September 12, 2006

DVD Pick of the Week: The Great Yokai War

Lots of television coming this week to DVD. Also arriving are a couple of lesser known films comprising a trilogy known collectively as Star Wars. None of those pre-eminent titles made it to the top of my wish list this week.

This week's choice is a film from over seas, directed and co-written by prolific cult director Takashi Miike. He is best known for his twisted films such as Audition, Ichi the Killer, and Fudoh: The Next Generation.

The film I am most looking forward to seeing is The Great Yokai War, a remake of the 1968 film Yokai Monsters. It is the tale of a young boy who is "chosen," and finds himself in the middle of a battle between good and malicious spirits. He holds the key to victory for the side of good. The story sounds like a familiar one, but what I am hoping for an interesting visual look. It has been described as a live action Miyazaki film. Great praise that I am not sure this will live up to, but one can hope.

Also out this week:

  • Grey's Anatomy: Season Two. This is turning into a pretty good series, not sure how long it will hold my interest, but I am there for the ride.
  • Smallville: The Complete Fifth Season. The chronicles of a young Clark Kent march on, but is the show running out of gas?
  • The Office: Season Two. Emmy winner for Best Comedy Series, and deservedly so. It is one of the funniest shows on television.
  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
  • Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. I am taking all three of these together. These are being touted as the only way to get the original theatrical versions, the only problem is that the prints have not been restored, and they are not anamorphic. They are recycled transfers from the laser disks from the early 1990s. Buy at your own risk.
  • The Wild. Mediocre animated flick, very similar to Madagascar. The animation is considerably better, but the story is average at best.
  • Lucky Number Slevin. Entertaining, if a little too clever for its own good. Definitely worth seeing, but not as good as it could have been.
  • Las Vegas: Season Three. One of the greatest guilty pleasures of the current crop of television. Not too serious, but plenty of fun.
  • Stella: Season One. Michael Ian Black and two guys whose name I don't know star in this truly bizarre comedy series. Is there a second season?
  • Beavis & Butt-Head Do America: 10th Anniversary Collector's Edition. Huh-huh, he hehe.
  • Masters of Horror: Dance of the Dead. Another entry from the Showtime horror series. To think they all resulted from dinner talk, literally.
  • Death of Mr. Lazarescu. Comedy film that I know very little about, but the trailer I saw looked very good.
  • Phantom. FW Murnau silent from 1922 in a new fully restored print.
  • Kill Zone. This looks like a winner, a Honk Kong action film with with Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung. I am looking forward to this one.
  • Black Magic. Shaw Brothers horror flick from the 70s. Never seen Shaw horror, this may be the place to start.

What are you getting this week?


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