Podcast #20 – Takashi Miike’s Gozu

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Download Link – Episode 20: Takashi Miike’s Gozu

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Show Notes

What We’ve Been Watching + News (0:00):

We catch up on Gintama, Dairanger, Mobile Suit Gundam: Movie Trilogy, Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, Jungle Emperor Leo, and Berserk Season 2 among other things.

Review (51:08):

Today, the thieves take a wrong turn and end up in the incredibly bizarre and unsettling world of Gozu, a film directed by Takashi Miike, who, though, he has since gained a measure of respectability, was once known in the West for his anything goes, flyby night films set predominately in the horror and yakuza genres (of which Gozu, from 2003, is no exception).  The film stars Sho Aikawa and Yuta Sone as two yakuza brothers, Ozaki and Minami that head off from Tokyo towards a small town on some unknown business; however, soon after arriving, Ozaki goes missing, setting Minami off on a quest to find his friend amidst a backdrop freakish residents, bizarre happenings, and even stranger secrets.  This is one weird film.  Tune in, as we unravel the mysteries of Gozu!

Spotlight #1: Patlabor with Sean O’Mara (Colony Drop, Zimmerit)

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Download Link – Spotlight #1: Patlabor with Sean O’Mara

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Show Notes

Hey all, sorry it’s been a while — life & all that.

Today’s episode is something a little different:  mecha-head and writer/creator of Colony Drop and Zimmerit, Sean O’Mara @ColonyDrop joins us for a discussion all about the unconventional, strange and somewhat impalpable, mecha franchise, Patlabor.   

00:00 – Introductions, Fandom, Colony Drop, and Fanzines

28:01 – Patlabor

Also, see our previous guest episode featuring TheSubtleDoctor (Warui Deshou) here.

That’s all!  Enjoy.

 

Podcast #19 – Samurai Fiction

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Download Link – Episode 19: Samurai Fiction

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Show Notes

Hiroyuki Nakano’s Samurai Fiction (1998) is a zany samurai comedy about Peace pretending to be a jidai-geki tale of revenge.  After a skilled swordsman named Kazamatsuri (Japanese rocker and composer for the film, Tomoyasu Hotei) waltzes off with the clan treasure, the rambunctious and young Heishiro (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) sets off in pursuit, hoping to restore his clan’s honor by retrieving the treasure and slaying the thief; however, Heishiro soon finds that revenge is not so easy and requires the help of Hanbei, a master swordsman played by Morio Kazama, and the affection of his lovely young daughter (Tamaki Ogawa), which ultimately forces Heishiro to make a choice between Honor and Pride or Love and Peace!  Review starts at 1:09:47.

Podcast #18 – Jackie Chan’s Police Story

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Download Link – Episode 18: Jackie Chan’s Police Story

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Show Notes

Raw, brutal, and dareless, Police Story (1985) showcases Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan’s formidable talents as action star, leading man, writer, and director.  The script written with longtime collaborator Edward Tang, brought to the screen the successful formula of action, martial arts, comedy, and stunt work that would define the rest of Jackie’s career throughout the 80s and 90s. Although, three or more sequels (depending upon whether New Police Story counts) followed, which top the original in various ways, none quite match it for sheer go for broke enthusiasm.  Our review starts at 1:04:40.

Podcast #17 – Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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Download Link – Episode 17: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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Show Notes

By sheer happenstance today’s episode is all about American remakes of popular and well regarded Japanese franchises from the 1990s.  Grant starts things off with his thoughts on the new American Power Rangers film.  Then its off to the Cineplex and back again for our review (at 38:22) of the new live action Ghost in the Shell film starring Scarlett Johansson.  Sorry about the crap audio quality during the pre-review part; we didn’t notice my mic problems until after the fact.

Other Stuff:

Here’s the chart tweeted out by anime designer / director Thomas Romain showing the number of anime series and films being released today compared to years gone by.

Finally, forgot to mention it on the show, but there’s currently a Kickstarter to fund the international Blu-ray release of Masaaki Yuasa’s incredible debut film Mind Game — don’t miss your chance to join the cool kids club!

Podcast #16 – Paprika

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Download Link – Episode 16: Paprika

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Show Notes

Intro, What We’ve Been Watching, and News (00:00)

Review (53:04):

2006 saw the release of Satoshi Kon’s final film, Paprika, about a group of scientists slash psychotherapists that use an experimental device called the DC Mini to enter into the dreams of their patients in order to solve their problems; however, when several of the the devices are stolen, the dreams of multiple individuals begin to merge, and the fantastic becomes all too real as the barrier between dreams and the real world begins to crumble. Tune in for the full review.

Podcast #15 – REDLINE

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Download Link – Episode 14: REDLINE

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Show Notes

Intro and News (00:00):

It’s the 30th Anniversary of Bubblegum Crisis so of course we had to talk about it (just a little); also, check out Grant’s article Neon Never Fades: 30 Years of Bubblegum Crisis over at Zimmerit for why the show struck such a chord with older fans like ourselves.  Zen gives a follow up to last episode’s review of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’. Grant elaborates once again on the madness of super sentai. And because suffering is an activity best shared with friends, Heat took it upon himself to watch Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and shares his thoughts.

Review (1:05:55):

Seven years in the making, REDLINE (2009) marks the third collaboration from two of Japan’s best, yet largely underappreciated talents: producer Katsuhito Ishii, known for his quirky, weird, and Tarantino-esque live action films, and director Takeshi Koike, known for his extraordinary animation chops.  Their talents combined with the staff of Studio Madhouse result in a film that, while admittedly a little shallow, accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do: BLOW YOU AWAY.  Yes, friends, Production IG can keep their shitty CG cars for themselves because REDLINE is all about doing the things the hard way: traditional animation done completely by hand with blood, sweat, and tears — just as god intended!  Oh yeah, there’s also enough space aliens to make a Star Wars film blush, cool mechanical designs, off-beat humor, giant-sized pompadours, robo space fascists, kaiju, and a killer soundtrack to go with the oh-so-incredible animation.  Did I just give away the tenor of our review?  Very likely.  Tune in for more slavish REDLINE worship!

A Podcast on Asian Cinema: Anime, Kaiju, Chambara, Martial Arts, and More.

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