Science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles run hot and cold when it comes to home video releases each Tuesday, and this week is definitely cold – at least in terms of numbers. However, as the old cliche goes, if Donald Trump walks into a bar the average net work of everyone in the bar goes up several million dollars. The Donald Trump of DVD and Blu-ray releases this week is THE SKY CRAWLERS, the latest anime extravaganza from Mamoru Oshii (GHOST IN THE SHELL). That title alone is enough to make us breathless with anticipation for a trip to the video story: After a frestival screening of the film late last year, our own Dan Person wrote that SKY CRAWLERS is Oshii’s “best work since the original GHOST IN THE SHELL, and proof positive of anime’s unique ability to excite and enlighten.”
THE SKY CRAWLERS flies into stores on DVD and Blu-ray, both of which feature the original Japanese dialogue with optional subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. The widescreen aspect ratio is 1.77. Extras consist of three documentaries, presented in high-def: one about location scouting used to help manufacture the physical environment ultimately achieved in animation; one about the sound design; and one featuring an interview with Mamoru Oshii. Additionally, the Blu-ray disc includes a BD Live feature.
The rest of the week’s sci-fi, fantasy, and horror home video releases consist of a handful of oldies and a few direct-to-video titles…
Cashing in on next week’s release of the big-budget theatrical version of LAND OF THE LOST, starring Will Ferrell, Hollywood pumps out the original TV show on DVD in LAND OF THE LOST: THE COMPLETE SERIES and LAND OF THE LOST: COMPLETE SERIES (LIMITED EDITION GIFT SET). The later packs the discs inside a recreation of the old “Land of the Lost” lunch box that no friend of mine was ever un-cool enough to own.
Other oldies are back on the shelves thanks to Blu-ray upgrades: CHILDREN OF MEN and FIELD OF DREAMS.
If you’re desperate to see something new, there are some DTV flicks out there, but only the documentary HARLAN ELLISON: DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH– a look at the iconoclastic speculative fiction author – promises much intellectual heft. THE DEVIL’S TOMB – an action-adventure horror film starring Cuba Gooding Jr. – makes us wonder why Hollywood can’t find a decent role for the Oscar-winning actor to play in a big-budget theatrical film. THE LOST TREASURE OF THE GRAND CANYON answers the question “Whatver happened to Shannen Doherty?” And MEGASHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS sounds just ridiculous enough to entice our interest. (We just pray to God that the eventual face off was achieved with bad CGI rather than by putting two real animals together in a tank.)
Check out this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases below, or find more in the Cinefantastique Online store.