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UK DVD Releases: Monday 20th October 2008

DVD PICKS

Vertigo (50th Anniversary Edition) (Universal): Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic tale of a private investigator (James Stewart) who becomes obsessed with a blonde woman (Kim Novak) returns to DVD, celebrating its 50th anniversary with a two-disc set boasting new extra features.

These include: 

  • Feature Commentary with Associate Producer Herbert Coleman, Restoration Team Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz
  • ‘Obsessed with Vertigo’ – A making of documentary
  • ‘Partners in Crime: Hitchcock’s Collaborators’ – New documentary
  • ‘Hitchcock and the Art of Pure Cinema’ – New featurette
  • The Vertigo Archives
  • Hitchcock/Truffaut Interviews

Although it isn’t quite the masterpiece some critics have claimed, it still is one of Hitchcock’s most interesting films. Not only is it a deceptively dark tale of desire and obsession but it also appears to reflect a lot of Hitchcock’s own personal concerns. The slow pace and haunting tone to the film along with some beautiful production design make it one of his most unusual and durable films. [Cert 15]

Reservoir Dogs (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) (Lionsgate): The stunning debut film of writer-director Quentin Tarantino became an instant cult favourite in 1992 and established him as one of the hottest directors of the 1990s. It followed a group of gangsters, who all refer to one other by colour-coded pseudonyms, and the aftermath of a heist gone wrong. Previously released in the UK by Momentum, Lionsgate have taken over distribution duties and this 2-disc edition appears to match their 2006 15th Anniversary Edition Region 1 release.

The extras include: 

  • Limited edition petrol can steel case with matchbox inlay
  • Collector’s art cards
  • Newly remastered/6.1 DTS-ES audio/5.1 Digital Surround EX audio
  • Pulp Factoid Viewer
  • Playing It Fast and Loose
  • Tipping Guide
  • Commentary with Quentin Tarantino, cast and crew
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Critics’ Commentary
  • Profiling the Reservoir Dogs
  • Class of ’92 – Sundance interviews
  • Tarantino’s Sundance Institute Film-makers Lab
  • An Introduction to Film Noir – Writers and Film-makers feature
  • Reservoir Dolls
  • Securing the Shot – Location Scouting with Billy Fox
  • Reservoir Dogs style guide
  • Dedications – Tarantino on his influences
  • Interviews with Quentin Tarantino and others
  • K-Billy Super Sounds of the ‘70s

If you don’t already own this seminal film then this is a very solid package. [Cert 18]  

Eraserhead (Scanbox): Director David Lynch made his feature length debut with this surreal story of a retired printer (Jack Nance) stuck in dark, urban landscape. Lynch has supervised a brand new transfer, overseeing the painstaking process of cleaning, restoring and remastering the film frame-by-frame. It still remains a classic cult film and as Lynch once said, a ‘dream of dark and troubling things’. The extras include an interview with David Lynch about the making of the film. [Cert 18]

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ALSO OUT

Anaconda 3: Offspring (Sony)
Casino Royale (3-Disc Deluxe Edition) (Sony)
CBeebies: Bedtime (BBC)
Dear Ladies – Series 2 (Acorn Media)
Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (Fox)
Killer Of Sheep (BFI)
My Brother’s Wedding (BFI)
Orphee (BFI)
Family Guy – Peter Griffin – Best Bits Exposed (Fox)
Shaun The Sheep – Abracadabra (2 Entertain)
Sisters (Sony)
Solstice (Icon)
That Mitchell And Webb Look – Series 2 (Fremantle)
The Benny Goodman Story (Eureka)
The Clouded Yellow (Eureka)
The Horses Mouth (Eureka)
The Short Films of David Lynch (Scanbox)
The Unit – Season 3 (Fox)
Tortured (Sony)
Triangle (Manga)
Vanessa (Severin Films)
Wanted (Universal)

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If you have any questions about this week’s DVD releases or any upcoming titles then just email me or leave a comment below.

> Buy VertigoReservoir Dogs or Eraserhead on DVD at Amazon UK
> Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 17th October)

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DVD & Blu-ray dvd releases

UK DVD Releases: Monday 13th October 2008

DVD PICKS

Rashomon – Special Edition (Optimum): Akira Kurosawa‘s classic 1950 film about the rape of a woman and the apparent murder of her husband seen through the widely differing accounts of four witnesses. They include: the bandit Tajōmaru (Toshirō Mifune), the murdered samurai (Masayuki Mori), his wife (Machiko Kyō), and the nameless woodcutter (Takashi Shimura). The film was massively influential on Western cinema and still stands up very well and explores the nature of seeing and believing in a way that few films have matched since. 

The extras on this disc are much better than the BFI release from 2001 and they include:

  • A 67-minute documentary called ‘A Testimony for an Image: Rashomon’, which interviews many of the original crew members. The key surviving player is screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto, although it is interesting to hear stories from the crew members about the conditions in which it was made.
  • A six-minute introduction from director John Boorman and the original theatrical trailer. 

