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    Marvel Anime: Wolverine – Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on August 6th, 2012

    While I have watched a ton of cartoons, the same really can not be said of anime. Sure, I know my classics like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, or Vampire Hunter D but by and large I am not up on my anime. I certainly like it but when I look the shelves and shelves of television episodes or movies, I’m mostly overwhelmed. However, a little bit ago I saw a commercial for some Marvel Anime on G4, I was instantly interested. Little did I know that a couple of the series would end up on my doorstep.
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    Marvel Anime: Blade – Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on July 27th, 2012

    While I have watched a ton of cartoons, the same really can not be said of anime. Sure, I know my classics like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, or Vampire Hunter D but by and large I am not up on my anime. I certainly like it but when I look the shelves and shelves of television episodes or movies, I’m mostly overwhelmed. However, a little bit ago I saw a commercial for some Marvel Anime on G4, I was instantly interested. Little did I know that a couple of the series would end up on my doorstep.
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    Horror Double Feature: Pulse/Sick Nurses

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 10th, 2010

    Pulse:

    Plenty of Japanese horror films have storylines that vary from the oblique to the opaque. Pulse is no exception, so forgive me if this synopsis is a bit confusing (or confused). An internet website offers visitors the chance to see actual ghosts. Viewing the footage seems to make one vulnerable to an actual visitation, and when someone encounters a ghost, that person withdraws from others, shunning all society, and becomes consumed by loneliness to the point of suicide or something even more bizarre.
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    The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 22nd, 2009

    This was the final of Miramax 4 martial arts classics released as a collection or separately on Blu-ray. The collection featured some extraordinary action and top line star power for the most part. Zatoichi, for the most part, is the weakest of the four films. It is almost a solo effort by renowned Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano. He participated in writing the script. He is also the director, editor, and star of this rather off the wall martial arts film. The character of Zatoichi has appeared in many films and is as much a part of martial arts culture as Jackie Chan.
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    Big Man Japan

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 6th, 2009

    Daisato (director/co-writer Hitosi Matumoto) is having his daily life filmed by a TV crew. This life is pretty depressing. He doesn’t make much money, his wife has left him, and his neighbours hate him. His job isn’t exactly low-stress, either: he is Big Man Japan, a hereditary job that involves defending Japan against monster attacks. So whenever he gets the call, he has to run to the nearest power plant, get himself zapped until he grows into a 50-foot giant, and do battle with various bizarre creatures (one looks like a plucked chicken with a huge eyeball/penis appendage). But though he does his best, his ratings are down, his show is broadcast in the dead hours of the morning, his agent appears to be taking advantage of him, and there’s a new monster in town that mops the floor with him on their first encounter.
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    Appleseed Ex Machina

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on April 30th, 2008

    A question to ponder before we head into this review. What do you get when you mix anime or japanese animation with a healthy dose of John Woo? Besides a ton of falling gun shell casing and cute characters performing acrobatics in the air while taking down a dozen bad guys? You get a movie that goes full speed for over a hundred minutes and makes you realize that this is truly the perfect avenue for John Woo and style of films. However, just don’t expect there to be a completely solid story behind it.
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    Paprika

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on December 27th, 2007

    Sometimes I absolutely adore anime. Great action from the far east that breaks boundaries one could only dream of. Or perhaps to tell an engaging story about a love lost long ago. Once in a while, I hate anime unfortunately. This usually occurs when they break no boundaries, tread over the same story or it plays out like hentai (tentacles in places where they don’t belong). So I receive Paprika to review. Hoping I would like it, I quickly stuffed it in my dvd player and found the following:
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    The Dark Crystal

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 22nd, 2007

    Although it arose from the talented minds behind The Muppet Show, this 1982 fantasy classic is no kids’ film. While The Dark Crystal can be enjoyed by kids, it’s a little too dark and a little too abstract for your average seven-year-old.

    Set in “another world, in another time…in the age of wonder,” The Dark Crystal represents a monumental creative undertaking, and the first live-action feature film to not have any humans appearing on screen. While this 25th Anniversary Edition release appears to be a quadruple-dip, it just might be worth your attention.


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    Natural, The

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on April 14th, 2007

    Synopsis

    Baseball films always hold a place near and dear to me. I would go see them with my dad when I was a kid and enjoy the plight of a team or an individual with a desire to win and overcome the odds. Sometimes it would be funny (Bull Durham), sometimes it would be sad (Eight Men Out), sometimes it would be uplifting (Field of Dreams). However, all of the above movies would have never been as successful without one movie in particular. That movie is The Natural . The Natura…
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    Whisper of the Heart

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 11th, 2006

    Whisper of the Heart follows Shizuku, a young girl on the cusp of womanhood as she learns to realize her talents and follow her dreams. She harbors deep admiration for Seiji, a mysterious young man, who shares a strange kinship with her that soon blossoms into love. From the start, Shizuku isn’t sure who she is. She indulges in songwriting and reading. It’s the latter hobby that first links her to Seiji. She starts to notice his name in the histories for every library book she checks out. It seems he’s always …
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    Howl’s Moving Castle

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 20th, 2006

    Synopsis

    Set in an imaginary European country on the verge of war, in a vague time period that is approximately Edwardian, this is the story of Sophie, a young girl who encounters Howl, the handsome wizard who lives in a gigantic, clattering contraption of a mobile castle. The interest Howl has in Sophie arouses the angry jealousy of the Witch of the Waste (voiced by Lauren Bacall in the English dub), who curses Sophie with instant old age. Sophie, no longer recognized by Howl, takes up residence in …
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    Godzilla: Final Wars

