James Shigeta passes away   Leave a comment

Like anybody who first started to wonder who the earliest Asian American actors were, James Shigeta was a name that would come up early on. I had thought that I had only seen him in Flower Drum Song and a relatively recent indie movie called The People I’ve Slept With but that was not true, I saw him in Die Hard, for the first time and didn’t even know it at the time. Props to him for his accomplishments. Here are some links to articles recently posted about him.

http://youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com/farewell-james-shigeta/

http://reappropriate.co/?p=6324

http://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/the-spark-of-life-james-shigeta-1933-4014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/movies/james-shigeta-85-leading-man-in-flower-drum-song-dies-.html?_r=0

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/james-shigeta-dies-at-81-1201270730/

 

Posted July 29, 2014 by Dazey Daze in Uncategorized

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Giovanni’s Island review Fantasia 2014 [Recommended]   Leave a comment

Giovanni’s Island (2014)
Director: Mizuho Nishikubo
Screenplay: Shigemichi Sugita, Yoshiki Sakurai
Cast: Kota Yokoyama, Polina Ilyushenko, Junya Taniai, Yukie Nakama, Yusuke Santamaria

The story occurs, soon after World War II, on a small island off the coast of Japan’s mainland. Two young brothers, Junpei and Kanta spend their time playing and exploring the island but that soon ends when Russian soldiers arrive on the shore and occupy the island. The Russian commander’s family takes up the main household, relegating Junpei’s family to live in the stable with their horse. Junpei soon meets the commander’s daughter Tanya, despite obvious language differences they quickly form a friendship. However, the deportation of the Japanese to internment camps means such a friendship will not last. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fake review Fantasia 2014 [Recommended]   Leave a comment

The Fake (2013)
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Screenplay: Yeon Sang-ho
Cast: Yang Ik-june, Oh Jung-se, Kwon Hae-hyo, Park Hee-bon

Note: There will be screenings on July 31 and August 6

This is certainly not a pleasant film to watch but it’s very compelling and worth it for anybody who is interested in Korean animation and for the naysayers who could not imagine such a mature and serious drama being told in moving drawings. It takes place in a village that will soon be flooded for a dam project. The villagers routinely congregate under a large tent to listen to the preachings of a businessman and pastor who encourage them to donate money with the promise that they’ll build a new chapel for them when they are relocated. However, it’s actually a scam and this is discovered by a man named Min-chul, who has recently returned to the village. However, Min-chul is an awful person who shouts, swears and uses violence to intimidate everyone, including his wife and daughter. This makes it hard for anybody to actually consider his claims legitimately. Read the rest of this entry »

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai review Fantasia 2014   Leave a comment

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014)
Director: Wong Ching-Po
Screenplay: Wong Jing
Cast: Philip Ng, Andy On, Sammo Hung, Hu Ran, Chen Kuan-Tai

Note: The next screening is August 4

Preceding this main feature was a trailer for the Boxer of Shantung, which was appropriate because this film is a more modern remake of that old school Shaw Brothers feature. Like that one, this 2014 film starts with Ma Yongzhen on a boat to Shanghai. He’s dirt poor but is an extremely strong fighter. He eventually encounters Long Qi, a gangster and formidable fighter who had upset the status quo by killing one of the axe gang leaders and taking over his territory. Meanwhile, the three remaining axe bosses along with the Japanese plan on taking down Long Qi. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 27, 2014 by Dazey Daze in +Fantasia Film Festival, 2014, Reviews

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The Snow White Murder Case review Fantasia 2014 [Recommended]   Leave a comment

The Snow White Murder Case (2014)
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Screenplay: Tamio Hayashi, Kamae Minato
Cast: Gou Ayano, Mao Inoue, Misako Renbutsu, Nanao, Shihori Kanjiya

Note: This film will screen on July 29

The film starts right off with the murder victim’s body and the murderer’s shadow hovering over it. Then we see Yuji, a low-level TV program director who’s on his twitter writing about the bad ramen he had. He gets a call from an ex-girlfriend who was a co-worker of the victim. She tells him that the victim was Noriko, a beautiful woman who was an employee at a cosmetics company that sold a Snow White brand cream. She also tells him that she thinks another employee, a “plain-looking” Miki is the murderer. Thinking this could be his big break, Yuji interviews those who knew Noriko and also tweets about it. By all accounts it does seem like Miki is the main suspect but not everybody is telling the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 26, 2014 by Dazey Daze in *Recommended, +Fantasia Film Festival, 2014, Reviews, Trailers, Video

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Fuku-Chan of Fuku-Fuku Flats review Fantasia 2014   Leave a comment

Fuku-Chan of Fuku-Fuku Flats (2013)
Director: Yosuke Fujita
Screenplay: Yosuke Fujita
Cast: Miyuki Oshima, Asami Mizukawa, YosiYosi Arasawa

Note: This film will screen on August 3

This is another comedy drama that focuses on oddball or more marginalized characters, a type of film, which Japan seems to have excelled at in recent years. The story is about Fuku-Chan, a 32 year old chubby and unattractive male (played convincingly by Miyuki Oshima, a female comedienne no less) who is visited by a woman, Chiho, who apologizes for a past wrong that she inflicted on Fuku-Chan when they were schoolmates. Chiho having quit her job to pursue photography is inspired by Fuku-Chan and convinces him to allow her to take pictures of him. Thus a friendship is formed but it also awakens potentially romantic feelings in Fuku-Chan who has refused to even entertain the idea of dating a woman all his life. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 25, 2014 by Dazey Daze in +Fantasia Film Festival, 2014, Reviews

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Fantasia 2014 Mini reviews   Leave a comment

Mini review for Cold Eyes, The Fatal Encounter, and Jellyfish Eyes after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 22, 2014 by Dazey Daze in +Fantasia Film Festival, 2014, Reviews

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