Recently in Cinema Category

Sin City

Sin City was an amazing movie…the exaggerated film noir atmosphere…the corny pulp novel style dialogue…the sadistic, almost cartoonish, violence…“Rory Gilmore” as a blue-eyed hooker in studded black leather…and, of course, the powerful visual style, which used minimal color in an otherwise high-contrast black and white palette and looked, at times, just like a moving pen and ink drawing.

Miyazaki fans rejoice

I have been a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s films since I was a junior in college. In fact, he is the namesake of my work computer. My Neighbor Totoro was my first exposure to his brilliance; my roommate did a paper on the film. “You only see him when you’re very young…” (…or you’re very drunk). Although Totoro is one of his more charming films, the artwork in his other masterpieces is positively breathtaking. (My favorite is still Mononoke-hime.)

So it is no surprise that I am waiting with baited breath for my pre-order of Porco Rosso, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and The Cat Returns to ship. The Region 1 release date for all three is tomorrow.

Porco Rosso DVD cover Nausicaa DVD cover The Cat Returns DVD cover

These DVDs have been delayed for so long; I remember when Porco Rosso had a slated release date of April 2004.

Now if Disney would just announce a date for the replacement of that awful Fox Home Video version of Totoro since Fox’s distribution rights have finally expired.

In other cool Miyazaki-related news, it looks like there will be a live-action version of Kiki’s Delivery Service.

DVD library II

Coincidentally, Slashdot linked to UnderGroundOnline’s list of the top 50 movie DVDs of all time the day after I posted a list of my own collection.

I was bored, so I thought I’d see how many titles from UGO’s favorites were in my list. It looks like I only own about half of them (bolded); I guess it’s time to fill up my shopping cart again.

Of course, with Blu-ray and HD-DVD duking it out throughout 2005 for the position of next-generation video format standard, my humble DVD library may soon be reminiscent of my mom’s collection of 8-tracks.

  1. The Lord of the Rings
  2. Alien Quadrilogy
  3. Ultimate Matrix
  4. The Evil Dead
  5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  6. Terminator 2 (different edition)
  7. Fight Club
  8. Men In Black
  9. Dawn of the Dead
  10. Ghostbusters
  11. Star Wars Trilogy
  12. Star Trek Movies (only the first three)
  13. Escape from New York
  14. Akira
  15. Clerks X
  16. Stargate
  17. Se7en
  18. The Mummy
  19. Indiana Jones
  20. The Goonies
  21. Tron
  22. Pearl Harbor
  23. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  24. Back to the Future
  25. Almost Famous
  26. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
  27. Blade II
  28. Boogie Nights
  29. Rushmore
  30. X2: X-Men United
  31. Daredevil
  32. Memento
  33. The Royal Tenenbaums
  34. Superman: The Movie
  35. The Sixth Sense
  36. Gladiator
  37. Black Hawk Down
  38. THX 1138
  39. Hellboy
  40. Dark City
  41. The Killer
  42. 12 Monkeys
  43. Jackie Brown
  44. Field Of Dreams
  45. Saving Private Ryan (different edition)
  46. The Fifth Element (different edition)
  47. The Shawshank Redemption
  48. Beauty and the Beast
  49. The Godfather Collection
  50. Monsters, Inc.

DVD library


Whenever I buy a DVD, I catalog it in a handy little app for OS X called DVD Cache. Since I finally hit 150 titles, I thought it would be fun to use the HTML export feature and post them here (with some minor clean-up of the code).

I’m not sure if my DVD library provides any profound revelations about my personality (other than I am an unabashed sci-fi geek, who also likes animation), but it does reveal that I spend way too much money on these silly little plastic discs. Warning: the DVD page is a bit bandwidth intensive (cover art).

There are a few embarrassing selections in there, but…uh…I didn’t buy those ones, they…were a gift.

Hey, if any of you who know me outside the blogosphere want to borrow some discs, feel free to ask me.

Batoru rowaiaru


Moving on to less controversial topics…

A co-worker lent me a somewhat obscure live-action Japanese movie that he had borrowed from our university’s language lab, and I finally got a chance to watch it Sunday. Battle Royale (2000) by director Kini Fukasaku is an extremely dark, unsettling film with a laughable premise, but a serious, brutally violent tone throughout. I highly recommend it if you can find it (maybe via P2P client).

In a corrupt, imploding dystopian Japan, adults choose to quell student rebellion by making an example of one class of high school students each year. They ship these students off to a deserted island, fit them with electronic explosive dog collars, give each one a duffel bag with random bladed and projectile weapons, then set them loose. Only one student will be allowed off of the island, the required death of all of the rest of their classmates is the only caveat. If more than one student remains after three days, all of the collars explode.

The movie has its flaws (limited characterization, repetitive at times), and the excessively brutal violence is sickening and tragic, but it ends up being a surprisingly moving and provocative tale of desperate survival, friendship, betrayal, cruelty, and resistance.

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