Tag Archives: Japanese

[Fantasia 2019] We Are Little Zombies, A Movie Review

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

We Are Little Zombies is a misleading title. While the situation borders on black comedy, perhaps the terror lays in what four 10-year-old tweens are facing: isolation. When they have to face grief at the loss of their parents, just how they react is a complex mix of juxtapositions worth studying. Writer/director Makoto Nagahisa tosses a lot of imagery at viewers. It’s like watching FLCL for the first time.

Hikari (Keita Ninomiya), Ikuko (Sena Nakajima), Ishi (Satoshi Mizuno) and Takemura (Mondo Okumura) can give Wednesday Addams a run for her money. They have no hope for their immediate future. When nobody seems to want them, relatives included (they are suspiciously missing in this narrative) all they have are each other. They met at the crematorium and after a lengthy backstory told in flashbacks, they decide to form a band. Their idea to express their life through music–which I have to label bubblegum punk.

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[Fantasia 2019] Akane’s in Wonderland, A Movie Review

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Akane’s (Mayu Matsuoka) life may seem boring, if not downright depressing in Keiichi Hara‘s The Wonderland (バースデー・ワンダーランド). Her birthday is coming up and she should be happy. When she’s asked to visit Aunt Chii (Anne Watanabe) on the other side of town just to pick up her own celebratory gift, it’s a safe bet her world is going to be turned upside down. The tones this film borrows from Lewis Carroll’s work cannot go unnoticed.

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The Vintage Tempest’s Most Anticipated Films of 2019

2 Jan

By Ed Sum aka (The Vintage Tempest)

When a huge plate of comic book films is being offered in 2019, is it possible to make a list of movies worth seeing without mentioning a comic book (especially Marvel or DC) title? That will be a separate article but within this category, M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass deserves special mention. It’s certainly comic-book inspired. Instead, it’s set in the reality only this auteur can imagine.

Works from Asia is just as important! Not on the list, but believed to release sometime this new year is a sequel to The Mermaid (2016). This runaway hit and director Stephen Chow‘s perchance for comedy has me waiting in bated breath for an American-side release. Chinese-made films rarely get noticed, and when making my list, I had Warriors of the Future as a movie of interest.

Anime-wise, Mirai no Mirai (未来のミライ) will get wider distribution in this new year. It released during winter of last year with limited screenings. I saw a clip in the promo reel for the Victoria Film Festival 2019, and am fairly sure this will be screened locally. I will be looking forward to watching this 76th annual Golden Globe Award-nominated film.

Listed in chronological order are:

Godzilla: The Planet Eater

January 9

The final part of Toho’s animated trilogy gets its worldwide release on Netflix! While this take takes on shades of Hideaki Anno‘s Evangelion, this concept should be of no surprise when considering this creator directed the last live-action work, Shin Gojira in 2016.

Kaiju fans are in for twice the fun this year, since King Ghidorah is the villain. I’m sure the planning was coincidental since one side of the Pacific was not in constant communication with the other for plans for big G. Not even a three-headed monster can choose sides for which is best.

Cont’d on next page.

Recipes Highlight Dark Horse Comics’ Hungry Ghost Compilation

27 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dark Horse Comics has a collected compilation of Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts ready to release October 2nd. I find myself in a conundrum, do I want to buy this work again? All I can hear from this great chef’s spirit, “You’ll want to go back for seconds, you will not be disappointed.” This release offers new material to sink my teeth into, and thankfully the preview I looked at affirmed the new content is indeed very delicious.

The added content is perfect for those who do not know their Japanese folklore. Everything people wanted to know about these particular figures used in this work but were afraid to ask is summarized and given a lovely illustration like it was drawn from a Japanese artist. This also includes the game of Hyakumonagatari Kaidankai (100 Candles)! In brief, Samurai challenge one another to scaring one another with supernatural tales and at the end, one of the candles is blown out. In the end, a real terror is lurking in the darkness. Bourdain’s work gives the tales a culinary twist. My review of the first issue and subsequent issues can be found here. and by fllowing the trail of links after each article.

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