Showing posts from October, 2011

JFF Movie Reviews - Space Battleship Yamato

For many older fans of Japanese animation, 1974's Space Battleship Yamato was the first and most enduring series which was heavily edited and subsequently screened in many western countries under the guise of "Star Blazers". Before Star Wars, Yamato paved the way with a grand sweeping space opera which was rehashed for years to come, finally culminating in 2010's live-action blockbuster which will be screening at this years Japanese Film Festival thanks to the Japan Foundation.

The year is 2199. Earth is besieged by a ruthless onslaught of nuclear attacks by an alien race, the Gamila's. To escape the radioactive wasteland above, humans have retreated underground and all but resigned themselves to eventual annihilation. In a last ditch effort the United Nations Space Administration launch their greatest weapon, Space Battleship Yamato, hoping to find a cure for their  dying planet.

JFF Movie Reviews - Buddha: The Great Departure

Making its Australian premiere at the Japan Foundation's15th Annual Japanese Film Festival, Buddha: The Great Departure is an animated retelling of Osamu Tezuka's manga "Buddha" which ran for 14 volumes between 1972 and 1983. Although best known as the creator of Astro Boy, Tezuka was a prolific manga creator who often created stories that were much more dark, and sometimes disturbing, that our favourite little robot boy. The manga, and more importantly the film, is a gritty insight into what life may really have been like once the rose coloured glasses of religion are removed. Traces of sex, violence and a great deal of prejudice give sense of realism and weight to what would become the great Buddha's journey.

Although not always as dark as the source material, Buddha: The Great Departure takes us into a world that is just as barbaric and magical as any fantasy world.

Movie Review - Burning Man

~Daily specials~
"Burning man - braised human condition with pan fried grief, lightly seasoned with sex, drizzled with laughs and served on a stylish platter"
Nonlinear film making provides a challenge to both the director and the audience, it forces the plot to unravel like a whodunit detective story, where the scenes are not in sequence but instead jump along a time line. We are provided with snippets of each characters' experiences and motivations. It's from these tiny packets of information that we attempt to guess where the narrative is headed. For the director the challenge becomes one of slight of hand where they show the audience enough to move the story forward however endeavour to maintain tension.

JFF Movie Reviews - Arrietty

The hardest part of writing this entire review was deciding what to name the film! In Japan it is known as The Borrower Arrietty, in the US The Secret World of Arrietty and in the UK simply Arrietty. I decided to go with the UK version, Arrietty, not only because its what the Japan Foundation call it but also because it is easier to write.

Although the source material is based upon Mary Norton's "The Borrowers", there can be no doubt that this is a Studio Ghibli affair. No one, not even the House of Mouse, manages to make animated films of such a high quality and with as much soul as our dear Arrietty. This film is comparable to a big, ol' slice of chocolate mudcake. It looks delicious, its sweet and moreish and even those who aren't all that fond of mudcake will still love it.

Game News - Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi

I think its safe to say that the universe of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball was many peoples first exposure to the anime world. Amazingly, it still endures and even thrives despite its 1984 vintage. This is all thanks to the re-released manga, anime and most likely, a universe expanding series of games. The newest (and most exciting) of which is Namco Bandai's upcoming "Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi". Finally, you can become a part of the Dragon Ball universe and in only 1 week, no less!

Competition Time - Shark Night 3D *COMPETITION CLOSED*

Many thanks for all of your fantastically hilarious, and generally violent, entries. This competition is now closed. All winners have been notified and the passes have been mailed.

Movie Review - The Thing

When an alien ship is found in Antarctica palaeontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is called to oversee the dig site. Assisted by staff from a near by Norwegian station and American helicopter pilot Carter (Joel Edgerton), Lloyd helps to extract a frozen life form which soon wreaks havok on the secluded science station.

Acting as a prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 film of the same name, The Thing manages to bring the old school thrills without resorting to cheap guts and gore like many recent horror movies. Instead it uses the seclusion of the Antarctic station to its fullest, emphasising the helplessness felt by this handful of scientific researchers when faced with a horrific anthropomorphic abomination which can inhabit the body and likeness of any one of them.

Anime on the Horizon - Madman's October Releases

October is a bit of a boring month. It's not quite summer, not quite winter and not as exciting as November (its nearly Xmas) and December (its nearly New Years).

