The Spooktacular Eight Cometh

Tis the season again, but due to the cursed nature of time itself, this year we’ll have a small horror retrospective for the “month of Halloween”, with 8 reviews sporadically released during the month. Hope you’ll like the selection of movies, and yes, there won’t a set release pattern, but we’ll start tomorrow, so look forward to that.

[EXPRESSO] Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2020) | and the Andersen

Eventually anime is coming back to cinemas here as well, starting with 2020’s anime adaptation of the short story Josee, the Tiger and the Fish by Seiko Tanabe, already adapted in live action form both by japanese and corean production, here with animation curated by studio BONES.

It’s a romantic drama about Tsuneo, a university student working a part time job that one day stumbles upon an old lady carrying a big wheelchair for a girl with cerebral palsy, calling herself Josee, after the heroine of a Francois Sagan’s novel. He starts frequenting “Josee” as her attendee for hire, and as time goes by he learns more about her, etc. I don’t think i have to explain how romance 101 work, so i won’t.

So, it’s a fairly common setup for an anime romance film with actual ambitions to drama, with the girl suffering from a disability or disease of sorts, i can’t really claim this movie does anything new never seen before in any way, it’s definitely what you think it’s gonna be, so don’t expect to be “surprised”, even though people don’t see romance movies for Shaymalan style twists.

But it’s honestly fairly good, definitely good enough to have it nominated at Annecy last year, fairly well executed, good animation, decent to good characters and – yes – good romance, actually surprisingly quite funny as well. What stops it from being great is that it basically does the usual framing of “disability” as some sort of “personal extra hurdle” situation to the romance, touching upon the themes that come with it but not exactly in a nuanced way, most likely because they mean well but don’t know or want to know much, resulting in a less impactful execution.

Still, it’s worth seeing, just don’t expect A Silent Voice.

Mega Snake (2007) [REVIEW] | Snake Of The Father

Things lead to things, and so i accidentally started out a Tibor Takacs mini-retrospective of sorts. It just kinda happened, i guess.

And sadly, no, he never made a TV movie about killer frogs or slugs to complete the “asian rock-paper-scissors” trifecta or the “Aesop fables’ bingo”, but he did direct this for SyFy the same year as Ice Spiders, and that would the last creature feature from him until Spiders 3D, as he preferred to do more disaster movies about tornadoes (regular ones) and christmas-family movies, which is – in a way – quite usual for older genre directors to end up doing in the later years.

But today is snakes, or at least one singular Mega Snake, and it’s a bit more interesting than Ice Spiders, more ridiculous but also less by the numbers, even if it’s another Nu Image joint shot in the Bulgarian capital for the same reasons already discussed in previous reviews, as it’s quite cheap.

Continua a leggere “Mega Snake (2007) [REVIEW] | Snake Of The Father”

Upcoming Attractions: Sharks und Pirates

(no, a Girls Und Panzer retrospective isn’t afoot… YET)

Just a quick overview of what’s coming for the rest of the summer on the blog.

July will be Shark Month. Usually it is anyway, but this year i actually have managed to pile up enough material (despite everything), so there will be a shark movie review out each day, and maybe some EXPRESSO ones too, depending on when i can get to some releases in theathers.

August will yet again be a One Piece retrospective…. of the TV specials.

Last summer we did go over the featurettes, and it’s still too early for me to properly re-assess all the One Piece movies. Like i said before, i’d prefer some more time to pass,, in order to avoid some lazy rewrite-recycle of the old reviews i made in italian years ago.

Also, i’m gonna take a break from the 15th of August (included) until the 1st of September.

This doesn’t mean i will stop posting at all, since EXPRESSO reviews will be made and published, but any time consuming form of review or retrospective will go on hiatus.

That’s about it, so look forward to another summer of sharks and anime pirates!

Soon Back To The Theathers

So, in a matter of weeks most cinemas in Italy plan to re-open for real (even more since they already planned summer releases for movies like A Quiet Place Part II), which gives me great joy, and also means i’ll eventually cover more recent releases after watching them in theathers, instead of waiting for months to dribble on some streaming services here in Italy, if at all.

I still have a shark month (and something else One Piece related) planned, i enjoy reviewing b-movies, shlock, etc, but i also like to cover the recent releases, you know?

So, fingers crossed i don’t have to write another post where i say i will not be able to cover theathrical releases (as soon as they get here) because of another lockdown.

One Piece: Dream Soccer King (2002) [REVIEW] | King Of Table Soccer

One Piece Dream Soccer King 2002.png

Director: unknown

Writer: unknown

The second featurette, another theatrical short, was shown before (and on the japanese DVD release was bundled with) the third One Piece movie, Chopper’s Kingdom in the Strange Animal Island.

And again, it was never officialy released outside of Japan, which is true for pretty much all the featurettes and theathrical shorts. Continua a leggere “One Piece: Dream Soccer King (2002) [REVIEW] | King Of Table Soccer”

One Piece: Strong World (Episode 0) OVA (2010) [REVIEW]

One Piece Strong World Episode 0 OVA 2010.png

Director: Naoyuki Itō
Writer: Hitoshi Tanaka

Strong World is arguably one of the better One Piece movies, in no small part thanks to the not small involvement of Eiichiro Oda himself, who wrote the script for it, and definitely a huge step up after two previous theathrical releases that were just adbridged recaps/retelling of canon story arcs (especially in the case of the movie Episode Of Chopper, with some weird bastardization of canon and changes).

This of course didn’t stop Toei to further milk the golden pirate udders of the series (never did), so to advertize Strong World, they released a prequel to the movie in form of this OVA, Strong World: Episode 0, an adaptation of the special chapter “Strong World” released alongside chapter 565 of the manga (and gave away for free if you went to see the film in some japanese theathers, apparently). Of course they didn’t just released it anywhere, but in a limited retail DVD release of 3000 copies, given out as prizes for a contest held in House Foods (a major japanese food manufacturer) stores. Continua a leggere “One Piece: Strong World (Episode 0) OVA (2010) [REVIEW]”