Although the transfer isn’t massively improved from the 2001 BFI version, this is still a classic film worth owning from one of the most important directors in the history of cinema. 

The Last House on the Left (Metrodome): Wes Craven‘s infamous 1972 horror film is finally released uncut and uncensored on UK DVD for the first time in a 3-disc ‘ultimate edition’. The story is a brutal tale of revenge that explores what happens when a group of teenage girls hook up with a gang of drug-addled thugs. It has a long and interesting history of being censored in the UK and because of that this DVD package has a bunch of extras that are spread over the 3 discs:

> Disc 1

  • Feature commentary by writer/director Wes Craven and producer Sean S.Cunningham
  • A 2nd feature commentary by stars David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln
  • ‘Celluloid Crime Of The Century’: A 40 minute making of… documentary
  • ‘Scoring Last House…’: A featurette with composer and actor David Hess 
  • ‘Krug Conquers England’: Featurette charting the theatrical tour of the first ever UNCUT screening of the film in the UK
  • 20 mins of outtakes and dailies
  • US theatrical trailer
  • TV spots
  • Radio spots

> Disc 2

  • ‘Krug & Company’: A rare and complete alternate cut of the film
  • An exclusive interview with Carl Daft of Exploited Films, who took the BBFC to courts over the film’s banned status
  • Rare and world exclusive never-seen-before footage that was only recently discovered.

> Disc 3

  • ‘Going To Pieces: The Rise & Fall Of The Slasher Film’: Feature length documentary on the ‘slasher’ film phenomenon that followed “Last House…”
  • Filmmakers’ commentary
  • Deleted scenes
  • Horror film quiz

Although the film isn’t the horror classic it’s reputation might suggest, this DVD package is still worth getting for horror fans or those just curious about why it was (wrongly) banned for so long.

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    ALSO OUT

    Adulthood (Pathé): From director, writer and actor Noel Clarke, the sequel to Kidulthood (which Clarke wrote) is set against the backdrop of contemporary London.

    Babylon (Icon): Directed by Franco Rosso and starring Aswad front man Brinsley Forde, Karl Howman and Trevor Laird, this is a mix of music and social commentary to recount the everyday experiences of a small group of working class black youths living in South London in the early 1980s.

    Big Love – Season 1 (HBO): Bill Paxton plays as a practicing polygamist who lives in Salt Lake City with his three wives and seven children. An businessman who runs a growing chain of hardware stores, Bill faces the challenge of meeting the emotional, romantic and financial needs of his wives: Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) while dealing with their kids, three houses, bills and the opening of his newest hardware store. 12 episodes are spread across 5 discs with extras that include commentary on two episodes and a short – Big Love: A Balancing Act on Ice.

    Boston Legal – Season 4 (Fox): James Spader, William Shatner and Candice Bergen are joined by John Laroquette in the fourth season of David E. Kelley’s law comedy drama series. The 20 episode fourth season is spread across five-discs. There are no announced extras. 

    Death Note 2: The Last Name (4Digital Asia): Picking up immediately where the first ‘Death Note’ movie left off, the sequel sees the deadly psychological duel between Light and L enter a thrilling new phase. Released as a two-disc limited edition release that includes a 24-page ‘Death Note 2′ book.

    Hellsing Ultimate – Volume 1 (Manga): This retelling of the manga series created by Kouta Hiran is described as a much closer adaptation of the Hirano’s original work. Originally announced as a two-disc set featuring the first two episodes of the OVA, Manga have since been forced to revise those plans and will now issue each OVA as a single-volume priced at £14.99 RRP.

    Las Vegas – Season 5 (Universal Playback): Tom Selleck stars as recently installed Montecito Casino owner A.J. Cooper in season five of this drama series. Episodes are spread across five-discs but there are no subtitles or extras. 

    Memories Of Underdevelopment (Mr. Bongo Films): Hailed as one of the most sophisticated films ever to come out of Cuba in the early days of Castro’s revolution, this is regarded as Cuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea’s tour de force.

    Naruto Unleashed – Series 4 Vol.2 (Manga): Adapted from the best-selling manga created by Masashi Kishimoto, the hit anime series following the adventures of a ninja boy in training continues uncut on DVD with the next 13 episodes (92 to 104) spread across three-discs.

    Naruto Unleashed – Series 3: Complete (Manga): Priced at £39.99 RRP this six-disc set bundles together the two volumes released in April and May of this year (which comprised episodes 53 to 73)

    Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (Lionsgate): A new adventure for a younger generation of Marvel heroes: orphans bound only by their parents’ former alliance known as The Avengers. Fostered by billionaire bachelor Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), four teenagers with lineage to some of the most famous Marvel heroes of all time including Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Black Panther, Wasp and Giant Man suddenly find themselves the earth’s only hope in stopping a deadly foe. 

