfortable with themselves. This is the struggle, the burden we all share, whether we’ll admit it or not…. Read More ›
Beware the traps laid within Arrow Video’s restoration of “Irezumi” as the path made lead to your peril.
In the opening moments of Yasuzô Masumura’s Irezumi (1966), we witness a man drug a woman, then design and ink a spider tattoo on her back. As he works on the floor, bent over her, her only reaction is to… Read More ›
Director Yasuzô Masumura’s 1958 satire “Giants and Toys” is remarkably prescient of today’s ailments.
It’s rarely more than coincidence when a piece of art intersects with moments in history neatly. Black Panther (2018) released about a year into the Trump presidency, a film in sharp contrast against an administration dealing with accusations of white… Read More ›
Returning to the director’s seat for the second time, Hong Won-chan trades murder most foul within the blue collar arena for the underbelly of Asia and Southeast Asia in Deliver Us From Evil (다만 악에서 구하소서). In a film that’s… Read More ›
Zhang Yimou’s spy thriller “Cliff Walkers” subverts expectations at every turn, offering a meal for hungry audiences.
Writer/director Zhang Yimou is many things, but subtle is not one of them. His projects often feature beautiful cinematography and elegant performances while exploring the complexities of humankind, resulting in films that are often far more poetic than narratively straight…. Read More ›
According to the press notes for Call for Dreams, Israeli director Ran Slavin started the project in pursuit of a “new cinematic form.” Slavin began with the idea to collect dreams from strangers that he could use as inspiration for… Read More ›
February 2021 saw the theatrical release of a new Studio Ghibli film, Earwig and the Witch, and it wasn’t quite as well received as hoped. While the switch from hand-drawn animation to 3D CG was, initially, off-putting, the real issue… Read More ›