Having run out of DVDs which I’d bought in Chengdu, I was forced to find some purveyor of fine-quality Hollywood entertainment. And to that end, I… No, I was actually being quite sarcastic about the quality. You must be new to the blog to ask me such a question. But to resume. I’d read on wuxilife.com that the underground mobile phone market beneath the intersection of 人民西路 and 五爱路 was a source, but this was no longer true.
However, I had spotted what appeared to be a new DVD shop further back along 人民西路 towards the canal and found they had a fairly pitiful selection of titles. The problem is that a lot of the DVDs in these shops are either recent-ish films or older films which the pirates probably bought on special the last time they went to HMV in Hong Kong, which means that there’s little of any real interest and little variety.
In the course of my travels, I spotted a second one across the road and then a third on 五爱路, both of which I must check out some time.
On the cover it said Bathory and starred Anna Friel. I thought it couldn’t be worse than Pushing Daisies (although the IMDb suggests that the case may be otherwise). On the inside it was Eternal, same subject (viz., Erszbet Bathory aka the Blood Countess, a major league sadist who thought that bathing in the blood of virgins would restore her youth), but some sub-softcore Canadian crap.
1. Literally “Five-Loves Street”, which is how many ways the Chinese think you can have sex – underneath, on top, from behind, to the left (popular during the Cultural Revolution) and to the right (popular since the Cultural Revolution).
Blood: The Last Vampire.
This looked like the dull, but beautifully made OAV to the TV series. It was an overly prolonged story about some vampire slayer called Saya who was hunting down three vampires at a school in a US military base in Japan. It was meant to be the era of the Vietnam War, but some of the material (the scene in the dance hall) seemed to be based on World War II.
The headmaster of the school looked like he had one of the headcrabs from Half-Life growing out of the top of his head.
Steve Lopez, columnist for the LA Times, happens across a homeless man, Nathanial Ayers, playing a violin with two string. When Lopez does some investigating, he finds that Ayers was, and still is, an incredibly talented musician. He writes about him in his column and tries to do something to help him, but Ayers, who has serious mental problems, is, perhaps, beyond help.
It’s difficult not to compare the film with Shine, but this seems a little more pedestrian, with an underlying humanitarian message about the problem of homelessness in LA.
Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. seemed to put in decent performances. Catherine Keener, who played Lopez’ ex-wife and colleague, seemed underutilised in a B-plot that got left behind.