When I first started posting about videos coming out in a package you could buy and take home in 1993, VHS was the format, eventually replaced by DVDs. But DVDs got replaced more-or-less by Blue Ray (augmented is a better word, since lots of folks are still perfectly happy at Standard Def), and Blue Ray by 4K, and owning a physical object was supplemented by owning something you could stream online any time you wanted to watch it. Streaming things you didn’t own a license to has also grown into a huge industry, of course, with legal payment plans ranging from advertising-supported free, through monthly subscription service payments, to Video On Demand pay per view options. And yet here we are almost half way through the 20 Teens, and a decades old habit has me still referring to the Discs as DVDs. So even though I still own a working 1964 black and white 1 inch reel to reel General Electric video recorder/play back device (my first personally owned video processing system, the size of a desk and the weight of a full-size refrigerator, with An Unearthly Child as one of those spools of tape), and I still have close to 40 VHS tapes of movies like Mutant On The Bounty and Witch Hunt which were never released in more modern formats, I think it is time I changed the title of this series of posts to reflect reality a little closer. If you are interested in the timeline about the VHS/DVD/HD evolution, check out the Wikipedia Article to find out what happened when.
We get an assortment of movies out on Disc this week in a range to appeal to most tastes. There is the family friendly upbeat story of Earth to Echo, not a remake of ET, but appealing to the same sensibilities and audience. Life After Beth is also somewhat light-hearted, but with a darker side to it in a zombie love story. Snowpiercer went to the edge of Mad Max land, with a tale of after the end of the world. This South Korean sci-fi action film is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige and has a world-class cast; I can’t wait to see it, because it certainly never came by a theater near me! the historic epic Kundo is about the end of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, and the group which fought to bring an end to it. It was an 800 year long part of their history most remember with both longing and horror as an age of brutal repression by a hereditary aristocracy.
The Scribbler is darker yet, with a woman wiping out her multiple personality disorder wondering if she is going to be one of the personalities that does not survive; the critics were less than kind to this one. Finally, The Purge: Anarchy is the latest tale in a franchise that they perhaps should not have started, let alone continued.
TV had nothing I could find this week, other than a confused animated Batman reference which was only the Blue Ray version of something released weeks ago on DVD.
In Anime, Ghost in the Shell Arise: Borders 1 & 2 is finally being released domestically, after months of being available only as a very pricy import. It is the first half of a 4 part OVA that is somewhere between a prequel and a re-imagining of Masamune Shirow’s classic cyberpunk story, with all new character designs, voice actor assignments, and music. In a related story, the word is that Scarlett Johansson may star in the live-action feature film version of Ghost In The Shell that is ramping up for production in Hollywood. Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is a feature length Anime that brings the video-game favorite to the small screen, in all her heavily armed glory.
Sunday Without God: Complete Collection is the story of how Humanity got along after being abandoned by god. With the dead staying on Earth and no more children being born the Gravediggers are our only hope. A Letter to Momo is about a young girl and her three Yokai friends, who are doing their best to get her into trouble. This feature length anime has won multiple awards and been compared with From Up On Poppy Hill and Children Who Chase Lost Voices.