Category: Animation

Crunchyroll has announced it will re-release the critically-acclaimed classic Princess Mononoke in cinemas across Australia and New Zealand from 14 July 2022 to celebrate the iconic film’s 25th anniversary. The film, from celebrated animation studio Studio Ghibli, will be available in both Original Japanese with English subtitles and English Dub.

To celebrate the 25th landmark milestone, participating cinemas will also offer a FREE commemorative pin featuring San’s signature mask with ticket purchase. This collector item is strictly limited while stocks last.

Summary:  Yuta Okkotsu, a high schooler who gains control of an extremely powerful Cursed Spirit and gets enrolled in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School by Jujutsu Sorcerers to help him control his power and keep an eye on him.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  17th March 2022 (Australia), 23rd June 2022 (Thailand), 18th March 2022 (UK), 18th March 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Japan

Director: Seong-Hu Park

Screenwriter: Hiroshi Seko

Cast: Chinatsu Akasaki (Kasumi Miwa (voice)), Aya Endo (Shoko Ieiri (voice)), Kana Hanazawa (Rika Orimoto (voice)), Show Hayami (Raru (voice)), Yu Hayashi (Takumo Ino (voice)), Satoshi Hino (Noritoshi Kamo (voice)), Marina Inoue (Mai Zen’in (voice)), Shizuka Ito (Manami Suda (voice)), Mitsuo Iwata (Kiyotaka Ijichi (voice)), Subaru Kimura (Aoi Todo (voice)), Mikako Komatsu (Maki Zen’in (voice)), Rie Kugimiya (Momo Nishimiya (voice)), Takaya Kuroda (Masamichi Yaga (voice)), Risae Matsuda (Mimiko Hasaba (voice)), Satsumi Matsuda (Nanjako Hasaba (voice)), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Ultimate Mechamura (voice)), Shin’ichiro Miki (Atsuya Kusakabe (voice)), Kotono Mitsuishi (Mei Mei (voice)), Yuichi Nakaura (Satoru Gojo (voice)), Megumi Ogata (Yuta Okkotsu (voice)), Takahiro Sakurai (Suguru Goto (voice)), TomokazuSeki (Panda (voice)), Sora Tokui (Akari Nitta (voice)), Kenjiro Tsuda (Kento Nanami (voice)), Koko Uchiyama (Toge Inumaki (voice)), Koichi Yamadera (Miguel (voice))

Running Time: 112 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), G (Thailand), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR JUJUTSU KAISEN O: THE MOVIE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Jujutsu Kaisen O: The Movie Review:

Okay so my love for manga and anime is fairly fanatical so if you are reading this and it feels like I am speaking an entirely different language, I apologise. I also apologise if this turns into something as long as War & Peace, I will try to curb my thoughts to a readable length, but I will be honest I have been like a kid counting down to Christmas ever since I heard that the Jujutsu Kaisen O was being released on the screen.

I thought I was a lucky puppy when it was first announced that this legendary manga series was becoming an anime serious but back then I could only dream that one day these characters that I love would make it to a big cinema screen. Of course with that much excitement building inside me there was also a pretty good chance that I was going to be disappointed at the result… luckily I wasn’t.

For those that are unaware of Jujutsu Kaisen it is a super-natural series that centres around a world where every living being has an energy called Cursed Energy. It is sent out into the world whenever somebody has negative emotions and this fuels Curses – supernatural beings that are determined to bring pain, misery and death to others. To combat Curses you have people known as Jujutsu Sorcerers that have their own special abilities to defeat them.

In Jujutsu Kaisen O your main Jujutsu Sorcerers are the angry young Maki Zenin (voiced by Marina Inoue Attack On Titan), Toge Inumaki (Koki Uchiyama – Tower Of God) who can only converse using food names and an actual reanimated Panda named Panda (Tomokazu Seki Angelic Layer).

They are training under the watchful eye of their enigmatic sensei Satoru Gojo (Yuichi Nakamura – My Hero Academia) at a special school for Jujutsu Sorcerers. Their tight friendship group is challenged though when Gojo brings a new student to the school – a loner student named Yuta Okkotsu (Megumi Ogata – Neon Genesis Evangelion) who was responsible for the death of the kids that bullied him at his last school.

