The best live action film this time around is not genre, but I will be looking for it: The Man from Nowhere, a Korean crime thriller. The one movie collection that looks like fun this week is Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: XX. The original movies may suck, but when the MST3K team is done with them they are a joy to watch. There are a few live action movie choices which I have never heard of and have no ideas about. Matty Hanson and the Invisibility Ray looks to be a family oriented direct to DVD selection, while The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff is a 1973 Spanish movie apparently of a more adult nature.
The clear winner for TV shows this week is The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season. Most people had a hard time believing this was a TV show, which is kind of silly. It isn’t on broadcast TV after all, so its creators had the full range of non-regulated choices available to any film maker or premium cable channel producer. I missed it when it originally aired, so I look forward to catching up with it now.
There are a few quality documentary TV shows this week, with the must-have option being Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. This is another one of those true science programs that explores the limits of scientific knowledge, and speculates its way past the borders those limits put up. Since that definition is at the heart of science fiction, you can understand why I love this program. The fact that it is done better than most documentaries, and explains the science it is extrapolating from in an easily understandable way is just bonus points in my book; I already loved this show! Some of the lesser known documentaries coming out now include Moon Race: Volumes 1 & 2 and Space Race: Volumes 1 & 2, I suspect from the same production company.
Tales from Earthsea is a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, it is from Studio Ghibli, put together in 2006 from the wonderful story written by Ursula K LeGuin. But this one was the first venture by the son, Goro Miyazaki, and not the father, Hayao Miyazaki, and the lack of experience shows. Still, while not up to the masterworks dad cranks out, this version shows some promise, and I enjoyed it. I think that the review that spoke to the heart of the problem came from J-Film Powwow if you want to look into it deeper before making your decision. There are a few other projects by Ursula coming to the big screen soon, including Field of Vision, which looks absolutely amazing. And for true Ghibli fans, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is being released on Blue Ray on the same day.
There are a few re-releases worth noting this week, including the El Cazador de la Bruja – Complete Series, previously only available by season. Another Girls with Guns buddy series in the tradition of Noir (complete with the younger girl with a hole in her memory), this one takes place in the wild west. If you are not sure if this program is for you, you can watch it online before making your decision. Also, one of my favorite Anime’s of 2005, Speed Grapher, is coming out as a complete series SAVE edition, which means you can pick up the entire thing for $20 or so. The various home pages for the series seem to be gone, but if you are over 17 you can still watch it online. The story line is twisty and brutal, with many wealthy people paying for the chance to mutate into monsters with super powers, under the control of an evil mastermind. the animation is world class, the music bed and voice work is quite well done, and there are only two normal people in the entire cast (the protagonist and the victimized young girl he attempts to save). This one is a keeper.