Although, taken for granted today, King Hu’s Come Drink with Me (1966) set the wuxia genre on a completely new footing. By turning away from trained martial artists and instead hiring performers from the Beijing Opera school, such as the film’s magnificent female lead Chang Pei Pei, he began the process of transforming the type of action that defined these films away from the world of rigid, practical martial arts towards the more artful, flowing, and graceful form of combative dance that feature so strongly today. Tune in for our full review of this Shaw Brothers classic that directly inspired Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon!
A trigger happy, diaper wearing, soccer player with Yakuza connections goes looking for revenge; an old man lives inside the belly of a whale for thirty years with only a plesiosaur as company; the main character has a foot race against God Almighty and wins! All of this and more are only to be found in Mind Game, a funny, imaginative, and wonderfully delightful film by animator turned director Masaaki Yuasa.
The BLT Halloween spooktacular continues with a Treat to follow last episode’s Trick, as the gang sits down to review Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. We also talk Gundam: The Origin manga, Power Rangers Unleashed, Ultraman, and answer your twitter questions.
The space pirate Cobra with his android partner Lady cross the galaxy in search of thrills, treasure, and, yes, adventure! Cobra first appeared in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1978 and is old school space opera through and through, of the sort found in old pulps of yesteryear, with a dash of Barbarella, Bond, Star Wars, Westerns, and any bizarre idea creator Buichi Terasawa can come up with, thrown into the mix. The film version followed in 1982. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha with the backing of the studio’s top talent, such as legendary director Osamu Dezaki, character designer and animation director Akio Sugino, and art director Shichiro Kobayashi, Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie is a kaleidoscopic, tripped out, wild and weird ride from start to finish, featuring some of Dezaki’s most satisfingly “out there” direction.
Released in 2016 (a full twelve years after Godzilla: Final Wars), Shin Godzilla marks the third reboot of the franchise as the eponymous lizard stomps his way across modern Japan with the Japanese government racing to stop him. It’s a well worn plot by this point, yet the film’s almost singular focus on the tumultuous bureaucratic response to the crisis — rather than, say, around a few core characters — makes for something that feels fresh and new, while also giving writer and director Hideaki Anno ample time to take aim at the bureaucratic morass that is Japanese government. As for Godzilla himself — courtesy of veteran VFX director Shinji Higuchi and a new design by Mahiro Maeda — probably not since his original outing in Gojira (1954)has the creature looked so terrifyingly monstrous.