Gojo brings Yuta to the school to not only train him but to get to the bottom of the curse, Rika (Kana Hanazawa – Tokyo Ghoul) that has attached itself to him.

Now you are probably thinking that there is no way that you could go and understand this film if you haven’t read the manga or seen the anime series. But don’t fear, see I did a little experiment and took along a friend who didn’t even know what Jujutsu Kaisen was and he loved the film.

I found the reason why Jujustu Kaisen 0 is so accessible to new fans is because it is prequel to the orginal series. Director Seong-Hu Park (The God Of High School) and first-time feature film screenwriter Gege Akutami make sure that this film is told through the eyes of Yuta. He is new to this world and because of that the explanations given to him of what is going in is also a great introduction for any muggles in the audience. Likewise the fact that they give us an insight with Yuta’s inner thoughts sometimes spoken allowed often mirrors what the audience are thinking as well… especially when it comes to the erratic behaviour of Gojo.

Having said that though I do need to stress that if you are a fan of the series or the books you will get a lot of ‘special’ moments out of the film. Characters turn up at times that will certainly having you gasping or oohhhing in your seat and I found that there are just enough new characters and old favourites to keep everybody happy.

Plot-wise this film is sensational, it captures the magic of the manga and the series remarkably well and you can’t help but find yourself becoming emotionally attached to the characters on the screen despite the fact they are animated. This is a story that will take you through an emotional-wringer though, you will feel the sadness of the characters at times and then sometimes you will find yourself laughing especially at Panda’s lines when he realises that perhaps a romance maybe developing between two characters.

The super-natural element is also shown well on screen and I have to credit the team for being able to juggle a major battle that is having in three different locations without ever losing their audience… sometimes even Marvel struggles with that.

The power of this film though is the characterisation. I’m sure everyone will sympathize with Yutan and some of the characters here are so well created that you can’t help but find yourself feeling for them even if they are doing the wrong thing at the time.

Jujutsi Kaisen 0 is one the best action driven animes that we have seen on the big screen for quite awhile. With strong visuals and a deeply emotional and moving screenplay this ticks all the boxes for both long-time fans of the series and those exploring it for the first time. And if you are still not sure if this is something you will like or not I will close with this – if you love Harry Potter and X-Men then you NEED to go and see this!

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Jujutsu Kaisen O: The Movie Reviews:

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Trailer:

Filmmaker Allison Brownmoore chats to Subculture about her brand new award winning short film The Amazing Adventures Of Awesome.

Allison chats to Subculture about how the film was inspired by her autistic son and how it can be used as a tool for those that want to better understand autism.

You can listen to the full interview below:

Summary:  The untold story of one twelve-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  16th June 2022 (Australia), 30th June 2022 (Thailand), 1st July 2022 (UK), 1st July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, Jonathan del Val

Screenwriter: Brian Lynch, Matthew Fogel

Cast: Julie Andrews (Marlena Gru (voice)), Alan Arkin (Wild Knuckles (voice)), Russell Brand (Dr. Nefario (voice)), Steve Carell (Gru (voice)), Pierre Coffin (Kevin/Stuart/Bob/Minions (voice)), Taraji P. Henson (Belle Bottom (voice)), Lucy Lawless (Nunchuk (voice)), Dolph Lundgren (Svengeance (voice)), RZA (Biker (voice)), Danny Trejo (Stronghold (voice)), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Jean Clawed (voice)), Michelle Yeoh (Master Chow (voice))

Running Time: 87 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), TBC (Thailand), U (UK), PG (USA)

OUR MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Minions: The Rise Of Gru Review:

Chances are if you are a parent you have heard the Minions – those cute yellow little creatures that rarely  say things that the average human can understandable  – except of course unless that word is “BANANAS!!!”

It is hard to believe that these cute little guys have been in our lives for 12 years now. Of course they first appeared in Despicable Me way back 2010 and since then have appeared in two more Despicable Me films as well as their own spin-off feature film and a number of shorts. The one thing that cinema audiences have always been guaranteed across all of those films is that they would be funny and entertaining for the whole family.

