9 items from 2012
Shohei Manabe’s manga “Smuggler” makes it to the big screen courtesy of director Katsuhito Ishii, previously known for varied and off beat fare such as “A Taste of Tea”, the bizarre “Funky Forest: the First Contact” and the frankly crazed “Party 7”. With Ishii at the helm, the film is an unsurprisingly wild take on the Japanese yakuza genre, Satoshi Tsumabuki (“Waterboys”) starring as an unfortunate young man pulled into an oddball and extremely violent criminal underworld of crooks, corpse disposal and murderous assassins. The film starts off with Tsumabuki as Kinuta, a slacker who gave up on a not particularly promising acting career, forced to work as a smuggler in order to pay back his debt to a group of local heavies. Serving under veteran Joe (Nagase Masatoshi, “Sakuran”), his life gets complicated when the latest package on the back of their beat up truck turns out to »
- James Mudge
The job of a trailer is to convince viewers that they want to see the actual movie. You’d be forgiven for thinking they’re supposed to tell the entire story in 90 seconds as oftentimes that seems to be the norm, but the best ones choose to hint and tease rather than spoil. The recent trailer for Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible is an example of the former, and even though it’s undoubtedly powerful it lessens the eventual feature experience by giving away too much. By contrast, the trailer for Shunichiro Miki‘s The Warped Forest gets everything right. Watch it and you’ll still have no idea what the movie is about, but you’ll be aching to see it anyway. Check out the trailer below. How can you not want to see more after that? The film is a pseudo sequel or sorts kind of not really almost to 2005′s Funky Forest: The »
- Rob Hunter
Smuggler aka Sumagurâ: Omae no mirai o hakobe
Directed by Katsuhito Ishii
Japan 2011 Fantasia imdb
The writers and director of Smuggler clearly watched Ichi the Killer a lot – A Lot – as kids. It’s all there: the yakuza setting, the gang war, the eccentric characters, the torture, the weird unsettling pacing, the killer who feels like he infiltrated the film from some other cinematic universe.
The difference is that nothing works as well as Ichi. Every time the film quotes Ichi, we are reminded that this film isn’t quite as good as the original. The eccentricities come across as forced, the pacing feels like a car repeatedly back-firing rather than a dangerous roller-coaster, the killer just seems out of place rather than being transgressive, and the torture becomes irritating rather than unsettling. »
- Michael Ryan
What a weekend it was, a little more than 8 years ago. Probably my favorite film-related weekend ever, with Vital, Cha No Aji and Survive Style 5+ on the menu. All three films ended up in my personal top 100 and while Cha No Aji is ranked the lowest of the three, Katsuhito Ishii (My Darling Of The Mountains) his film remains one of the absolute highlights of the Japanese comedy. A true delight that elevates feel-good cinema to a whole new level and charms from start to finish.Cha No Aji was somewhat of a surprise. I was already familiar with Ishii's work, having watched Party 7 and Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Girl prior to this one. On top of that, I was »
Starting next week, on May 4th through May, 20th, Porto Alegre will be the Latin American Capital of Genre Cinema as Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival 2012 unleashes.
Fantaspoa – International Fantastic Film Festival of Porto Alegre, the biggest genre film festival of Latin America will be back for its 8th edition, with 17 days of pure cinephilia, exhibiting 150 films – including 87 features from 32 countries: 5 having their world première, 12 in national première and 43 in their Latin America première. The festival will also bring more than 35 guests, including the duo that will be getting a Career Achievement Award: David Schmoeller and Stuart Gordon. Schmoeller, in the occasion, will also have the première of his first feature in 14 years: “Little Monsters”.
The 14th annual Boston Underground Film Festival is ready to kick ass and take names on March 29 to April 1 at the Brattle Theatre. And a few of those names will look familiar to Buff fanatics — and underground film fans the world over.
A trio of Buff favorites are returning to the fest with debut feature films after totally killing it with their amazing short films in the past. Jamie Heinrich‘s Happily Never After is a feature-length expansion of the short film that took home the Best of Fest Award in 2010, but with more solid and mature themes as the movie explores the problematic life of a degenerate photographer.
Another former award winner is Richard Bates Jr. who will be screening Excision, another feature-length extension of a short film, this one about a teenage girl who exercises her morbid obsession with surgery every chance she gets.
Steven Kostanski‘s feature »
- Mike Everleth
The 14th annual Boston Underground Film Festival has announced a few of the films they’ve already selected to screen on March 29 to April 1, including several regular Buff favorite filmmakers ready to make their spectacular return.
Most exciting is the feature film Happily Never After by Jamie Heinrich who, back in 2010, took home the Buff Best of Fest Short Award. However, this new feature is more dramatic in nature, telling the story of a lecherous photographer (Jason Carrougher) who attempts to connect with the son (Ryan Wichert) he never knew he had.
Watch the movie trailer for Happily Never After:
Also returning to Buff is Canadian filmmaker Steven Kostanski with his debut feature Manborg, a tribute to ’90s direct-to-video movies about a dead soldier turned into a cyborg killing machine designed to stop a demon invasion.
Watch the movie trailer for Manborg:
Making their Buff debuts are »
- Mike Everleth
"Redline" is set in the distant future, where a man known as 'Jp' takes on great risks for the chance of winning the 'underground' race :
"...'Sweet Jp', named for his personality, retro style and refusal to mount weapons on his racecar, nearly wins the "Yellowline" race against various sorts of racers, including aliens, most who use massive vehicles with jet engines loaded with guns and missiles. But just before the finish line Jp's car is sabotaged by an explosive device placed by his friend and mechanic 'Frisbee'.
"The 'Redline' race takes place on 'Roboworld', a militarized planet ruled by cyborgs. »
- Michael Stevens
Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Manga brand has released highly anticipated animated films this month and we're offering two combo packs for you to take home. The Films In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Manga brand is releasing two highly anticipated animated films: Katsuhito Ishii’s Redline and award-winner First Squad: The Moment Of Truth Ranging in themes from World War II to futuristic surreal car races, Manga continues to release high-end artistic animated films. Both films tout accolades from critics and the festival circuit worldwide. Redline won the Audience Official Selection Award for Animation at Fantasia and the Outstanding Achievement in Feature Filmmaking – Animation Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It has received rave reviews even »
- Pietro Filipponi
9 items from 2012
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