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July 5, 2011


This is a low-key weekend for DVD releases; the two new films hitting shelves are the Japanese action film '13 Assassins' and an Indi-French drama titled 'Of Gods and Men.' With the Blu-Ray release of 'Das Boot' this week too, all films this week are foreign.

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'13 Assassins' DVD

This is a Japanese-language samurai movie directed by Takashi Miike. The setting is mid-19th century. The film opens with a man committing seppuku (ritual suicide) to protest the atrocities of Lord Naritsugu, the shogun's half brother. Soon a semiretired samurai named Shinzaemon Shimada (Koji Yakusho) assembles a ragtag team of 11 underemployed samurai and students to assassinate Naritsugu. Along the way, they encounter a comic woodsman, who joins the team. Eventually, it all comes down to these 13 warriors fighting Naritsugu and his retinue of hundreds in a climactic battle.

'Das Boot' Blu-ray Disc

Written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, this 1981 German epic war film is arguably the best submarine movie ever made. Set in World War II, it tells the fictional story of U-96 and its crew, a cross-section of ordinary men from Germany and Austria. The film captures the tedium of everyday life aboard U-96, but also the tension of combat. Now Das Boot comes to Blu-ray, with the feature film being the 208-minute director's cut (1997). The Blu-ray version contains many extras, including a retrospective making-of, a tour of the U-boat, historical material and director's commentary.

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'Of Gods and Men' DVD

Based on a true story, this French drama won a prize at Cannes. The film is set in a remote part of Algeria, where a small group of Trappists, a contemplative order of Roman
Catholic monks, have lived for decades in harmony with the
Muslims of the village of Tibhirine. The monks fill their
days with gardening, beekeeping and prayers. But in the
mid-1990s, a civil war erupts, and Islamic terrorists
slaughter a group of Croatian road workers just to make a
statement. The monks must decide whether to leave or stay, and the movie manages to make viewers understand their moral dilemma.

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DVD Rewind: Classic TV Collection

The Lucy Show, Dragnet, the Three Stooges and more!

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