Wednesday, January 9, 2008

DVD releases for Junuary 8, 2008

Okay, let's keep this simple: less pictures, less words; in order of preference, gold at the top, chaff at the bottom.

Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2006) directed by Takashi Miike
The big release this week is hardly a new one for Miike, but this will be the first legit DVD of Big Bang Love with English subtitles. This film was getting good press at festivals and seemed destine to carve out a new arthouse niche for Miike. But alas, it never got a theatrical release and as a result never went beyond the festival circuit. Reportedly Big Bang Love is a prison drama of sorts that plays out more like a performance than a film, with stage sets and lighting ala Dogville. Starring the devilish beautiful Ryuhei Matsuda and equally handsome Masanobu Ando as the incarcerated leads who may or may not be in love.

Sunshine (2007) directed by Danny Boyle
One of my favorite films from last year, and despite the fact that I have already seen it, I may just rent it again. Danny Boyle is a shapeshifting genre director that has made a shapeshifting genre film. On the surface, this is a sci-fi film, but I am equally drawn to the melodramatic and horror elements of Sunshine.

Eagle vs. Shark (2007) directed by Taika Cohen
Yet another film I feel bad for missing when it played theatrically. It's a quirky romance that got very good recommendations from people who saw it.

Joshua (2007) directed George Ratliff
I saw the trailer for this a couple times and it looked to have redeeming qualities. Not only that, some friends and I became convinced that this may have been based on the childhood of someone we knew!

The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005) directed by Taggart Siegel
My other life is in organic produce and John Peterson is legendary in the industry. An idealist at heart, it was people like Farmer John who started this whole crazy green movement 30 years ago. Not so crazy now.

Smiley Face (2007) directed by Gregg Araki
I totally missed this film. Did it play in theaters? Gregg Araki is an interesting filmmaker at the very least, and his last, Mysterious Skin, was more interesting than most. This is a movie about someone unknowingly eating marijuana cupcakes, and the after effects. If you don't find anything comedic in getting high, this probably isn't the movie for you.

DarkBlueAlmostBlack (2006) directed by Daniel Sanchez Arevelo
This Spanish drama got better than average reviews and it never hit screens in the Twin Cities.

3:10 to Yuma (2007) directed by James Mangold
A better than average Western that most people took to more than me. Most definitely worth a watch, especially if you are a fan of the genre.

Dragon Wars (2007) directed by Shim Hyung-rae
Three words: don't do it.


Anonymous said...

Tell me: what's the difference between "shapeshifting genre director" and "rip-off artist"? Because Danny Boyle seems far more the latter than the former. Or should we blame Alex Garland for the derivative, depressing mess that is "Sunshine"...?

Kathie Smith said...

Maybe there is no difference, other than I seem to like the rip-off artist and you don't.