To give even more power to this reclamation of everyone’s favorite jetpack kaiju, Arrow Video has amassed a massive new collection of all 12 of Gamera’s films. With the original run of 8 films, the 90s trilogy, and the final film – Gamera the Brave from 2006, this collection features them all. This series of reviews for the set will go briefly through each entry and then recap at the end thoughts and opinions on the set itself. Considering the number of films included, this series of articles will definitely be as massive as Gamera, but will serve as a guide to all the films.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
Director: Lars Damoiseaux
Notable Cast: Maaike Neuville, Bart Hollanders, Benjamin Ramon, Clara Cleymans, Annick Christiaens, Eric Godon, Joshua Rubin
When it comes to the (shiver) zom com, I’m a rather unforgiving critic of the genre. Comedies are rarely my thing and the zombie sub-genre is so played out at this time that, as I mentioned in my review for Blood Quantum, it’s something of a chore for me to jump into again and again. Yet, Shudder has been something of a wonderful well for finding exclusive material that is, even at its worst, intriguing. It’s the latter that eventually lead me into pressing play to stream the Belgian zom com Yummy to begin with. While the film certainly features some decent pieces to it that will appease fans of gore gags, goofy side characters, and insane setups, it’s also a film that rarely hits the heart of its narrative in a way that lifts it above the gags.
When a couple decides to go to a cheap clinic for a breast reduction surgery (with the wife’s mother tagging along for support,) they accidentally stumble into a facility that also happens to be testing drugs that reanimate the dead. When an accident unleashes a zombie into the facility, everything quickly dissolves into chaos and the couple, along with a handful of other survivors is tasked with escaping the complex.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Growing up in a Godzilla household, there was always the mindset that Gamera was just a Big G knock off. The flying, fire eating turtle certainly came out in the wake of Godzilla stomping through the Japanese box office, but for much of the Western cult film fans Gamera was seen as a joke. Godzilla’s first film received a Criterion release, but Gamera’s first film was mostly known because of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Yet, just in my lifetime, there has been a resurgence in viewing Gamera as its own merits and as a series with its own themes and tropes. There was certainly help from the strength of the 90s reboot trilogy, but even the original run has had a revitalization worthy of revisiting.
To give even more power to this reclamation of everyone’s favorite jetpack kaiju, Arrow Video has amassed a massive new collection of all 12 of Gamera’s films. With the original run of 8 films, the 90s trilogy, and the final film – Gamera the Brave from 2006, this collection features them all. This series of reviews for the set will go briefly through each entry and then recap at the end thoughts and opinions on the set itself. Considering the number of films included, this series of articles will definitely be as massive as Gamera but will serve as a guide to all the films.
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Notable Cast: Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber, Maryann Nagel
As I mentioned in a previous review just a couple of months ago, but 2020 seems to be the perfect year to use horror films to work through the insecurities, fears, and emotions that a rapidly changing world has pressed onto society. Perhaps it's just this sense of impending doom that really makes The Beach House such an impactful watch. It doesn’t help that the film sincerely hits the atmosphere and many of the feelings that being thrust into a global pandemic inspires. Does this make it a film that works because 2020 is upon us? Timing is certainly part of it, but it’s also a film that is so inherently well made and executed that even without the parallels it would have been a devastating and suffocating cinematic experience.
A young couple, Emily and Randall, go to his father’s beach house to reconnect and hammer out the dents in their relationship. Unfortunately, another couple, one of his father’s friends, is already staying there for the weekend. The two couples decide to stay for a couple days together and just enjoy the company. Too bad it’s also on the night that something in the ocean is unleashed from inside the Earth.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Director: Johnnie To
Notable Cast: Louis Koo, Aaron Kwok, Cherrie Ying, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Jordan Chan, Eddie Cheung, Calvin Choi
It’s always a good day at the Blood Brothers offices when there is a new Johnnie To Blu Ray release. It’s even better when it’s one of his often-forgotten films like Throw Down. The icing on the cake happens to be when it’s a Masters of Cinema release from Eureka. While Johnnie To remains one of my favorite directors, this genre shifty film from Hong Kong’s Godfather of the modern auteur is one that has not made it into my collection until this latest release. I was missing out. For all of you out there that have seen it before, I’m ashamed that you haven’t peer pressured me into seeking this film out before. Nonetheless, the sin has been forgiven, and Throw Down remains a true hidden gem in his filmography. Featuring an entire battalion of memorable performances, a bevy of fantastic set pieces, and a bold and fascinating salad of genres, this film is an artful and wholly entertaining cinematic experience that showcases all of the intriguing elements of a Johnnie To film in one package.
