With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ONE NIGHT ONLY coming to North American theaters on July 22nd

Cheng Cheng Films
One Night Only
Directed by Matt Wu
Produced by Leste Chen
Starring Aaron Kwok, Yang Zishan,
Andy On, and Hao Lei
China, 2016, 90 minutes

One Night Only, a crime romance drama starring Hong Kong pop icon Aaron Kwok (Port of Call, Cold War) and mainland sweetheart Yang Zishan (So Young, 20 Once Again) will be released by Cheng Cheng Films in North American theaters starting on July 22nd, day and date with its domestic opening in CHina. The film, nominated for Best Picture at recently concluded Shanghai International Film Festival and ongoing Taipei Film Festival, is a highly anticipated second collaboration between the actress and Taiwanese director and producer Leste Chen (20 Once Again, The Great Hypnotist) after the duo’s massively successful Chinese remake of Korean drama Miss Granny. It is also the debut feature of Taiwanese actor Matt Wu, who has previously won awards at Taiwan Golden Horse Film Awards and Busan International Film Festival for a short he wrote and directed.

The story follows Gao Ye (Aaron Kwok), a gambling addict who has lost all his inherited fortune and loved ones, as he tricks a beautiful prostitute Momo (Yang Zishan) into throwing her savings on all kinds of gambling games in Bangkok’s streets, hoping the money they win will make himself rich again. But things immediately spin wildly out of control as they find themselves fallen into a bigger scheme set up by the city’s underground. It is also revealed that Momo actually has always been behind something unknown to Gao Ye. The two wait anxiously as the night falls not knowing if they will survive to see another sunrise.

The list of theaters at which One Night Only will be shown is being updated at 1NightOnlyMovie.com.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Many Asian films to screen at Fantasia International Film Festival


Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival celebrates its epic 20th Anniversary this month, running from July 14th through August 2nd.

For two decades, this mammoth three-week festival has embraced a wide variety of genre - but it still continues to boast one of the most dynamic and outstanding Asian films programs from any genre fest. This year, with over 130 new films screening at Fantasia, the festival has brought together a selection of the best Asian films from all over the region - everything from martial arts masters, terrifying hauntings, giant battling monsters and animated epics can be found.

The wide variety of Asian films at Fantasia 2016 includes:

AS THE GODS WILL (Japan) Canadian Premiere
BAAGHI (India) Quebec Premiere
THE BACCHUS LADY (South Korea) Canadian Premiere
BAKUMAN (Japan) Canadian Premiere
THE BODYGUARD (China) Canadian Premiere
A BRIDE FOR RIP VAN WINKLE (Japan) Canadian Premiere
CHIHAYAFURU: PART 1 (Japan) North American Premiere
CHIHAYAFURU: PART 2 (Japan) North American Premiere
COLLECTIVE INVENTION (South Korea) Quebec Premiere
CREEPY (Japan) Canadian Premiere
THE EXCLUSIVE: BEAT THE DEVIL'S TATTOO (South Korea) Canadian Premiere
FAMILYHOOD (South Korea) International Premiere
FOURTH PLACE (South Korea) Canadian Premiere
HARMONY (Japan) Quebec Premiere
HENTAI KAMEN 2: THE ABNORMAL CRISIS (Japan) International Premiere
THE INERASABLE (Japan) Quebec Premiere
KAIJU MONO (Japan) International Premiere
KARAOKE CRAZIES (South Korea) Quebec Premiere
KILL ZONE 2 (SPL 2: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCE) (Hong Kong) Quebec Premiere
KIYAMACHI DARUMA (Japan) Canadian Premiere
LAZY HAZY CRAZY (Japan) Canadian Premiere
LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION (Japan) Canadian Premiere
LOWLIFE LOVE (Japan) Canadian Premiere
MIRUTHAN (India) Canadian Premiere
MOMOTARO, SACRED SAILOR (1945) (Japan) Canadian Premiere
PARASYTE: PART 1 (Japan) Quebec Premiere
PARASYTE: PART 2 (Japan) Quebec Premiere
THE PIPER (South Korea)
THE PRIESTS (South Korea)
PSYCHO RAMAN (India) Cannes Cut
SEOUL STATION (South Korea) Canadian Premiere
SKIPTRACE (Hong Kong) North American Premiere
SORI: VOICE FROM THE HEART (South Korea) Quebec Premiere
TERRAFORMARS (Japan) North American Premiere
THREE (Hong Kong) Quebec Premiere
TOO YOUNG TO DIE! (Japan) Canadian Premiere
TRAIN TO BUSAN (South Korea) North American Premiere
ULTRAMAN X: THE MOVIE (Japan) International Premiere
UNDER THE SHADOW (Iran/UK/Jordan) Quebec Premiere
A VIOLENT PROSECUTOR (South Korea) Quebec Premiere
THE WAILING (South Korea) Quebec Premiere
WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! (Japan) Canadian Premiere

For additional information on any of the above titles, please visit http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2016/en/films-schedule/films.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Sentai Filmworks to dub 7 anime titles

