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2014 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

2 items from 2014


Film Review: ‘The Eternal Zero’

12 April 2014 11:19 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A fictional account of a Japanese WWII pilot that features the most breathtaking images of aviation seen in an Asian war film since South Korea’s “Soar Into the Skies” (2010), “The Eternal Zero” marks another vfx victory for helmer Takashi Yamazaki, here surpassing the technical sorcery of his “Space Battleship Yamato” while delivering an elegantly crafted human drama. One of Japan’s 10 biggest hits of all time (having bagged $82.7 million to date), the eight-week B.O. champion cloaks its nationalistic message in an emotionally wrenching story that sweeps the viewer right along — but cops out in the finale, with a glorification of kamikaze missions that contradicts its initial criticism of blind patriotism. While Koreans and mainland Chinese may take issue with the film’s ideology, its crackling action scenes rep a selling point in other overseas markets, even if its mammoth length presents a challenge for theatrical release.

The film »

- Maggie Lee

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Hong Kong Film Review: ‘Silver Spoon’

23 March 2014 5:27 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As wholesome as fresh milk, “Silver Spoon” centers on a pack of individualistic youngsters who attend a vocational high school for dairy farming in Hokkaido, northern Japan. Not your average youth film about sports, first love or superheroes, this pleasant pic offers an uncommon glimpse into modern agricultural practices while teaching respect for the food chain. Adapted from the bestselling manga by Hiromu Arakawa, it is smoothly if unadventurously helmed by Keisuke Yoshida and brightened by a likable teen cast. It’s ideal material for educational screening events and could target tween auds in Asian markets.

Arakawa (who also penned the huge hit “Fullmetal Alchemist”), actually has farming roots and attended an agricultural school in Hokkaido on which the setting of “Silver Spoon” is based. Her experience lends authenticity to the fiction, underscoring the rugged pride of country folk as well as the economic difficulties they constantly face. Yoshida’s »

- Maggie Lee

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2014 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

2 items from 2014


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