'Farewell Song': Guitars without rock 'n' roll excess

Film / Reviews May 22, 2019

'Farewell Song': Guitars without rock 'n' roll excess

by James Hadfield

Of all the many breeds of musician out there, few are as stubbornly uncinematic as acoustic singer-songwriters. Forget flamboyance, creative excess, clashing egos and all the other qualities that tend to attract filmmakers to the music industry in the first place. The average singer-songwriter ...

'Promare': A burning need for rage control

Film / Reviews May 15, 2019

'Promare': A burning need for rage control

by Matt Schley

Ever been so angry you felt like you were going to explode? In "Promare," the new anime film from studios Trigger and Xflag, that's no metaphor. The story goes that when the members of a certain segment of the population get mad enough, flames ...

'The Wonderland': Surface-level charm, but no true wonder

Film / Reviews Apr 24, 2019

'The Wonderland': Surface-level charm, but no true wonder

by Matt Schley

"The Wonderland," the new film from director Keiichi Hara ("Miss Hokusai"), certainly has the building blocks of something wondrous: a skilled director, top production values, and a story by beloved children's author Sachiko Kashiwaba. One of Kashiwaba's admirers is Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki, whose Academy ...

'Kingdom': An admirable try at Chinese history

Film / Reviews Apr 17, 2019

'Kingdom': An admirable try at Chinese history

by Mark Schilling

Why should Japanese kids care about a manga set in China's Warring States Period, (475-221 B.C.)? The players and power struggles are hard enough for professional historians (and this reviewer) to grasp, let alone 10-year-olds. Yasuhisa Hara found a winning answer in "Kingdom," a manga ...