SUMMER DAYS WITH COO dvd review

Thailand PAL DVD

Anamorphic Widescreen 1:85.1

DD 2.0 Stereo Japanese

Subtitles: English

IMDB

 

MOVIE: 8.5

VIDEO QUALITY: 9

AUDIO QUALITY: 8

ENGLISH SUBTITLES: 10

EXTRAS: 1

If anyone is interested in a seeing a good Japanese animated movie influenced from Miyazaki/Ghibli films, I highly recommend SUMMER DAYS WITH COO.

SUMMER DAYS WITH COO is sort of like a darker version of E.T. Coo is a cute little water sprite (aka kappa, which is some sort of Japanese mythological nature beast) that has some adventures with a nice family – more or less the same premise as E.T. The movie is well written with an interesting story, is highly entertaining, and is one seriously tear-dripping, touching flick. The animation and editing of the film is beautiful, very reminiscent of a typical Miyazaki/Ghibli film.

Those Japanese kids certainly get some darker stuff than American kids. Even though SUMMER DAYS WITH COO is a family film, the film has one bloody Ninja Scroll-like decaptitation/arm chopping scene and some other dark, violent issues (bullying, suicide, etc.).  I wouldn’t play this for a young kid – maybe more appropriate for a kid older than 10 years old.

After waiting for this film to be released on English-subtitled DVD for two years, it finally has been released on English-subtitled Thai DVD. There’s a Japanese DVD that exists as well but that version doesn’t have English subtitles.

The Thai PAL DVD is anamorphic, Japanese Stereo 2.0, and has excellent English subtitles (unexpected for a Thai DVD). The anamorphic video is excellent. The movie is so pleasantly bright that I was able to watch this movie from midnight to 2:30 AM and not fall asleep (the film is a bit long at over two hours, but it’s okay because the film is so entertaining). There’s a dubbed Thai DD 5.1 audio I didn’t listen to, but the original Japanese 2.0 stereo sounded very nice. The only extras on the film are a couple trailers for the film.

If you are seeking out a good animation film reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki, then check out this DVD of SUMMER DAYS WITH COO.

SNOW WHITE AND RUSSIAN RED dvd review

Poland PAL DVD

Anamorphic Widescreen

DD 5.1 Polish

Subtitles: English

IMDB

MOVIE: 8

VIDEO QUALITY: 8

AUDIO QUALITY: 8.5

ENGLISH SUBTITLES: 8

EXTRAS: 5

 

SNOW WHITE AND RUSSIAN RED is one of the most creative, bizarre, dreamlike, crazy films that I’ve seen from Eastern Europe that’s made more for the mainstream crowd rather than purely being for the art-house crowd. It’s sort of what I expected from the trailer: The adventures of a POLISH PSYCHO and his RULES OF ATTRACTION. The writer of the book is either inspired by Bret Easton Ellis or Hunter S. Thompson or certainly taking the same drugs as they did. The writer of the book, Dorota Masłowska (who also plays herself in the movie), is clearly taking some inspiring drugs as we can see how she is in the movie, how she writes, and how she acts in real life in the featurettes found in  the DVD extras. But that’s okay. There is nothing better than seeing a drugged-up person getting their ideas onto film or novel. The director Xawery Zulawski – who actually looks like and films like Spike Jonze – is an excellent director. I can’t wait to see what he does next. He knows how to piece together a movie!

So what is SNOW WHITE AND RUSSIAN RED about? It’s basically like a live-action cartoon come to life with wacky, dreamlike adventures of a Polish psychopath looking for his girlfriend and meeting crazy drugged-up characters along the way. This movie reminded me of American Psycho, Rules of Attraction, The Neverending Story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Truman Show, and Stranger than Fiction. If you like those types of movies, I highly recommend this film.

The Polish PAL DVD is very good. The anamorphic video and Polish DD 5.1 are very solid, and the English subtitles are good but not great – some missing letters here and there, but nothing that bad. For this type of film, the English subtitles are very important because it’s such a wacky talkative movie. The dialogue shoots out non-stop. It’s good to see an Eastern European movie with so much to say. And I am happy to see that the English translation was not screwed up. The extras are basic stuff, but the majority of them are English subtitled which is a surprise: a photo gallery, a 15 minute making-of-the-film (very interesting), trailers, music videos, and a montage of the characters cursing in some made-up language (very funny).

SNOW WHITE AND RUSSIAN RED is certainly one of the most creative and entertaining Polish movies I’ve ever seen. The movie has a little of everything – action, drama, some seriously funny scenes just worth it to buy the DVD, and some touching scenes. I didn’t totally understand the film, but it’s the type of film that will be clearer after a couple viewings and/or reading the book (which I think is translated into English).

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