Something to Watch: DVDs
Topping of the film list this week is Cowboys & Aliens, the incredibly well done reimaging of Gene Autry’s 1935 classic The Phantom Empire. It absolutely gets my vote as best Western so far this century. As a counterbalance to that, Alien Armageddon has a bunch of cowboys trying to save Los Angeles from Space Zombies. Three guesses which one I will be bringing home. I am not even completely convinced that The Return of Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls wouldn’t be a better choice, also coming out this week, and extremely NSFW. And don’t even get me started on The Incubus, which can’t hold a candle to its 1982 namesake.
While not exactly genre, Jim Carey’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins is surreal enough to get an entry here, and a whole lot of fun. And the sleeper this week seems to be the Brazilian fantasy Astral City: A Spiritual Journey, which looks very reminiscent of What Dreams May Come, both in its cinematography and in its story. This one is worth checking out.
In TV, the primary choice this time around is The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Fourth Season. I miss Elizabeth Sladen, and am glad we have one more set of adventures to go on with her.
Captain Power: The Complete Series returns a 1980s show briefly to circulation. This one was somewhere between The Terminator and Power Rangers, and I think it may resemble the original Transformers by being a TV show spun off as a way of selling a children’s toy. But it did have a few things going for it, including the fact that along with Max Headroom that same year it was one of the first shows on TV to combine computer graphics with live action footage. But somehow Max has an honored place in my collection, while Captain Power does not, and will not.
In Anime, new this week is Tales of the Abyss – Part 2, continuing the story of the super powered boy hoodwinked by a general… or is he? Perhaps his companions will keep him from being used. Also coming around for the first time (that I am aware of) is Rozen Maiden Ouverture, which is an OVA prequel of the TV series. At the same time, they are also releasing Rozen Maiden – Complete Collection which includes season one (12 episodes), season two (another 12 episodes), and the prequel Ouverture (2 episodes). Since the complete collection is only double the cost of Ouverture while containing 12 times the number of minutes of animation, if you don’t already own the full series you will want to get the former.
Birdy the Mighty: Decode – The Complete Series finally brings this set down to a more reasonable cost than it had when broken down between the first and second season. I still own Birdy the Mighty: Final Force, which this one is pretty much a remake of, but I am looking forward to adding the new version to my collection. Also in re-release, Devil May Cry – The Complete Series S.A.V.E. Edition puts the entire anime series (not to be confused with the games, the manga, etc.) in your hands for noticeably less than $20 if you shop around.