(aka Revenge of the Defenders, Daitetsujin Wan-Sebun. Literal Translation: Iron Robot 17) It was such an Eighties thing. Take a Japanese children’s TV series and distill all its weirdness into an hour and a half so you could sell it as a movie. Simple, right? Even when it is 35 half-hour episodes. Well, it’s actually […]
Read more "Brain 17 (1982)"
(aka, Message from Outer Space, Space Ninja) One of the first cloned copies of Star Wars which came out after the release of the George Lucas classic was Message from Outer Space, a strange and colorful Japanese film whose most memorable element was its spaceship in the form of a square-rigged sailing vessel, complete with […]
Read more "Swords of the Space Ark (1981)"
Parallel Evolution. That’s the only explanation I can find. Here we have two movies with a remarkably similar story, which came out the same year and only three months apart: the first, Joe Dante’s shaggy dog of a science fiction epic, Explorers, and the other a little-seen Czech children’s film. There’s no way they saw Joe […]
Read more "Tretí sarkan [The Third Dragon] (1985)"
I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. I suppose it would help if I pointed out that Professor Kleks first appeared in a classic Polish children’s book back in the Forties. The author, Jan Brzechwa wrote three books about the character, and, in the Eighties, they actually filmed three movies about Professor […]
Read more "Pan Kleks w kosmosie [Mr. Blob in the Universe] (1988)"
(aka, Crazy Rabbit) It is often hard to explain why we get obsessed with finding certain films. I think I stumbled across a reference to it on Letterboxed…or was it that some search or other led me to its page on IMDB? I honestly can’t remember. But, when you are talking about a film which […]
Read more "Feng kuang de tu zi [Mad Rabbit] (1997)"
I’m never sure how these things work out the way they do, but I ended up watching three Children’s Science Fiction films in a row this weekend. Frequent visitors will not be surprised to learn that I’m taking about a Chinese children’s’ film, a Polish children’s film, and a British children’s film. Now A Hitch […]
Read more "A Hitch in Time (1978)"
I suppose you could say it is a tradition. Although it isn’t too hard to spot the moment when it actually began. When Toho’s first major monster epic, Godzilla, first came to the United State, the U.S. producer added a lot of new footage with Raymond Burr as a reporter (with the funniest moment coming in […]
Read more "Daikaijû Gamera (Gamera: The Giant Monster) (1965)"
You probably have never heard of Professor Shanku. However, in his native India, the famed Bengali director, Satyajit Ray, was not merely known for his movies, but for the many short stories he wrote. This included a lot of children’s stories, including the series starring the private detective, Feluda, and a series of science fiction […]
Read more "Professor Shanku O El Dorado [Professor Shanku and El Dorado] (2019)"
Recently, I’ve reviewed two movies by one of my favorites of the younger generation of Japanese anime directors, Mamoru Hosada. So it seems inevitable that I would also catch up with a film by yet another talented young Anime director, one of the best of the group often referred to as “the next Miyazaki” — […]
Read more "Ai no utagoe o kikasete [Sing a Bit of Harmony] (2021)"
Supervillains. It’s not exactly obvious to the uninitiated, but there are two distinct types of supervillain: The Bond villain and The Comic Book villain. It seemed a strange coincidence when two studios came out with movies with supervillains as heroes at the same time, but Despicable Me‘s Gru is clearly the Bond-iest of Bond Villains… […]
Read more "Megamind (2010)"