With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ACF 045: Viz Pictures gets "Death Note" Movies

Death Note
[Desu noto]
Japan, 2006, directed by Shusuke Kaneko

Death Note: The Last Name
[Desu noto: The last name]
Japan, 2006, directed by Shusuke Kaneko

Sorry that it's been awhile since my last post, but the day job has just left me with next to no energy. However, when I received notice from VIZ Pictures, the live-action affiliate of VIZ Media LLC, that they'd acquired the North American theatrical and DVD distribution rights to both Death Note and its sequel, Death Note: The Last Name, I wanted to pass on the word right away.

These films are about what happens when Ryuk, the God of Death, drops his notebook and it's found by a young law student named Light, whose father just happens to be a cop. Light has become cynical about the normal legal system's aiblity to mete out justice. When he discovers that he can kill criminals by remote control, as it were, simply by writing their names in the notebook, he embarks on a mission to rid the world of crime.

Based on the manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, these films had their New York premieres this past July. They were jointly presented by Subway Cinema as part of the New York Asian Film Festival 2007 and by Japan Society as part of its Japan Cuts film series. Both films ranked in the top five picks as audience favorites.

I didn't get to see them in July, but ironically started watching my screener DVD of Death Note last night. I've gotten a bit more than half way through it and already can understand why it, and its sequel, were so popular.

Both films will be screening September 20-27 at the Fantastic Fest 2007 in Austin, Texas. For showtimes and tickets, go to http://www.fantasticfest.com/.

Death Note, but not its sequel, will be shown November 1-4 at the 11th annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival. For showtimes and tickets there, go to http:/www.vaff.org/.

Other screenings of the two films will continue throughout 2008, and VIZ Pictures is planning a summer 2008 release of both films on DVD. AsianCineFest will most certainly carry reviews of the DVD releases.

In the meanwhile, try to see them in a theater if possible, and check back here in the next few days for a review of the recent 2 disc DVD release of Ping Pong, also from VIZ Pictures.

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