New on the Shelf: Glittery vampires shame a nation

Posted on 16 March 2009 by ShepRamsey

Hey friends, Shep here with my weekly DVD rundown for Tuesday, March 17. My pick this week is the Criterion Collection’s release of Akira Kurosawa’s 1970 film Dodes’ka-Den.

twilightFirst up on the list for this week, we have my undisputed pick for the worst movie that I saw last year, and that is your precious little Twilight. I just don’t know what it is about this painfully obnoxious and stupid movie that has swept the nation with such tenacity, but somehow it’s gone and become quite the phenomenon. There’s a difference to me between honest-to-god creativity and throwing-shit-at-the-wall absurdity and Twilight crosses the line time and again. I really, really, really hated this movie. If you must, however, it’ll be out on in stores this week. So…you know…check it out. I guess.elegy

Next, we have Elegy, from Spanish director Isabel Coixet. I have to own up to having not seen it, but with a cast that includes Sir Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper, and recent Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz, I have to say that I’m pretty interested to check this one out. The story involves a cultutal critic who has found his comfort in life in being alone and away from the entanglements of human life. Kinda like Dr. Manhattan. When he meets up with a beautiful younger Spanish woman who reawakens his sexual desires, things start to become a bit more complex for him. The film got some solid reviews and it seems to be certainly worth a look.punisherwarzone

Also, we’re looking at Punisher: War Zone, the low-budget R-rated comic book picture that no one ever heard of that starred a bunch of people that no one ever heard of and was released during the holiday movie season. Great moments in bad marketing… It’s probably not very good. Of course it got more than its share of shitty reviews, so there’s a surprise for you. But I have to own up to kinda liking the first one that starred Tom Jane and John Travolta. It was a nice bit of good dumb fun. You could do worse. Maybe this one’s kinda alright. It will be released in a single-disc version and a two-disc special edition.

That about does it. There really isn’t much this week. Punisher and Twilight will both be available on Blu-Ray as well.

My pick for this week, as I mentioned above, is the Criterion Collection’s release of the great Akira Kurosawa’s Dodes’ka-Den. Now I’ve seen me a great deal of Kurosawa, mostly thanks to those wonderful people at Criterion, butdodeskaden I’ve yet to see this one. But it’s Kurosawa and therefore i have to say something about it, as he’s without a doubt one of my favorite film directors of all time.

Dodes’ka-Den originally came out in 1970 and was Kurosawa’s first color film. Gotta love that dude for hanging onto black and white for so long. And when he finally succumbed to color, he used it better than anyone on the planet. Try watching Kagemusha or Ran and telling me that the bright radiant colors in those films aren’t an awe-inspiring feast for the eyes.

This film takes a look at slum-life in Tokyo. Rokkuchan, a mentally disabled slum-dweller, drives an imaginary trolley through his slum, weaving in and out of the different lives and stories of all of the destitute individuals who live there. I guess it’s sort of the narrative-style pre-cursor for Luis Bunuel’s The Phantom of Liberty or Richard Linklater’s Slacker. Frankly, it all sounds amazing to me and I look forward to checking it out as soon as possible.

It’s a short one this week and that about wraps things up. All these titles will be available in DVD stores Tuesday, March 17. Be there!

Buy Dodes’ka-Den on DVD HERE.                           

Categorized | News

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Quaid Says:

    Don’t you ever pick semi-popular movies? ;) jk

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