SciFi Japan
    Production Notes for DreamWorks` Remake of the Korean Horror Hit Source: DreamWorks Pictures Official Site: Exactly one year ago today, SciFi Japan ran an article on DreamWorks Pictures` TALE OF TWO SISTERS, a remake of the 2003 Korean film A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (Janghwa, Hongryeon). The original version, written and directed by Kim Jee-woon (THE QUIET FAMILY), was a critical and box office hit, becoming the most successful horror film in Korean movie history. DreamWorks` plans for an English language remake were first announced in June 2006, and the new TALE OF TWO SISTERS (studio press materials dropped the “A” from the English title) was scheduled for a 2008 theatrical launch in America. The release was eventually pushed back to January 30, 2009 and the film has been renamed THE UNINVITED. The new title may cause some confusion because another Korean

    Online Media Distribution Leader to Stream North American Premiere of Japanese Live-Action Detective Franchise Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions press release, Dream Kid, Inc., various Official Site: Special Thanks to Chase Wang There have been many mystery heroes throughout its times. To name a few: Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Philip Marlowe. They are legends. Now from Japan come new heroes at ‘D’etective ‘O’ffice ‘5’. Located in the gritty underbelly of Tokyo’s neighboring Kawasaki City. DO5 has a rich 60-year history of crime solving and is the headquarters where 100 detectives are employed. They don’t go by names. Each is identified by a personal code: A 3-digit number beginning with the number 5: 500 to 599. They combine their unique skills with ‘7 tools of the trade’ to solve impossible crimes. Crunchyroll of San Francisco, CA and Dream Kid, Inc. of

    The Creators of ALWAYS -SUNSET ON THIRD STREET Bring Japan’s Favorite Supervillain to Movie Screens Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network) Official Movie Site: K-20 Production Notes translated by Jason Gray Special Thanks to Asuka Kimura and Tzeling Huang A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE No one has ever seen his face… He could be anyone… Editor`s Note: Last month I visited the American Film Market 2008 in Santa Monica, CA to see some of the latest films from Japan. Among the screenings I attended was the world premiere of K-20: LEGEND OF THE MASK (K-20: Kaijin Niju-Menso Den), a great action adventure film set in an alternate reality version of 1949 Tokyo. The film was produced by Nippon Television Network (NTV), Robot Communications, and Toho, and stars Asian superstar Takeshi Kaneshiro (RETURNER, RED CLIFF) as a circus acrobat who is framed by a mysterious Batman/Shadow-like villain. Toho

    Movie to Commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Tezuka`s Birth Author: Keith Aiken Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network), Vertical, Inc. Official Site: SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a movie scheduled for release in 2009. 16 years ago, a horrifying incident occurred on Okino Mafune Island, part of the southern archipelago near Okinawa. A top secret chemical weapon called MW accidentally leaked from a storage facility at a foreign military base on Okino Mafune, wiping out the inhabitants of the island. Fearing an international scandal, authorities immediately moved in to cover up the event. Overnight, the truth was buried and everything was supposedly blown over by the thorough concealment efforts. However, there were two boys on Okino Mafune who happened to survive by a twist of fate… Michio Yuki survived exposure to the poison gas, but the potent nerve

    SAW Meets BATTLE ROYALE in Korean Box Office Hit Author: Kim Song-ho (Loomis) and Keith Aiken Source: Mirovision Inc., Official DEATH BELL Press Kit, American Film Market, various Official Website (Korea): Gosa2008 170 days before college entrance exams, the twenty top students at a high school meet for a special Saturday exam cram session. Midway through class, the students are interrupted by Beethoven`s piano solo "Für Elise" playing over the school p.a. system. The picture on the classroom TV switches to reveal the top ranked student, Hye-yeong, trapped in a tank that is filling with water. As the water level rises and the girl screams and struggles to breathe, an unidentified voice comes over the loudspeaker and asks a question from the mid-term exam. If the students answer incorrectly the girl will lose her life. And for each additional wrong answer, another student from the class

