There are an assortment of movies coming out this week on DVD, and all seem to be action fantasy films. Starting with the visually stunning The Warrior’s Way, which is a definite east meets west entertainment. We haven’t seen martial arts in the wild west like this in quite a while, this time starring Korean actor Dong-gun Jang and not so Korean Kate Bosworth. While it is a bit more violent than it needed to be, it is still quite a lot of fun. The other extreme violence with amazing visuals release for the week is Sucker Punch, but it is not quite as much fun. The medieval entry is Season of the Witch with Nick Cage and Ron Perlman. From Japan comes Tetsuo: The Bullet Man, the story of a man who transforms into something else cause of experiments his father conducted on him. Finally, a modern retelling of a fantasy classic we have seen many times before, Beastly was trimmed back to a PG-13 specifically to pull in the target audience, the same audience that hung out for Twilight.
The winner in the TV category this time around is Warehouse 13: Season Two. This tasty series is sort of The X-Files meets Friday the 13th (the TV show, not the movies) with a liberal dose of steampunk thrown in. Season 3 kicks off on July 11th, and they have even announced a spinoff program, all about H. G. Wells and her work with Warehouse 12, solving crimes in the 1890s. One documentary program of note is the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens: Season Two, while the other is the Discovery Channel’s How The Universe Works. My personal favorite is the Discovery selection, which is cosmos-level science at its finest, But History’s program covers some interesting, if much more speculative, topics.
The western animation choice this time is Reboot: Seasons 3 & 4, for those who purchased seasons one and two the first time around. Bob works to protect Mainframe, while Dot, Enzo, and Fong all do their best to help: Warning: Incoming Game. If you have the Reboot: Definitive Mainframe Edition released at the same time as seasons one and two you already have all of these, but they are also re-releasing the Definitive set (the original run already sold out). This was both one of the earliest examples of CG 3D animation used in a continuing TV series, and the best and earliest conversion of computer processes into characters and personalities for such a series I am aware of. Even a few decades later, this is an impressive body of work, and whether you come to it for the quality animation, the great characters and storyline, or the fact that it is the direct successor to the original TRON movie plot and implications, this one is well worth your time to check out.
There are two selections worth bringing home in the new Anime category this week, the first being Rideback: the Complete Series, where an ex-dancer and her robotic motor cycle go head-to-head with a repressive government. While the bot-bike is a semi transformer, it has no free will or higher brain functions as far as I have seen to this point, but is just her ride and tool. The other new series is High school of the Dead – Complete Collection, where the zombie apocalypse attacks the schools, and the student body fights back with every home made weapon it can get its hands on. Both of these are a lot of fun, and I recommend them.
Also worth a look is Magical Witch Punie-chan in an OVA format. This one is a bit different than you might have been expecting; in order to gain the throne in her home Magical Kingdom, she has to spend a year going to school on Earth. No big deal, until you realize that everyone on the planet, from her classmates to her own magical familiar, is out to kill her with extreme prejudiced. And then there is Queen’s Blade 2: The Evil Eye Series – Part 1, where cat fights and fan service vie for your attention. One of my favorites, as you might suspect.