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DVD Playhouse--September 2009

DVD Playhouse—September 2009

By

Allen Gardner

The Human Condition (Criterion) Masaki Kobayashi’s epic (574 minutes) adaptation of Junpei Gomikawa’s six-volume novel was originally made and released as three separate films (1959-61), and is rightfully regarded as a landmark of Japanese cinema. Candide-like story of naïve, good-hearted Kaiji (Japanese superstar Tatsuya Nakadai) from labor camp supervisor, to Imperial Army solider, to Soviet Pow, and Kaiji’s struggle to maintain his humanity throughout. Unfolds with the mastery of a great novel, beautifully-shot, and a stunning example of cinematic mastery on the part of its makers. Four-disc set bonuses include: Interview with Kobayashi; Interview with Nakadai; Featurette; Trailer; Essay by critic Philip Kemp. Widescreen. Dolby 3.0 surround.

State Of Play (Universal) Russell Crowe stars as a veteran Washington D.C. political reporter investigating the murder of an aide to a rising congressional star (Ben Affleck), who also happens to be an old friend.
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