Fish Story

This Week in DVD

Welcome to the last DVD column of 2011! There’s been quite a bit of chatter about how dismal of a year it was for film, but while there’s no doubt the box office haul is lower than the year before the same can’t be said for film quality. This week’s releases include the dirty fun of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, the cool deaths (but little else) of Final Destination 5, two found footage films of varying quality (The Tunnel, Apollo 18) and two future cult classics (Kill List, The Skin I Live In) possibly worth an import for folks who don’t want to wait several more months for US releases. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Fish Story A comet heads toward Earth, but as the planet awaits destruction a few strangers sit in a record shop discussing how a mysterious song from decades ago just might save the world. From that starting point the film moves across space and time to tell a story about friendship, heroism, fate and more. Director Yoshihiro Nakamura (Golden Slumber, A Boy and His Samurai) has a true talent for tying multiple threads  up with real heart and character. The movie is actually a few years old, but it’s also the reason the term ‘blind buy’ was invented. Seriously. This is near perfect mix of whimsy, action, suspense and heart, and deserves to be seen by everyone. Check out Cole Abaius’ full review.

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The Holiday Gift Guide: DVD and Blu-ray

Merry Christmas movie/TV/goat-cheese lovers! As part of our week-long gift guide extravaganza thingamajig we’ve put together a list of Blu-rays, DVD and a few other ideas for you to use when shopping for others or for putting on your own Christmas list. Or both. Some of the films below are from years past, but they all hit Blu-ray and/or DVD this year so they totally count for this gift guide. Click on the links to be magically transported to Amazon, AmazonUK and other places where lovely things can be found.

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Writer/director Yoshihiro Nakamura is no stranger to cross genre perfection as evidenced by his last two films, Fish Story and Golden Slumber. The former puts the power of a pop song up against the impending end of the world, and the latter places a Beatles tune at the center of an assassination conspiracy. The two share more in common than simply a love of music as both are also absolutely brilliant tales that weave complicated stories into cinematic magic. His latest features a far simpler story, but Nakamura still manages to mash genres into a film that delights in its love of life, family, and companionship. The joys and hardships of a single parent family, the ubiquitous TV baking-battle shows, and a samurai struggling with his own code in an alien environment all blend together seamlessly into a creation that rivals the delicious-looking pastries on screen… which is an incredible feat. A Boy and His Samurai is an absolute pleasure to watch from beginning to end.

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An innocent man is accused of a heinous and high level crime and finds himself on the run from the authorities and from those who set him up. The sub-genre is fairly common with films ranging from The Fugitive to Tell No One, but the granddaddy behind them all is Alfred Hitchcock with films like North By Northwest and Frenzy. And now a new film can be added to the mix, and it’s already receiving praise and being labeled with the “Hitchcockian” superlative. Director Yoshihiro Nakamura‘s new film deserves the accolades, but I’d argue it does the rotund Brit one better… it’s Hitchcock with heart.

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Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. We’ll cover movies both foreign and domestic, new and old, and while some discs will require region-free players others will play on any DVD or Blu-ray machine. The one thing they’ll all have in common is their status as damn fine films and/or solid entertainment currently unavailable in the US but well worth importing into your collection. It’s 2012 and Roland Emmerich and the Mayans are screaming “told ya so!’ at the top of their lungs to anyone who’ll listen. Why? Because a large comet is heading towards Earth, and it’s mere hours away from impact. A lone electric wheelchair moves silently through empty city streets until its driver spots the only other sign of life… an open record store. Inside are two men talking music as the world is about to end. In particular they’re discussing a long-forgotten punk band called Gekirin and their song “Fish Story.” A song that just may save the world… Read on after the jump for more reasons that make this disc and movie worth importing…

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Luckily we had a list of the winners sent to us because we didn’t remember all the names. Or where our pants went.

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In 2012, with a meteor going to destroy Earth, three men spend the afternoon inside a record store listening to an obscure band. As the band’s story is told, it shows how their song might save the planet from the oncoming apocalypse.

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We’ve been training all our lives for this, and it’s finally here. Fantastic Fest 2009 promises to remove our eyeballs, pour blood, sex and ninja moves all over them and then shove them right back in our face. These are the 20 films that have us most excited about that upcoming amateur surgical procedure.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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