With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

LEGEND OF BRUCE LEE: VOLUME ONE coming to DVD November 1st

Well Go USA
Legend of Bruce Lee: Volume One
Starring Danny Chan
451 minutes

10 Episodes Available on DVD November 1

Danny Chan (Ip Man 3, Kung Fu Hustle) brings the legendary figure of Bruce Lee and his incredible story to life in 10 action-packed episodes when LEGEND OF BRUCE LEE: VOLUME ONE debuts on DVD November 1 from Well Go USA Entertainment. The life story of the renowned martial arts icon follows him from Hong Kong to America and back again. LEGEND OF BRUCE LEE: VOLUME ONE also stars Michelle Lang, Gary Daniels, Ted Duran, Natalia Dzyublo, Wang Luoyong, Hazen McIntyre, Ray Park, Tim Storms, Michael Jai White, Traci Ann Wolfe, Mark Dacascos and Ash Gordey.

Young Bruce Lee (Danny Chan) has no interest in studying and is obsessed with martial arts. After losing a street fight, he resolves to master Kung Fu under the tutelage of Master Ye Wen. Targeted by street gangs after standing up for the weak, Bruce has no other option but to leave Hong Kong for a strange and far off land: America. At the University of Washington Bruce starts teaching martial arts and befriends an American girl named Linda (Michelle Lang). An extraordinary performance at a national karate championship launches Bruce, his film career, and his Kung Fu school on the path to international renown.

Friday, October 21, 2016

MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI opens in theaters starting November 25th

Strand Releasing
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Directed by Steven Okazaki
Narrated by: Keanu Reeves
USA/Japan, 2015, 80 minutes
In English and Japanese (With Subtitles)

Opening Theatrically on Friday, November 25, 2016 in New York at the IFC Center
with additional cities including Los Angeles (December 2),
San Francisco (December 9) and a wider national release to follow

Nearly 20 years after his death, Toshiro Mifune remains a true giant of world cinema. He made 16 remarkable films with director Akira Kurosawa, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, and together they shook the film world, inspiring not only The Magnificent Seven and Clint Eastwood’s breakthrough movie, A Fistful of Dollars, but also George Lucas’ Star Wars.

Mifune: The Last Samurai, the new feature-length documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, explores the evolution of the samurai film; Mifune's childhood and World War II experience; his accidental entry into the movies; and dynamic but sometimes turbulent collaboration with Kurosawa.

Mifune – wry, charismatic and deadly -- was the first non-white action star. “A lot of people try to imitate Mifune, especially when they’re playing strong and silent,” says Steven Spielberg, “ but nobody can. He was unique in all the world.”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Yang Chao's CROSSCURRENT is coming to North American theaters starting October 28th

Cheng Cheng Films
Crosscurrent / Chang jiang tu
Directed by Yang Chao
Starring Qin Hao and Xin Zhilei 
China, 2016, 116 minutes

Mysterious, sublime and elegiac, director Yang Chao’s odyssey blends breathtaking images with fantasy, poetry and history to create a complex magical universe. From the Shanghai metropolis to the snow-capped Tibet mountain, Gao Chun (actor Qin Hao) steers his cargo up the Yangtze, a river that has nurtured a centuries-old civilization. He comes across An Lu (actress Xin Zhilei), a beautiful woman who appears in a different identity at every port recorded by a poetry book. As their intimacy grows, he realizes she gradually turns younger as he journeys upstream. He starts to wonder whether An Lu is supernatural or he is traveling in time. After passing a pagoda that reverberates Buddha’s voice, a flooded town reappeared elsewhere, the grandiose Three Gorges Dam and many other places that have been transformed, he finally arrives at the start of the Yangtze, where he unveils the secret of his past and An Lu.

Opening in Theaters:
New York: Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 & RPX

Toronto: Cineplex Cinemas Markham and VIP
Vancouver: Cineplex Silver City Riverport

Los Angeles: Regal Edwards University Town Center
Regal Edwards Alhambra Renaissance Stadium

More locations will be updated at CrosscurrentMovie.com.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

VIZ previewed 2017 publishing acquisitions at NY Comic Con


Publishing Roster Expands With New Titles For 2017 Release

VIZ Media thrilled legions of fans at its official panel event at the recent 2016 New York Comic Con during which it detailed a host of brand new manga publishing acquisitions.

VIZ Media previewed each of the 6 new titles that include the music-driven romance in ANONYMOUS NOISE, the story of a queer woman finding her place in the music scene in AFTER HOURS, a survival treasure hunt adventure in GOLDEN KAMUY, and the creepy flesh-eating drama of TOKYO GHOUL: RE, the new sequel to the bestselling manga series. Also announced was the launch of BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATION, which continues the action-packed ninja saga by famed creator Masashi Kishimoto, as well as VAMPIRE KNIGHT: MEMORIES, an ongoing collection of short stories from the original series’ beloved creator Matsuri Hino.

