Tag Archives: Based on Manga

The Pros & Cons of the Five Anticipated Films of 2018

1 Jan

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By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Not every upcoming movie for 2018 will get fully embraced. To make a top five list is more challenging because the interest for these films is just not quite solid.

Whether the film involved is plagued with production problems or franchise fatigue is setting in, the reasons can vary. The worry with this first film is not because the principal directors were let go, but can reshoots fix a film? In this case, it’s the actor who defined the role than casting someone younger to take the mantle. I feel shades of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull will be on the thoughts of many considering going to see this movie.

Han Solo (May 25, 2018)
Nobody can replace Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Nobody. Not even the actors who played younger versions of the characters he made famous get remembered for these roles. Okay, Sean Patrick Flanery is wonderful in the Young Indy series when he was a teen and he put a lot of effort in the role to not only sell the show but also become quite the sex symbol himself. The age difference from a young teen on television to an adult in cinema helped make this transition work.

Alden Ehrenreich is an okay substitute to show when this scoundrel was at his best. Whether the masses will accept him is the big question. The secondary issue is when this story will take place. Since the idea is to spotlight a younger version of the character, the hive mind is most likely not going to have this film lead out to Solo travelling to Tatooine  anytime soon. Rumours suggest this movie will be a Western, and this idea can work to see this scoundrel turn saviour for the day. However, to follow up on the heels of The Last Jedi is going to be tough. Expectations will be very high, and if this film does not deliver, perhaps Disney / Lucasfilm will have to reconsider if these side-stories are needed at all.

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Going into Detail with In This Corner of the World’s Home Video Release

22 Nov

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

A lot of research went into producing In This Corner of the World (この世界の片隅に). This anime is now out on home video, released by Shout! Factory on Nov 14th, and the bonus material reveals why this film deserves high marks for not only its story but also in historical accuracy. Not many productions go into exquisite detail and I was amazed.

For comparison, this release also offers a 12-page insert of the manga by Fumiyo Kōno it was based on. The three-volume set is available for purchase and it goes into greater detail for specific set pieces. I have reviewed this film when it made its rounds at theatres (it can be found here) and to watch the featurettes certainly made me appreciate this product more.

I have to agree with the points answered in the interview with Sunao Katabuchi about how this movie redefines what anime can do. Masao Maruyama says this product he helped produce is a very cultural. Although this genre has never been limiting in what tales can be explored — anyone who has watched enough product over the decades can find gems — my choice in what I love to see has been more with historical or biographical works than the usual fantastical material.

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In This Corner of the World set to Expand August 18th

9 Aug

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Coming this Friday, August 11th is In This Corner of the World to cinemas in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. On August 18th, this Japanese animated film will expand its market to major cities in both the United States and Canada. FUNimation and Shout! Factory is handling the theatrical release and to celebrate, information was passed along to press about the work director Sunao Katabuchi put forth. They may appear on the eventual video release.

A lot of the landscape around Kure and Hiroshima was tragically lost to air raids and the atomic bomb which ended World War II. Not many survivors with first-hand experience of the war are still with us. but Katabuchi met some — who were children at the time — and got their perspective. He also mentioned that this zone was your typical living quarters. He spent six years thoroughly researching the details before animation work began. He gathered accounts from people about those days and collected more than 4,000 photographs to recreate the cityscape of the 1930s and 40s.

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Just One Day at A Time with Miss Hokusai, A Movie Review

28 Mar

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Exotic beauty and supernatural magic grace Production IG’s animated biopic, Miss Hokusai. Based on the manga of the same name by Hinako Sugiura, this film follows the narrative style and simply offers moments of this artist’s life in Edo-period Japan. With it now on video, I can start studying it more in-depth. My only disappointment is that the home release does not come with a lot of bonus material. A feature-length documentary about the making of this film is provided. I was craving more, especially when this anime explores an important time in Japan’s art history.

This look into the life of O-Ei (Anne Watanabe), daughter of revered painter Hokusai (Yutaka Matsushige), is very gentle and bittersweet. The plot looks at much of her life from her perspective as she shows how fiercely independent she is. Though she works as an assistant in her father’s studio, she often finishes what he can not finish when he’s being drunk (which is rare) or acting irresponsibly.

For artists wanting to look at why these Ukiyo-e works are majestic, I particularly liked the dialogue (I saw the subtitled version) explaining how the brush can invoke portals to other worlds. You have to be careful when painting a work featuring demons. At least with one work O-Ei made, real spirits came to haunt the residence. No title is offered for this work, but according to the soundtrack, it’s simply known as “The Cursed Picture of Hell.” When the work is retrieved, her father observed that because Hope was not offered, that’s why they visited. A simple detail was added and the evil left. However, there’s more to life in Edo period Japan because the Shinto life is not everywhere.

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