In movies, Red Riding Hood pits the darling caped cutey against a werewolf, or perhaps the werewolf hunter is the true evil one? The Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke put this together, but did rather a better job of it than in that series of films, or perhaps just had better source material to work with. For alien invasion fans, Battle: Los Angeles is hitting the shelves. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, is a martial arts movie about a wealthy playboy by day who becomes a masked crusader by night, fighting the Japanese occupation forces and Chinese mafia in 1920’s Shanghai. Staring Donnie Yen, playing the hero first portrayed by Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury, this one is tasty. And while it probably isn’t genre, Miente looks pretty interesting with a double handful of film festival awards and a killer soundtrack.
In TV, Haven: The Complete First Season is sort of what would happen if you merged Twin Peaks with Castle; each week there is a murder to be solved, but they died in some really weird, near supernatural way. Based on Stephen King’s novel The Colorado Kid, there is an overlying mystery to be solved about the town itself that makes these things happen there driving the story arc. There is some good dynamic tension between the FBI lady, the local cop with no sense of touch, and the bad-boy rouge type who might be one of the good guys.
There are two classic Doctor Who episodes being released this week. Doctor Who: Frontios is a Peter Davison era story with Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough (Mark Strickson) as the companions. A group of human colonists who fled the destruction of the Earth are being used as spare parts for some underground aliens with gravity control technology and a mining operation. Time and The Rani is the first Sylvester McCoy episode, with Mel (Bonnie Langford) as the companion. The Rani has enslaved a planet and built a supercomputer by networking a bunch of really smart beings together, including Pasteur and Einstein from Earth, as the first step in her master plan.
There are a number of Best of the 80s packages involving a couple of disks with eight or ten of the best episodes from the show, usually including the pilot and series finale, coming out this week. I mention it because one of them is genre: Knight Rider, but I will not be adding any of these to my collection.
For western animation, Marvel Knights: Spider-Woman Agent Of S.W.O.R.D. was a 2009 TV series that now becomes available on disc. While I have been loving the live action films Marvel has been putting out, I have not been very impressed with the quality of the animations as a rule. Which is kind of strange when you consider how much I have been enjoying the animated comics productions, but there it is.
In Anime, Demon King Daimao – Complete Collection is the new series for the week; when he took his entry aptitude tests at the Constant Magical Academy, the results he heard were Future Occupation… Devil King. While trying to avoid that fate, he ran into more than the usual amount of girl trouble, some trying to help, others trying to hinder, but every one with their own agenda. In re-release in a cost effective package is the masterpiece Last Exile – The Complete Series Viridian Collection. One of the best steampunk anime’s ever made, one of the best aerial combat anime’s ever made, and one of the best anti-war anime’s ever made, it is hard to believe you can now pick the whole thing up for around 20 bucks. I think this one has to be on my top ten list of best anime’s of all time.