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The Legend of Hei is Coming to Digital & Home Video!

28 Feb

Coming to Digital
April 20, 2021

Home Video:
May 11, 2021

Over five years in the making, The Legend of Hei is a heart-warming fantasy movie adventure, bolstered by beautiful animation and enchanting narrative. Filmmaker Ping Zhang (a.k.a MTJJ) derived this story from a popular flash animation series he created in 2011.

The series gained immense popularity when it debuted online in China, and Zhang then decided to develop it into a feature-length movie. Following successful openings in China and Japan, The Legend of Hei recently screened at Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Japan Media Arts Festival to great audience enthusiasm. Shout! Studios is proud to present this film starting April 20, 2021.

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Will the Chase Ever End in Tom & Jerry, The Movie?

28 Feb

Tom & Jerry (Official 2021 Film Poster).png

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at select theatres (where open) & HBO MAX

SPOILER ALERT

Let’s face it, Tom the Cat can’t catch Jerry the Mouse no matter how hard he tries. Over the decades, these miscreants of their animal genus should be ashamed of themselves. Not even their own kin look kindly at them. Well, maybe the rodent might fare better. The two are rivals. The early cartoons are often about one trying to annoy or outsmart the other.

Their antics can’t carry a movie, and the shorts from long ago are far more effective than any feature length attempts. Those pieces are essentially Mack Sennett slapstick comedies, and the reason we love to watch them is that observing others beat up on one another is therapeutic.

Life is not a bed of roses either. The star is Kayla Forester (Chloë Grace Moretz), out of work and needing a new job. She’s certainly a smooth operator and fibs her way into a hotel management position, and pretty soon these cartoon characters get involved.

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It’s better to Fight, than Let the Monster Run

26 Feb

Monster Run (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Netflix

The idea to adapt the American book into a Chinese film, Monster Run, is odd. This country is better off taking concepts from their own vast catalogue of lore than to look across the Pacific. The plot outline of Monster by A. Lee Martinez is also very familiar.

Some ideas are good, like the comic relief from a smart-mouthed animated piece of paper and a heroine who is not fully aware of her psychic abilities. Ji Mo (Jessie Li) can see monsters. However, she is not in full control of her abilities and she thinks she’s an odd duck. She’s like Pai in the Japanese manga Sazan Eyes by Yuzo Takada, innocent and cute. However, she doesn’t have Sanjiyan’s confidence, another personality hiding within her, to control the beasts. That belongs to her rival, Lotus (Kara Hui).

Meng (Shawn Yue) is the only person who can help. One night, while Mo is handing out flyers for the grocery store she works at, he is hunting for a nearby sleeping beast. Their meeting wasn’t easy; he is a conceited fool, as annoying as Han Solo when Leia first met him, but in control of the situation with Paper, his partner (voiced by the scene stealing Qiao Shan) providing support. This possessed piece of stationery is hilarious and the many forms he can fold himself into give this film an air of originality!

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That Crazy Samurai is Headed to Home Video March 2nd!

26 Feb

Available on
Hi-YAH! Streaming Service.

WELL GO USA
Physical/VOD/Digital
Release Date: March 2, 2021

Please click on this link to read a review of this movie.

Anyone who missed out in seeing Crazy Samurai Musashi at film festivals can now see it on streaming or on home video! This film has been renamed though, and anyone feeling confused at why Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1 is used for the Well GO USA release is best to ask this company.

Perhaps it’s to ideally identify what this movie is about. It’s a one take slug-fest of one man versus an entire village. Although this company doesn’t always offer extras in every Asian cinema release, this work is one I wished it had additional material from the Japanese physical media release.

 

I’d love to see what was needed to prepare for filming this movie in one long take. There’s hardly time to breathe given the amount of battles Musashi (Tak Sakaguchi) have to endure. Yuji Shimomura’s film is unique such that he has to coordinate everything through walkie-talkie and hidden headphones. The Japanese home video release offers more and can be purchased through YesAsia, This edition includes a bonus DVD of special features including making-of, audienceless event, first day press meet and trailer.