Archive for January, 2011

IP man 2 releases today!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 28, 2011 by russellsreviews

Ip man was one the best kung fu films in many years. It had huge success in china and mild succes in the west. From what heard from reviews from China Ip man 2 is even better. Ip man 2 I believed even won best picture in China. Not only is Ip man have fantastic kung fu, but has a the drama to back it up even if it its a little “selective” on the part America played in its development. The film has a very limited release, but hopefully there is a showing near you.

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Rare upcoming attractions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 26, 2011 by russellsreviews

I bet some of you after seeing the Gantz review up were a little confused. You looked at every theater in your area and can’t find a single showing. Sadly the reason is that the Gantz premiere was a one night only event. I’m sure it will be on DVD soon if you missed it. I want to hook you guys up in the future so you won’t missing something that cool again. There is something cool called fathom events that show rare and hard to find movies and plays for one day only once a month. Also there is a theater company called angelika film centers that specializes in only showing rare, foreign, and independent movies like Gantz so hopefully there is one near you.

Speaking of cool movies. Next week in several cities angelika film centers will be playing for one night only Summer Wars, a great new anime classic that, like always, was terribly overlooked by the academy awards.

Be sure to keep checking in and I will try my best to give you heads up on other cool events.

Gantz movie review

Posted in 3.5 Stars, Foreign, Horror, Japan, New Movie, Review, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , on January 23, 2011 by russellsreviews

After the successful live-action adaptations of Death Note, Detroit Metal City, and 20th Century Boys its becoming more common for Japanese film studios to take a chance on a mature manga/anime series. Gantz is the newest one by creator Hiroya Oku. However, Gantz is a much different beast than all the others before it. Its not that the manga isn’t as deep, but it goes to some very dark and intense places for it’s characters. Does the Gantz movie pull any punches or stay true and risk loosing a broader audience?

Kei is a underachieving teenager simply waiting for his train to arrive. A drunken man stumbles and falls on the tracks and everyone, including Kei, just stares and being curious to see what happens next. The only person who decides to help turns out to be Kei’s childhood friend, Kato. With the pressure of seeing his friend, Kei drops down to help raise the drunken man back on the platform only for them to be ones crushed by the oncoming train. Kei and Kato immediately find themselves with other killed strangers in a small locked white apartment with a giant black ball in the center room. Are they really dead? Where are they? How did they get there? More importantly why are they there?

That’s as far as I want to go as a set up, because the main draw of the series for me is seeing these mysteries played out and never know whats going to happen next to the characters. From the very first time I watch the anime of Gantz I felt that the story could translate very well to the big screen and would no doubt blow the sci-fi genre craze wide open if the the action was done well. The only problem is the original Gantz goes to some disturbing limits. This will ultimately be the deciding factor if you will enjoy the film or not if your a fan. To be honest there were parts of Gantz that went to far in my opinion. I know the main character did some really nasty immature stuff and part of showing all that sex and violence was for you to see how far Kei grows as a human being, but it was borderline too far  sometimes and crossed over to being simply there for shock value and to get the very same people Kei is growing out of to watch the show. The Gantz movie rolled back the unnecessary sex and made Kei into much more likable guy from the start. Gantz might have pulled back a little too much in some areas that hurt it from being near perfect, but in this reviewer mind it also helped making it a more balanced movie. If you were one of the fans of the Gantz manga that liked it only for how messed it up it got sometimes you will feel jipped. Fans should not worry about the action side of the film. All scenes are very close to the original and are surprisingly good.

For those that know nothing of Gantz are in for a real treat. You have a lot of the fat trimmed out for a more streamlined version and are in for something totally fresh and interesting. A fair warning though. The version shown in American theaters is dubbed and dubbed very bad in some emotional scenes that did twist some powerful scenes into unintentionally funny ones. Some fans will predictably cry foul, but a lot will walk away feeling pretty satisfied and will be excited to see what the sequel might bring.

3.5 STARS