Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.
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- Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
- Location: Albuquerque, NM
The first Japanese science fiction film to be made in colour, Koji Shima’s Warning From Space features eye-popping special effects from the same team at Daiei Studios that would bring Gamera to life a decade later.
As Japan is rocked by mysterious sightings of UFOs over Tokyo and large one-eyed aliens attempting contact, scientists collaborate to investigate the unexpected rise in extraterrestrial activity. Unbeknownst to them, one of the aliens has already assumed human form and is about to deliver a very important message… that could be humanity’s last hope for survival.
With a witty script by Hideo Oguni (screenwriter of several Akira Kurosawa classics including Seven Samurai) and iconic starfish-like aliens designed by avant-garde artist Taro Okamoto, the original Japanese version of Warning From Space finally makes its official English-language video debut.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original uncompressed Japanese mono audio
- Optional newly translated English subtitles
- Brand new commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV, author of Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!
- First-ever HD transfer of the American release version of the film, including a newly restored English dub track
- Theatrical trailers
- Image galleries
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring an essay on artist Taro Okamoto by Japanese art historian Nick West, and an essay on the production of the American edit of the film by David Cairns
- Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:29 am
Stuart Galbraith is one of my favourite commentators, first day purchase for me!
The Elegant Dandy Fop
- Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
- Location: Los Angeles, CA
I just saw this film for the first time a few months ago. If the transfer for this uses the same transfer Kadokawa used for their Blu-ray, it’ll look amazing.
Perhaps because of my mood and nature during the COVID-19 pandemic, I find myself extra emotional during certain movies and I found myself quite moved by this film. Of course Godzilla triggered the sci-fi/kaiju boom of the Showa era, but it also seems to be partially influenced by The Day the Earth Stood Still. These aren’t conquering invaders or murderous creatures, but they’re evolved creatures that have surpassed the need for war or that desire for destruction. They attempt to unite mankind to fight an unexpected comet from space, whose force would destroy Earth and the Pairan’s planet hiding in the shadow of the moon. It’s all dated pseudo-science of the era, but I enjoy the imagination behind it. The last portion of the film I found quite scary and horrifying as masses of people are panicking and children are left behind in shelter as their parents try to survive. Global apocalypse didn’t feel like the type of subject post-war American cinema was ready to confront at this time. It represents to me some of the unique perspectives and styles that were only coming out of Japan at this time, only a decade removed from the end of the war and speeding rapidly into becoming a global economic power.
The visual style here is excellent too. It goes without saying that the brief moments with the Pairan are forever etched in my mind purely by Taro Okamoto’s mixture of avant-garde and pop sensibilities. They seem at least ten years ahead of time. The interiors in the opening scenes in tatami mat homes and late-night bars in a strange way also recall the color works of Yasujiro Ozu. The camera often remains still and the colors of the sets lean toward primary colors against drab and darker colors.
I feel others here might find the film creaky, but I thought this was superb and am always excited by Arrow Video’s Japanese releases.
- Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
- Location: Helsinki, Finland
- Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:29 am
It's a marvellous release of a charming film...even though I'm not sure how one character survived 15 days tied and gagged in a chair!
The starfish aliens are only seen briefly, but their conference scene is intentionally ammusing, and clearly they are fans of Lang's Metropolis!
- Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
- Location: Edinburgh, UK
- Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
A weird but memorable film. It's not structured especially conventionally, perhaps because it was such an early sci-fi film, and in the early going it's shot a lot like an Ozu film in terms of camera placement and mise-en-scene, so you get the weird effect of watching, say, an Equinox Flower where aliens invade after twenty minutes. And the aliens are awesome, because they look like (spoiler?) Ku Klux Klan starfish. After the Ozu / starfish bits, the movie becomes a mish-mash of micro-genres (cosmic disaster movie, natural disaster movie, body snatcher movie), and it turns out the alien invasion is the least of everybody's worries.
The commentary frowns upon how unconventional the movie is, repeatedly scolding it for not having a proper protagonist we can empathize with, but for me that's part of the charm. if the world's ending, who cares if heartthrob Y gets girl X?