DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 20th July 2009

Including John From Cincinnati, Cadillac Records and Man of Iron

UK DVD Releases 20-07-09


John From Cincinnati (HBO): One of the strangest shows in recent US television is this drama set in the surfing community of Imperial Beach, California which aired on HBO in the summer of 2007.

The brainchild of Deadwood creator David Milch, it deals with a strange young man of mysterious origin and the effect he has on a dysfunctional family of professional surfers.

The story revolves around three generations of surfers: Mitch Yost (Bruce Greenwood), an experienced surfing patriarch whose son, Butchie (Brian Van Holt), was equally promising before he got distracted by fast living and drugs.

Mitch and his wife Cissy (Rebecca De Mornay) look after their grandson Shaun (Greyson Fletcher), another surfing prodigy who Mitch tries to protect from Butchie’s fate and the people trying to latch on to him (such as a surf promoter played by Luke Perry).

Into all of this comes the strange figure of John (Austin Nichols), whose arrival in the community is a catalyst for some strange things.

The show premiered right after the famous (or infamous) Sopranos finale but audience and critical reaction was mixed meaning it only lasted a season before being cancelled.

Although by no means flawless, its strangeness is a virtue as you don’t often see things like this on TV – even from the enlightened halls of HBO.

It doesn’t reach the heights of Milch’s best work on NYPD Blue or Deadwood there is enough of interest to recommend it.

Extras include:

  • Audio Commentary of Episode 1 “His Visit: Day 1” with creator David Milch
  • Decoding John: The Making of a Dream Sequence
  • Audio Commentary on Episode 10 “His Visit Day 9” with creator David Milch

* Buy the DVD from Amazon UK *


Cadillac Records (Sony): A biopic written and directed by Darnell Martin that explores the musical era from the early 1940s to the late 1960s, chronicling the life of the influential Chicago-based record-company executive Leonard Chess, and the singers who recorded for Chess Records.

The cast includes Adrien Brody as Chess, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie DixonMos Def as Chuck BerryColumbus Short as Little WalterJeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, and Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James.

Despite the highly respectable cast and favourable US reviews it didn’t make huge waves on its theatrical release.

However, it has a real for the music of the time and features some fine performances from the likes of Brody, Beyonce and Jeffrey Wright.

Extras on the regular DVD include:

  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English, Catalan and Spanish DD5.1 Surround
  • English Audio Description Track
  • Subtitles: English, English HOH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
  • Commentary with Writer/Director Darnell Martin
  • Playing Chess: The Making of Cadillac Records
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Once Upon a Blues: Cadillac Records by Design

Extras on the Blu-ray Disc (Coded for all regions A, B and C), include:

  • 1080P 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • Czech, Hungarian and Polish VO DD5.1 Surround
  • English Audio Description Track
  • Subtitles: English, English HOH, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French (Parisian), Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish (Castilian), Swedish, Turkish
  • Commentary with Writer/Director Darnell Martin
  • Playing Chess: The Making of Cadillac Records
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Once Upon a Blues: Cadillac Records by Design
  • BD Exclusive – The Chess Record Player: An interactive playlist feature that allows you to create and share a list of songs featured in the movie

* But it on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK *

Man of Iron (Mr Bongo Films): One of the most acclaimed films ever to come out of Poland, this Oscar nominated and Palme d’or winning drama is director Andrezj Wajda’s final film regarding the Solidarity Movement and its struggles to gain recognition in his native country.

Wajda’s epic follows on from his previous work Man Of Marble and continues the story of Maciej Tomczyk, a young worker involved in the anti-Communist labour movement.

Set in Warsaw during 1980, the story follows Winkel, an alcoholic TV hack sent by the Regime to Gdansk in order to dig up dirt on the shipyard strikes, particularly on Maciek, who has become an inspirational figure in the Union movement following the killing of his father in the December 1970 protests.

Posing as a sympathiser to the cause, Winkel interviews people who know Tomczyk, including his detained wife, in an effort to undermine and destroy the growing support behind the movement.

The film uses actual news footage of the 1968 and 1970 protests and of the later birth of free unions and Solidarity which it interweaves throughout the stories of a son coming to terms with his father, a couple falling in love, a reporter searching for courage and a nation undergoing historic change.

* Buy the DVD from Amazon UK *

N.B. According to the distributor this was released back in June, but Amazon has its release date as today, so go figure.



Casualty 1900s (2Entertain)
Dallas Season 11 (Warner)
Hush (Optimum)
In Plain Sight Season 1 (Universal Playback)
Ladies of Letters (2Entertain)
Marlene (Park Circus)
Requiem for Billy the Kid (Park Circus)
Ross Kemp In Search of Pirates (2Entertain)
Sirens (Arrow Films)
That Mitchell and Webb Look Series 3 (2Entertain)
The Haunting in Connecticut (EIV)
The Secret of Moonacre (Warner)

> Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
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Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 17th July)