When a young and hotheaded Judo fighter, played with an invigorated energy by Aaron Kwok, arrives at a small night lounge, he unwittingly finds himself embroiled in the strange life of a down and out Judo champion, Sze-to Bo, played by Louis Koo. The latter is in debt and a drunk, but the combination of this young fighter and a down and out singer, in a blissfully charming performance from Cherrie Ying, could give him the courage to find his way again.
Monday, July 13, 2020
At one point, in early 2020, the new version of Enter the Fat Dragon looked to be one of the more exciting and intriguing releases of the year. Now that most of the theatrical system has been completely stripped of life, it may be one of the few releases that the US sees from the normally booming Chinese market. Still, it’s always a welcome addition to the collection when a Donnie Yen film hits Blu Ray and any fan of the actor will want to add this one to theirs.
While you can read my full review for the film HERE, the gist of it remains the same: Enter the Fat Dragon is a highly entertaining action comedy that blends modern effects with old school slapstick martial arts set-pieces. Granted, it’s a film that’s not for everyone as the comedy is very broad with plenty of pop culture references and outlandishly convoluted set ups, but the action is so blissfully fun that it powers through the more tentative narrative and character elements that can bog down the plot. It’s hardly a perfect film, but there is a lot of heart, humor, and high-flying kicks to keep most martial arts fans amused.
The latest Blu Ray release for the film, courtesy of our friends over at Well Go USA is a slick a fantastic addition to the collection. The film doesn’t have any special features outside of some trailers, but the fantastic picture and sound quality on the Blu – for a film with plenty of big visuals like its finale, it’s the best way to experience the film. If you don’t have a Blu Ray player, there is a DVD version available too.
Enter the Fat Dragon is out now from Well Go USA.
Written By Matt Reifschneider
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Director: Joko Anwar
Notable Cast: Abimana Aryasatya, Tara Basro, Bront Palarae, Ario Bayu, Lukman Sardi, Fariz Fadjar, Aqi Singgih
Not to make any mass assumptions, but I would venture to guess that a large swath of our readers here are like me, relatively unfamiliar with Indonesian comic book heroes like Gundala. This is not to say that there are not those who are very familiar with multi-decade spanning ‘Son of Lighting’ hero who can speak on length to the history, context, and commentary of the famous superhero, but it’s not me. My introduction to this hero is through this latest film incarnation, Gundala, and it’s essentially through the famous Indonesian director Joko Anwar that brought it to my attention. As a fair warning, I just wanted to make it clear that my knowledge of the character, his stories and his history is very basic and I will solely try to review this latest film on its own merits.
Although Gundala is not the first film version of the character, from my understanding there is one that was released in the early 80s, having a major director like Anwar and a major star like Abimana Aryasatya attached to this latest rendition only bodes well for the film. Some strong marketing, including a solid US trailer for the film, essentially puts the hero and this film firmly on the international stage. In an age where the superhero film rules all, it’s quite a fantastic idea to introduce an entire generation (internationally) to the character.
Thursday, July 9, 2020
When it was announced that Arrow Video was going to be releasing a box set of auteur director Shinya Tsukamoto films, it was incredibly hard to get the staff here at Blood Brothers to focus. Oddly enough, I was perhaps the one that was the least versed in the director and I was still ecstatic to leap into this set, titled Solid Metal Nightmares: The Films of Shinya Tsukamoto. The most daunting thing about the set was not burning our way through the ten films included with it, but trying to convey our thoughts on the immensity of this set. Thus, to cover all ten films and go over the actual release itself, we decided to divvy up the films. Ten films, three writers, one insane director. So, please, accept our apologies for the size of this article, but it was inevitable. This is a massive set to cover and we wanted to at least attempt to do it justice. Each film will feature its rating at the end of its section and then the box set rating will be at the very end.