There are a number of new movies this week, of which Tai Chi Zero is the top of the list for me, being a Steampunk Kung-Fu action comedy. How could I possibly resist that combination? If you are looking for something a bit more serious, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai from the creator of 13 Assassins should have everything you could want in a story of martial arts revenge under an oppressive government. Both of these films are quite good and worth your time to watch.
noobz is a gamer film that looks like silly fun this time around, and yes, the name is lower case. Jason Mewes is involved with the project, which I appreciate, but the DVD is coming out only a matter of 4 days after the film was released in theaters, which is never a good sign.
There are a couple of direct to DVD choices this time, or maybe they just never played in my part of the world, or were on a TV channel I don’t watch. Night of the Templar might be interesting, it is a bit hard to get an idea of the quality from the trailer. Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft is being released in the hopes that people will confuse it with the new movie coming out this week (at least, that’s my theory), and I have no real idea why they are releasing Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. Or any of that series after the original movie, for that matter. At least with Death Race 3: Inferno, also out this week, I actually like the first two films in the franchise.
There are no actual genre releases in TV this week that I found, but there are a few geeky items. Chris Hardwick: Mandroid is his Comedy Central special, now on DVD and noticeably expanded from what they broadcast, covering a range of Nerdist topics. The other offering is an award winning British sitcom, Spy: Series 1, in which a divorced father in a custody battle for his son goes looking for a new job, and accidentally gets recruited by MI6.
Anime is comprised of OVAs and a feature film this time. Saiyuki Gaiden is a three episode OVA telling of the battles Goku and his allies fought to escape Heaven. The Shakugan no Shana: Movie and Shakugan no Shana S, a five episode OVA telling four new stories, bring us new tales of Shana’s flaming sword as she and her powerful human partner Yuji destroy demons across two worlds. OVA stands for Original Video Animation, and the instances mentioned here are examples of studio projects for existing series that are released direct to DVD, without a movie or TV showing first. They can also be a privately funded short set of episodes that are then used to shop a project around to the studios in the hopes of getting it picked up as a series.