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.
Even though the number of episodes in Die Harter is shorter than season one, maybe eight is enough so the inevitable movie cut doesn’t trim any story out.
Available on Roku
Fans of Kevin Hart‘s style of comedy and John Cena being weird will certainly Die Harter of laughter at how this series is continuing. The fictional version of this comedian believes he can become the star of his own film.
After reinventing The Jeffersons as an action television show, people are talking about him. But he wants to go further and have a movie that is completely unscripted. He pitches it to Jordan (Nathalie Emmanuel) in hopes she’ll join him, but little does he know his stunt in a public place drew the attention of a hater.
When this series is presented in 15 minute chunks, I could take a breather and process the chaos that’s going on when Hart gets knocked out, threatened by a villain over a loudspeaker, escapes and tries to figure out who is after him!
Adapting any multi-volume manga series to a single film can be tough, and despite some narrative beats that don’t go too deep, Blue Thermal is relatively engaging. The explanation in the home video release offers insight to the changes, and overall, I didn’t mind how the lengthy tale got compressed.
Any story that involves aspiring to fly high and to achieve your dreams will always capture my interest. Although classic works like Macross Zero, Porco Rosso and Nausicaä set the bar, it’s tough to find new material that can live up to that.
Just where this film fits in is somewhere after the top five lists. I love the title song (YouTube link) and can listen to it all day! As for the tale, it’s not about what’s amazing with the sport of gliding. Instead, the movie is about headstrong Tsuru Tamaki (Mayu Hotta) wanting to fit in. This story is about her entering college life. She’s the type who dreams of white picket fences and meeting that cute boy who’ll sweep her off her feet. But being a freshman is tough at Aonagi University. After trying her hand at different clubs, she literally and accidentally lands into a sport she has no familiarity with.
Worlds collide, and as for why Leonor Will Never Die is because she simply refuses to give up! This elderly woman (sweetly played by Sheila Francisco) wants to be a screenwriter for those movies she loves watching. She adores action films and did work in the industry long ago.
Although what she writes is for a Filipina audience, her love for the genre is very clear. I’m sure she can be the next Stephen J. Campbell if she wanted to. But her son, Rudi (Bong Cabrera) can’t put up with her. He plans to leave the nest, and little is said about how the other, Ronwaldo (Anthony Falcon), died. In classic ghost story fashion, he can’t move on until he sees the rest of the family is in a good place.
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 unique 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.