Fantasia 2013 Recap

(Missing from this picture: Lesson of the Evil, The Grand Heist)

Another awesome lineup this year, and I think I've only seen the best!  Here they are, more-or-less in order of preference.

Let's start with the bottom movies.  Still very good, but in that company, some have to find themselves on the bottom.  I would have to place Black Out and Secretly Greatly at the bottom.  The former was a confusing crime/amnesia thriller that was good but didn't leave me much of a lasting impression.  Secretly Greatly was a bit too long for its own good.  Again, these movies only pale because of the company they're keeping on this list.

After School Midnighters was a weird kids' movie.  Completely crazy and nonsensical.  But with musical numbers.  So it balanced itself out, I guess?

Commando was great, but it was no Singham.  Lack of moustache, belt whipping and face-palming attack didn't stop the main character from being one of those ultimate badass, though.

I'll give it my all...tomorrow was an excellent albeit the most depressing movie I've seen this year.  As someone who sees his own midlife crisis coming (unless I'm already deep in it) I can see this movie as a warning, an example not to follow.  Sweet and brutal, with a sort of anti-lesson endgame that left me a bit bitter about the protagonist.

Big Ass Spider! was certainly one of the better low-budget monster movies I've seen.  No doubt due to the chemistry between the hero and his security guard sidekick.

Just remembered I skipped over Gatchaman.  Gatchaman was good because it reminded me of watching the cartoon version of it (Battle of the Planets/La Force G) when I was young.  It was spectacular in SFX but had a few annoying continuity error.

I was expecting a lot less from Bounty Killer, but you can definitely feel the passion covering up the low budget in this.  Stylized, anti-corporation, violent, and overall awesome.

Saving General Yang was a great Chinese epic with a cool twist.

The Grand Heist was hilarious, well-made comedy about ice thieves.  An "Ocean's 11" taking place in 18th century Korea.  Loved it.

Takashi Miike is turning into an industry of his own, putting his name behind 2 movies this year.  Both Lesson of the Evil and Shield of Straw were pretty solid, and certainly find themselves in my top 5 of the year, but they don't compete for the top spot, in my mind (the best Miike, or the best of Fantasia 2013).  

Library Wars was very good, and gave me my fix of Chiaki Kuriyama.

Best of show has to go to Hentai Kamen: The Forbidden Superhero.  Although I seriously hesitated between this and the overall sweeter, better acted and more professional-looking Machi Action, the raw energy of HK and the powerful resonance it created with the audience created an experience unlike any I've ever lived, even at Fantasia.  So HK wins.

** EDIT: I added Gatchaman, which I had forgotten

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