I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.
School of Magical Animals shows that not every German-made fantasy is about the works from the Brothers Grimm.
Blue Fox Entertainment
Playing at select cinemas; please check local listings.
The live-action adaptation of Margit Auer‘s School of Magical Animals (Die Schule der magischen Tiere) has a few interesting changes, and the most prominent is the fact this presentation is also a musical. Unless this adaptation does really well in the box office, all that character development I found in this film requires more movies than one to fully realise. Unlike Rowling’s narrative concerning who are the bad guys, the mystery simply involves finding out who is pranking and stealing items from the school.
Aside from a few Easter egg style aesthetics taken from Harry Potter, I can’t help but wonder if Miss Cornfield (Nadja Uhl), a teacher in this institution, is intentionally made up to resemble Rita Skeeter. As for whether she’s a friend or foe to Ida (Emilia Maier), that’s a detail I won’t spoil. The friends she makes–Benni (Leonard Conrads) and Jo (Loris Sichrovsky)–at the school she’s admitted to is special, but not everyone knows it’s a special institution which helps young ones hone their ability to interact with the supernatural.
Adapted from a popular novel by Yuan Taiji instead of Batman, Daniel Lee‘s movie Code of Assassins (aka Song of Assassins, 青面修罗) has the feel of the latter because a young assassin is out for more than just vengeance. Blue Asura Qi Jun Yuan (William Feng) offers quite the fitting introduction to this world, and as for his role–it’s more than to be a masked avenger!
I wouldn’t know that he’s a tortured soul until his backstory unfolds. To watch how he got indoctrinated into a multigenerational clan of assassins at a young age is one element I enjoyed following. Another concerns how he lost an arm in a fight, and later, feeling loss as his entire clan gets wiped out. They were his family. They were the heroes and protectors of Ghost Valley. However, now that they’re gone, he’s turned renegade. The only way he can find peace is to eliminate everyone involved and if that story beat sounds familiar, I’m sure Lee is a John Wick fan too!
But to enact swift revenge won’t be easy in this multi-genre work which is still a wuxia film at its core.
Anyone who has played Deemo, the rhythm music video game, will know how the animated movie Memorial Keys ends. This fact is not too detrimental as it fills in some narrative beats the original incarnation some gamers may feel didn’t get very deep on. Here, there’s more of a world that goes beyond what the game is about. The ideas SIGNAL.MD & Production I.G. presents lets us know that to experience everything music represents is also like therapy for the soul.
At first, I was just as curious as Sania and her friends about the new student with a mysterious past. They attend a music academy and for this girl whose talents outshines hers, trying to figure her out is tough.
Director Juan Jesús García Galocha could have done more to bring out the romance of what Ancient Egypt represents in Mummies.
Some Mummies are hard to read, and not all of them experience an easy transition to their afterlife. According to Ancient Egyptian beliefs, their souls first need to get judged and those whose heart is pure get to live on in the Field of Reeds (or the Duat). But for archaeologists looking for evidence of what kind of life they once led, the body they leave behind doesn’t always show if they’re resting in peace.
Here, Thut (Joe Thomas) lost his confidence after a racing mishap and Princess Nefer (Eleanor Tomlinson) isn’t content with her life. She’s almost like Cleopatra (in Space) because she’s fiercely independent and this version didn’t take her life. We meet her as royalty in the undead kingdom, and what’s amusing about how the two are birds of the feather.
Decarnation also takes inspiration from cult hits like Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.
Coming to Steam (PC) and Nintendo Switch May 2023.
The terror is real in Decarnation, a video game from developer Atelier QDB and publisher Shiro Unlimited. This horror adventure blends a bit of that old school pixel style animation to a modern tale of horror, where each choice only furthers an exploration into Gloria’s psyche. What this entertainer must face can easily change her perceptions of the real world, or cause her to sink into further insanity.
“Decarnation’s grave story, lovecraftian world, and evocative messages are about to unfold,” teased Quentin De Beukelaer, founder of Atelier QDB. “[Here, you have to] get ready to explore levels that blur the ever-thinning lines between fantasy and reality, and experience the truth of humanity when facing some of the darkest creatures and circumstances imaginable!”