Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Penguin Highway – film review – Fantasia 2018

PenguinHighwayPenguin Highway / ペンギン・ハイウェイ (2018)

DIRECTOR: Hiroyasu Ishida
WRITER: Makoto Ueda
CAST: Kana Kita, Yû Aoi

Synopsis

Adpated from a book, a 4th grade boy has a crush on an older woman who works at the dentist’s office that he goes to but that’s not the only thing on his mind. When penguins start appearing in his town, he decides to investigate with his best friend.

Review

This film exhibits one of the great things that make animation a special medium. There are simply things you can draw that you couldn’t possibly replicate in real life or even with the aid of photo-realistic computer graphics. That sort of imagination and creativity are on display in this film.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Da Hu Fa – 3D film review – Fantasia 2018

Da Hu Fa / 大护法 (2017)

DIRECTOR & WRITER: Busifan
CAST: Xiao Liansha, Tutehameng, Jin Shijie

Next screening: Tue July 24, 2018; 5:15 PM

Synopsis

A master fighter who looks like a red gourd goes to a strange village in search of a prince. The village is inhabited by odd looking humanoids who live in fear of their leader.

Review

The background and foreground art is very nice in this movie. It’s vibrant and colorful. It definitely looks like it took inspiration from classical Chinese paintings. The character designs are the opposite in that they’re fairly simple. Animation seemed not bad although it wasn’t something I focused on as I was definitely intrigued by the setting of the movie.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2018 – 2nd wave

Fantasia will present a 35mm print of the 1989 Hong Kong classic The Blonde Fury with star Cynthia Rothrock in attendance, who rose to stardom in the Hong Kong action scene of the 80s.

The world premiere of Satoshi Miki’s film Louder!: Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’, Wimp will take place at Fantasia. This musical comedy marks the return of the director from a five year film making hiatus.

The Canadian premiere of Searching stars John Cho in a film that uses a unique storytelling approach of computer screens and social media.

Southeast Asia is represented by two action films, the Vietnamese superhero click Loi Bao by Victor Vu from Vietnam (North American premiere) and the Filipino cops & drugs actioner Buybust by Erik Matti

Two more anime films were announced, the world premiere of the horror film, Aragne: Sign of Vermillion by Saku Sakamoto and the international premiere of Penguin Highway by Hiroyasu Ishida

The rare entry from China called People’s Republic of Desire by Hao Wu will have it’s Quebec premiere.

Other East Asian films include The Vanished by Lee Chang-Hee (North American premiere), Being Natural by Tadashi Nagayama, Amiko by Yoko Yamanaka, and One Cut of the Dead by Shunichiro Ueda.

See the full press release for all the other films.

Trailers after the jump

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2018 – First wave

Here are some of the East Asian films that Fantasia announced as part of their first wave of films that will screen at this year’s festival.

World premieres include Buffalo Boys, a western from Indonesia directed by Mike Wiluan, and Bleach, a live action manga adaptation directed by Shinsuke Sato and starring Sota Fukushi and Miyavi featuring supernatural battles.

Inuyashiki, another live action manga adaptation but in the Sci-fi genre directed by Shinsuke Sato will have it’s Canadian premiere and stars Noritake Kinashi and Takeru Satoh. Another manga adaptation from Sato called I am a Hero featuring zombies will also screen.

Animated features making their Canadian premieres include: Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms, which is the directorial debut of Mari Okada; Fireworks directed by Genki Kawamura, which is an adaption of a TV drama by Shunji Iwai; and the “gekimation” Violence Voyager by Ujicha.

From South Korea: Last Child, a first feature film from director Shin Dong-seok is a drama that will have its Canadian premiere and stars Choi Moo-seong, Kim Yeo-jin and Seong Yu-bin. The Outlaws is an action comedy directed by Kang Yun-sung and starring Don Lee and Yoon Kye-sang.

Horror entries include: Japan’s Rokuroku: The Promise of the Witch by Yudai Yamaguchi and Indonesia’s Satan’s Slaves by Joko Anwar.

Other Japanese films include: Tremble All You Want by Akiko Ohku, Wilderness: Part 1 & 2 directed by Yoshiyuki Kishi and starring Masaki Suda and Yang Ik-june, and Hanagatami by Nobuhiko Obayashi.

For the full list of films, check out the press release.

Some trailers after the jump.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2017, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

Junk Head @ Fantasia 2017

JunkHeadJunk Head (2017)
Directed by: Takahide Hori
Written by: Takahide Hori

Review: This is a dystopian stop-motion animated film from Japan. There is a short by the same name that was finished in 2013 and took the creator 4 years to make in his spare time. I haven’t watched the short but I believe this is a full length extended version of it. Humans have achieved longevity at the price of losing their ability to reproduce. Clones were created to solve this problem but they rebelled and now live in the depths of what appears to be an underground industrial facility while the humans live above. A human decides to travel to the lower levels for reasons that are revealed later in the movie. The human (whose name we don’t know) actually loses his memory upon arriving in the lower levels and is found by a resident who reassembles him with “junk” robotic parts. The characters speak in an imaginary language that is subtitled in the movie.

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Posted in *Recommended, Art & Animation, Fantasia 2017, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

Have a Nice Day @ Fantasia 2017 [Recommended]

Have a Nice Day / 好极了 / hǎojíle (2017)HaveaNiceDay
Directed by: Liu Jian
Written by: Liu Jian
Cast: Zhu Changlong, Yang Siming, Ma Xiaofeng, Zheng Yi, Cao Kai

Review: This is an animated film by an independent studio. Despite its size and art history, China isn’t known for animation at all although I’m sure they have local stuff that caters to their own region that never gets released outside of the mainland. This is a crime film for adults that’s drawn in a realistic style. The plot is pretty simple and it takes place in a small empty looking town. A guy steals a bag of money and his boss is not pleased. In a series of events, other people discover the money and each one tries to keep it for themselves but ends up losing it.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2017, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

The Senior Class @ Fantasia 2017

SeniorClassThe Senior Class / 졸업반 / jol-eob-ban (2016)
Directed by: Hong Deok-pyo
Written by: Yeon Sang-ho
Cast: Lee Ju-seung, Kang Jin-ah, Jeong Yeong-gi

Review: This is another mature animated film from South Korea. Although it’s a coming of age love story it has some explicit nudity and brief sex scenes. At art school, a young man becomes intrigued by a fellow female classmate and begins to like her. By chance, he discovers a secret of hers but when it gets spread and distorted, jealousy and stupidity lead to grave consequences.

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