Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New DVD Releases: 3/23/10

Wow. A whole bunch of martial arts and asian cinema releases for Tuesday the 23rd! Let's start with the old and move up to the newer films...

First, coming to Blu-Ray from Criterion, we have Yojimbo and Sanjuro, two classic Kurasawa films. Here's a little run down from amazon.com:

Thanks to perhaps the most indelible character in Akira Kurosawa’s oeuvre, Yojimbo surpassed even Seven Samurai in popularity when it was released. The masterless samurai Sanjuro, who slyly manipulates two warring clans to his own advantage in a small, dusty village, was so entertainingly embodied by the brilliant Toshiro Mifune, that it was only a matter of time before he returned in a sequel. Made just one year later, Sanjuro matches Yojimbo’s storytelling dexterity, yet adds a layer of world-weary pragmatism that brings the duo to a thrilling and unforgettable conclusion.

Yojimbo (1961): To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage in Akira Kurosawa’s visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo.

Sanjuro (1962): In Kurosawa’s sly companion piece to Yojimbo, the jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan’s evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a proper, samurai on its ear.

Available individually, or together in a 2-disc Blu-Ray set!

Trailer for Yojimbo...

Next up we have the Red Ninja 3 Film Collection. This includes the movies "Ninjascope," (1966) "Watari the Conqueror," (1967) and "Watari and the Fantastiks" (1970). These three stories follow the fantastic adventures of Watari the Ninja Boy as he battles a bevy of evil ninjas and crazy monsters with his mystical weapons and unearthly powers! If you like it trippy, wacky, and campy, then this is for you. At the retail price of only $9.98, it's a must grab! Check out the trailer...

Trailer for Ninjascope...

Next up, from FUNimation Entertainment, is the Shaw Brothers film "14 Amazons" (1972). Long before "feminism" made it to Hong Kong, women proved themselves more than equal to men in this martial arts classic. The cast is a veritable "who's who" of the golden age of Shaw Brothers swordplay adventures, and was not only a major box office hit (ranking fourth for 1972), but also a top prize winner, including Best Supporting Actress for Lisa Lu, a special citation for outstanding lead female performance for Lily Ho, Best Director for Cheng Kang, and an award for Honourable Mention For Drama.

Also releasing from FUNimation, another Shaw production, "Shaolin Hand Lock" (1978). From the director who gave Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung early breaks in film, Ho Meng-Hua teams up with Mr. Kung Fu Hero, David Chiang, in a funky, over the top martial arts chiller based upon a secret kung fu technique that is also the film's English title, "Shaolin Hand Lock". Fans and non-fans of the genre will elate to again see Chiang match fists with Shaw's number one villain, Lo Lieh.

And finally, from Magnolia Home Entertainment, is the release of "Red Cliff" (2008). Directed by John Woo, Red Cliff follows the epic historical drama based on a legendary 208 A.D. battle that heralded the end of the Han Dynasty. A power-hungry Prime Minister-turned-General Cao Cao seeks permission from the Han Dynasty Emperor to organize a southward-bound mission designed to crush the two troublesome warlords who stand in his way, Liu Bei and Sun Quan. Vastly outnumbered by Cao Cao's brutal, fast-approaching army, the warlords band together to mount a heroic campaign - unrivaled in history - that changes the face of China forever. Red Cliff (Theatrical Version) is available in standard definition as well as Blu-Ray. Also available in SD or Blu-Ray is the Red Cliff (International version) Parts I and II.

Trailer for "Red Cliff"...

"Buddha bless you..."


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