Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fantasia 2008

Fantasia was pretty frickin' awesome. Four days wasn't nearly enough. I must return next year and stay longer, much longer.

A Colt is My Passport - Beautiful, stylish noir gangster thriller with Jo Shishido, it slowly builds to an amazing climax of bullets and cool.

X-Cross - Kinji Fukusaku made a decent movie. And while he still borrows heavily from western films, particularly the Wicker Man, he blends everything in such an original and mind bending way, that it turns into unique and enjoyable experience.

Shamo - One of two dissappoints of the festival. Wasn't nearly quite as brutal as I had hoped. It seemed very rushed, and turned out to be a jumbled mess. It did have its moments, but it just seemed like they tried to pack too much manga into one movie.

Shadows in the Palace - A brilliant period thriller, that starts off as a murder mystery in the royal palace, but eventually develops supernatural undertones. I was surprised how great, and bloody, it was.

Wicked Lake - One of the worst movies I've seen in a while. It was pointless and boring. Yes, there are lesbian witches, but that really isn't enough to make this film good. Bad acting. Horrendous cinematography (it really did look like a student film). Completely uninspired gore. I don't care if the guy from Ministry did the soundtrack, it still sucks my balls.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane - This took me completely by surprise. I don't know what I was expecting, but man oh man, definetly one of the highlights of the festival. While placing it into the unconventional american horror bill sort of gave away the ending for me before I saw the movie, it is still a great piece of American cinema.

Chanbara Beauty - Zombies. A samurai girl dressed in a bikini and a cowboy hat. What more could you ask for. How about a finale between the samurai girl in question and her evil, treacherous sister that will blow your mind. If you can accept that its based on a video game, and just sit back and relax, you WILL be entertained.

Tokyo Gore Police - Surreal, bloody as hell, perverse, completely insane and completely brilliant. I loved every second.

Robo Rock - A band that sings about not eating fish. A man obsessed with a Robot that he believes was created by the Japanese government in the 1960's. He believes the singer of the fish band has the correct voice to control this robot. But does he believe in himself enough to make this come true? A hilarious and outrageous feel good movie.

Be A Man! Samurai School - Tak Sakaguchi's directorial debut, based on manga, that stays true to the manga spirit, with ridiculous characters, great fight scenes and an incredibly entertaining story. I was surprised that this was the first film he would direct, as it relies more on the comedy than the action, but hey, he is a self proclaimed Otaku who loves Akira Kurosawa.

Akanbo Shojo - A decent horror film that starts off great, but then falls apart towards the end when it trades tension and horror for the ludicrous. But, it does have a mutant baby with a giant clawed arm and some impressive scenes of bloody mayhem.

Trailer Park of Terror - Finally, a refreshing take on the dead in the water zombie genre. Its funny and bloody as hell. How can you go wrong with red neck zombies?

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