Thankfully, Madman have scheduled more than enough anime for an October release to keep us geeks occupied. Check out a few choice cuts of what's being released next week and leave us some comments, let me know what you want to, or will be getting from this awesome list!

Anime Review - Tsubasa Chronicles: Complete Memories Collection

One hundred buckaroos might seem like a lot of green but when it is spent on Madman's blu ray release of CLAMP's Tsubasa Chronicles: Complete Memories Collection, it's an investment. Let's look at it this way, if you buy a new film on blu ray you're looking at around $35 for 2 hours of fun. For just under 3 times that amount you get 8 discs and 24.6667 hours worth of pure, limited edition anime goodness.
"A true and noble heart holds much power, stronger than the hardest fist and mightier than the most potent magic. Four disparate travelers begin an epic journey; their goals different, their destiny the same. Along the way, the past will meet the future in the present. Of all the paths of every life, mingling in the dimension between dimensions where a foe has the face of an ally, and an ally the face of a monster.

Contains all episodes from season 1 and 2 as well plus the movie and OVA Collection

At the center of this heroic undertaking is Syaoran, a young m…

Game News - Sonic Speeds to PC Download

It turns out that PC's aren't only for first person shooters! To prove this point, Sonic Generations will be available for PC digital download from November 3rd, the same day as on Xbox 360 and PS3 digital networks. So now there is no excuse for missing out on Sonic's 20th birthday celebrations!

Game News - Deus Ex: The Missing Link Walkthrough

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of the best games that I have played this year. Everything just fell into place and worked well. The puzzles were tricky but not impossible, the upgrade system was in depth but not confusing and it balanced the stealth and run'n'gun gameplay perfectly.

I f you want more Deus Ex you're in luck. a DLC pack called "The Missing Link" will scratch that itch. Follow on after the jump to check out a walkthrough narrated by game designer Antoine Thisdale.

Game News - Hitman Absolution "Run for your Life"

I remember playing the butt off the first two Hitman games which had an incredible balance of stealth and shoot em up. This newest incarnation looks crazy and the only downside that I can see is that we have to wait until next year to get our hands on it!!! Check out a play through after the jump.

Anime Review - K-On! Volume 2 (Blu Ray)

Anyone who happened to read my review of volume 1 can pretty much guess what this review is going to say. So smitten was I that you could very well stop reading now. But don't! At least follow on after the jump for a look at the official trailer!

"As the Light Music Club rehearses for their performance at the school festival, they realize that they're not officially registered as a club. They need to quickly find a faculty advisor, but that's not something that a little blackmail can't fix. As their new club advisor, Miss Yamanaka coaches Yui to become the frontman of the band and pushes her to the point of losing her voice. Mio is forced to be the lead vocalist in her stead, but can she overcome her stage fright?

Later, the Light Music Club celebrates Christmas with a party and gift exchange, and soon another school year begins. If they want the Light Music Club to live on even after they graduate, they're going to have to recruit new members, and that means a…

Game News - Yakuza: Dead Souls

The polar opposite of their flagship title, Sonic The Hedgehog, is one of Sega's most successful game franchises YAKUZA! 
There was only one way to make Grand Theft Auto cooler, set it in Japan. Thus leaving us with Yakuza. How can you make Yakuza even cooler? ZOMBIES! That is exactly what Sega have done with Yakuza: Dead Souls. Released in Japan in June this year, us unlucky gaijin will have to wait until March 2012.

Game News - Tomb Raider Art Exhibition

Yes, you heard right! There is a Tomb Raider art exhibition... kinda. Carry on after the jump to find out how you can check out some sexy art of everyone's favourite sexy adventurer.

Manga Review - Are You Alice? Volume 1

A modern day reinterpretation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland), Are You Alice? by writer Ai Ninomiya and artist Ikumi Katagiri is a psychological mind-bender from start to finish. Toying with motifs from Carroll's nonsensical masterpiece, Alice manages to intrigue, delight, confuse and confound all the while begging to be read.

"A boy who has forsaken his name and memories stumbles into the mysterious world of Wonderland. There, he is approached by the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter who addresses him as 'Alice', and ordered by the Queen of Hearts to participate in a deadly game to kill the White Rabbit, or it's off with his head! As the game unfolds, things are set to get curiouser and curiouser?"