movies

“It’s OK to stand out.” Nissan’s new stormtrooper ad campaign is awesome

The humble stormtrooper. Shot, blown up, punched and jeered at on a near daily basis while the rebels–whom some would call “terrorists”–get all the fame and glory. It’s in their very nature to remain inconspicuous in their plain white armour, marching along in neat lines and even dying with a regimented clatter of boots on the cold metal Deathstar floors, and for that reason are rarely given a second thought by either their merciless dispatchers or the movie-going public.

But there comes a time when even the loyalest of the Empire’s helmeted servants has to get their groove on, and Japanese car maker Nissan’s newest ad campaign is allowing them to do just that.

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Dangan Ronpa and Ted come together for some bear-y cute naughtiness!

Though Ted may be the most-well-known naughty teddy bear in the world, he is by no means the only one. We imagine that Monokuma, of the murder-mystery game/manga/anime Dangan Ronpa, may be a close Japanese second with its cackling and murderous tendencies. For fans of both of the animated characters, it might seem like a perfect match to have these black-humored bears on the screen together.

Alas, there’s probably no one mad enough to approve that combination, right?

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Japan’s giant robot proliferation continues as filming starts on live-action Patlabor movie

Japan loves its fictional robots. The adorable Doraemon and unsettling Evangelion are instantly recognizable to both young and old. The giant statue of Gundam in Tokyo has become a major tourist attraction, despite being in the middle of Odaiba, which was already a major entertainment district with no shortage of other, hipper attractions.

And now, another robot, the Patlabor, has joined Gundam in making the leap into the three-dimensional world, towering size intact.

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Stalled Akira live-action movie comes back to life

After being completely suspended in 2012, it seems like plans for the Akira live action movie are finally moving forward again. The Warner Brothers movie will be a Hollywood retelling of the 1988 cult anime classic, with original writer and director Katsuhiro Ohtomo acting as executive producer. This will perhaps assuage some fans’ fears that Hollywood will turn the dark, complex narrative into just another generic guns-and-explosions blockbuster.

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20th Century Fox to officially apologize for Napoleon Dynamite’s crappy Japanese title

For foreigners living in Japan, looking through DVDs can be a chore. You generally have a 50 percent chance of the title being the same, leaving you scanning through the cover designs to find what you’re looking for the other half of the time.

Sometimes the new titles that are bestowed in Japan give more insight to the film. For example, Jerry Maguire is given the less romantic but more concise title of The Agent. However, translation and localization often leaves people making judgment calls that could easily backfire. Take the DVD version of Napoleon Dynamite which Japanese cinema lovers have deemed “Japan’s worst changed movie title.”

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Japanese Internet baffled by culturally confused Hollywood adaptation of 47 Ronin legend

Hollywood is carrying on its tradition of making white people the lead protagonists in movies about samurai with the 2013 47 Ronin, headed by Keanu Reeves.

But while the Japanese didn’t seem to bat an eyelid when it was revealed (spoiler) that Tom Cruise was literally the last samurai, the 47 Ronin trailer is raising eyebrows in Japan for its weird comic book treatment of the famous national legend that is said to be the most revered example of the samurai code of bushido.

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Classic Ghibli anime impresses with its story, makes some viewers want to kill themselves

Sometimes, it’s only after the fact that you realize just how close you came to dying.

After eating dinner a few nights ago, my wife was flipping through the channels on TV. “Oh, that’s right, Whisper of the Heart is on. Do you want to watch it?” she asked.

Now ordinarily a cute girl asking me if I’d like to watch anime with her gets an automatic “Why yes, I would.” But at that point there were just 20 minutes left before the end, and I said I’d rather just rent it from the video store down the street some other time, so we could watch it from the beginning.

That decision may have saved our lives.

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Rambo randomly rambles into stores in figure form, looks as cross as ever

In what has to be one of the most random, yet awesome, releases we’ve seen so far this month, Japanese toy and figure fanciers Kitan Club has recently launched a range of six key-chain figures based on… Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo. No, we’re not quite sure why either.

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Moviegoers upset about Studio Ghibli anime’s trailer trailing the film they came to see

With the rainy season already here in Japan it’s time to start planning out your summer activities. Anime fans already have July 20 marked on their calendars, being the day when the newest animated film from Studio Ghibli, The Wind Rises, is set to premier. With legendary studio head Hayao Miyazaki back in the director’s chair, expectations are sky high for the tale about Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Zero fighter plane used by the Japanese military in World War II.

It’s normal to see trailers for upcoming films when you go to the movies, and some theatres are currently showing an extended four-minute preview for The Wind Rises. What’s unusual is some cinemas’ decision to show the preview directly following the conclusion of the feature film viewers just paid to see.

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Kiefer Sutherland confirmed as lead voice actor in newest Metal Gear Solid game

As soon as the teaser trailer for Hideo Kojima’s upcoming video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released earlier this year, gaming news websites and message boards exploded, partly because it was clear that David Hayter, the voice actor who had played the character of Solid Snake since 1998, had been replaced, but mostly because the new voice in the video sounded an awful lot like that of world-famous actor Kiefer Sutherland. Earlier today, those rumours were finally confirmed: Jack Bauer is Snake!

