Japan Film Festival: Robots and Monsters in Their Original Context

Movies have always been a big part of the annual J-POP Summit Festival, so it's only appropriate that this year's event includes the launch of J-POP's first Japan Film Festival. Running for a week at the New People Cinema, highlights include 2012's animated Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, the third in the four-film reboot of the 1990s Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series. The picture is required viewing for anyone who thinks that Pacific Rim's "big robots battle big monsters" premise was something new under the sun (which is nothing against the very entertaining Pacific Rim, but it often felt like a live-action remake of the Evangelion films). Evangelion 3.0 is more mythos-oriented and offers less robots-versus-monsters mayhem than the first two, but still offers plenty of animated eye candy even for the uninitiated. If you're in more of a live-action sci-fi mood, check out 2010's Space Battleship Yamato; this long-awaited adaptation of the groundbreaking 1970s anime series — familiar to some Americans via a poorly edited version called Star Blazers — knocked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) off the top of the Japanese box office, but never got a proper release on these shores. It's an appropriate way to kick off this long-overdue festival.

 
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