The directors cut of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec becomes available this week. I love this movie, which is the first in a series based on the graphic novels by Jacques Tardi that Luc Besson is making, but I find myself a bit annoyed. I just bought the blue-ray American release regular version when it came out in August, and now I have to decide if I want to pay for it again just to get the new version. At least it’s not as bad as Bladerunner; I have 4 different versions of that film, released in different years. This is the End is an apocalyptic comedy with a decent cast about the end of the world in Hollywood. Dead Before Dawn is a horror comedy about a bunch of clumsy students who bring a curse down on themselves, and is also Canada’s first live action 3D film. I missed both of these in the theaters, so this is another chance to see them.
The western animation choice this week is The Croods, a stone age adventure comedy from the Dreamworks team. There are also two old new releases, rendered into 3D and released on disk after their recent returns to the movie theaters. The animated The Little Mermaid, and the 1939 live action classic The Wizard Of Oz both live on in new 3D incarnations.
In TV, season one of the new version of Beauty and the Beast hits the shelves. You just have time to re-watch it before season 2 hits the small screen the following Monday. Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited 5-8 continues the 50th anniversary look back at the original Time Lords who had that part. Besides the 20 minute retrospectives of each Doctor, you also get one of the best classic episodes they were involved with. Peter Davison has Earthshock, Colon Baker has Vengeance on Varos, Sylvester McCoy gets Remembrance of the Daleks, and obviously Paul McGann gets Doctor Who: The Movie.
In Anime, Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning tells how Wild Tiger (Kotetsu T. Kaburagi) and Barnaby “Bunny” Brooks Jr. ended up as a Giant Robot Superhero team, defending their city in company endorsed Mecha’s (think NASCAR vehicles sponsorship logos) while having their battles being shown on TV. Somewhere between the WWF and Indie 500 I think. The complete series Sankarea: Undying Love also comes out this week, a simple story about a boy who develops a potion to reanimate his dead cat, and the depressed girl he meets who assumes the stuff in the bottle is poisonous, drinks it, and jumps off a cliff. When she wakes up as a zombie she finally starts to really live, but now the couple falls in love and realize they have more than a few problems to solve if they want the relationship to flourish.
Hakuoki: Dawn of the Shinsengumi Season 3 is actually the prequel to the previous two seasons, telling the story of how the Tokugawa Shogunate first sent Ronin, or Masterless Samurai, into Kyoto in 1863 to put down the rebellion. This is a historical epic, but as with anything involving both Samurai and Ninja, there is a serious spiritual/combat powers influence which most of us in the west interpret most comfortably as fantasy. Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom is the title for this season.
There are also a couple of re-releases you might want to check out if you missed them the first time around. Aria the Animation: Season 1 is about a girl who emigrates to a water world where she can pilot gondolas. The fact that the planet is Mars in the year 2417 tells you just how good humanity got at Terraformimg by then. Godannar is a classic Giant Mecha/Alien Invasion series with some serious interpersonal twists. Goh Saruwatari used his Dannar (giant robot) to save a girl child from the aliens, but lost his combat partner and girlfriend to them in the process. Years later when she came of age he married the girl he saved, and she is also now a combat pilot of the Dannars. Her mother runs the base they fight out of and is Goh’s boss as well as Mother-in-Law, and the aliens are back attacking humanity all over again. When they defeat one of the alien combat vessels they also recover Goh’s old partner/girlfriend, who has been brain wiped, and bring her home to live with them. After that, it starts getting really strange.