    Special One-Night-Only Presentation of Supernatural Crime Thriller to Delight Canadian Fans Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Official Movie Site: Death Note Films Special Thanks to Manami Iiboshi and Erik Jansen VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced an exciting one-night only theatrical event – DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME – showing at select Cineplex Entertainment and Empire Theatres locations across Canada on Wednesday, December 3rd. Advance tickets are now on sale. For more information, screening times, advance tickets and a complete list of participating theatres go to,, or VIZ Media’s SHONEN JUMP magazine will lend additional support with a promo ad in the December 2008 issue, which hit stores on November 4th. Earlier this year, VIZ Pictures partnered with Cineplex Entertainment and Empire Theatres to present the first

    K-20, MONSTER X STRIKES BACK, 20TH CENTURY BOYS, IKIGAMI, GOD`S PUZZLE and more screened in California Author: Keith Aiken Source: AFM, Shochiku Co., Ltd., NTV, Gold View Co., Ltd., TBS, Toei Co., Ltd. Since 1981, the Independent Film and Television Alliance has hosted an annual motion picture trade show in Santa Monica, CA called the American Film Market (AFM). The 29th American Film Market started on November 5 and concludes November 12. The event has drawn more than 400 motion picture companies and over 8,000 acquisition and development execs, producers, distributors, agents, attorneys, buyers, and film financiers from around the globe. For the past eight days, all 23 theater screens on and surrounding Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade have been used for more than 900 screenings of 513 different films, including 102 world premieres. Titles shown at AFM range from high budget releases

    Source: Ernest Farino, Archive Editions LLC Special Thanks to Loren Portillo Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks Volume 2: The American Films by Mike Hankin Foreword by Jim Danforth (WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH, JACK THE GIANT KILLER, THE 7 FACES OF DR. LAO) Written and produced over the past 10 years with Ray Harryhausen`s cooperation and support, the complete 3-volume definitive 295,000-word career/biography features interviews with Ray and his colleagues and is profusely illustrated with several hundred rare photographs, artwork, and illustrations (many of which have never been previously published). Volume 2, focusing on Harryhausen`s break into feature films, has been released first and went on sale September 14. In-depth chapters cover MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, THE ANIMAL WORLD, EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS, 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH and THE 7TH VOYAGE OF

    Live Action Film Directed by AKIRA`s Katsuhiro Otomo Source: Barbican Centre Special Thanks to Laura Bushell, Sarah Harvey Publicity JAPANIMATION: MUSHISHI Tuesday 28 October The third season of Japanimation returns with the latest live action movie by Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of the manga and anime movie classic AKIRA. MUSHISHI is based on the manga that inspired Revelation Films` current hit anime series of the same name. The manga, created by Yuki Urushibara and serialized in Kodansha`s Afternoon magazine from 1999-2008, has sold over 3 million copies. In 2006, it was nominated for the Kodansha Manga Award. The MUSHISHI film stars Joe Odagiri (SAD VACATION), Nao Omori (MIDNIGHT EAGLE), Makiko Esumi (PISTOL OPERA), Yu Aoi (HULA GIRLS), and Reisen Lee. The movie had its world premiere at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, and in January of 2007, MUSHISHI (under its alternate English title BUGMASTER)

    Hit Japanese Film to Play in 400 US Theaters Source: VIZ Media Official Movie Site (Japan): Death-Note-Movie Official Movie Site (US): Death Note Films VIZ Pictures and NCM FATHOM present a special two-night, multi-city event — DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME at nearly 400 theatres across the United States on October 15 and 16 at 7:30pm local time. The theatre event will also feature an exclusive behind-the-scenes look about the creation of this breakthrough live-action event, an in-depth interview with director Shusuke Kaneko, who also directed DEATH NOTE, and a unique profile of the cast. For complete details on the DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME U.S. Theatrical Event, please see the earlier report on SciFi Japan. DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME Directed by SHUSUKE KANEKO Based on the best-selling Japanese Comic by TSUGUMI OOBA and TAKESHI OBATA Starring:

