Fantasy Island

Welcome back to This Week In Discs… now on Mondays for your reading pleasure one day early! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Isn’t Anyone Alive? It’s afternoon on a college campus, and as the students chat about urban myths, employees go about their business and strangers pass through the area something begins to happen. They all begin to die. One by one they fall to the ground coughing and writhing in pain, but the conversations continue on around them. Director Gakuryu Ishii and screenwriter Shirô Maeda (adapting his own play) have delivered a film guaranteed to turn off 90% of viewers with its shifting tones, slow pace and lack of easy answers, but the 10% who stick with it will find a surreal gem exploring the things we share with each other and the things we keep secret. Dark, absurd humor exists alongside moments of real beauty, and the ending in particular is an affecting glimpse at true loneliness. [Extras: None]

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Sadly, this is one of the worst week for new releases in decades. Decades I say! Well, in weeks anyway. Some of the mediocre titles coming out this week include the occasionally entertaining Underworld: Awakening, the frustratingly uninteresting Mother’s Day remake, the low-rent Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, and Channing Tatum’s funniest film yet, The Vow. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Front Line War films are a staple here in the US, something that’s benefited by the fact that America has dozens of wars to choose from, but not every country is as lucky (or unlucky).  South Korea was a part of only one major conflict in the modern era, but out of this trauma have come several fantastic war films including 71: Into the Fire and My Way. The Front Line is the latest and also one of the best as it focuses on one of the war’s final battles. Both the South and the North struggle to capture and recapture a particular hill as the final hours of the war wind down, but as the clock ticks forward the men (and woman) discover there’s far more at stake here than a simple plot of land. Director Hun Jang finds real suspense and spectacular battlefield action amidst the stories between friends, enemies and countrymen.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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