It is that time of the month again folks, when Madman dish the dirt on their upcoming home releases. In the bulletin this week are a couple of interesting discs including the latest Studio Ghibli effort, the second series of a hit Danish crime drama and two character study docos.
First up is Arrietty (May 23, also Blu Ray), the most recent film from the legendary Studio Ghibli. This one is based on a Mary Norton book, whose name might seem more familiar with the name drop of The Borrowers. This means that the title character is one of the tiny people featured in the classic children’s books, and in typical Ghibli fashion the story revolves around the growing relationship between the fourteen year old Arrietty and the young human boy who catches a glimpse of her. Sadly it’s not Miyaziki directed, but feedback has still been strong for this one.
A Danish crime drama that has already spawned an American remake, series 2 of The Killing has just seen it’s DVD release. Not only has the inevitable english remake already happened, but the first season picked up more viewers for the BBC than the first series of Mad Men. It’s complex, slow burning, and has created another female icon for the Scandinavian crime genre with the scruffy and uncommunicative Sarah Lund. The second series has the disgraced detective called back to the heart of things as a series of murders proves to be more than the police can handle.
Inner Space – The Complete Series (out now) takes you for a dip in Australia’s ocean via bathysphere, which players of Bioshock will be more than familiar with. Rather than residing in a defunct underwater utopia, this one takes a trip through coral reefs and sunken ships to bring you some gorgeous nature footage, all of it narrated by William Shatner. Also in the real life vein is Bobby Fisher Against the World (May 23) , which explores the life of the American chess grandmaster who in later life found himself a fugitive. Harry Belafonte bio Sing Your Song (May 23) reveals a lesser known side to the music icon, who as well as creating world famous songs like Banana Boat Song (which you will know instantly if you care to YouTube it) and Shake Shake Shake (again, YouTube for insta-recognition) made a huge contribution to the civil rights movement in America.
To satisfy the mindless action and sex part of your brain are Quick and The Forbidden Legend: Sex and Chopsticks I & II (both May 16). Sex and Chopsticks sound inadvertently hilarious, with the son of a sexologist forced into finding ‘the right’ woman’ before losing his virginity. Will he cave in and use his ‘iron dick’ training before he should? I didn’t invent that, that’s just the movie for you. Quick is a simple proposition, billed as ‘Speed on a motorbike, with a bike messenger and his ex girlfriend racing through a series of deliveries before her helmet explodes! There must be something in the action here as the film is already lined up for a Joseph Gordon Levitt starring remake as Premium Rush.
Rounding out that odd bunch are Tyrannosaur (May 16), The Well Digger’s Daughter (out now) and The Women on the 6th Floor (May 16). Out of the bunch Tyrannosaur is the one to look out for, being the much praised directorial debut of British actor Paddy Considine. On a path of self destruction, the widowed Joseph decides to try and change his life after killing his dog in a fit of rage. Charity shop worker Hannah, a respectable and kindly Christian woman, seems to offer salvation with her friendship, but has dark secrets of her own to trouble them both. The Well Digger’s Daughter is a WW2 set romantic drama based on the nvoel of the same name featuring a lovestruck couple torn apart by conflict, whilst the Women on the 6th Floor is a French 60’s set comedy that sees a well to do French couple caught up in the personality whirlwind brought by their new Spanish maid.
Sex and Chopsticks or well to do French comedy? Bathysphere or dog killing? It’s certainly a mixed bag this May…