Now the Minions and their criminal over-lord Gru (Steve Carrell – The 40-Year Old Virgin) return in Minions: The Rise Of Gru. This time around directors Kyle Balda (The Lorax), Brad Ableson (Minions: Holiday Special) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life Of Pets 2) take fans of the franchise right back to the beginning to show how Gru and his team of Minions not only first met but how their journey towards world domination started.

The film goes back to a pre-teen Gru that idolises a group of super-villains led by the notorious Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures) and hopes to become a villain himself one day. His dreams seem to be coming true when a vacancy opens up within The Vicious 6 and Gru is selected for a job interview with them. However at the interview he learns that the vacancy has been because of the disappearance of his favourite member, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin – Argo). Not only that but Belle Bottom and the remaining super-villains laugh at him for being a child.

Determined to prove that he is a villain Gru steals a valuable, ancient Chinese artefact while the villains are distracted. His plan is to take it back in a few days to show his worth to Belle Bottom however that plan fails when one of the over-zealous Minions loses the artefact which means once the group hunt down Gru is life is at risk. Soon the Minions find themselves on a journey to not only find the stone but to save Gru’s life.

Just like the other films that have built up the Minions’ world the first thing that hits you with this film is just how much fun it is. The screenwriting team, made up of Brian Lynch (Puss In Boots) and Matthew Fogel (The Lego Movie 2), has made sure that this is the perfect family film as it is the type of film that will appeal to both parents and children alike.

The key to that working is the fact that not only is the film set in the 1970s but it contains the same kind of humour and storyline that generations of animation fans have enjoyed. While many modern day animated films try to be too modern Minions: The Rise Of Gru uses all of the same tropes of old-school cartoons like The Smurfs, The Jetsons and The Flintstones. Just like those cartoons this film uses all the elements of comedy to get a laugh – from witty one liners right through to outrageously funny slapstick.

Likewise it doesn’t do anything too fancy with the plot. This is a genuine old-school good versus evil storyline. The difference being of course that Gru despite being the audience’s hero is also kind of evil. Remarkably even that element of the film works exceptionally well and true fans of the franchise will also notice that so many jigsaw pieces from right across the series fall into place with this film. From Gru first meeting Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand – Arthur) through to Gru first hiring the Minions it is all revealed and explained this time around.

The other thing that makes Minions: The Rise Of Gru so special to watch is that the all the adventures that Gru and the Minions have together in this film are made special by the fact that the characters around them are voiced by an avalanche of stars that include Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michelle Yeoh, Dolph Lundgren, Lucy Lawless, Danny Trejo, RZA and Julie Andrews, in fact keep an ear out for Yeoh’s character because Master Chow absolutely steals the show.

If you are looking for the perfect film for the entire family then go no further than Minions: The Rise Of Gru. This is a very special animated film that will be lapped up by fans of the franchise and is an absolute must see.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Jacqui Hammerton and Peter Krausz’s Minions: The Rise Of Gru Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Jacqui’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Minions: Rise Of Gru Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary:  While spending years attempting to return home, marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear encounters an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg who are attempting to steal his fuel source.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  16th June 2022 (Australia), 16th June 2022 (Thailand), 17th June 2022 (UK), 17th June 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Angus MacLane

Screenwriter: Jason Headley, Angus MacLane

Cast: Uzo Aduba (Alisha Hawthorne (voice)), James Brolin (Zurg (voice)), Chris Evans (Buzz Lightyear (voice)), Bill Hader (Featheringhamstan (voice)), Keira Hairston (Young Izzy), Angus MacLane (ERIC/DERIC & Zyclops (voice)), Mary McDonald-Lewis (I.V.A.N. (voice)), Keke Palmer (Izzy Hawthorne (voice)), Efren Ramirez (Airman Diaz (voice)), Peter Sohn (SOX (voice)), Dale Soules (Darby Steel (voice)), Taika Waititi (Mo Morrison (voice)), Isiah Whitlock (Commander Burnside (voice))

Running Time: 100 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), G (Thailand), PG (UK), PG (USA)

OUR LIGHTYEAR REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Lightyear Review:

Lightyear is perhaps the origin story that you never knew you needed. When you consider that the now famous Buzz Lightyear was in fact one of the original toys in the Toy Story you would have to wonder how Disney and Pixar could make an origins story for him. But as the class saying goes where there is a will there is a way and the result has been Lightyear a film that this week we have learnt has become one of the most controversial films of 2022.

