Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Rinko Kikuchi, Shirley Vendard, Nobuyuki Katsube, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
  • Director: David Zellner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • Release Date: June 30, 2015
  • Run Time: 104 minutes



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            Bleak doesn’t even begin to describe the narrative of Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter, containing more than a few similarities to the Zellner Brothers’ earlier film, Goliath, about a depressed man searching for his lost cat. Add cultural differences and an increase in mental instability and the main difference between the two films is better production values and a stronger performance by leading actress Rinko Kikuchi. The cinematography looks great and the premise based loosely on a true story is compelling, though I’m afraid I don’t share the same fascination as the Zellners with the lives of solitary depressed individuals.

     

    The Bridge Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Folker Bohnet, Fritz Wepper, Michael Hinz
  • Director: Bernhard Wicki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • Release Date: June 23, 2015
  • Run Time: 103 minutes





  •         You can always distinguish a war film from an anti-war film by the lack of discernible enemies on either side, or even more so when the country of the origin for the protagonists comes off worse than those they are fighting against. The Bridge was really the first post World War II German film to address the topic, and wisely spends most of the film focused on national critique instead of vilifying the invading/opposing troops. As well as being the first German anti-war movie, this 1959 classic was also the first of the country’s post-war films to be widely distributed internationally, even garnering an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

     

    Timbuktu Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Abel Jafri, Fatoumata Diawara, Ibrahim Ahmed, Toulou Kiki
  • Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 
  • Studio: Cohen Media Group
  • Release Date: June 23, 2015
  • Run Time: 97 minutes


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            Timbuktu shares a great deal in common with the Russian film, Leviathan. Both were nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film, though Timbuktu has the distinction of being Mauritania’s first submission to the Oscars. They are also both films with political undertones, giving views of social injustice. Both are also visually arresting pictures that capture the film’s setting with clarity and beauty. Neither one of these movies won their category, but both certainly deserved the nomination.

     

    Mutant World DVD Review

         Actors: Holly Deveaux, Ashanti, Amber Marshall Kim Coates
  • Director: David Winning
  • Producers: Chad Oakes Michael Frislev
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: SPE
  • DVD Release Date: May 26, 2015
  • Run Time: 82 minutes



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            With a derivative storyline, awful melodramatic script, and lazy special effects, Mutant World was a perfect fit for the Sci-Fi Channel. It just isn’t a good fit for my taste. But anyone who thinks that florescent green eyes are enough of a special effect to justify the title insinuating mutation, and enjoys watching incapable actors suffer through a humorless screenplay full of clich├ęs, Mutant World may be the film for you. 

    The Fisher King Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer
  • Director: Terry Gilliam
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • Release Date: June 23, 2015
  • Run Time: 138 minutes



  •         The Fisher King was somewhat of a transitional film for director Terry Gilliam, both as his first major Hollywood blockbuster and ironically one of his more simplistic and subdued narratives. For the first time in his filmography, none of the members of Monty Python are a part of the cast, and his iconic style was focused into a thoughtful fantasy grounded in the character’s psychological struggles. Though many of the fairy tale narrative elements are carried over from Gilliam’s heavier fantasy and sci-fi films, they primarily exist in the delusions of our protagonist’s broken psyche. It is an enigma of a film, containing all of the elements necessary for the typical zaniness of a Gilliam comedy-fantasy, but instead unfolds into a thoughtfully sentimental drama.