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on December 11th, 2005

    Synopsis

    In Antarctica, Godzilla battles the Gohten-go (an earth-drilling/submarine/flying ship familiar from Ataragon), and winds up buried after an earthquake. Flash-forward to the near future after a superb credit sequence by Kyle (Se7en) Cooper, and monsters are suddenly attacking cities all over the world. Humanity is apparently saved by the extraterrestrial Xilians, who zap the monsters away. Of course, it turns out the Xilians are up to no good, and were controlling the monsters …
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    My Neighbors the Yamadas

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 8th, 2005

    Synopsis

    Not being too familiar of the work done by Japanese animators or anyone associated with Studio Ghibli, it was hard to know what to expect when I started watching My Neighbors the Yamadas, but as it turns out, it’s a fairly successful cartoon series from Japan. Created by Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies), the cartoon focuses on a family of four and a grandmother in their day to day lives and experiences.

    The film brings the Japanese vocal talent to the table, but appare…
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    Cat Returns

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 10th, 2005

    

    Synopsis

    Poor Haru is have a rough day at school, and it isn’t like this is an exception. She can’t seemto fit in, and is filled with self-doubt. On her way home, she rescues a cat from traffic, and isastonished when the cat speaks to her. It turns out that she rescued the prince of the CatKingdom. By way of thanks, the Cat King decides she should become his son’s bride. Harudoesn’t like this idea. Coming to her aid is the Baron, an elegant cat figurine come to life, alongwith his f…
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    Godzilla – Tokyo SOS

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 2nd, 2004

    Synopsis

    A year after the clash seen in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, the giant robot built around the bones of the original Godzilla is still being repaired. Mothra and her two fairy princesses appear to warn humanity to return the bones to the sea, but the authorities do not listen, and Godzilla, drawn to Mechagodzilla, returns to ravage Tokyo. A titanic battle ensues, with Mechagodzilla and Mothra struggling to save the city from the unstoppable lizard.

    The case could certainly …
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    Ju-On: The Grudge

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 17th, 2004

    

    Synopsis

    Social worker Rika is sent to help a bed-ridden old woman, only to be confronted in thehome by terrifying and deadly apparitions. The film then jumps back and forth in time, showinghow every person who has any connection, however slight, with the evil house is hunted, hauntedand killed by the malevolent ghosts.

    If that summary sounds a bit slight, that’s because the plot is, indeed, close to non-existent.The US version is actually considerably more coherent (and in …
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    Frankenfish

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on October 17th, 2004

    

    Synopsis

    A medical examiner and a biologist travel deep into the Bayou, investigating the death ofa local fisherman. They and the inhabitants of a group of houseboats are soon all-too-aware ofthe what killed the man: giant, genetically modified snakehead fish. The fish lays siege toour unfortunate characters.

    Not much more plot to this tight little creature feature than that. It gets right to the point, andwastes precious little time on subplots. Most of the film consists of…
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    Tokyo Godfathers

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 18th, 2004

    Apparently inspired by Three Godfathers, the over-sentimental John Ford western from 1948, the “godfathers” here are three homeless Tokyo-ites — Gin, a former professional bicycle racer; Hana, a transvestite; and Miyuki, a young runaway girl — living together in Shinjuku, Tokyo. On Christmas Eve, they find a baby, and embark on a journey that takes them all across the city in order to reunite the baby with its parents, while at the same time bringing their own lives closer to their ultimate destinies. Fun, fast-pac…
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    Wild Things 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 30th, 2004

    

    Synopsis

    Susan Ward, presumably cast because she’s a dead ringer for Denise Richards, is a sad littlerich girl at one of those beachfront high schools populated, to judge from the evidence on hand,by porn stars. In between slow-motion beach volleyball games, her life seems to be falling apart.Her mother died years go in the Louisiana swamp. Her rich stepfather is first threatened by agangster, and is then killed in a plane crash. Not only is Ward’s inheritance pitiful, but queenbitc…
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    Cyborg 009 – Uncut & Unedited

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on March 13th, 2004

    Cyborg 009 (pronounced zero zero nine, not double oh nine) is a show about a group of people who are half-human and half-robot – a.k.a. cyborgs. Abducted and experimented on against their will, these cyborgs are revolting against the person who made them, the evil Black Ghost.

    This show has the look of an old fashion anime program. Based on a manga strip that started in 1969, the character designs are from that era, with exaggerated facial features (most evidently big noses), sleek lines and big feet. B…
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    Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 27th, 2004

    

    Synopsis

    In the wake of a late-90s attack on Japan by Godzilla, the government orders the construction of a weapon that will be able to stand up to the monster. To this end, the bones of the first Godzilla (killed in 1954) are brought up from the sea-bed, DNA is extracted, and this DNA is used to operate computers in the robotic Mechagodzilla (also named Kiryu). The project takes years, and the completion of the weapon ironically seems to trigger the monster’s first attack in all that ti…
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    Spirited Away

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 3rd, 2003

    Synopsis

    Chihiro is a ten-year-old girl moving to a new home. On the way there, her father takes awrong turn, and they find themselves in an abandoned amusement park. I really don’t want tosay too much, as this is a film whose wonders should be discovered without too muchforeknowledge. Suffice to say that Chihiro soon finds herself in a magical world of spirits,striving to free herself, her parents, and a new friend. Spirited Away is a stunning film, worthyof comparison to Alice in Wonderla…
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