December 19, 2006

DVD Pick of the Week: Jet Li's Fearless

This week brings the last new releases for you to choose from before Christmas arrives. Still looking for that special something for someone special? Perhaps the new offerings will have something to spark your interest. There is a nice selection of films, television series, foreign titles, comedies, and actioners. A little something for almost anyone, a few somethings in my case.

This week's pick signifies the end of an era. A library of films spanning more than twenty years, and featuring one of the greatest martial artists ever put on film. It is said to be the culmination of his life's work. This week's pick is Jet Li's Fearless. It is the final wushu film that Jet Li will make. He has said this marks his retirement from this style of film. Do not fear, he will still make films, just not of this style any more, meaning no more films like Hero or Once Upon a Time In China. It is a shame, but this is a fine note to go out on.

Jet Li's Fearless is a historical action/drama centering on one of the forefathers of modern martial arts, Huo Yuanjia. He was a man who endured many hardships on his way to starting the Wu Jing Sports Federation and preaching non-violence through his martial art. Jet Li plays that role and delivers one of the better acting performances of his career. Huo was a man who was cocky and full of himself, until a tragic mistake results in the death of his family. He exiles himself as he searches for peace and understanding. He then returns to his homeland where he puts his new teachings to use in a battle against comers from other countries.

Yuanjia's story is not the only one at work in the film. This was a period of unrest as other nations were there taking control and oppressing the Chinese people. Huo Yuanjia's story and his fights with the representatives of other nations served to not only redeem himself, but to help to reunite the nation.

The DVD is not teribly loaded with extras. The main extra being a 15 minute making of documentary, featuring Jet Li speaking of how this is representative of all that he has workedfor during his career. There is also a deleted scene and the trailer. The disk does contain both the theatrical release and an unrated cut, which is about one minute longer. The only thing I noticed between the two was a little more blood, certainly cut to achieve the theatrical's PG-13 rating.

Also out this week:
  • Little Miss Sunshine. This surprise hit of the summer is now a Golden Globe nominee. It is a fun road movie/family comedy as this dysfunctional nuclear unit comes together for the betterment of all.
  • The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season. I have sort of lost interest in collecting these series, I have the first five and am content with them.
  • Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies (1929-1938). Classic Disney toons from the early years.
  • Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Pluto, Vol. Two. One of my favortie characters, here in a second set of toons.
  • Invincible. Disney leaves their mark on the inspirational sports drama. It may be complete formula, but it works very well.
  • Lady in the Water. Another frustrating Shyamalan film. There is a lot to like about the parts, but the whole fails to impress.
  • A Scanner Darkly. I missed this in the theater, but now is my time to catch up on it. It looks to be pretty weird.
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Mediocre at best, there is a lot of comedic potential in the love life of a superhero, but this one fails to take off.
  • The Illustrated Man. Rod Steiger starring film based on a Ray Bradbury story. I've never seen it, but the idea of stories inspired by body tattoos seems to be interesting.
  • The Wicker Man. The 2006 remake comes to DVD. It was an interesting concoction that came across as pretty silly in the end.
  • All the King's Men. This Sean Penn film was virtually ignored in its theatrical run, maybe it will find new life on DVD.
  • Police Story. Jackie Chan classic from the 1980's. This is not to be missed.
  • Sir! No Sir! This is a documentary about the GI movement during the Vietnam War.
  • The Promise. A 2005 Golden Globe nominee for best foreign language is a rather silly mess of a fantasy film.
  • Hideshi Hino's Theater of Horror. This is a series of horror films based on the work of Hino. I am not familiar with him, but how can you go wrong with a collection of horror? Something in there has to work.
  • Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker. This is kind of like Harry Potter for the James Bond set. A teenage James Bond. The story is a little bit of a stretch, but it is an enjoyable romp.

What are you getting this week?


Post a Comment