Categories
Animation Features Movies

Lupin III The First

Director – Takashi Yamazaki – 2019 – Japan – Cert. 12a – 93m

****

Master thief Lupin III sets out to steal a diary protected by a lock with a fiendishly complex mechanism and becomes embroiled in an occult, Nazi plot to take over the world – screening in Scotland Loves Anime, Edinburgh on Monday, October 11th at 18.00 and Online (ten titles for only £4!!!) October 1st – November 1st

A character with a long history in Japan in anime, manga artist Monkey Punch’s celebrated gentleman thief Arsène Lupin III is a descendant of Frenchman Maurice LeBlanc‘s Arsène Lupin character. LeBlanc’s bona fide character recently featured in the French live action Netflix series Lupin (creator: George Kay, 2021). 

For this Japanese reboot, Lupin III and his fellow franchise characters are back on the big screen, now lovingly animated in state of the art 3D animation which has never looked quite like this. The nimble movements of Lupin as he typically evades the grasp of Interpol’s Inspector Zenigata by firing a climbing line at a ceiling, outwits an ingénue girl thief on Paris rooftops and finally has his stolen object taken off his hands by the shapely Fujiko Mine as she dangles from a helicopter rope ladder would look good in drawn animation – for similar antics look no further than earlier Lupin III outing The Castle Of Cagliostro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1980) – but they look considerably better rendered in full 3D CG here. … Read the rest

Categories
Animation Features Movies

The Castle Of Cagliostro (Rupan Sansei: Kariosutoro No Shiro)

TO CATCH A THIEF

ANIME OF THE MONTH

THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO

(REG 2 DVD: ENGLISH / JAPANESE DUBBED, OPTIONAL ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

£19.99, Widescreen (1.85:1), Dolby Digital 2.0 (Manga)

One of Manga Video’s best kept secrets arrives on UK DVD. Arsene Lupin III is manga artist Monkey Punch’s descendant to Frenchman Maurice LeBlanc’s noted thief Arsene Lupin and the subject of copyright controversy in the US where the character had to be renamed Wolf or Rupan. Strong though the character may be, the factor that raises this particular film above much anime is the pedigree of writer-director Hayao Miyazaki.

A superb piece of genre film-making, Cagliostro allows Miyazaki to try out lots of ideas he’d rework later. Monkey Punch’s quasi‑European trappings, evidenced both here and in other Lupin III movies, are perfectly in tune with Miyazaki’s sensibilities. Fairytale plot elements concern a princess (a dead ringer for one of Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind’s characters) trapped in a tower by the evil Count Cagliostro and a castle with a 500-year-old secret (shades of Laputa‘s decaying castle in the sky). Then, for a film about a thief, there’s a surprising nod towards goodness, yet the film never becomes too lofty for its own good, being filled with such detours as banknote forgery, lethal security systems, unexpected trap doors and an impressive autogyro (Miyazaki has a reputation for strikingly designed aircraft and other flying objects).… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Twister

UK PAL laserdisc review.

Originally published on London Calling Internet.

Distributor Pioneer LDCE

Cat No: PLFEB 35411

£24.99

BBFC Certificate PG

Director Jan De Bont (1996)

Starring Assorted CG tornadoes

(oh yes, and Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes)

Running Time 108 min

Dolby Surround

Widescreen: 2.35:1

Chaptered? Yes

CLV

2 Sides

(4 sided CAV version also available for £34.99)

Trailers (Twister – two different ones, Jurassic Park)

A twister, as lovers of The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) will know, is a tornado that snatches up objects in its path into the air and then dumps them down again. The one that snatched Dorothy into the air was a cheap special effect in a wonderful film. The current movie, on the other hand, is the other way round: basically, it’s a rotten movie with awe-inspiring special effects. The cast here is not so much the workmanlike group of American actors playing uninspired characters as the incredible series of tornadoes which appear one after another, each seemingly darker and by inference more evil than its predecessor.

This may also be one of those rare movies (I can’t think of another) that requires a big (cinema) screen, with all the resolution that a projected celluloid image can give these tornadoes, to really work its magic.… Read the rest