    Music And Pop Culture Retailer To Offer Tickets To Attend Big Screen Premiere Source: VIZ Media press release Official Movie Site: Death Note Films VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced that it will again partner with music and pop culture retailer Hot Topic Inc. to promote the North American premiere of the live-action film DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME. VIZ Pictures has partnered with NCM FATHOM, the entertainment division of National CineMedia, to present DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME for a special two-night, multi-city event at approximately 400 theatres across the United States on October 15th and 16th. Tickets, prices and participating theatre locations are available at presenting theatre box offices and at (theatres are subject to change). As part of a special promotion, customers who purchase a DEATH NOTE t-shirt or

    Who Will See the DEATH NOTE Movies for Free, Courtesy of VIZ Pictures and SciFi Japan? Source: VIZ Media Official Movie Site: Death Note Films Special Thanks to Manami Iiboshi Thank you to everyone who entered VIZ Pictures and SciFi Japan`s contest for free passes to see DEATH NOTE and DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME. Winners for last night`s Canadian screening of DEATH NOTE were notified by VIZ last week. As for DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME, the film will be shown at nearly 400 theaters across the United States on October 15 and 16 at 7:30pm local time. The following randomly drawn entrants correctly answered all contest questions: Christopher Conner Laila Longer Daisy Evans Connor Chang Eric Dent Congratulations to the winners! Each of you has won a ticket for DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME at your selected theater. VIZ Pictures will

    A Missed Opportunity: Where No Man Has STILL NOT Gone Before Author: Michael Kure Source: TOKYOPOP As a kid, I grew up collecting the usual Marvel and DC comic books. My selections in the titles I bought were driven primarily by the art, though I did have a special fondness for Spider-Man. Thanks to a tip from a friend, I discovered a back issue of a Japanese comic book called Shonen Jump which featured a manga version of Spider-Man with art by Ryoichi Ikegami. This phone book-sized comic broke my manga virginity, and though I could not read a word of Japanese, I was hooked. Sure, I had seen a few sample illustrations from other manga such as Cyborg 009 and Astro-Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu) with their big-eye style of art, which I admittedly sneered at and deemed not worth my time. But here before me in

    See DEATH NOTE or DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME for Free, Courtesy of VIZ Pictures and SciFi Japan Source: VIZ Media Official Movie Site: Death Note Films Special Thanks to Manami Iiboshi This past May, VIZ Pictures and National Cinemedia presented a special two night, multi-city US theatrical event for the live-action DEATH NOTE feature film, based on the wildly successful manga and animated series. The movie was screened at over 300 theaters across the country, with many reporting sold-out shows. VIZ is now following up on those first successful DEATH NOTE screenings with two more theater events. First up is the Canadian theatrical debut of DEATH NOTE. The film will screen as a special event in approximately 60 Cineplex Entertainment and Empire Theatres locations across Canada on Monday, September 15 at 9:00pm local time. Ticket price is $10.00 Canadian. This special

    Film to be Digitally Screened in Nearly 400 Theaters on October 15 and 16 Source: VIZ Media Official Movie Site (Japan): Death-Note-Movie Official Movie Site (US): Death Note Films VIZ PICTURES AND NCM FATHOM PARTNER TO BRING LIVE-ACTION DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME EVENT TO THE BIG SCREEN Early Online Ticket Purchase for SHONEN Jump Newsletter Subscribers Begins August 29th for Unique Event in Nearly 400 Select Theatres Nationwide VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced that it will again team with NCM FATHOM, the entertainment division of National CineMedia, to present a special two-night, multi-city event — DEATH NOTE II: THE LAST NAME at nearly 400 theatres across the United States on October 15 and 16 at 7:30pm local time. Advance ticket online purchase opens exclusively to SHONEN JUMP Newsletter