Directed and written by Angus MacLane (Finding Dory) Lightyear is supposedly the film that Andy, the main character from Toy Story, had just watched way back in 1995 when he asked his mother to buy the Buzz Lightyear toy for him.

That film’s story finds Buzz (voiced by Chris Evans – The Avengers) proudly working as a Space Ranger alongside his partner Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba – Mrs. America) as they investigate a recently discovered planet. However, when they find themselves being attacked and then crash-land as they try to escape themselves and their crew find themselves stranded.

In the years that follow Alisha tries to build a civilisation on the planet while Buzz tries to experiment with a number of ways to leave the planet. That eventually leads to him having to lead a rag-tag group of ‘space rangers’, that includes the brave but unsure Izzy Hawthorne (Keke Palmer – Hustlers), the criminally minded Darby Steel (Dale Soules – The Messenger), the nervous and out of his depth Mo Morrison (Taika Waititi – JoJo Rabbit) and a robot cat called SOX (Peter Sohn – Monsters University) in a bid to protect the planet from a ruthless invader named Zurg (James Brolin – Traffic).

Lightyear is kind of a strange film. It seems like it should be a film for children but a lot of the storyline and themes seem like it has taken a leaf out of the Anime playbook and is aimed for an older audience. There is of course the same sex kiss between Alisha and her partner but even that aside the dialogue between the characters seems to be aimed at an older audience while the time travel element of the film will go right over the head of most younger audience members.

In fact to be honest the whole time travel story that pops up three-quarters of the way into the film seems very redundant. First of all it is the simplicity of the first half of the movie that makes it warm to its audience and the time travel twist not only completely ruins that but it falls on its own face and makes no sense when you really think about it. It actually leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth of its audience which is a bit of shame because the first half of the film is a sweet delight.

The film actually works better when it is a simple fight for survival by the main characters. Buzz and the team that surrounds him and all likable, okay SOX actually steals the show and is a merchandise dream, and as an audience you not only find yourself rooting for them – you actually do like them. Each character has their own traits that make them feel special and McLane and Jason Headey’s (Onward) screenplay allows for some witty dialogue that provides laughs amongst the action ensuring that the first half of the film is a pleasurable experience.

The film is so intriguing at times that you are willing to overlook that even though the film was supposed to have been made in 1995 its animation looks nothing like the cartoons of the 90s but it is virtually impossible to overlook the poor plot turn as it becomes a time travel movie with a story that makes no sense. The best way to go into this film is to expect a finale that is going to be a bit of a fizzer.

Lightyear is well worth a glance if you a big fan of the Toy Story franchise but you do quickly realise that it could have been a lot better. The fact that the first part of the film is so much fun and action packed makes you wonder why the creative team went in a whole different direction for the later parts. It ends up being an okay film with a really disappointing finale.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Jacqui Hammerton and Peter Krausz’s Lightyear Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Jacqui’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Lightyear Reviews:

You can read our review of Lightyear that appeared in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/lightyear-a-real-buzz-for-fans-84606.php

Trailer:

This spring, everyone’s favorite leche-loving, swashbuckling, fear-defying feline returns.

For the first time in more than a decade, DreamWorks Animation presents a new adventure in the Shrek universe as daring outlaw Puss in Boots discovers that his passion for peril and disregard for safety have taken their toll. Puss has burned through eight of his nine lives, though he lost count along the way. Getting those lives back will send Puss in Boots on his grandest quest yet.

Academy Award® nominee Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of the notorious PiB as he embarks on an epic journey into the Black Forest to find the mythical Wishing Star and restore his lost lives. But with only one life left, Puss will have to humble himself and ask for help from his former partner and nemesis: the captivating Kitty Soft Paws (Oscar® nominee Salma Hayek).

