Whisper of the Heart (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Manufacturer: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Presents A Studio G Brand: BUENA VISTA HOME VIDEO Model: 25137231 Color: color
WHISPER OF THE HEART inspires like never before in Blu-ray! A new digital master reveals the true brilliance of this heartwarming coming-of-age classic from Studio Ghibli, the studio that brought you PONYO and the Academy Award(R)-winning SPIRITED AWAY (Best Animated Feature Film, 2002). A chance encounter with a mysterious cat sends Shizuku, a quiet schoolgirl, on a quest for her true talent. Challenged by Seiji, a boy determined to follow his dreams, and enchanted by The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers of her heart, Shizuku embarks on curious adventures beyond the boundaries of her imagination. Now in Blu-ray High Definition for the first time ever, this beautiful tale based on the screenplay from legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki will delight and amaze families! Based on a manga by Aoi Hiiragi, the gentle coming of age story Whisper of the Heart (1995) was scripted and storyboarded by Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by the late Yoshifumi Kondo. Shizuku Tsukishima is an absent-minded, insecure junior high school student who reads book after book of fairy tales, helps her friends, and does most of her chores, but remains dissatisfied. When she encounters a wonderfully supercilious cat on the train, she follows him and meets Seiji Amasawa, a student in her class who hopes to become a violin maker. Seiji's commitment to his dream helps Shizuku find her voice, literally and figuratively: she realizes she wants to become a writer. A statue of a cat in the antique store of Seiji's kindly grandfather inspires her first story, "Whisper of the Heart." Shizuku and Seiji exhibit believable strengths and flaws: their warm humanity contrasts markedly with the shabby superficiality of the characters in many recent American animated films. The lively performances of Brittany Snow and David Gallagher transcend the geographic limits of the story to make Shizuku and Seiji the kids the viewer wishes lived next door. Miyazaki's script suggests that magic can exist, even in everyday Tokyo. Whisper of the Heart was the only film Yoshifumi Kondo directed, but its understated charm stands as a monument to his talent. (Rated G, suitable for ages 10 and older: tobacco use) -- Charles Solomon
Ouran High School Host Club: Complete Series (Classic)
Manufacturer: Funimation Prod Model: 26515063
Ouran Academy: An institution of extravagance and prestige where learning comes secondary to luxury. Only those of the highest pedigrees and the wealthiest families are lucky enough to attend, and the truly elite are the members of the Ouran Host Club. A group of the handsomest boys on campus with far too much time on their hands, the Host Club dedicates every afternoon to entertaining the lovely young ladies. Just think of is as the academy's elegant playground for the super-rich and beautiful. But for studious Haruhi Fujioka, education is a privilege that must be earned, being on scholarship and out of place among the moneyed. That is until the day Haruhi stumbles upon the Host Club, a stumble which leaves the freshman indebted for millions of yen. And the only way to pay for the damages? Well, Haruhi will work as a Host. There's only one problem: Haru-he is actually a Haru-she!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Complete Collection Two [Blu-ray]
In the shadows beneath Central, the Elrics encounter Father, the creator of the Homunculi. His face is familiar - as is the new face of Greed - but his alchemy is unlike anything the brothers have ever seen. As Father's dark plot takes shape, Ed and Al brave the frigid north to meet the top officer of the fortress Briggs: General Olivier Armstrong. With icy nerve and burning intensity, she commands the hardest soldiers in the land. When you witness her leading the warriors of Briggs in battle against the unstoppable, rampaging Sloth, you'll know - the stakes are higher than ever in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Collection 2. The tone of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood darkens as it continues. In flashback sequences, viewers learn the origins of both Hohenheim and his doppelgÃ¤nger, the "father" of the Homunculi. Hohenheim was once the slave of an alchemist in Cselkcess, who created the first Homunculus. When the King of Cselkcess's attempt to achieve immortality backfired, Hohenheim became a human Philosopher's Stone and the Homunculus created a body for itself that was a duplicate of his. Decades later, Father plans to activate a transmutation circle that stretches across the entire country of Amestris, killing untold thousands of unsuspecting humans to create a gigantic Philosopher's Stone--and activate the Mannequin Army, a corps of zombies animated by the Stone's power. Director Yasuhiro Irie and his artists pull out all the stops in the appropriately dramatic and moving conclusion. The Elric brothers and their allies--Von Hohenheim, Roy Mustang, Scar, Izumi, the Armstrongs, May Chang, and Ling Yao--strive to thwart the machinations of Father and his remaining minions: Pride, Wrath, Sloth, Envy, and the zombie army. The climactic battles are as wrenching as they are spectacular, with flashy CG effects that rival Hideaki Anno's new Evangelion films. But the emotional impact overshadows the visuals, as each of the main characters must rise to face a dire challenge. Edward and Alphonse discover how much they're willing to sacrifice for each other. Mustang destroys Envy, avenging Colonel Hughes, but Ed and Lieutenant Hawkeye make him realize that his anger threatens to destroy him. The initial Fullmetal Alchemist series, which was completed before manga artist Hiromu Arakawa had envisioned her story's outcome, ended with the setup for the feature The Conqueror of Shambala (2005). Brotherhood, which follows the original manga so closely that much of the dialogue is taken verbatim, reaches a much more satisfying and definitive conclusion. Saying good-bye to two of the most beloved characters in anime history might be the price viewers pay for an appropriate ending to their story--and an example of "equivalent exchange." But the adventures of Edward and Alphonse Elric continue, beginning with the feature Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (2011). (Rated TV 14: violence, grotesque imagery, brief nudity, tobacco and alcohol use) --Cha...
