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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gymkata, Gotta Gotta

If you like your martial arts action movies to have a little flair (and by "flair" I don’t mean Steven Seagal in a silky kimono -- I mean more like a karate master busting out a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cartwheel followed by a sassy dismount), then you’ll be happy to hear that Gymkata is finally being released on DVD.

You insult my honor. Let's settle this on the parallel bars.

Answering the age-old questions of "What if ninjas weren’t really all that cool?" and "What if Mary Lou Retton could kick my ass?" Gymkata serves up an action movie with the chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter concept of martial arts meets gymnastics. And it’s all made to sound really, really authentic by adding "-kata" to its name.

The movie originally came out in 1985 and is finally seeing the light of day on DVD thanks to internet voting in’s DVD Decision 2006. The road to Netflix queuedom started with 30 obscure Warner Bros. movies, but only 10 of them could be voted into DVD circulation. Think of it as the Thunderdome for DVDs, where 30 movies enter but only 10 movies leave, and along the way there are some really fabulous somersault dismounts and balance beam work. has just announced which 10 winning movies have been made available for pre-order (though it seems they've upped the total to 12 titles), and Gymkata made the cut, earning a January 2007 release. Back in June, I made a blog posting urging people to vote for the movie, and maybe it worked. Whether or not it sells big when it’s released in January is another story, but if it tanks, it’d be proof yet again that internet buzz is too often overblown Snakes on a Plane-style. And that could be embarrassingly painful... like a throwing star tossed by a ninja in a leotard.

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