[Our editor, Emily Bloom, brings you the best new releases in her "DVD / Blu Review" article. No filler, no hype, only movies and TV shows we personally buy.]
A few long-awaited titles are finally available on DVD and Blu-ray this week. A 12 year-old Japanese action movie (highly praised by an enthusiastic fanbase) comes to Blu, a 90's cartoon continues to roll out it's season sets, and an early rare gem from the king of independent action makes it's debut. I'm still brooding over The Muppets so don't expect it to make the Pick of the Week any time soon. At least it brings attention back to a great franchise, albeit in a mediocre way. Remember, every suggestion is heartfelt and honest (that's why some mainstream releases don't receive mention) and this column helps pay for the site with your support.
It wouldn't be right to start off coverage of Battle Royale - The Complete Collection without mentioning how controversial the movies are. Despite the original being one of the top 10 highest grossing films in Japan, the plotline pitting high school students against each other to the death gave it a bad reputation from the start. As with many other Asian movies, the genre is pushed to it's limits to the point of absurdity which doesn't get past the filmmakers. It's the uncanny scenario and execution that draws in Battle Royale's many fans which American audiences may be able to associate better with the similarly outlandish Kill Bill movies. This isn't a drama about life and death. It's an action movie about over-the-top gore and violence.
Thanks to Anchor Bay, we get a bonus content-filled set that we would normally expect to be importing. Not only is the sequel, Battle Royale II: Requiem, included, but also an extended "Making of…" and a good amount of featurettes. The now deceased director, Kinji Fukasaku, is given some screen time in the special features and even the outspoken Quentin Tarantino makes a short appearance in a 30-second TV spot showing admiration for the movie. The only negative is that the extras are in standard definition.
The Adventures Of Tintin: Season Two is one of my personal highlights and is still the definitive onscreen version of the character in my eyes. Want a documentary about an MTV producer that finds out his mother's neighbor is Mister Rogers? Mister Rogers & Me will be the only DVD to ever fill that void. As hinted at earlier, you may also want to check out the rare Robert Rodriguez follow up to 'El Mariachi', Roadracers, starring David Arquette and Salma Hayek.
Did your pal Emily miss your favorite new release title? Are you sure you aren't the only one that likes it? Let her know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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