Tag Archives: DVD Review

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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Joe Koy’s Easter Sunday in October. It’s Not Strange At All.

23 Oct
15164

Available to purchase on Amazon

Joe Valencia (stage name Jo Koy) is a comedic talent worth noting because he cites two comedy legends—Robin Williams and Steve Martin—as huge influences. Both made successful transitions to the big screen, and to be on par in Easter Sunday will take a lot more work.

He can do it. This movie sees him getting top billing, and its success must go beyond being a family sitcom about a Filipino household coming together for their Asian style holiday. The theatrical release in August and home video issue in Oct is unusual, but I welcomed this change of pace. The bonus material is nothing to rave about, and the best takeaway is that it was filmed during the pandemic. As for what it took to bring two of my favourite entertainers to this production, I was hooked.

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It’s Not Just A Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo, But A Who’s Who of Where Are You?

11 Oct
Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo

Availiable to Stream and coming to DVD Oct 18th.

Spoiler Alert

The big talk from last week about Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo is that Velma is a lesbian. The fuss is crazy! Most long-time fans saw the clues a mile away, and they’ve been laid down more than a decade ago. But the fact that this reveal is finally confirmed because of the action (nothing explicit) has the media abuzz.

Even when the 2002 live-action movies were in production, James Gunn knew the backstory. But the studio heads feared backlash over a cartoon that was developed from the 60s/70s. And each character represented a particular ethos.

What’s missing in all the coverage is in how well this latest entry honours the original toon that started it all. The supernatural encounters met in the past all connect. The gang discovers the miscreants bought their costume at the same place. And in Coolsville, the fact there’s a ring-leader suggests there’s much more afoot than what a trail of Scooby Snacks can lead to.

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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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