UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 31st August 2009

UK DVD Releases 31-08-09

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DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

Encounters at the End of the World (Revolver): The latest documentary from Werner Herzog is a remarkable film which sees the German director and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger go to Antarctica to meet people who live and work there. A fascinating antidote to March of the Penguins, it features some marvellous observations and meditations set alongside some stunning footage of the continent at the bottom of the world.

It is available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc and there is also a larger Herzog boxset Revolver are releasing called Werner Herzog’s Encounters in the Natural World – a special edition 5-disc box-set available on DVD and Blu-Ray that includes five Herzog films exploring the natural world.

The films included are Encounters at the End of the World and the following:

  • Grizzly Man: The acclaimed portrait of Timothy Treadwell, a charismatic bear enthusiast who lived amongst these powerful predators in remote parts of Alaska for thirteen summers, before succumbing to their ferocious nature.
  • The White Diamond: The visually stunning story of Graham Dorrington’s quest to fl y a custom-built airship over the rain forest canopies of Guyana, whilst battling to overcome the haunting memories of a similar expedition that ended tragically with the death of his friend.
  • La Soufriére: As a volcano is about to erupt on the island of Guadaloupe, all inhabitants fl ee for their lives, apart from one man who refuses to leave and accepts his fate at the hands of nature.
  • The Flying Doctors of East Africa: Herzog’s stunning portrait of the fl ying doctors service of the African Medicinal Research Foundation, and the people who devote their lives to it.

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The Battle of Algiers (Argent Films): Director Gillo Pontecorvo‘s classic war film is given a new Special Edition release which features a recently conducted 20-minute interview with Saadi Yacef, the film’s co-producer and the real-life Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) leader on whose memoir the film was based.

Additionally, this version of the film has been completely restored and struck from a completely different (and superior) master to the previous Argent Films DVD release.

With its strikingly realistic depiction of modern warfare and terrorism the film has gone on to become highly influential. So much so that the The Pentagon screened it in 2003 as a useful illustration of the problems faced in Iraq.

Features include:

  • “The Making of The Battle Of Algiers” – an exclusive 20-minute interview with director Gillo Pontecorvo
  • “The Real Battle Of Algiers” – an exclusive 20-minute interview with Saadi Yacef
  • Extensive Photo Gallery including pictures from the filmmakers’ personal archives
  • Dual audio options (French-Arabic and Italian version created for the Venice Festival) with optional English subtitles

Listen to my 2007 interview with Saadi Yacef *

The Damned United (Sony): The film adaptation of David Peace‘s bestselling novel about Brian Clough and his turbulent spell as manager of Leeds United sees Michael Sheen in the central role.

Adapted by Peter Morgan and directed Tom Hooper (best known for his TV miniseries work on Longford and John Adams) it lacks the dark, interior qualities that made the book so riveting but features some excellent performances.

Sheen does a fantastic job in the title role, bringing the same kind of charm and authenticity that featured in his previous portrayals of Tony Blair and David Frost. There are also some excellent supporting turns from Colm Meaney as Don Revie and Jim Broadbent as Sam Longson.

DVD Extras

  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English DD5.1 Surround
  • English, English HOH and Hindi subtitles
  • Commentary with Director Tom Hooper, Michael Sheen and Producer Andy Harries
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
  • Cloughisms with Optional Director’s Commentary
  • Perfect Pitch: The Making Of The Damned United
  • Remembering Brian
  • The Changing Game: Football in the Seventies
  • Creating Clough: Michael Sheen Takes on ‘Old Big ‘Ead’

Blu-ray Disc – Coded for all regions (A, B and C), features include:

  • 1080P 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • English Audio Description Track
  • English, English HOH and Hindi subtitles
  • Commentary with Director Tom Hooper, Michael Sheen and Producer Andy Harries
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
  • Cloughisms with Optional Director’s Commentary
  • Perfect Pitch: The Making Of The Damned United
  • Remembering Brian
  • The Changing Game: Football in the Seventies
  • Creating Clough: Michael Sheen Takes on ‘Old Big ‘Ead’

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ALSO OUT

Bergerac Series 9 (2 Entertain)
Damages – Season 2 (Sony)
Dead Snow (E1 Entertainment)
Diary for My Children (Second Run)
Dragonball Evolution (Fox)
Encounters in the Natural World (Revolver)
Footprints (Shameless)
Good (Lionsgate)
Monday Monday – Series 1 (Fremantle)
Murder, She Wrote Season 10 (Universal Playback)
My Own Worst Enemy: The Complete Series (Universal Playback)
Outlander (Momentum)
Shigurui Death Frenzy (Manga)
Smash Cut (Lionsgate)
Traitor (Momentum)

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> Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 28th August)