July 6, 2004
Introducing new series, new seasons...
Wolf's Rain. Vol. 1: Leader of the Pack (2003). Appreciated more for the imagery than the narrative. [Rent]
Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi. Vol. 1: Fate (2003). And so, the second series of Ai Yori begins with things getting a little rowdy at Sakuraba Mansion. [Rent]
Fighting Spirit (Hajime no Ippo). Vol. 1: The First Step (2000). Can a professional boxer beef up Ippo Makunocuhi? [Rent]
Gungrave. Vol. 1 (2003). A bit on the dark side, this one, at least going by the reviews at AnimeNfo. It also evidently takes a while to get into, but the payoff seems to be more than worth it. [Rent]
Super Milk Chan Show: 100% Whole (1999). Silly, irreverent, uniquely drawn. Discs 1 [Rent] and 2 [Rent].
Gall Force - New Era (1991). Akemi's Anime World: "Gall Force is either an epic space opera gone horribly wrong, or a babes in outer space flick gone horribly right." The choice is yours. [Rent]
Hyper Speed Grandoll (1999). Whoops, guess who's a super-powered alien! [Rent]
And onward with some of our favorite series...
Lupin III Vol. 7: Royal Scramble (2002). The series may be "silly and slapsticky," and IronS calls it, but it's still made her list of Cartoons for grown-ups many first caught on the Cartoon Network. [Rent]
Boys Over Flowers Vol. 6: The Crime & Punishment of a Kiss (1996). "I am ADDICTED to this series," exclaims MrBunBun. "If you love shoujo anime, especially the melodrama, then this is IT." [Rent]
Saikano Vol. 2: Break-Up (2002). "This is a great story about Chise and Shuji trying to get closer to each other during wartime," says WConyers. [Rent]
Final Fantasy: Unlimited - Phase 7 (2001). The series forges on, expanding the universe of the game. [Rent]
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV Vol. 4: Nine Lives (1998). "I love shows with android babes and cat girls," says JLind. [Rent]
Batman: The Animated Series Vol. 1. (2001). The Emmy award-winning series is back. "The art may look simple, but its use of light and shadow bely its true sophistication," says rakdaddy. "The comic-book look adds to the power of the storylines: the villians are maniacal and flawed, and the Dark Knight himself has never seemed more monstrous and humane. This is no kiddie stuff; this is the way Batman should have always been presented." Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent] and 4 [Rent].
Challenge of the SuperFriends - The First Season (1978). Blast, we sure could use the Justice League of America right about now. Discs 1 [Rent] and 2 [Rent].
ACTION and ADVENTURE
Legend of the Devil (1996). Sisyphus: "A samurai, evil ninjas, an innocent princess and not one but two stolen treasures - what more do you need?" [Rent]
SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY
Two 70s-era Disney adventures shot through with effects and aimed at the kids, Escape To Witch Mountain (1975) [Rent] and its sequel, Return From Witch Mountain (1978) [Rent]. The first features
Donald Pleasence and Ray Milland, the second, Christopher Lee and Bette Davis.
RACY and EROTIC
This week brings more vintage sexploitation from Something Weird, five films in all on two disks: The double feature Shame Of Patty Smith / You've Ruined Me Eddie (1962 / 1959). [Rent] and the triple feature, Girl In Trouble / Good Time with a Bad Girl / Bad Girls Do Cry (1954-1963). [Rent]
Erotic Escort Company (2004). [Rent]
CharlieChan.net decodes the formula: "Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police Force, crack detective and worldwide celebrity, happened upon a good case of murder in an interesting or exotic locale, usually not Honolulu. One or two of Charlie's sons, detective wanna-be's themselves, offered 'Pop' their assistance. They would then spend the rest of the film getting in the way and providing comic relief, until Charlie solved the case in spite of them. Oh, and of course along the way Detective Chan could be counted on for numerous pithy Chinese proverbs (some pithier than others)."
Of course, this whole set-up hasn't fared well in the decades since Charlie Chan's heyday. Even if, like his Latino counterpart, the Frito Bandito, Chan outwits the whites, many have interpreted the character as a blatant racial stereotype, and he's since been retired. Whatever your take on the series - entertaining yarns, curious slices of history, unwitting comedy - half a dozen titles now arrive for your inspection.
Charlie Chan in The Secret Service (1944). [Rent]
Meeting at Midnight (1944). [Rent]
The Chinese Cat (1944). [Rent]
The Jade Mask (1945). [Rent]
The Scarlet Clue (1945). [Rent]
The Shanghai Cobra (1945). [Rent]
Six Feet Under: Season 2 (2002). Jodi Kantor in Slate: "If you haven't heard yet, it's a darkly comic, hourlong series about the squabbling Fisher family, who operate (and even live in) their own funeral home.... The basic theme, of course, is death: Each episode begins with some stranger kicking the bucket, and the rest of the installment is ingeniously written around the preparations for that person's funeral." Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent], 4 [Rent] and 5 [Rent].
Star Trek: Voyager - Season 3 (1996-1997). Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent], 4 [Rent], 5 [Rent], 6 [Rent] and 7 [Rent].
Click back to see more titles that arrived on July 6: Drama, comedy, horror and more...
While you're at it, you might want to browse the New Releases Archive for more recent arrivals.