DVDTalk Reviews Round-Up

Highest Rating - Collector's Series:

Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector's Edition -- "... around both Halloween and Christmas, a time typically reserved for the joy in our hearts, Henry Selick and Tim Burton's gloriously gothic masterpiece has become a rock-hard institution. But it's more than just a hybrid holiday musical. As an allegory mirroring conflict, inspiration, and determination between pseudo inter-cooperative worlds. The Nightmare Before Christmas is simply a phenomenal anecdote about overcoming monotony and gloominess in a melancholy little universe." [Full Review.]

Highly Recommended:

Jet Li's Fearless: Director's Cut -- "... the trimming and repositioning of material from Yu's film transformed a strong, thoughtfully expansive martial arts epic downwards into the blunt, half-heartless exercise in pure adrenaline shown in our theaters. Thankfully, with the vitality of home entertainment, its true vision can be shared without the concern for marketing suits or construed audience interpretation. The result is nothing short of astonishing, as Ronny Yu's reformulated historical martial arts portrait can now claim a seat as one of the significant greats of its genre." [Full Review]

My Blueberry Nights -- " ... Wong Kar-Wai's most recent film gravitates closer to a polarizing outlook on strangers and individuality than on the bonds formed through romance. Though it sounds heavier than his other work, strangely it turns out to be the opposite. My Blueberry Nights shows a softer, more lackadaisical side to this filmmaker's auteur powers, resulting in an easygoing and affectionate tale that focuses more on the stranger in the corner that shies away from making the kind of scenes that Wong Kar-Wai typically bathes in his gorgeously achieved visual design." [Full Review]


The Forbidden Kingdom -- " ... this highly-anticipated conflagration more geared towards a "broader" audience might be a bit of a letdown. There's quite a few satisfying Yuen Wo Ping choreographed battles that detonate within Forbidden Kingdom, but it's a film much more concentrated on aesthetics and wider-ranged audience acclimation over quality narrative and the blitzed martial arts that we'd come to expect." [Full Review]

The Wolves
--"... enjoyed both the moderation and the visceral nature of its scattered battle sequences, relying more on the film's familiar tension in character's faces and only mild dashes of samurai influence than intricate choreography. Gosha's The Wolves requires some patience to absorb through the prolonged spans between boisterous actions, but can be quite intriguing once you've found its genteel dramatic flow. " [Full Review]


Dororo --"clearly the beginning of a two-part series that reflects on Hyakkimaru's ancestry and the ways it'll intermingle with his struggle to get all fourty-eight of his bodyparts back. Though the film's visual mood grates on the eyes a bit and balances oddly with its dramatic efforts, the director's style and Tsumabuki Satoshi's embodiment of Hyakkimaru would make me interested in seeing another installment. " [Full Review]

Carmen -- "the story of Carmen itself is a passionate and fraught tale of a woman's uncontrollable sensuality -- along with the effects she has on the equally interesting male characters that surround her. With adaptation to film, it's difficult to replicate the whims of the gypsy prostitute-esque Carmen in a meaningful dramatic light. As shown by Vicente Aranda's adaptation of Carmen with Paz Vega as the central antagonistic harlot, it can result to little more than stylized-yet-bloated period "skin"-ema. " [Full Review]

Forget Its:

Deception -- "Meager concepts about the association between passionate anonymous connections and the elite denizens of society are slap-dashed together for bluffs at intelligence, but then Deception folds onto itself once originality is surrendered for the most thoroughly-played game on record. It's kind of like a perverted, self-indulgent knock-off of Double Indemnity for the first two-thirds, then an all-out frappe of a caper screwjob in its conclusion. " [Full Review]

My Sassy Girl -- "There's a devastating amount of humor and aggressiveness lost, even backstabbed, in its regurgitation to the English-speaking audience that could've been easily translated over. Instead of concentrating close attention to these necessities, it makes a premeditative decision to try and meld its moods and motives onto the modern concept of an uppity fairy-tale romance -- something that My Sassy Girl just isn't." [Full Review]


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