There are a number of choices this weekend, but top of the list in my mind is Pixar’s Coco, which just looks like too much fun to miss. It actually starts playing on Wednesday, to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. John Cusack’s new film Singularity could be interesting, but the trailer makes me think I have already seen this movie through a few dozen earlier iterations. I will have to see the documentary Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, but I don’t think it requires the big screen to make it worthwhile, so I will catch it when it streams. Firangi on the other hand may need the larger venue, so I might have to check that one out this weekend as well.
The animated romp Spark: A Space Tail comes out this week, for those of us who consider silly fun an art form. There is also a documentary I am hoping to see, to see if they did the man justice: Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary brings the story of this musical legend to the big screen. He created music the world had only dreamed of until then, and I suspect it will still be played 100 years from now, and longer.
There do not seem to be any new genre films this week that I can find. There is a new documentary that I have been waiting for: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years covers the band from 1963 to 1966, and was put together by Ron Howard from a ton of clips, interviews, and found footage. It got 100% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, and is the first film I have ever seen with that score. I am looking forward to seeing this one on the big screen, it should be fun.
There are a number of good choices this week, starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC’s first group superhero outing. For a more mundane conflict, the Thai/Hong Kong film Kill Zone 2 is about an undercover cop and the crime boss he is trying to bring down. If you are looking for something noticeably lighter with a positive attitude, Underdogs may be the animated feature film for you (yes, this is a re-release of the 2013 feature animation, but so few people in the US know about it I thought it was worth mentioning again). There is also an interesting documentary: Outatime is the story about how a group of fans teamed up with a movie executive to save the most famous DeLorean ever, the one from Back To The Future. There are even a couple of Music oriented docudramas in the form of Miles Ahead and Elvis & Nixon. If there were regular TV genre releases this week they slipped right past me.
Anime brings Yona of the Dawn: Part 2, with the princess chasing the dragons and preparing to take her country back by force. This is an enjoyable series that throws a few anime tropes on their heads while fully embracing others, and overall I like it. A Certain Magical Index II: Complete Collection brings another 24 episodes of science based magic excitement onto the small screen, with an encoded grimoire containing catastrophic magic stolen by persons unknown, and the Science Society restarting a program to create a generation of people with a range of psychic abilities (see A Certain Scientific Railgun for the details of how that is going).
Plastic Memories Volume 1 is a beautiful trans-species love story about a human and android, but at $10 per 23 minute episode for the first half of the story, it is way overpriced; I will enjoy it on streamy until someone puts it out more reasonably. Likewise, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Part 1: Beginnings / Part 2: Eternal, the first two feature films of the franchise, will require you to pay $1 for every 3.5 minutes that you watch (and that’s at the discounted off of list price), but that is at least a bit better than the previous title.
On the flip side of that coin, Fractale – The Complete Series and Kamisama Kiss: Season 1 are both coming out in a S.A.V.E. edition, so they will be more cost effective than ever to add to your collection.
Kung Fu Panda 3 almost had this week’s western Movie and TV section to itself, and is coming out both as a stand alone film and bundled either with the first two films, or with them and three other discs filled with all the KFP Short Films they have spun off, depending on where you shop. I consider the Kung Fu Panda trilogy one of the finest animation series ever made, an excellent story self contained in each movie forming an arc that ties them all together, combined with some of the most beautiful animation work I have ever seen. It is in multiple styles, each one used to tell a different aspect of the story, and it was created by teams of animators working in both China and the US. The really exciting part? We are only half way through the project, there are a total of 6 films planned to tell the complete story. The other film coming out this week is Elstree 1976, a behind the scenes look at the teams who have worked on Star Wars.
In Anime, Den-noh Coil: Collection 1 i the first 13 episodes of a story about young people who have spent their whole lives wearing augmented reality glasses, tying them into layers of the world not available to the un-enhanced. But when they end up in Daikoku City, the e-space turns sinister, and some people may have already died trying to figure out what is going on there. Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom: Wild Dance of Kyoto takes place in historic Kyoto, where the Shinsengumi battle for control of the country with the vampire-like Ronin, and a woman may hold the key to victory in the form of an elixir that grants superhuman speed, strength, and healing. Selector Spread Wixoss is the next dozen episodes of the Selector series, as Ruko fights for answers and to rescue her friends inside the game. Yurikuma Arashi: Complete Series is a story of love, loss, and bear attacks featuring the heavily armed women who attack them. It takes place in a parallel time line where humans share the planet with sentient bears with a taste for human flesh. Finally we get One Piece: Collection 16, bringing us episodes 373 through 396 of the continuing pirate saga.
The one new Movie title isn’t genre, and Janis: Little Girl Blue looks like it actually came out this past week. But it is an excellent documentary about an amazing artist who we lost too soon, so I had to mention it anyways. The IP Man Trilogy puts 3 of the movies in that series into a single box, at a noticeable savings over buying them individually, so if you don’t have them already now might be the time. Likewise DC Universe is releasing a number of their animated feature films two to a box for the price of one this week, including Son of Batman/Batman: Under The Red Hood, All-Star Superman/Superman Doomsday, and Superman vs. The Elite/Superman: Unbound. TV is represented by Nova: Rise of the Robots, also not genre but very worth watching.
We do better in Anime, with some actual new genre titles like Assassination Classroom – Season 1 Part 1 bringing the first 11 episodes of the series home. Akame ga Kill: Collection 2 is the second half of that rather twisted story line, this time with the old enemies working together. Black Butler: Book of Murder has two OVAs about Ceil and the Demon Butler, and a cast that includes legendary author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; that alone should make this an important selection. Finally Gunbuster: The Movie tells the tale of the monsters between the stars, and the humans who go out to fight them. The time dilation caused by their near light speed transitions means the ones they go out to protect may be long dead before the battle is even joined.