Credit: Netflix

First impressions are important. With our limited time, it can determine whether if we watch a show or move on to another one we’re more interested in. So when a show like “Beastars” comes along having a male canine protagonist courting a female bunny deuteragonist, when it explores the similar matter of prejudice, and when it even has a lion as a mayor as well… it inevitably draws comparisons. It makes one question its novelty, and whether if it’s really worth the time to watch something presumably inspired by an American cartoon (as opposed to presenting its own unique story)…

Trigger warning due to mentions of sexual assault, but I won’t be going into explicit details.

Credit: MAPPA

I’ve been ignoring everyone
I’ve been wandering around
I’ve been deceived everything
At that time
Then you appeared in front of me
Ignited my pale heart
We’ve been looking for each other from now on
Save you
- Opening lyrics to Banana Fish’s second opening theme, “Freedom” by BLUE ENCOUNT

The above lyrics pretty much sums up what Banana Fish is about: a traumatized kid meeting someone that heals his heart with love, thus leading the two of them on a quest to protect…

Credit: Fox

Think back to the fall of ’97. The X-Files was at the top of its game. A serial that changed the face of television forever, bringing TV sci-fi drama to new heights. A movie was even coming up due to its success and most of its production was completed. Things couldn’t have been better for the peak of the series. Right?

Back in season 4, when the X-Files movie, “Fight the Future” was being written and filmed, there was a lot of scheduling conflicts that have occurred for both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Furthermore, Chris Carter was torn between…

Credit: Tezuka Productions

From an anime fan’s standpoint, Osamu Tezuka is a fascinating subject of study. Even though I haven’t read or seen most of his works, his name and what he has done for the anime industry evoke admiration from me in the same way names like Francis Coppola and Stanley Kubrick would fascinate a lover of American cinema.

Today, Tezuka is widely known as the “father of modern anime,” the creator of (supposedly) the second anime ever created titled Astro Boy (though there has been evidence to prove that much earlier anime have existed), and last but not least, the “Walt…

Credit: Fox

A few weeks back, while attempting to watch The X-Files season 5, I found out that there was a crossover episode in season 7 between X-Files and another show Chris Carter had created, Millennium. Being the OCD that I am, I was forced to abandon my viewing of X-Files for the moment and catch up with this intriguing series about a criminal investigator, Frank Black (played by the magnificent Lance Henriksen), who could see into criminal minds. But it was more than that that got me into watching, as I’m extremely picky about the shows I watch. I also saw…

I really respect Stan. After all, he (and Steve Ditko) created my favorite superhero of all time, The Amazing Spider-Man.

But here's the thing about the existence of “educational value” (and I hate having to say this): 1 is a value, but 10 is a greater value than 1. "It's impossible to write a story without a message," yes... but "family is important" is a message that's repeated all too often throughout cinema. You don't need nine Fast & Furious films to repeat the same message.

That's the thing Scorsese was pointing out. It wasn't that entertainment has no message; it's that they repeat the same message audiences are familiar with. There's comfort in familiarity. It doesn't challenge, it doesn't provoke. Unlike art. Scorsese seeks a value greater than “1.”

Some time around the late 2000s, Pixar Animation Studios ceased to be the “can’t do no wrong” auteurs that produced thought-provoking hits after hits. Somewhere along the line, it lost its soul and was reduced to being just another movie studio. And so, the world watched as we awaited the day when Pixar returns to form. Perhaps it’s due to this vigilance that imbues in us an extra layer of stringency in our criticisms.

Ironically, the protagonist of Soul, Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), is very much like Pixar studios. He recognizes the craft, he knows it like the back of…

Still a little distracted in my life at the moment to be writing articles on a consistent schedule, but I wanted to talk a little more about Martin Scorsese’s statement and why superhero fiction can become an essential cornerstone of cinema.

For now though, I’ll just let Kevin Smith do the talking. He’s known for his fantastic speeches and podcasts on superhero movies and he’s a huge comic book fan himself too.

“My feeling is, Martin Scorsese never sat in a movie theater with his dad and watched the movies of Steven Spielberg in the early ’80s or George…

In an interview to Empire magazine last year, filmmaker Martin Scorsese made the remark that superhero movies aren’t cinema, that they are more comparable to theme park rides. To be fair, the statement has been blown out of proportions to some extent, but having grown up in the era of superheroes, I guess I’ve acquired a much different perspective that leads me to utterly disagree with his sentiments.

And here’s the thing: I’m not just a superhero fan, I’m also a cinephile. I remember that as a kid, two of my biggest idols were fellow filmmakers Steve Spielberg and James…

I didn’t like The Godfather. Or at least, not the first time I watched it, and not even the second time just a decade ago when I gave it another shot. I remember that when I expressed my sentiments about my lack of interest and enthusiasm towards one of the most acclaimed cinematic masterpieces of all time on a film forum called “Filmspotting”, one member told me that he loved it because it has this larger than life quality, with the Corleone legacy playing out like powerful empires of the middle ages ruled by almighty kings. And looking back now…

Tang Wee-Boon

Wee-Boon is a 31 years old Singaporean Chinese with a fondness for quality storytelling. He majored in scriptwriting and has experience in video production.

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