Posted in *Recommended, Funny, Reviews, Video

My Love Story!! – review [Recommended]

MyLoveStoryMy Love Story!! / 俺物語!! / Ore Monogatari!! (2015)
Directed by Hayato Kawai
Screenplay by Akiko Nogi
Starring Ryohei Suzuki, Mei Nagano, Kentarō Sakaguchi

Review: The main character Takeo (Ryohei Suzuki) is a teenager but looks like an older, burly man. People are often scared of him because of his looks but he’s actually a kind, helpful person. His best friend, Suna (Kentaro Sakaguchi), looks like a pretty boy and attracts a lot of girls including the ones that Takeo likes. No girls have ever liked Takeo but one day while walking with Suna he saves a girl named Rinko (Mei Nagano) from a harasser. When she thanks him he instantly falls for her. The next day she finds Takeo with Suna near their school. She wants to show her appreciation further by sharing a cake with them.

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

God of War @ Fantasia 2017 [Recommended]

GodOfWarGod of War (2017)
Directed by: Gordon Chan
Written by: Xiong Zhaozheng, Maria Wong, Frankie Tam, Wu Mengzhang
Cast: Vincent Zhao, Sammo Hung, Wan Qian, Wu Yue, Yasuaki Kurata

Review: Considering the generic sounding title, I hadn’t done much research on this movie and didn’t have any expectations. I wouldn’t even have seen if it weren’t for the fact it was between two movies I had planned to see. The film is a historical war movie that takes place during the Ming dynasty. It centers on a general named Qi Jiguang (Vincent Zhao) who’s tasked to defeat Japanese pirates after his predecessor commander Yu (Sammo Hung) fails to do so for months.

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

Made in Hong Kong @ Fantasia 2017 [Recommended]

MadeInHongKongMade in Hong Kong / 香港製造 (1997) (4k restoration: 2017)
Directed by: Fruit Chan
Written by: Fruit Chan
Cast: Sam Lee, Wenders Li, Amy Tam, Neiky Yim, Carolina Lam

Review: This was a screening of the 4k restoration marking the film’s 20th anniversary. I had never heard of this Hong Kong film but am glad to have gotten the chance to watch it. It focuses on a young man named Moon (Same Lee). He’s a high school drop out who does debt collecting for a local triad boss. He has a friend named Sylvester (Wenders Li) who is retarded. Moon protects him from bullies. One day Sylvester witnesses a girl committing suicide by jumping from a building. She has two letters, one for her boyfriend and one for her family. He takes them and from then on it seems to Moon that their lives begin to spiral downwards.

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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 *Recommended, Music, Video

Next Music From TOKYO vol 10 live show sells out!

Steven Tanaka and all his helpers have organized face-melting, ass-kicking Next Music From Tokyo shows across Canada for many years and volume 10 continues the trend. The Montreal show sold out and I’m not sure how often that’s happened in the past. I admit I did not unequivocally like all five bands this time around but all of them put on crazy and energetic performances with lots of crowd surfing.

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Posted in *Recommended, Documentary, Video

Inside These Walls

Inside these Walls was broadcast on CBC back in October, 2016 but I only just discovered this recently. It’s a documentary about an estranged father who has been imprisoned in China for his pro-democracy beliefs and the turmoil it has caused for his family in Montreal. Here’s the description from CBC.

“Wang Bingzhang, founder of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Movement, has spent the last fourteen years in a Chinese prison for the crime of political activism. Although he once abandoned them to pursue his political beliefs, his ex-wife and children campaign tirelessly for his release. Inside These Walls captures the complex range of emotions of a family bound together in struggle and hope.”

If you’re in Canada, you can watch it here.

Otherwise, you can watch this Ted talk by Wang’s daughter Ti-Anna.