10 items from 2009
Looks like good ‘ol Miike just can’t get away from the super hero thematic, so after his live-action adaptation of Yatterman he now presents the sequel to his 2004 super hero comedy Zebraman. You can see the first teaser below, a short TV spot is available at the Japanese website. Zebraman 2 will open across Japan on May 1, 2010.
[See post to watch Flash video]
Synopsis via Nippon Cinema:
In the year 2025, Tokyo has been transformed into “Zebra City”. In the Zebraman’s absense, a woman calling herself Zebra Queen (Riisa Naka) has formed a zebra army and instituted “Zebra Time” throughout the city by force. Shinichi Ichikawa (Show Aikawa) suddenly wakes up with no recollection of his past, but instinctively returns to his super hero ways.
[via Nippon Cinema] »
I’m not sure if you’re aware of this juicy factoid or not, but cult Japanese director Takashi Miike’s 2004 superhero epic “Zebraman” is, without a doubt, one of my favorite action flicks of all time. Although it’s impossibly silly and frequently demented, there’s an inherent sweetness that runs directly through the heart of the picture, thanks in part to the on-screen skills of one Sho Aikawa. Twitch recently uncovered a set of photos from the set of “Zebraman 2,” a production I couldn’t be happier about. The follow-up is still in the process of being lensed, though a release date for May of 2010 has been tentatively set. I’m getting a very strong “Yatterman” vibe from the pics below, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As soon as this thing pops up on DVD, I’ll be all over it like organic peanut butter on a wheat saltine. »
In production now, with a release slated for the first half of 2010 - I believe they're still saying May - the first shots of director Takashi Miike and star Sho Aikawa hard at work on the set of masked superhero film Zebraman 2 have just hit the Japanese press and we've got them for you here! Some changes to the Zebraman costume, obviously, but things are looking solid and the scope of this set promises good things. The first Zebraman is one of my favorite Miike films and I have high expectations for this one ...
This weeks picks start off with one of the greatest post apocalyptic (not to mention scifi) films of all time, Logan's Run (amazon). That's right, it's dropping on blu-ray.
Next off we have a locally made fantasy Ink (amazon) which is supposed to be fantastic. Unfortunately I haven't seen it yet but I plan to remedy that soon. Then we have Yam Laranas's redux of his own film, The Echo (amazon), a sort of supernatural horror which I've seen and I have to say it's great, at least till the ending.
Then we have some Mexican arthouse fare which did quite well on the festival circuit and is finally seeing a R1 release. Called Lake Tahoe (amazon), it's about a teenager and the strange going-ons in his small town.
Welcome to an oversized edition of "The Good, The Bad and the Wtf," to make up for last week's absence. This time, we take a look at X-Men updates, a Turtles buyout, David Spade's shamelessness, a Michael Jackson controversy and how Denzel Washington is allegedly the worst person on Earth.
• Talking to Empire mag, X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner updates fans on the status of future X-Men projects. Good news for those of you who were pissed off by Wolverine's treatment of Deadpool, because this is what Donner said about the proposed Deadpool movie:
Cue collective sighs of relief.
• Here's the first official photo of the new A-Team. I'm not holding my breath for this one, »
- Arya Ponto
• IFC Films and Mpi Home Video gave Fango the scoop on the details and a first look at the cover art for its DVD release of Home Movie, Christopher Denham’s unnerving story of a family unraveling in frightening ways as seen through the lens of their camcorder. The disc arrives December 8.
Written and directed by Denham (an actor who appears in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Shutter Island) and produced by Offspring and The Girl Next Door’s Andrew van den Houten, Home Movie stars Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar, Cady McClain and real-life young siblings Austin Williams and Amber Joy Williams; see our review here. The movie will be accompanied on the disc by a making-of featurette and the trailer; retail price is $19.98.
- email@example.com (Michael Gingold)
As the writer of Takashi Miike’s Zebraman, cult hit Maiko Haaan and his own directorial debut Yaji and Kita, The Midnight Ramblers, multi-talented writer-director-actor-musician Kankuro Kudo has become one of the most visible faces for the sort of manic, extreme Japanese comedy that cult film fnas lap up on the festival circuit around the world. But what often gets forgotten is that Kudo is also a hugely acclaimed - and award winning - dramatist as well, his theatrical productions having won some of Japan’s most prestigious literary prizes, while the scripts he wrote for Ping Pong and Go early in his career also show a sensitivity to character and dramatic tension seemingly at odds with his more manic moments. Bear that in mind when approaching Kudo’s latest directorial effort, The Shonen Merikensack. While very distinctly a Kudo-written comedy, Merikensack is far more in keeping with Kudo’s »
- Todd Brown
Takashi Miike is the cinematic equivalent of a machine: He makes about a couple of movies every year, resulting in a prolific directorial resume of over 75 projects since his start back in the early ’90s (impressive!). Miike is not what you would call “widely appealing,” but he has gathered a cult following around the world with his often strange, violent, perverse projects that include the insane Ichi the Killer, the disturbing Audition and the jaw-dropping, boundary-pushing Visitor Q (to name but a few).
However, he’s not just about being perverse and edgy as he also makes some really gentle movies such as The Big People in China, or even lighthearted kid’s movies like Zebraman. His back catalog is as diverse as you’re likely to get, and he’s continuing branch out with his latest project, a shogun-era epic called Thirteen Assassins.
Miike has managed to grab himself »
- Ross Miller
Yes, kids, Tokyo Zombie is now on shelves and the time has come to announce the winners of our DVD giveaway contest. To win all you had to do was name three films that Show Aikawa starred in for Takashi Miike, which I realized was a stupid question that could be answered by simply saying “The Dead Or Alive trilogy” shortly after people started doing exactly that. I was thinking more along the lines of Gozu, Zebraman, Waru etc, myself, though I honestly don’t recommend watching Waru. It’s pretty bad. But I digress. Winners! Five of ‘em! Congratulations to: Chris Smith, Jordan Andrei, Eric Chu, Marc-Andre Goulet and the fabulously named Yasir Makhdoom.
- Todd Brown
Prepare Yourself For The Far-out, Far East Freakout ... Tokyo Zombie Rising From The Dead Onto DVD This April!
Tokyo Zombie. Having taken its native Japan by storm, Tokyo Zombie is now poised to rock America, when Anchor Bay Entertainment and Manga Entertainment unleash it on DVD on April 7, 2009.
The film was written and directed by Sakichi Sato, who wrote Takashi Miike’s controversial, award-winning Ichi the Killer, and many observers have compared this film to Miike’s ground-breaking work in the horror genre.
Tadanobu Asano (the Academy-Award® nominated Mongol) and Show Aikawa (Zebraman, Specter, winner of the Japanese Professional Film Award) portray a pair of full-time slackers and wannabe jujitsu champions who bring the murdered body of their sleazy boss to Tokyo’s infamous toxic waste dump known as “Black Fuji.”
But when an army of the undead rises from the foul, festering trash heap, our “heroes” must battle a non-stop barrage of hasty decapitations, »
10 items from 2009
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