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Complete Collection Two
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: Anime
In the shadows beneath Central, the Elrics encounter Father, the creator of the Homunculi. His face is familiar - as is the new face of Greed - but his alchemy is unlike anything the brothers have ever seen. As Father's dark plot takes shape, Ed and Al brave the frigid north to meet the top officer of the fortress Briggs: General Olivier Armstrong. With icy nerve and burning intensity, she commands the hardest soldiers in the land. When you witness her leading the warriors of Briggs in battle against the unstoppable, rampaging Sloth, you'll know - the stakes are higher than ever in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Collection 2.
The Great Mouse Detective (Two-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Manufacturer: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Brand: BUENA VISTA HOME VIDEO Color: color
For the first time ever on Blu-ray, you and your family can unlock the clues and go on a great big adventure with Disney's clever little hero. From the creators of THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and THE LITTLE MERMAID comes the greatest little mystery in history in this 2-Disc Combo Pack. When the diabolical Professor Ratigan kidnaps London's master toymaker, the brilliant master of disguise Basil of Baker Street and his trusted sidekick Dawson try to elude the ultimate trap and foil the perfect crime. With perfect picture, perfect sound and 2 ways to watch, Disney Blu-ray proves big heroes come in small packages!|After a four-year period of story development, animation took just over one year to complete. This remarkably short production span was possible due to new efficiencies in the production process (such as video tests and computer-assisted layouts and graphics), and an increased emphasis on story development prior to the start of production.|The score was written by composer Henry Mancini, who also collaborated on two of the three featured songs. The third song, "Let Me Be Good To You," was written and performed by Melissa Manchester.|One hundred and twenty five artists were involved in making the film.|An innovative application of computer technology can be seen in the climactic scene where Basil faces Ratigan in a final confrontation inside the turning and thrashing gearworks of Big Ben. The 54 moving gears, winches, ratchets, beams, and pulleys were literally drawn by the computer and create a unique background for the characters, who had been animated in the usual way.
Lost Girl: Season 1
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: FUNIMATION PRODUCTIONS LTD. Model: 25331821
Bo is a gorgeous renegade. An irresistible beauty. And a deadly succubus. For years, she had no idea what she was or why every new lover died in the throes of passion. She fled one corpse after another until a chance encounter with the puckish thief Kenzi exposed Bo s existence to the Fae. This ancient society of supernatural beings exists outside the realm of mere mortals. Within their world, there are only two sides: Light and Dark. Each member of the Fae must choose who they will serve. But not Bo. Driven to discover who she really is, Bo vows to live on her own terms even if it means existing in the abyss between darkness and light. With the help of the mischievous, but loyal, Kenzi, the handsome shapeshifter Dyson, and the beautiful human scientist Lauren, Bo will use her powers of seduction to unravel the riddle of her mysterious past.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 4
Manufacturer: WARNER HOME VIDEO Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season Four Box SetExecutive Producer George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation present Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Four. The battle to save the galaxy reaches new heights of peril and new depths of darkness. The valiant Jedi Knights and clone troopers defend exotic planets from enemy forces. They wage war underwater, battle across a night-shrouded world, and take on the merciless Death Watch. Our heroes are tested like never before as Anakin is haunted by the realities of his past, Ahsoka fights to free her people and an undercover Obi-Wan braves a deadly bounty hunter tournament. Season Four culminates with the shocking return of a villain from the past: the ruthless Darth Maul, who will stop at nothing to achieve vengeance. The epic action, timeless characters, and sense-shattering sights and sounds of Star Wars surge on in Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Four.]]>
Grave of the Fireflies [Blu-ray]
Manufacturer: Section23 Films
