Tag Archives: Coming of Age

Everyday can be a Scary Wednesday with this Addams Family Update

30 Nov

Netflix Wednesday PosterNow Streaming on Netflix
Spoiler Alert

Alfred Gough and Miles Miller‘s Wednesday update to what The Addams Family is to a modern generation is perfect for viewers wanting a horror drama similar to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. After my interview with Glenn Taranto regarding adapting Charles Addams comic strip to the media, my appreciation for the kooky leans in respecting the source material. As a result, this new take is appropriate as an Archie Horror Comics product. But as for what I think the franchise creator may like, I’m sure he’d approve of how his characters are still bringing delight to fans today and agree to how his creation needs to change with the times.

I’m enjoying this take too. Unlike the comic strip where her look is regarded as simple and cute, this newest interpretation shows how she’s downright glamorous and deadly. And thankfully, Jenna Ortega is up to the task of delivering a “Shot of Poison,” Lita Ford style. Although she’s not always “Painting it Black,” the red lipstick throws me off and it’s a detail that bugs me. Additionally, even though her life as a miscreant is perfect, she winds up getting expelled from one high school only to eventually become a hero at another institution.

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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

Drinkwater is Rich with Lots of John Hughes style References

19 Oct

drinkwater

Oct 21, The Vic Theatre (808 Douglas St)
Oct 25, Cineplex International Village (88 W Pender St)

Mike Drinkwater (Daniel Doheny) fails at everything he does, and the only person Wallace (Louriza Tronco) trying to encourage him to do better, he’s completely oblivious to. This coming of age comedy, appropriately titled Drinkwater, is very adorable. It may well stem from how this surname developed, where “a pauper is said to be unable to afford beer.”

In this film’s case, it’s about how Mike can find a way to be able to afford post-secondary. This plot is important since he feels uncertain about the road ahead as he finishes high school. The last year is often tough, since each youth has to decide on what his next step is. Is it to live out the dreams of what their parents set out for, like Luke Ryan (Jordan Burtchett), or to do something else? Although they aren’t immediate rivals, it’s easy to see they both have daddy issues.

But there’s more to this story than just how two generations can deal with life in a quiet town. Not only was this film made in the backyard world of Penticton, British Columbia but also there’s a 80s nostalgic connection with the music used. As the action builds, we hear tracks from Doug and the Slugs, Men Without Hats and Loverboy. Regarding what got me hooked is with how ‘in the zone’ the tune selection is. I loved how Corey Hart‘s “Never Surrender” helps wrap this tale up.

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How to Transform Yourself in the Rite of the Shaman

13 Oct

Rite of the Shaman Poster

Available to watch on YouTube, Apple TV and other VOD platforms.

The Rite of the Shaman is a very inspiring family-friendly film by Alicia Oberle Farmer. Here, she expands the role of what this role means and shows how it’s not restricted to specific cultures. Some people tend to think of them as an aboriginal thing whereas it’s not. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Adrenalin’s song “The Road of the Gypsy” while watching, and that’s because the themes are very similar.

According to Shamism.com, the title bestowed to those individuals also grants them knowledge in how to heal more than just battle wounds, but also enact spiritual contact. These days, it’s considered to be an ancient healing tradition. And what the protagonist in this film experiences (wonderfully played by Tyrell Oberle) is an awakening as he navigates the trials and tribulations of teenage life.

Kai is being bullied and also seeing things. There’s a voice calling to him. One reason he’s not doing well is that he’s worried about his mother, Rebekah (Janice Spencer-Wise). She’s suffering from cancer, and with no one to turn to for help, he’s alone. He’s an only child. The orchestral score wonderfully carries this work and gives us that emotional resonance to understand this boy’s plight. Props go to Donovan Colton for a delightful soundtrack; it includes everything I adore which includes flights of fancy from the likes of Enya and Yanni.

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About The House of the Lost on the Cape, Japanese Folklore and More in this Home Video Review

5 Oct

The House of the Lost on the CapeEleven Arts and Shout! Factory
Available to purchase on Amazon USA

The animated adaptation of Sachiko Kashiwaba’s novel The House of the Lost on the Cape is sweet. Not only does it carefully touch upon recent events in a thoughtful manner, but also brings folklore to life, by revealing what its relationship is to the environment. The themes explored isn’t too different from what Studio Ghibli’s Pon Poko paraded in a town facing ecological devestation. Instead, the harmony is more reminescent from My Neighbour Totoro, and that’s why I took notice.

In this film’s case, the opening act recalls the devestation from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The people who chose to stay in the Kitsunezaki region are just doing what they can to go on. But from the terror comes a chance for Yui (Mana Ashida) to leave home. She wasn’t happy because of constant family squabbles, and what we learn about this past is not always neatly explained. Sometime afterwards in her wanderings, she befriends another child, Hiyori (Sari Awano)–who lost her parents–and what they discover may well be a chance to learn how to live life to its fullest.

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