PANG Ho-Cheung

PANG Ho-Cheung
With Hong Kong director PANG Ho-cheung after interviewing him in 2012

Saturday, February 28, 2015

DETECTIVE K: SECRET OF THE LOST ISLAND coming to U.S. and Canada on March 6th

Korea’s hit period adventure comedy, Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island will be released in the U.S. and Canada on March 6, 2015 after topping the South Korean box office. The film earned a total $22.5 million from 3.1 million admissions since its February 11th release in South Korea.


Detective K and his loyal sidekicks Seo-pil return in this sequel to the 2011 hit film Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Wido. When Kim Min, known throughout 18th century Korea as Detective K, stumbles upon a ring of smugglers flooding Korea with counterfeit silver, he feels duty-bound to escape his exile and stop this menace before the Korean economy is shaken to its core.

To solve the case, he enters a world of intrigue populated by gun-wielding courtesans and murderous bandits, but what he finds is an even darker mystery when the bodies of young slave girls wash up on the shore.

Can Detective K solve the mysteries with his trademark inventiveness and bring the criminals to justice?

KIM Myung-min plays Kim-min (Detective K), OH Dal-su plays Seo-pil, and LEE Yeon-hee plays Hisako.

Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island is distributed by CJ Entertainment, produced by Generation Blue Films, and presented by Showbox Media.

Friday, February 27, 2015

LIFE OF CATS exhibition coming to Japan Society NY starting March 13th

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861), Chrysanthemums from the series Eight Selected Flowers from the Garden, 184448.  Color woodblock print, 16 x 22 ½ inches. Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation.
 Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection
When: Friday, March 13 – Sunday, June 7, 2015
Where: Japan Society
333 East 47th Street, NYC
(Between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Since arriving in Japan aboard Japanese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures from China in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art. Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867).

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892), The Enlightenment of Daruma from an untitled series known as Sketches by Yoshitoshi, 1882. Color woodblock print; 22 ½ x 16 inches. Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation.

Ninety ukiyo-e prints in the exhibition are on loan from the esteemed Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation whose holdings are revered in Japan. Select prints, paintings, sculptures, and other works borrowed from U.S. collections complement these prints, making the exhibition over 120 artworks. With cross-cultural and multi-generational appeal, Life of Cats takes viewers on a wild ride through Japan’s love affair with our feline friends.

Roughly 50 items will be replaced with new works halfway through Life of Cats—Rotation 1 will be on view from March 13 until April 26; Rotation 2 will be on view from April 29 until June 7.

Utagawa Kunisada II (1823–1880), Kashiwagi from the series The False Murasaki's Rustic Genji, 184854.
Color woodblock print; 22 3/8 x 36 7/8 inches. Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation.

Life of Cats is divided into five sections: Cats and People, Cats as People, Cats versus People, Cats Transformed and Cats and Play.

Further information, including exhibition-related programming, two videos, and several examples of prints from each of the five sections, is available here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Remembering Hideo Gosha

Hideo Gosha on the set of Three Outlaw Samurai

Japanese director Hideo Gosha was born on February 26, 1929 in Akasake, Tokyo, Japan. He died on August 30, 1992 at age 63. From 1964 until his death he directed 24 feature films.

His first, Three Outlaw Samurai, is an almost nihilistic view of the code of the samurai, rampant with failures of loyalty and betrayals. It recently came out in the U.S. in a Criterion Collection release. The transfer is, as one would expect, gorgeous. However, the only extra is a trailer, which is interesting to watch because several shots that in it were replaced by others in the released film.

Sword of the Beast (a.k.a. Samurai Gold Seekers, 1965) is also available from Criterion. It's another tale in which betrayal plays a prominent role, leading to the protagonist fleeing his clan to live in the wilds like a beast. It, too, does not come with any significant extras.

Both films are must sees for anyone interested in samurai films in particular or Japanese cinema in general. Perhaps more will of Gosha's films will become available in the coming years. In the meanwhile, these will have to suffice to keep his memory alive on out flat screen televisions.

