Movies New on DVD & Download-24 July 2007

N E W • T H I S • W E E K
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The Host -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $13.25
Review-lite: Step out of the cavernous confines of big-box center multiplexes and seek out an independent theatre playing the South Korean monster movie, The Host. Some say the film ranks alongside the best creature features ever made. Others have wondered if it's just an upscale Godzilla rival from the other side of the Sea of Japan. In reality, it's like neither--tense but not horrifying. It's about a creature, produced by a toxic poisoning of the Han River at the hands of US scientist, who captures a young girl and her family's subsequent desperate attempts to recover her from the sewers of Seoul where it hides. Using globally renowned, amazing special effects houses, famous Korean director Bong Joon-ho spared no expense in creating an incredibly realistic feel to the creature, its emotions, and its interactions with the people and the sets. Shaved by 30 minutes, the film would've been even better. (click for full review)

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The Host (Gwoemul) (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (2006)

The Host (Gwoemul) [DVD] (2006)

The Host (Gwoemul) (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] (2006)

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The Number 23 -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $13.50
Review-lite: Jim Carrey did the right thing considering where to take his career. The Joel Schumacher-directed The Number 23 was an edgy but, nonetheless, wise choice as it showcases all sides of his. The film The Number 23 itself represents an incredible psychological plunge into grandiose paranoia set in motion by a father who believed that the number was ruining while ruling his very existence. A dog catcher named Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) is given a very special blood-red, covered book for his birthday entitled, Number 23. Soon after, the number starts to take over his life as well. In a dual role as Fingerling, Jim Carey presents his darker side with tattooed arms and long locks while using his facial expressions and dulcet tones to carry this role. His sad, glassy eyes and mournful pained look reveal a truly tortured, mind-bent soul. Jim Carrey was absolutely extraordinary. (click for full spoiler and regular reviews)

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The Number 23 [DVD] (2007)

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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $14.75
Review-lite: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer would be the top film of the year were it not for director Tom Tykwer's choice not to distill it down to two hours thereby improving it's pace and agreeing to cast Dustin Hoffman in the lead of Baldini—a past his prime perfumer—a role to which he simply wasn’t suited. On the contrary, Ben Whishaw delivers the most riveting performance of the year capturing every essence and nuance of this troubled, powerful, outcast, protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille—a young boy possessing the most talented olfactory abilities ever but with no skills to communicate on other levels. His obsession with preserving odors eventually becomes his downfall. Tom Tykwer has accomplished something thought impossible in bringing this film to life. If only the wizards of special effects had created a smell-card to go along with the film, this truly would have been a film for all senses. (click for full review)

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Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer [DVD] (2006)

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Renaissance (2006)-- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.50
Review-lite: On a rainy day in Paris 2054, super scientist Ilona Tasuiev is abducted by a mysterious and shadowy assailant. Her sister, Bislain, works with officer Barthélémy Karas under the watchful eyes of megacorporation, Avalon, and her mentor, Dr. Jonas Muller, to find her. As no one is asking for any ransom, finding her becomes a mystery that must be worked out like Rubik's cube in Renaissance, this uniquely animated film rendered entirely in a new and astonishing black and white form under the direction of Christian Volckman. While difficult to watch at first, the brain eventually works to make sense of the world derived purely from positive and negative space. Unfortunately, the story told in black and white without gray cries out for a story where the moral implications are more compelling. Waiting too long to reveal the twist, the story fails to reach what could have been miraculous heights. (click for full review)

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Renaissance [DVD](2006)

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Zodiac -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.00
Review-lite: Know two things first about the latest Hollywood exploration into the Zodiac Serial Killer case: it's 158 minutes long and it really isn't as much about the Zodiac as it is about the obsessions of two men compelled to identify him definitively and the damage their pursuit does to their lives. Beginning with the Zodiac's first advertised killing during December of 1968 followed by his coded messages to the local S.F. newspapers, the film follows the lives of police inspector Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and S. F. Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) as they become obsessed with finding the killer's definitive identity. Even if this were a brand new story being revealed to national audiences for the first time, it would have needed a finer focus, more or less docudrama, and more resolute conclusion to warrant the praise it will not capture in this incarnation. (click for full review)

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Zodiac [DVD] (2007)

Zodiac (Widescreen Version) [DVD] (2007)

Related Films:
Zodiac Killer [VHS] (1991)

The Zodiac Killer [VHS] (1971)

The Zodiac Killer (1971)/The Sex Killer (1967)/Zero In And Scream [DVD] (1970)

Zodiac Killer [DVD] (2005)

The Zodiac [DVD] (2005)

Curse Of The Zodiac [DVD] (2007)


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