The rich Hindu mythology brought to life in The Legend of Gatokaca requires some foreknowledge to truly appreciate what this film is about.
Available to Stream on Hi-yah and purchase on Amazon USA
Indonesian filmmaker Hanung Bramantyo wants to show to the world that The Legend of Gatokaca is built from folklore. It certainly shows why superheroes were once gods a long time ago. This individual is from the Mahabharata, an epic tale which includes fascinating elements from Indonesian mythology that put others to shame. Much of it gets explained throughout the film from the eyes of Professor Arya (Edward Akbar) and a student Erlangga (Jerome Kurnia). They teach Yuda (Rizky Nazar) about the past, and why it all matters if he’s to be the reincarnation of a demigod hero, Gatotkaca.
To get new audiences up to speed and yet move the modern update forward is better paced than other works I’ve recently seen. Although, the details go by quite fast and the 130min run time is rather long, I’m glad to have the home video release so I can rewind or pause. That way, I can make sense of the lengthy exposition.
Indonesian superhero movies don’t get a lot of love abroad. That’s because there aren’t that many and to criticise them against the heavyweights from America isn’t fair. As a result, these works really need word of mouth to get known. Legend of Gatotakaca (Satria Dewa: Gatotkaca) released in its native country last year, and now has international distribution courtesy of Well GO USA.
Everything Er Cheng presented in Hidden Blade is fascinating and scary at the same time.
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Release Date: Feb 17, 2023
Mori Hiroyuki‘s enigmatic role in Hidden Blade (长空之王) is perhaps the most telling about all that transpired within to save China from itself, and the occupation that took place during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Multiple eyes are on Wang Jingwei’s Puppet Regime and they aren’t doing anything to give the Chinese people peace of mind.
What we hear from this Japanese diplomat is that he’s involved. Nearly a quarter of his dialogue is about defining our expectations for this movie. When he said, “Japan and China are inseparable partners. It’s our shared goal to boost the economy, join hands against the Communists, and achieve prosperity in East Asia. We wish that more and more Chinese people could understand Japan’s true intentions,” I got the shivers.
In the second movie, simply titled Wandering Earth 2, we see three tales unfold in this prequel.
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Now Playing in Theatres
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The prequel to Wandering Earth (movie review here) won’t be lost to everyone. In the second movie, simply titled Wandering Earth 2, we see three tales unfold in this prequel. One concerns the geo-political wrangling required to get the Moving Mountain Project going. The second is about who are the pilots of the upgraded International Space Station which will help guide the planet’s sojourn into deep space. And last, dealing with the detractors who are resisting the locations where the rockets are built.
What this story lacks are original names given to these projects. It’s a minor quibble since like today’s studios who hide the name of the production while filming, nobody is supposed to figure the final title of the project. I enjoyed the first movie because it reminded me of other rescue humanity features. Plus, the theme of any Lunar New Year movie is to be positive during a difficult time. To save a planet requires food for thought, which this film offers plenty of!
When The Loneliest Boy in the World has a blissful dreamlike quality, its possible everything that this film depicts is all in Oliver’s head.
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Available on Digital and Coming to Home Video Dec 20, 2022
The Loneliest Boy in the World really should not be passed when fans of the zombie genre want a black comedy to enjoy. It tackles an issue I’m sure many individuals dread facing: what’s life like when you are the last of a family lineage? Even harder is the question of who can be there to provide emotional support? There’s no answers in this home video release, as it doesn’t have a lot of extras (only a behind the scenes feature is offered), but in what I can gather, unlike other entries like Fido or Shaun of the Dead which deal with similar themes, this film considers making random members of the walking dead a surrogate family.
After Oliver (Max Harwood) lost his mom (Carol Anne Watts) in a terrible accident at home, the social worker and lawyer who shows up aren’t kind. They say he has a week to get her affairs in order and prove to them he’s capable of surviving on his own. Without batting an eye, he decides going to a local graveyard is the best idea to dig himself up an instant family. He decided the people who were recently buried here are more than capable to become his new father, mother, uncle and little sister. His morbid solution is so surreal, it works. It’s like a fever dream that director Martin Owen and screenwriters Piers Ashworth, Emilio Estevez, Brad Wyman can dream up after watching Marvel Comics Wandavison.