CLAYMORE and ROSARIO + VAMPIRE box set details


Sets To Feature Entire Series Runs For The Bestselling
Medieval Action Saga And High School Vampire
 Comedy With Exclusive Premium Items

VIZ Media details two substantial forthcoming manga (graphic novel) releases set for the Fourth Quarter that feature new complete series box sets for CLAYMORE and ROSARIO + VAMPIRE.

Both sets will be published under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint and will arrive in time for the start of the 2015 Holiday shopping season. The CLAYMORE complete series box set releases in October and will include Volumes 1-27 of creator Norihiro Yagi’s epic medieval action saga. CLAYMORE is a riveting, multi-arc, character-driven action story that has been a New York Times manga bestseller. The ROSARIO + VAMPIRE set debuts in November and will contain BOTH “seasons” of creator Akihisa Ikeda’s acclaimed high school vampire drama in a special 24-volume manga box set edition. Both releases also will include a collectable premium.

CLAYMORE © 2001 by Norihiro Yagi/SHUEISHA Inc.

CLAYMORE COMPLETE MANGA SERIES BOX SET • Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $214.99 U.S. / $249.99 CAN • Available October 2015
This box set contains Volumes 1-27, along with a booklet of cover images never before released in North America. In a world where monsters called Yoma prey on humans and live among them in disguise, humanity's only hope is a new breed of warrior known as Claymores. Half human, half monster, these silver-eyed slayers possess supernatural strength but are condemned to fight their savage impulses or lose their humanity completely.

ROSARIO + VAMPIRE © 2004 by Akihisa Ikeda/SHUEISHA Inc.

ROSARIO + VAMPIRE COMPLETE MANGA SERIES BOX SET • Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: 185.99 U.S. / $214.99 CAN • Available November 2015
This box set contains the original ROSARIO + VAMPIRE and the sequel series ROSARIO + VAMPIRE SEASON II for a total of 24 volumes, and also includes an exclusive full-color mini-comic. Average human teenage boy Tsukune accidentally enrolls at a boarding school for monsters—no, not jocks and popular kids, but bona fide werewolves, witches, and unnameables out of his wildest nightmares! On the plus side, all the girls have a monster crush on him. On the negative side, all the boys are so jealous they want to kill him! And so do the girls he spurns because he only has eyes for one of them—the far-from-average vampire Moka. On the plus side, Moka only has glowing red eyes for Tsukune. On the O-negative side, she also has a burning, unquenchable thirst for his blood...

For more information on these or other manga titles published by VIZ Media, please visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

KILLERS set to debut on home video April 7th from Well Go USA

 Directed by the "Mo Brothers" (Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto)
Indonesia/Japan, 2014, 138 minutes

The Horror-Thriller from the Mo Brothers Debuts on Blu-ray™ & DVD April 7

Once you start, where do you stop? Killers the blood-spattered sophomore feature from the Mo Brothers (Macabre), debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD April 7 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Produced by Gareth Evans (The Raid, The Raid 2), the horror-thriller features a psychopathic Japanese executive who accidentally triggers a journalist’s “dark side.” They begin to connect over the Internet and make a complicated bond.

The film stars Kazuki Kitamura (Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2), Oka Antara (The Raid 2), Rin Takanashi (Like Someone in Love), Luna Maya (My Blackberry Girlfriend) and Ray Sahetapy (The Raid).

Synopsis: A series of horrific murders just went viral, posted anonymously by the handsome and seductive Nomura (Kazuki Kitamura), a predator with a taste for torture. Thousands of miles away, disgraced journalist Bayu (Oka Antarra) can’t stop watching – and in a reckless moment discovers he, too, can kill. One man in Tokyo. One in Jakarta. A serial killer and a vigilante. As the posts multiply and the body count rises, a bizarre and psychotic rivalry begins – and the face-to-face showdown that’s coming will paint the city in blood.