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May 24, 2005 - August 30, 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Monaghan's 'Purifiers' - Xoanon @ 13:01 PST

The story of martial arts clubs who have created their own city infrastructure after tiring of government initiatives. Responding to the greed and corruption creeping into the other clubs, headed by capitalist-wannabe Moses, The Purifiers battle to maintain the successful system which has rid the city of crime and violence. [Order 'Purifiers' on Amazon.com Today!]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Viggo's 'Witness' & Dourif's 'Trauma' - Xoanon @ 09:46 PST
Witness (Special Collector's Edition)

Made immediately after "The Year of Living Dangerously", "Witness" continued a winning streak for Australian director Peter Weir. His first "American" movie, "Witness" deals with the conflict between two cultures and, in a sense, two centuries as part of a much more conventional police drama about an Amish boy (Lukas Haas) who witnesses the murder of an undercover police officer in the men's room of a train station. His mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis) is traveling with the boy and both are drawn into the police investigation. What Detective Captain John Book (Harrison Ford) who is investigating the case doesn't realize is that someone is out to kill them both. As a result, Book goes undercover himself taking them back to the Amish community they come from and hiding out with them there until he can resolve who is trying to kill them. [Order 'Witness (Special Collector's Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!]

Dario Argento's Trauma

An anorexic young woman escapes from a psychiatric clinic and meets a young man who wants to help. She is caught and returned to her parents, who are soon beheaded by a garrotting stranger making the rounds about town, apparently striking only when it rains. The orphaned young woman and her new lover launch their own investigation and are endangered when a link is discovered with the victims and a particular operation performed years before. [Order 'Dario Argento's Trauma' on Amazon.com Today!]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Wood's 'Sin City' - Xoanon @ 13:24 PST
Sin City

Brutal and breathtaking, Sin City is Robert Rodriguez's stunningly realized vision of Frank Miller's pulpy comic books. In the first of three separate but loosely related stories, Marv (Mickey Rourke in heavy makeup) tries to track down the killers of a woman who ended up dead in his bed. In the second story, Dwight's (Clive Owen) attempt to defend a woman from a brutal abuser goes horribly wrong, and threatens to destroy the uneasy truce among the police, the mob, and the women of Old Town. Finally, an aging cop on his last day on the job (Bruce Willis) rescues a young girl from a kidnapper, but is himself thrown in jail. Years later, he has a chance to save her again.

Based on three of Miller's immensely popular and immensely gritty books (The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard), Sin City is unquestionably the most faithful comic-book-based movie ever made. Each shot looks like a panel from its source material, and director Rodriguez (who refers to it as a "translation" rather than an adaptation) resigned from the Directors Guild so that Miller could share a directing credit. Like the books, it's almost entirely in stark black and white with some occasional bursts of color (a woman's red lips, a villain's yellow face). The backgrounds are entirely digitally generated, yet not self-consciously so, and perfectly capture Miller's gritty cityscape. And though most of Miller's copious nudity is absent, the violence is unrelentingly present. That may be the biggest obstacle to viewers who aren't already fans of the books and who may have been turned off by Kill Bill (whose director, Quentin Tarantino, helmed one scene of Sin City). In addition, it's a bleak, desperate world in which the heroes are killers, corruption rules, and the women are almost all prostitutes or strippers. But Miller's stories are riveting, and the huge cast--which also includes Jessica Alba, Jaime King, Brittany Murphy, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Elijah Wood, Nick Stahl, Michael Clarke Duncan, Devin Aoki, Carla Gugino, and Josh Hartnett--is just about perfect. (Only Bruce Willis and Michael Madsen, while very well-suited to their roles, seem hard to separate from their established screen personas.) In what Rodriguez hopes is the first of a series, Sin City is a spectacular achievement. [Order 'Sin City' on Amazon.com Today!]
[Order 'Frank Miller's Complete Sin City Library (Paperback)' on Amazon.com Today!]

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

King Kong DVD Art - Xoanon @ 19:36 PST

King Kong DVD Art & Pre-Order!

PRE ORDER links have been removed, the amazon.com links were for the "King Kong Show," 1966 animated series to be released from Sony, not the 1933 King Kong from WB.

From thedigitalbits.com

The King Kong: Two-Disc Special Edition (SRP $26.99) will include the 104-minute restored and remastered B&W film on video in its original full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras will include audio commentary (by Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston, with Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Ruth Rose, Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong), the 2005 I'm Kong: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper documentary, a gallery of trailers for other films by director Merian C. Cooper, the new RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World documentary by Peter Jackson (featuring the following featurettes: The Origins of King Kong, Willis O'Brien and Creation, Cameras Roll on Kong, The Eighth Wonder, A Milestone in Visual Effects, Passion, Sound and Fury, The Mystery of the Lost Spider Pit Sequence and King Kong's Legacy) and Creation test footage (with commentary by Ray Harryhausen).

The King Kong: Two-Disc Collector's Edition (SRP $39.98) will include all of the above in limited tin packaging that also features a 20-page reproduction of the original 1933 souvenir program, King Kong original one-sheet reproduction postcards and a mail-in offer for a reproduction of a vintage theatrical poster.

The King Kong Four-Disc Collector's Set (SRP $39.92) will include the King Kong: Two-Disc Special Edition along with The Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young. It will NOT include the extras in the Collector's Edition tin.

Fortunately, The Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young will also be available separately (as will The Last Days of Pompeii, also by Kong directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack) for an SRP of $19.97 each.

The Son of Kong will include the 70-minute restored B&W film on video in the original full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras will include the theatrical trailer.

