Tag Archives: DVD Review

Wild and Carefree. Pompo the Cinephile on Home Video!

11 Jul

GKIDS & Shout! Factory
Release Date: July 12, 2022

Pompo the Cinephile is coming to home video this Tuesday, and it’s a wonderful film to add to any collection. I’ve reviewed this film when it debuted at Fantasia Film Festival, and what I’ll look at is the bonus material. There isn’t a lot of added footage save for the commentary, storyboards and a nice looking postcard.

Here, Takayuki Hirao talks about the Hollywood directors whom he really wanted to pay homage to. Also, He explains why he started this movie with a huge musical number.

This animated movie looks at what goes on behind the cameras. The added commentary discusses differences between the Japanese way of making films to Hollywood and gives some afterthoughts to why the team like certain scenes more than others. Here, second unit director, Kenji Imura and editor, Tsuyoshi Imai not only break down how a few scenes were layered but also discuss what drives a few characters, especially Gene. He’s the focus in this piece, and Pompo is along for the ride.

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Challenging Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis to the Unexpected. Decisions, Decisions….

9 Jul

Shout! Factory and Eleven Arts
Released July 5, 2022

Prince of Tennis’ new movie is all song and dance. Titled, Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis <Decide>, I wasn’t too sure about what to expect but when I’m a fan of musicals and West Side Story, it’s worth the watch. The drama examines the relationship between father and son, and dispenses with any sci-fi style elements to get to the chase.

To be honest, not many cinematic musicals about aiming for the top in some sport exist. While there’s many anime musicals set in different genres, to have an animated franchise annually releasing a work in this subgenre is much rarer. This 23-year-old franchise had regular stage shows, and this latest follows in that tradition.

This film continues the story of tennis prodigy Ryoma Echizen. He’s determined to take his game to the next level, but to do so means learning from the best. After he saves classmate Sakuno from some thugs (where two tennis balls collide like two atoms in a hadron collider), he’s magically transported to the past and meets his much younger parent. He knows that reveal himself is a bad idea, otherwise the timeline would unravel.

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Meditating on “Nine Days,” Because It Must Lead to Something…

1 Nov

Nine Days (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Sony Pictures Entertainment
Coming to VOD and Available to pre-order on Amazon USA

Will (Winston Duke) may well be figuratively dead inside in Nine Days. This character study by Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda is his feature film debut, and he offers a look at how certain “individuals” are given second chances at life. It’s not just about whom this arbiter selects. He’s never seen the writing on the wall himself, and the mystery is in why he’s the judge, jury and executor driving part of this movie. He only has those number ot days to make the call if the ‘new souls’ are deemed worthy of life.

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When A Horse’s “Spirit” Goes from “Untamed” to Trained

4 Sep

Spirit: Untamed | JB Hi-FiBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

DreamWorks Entertainment
Available on Streaming Platforms, Home Video
Amazon USA Purchase Link

DreamWorks Spirit has a sequel, and viewers don’t need to know the Netflix series or past iterations to enjoy the latest release. The CGI animated update certainly reveals how this franchise has evolved with the times. It’s a different beast when compared to Stallion of the Cimarron (2002). They are all set in the Wild West–even though many years have passed between story to story. This latest focuses on the girl attempting to tame a horse, who conveniently shows his independence, and establishes a relationship with.

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[Fantasia 2021] Who’s the Master with Dreams & Monsters? Mad Gods?

19 Aug

Mad God (2021) - IMDbFantasia Film Festival 2021
Available to Stream on Aug 22 & 24
Tickets purchases available here.

Mad Dreams & Monsters is available in The Monster Collection (Amazon USA Link)

Anyone who saw Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters before going to see Mad God at Fantasia Film Festival is ahead of the game when getting to know how this film came to be. No prior knowledge is necessary, but this documentary by Gilles Penso and Alexandre Ponce will help. It’s a love letter to the man, and every film he made movie magic in. It includes his contributions to television (The Pillsbury Dough Boy) too. 

The transition to filmmaking took place when he met Dennis Muren who was looking for talents to staff Industrial Light & Magic. He is the creative mind behind realizing Dejarik, a weird chess-like game that Chewie and R2D2 played in episode IV and since then, his cinematic legacy was set in stone. The fact he had to recreate it for the new trilogy meant looking for those original molds and casts. 

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