In their quest, Puss and Kitty will be aided—against their better judgment—by a ratty, chatty, relentlessly cheerful mutt, Perro (Harvey Guillén, What We Do in the Shadows). Together, our trio of heroes will have to stay one step ahead of Goldilocks (Oscar® nominee Florence Pugh, Black Widow) and the Three Bears Crime Family, “Big” Jack Horner (Emmy winner John Mulaney, Big Mouth) and terrifying bounty hunter, The Big Bad Wolf (Wagner Moura, Narcos).

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish features an all-star comedic cast that includes Oscar® winner Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone (Black Widow), Samson Kayo (Sliced), Emmy nominee Anthony Mendez (Jane the Virgin) and Tony nominee Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Trolls World Tour).

The long-awaited follow-up to the 2011 Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster, The Last Wish is directed by Joel Crawford and produced by Mark Swift, the creative team behind DreamWorks Animation’s smash, The Croods: A New Age. The film’s executive producer is Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri.

The character of Puss in Boots first appeared in 2004’s Oscar®-nominated Shrek 2 and instantly became a global, scene-stealing sensation. Puss then co-starred in two other Shrek sequels and his solo film, as well as in multiple DreamWorks Animation videos and TV series. The Shrek and Puss in Boots films have collectively earned more than $3.5 billion worldwide.

Today, Disney+ announced that the latest Marvel Studios addition to their exciting summer lineup, “I Am Groot,” will launch on August 10. “I Am Groot” is a collection of five original shorts starring Baby Groot, everyone’s favorite little tree, and will feature several new and unusual characters. All five shorts will be available for viewers to watch upon launch. 
 
There’s no guarding the galaxy from this mischievous toddler! So get ready as Baby Groot takes center stage in his very owns series, exploring his glory days growing up—and getting into trouble—among the stars.
 
Vin Diesel, who is the voice of Groot in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, voices Baby Groot. The writer/director is Kirsten Lepore, and the executive producers are Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum and James Gunn.

He has voiced characters in and acted as a director for some of the biggest anime franchises in history. This week Mike McFarland joined us on Subculture to not only chat about his brilliant career but also about Oz Comic Con 2022.

Make sure you grab your tickets from the Oz Comic Con website right now and we’ll see you there, but for now sit back and enjoy our interview with Mike.

This June, from the biggest animated franchise in history and global cultural phenomenon, comes the untold story of one 12-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain, in Minions: The Rise of Gru.

In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar nominee Steve Carell) is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions.

When the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar winner Alan Arkin), Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn’t go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

Teeming with Illumination’s signature subversive humour, pop-culture sophistication, full-hearted emotion, bold music sensibility, and over-the-top action, Minions: The Rise of Gru features a thrilling new cast of stars, including, as members of the Vicious 6, Taraji P. Henson as cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, Dolph Lundgren as Svengeance and Danny Trejo as Stronghold. The film also features Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, an aspiring mad scientist, Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad Kung Fu skills, and Oscar winner Julie Andrews as Gru’s maddeningly self-absorbed mom.

Steered by the franchise’s original creators, Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by visionary Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda (Despicable Me 3Minions), co-directed by Brad Ableson (The Simpsons) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets films), and features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a killer ʼ70s soundtrack courtesy of legendary Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.

The global celebration of Disney+ Day will return on Thursday, September 8, 2022, leading into D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event presented by Visa in Anaheim, CA. In celebration, the streaming service will host special experiences for fans and subscribers, and will premiere new content from its marquee brands, including the return of the beloved Disney franchise in the all-new live action “Pinocchio” on Disney+ Day, September 8. The teaser trailer and key art for the film, starring Tom Hanks, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Cynthia Erivo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keegan-Michael Key, Lorraine Bracco and Luke Evans, are available now. In addition to “Pinocchio,” Disney+ will announce more Disney+ Day premieres from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic in the coming months. 
 
Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live action retelling of the beloved tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy. Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto, the wood carver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his own son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”; Academy Award® nominee Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John; Academy Award® nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans is The Coachman. Also in the cast are Kyanne Lamaya as Fabiana (and her marionette Sabina), Giuseppe Battiston as Señor Stromboli and Lewin Lloyd as Lampwick.  
 
Robert Zemeckis, Derek Hogue, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz are the film’s producers, with Jackie Levine, Jack Rapke, Alexandra Derbyshire and Jeremy Johns the executive producers.