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Takashi Miike’s ‘Blade of the Immortal’ slices and dices, but it could use a trim

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Takashi Miike’s been one of the biggest shock jockeys of Japanese cinema for eons. Ichi the Killer (2001) was a high-splatter mark for lovers of extreme gore, and Miike’s output has been an extraordinary arterial gusher. Blade of the Immortal is billed as Miike’s hundredth film, and while one could quibble (glancing over his Wikipedia bio, I count somewhere in the mid-nineties), the fact is the guy’s made an astonishing number of films. And he’s only fifty-seven!

Blade of the Immortal finds Miike plying his grisly gonzo in the service of a long-running samurai manga. Is the legendary director finally in danger of becoming a hack, or does his blood-slicked blade cut through one more time?

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Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Gifts for the Studio Ghibli Lover

They’ve watched the films multiple times.  They get excited at the mention of cats, umbrellas, and planes. They are actively saving up for a trip to Japan. They’ll debate with you over the pronunciation of Ghibli. All of these are signs that you know a Studio Ghibli lover, so why not get them a gift that they will love as much as Ponyo loves ham?

ponyo-ham-shack-teefury

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31 Days of Horror 2016: Shin Godzilla (2016)

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Regular readers here at Biff Bam Pop! know what a hardcore kaiju eiga fan I am, and especially of Godzilla, so you know as soon the newest Big G flick was available over here I would be seeing it, and reviewing it as part of 31 Days of Horror. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Shin Godzilla.

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31 Days of Horror 2016: Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek

It’s the horror film that will actually make you want to turn off the lights. On today’s installment of “31 Days of Horror,” it’s the short, Japanese animated film, Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek.  

kakurenbo_filmposter

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SDCC Spotlight: Leen Isabel and Nguyen Dong

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It’s always better to buddy up for San Diego Comic Con. That’s exactly what Leen Isabel and Nguyen Dong have done. The husband and wife team are bringing you two great books you have to check out. There’s nothing like discovering a new book and new creator that you have to follow. Let’s hear about their great projects …

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The Ten Percent: Red Beard [Akahige] (1965)

Japanese Poster for Akahige (Red Beard).

Japanese Poster for Akahige (Red Beard).

“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” – Theodore Sturgeon

Hello, Readers All, and welcome to another edition of “The Ten Percent,” where K. Dale Koontz and I take turns talking about the corollary to Sturgeon’s Law, and all of the things that fall into the 10% that is anything but crud. This week I’m going to take a look at Red Beard [Akahige] (1965), one of the greatest of Kurosawa Akria’s films, which is really saying something, because over the course of a directorial career which spanned fifty-two years and thirty-three films, Kurosawa managed to flip Sturgeon’s Law on its head, and then some. There might be 5% of Kurosawa’s films that are arguably crud, but even in his earliest efforts, there is a gleam of genius.

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JP Fallavollita On…Star Blazers

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favourite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on…something they love.

Star Blazers MainFor something so important, so inspiring in a young boy’s life, it’s a little strange that I can’t quite pin down the exact date. I can only say that sometime in the late 1970’s or, at the very latest, the early 1980’s, I found myself compelled to run home every weekday after school and turn on the television.

There was no horsing around in the schoolyard for me after 3:30 in the afternoon, no visiting friends houses to play board games and street hockey games would have to wait till a later in the day. No. A new cartoon with an animation style and real-time, mature storyline, that incorporated action, adventure, love, sorrow and joy had captivated me.

I had fallen for the 1970’s Japanese import anime science fiction series called Star Blazers.

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Konnichiwa To Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga Vol. 1 On The Wednesday Run

One of the coolest things about comic books is that they are beloved across globe and embraced by so many different nations.

Not only does that mean that there is a common visual language and understanding between people of disparate backgrounds, but that we also get to see different iterations of some of the most popular characters ever created. Of course, Batman is one of those characters, arguably at the top echelon of popular comic book characters.

Whether Italian, Indonesian, Brazilian or Swedish, Batman has been translated and, in some, cases, reimagined, under the pop culture auspices of various cultures.

Today, we get to see Batman as Japanese manga in Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga Book 1!

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Ronin Deluxe Edition Is Classic SF&F On The Wednesday Run

RoninSummer’s well over and it already feels like Fall has come and gone – and Halloween is still a week away! That means December holiday shopping is just around the corner. If you haven’t noticed the holiday trimmings at your local mall yet, you will shortly.

But you’ve been good this year, haven’t you?

So, if you think it’s still too early to treat a loved one, how about treating yourself to a classic comic book that helped changed the comic book landscape here in North America, collected in a new hardcover format?

Treat yourself to the new Deluxe Edition of Frank Miller’s Ronin.

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Saturday At The Movies – Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah

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With all the buzz about and rousing success of the new American Godzilla, I thought I might take a look at another Godzilla flick, one from a few years ago, that flks on this side of the Pacific might not be all that aware of. The full title is Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (or in Japanese, Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidora: Daikaijū Sōkōgeki), but it’s known lovingly by G-fans as GMK. Meet me after the jump and I’ll tell you why 2001’s GMK is one of the best Godzilla movies of recent memory.

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