Additional information on each of these titles will be announced in the near future.

New VIZ Media Publishing Acquisitions for 2017 Release:

ANONYMOUS NOISE • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • Debuts Spring 2017
A girl who loves to sing, Nino Arisugawa experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino befriends Yuzu, a music composer, she experiences another sad parting! With music as their common ground and only outlet, how will her unrequited loves play out? Since both boys promised Nino that they would find her one day through her singing, she holds on to that hope and continues to reach out with her voice. Now in high school, Nino serendipitously reunites with Yuzu, but she yearns to see Momo again...

AFTER HOURS • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • Debuts Summer 2017
Emi Asahina is 24, unemployed, and not really sure what she wants to do with her life. When a friend invites her to a dance club, Emi doesn’t expect much but decides to give it a try…and ends up hiding in the corner after her friend ditches her for a dude! Emi figures the night is a bust, but then an exciting woman comes to her rescue. Kei is a DJ, and her effortless self-confidence captivates Emi. Is this the start of something special or just one wonderful night?

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATION • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • Debuts Spring 2017
Naruto was a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He achieved his dream to become the greatest ninja in the village and his face sits atop the Hokage monument. But this is not his story... A new generation of ninja are ready to take the stage, led by Naruto's son, Boruto!

GOLDEN KAMUY • Rated ‘M’ for Mature • Debuts Summer 2017
The winner of the 2016 Manga Taisho Award. “Sugimoto the Immortal,” a surviving soldier of the Russo-Japanese War, seeks the riches promised by a gold rush in Hokkaido, Japan’s frozen north. Instead, he stumbles upon the tale of a vast stash of Ainu gold and sets off on a dangerous treasure hunt with only a young Ainu girl as his guide. Just one problem: the map to the treasure was tattooed on the skins of criminals, and Sugimoto has to vie with said criminals, the military, wild animals and even a specter of the Shinsengumi to piece together the map.

TOKYO GHOUL: RE • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • Debuts Fall 2017
A new sequel to the bestselling TOKYO GHOUL by creator Sui Ishida set after the events of the main series. The main character is Haise Sasaki, a Ghoul Investigator assigned to oversee a squad of unruly young Investigators that have had ghoul traits experimentally implanted into them. The pressure is on this experimental and temperamental squad to become the best Ghoul Investigators and their mettle will first be tested tracking down a gruesome ghoul known as “Torso.”

VAMPIRE KNIGHT: MEMORIES • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens • Debuts Summer 2017
VAMPIRE KNIGHT: MEMORIES is a continuing collection of short stories from creator Matsuri Hino that delves into Yuki and Zero's time as a couple in the past, and explores the relationship between Yuki's children and Kaname in the present. These are gorgeously drawn and heartfelt stories sure to delight fans of the original series.

For additional information on manga titles published by VIZ Media, visit www.VIZ.com.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

SUSHI: JIRO GASTRONOMY - an AsianCineFest book review

Written by Jiro Ono and Yoshikazu Ono
VIZ Media edition published October 2016
5.5 inches high, 4.1 inches wide, 0.3 inches thick
96 pages
MSRP of $14.99 US / $16.99 CAN

SUSHI: JIRO GASTRONOMY is a wonderful guide to sushi dinning that becomes available today, Tuesday, October 11th from VIZ Media.

Written by renowned chef Jiro Ono, the subject of the award-winning documentary film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and Yoshikazu Ono, Jiro's older son, it provides a guide to the sushi served at their famous Tokyo restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro. (Jiro's younger son, Takashi, opened his own sushi restaurant with his father's blessing.)

The slim volume consists of a Foreword and three chapters.

The first chapter, "Omakase Tasting Menu," describes thirty types of sushi that are served at Sukiyabashi Jiro, each in a two page spread. The left-hand page is a beautiful color photo of the sushi sitting on a black surface. The right-hand page provides the name of the dish in English and in Japanese, an indication of the season in which it is served, and information about such things as its character and preparation.

"How to Eat Sushi" is self-descriptive, with pictures (again in lovely color) illustrating the various "Do"s and "Don't"s for correctly eating sushi and thereby maximizing one's enjoyment of it.

The third chapter is entitled "Dining at Sukiyabashi Jiro." It provides information about making reservations (an absolute necessity), dress code, accepted payment methods, and more.

Given its size and number of pages, this volume may seem rather pricey at first glance. However, the quality of the paper used and the many gorgeous photographs make it a much more reasonable purchase.

And let's face it, this book (and the documentary film) is probably as close as most of us will ever get to dining at Sukiyabashi Jiro, where the omikase tasting menu is 30,000 yen (a bit under $300 at current rates) plus tax for lunch or dinner.

So if you're a sushi lover, no matter to what degree, I think you'll really want this book.

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