There are a couple of excellent movies coming out on disk this week, although their genre status is debatable. RED, or Retired, Extremely Dangerous, was my favorite action comedy not based on a comic book for 2010. Nothing deep or surprising, just good silly fun. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest completes the Millennium trilogy by author Stieg Larsson, a rather gritty and brutal tale of government corruption and the brilliant hacker girl who fought for her life against them, and the dogged investigative reporter who helped her. And Nowhere Boy is the story of the young John Lennon. All good movies, but where is the science fiction, you ask? Here it is: Enter the Void is the story of a murdered Tokyo drug dealer who’s ghost watches over his little sister.
TV shows didn’t do as well this week, with no real live action choices available. In western animation, Shaun the Sheep: Spring Shena-a-anigans out of the UK is a good silly choice.
There are a number of new Anime titles this week. Ghost Sweeper Mikami – Collection 2 continues the story of a beautiful but greedy ghost hunter out to get rich off the misfortune of others, and her perverted (therefor easily controllable) sidekick. Pandora Hearts – Premium Edition (Sub.DVD box 2) likewise continues its storyline, about an heir to the throne who is tossed into prison on his 15th birthday for no apparent reason. The series has some resemblance to Alice in Wonderland on several different levels, and is worth following.
The Sacred Blacksmith – Complete Series gives you the entire package with no waiting, unlike the previously mentioned programs. The Sacred Blacksmith has the power to forge powerful swords capable of defeating the demons who threaten his world, and teach people like Knight Guard Cecily Campbell how to use them. If you are not sure if this is for you, you can watch it online before you make your decision. Vampire Knight – Complete Series also has that instant gratification thing going for it, the whole story at once. In this one, Yuki Cross has grown up and become a guardian of the vampire race, in a twisty tale where nothing is what you thought it was, and again you can watch it online before you choose whether to bring it home with you.
Naruto Shippuden: Box Set 5 is not the kind of series you are going to be able to bring home in a single box, no matter how much you want to. There are already a boatload of episodes, with another handful of seasons available in Japan beyond what we have access to here. Disgaea has similar problems…
There are also a few classic anime’s being re-released this week. The reason for the Gantz reissue are obvious; the feature length live action film makes its US debut last Thursday. Not so obvious is the reason for the Armitage: Movie re-release, but I don’t really care; this story is a total classic with world class animation that everyone should see. The robot revolution on Earth didn’t go so well and they were all destroyed. But many survive on Mars, living amongst humans just fine, often undetected. Armitage is one of them, a tough cop who’s partner has been shot up so many times he is now more machine than flesh with computer controlled prostheses. Behind the police procedural, murder mystery, and government conspiracy, this one is a love story; and it works on every level.