Sentai Filmworks officially announced plans to dub, not one, but seven fan favorite anime titles from the Spring 2015 through Summer 2015 simulcast seasons. The titles were announced during the Sentai Filmworks panel at Anime Expo 2016.
Monster Musume: Everyday Life With Monster Girls simulcasted during the Summer 2015 anime season, following the exciting (in more ways than one) exploits of a young man who finds himself housing one beautiful monster girl after another.
The Spring 2015 fantasy Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? follows the Hestia Familia’s only adventurer Bell Cranel as he fights monsters in an underground labyrinth.
Food Wars! simulcasted during the Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 anime season. This delicious adventure pits Yukihira Soma head-to-head with talented chefs in the world’s most competitive culinary high school.
The hit comedy Himouto! Umaru-chan demonstrates that the differences between your “outside face” and “inside face” can be shocking. Umaru is a refined beauty in public and cola-binging, potato-chip-eating otaku at home where she becomes her big brother’s problem.
Ushio & Tora is an action-packed shounen anime that ties the fate of a headstrong young boy with the fate of a fearsome yokai trapped by the Legendary Beast Spear. With a common enemy, Ushio and Tora find themselves working together to save the world.
GATE follows Yoji Itami through the mysterious gate that appears suddenly in Japan, bringing with it legions of invaders. He’s sent with the JSDF to the “Special Region” where he meets and befriends an elf, a demigoddess, and a mage despite political tensions between the Empire and Japan.  
Amagi Brilliant Park is an adventure within the walls of a theme park like no other, where much of a park’s otherworldly staff is nourished by the energy created by humans having fun! Seiya must use his many talents to successfully manage the park before it, and its employees, disappear.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

VIZ & Overdrive to provide digital manga to U.S. & Canadian libraries

Vampire Knight © Matsuri Hino 2004/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

Acclaimed VIZ Media Manga Series Available For Digital Lending
At Participating Libraries With Leading eBook Platform

VIZ Media has announced an agreement with OverDrive to provide a wide variety of its most popular digital manga (graphic novel) titles at participating libraries in the U.S. and Canada.

OverDrive is a leading digital distribution platform, supplying the industry’s largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video and periodicals to 34,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide, including 90 percent of all public libraries in the U.S.

For the initial manga offerings, OverDrive will feature several popular and award-winning VIZ Media titles such as NARUTO, DEADMAN WONDERLAND, VAMPIRE KNIGHT, and NEON GENESIS EVANGELION that will be carried by participating libraries on a digital lending basis. The catalog of available manga titles will continue to expand with new series to be added throughout the year; the full list of titles now available may be viewed at www.overdrive.com/publishers/vizmedia.

“OverDrive’s digital platform offers an innovative, cloud-based and fully scalable channel to offer a diverse selection of age-appropriate digital manga content to library patrons and our partnership with the company will ensure that users have access to some of the most popular titles from the VIZ Media catalog,” says Kevin Hamric, Senior Director, Publishing Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media.

“VIZ Media is a proven leader in manga publishing and we are very excited to add some of their most popular series to our service,” says Karen Estrovich, Director, Collection Development at OverDrive. “OverDrive delivers a large catalog combined with intuitive, easy to use eReading apps. Manga continues to be one of the most popular categories at libraries and we invite readers to discover all of the exciting new VIZ Media titles with our service.”

For more information on VIZ Media manga titles, please visit www.VIZ.com.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

THE MERMAID reviewed; debuts on home video today from SPHE

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
The Mermaid / Mei ren yu
Directed by Stephen Chow
China, 2016, 94 minutes

Renowned director Stephen Chow's The Mermaid debuts on Blu-ray and DVD today, July 5th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. (It has been available in digital form since May 17th.)  China’s highest grossing film of all time, The Mermaid's domestic theatrical release in the U.S. scored the biggest opening day and weekend box office ever by a limited release Chinese-language film.

Newcomer Jelly Lin (a.k.a. Yun Lin) plays Shan, a lovely if simple-minded mermaid, who is tasked with seducing industrialist Liu Xuan (Chao Deng, The Four and Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame). He and Ruo-lan (actress Yuqi Zhang, who was also featured in Chow's CJ7) plan to develop Green Gulf. This is the only place where the world's few remaining mermaids and mermen, and their friend an octopus man (Show Luo, seen in Chow's Journey to the West), reside. Seduction is to be but a prelude to killing Liu Xuan, the only way Shan and her people believe they can preserve their habitat.

Shen (Jelly Lin)

Jelly Lin gives a remarkable performance in this, her cinematic debut. She is an incredibly talented comedienne with a remarkably expressive face. She is a true revelation, and it's no surprise that she received the Screen International Rising Star Asia Award at the New York Asian Film Festival, where The Mermaid was screened, on July 2nd.

The film also features some interesting cameos, including one by another legendary Hong Kong producer/director, Tsui Hark.

The Mermaid is part comedy, part romance, part fantasy, and part fairy tale, all of which add up to a charming and delightful film.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio: Mandarin (PRC) 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital
-- Subtitles: English, English SDJ, Chinese Traditional, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Polish, Spanish, Thai, Off
-- Special Features:
  -- “The Making of The Mermaid”(13:25)
  -- Invincible Music Video about the film's theme song (1:34)
  -- “The Mermaid: Behind the Scenes”(1:49)

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very highly recommended