    All-Star Korean Cast Teams with US FX Crew for Large Scale Disaster Movie Source: Polygon Entertainment official press release, official Korean press release Translations and Additional Material: Kim Song-ho (Loomis) On August 18, 2008, Doosaboo Film, Inc. began principal photography on the motion picture HAEUNDAE at the beaches of Busan, South Korea. In the upcoming film— billed as “South Korea’s first big-budget disaster movie"— Haeundae Beach and the surrounding district will be utterly destroyed by a tsunami. Besides serving as the name of the movie, Haeundae is one of the most popular beaches in Korea; on any given day one can find more than 100,000 tourists packed on its narrow one-mile strip of sand. The beach is also home to Korea’s world-famous Pusan International Film Festival. HAEUNDAE is being directed by Youn Je-Kyoun, CEO of Doosaboo Film. Born in Busan in 1969, Youn is a popular

    Live Action Film Based on the Popular Manga Series Comes to America Source: VIZ Media Japanese Movie Website: US Movie Website: Viz Pictures: HAPPILY EVER AFTER VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced a series of special theatrical screenings of HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Jigyaku no Uta), a live-action comedy directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi (MEMORIES OF TOMORROW) and based on a popular manga series by Yoshiie Gouda. The manga was first published in 1996 and has sold more than 300,000 copies. HAPPILY EVER AFTER will screen in Seattle, WA August 15-21 at the Grand Illusion Cinema, followed by Scottsdale, AZ for a showing on October 4th at the Scottsdale International Film Festival, and then onto Pittsburgh, PA for a screening on October 10th at the 2008 Japanese Film Festival at the University of Pittsburgh. VIZ Pictures

    Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions Special Thanks to Chase Wang The online media distribution company Crunchyroll has signed licensing deals with the New York-based anime and live action DVD distributor Media Blasters, the Japanese media company GDH K.K., and the anime producer-distributor ADV Films to provide streaming, subscription, and download-to-own viewing for a number of animated series and feature film properties. These new offerings will begin appearing online later this month at MEDIA BLASTERS The selection from Media Blasters includes fan favorite anime titles such as GIRL’S HIGH (eps. 1-12) and RAMEN FIGHTER MIKI (eps. 1-12) both of which will be available via streaming, subscription and with a download-to-own option of $1.99 per episode. The long-awaited anime epic KITE LIBERATOR (download-to-own $5.99) and live action original feature productions such as FLESH FOR THE BEAST (download-to-own $9.95), SHADOW: DEAD RIOT (download-to-own $9.95) and MACHINE

    Korean and American Filmmakers Partner for New Monster Movie Author: Kim Song-ho (Loomis) Source: Polygon Entertainment official press release, Cine 21, official Korean press releases, Donga Ilbo, imdb Polygon Entertainment and Soo Jack Films have wrapped up principal photography for Shin Jeong-won`s forthcoming action adventure/thriller CHAW. Polygon Entertainment is providing production, post-production, and visual effects services for CHAW, which is produced by Soo Jack Films and stars Eom Tae-woong and Jeong Yu-mi. It is the story of a small village in South Korea being terrorized by Chaw, a massive, man-eating, mutant wild boar. Synopsis Mysterious, gruesome deaths plague Sammae-ri, a peaceful little village in the Jirisan National Park of South Korea. Among the victims is the granddaughter of Cheon Il-man (Jang Hang-seon), a native of Sammae-ri and a professional hunter. Police cannot find any clues and there is no progress in the investigation. Then

    It’s All or Nothing in the Updated Kamen Rider Adventure! Author: Bob Johnson Official Website: Masked Rider The Next After successfully adapting the original Kamen Rider for older audiences with 2005’s MASKED RIDER THE FIRST (Kamen Raidaa Za Faasuto), Toei followed up with the next saga in the story of Kamen Rider, bringing Kamen Rider V3 into the mix with MASKED RIDER THE NEXT (Kamen Raidaa Za Nekusuto, 2007). In this one, Chiharu Kazami (Erika Mori) is a Japanese pop-idol, but with a difference… her newest song is cursed! Anyone who listens to it dies shortly after. In a twisted take on today’s disposable pop stars, Shocker is behind the scheme, using plastic surgery and cyborg science to turn out Chiharu after Chiharu as each one burns out. However, the original Chiharu (or is it the ghost of the original?) has other plans. Now wait a minute…

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