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DVD Pick of the Week: Shogun Assassin

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Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles, and what follows are not necessarily reviews, but opinions based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.

I have to say that, much like last week, this week’s slate of releases is not all that exciting. Sure, there are titles to which I am quite looking forward, but overall it is a rather weak week.

Shogun Assassin. I have not yet seen this movie, but I really want to. It is an edited version of a couple of the Lone Wolf and Cub films. I have seen a few of those, and I like them. However, I hear that this edited version is drastically different from the original source films. It is about a disgraced samurai turned assassin who walks the country side with a baby cart full of weapons. I am looking forward to some arterial spray and sword swinging action.

Lost: The Final Season. For me, this show was not the life changing series that it was for many others. I do respect what they did in terms of the serialized story, but at the same time I felt it meandered too much and that its focus drifted. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what I say. I did like the show, I just didn’t love it. One day I would like to revisit it from the start. This final season was packed with a lot of content about the island, why Jack and the gang were there, what their future holds, and what that future means. Every season is out now on DVD and you can relive it from the beginning.

The Back Up Plan. The Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy from earlier this year arrives on home video. I did not see this in theaters and will not likely see it now. In the film, Lopez is tired of waiting for a man and gets herself inseminated, then she finds the right guy. Comedy ensues. No thanks.

The Simpsons: The 13th Season. I honestly wish this show would end. It has had some great years, some bad years, some in between years, and has had a bit of resurgence of late, but I think it has had a good run and should step aside. I cannot recall any specifics from this particular season, but I am sure it had its share of laughs. Homer, Bart, and the gang have made an indelible mark on pop culture, and I have enjoyed time spent with them.

Survival of the Dead. The latest of George A. Romero’s Dead films arrives on DVD after a short theatrical run. This time an island is the setting and the dead still find them. The living need to decide what to do with said deceased, especially their loved ones. I always look forward to a new Romero zombie flick, good or bad I want to see it.

The Square. This thriller from Australia looks pretty good — a man seeking to escape his mundane life engages in an affair, however things get out of hand when she brings a bag of money obtained from her husband’s latest crime. The film was co-written by Joel Edgerton, who also stars, and it was directed by his brother, Nash Edgerton.

Ninjas vs Zombies. A zero-budget horror/action/comedy movie certainly looks cheap, but you have to start somewhere, right? This seems like it could be entertaining enough. A zombie goes to a party and starts recruiting a zombie army to face off against others who are channeling ninja powers. Yes, it sounds ridiculous.

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