As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and now cast adrift in a world that lacks not the care to shelter them, but simply the resources. Forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth, their doomed struggle is both a tribute to the human spirit and the stuff of nightmares. Beautiful, yet at times brutal and horrifying. Isao Takahata's powerful antiwar film has been praised by critics wherever it has been screened around the world. When their mother is killed in the firebombing of Tokyo near the end of World War II, teenage Seita and his little sister Setsuko are left on their own: their father is away, serving in the Imperial Navy. The two children initially stay with an aunt, but she has little affection for them and resents the time and money they require. The two children set up housekeeping in a cave by a stream, but their meager resources are quickly exhausted, and Seita is reduced to stealing to feed his sister. Despite his efforts, she succumbs to malnutrition. Seita painfully makes his way back to the crowded city, where he quietly dies in a crowded railway station. The strength of the film lies in Takahata's evenhanded portrayal of the characters. A sympathetic doctor, the greedy aunt, the disinterested cousins all know there is little they can do for Seita and Setsuko. Their resources, like their country's, are already overtaxed: anything they spare endangers their own survival. As in Barefoot Gen, no mention is made of Japan's role in the war as an aggressor; but the depiction of the needless suffering endured by its victims transcends national and ideological boundaries. Takahata's extraordinary film suggests a flower on the grave of countless children who, like Seika and Setsuko, died needlessly in wars they neither fought nor understood. (Unrated: suitable for ages 12 and older, violence, emotionally intense material) --Charles Solomon
Soul Eater: The Complete Series
Manufacturer: Funimation Prod Brand: FUNIMATION PRODUCTIONS LTD. Model: 25364435
Maka is a Meister and Soul is her Weapon. As students at the Grim Reaper's Death Weapon Meister Academy, their study habits couldn't be more different. But in battle against the supernatural forces of evil, they're a freakin' lethal team. That's when Soul transforms - literally - into a razor-sharp scythe, and every defeated wicked soul he sucks down makes him more deadly. That's when Maka unleashes the merciless slayer within, wielding her partner and dropping monsters. Seriously. Monsters. Like the witches, werewolves, and zombies that lurk in the shadows and feed on the souls of the innocent. Every freakish ghoul Maka and Soul take out strengthens their bond, and fighting alongside their fellow Meister/Weapon classmates, Maka and Soul are the world's last line of defense against evil. Based on the manga by Atsushi Ookubo, the fantasy-adventure Soul Eater (2008) takes place at the Death Weapon Meister Academy, a school run by the Grim Reaper to create pairs of fighters, one of whom transforms into a weapon wielded by a partner called a "Meister." Soul, who always wants to look cool, turns into a scythe that the diligent Maka uses; infinitely patient Tsubaki becomes a variety of weapons for motor-mouth assassin Black Star. They're joined by the Grim Reaper's powerful but addled son Death the Kid, who has a neurotic fixation on the principle of symmetry, and his twin guns, the Thompson Sisters. Despite their many foibles, all three partnerships command impressive powers. Assigned to capture the souls of evil beings who could foster the creation of a terrible demon known as the Kishin, they battle witches, golems, and other evil creatures. Having created an appealing and engagingly nutty cast, the filmmakers can't always figure out what to do with them. At times, the tone feels too silly, then it suddenly becomes needlessly violent. The witch Medusa's abuse of her neurotic son Crona is disturbing, but her menace is undercut by Eruka, the idiotic frog-witch who serves her. The mixture of freewheeling slapstick, imaginative designs, and supernatural adventures in Soul Eater may remind viewers of Fairy Tail and Gurren Lagann, but the artists push the visuals even further. The designs of Soul and Black Star are essentially jagged collections of angles; the lumpy-looking sun and moon leer woozily from the sky, as if they just lurched back from a prolonged binge. Professor Franken Stein, who constantly adjusts the large screw in his skull, looks like he was haphazardly sewn together from spare parts, as do all his accessories, including his bento box. Soul Eater builds to a suitably flamboyant if very talky climax, as the main characters face off against the reborn Kishin. Maka discovers that, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she has always had powers she was unaware of. It's a very entertaining series, but the viewer is left with the nagging suspicion that stronger writing could have made it even better. (Rated TV 14: violence, violence against women ...
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