Sadly, there are two productions riding on the coat tails of others this week that are counting on your being numbered among the terminally confused to make their sales quota. With incredibly bad CGI monsters (and I am not going into the script, directing, acting, or cinematography, because I just don’t have the stomach for it), Almighty Thor is last night’s Made for Syfy Movie of the Week and then gets released on DVD this Tuesday. I can tell you it is in fitting (note I did not say good) company, alongside offerings like Mansquito and Sharktopus, to name but a few. I continue to be gobsmacked by how a single channel can produce such wonderful TV series (including Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Haven) and incredible Mini Series (Like Tin Man, Riverworld, Alice, and so many more), yet completely fail at every Made for TV Movie they have ever done. With the exception of 1994’s Deep Red, which was made a year before the channel existed.
We all realize the real Thor movie will be out the day before the cheap knockoff airs on Syfy; a bit more subtle (and the other offering hoping you have no clue) is Chop Kick Panda, a direct ripoff of the wonderful Kung Fu Panda franchise, who’s second film hits the big screen on May 26th.
Supernatural: Seasons 1-5 has been available individually, but now it is coming out in a box set. If you haven’t previously acquired any of these episodes, this does tend to reduce the per-season price.
For western animation The Illusionist is the choice this week, from the same team who created Les Triplettes de Belleville. This previously unproduced film comes from a script created by the French comic genius Jacques Tati in 1956 as a means of becoming closer to his daughter.
The anime masterpieces Coffee Samurai / Hoshizora Kiseki are being released this week in a single package, from the same folks who brought you Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. Hoshizora Kiseki, in English
Starry-sky Miracle, is about a girl who loves astronomy who meets a boy in a vacuum suit helping astronomers understand the stars, and how they impact one another. It was streamed online in 2006 from Japan for a few months, but while I watched it, the pipe wasn’t there to do it justice. It also made the film festival rounds, picking up a few awards, and was released on DVD in Japan that year, but no where else. I am glad it will finally be available here. Coffee Samurai is a bit different, with the woman in love with a coffee vending machine who goes by the name of Jin. It seems Jin was a Sengoku period samurai who died desperate for an invulnerable steel body to save him from the assassins. This is most definitely a case of be careful what you wish for; you might get it in your next life.
There are a few classics being re-released this time around. The original tale of boy loves computer, computer loves boy back will again be available: Chobits is a Persocomp made for one. If you are not sure that robot romance is for you, you can watch episodes online to get a feel for it. If you prefer your cyberneticly augmented women to be combat certified, Kiddy Grade has all the galaxy spanning action you could wish for, with a mystery to be solved. Again, if you don’t know if this is your kind of thing, you can watch the first few episodes online and then make your decision.
Finally, if it is Samurai action your looking for, Shigurui: Death Frenzy is being re-released in the Viridian Collection edition, which means you can pick up the series for just under $20 if you shop around.