CATEGORIES Action, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, New on DVD, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, Features, DVDs, CinematicalWriters' strike got you down? Wondering how to fill those late-night hours now that all the talk shows are on hiatus? I've got just the answer for you: Asian films on DVD! All three of these newly-released films are sure to provoke, though I'm not sure they'll prepare you for sleep as well as Jon Stewart or Craig Ferguson.
Johnny To's Election brilliantly details a clash of triad titans in Hong Kong. Every two years an election is held to determine a crime gang's new boss; both Simon Yam, a suave yet savage family man, and Tony Leung Kar-Fai, a brutal and much feared lieutenant, want the job. Director To generates tension with great subtlety, and the story has several surprises up its sleeve. The DVD includes a "making of" feature and interviews with the director and stars.
Cinematical's Jeffrey M. Anderson wrote a beautiful review of Tsai Ming-liang's latest film, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone, explaining how it fits into the director's ouevre and concluding: "The pleasure here belongs to Tsai's images, which can be both familiar and baffling, or beautiful and humorously deadpan, or realistic and supernatural. It's best to give up ideas of plot, story and characters and just explore these amazing images, one by one." The DVD includes the original theatrical trailer, which can be viewed at Moviefone.
Our friends at Moviefone also have the trailer for Kim Ki-Duk's Time, which in no way prepares you for how infuriating the film proves to be. I agree with Martha Fischer, who wrote: "The problem with Time is that every character in the film is so fundamentally repulsive it's impossible to care about any of them." Still, as I've written before, Kim's films are visually beautiful and told in an indelible narrative style, and that might be enough to justify a rental if you're curious. The DVD includes a "making of" feature and the trailer.