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Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon is Finally in North America!

30 Nov

Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon is finally here in North America, on home video, courtesy of Shout! Kids. I’ve looked at this movie a while back (review link), and what I offer is a quick look at the bonus material that’s included in the DVD release:

From the Press Release:

AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON is an inspiring fantasy movie adventure of a young heroine and her thrilling journey to save the endangered Amazon rainforest. Directed by Jose Zelada and Richard Claus (The Little Vampire and The Thief Lord) with a Peruvian-Dutch co-production among Tunche Films (Lima) and Cool Beans (Amsterdam), AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON is a strikingly visual and colorful animated movie bolstered by vibrant storytelling, a strong young female lead character, fascinating folklores, and the relevant theme of deforestation and environmental conservation.

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It’s Hard to Say No to Watching Nope on Home Video Because…

6 Nov

Spoiler Alert

When Jordan Peele’s take on alien invasion, UAPs, and animal mutilation, what can go wrong? The answer is that he won’t say Nope on what he believes is going on. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking his take may well reveal what’s going on that History Channel’s Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch is trying to uncover. Perhaps there is a sentience out there that wants to reveal itself, but it’s biding its time for when the time is right.

This filmmaker’s feature deals with more humane concerns, and it’s a rather long exposition. Despite the lengthy run time and build up to the confrontation, the scares he’s setting viewers up for are very satisfying and grim. Because this motion picture has to fully develop the characters. Any sense of whom the threat is—and what it represents as a wake-up call—doesn’t come until much later. His style is like M. Night Shyamalan’s, and the surprise is effectively good.

Thus, we can finally wonder if the Haywood family deserves their fate. Father is hurt, and the tale shifts to OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) attempting to save the farm from bankruptcy. Jupe (Steven Yeun) offers to help, but even has a past he can’t escape, and he’s the second banana who is helping the brother and sister team to deal with this alien threat.

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loundraw’s Summer Ghost Lingers into Home Video

2 Nov

GKIDS & Shout! Factory

Even though Halloween is over, Summer Ghost (サマーゴースト) is here to stay. The home video release the day after feels appropriate to show how those emotions can linger on. This Japanese animated short film is about what it means to be alive instead of the opposite. Each of the heroes here are seeking the spirit of a girl and hope to “get advice” on how to carry on.

This short animated film produced by Flat Studio and directed by loundraw is wonderful. The home video release has two documentaries included which look behind the scenes of this anime, and an interview with the director himself. They help expand what’s already known, assuming viewers watched the film first, and perhaps learn something more. It’s terrific to revisit this anime I saw during Fantasia, and to see how close I was to understanding this director’s vision. That review can be read here.

The former focuses on the team discussing how they look up to the loundraw. They often say he’s like a big brother, which is a touching gesture. This individual made his debut as an illustrator for Gara Nagata’s Hoshi no Nemuru Mizuumi e -Ai wo Sagashi ni- before spreading his wings and now becoming a director. If the dialogue is any sign, there’ll be more stories to come.

With the second piece, loundraw reveals where his idea came from, the type of colour template used and much more. It’s definitely worth the watch after the film, and it certainly made me appreciate Summer Ghost a lot more. Despite the title of this work and when it’s been released to home video (and theatrical), it’s quite the post-Halloween treat. In fact, this work is very appropriate to release during the week when Día de Muertos takes place! Both this anime and celebration honours the afterlife, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the reason why this release was timed for this week.

Summer Ghost Official Trailer

Cutting into Why Spirit Halloween The Movie Was Made

31 Oct
Spirit Halloween The Movie

DVD available to order on Amazon USA

Available on Google Play and Amazon Prime.

Anyone who bought a costume or decoration from the Spirit Halloween store will get a chuckle out of the fact this company wanted to produce one big commercial. It’s appropriately titled, Spirit Halloween The Movie. If that idea isn’t scary enough to convince people to shop at their stores, then I don’t know what will.

This work may get viewers wanting to look for those costumes and items seen in the motion picture to wear or place in their front yard. As much as I love the season and looking at what others can set up, there’s a difference between comic versus supernatural frights; the only way to understand this film is to accept that they’re venturing into one of those carnival style haunted houses often set up for this season, and it has every trick in the book to disorient you.

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Crane Wilbur’s “The Bat” and Clinging to the Classics

29 Oct
The Bat

Available to order on Amazon USA

The Film Detective

During the Silent Film era, Crane Wilbur was well known for his wide variety of works, namely The Perils of Pauline. But for horror enthusiasts, he’ll always be remembered for House of Wax. Before this film was ever made, he worked with Vincent Prince on The Bat, a crime-thriller.

The mini-documentary included in this release is a love letter to the auteur, and his relationship with this actor. After viewing the featurette that explains his influence on scary cinema, I think I’ll have to start looking at those films rarely spoken of today. Ballyhoo Motion Pictures presented a very convincing argument in why we must respect this filmmaker’s other works.

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