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First picture from set of live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service released

First written as a children’s novel by Eiko Kadano in 1985, Kiki’s Delivery Service is the story of a 13-year-old witch who, following the traditions taught to her by her similarly magical mother, sets out to live by herself for a year to mature and learn about the world. The story achieved international fame with its 1989 theatrical anime adaptation, directed by industry legend Hayao Miyazaki and crafted by his team at Studio Ghibli.

Filming has begun on a live-action version of the story, and producers recently released the first still image from the set.

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Why Jackie Chan should be the next Iron Man

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Chinese mega-entertainer and occasional political commenter Jackie Chan made some waves by stating his desires to become the next Iron Man. With current Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. reaching that magic number of three we may soon see a new actor step into the suit of armor. But could the current king of colorful kung-fu really be up to the task?

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【Photo Gallery】Original vs. Remade Versions of Horror Movie Posters

There are almost too many movies being remade nowadays (did we really need another Rollerball?). There are also quite a few Japanese movies that have been remade into Hollywood films. It’s sometimes great to be able to watch your favorite movie redone using the most modern techniques and special effects, but not so great if a classic is butchered (we’re looking at you Red Dawn).

However, regardless of whether or not a remake lives up to the original, the newly designed movie posters are always interesting to look at. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of movie posters of the original and remake versions of 35 horror films. Most have managed to up the creepiness factor (with a few exceptions).

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Thai Fans Remake Entire Iron Man 3 Pre-Release Trailer by Hand, Blow Our Minds 【Video】

If you’re a superhero fan living in North America, today very likely means only one thing: the launch of Iron Man 3. Perhaps waiting for a more suitable date to release the title, Marvel and Walt Disney Studios hung on until May 3 to unleash Tony Stark’s newest — and, according to some, best — supersuit-powered adventure, and millions of fans are champing at the bit to see it.

Despite having opened in Japan surprisingly early (Japanese releases are notoriously late, with movie fans forced to wait until this March for both Django Unchained and Wreck it Ralph alone), tongues are wagging all across the country today about Iron Man 3, but for an entirely different reason.

Put together by a clearly passionate and creative team of fans in Thailand, the following video recreates the official Iron Man 3 pre-release trailer shot by shot using little more than hand-crafted props, questionable make-up and models dangling from strings. Even so, it is nothing short of wonderful.

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Next Die Hard Movie to be Set in Tokyo, Possibly Have a Silly Title

See that face? It’s pretty much exactly the same as the one I pulled when I heard that there is to be yet another Die Hard movie. My expression when I heard that the production may be released under the title Die Hardest was like this, too, but as if a gang of irritated bees was also stinging my face and eyes.

That’s right, cinephiles, Bruce Willis is set to return in yet another action adventure extravaganza sometime in the near future, somehow evading bad guys with curious accents, speeding bullets and his own slowly encroaching retirement once again.

This time around, the mayhem is coming to none other than Japan’s capital city Tokyo. Our enigmatic reporter Mr. Sato has already locked himself away in a dimly lit room to study the past films at length and practice screaming in the hope of landing himself a walk-on part.

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On 13 April, the nationwide release of the long-awaited film adaptation of a few guys’ favorite manga Hentai Kamen (lit. “pervert mask”) took place. The film, which goes by the stylized title “HK”, tells the story of a young man who learns that he gains a variety of superpowers by wearing underwear over his head.

To celebrate, seven ramen shops around Japan are creating limited edition bowls of ramen which follow the Hentai Kamen theme of perviness. Each shop is selling its own extremely unique interpretation of HK through the medium of soup. You definitely haven’t seen ramen like this before.

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The Top 5 Ghibli Heroines as Chosen by Men Aged 20-40

It’s not an easy question to answer, but of all the strong, cute and mysterious ladies from Studio Ghibli’s beautiful animated feature films, who is your favourite? This was the question put to 230 men aged 20-40 in a recent on-line poll.

With so many Ghibli girls to choose from, there had to be at least one that tugged on the hearts of men. So who came out on top?  We bring you the top five below:

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Forget 3D, Nagoya Movie Theater Goes 4D With Moving Seats, Wind, Smells

Japanese cinema chain Korona World has announced that it will be opening the country’s first full-body, immersive “4D” movie theater in Nagoya on the 26th of this month.

According to the company, the theater will be equipped with 4DX technology, a system developed in South Korea that adds motion, humidity, aromas, strobes, bubbles and other effects to the standard audio and video experience. Read More

Two New Ghibli Films Out in Summer 2013, Posters Revealed!

In case you needed another reason to hope the world doesn’t end on December 21, Studio Ghibli has officially announced it will release two new films on the same day in summer 2013.

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Fan-Made “Dragon Ball Z: Saiyan Saga” Trailer is Finally Out! Take Notes, Hollywood

Big-budget live-action remakes of anime and manga are tricky business. One one hand, you’ve got to please the fans, who you know will be sitting in the theater with pen and paper scrutinizing every scene. But you also have to make money, which often means watering down the source material to make it digestible for regular movie-goers. As a result, live-action remakes are usually denounced by fans (and critics), but still manage to turn a profit in the box office.

This is why we love DragonBall Z: Saiyan Saga, a live-action non-profit Dragon Ball Z trailer made by fans not because they want to make a buck, but because they love the series so damn much.

The 5 minute 44 second trailer was finally released on YouTube yesterday after months of production, and looks absolutely amazing. Check it out below!

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