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The Bootleg Files: Daughter of the Dragon

BOOTLEG FILES 626: “Daughter of the Dragon” (1931 thriller starring Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Politically incorrect content makes it difficult to sell in today’s too-touch environment.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Maybe someday.

In 1913, English writer Sax Rohmer published the crime thriller “The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu,” focusing on the elaborate homicidal activities of the brilliant yet deranged white-hating Chinese criminal mastermind. At a time when Western attitudes to the Chinese ranged from suspicious to violently hostile, the outlandish Fu Manchu was politically incorrect long before that toxic phrase was coined.
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The Gate II (1990) [Blu-Ray]

“Gate 2” has been a rarity for years and finally gets a very good re-release by Scream who treats us to a sequel that’s nothing like the original. That’s both a good and bad aspect for the film as Tibor Takacs returns to direct, and complete his story arc, while also advancing the mythology. With Stephen Dorff on to better pastures, we follow his more reluctant friend Terry, who is now all alone after his friend moved away with his big sister. With no one around to corroborate their adventures in a hell dimension, Terry is now a pariah. Anxious to re-open the gate properly this time, Terry is egged on by two local bullies to let them take part in the summoning, promising them wish fulfillment. Much to their surprise, they manage to trap one of the minions of the gate, and Terry keeps it, hoping to find out its secrets.

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The Snowman (2017)

Watching “The Snowman” is like reading a second hand copy of a novel that’s had its pages ripped out five at a time by the previous owner. Once upon a time there was a coherent story here, and now there are just chunks of one. “The Snowman” is an incomplete botched piece of garbage, it’s the sign of a studio that just didn’t give a crap and a crew that had no choice but to work with what they were given. Tomas Alfredson can’t save what is an inexplicably difficult to follow and watch film that scatters pieces of a puzzle that are woefully incomplete and mixed up.

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The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

The “Cloverfield” universe is the next step in cinematic universes where it exists not just on cinema, but on the world wide web, as well. Sprung from the spontaneity that fans adore, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is the next wave in the story of “Cloverfield” and tackles another corner of the mythos that fans just might appreciate. In 2008 when fans spotted something falling in to the Atlantic ocean which spawns the emergence of the giant beast Clovie, many assumed it was from an experiment that went awry from the evil organization Tagruato, the enigmatic company that’s been running the viral sites. With “The Cloverfield Paradox” we finally get an explanation as to what occurred, and so much more.

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S.W.A.T. (2003): Special Edition [Blu-ray]

While I wouldn’t call it a action movie masterpiece, “S.W.A.T.” is a decent iteration of the television series that broadens its appeal for a younger audience. While I would have loved a movie that was darker and grittier, the movie works as a comic book kind of movie about the S.W.A.T. unit that look kind of like law enforcing Avengers. The 2003 action crime thriller flaunts every would-be super star and up and coming superstar, taking the S.W.A.T. team and turning it on its head when corruption reaches even its ranks.

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TV on DVD: Teen Titans The Complete First Season [Blu-Ray], S.W.A.T. The Complete Series (DVD)

With Teen Titans getting their own live action television series, and their spin off about to grant them their own movie, inexplicably, Warner finally unleashes season one of the good version of “Teen Titans” on Blu-Ray for fans. It’s a good way to honor the legacy of a great series, but I take it as a great reminder of a time when “Teen Titans” was a very good animated series that wasn’t exclusive to children. “Teen Titans” is a pseudo-anime iteration of the classic comic book series that is bold enough to set itself apart from the usual Bruce Timm animated style.

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