10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™




Ice 
Written by: on January 19th, 2012

Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2008
Director: Makoto Kobayashi
Writers: Yasushi Hirano, Makoto Kobayashi
Cast:Erena Ono, Junko Minagawa, Landsknecht Akira Ishida, Eri Kitamura, Haruna Ikezawa, Kurumi Mamiya, Natsuki Sato, Tomomi Kasai, Yoshino Ohtori, Yu Imai, Yuko Oshima

DVD Released: Janaury 24th, 2012
Approximate running time: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33.1 Full Frame
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese, Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Seminal Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95


Synopsis: A virus wipes out the male population and mankind’s fate is left in the hands of two fractioning female groups, one group has embraced their fate that mankind is near extinction and the other group is determined to discover a way in which they can reproduce future offspring.

From a narrative standpoint this film is pretty standard, the opening act sets everything into motion, the middle act is mostly spent building up the main players and the final act surmises everything that has happened up to that point. With that being said, the plot is not without a fare share of plot holes. Needless to say that there is a lot of things in this film that require a huge leap of faith.

And while this film’s Retro visuals may look primitive by today’s standards, it is actually because this scaled down looked why this film works as well as its does. With its scenes of carnage being its most durable asset. Early on their is a scene in which a group of female soldiers’ are trying to secure something and in the process they are met head on by a tentacle blob looking creature, who with its appendages serves their limbs with razor precision.

Without a doubt the most surprising aspect of this film is how it is all but devoid of all the clichés that have become the bread and butter of countless modern Anime’s. So anyone looking for some light hearted humor should look elsewhere. And if anything, the only area in which this film does rely on the aforementioned Clichés, is the way in which it objectifies the female form.

From the get go the story at hand is grim and things progress they only get grimmer. Also the lack of a coherent plot, underdeveloped characters and ideas, take away and at times overshadow what few things in this film that actually work. With this film’s biggest letdown being saved for its conclusion.

The DVD:

Ice is presented in a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio that retains the films intended aspect ratio. Though colors look accurate, there are several instances of coloring bleeding, flesh tones fare better, black levels are average and there is noticeable edge enhancement that is more pronounced is some scenes then others.

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free.

Extras for this release include a ten minute segment where people who have just seen this film and cast & crew, who worked on it talk about the film and a karaoke video for a song from the film. These two extras are not subtitled and in Japanese (it should be noted that there are some brief comments in various other languages during the ten minute segment). Also they play back to back and cannot be viewed separately. The main menu is in English and Japanese, while the chapter selection menu is only in Japanese. Overall Ice gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Seminal Films.

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