Anthony Shim’s Riceboy Sleeps is a very sweet and melodramatic movie. It’ll certainly have some Asian youths thinking about their relationship with their parents. That’s because this filmmaker drew heavily upon his own experiences to tell a compelling tale about life, hardship and how to live. It also reflects upon what some immigrants must have faced in the 80s when trying to raise children in a world that’s still relatively foreign to them.
When So-young (Seung-yoon Choi) wants to make a fresh start in Vancouver, BC with her son Dong-Hyun (played by child-actor Dohyun Noel Hwang and teen Ethan Hwang) who’s ready to rebel, trying to connect is tough. He has his problems and she has hers. It’s less about the communication barriers, but more to do with not having a father figure around.
Cleopatra Entertainment has acquired U.S. territory rights to the latest incarnation film from the Japanese Superhero franchise Ultraman from Tsuburaya Productions. Entitled Shin Ultraman, this new Ultraman adventure was the sixth-highest grossing Japanese feature film of 2022 and will hit U.S. theaters via Fathom Events and Canada through Cineplex theatres (please check local listings) on January 11th and 12th, 2023.
Thankfully, those who missed the dubbed version day aren’t missing anything. The subtitled version playing in both nations shows off the film as the producers intended. And after this theatrical campaign concludes, hinting at maybe a few more runs at film festivals, Shin Ultraman will be released in the Spring of 2023 on VOD and also as a Deluxe Home Entertainment Blu-Ray and DVD release.
Written by Hideaki Anno (Shin Godzilla) and directed by Shinji Higuchi (Shin Godzilla, Attack on Titan), the film stars Takumi Saitoh (Shin Godzilla, 13 Assassins), Hidetoshi Nishijima (Drive My Car, The Wind Rises), Masami Nagasawa (Before We Vanish, Mother), Daiki Arioka (Innocent Curse), and Akari Hayami (Gintama, Forget Me Not).
The power of myth is strong in China; Nezha is a guardian deity who perhaps rivals the fame of the Monkey King. Both are household names, and the literature they hail from is the most studied. It’s a classical work which teaches prime virtues to which many folks from this country tend to follow.
In Journey to the West, this human fought the primate when he rebelled. They would later become friends. The 3D animated movie about the boy to become a god debuted early this year and it has been making huge waves as it looks to this man’s early days–demonized and not knowing his place in the world–before being the individual he is now.
North American or Japanese, musicals must be seen live. When it is not possible to attend either due to location or cost, sometimes the next best thing is to see it at the movies. Whether that’s with a remote broadcast or adaptation, these shows rarely disappoint. When paired with a pop culture phenomenon, especially Sailor Moon, visions of New York Radio City’s The Rockettes style performances come to mind. Just do not tell the Sailor Senshi. They may go on a tirade. This particular series is retelling the manga by Naoko Takeuchi and they been playing in Japan for over two decades. The story arcs are expanded upon and even goes into bold new directions. Not every Japanese pop culture enthusiast may know this subgenre. To keep track of everything from Japan means having both ears to the ground. Officially, only the soundtracks exist and bootleg videos are a grey area. The first overseas performance was in 2015 in Shanghai, and the North American premiere of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical—Le Mouvement Final, presented as a pre-recorded performance, started late last month. Screening made its way to Cineplex Theatres Canada last week.
I am very thankful CineLife Entertainment for overseeing an international distribution; more screenings are being added, and I suspect this video tour is still rolling out.
Cineplex Theatre’s annual Great Digital Film Festival returns for another year Canada-wide and they will be presenting fond films from the yesteryears in a way they were meant to be seen: on the big screen! This event starts Feb 5th and it will run for an entire week. The prices cannot be any better. They are close to the original ticket prices when these movies first screened and for SCENE members, this is the best time to rack up the points for the regular films. This points program changed where it is now scalable depending on the type of film watched. That is, if the movie is 3D, you have to see the equivalent of 10 3D movies to get one free. The more movies seen during this film festival, the more points are being offered.
And while this year’s selection was not intentional, one movie stands out in light of the news from early January. The multi-talented David Bowie passed away, just days after his new album released. His contributions to cinema should also not be forgotten and at least the programmers have serendipitously included Labyrinth in this year’s list. Although this type of event takes months to plan, this year could have stood out if The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger, The Last Temptation of Christ and Zoolander (where he cameoed) was also included.
The movies we at Otakunoculture are excited for are as follows. For a complete list, please visit Cineplex’s website.