Mighty Joe Young will include the 94-minute restored B&W film on video in its original full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras will include audio commentary (by Ray Harryhausen, Ken Ralston and Terry Moore), 2 new featurettes (Ray Harryhausen and The Chioda Brothers and Ray Harryhausen and Mighty Joe Young) and the film's theatrical trailer.

Finally, The Last Days of Pompeii will include the 96-minute, B&W film on video in the original full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles. There are no extras.

PRE ORDER links have been removed, the amazon.com links were for the "King Kong Show," 1966 animated series to be released from Sony, not the 1933 King Kong from WB.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Kretschmann's 'Downfall' - Xoanon @ 13:03 PST

The riveting subject of Downfall is nothing less than the disintegration of Adolph Hitler in mind, body, and soul. A 2005 Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film, this German historical drama stars Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) as Hitler, whose psychic meltdown is depicted in sobering detail, suggesting a fallen, pathetic dictator on the verge on insanity, resorting to suicide (along with Eva Braun and Joseph and Magda Goebbels) as his Nazi empire burns amidst chaos in mid-1945. While staging most of the film in the claustrophobic bunker where Hitler spent his final days, director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Das Experiment) dares to show the gentler human side of der Fuehrer, as opposed to the pure embodiment of evil so familiar from many other Nazi-era dramas. This balanced portrayal does not inspire sympathy, however: We simply see the complexity of Hitler's character in the greater context of his inevitable downfall, and a more realistic (and therefore more horrifying) biographical portrait of madness on both epic and intimate scales. By ending with a chilling clip from the 2002 documentary Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, this unforgettable film gains another dimension of sobering authenticity.
[Order 'Downfall' on Amazon.com Today!]

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Boyd & Dourif's 'Seed' - Xoanon @ 09:35 PST
Seed Of Chucky

The killer doll is back! The all-new film is the fifth in the popular series of Chucky ("Child's Play") horror comedies. Making his directorial debut is the franchise creator and writer of all five films, Don Mancini. The film introduces Glen (voiced by "The Lord of the Rings" star Billy Boyd), the orphan doll offspring of the irrepressible devilish-doll-come-to-life Chucky (again voiced by series star Brad Dourif) and his equally twisted bride Tiffany (again voiced by Jennifer Tilly). When production starts on a movie detailing the urban legend of his parents' lethal exploits, Glen heads for Hollywood where he brings his bloodthirsty parents back from the dead. The family dynamics are far from perfect as Chucky and Tiffany go Hollywood and get rolling on a new spree of murderous mayhem; much to gentle Glen's horror. Chucky can't believe that his child doesn't want to walk in his murdering footsteps, and star-struck Tiffany can't believe that the movie will star her favorite actress, Jennifer Tilly (playing herself), who soon becomes an unwitting hostess to this new family in more ways than one...
[Order 'Seed Of Chucky (Widescreen Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!]
[Order 'Seed Of Chucky (Full Frame Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!]

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Blanchett's 'Aviator' & Holms 'Tomorrow' Redux - Xoanon @ 09:47 PST
The Aviator

From Hollywood's legendary Cocoanut Grove to the pioneering conquest of the wild blue yonder, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator celebrates old-school filmmaking at its finest. We say "old school" only because Scorsese's love of golden-age Hollywood is evident in his approach to his subject--Howard Hughes in his prime (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in his)--and especially in his technical mastery of the medium reflecting his love for classical filmmaking of the studio era. Even when he's using state-of-the-art digital trickery for the film's exciting flight scenes (including one of the most spectacular crashes ever filmed), Scorsese's meticulous attention to art direction and costume design suggests an impassioned pursuit of craftsmanship from a bygone era; every frame seems to glow with gilded detail. And while DiCaprio bears little physical resemblance to Hughes during the film's 20-year span (late 1920s to late '40s), he efficiently captures the eccentric millionaire's golden-boy essence, and his tragic descent into obsessive-compulsive seclusion. Bolstered by Cate Blanchett's uncannily accurate portrayal of Katharine Hepburn as Hughes' most beloved lover, The Aviator is easily Scorsese's most accessible film, inviting mainstream popularity without compromising Scorsese's artistic reputation. As compelling crowd-pleasers go, it's a class act from start to finish. [Order 'The Aviator (2-Disc Widescreen Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!]
[Order 'The Aviator (2-Disc Full Screen Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!]

The Day After Tomorrow (2-Disc Collector's Edition)

Supreme silliness doesn't stop The Day After Tomorrow from being lots of fun for connoisseurs of epic-scale disaster flicks. After the blockbuster profits of Independence Day and Godzilla, you can't blame director Roland Emmerich for using global warming as a politically correct excuse for destroying most of the northern hemisphere. Like most of Emmerich's films, this one emphasizes special effects over such lesser priorities as well-drawn characters and plausible plotting, and his dialogue (cowritten by Jeffrey Nachmanoff) is so laughably trite that it could be entirely eliminated without harming the movie. It's the spectacle that's important here, not the lame, recycled plot about father and son (Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal) who endure an end-of-the-world scenario caused by the effects of global warming. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the awesome visions of tornado-ravaged Los Angeles, blizzards in New Delhi, Japan pummeled by grapefruit-sized hailstones, and Manhattan flooded by swelling oceans and then frozen by the onset of a modern ice age. It's all wildly impressive, and Emmerich obviously doesn't care if the science is flimsy, so why should you? [Order 'The Day After Tomorrow (2-Disc Collector's Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!]
[Order 'The Aviator (2-Disc Full Screen Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!]

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