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    Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (Warner): The US comedian Sarah Silverman entertains a Los Angeles audience with several sketches, taped outside the theatre, and they are woven into a stand-up performance.

    Smallville – Season 7 (Warner): The adventures of a young Superman continue with Season 7 of this WB series.

    Stewie Griffin – Best Bits Uncovered (Fox): One of two 2-disc sets which include Family Guy episodes focused around Stewie and Peter which also include a digital copy of the episodes and free ringtones for mobiles. It includes the episodes: Chitty Chitty Death Bang, The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Stewie Loves Lois and The Courtship of Stewie’s Father. 

    Superhero Movie (Momentum): This spoof from the creators of The Naked Gun and Scary Movie takes aim at comic book movies.

    The Guard Post (Cine Asia): From Su-chang Kong, the director of R-Point, comes a similarly themed Korean film that is part murder-mystery part horror-story. Also known as GP506 the film follows an army platoon headed by a military investigator as they are dispatched overnight to re-establish contact with the platoon stationed at Guard Post 506.

    The Incredible Hulk (Universal): Edward Norton stars as Bruce Banner in director Louis Leterrier’s take on the Hulk. The film also stars Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt

    The Ruins (Paramount): Based on the novel by Scott Smith, this surprisingly entertaining horror follows a group of friends who become entangled in a brutal struggle for survival after visiting a remote archaeological dig in the Mexican jungle where they discover something deadly living among the ruins. 

    The Tudors – Season 2 (Sony): In the second season of The Tudors, Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is finally free to marry Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer), however we soon find out why she is later called ‘Anne of a Thousand Days’ as the political and emotional turmoil of life at court find another victim.

    The Ultimate Gangster Class A Selection (Universal): This 10-disc set brings together five gangster films to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Scarface. The titles are: American GangsterCarlito’s WayCasinoMean Streets and Scarface. The set includes a disc of exclusive Scarface related extras, a disc of exclusive American Gangster extras and an exclusive 32-page American Gangster booklet. 

    Tokyo Zombie (Manga): Based on the manga by Yusaku Hanakuma, and written and directed by Sakichi Sato (writer of Takashi Miike’s ‘Ichi The Killer’ and ‘Gozu’), the horror-comedy Tokyo Zombie stars Tadanobu Asano and Miike regular Sho Aikawa as an unlikely pair of heroes hilariously pitted against an army of flesh eaters taking over Japan.

    Zombie Strippers (Sony): Adult film star Jenna Jameson and horror legend Robert Englund star in this zombie adventure.

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    If you have any questions about this week’s DVD releases or any upcoming titles then just email me or leave a comment below.

    > Buy Rashomon – Special Edition or The Last House on the Left on DVD at Amazon UK
    > Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
    Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
    Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 10th October)

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    DVD & Blu-ray dvd releases

    UK DVD Releases: Monday 29th September 2008

    DVD PICKS

    Zodiac – 2 Disc Director’s Cut (Warner Bros): One of the best films of the last few years finally gets the re-release treatment it richly deserves. It tells the story of the Zodiac killer who terrorised the San Francisco area in the late 60s and 70s. It explores three key figures related to the case: Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) – a newspaper cartoonist fascinated by the case; Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) a crime reporter who covers the killings; and Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) – the detective assigned with solving the murders. Director David Fincher has long been one of Hollywood’s great visual stylists and here beautifully captures the period whilst also creating a pervasive sense of dread. It is almost as if he is revisiting Se7en by way of All The President’s Men.

    The script by James Vanderbilt also does a great job of spanning the years the killer was on the loose, highlighting the frustrations and mysteries the case threw up. Indeed, the conventions of a lot of serial killer movies are abandoned in favour of a much more thoughtful and serious approach. The ‘directors cut’ has about 10 minutes extra footage and this version has a commentary by Fincher, plus a second commentary by Gyllenhaal, Downey, producer Brad Fischer, Vanderbilt and writer James Ellroy. The 2nd disc contains a raft of superb extras including documentary features on the Zodiac case and a look at the extensive visual effects used in the film. Definitely one of the DVD highlights of the year. [Cert 15 / Also available on Blu-ray]

    Mongol (Universal): A rich and visually spectacular biopic of Ghengis Khan, this takes a much more sympathetic approach to a much maligned historical figure. Directed by Sergei Bodrov, it explores the early life of the young Genghis and his rise to power as a famous general in MongoliaTadanobu Asano plays Khan and Khulan Chuluun stars as his wife and love interest. An international co-production between companies in Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, it makes great use of the Chinese and Kazakhstan landscapes in creating a memorable and often surprising story. The main extra of note on the DVD is the 26-minute ‘The Making of Mongol – The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan’. [Cert 15 / Also available on Blu-ray]

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    ALSO OUT

    Caligula: The Imperial Edition (Arrow Films): The opulent multi-million dollar depiction of the decadent Roman emperor with Malcolm McDowell, John Gielgud, Peter O’Toole and Helen Mirren. This 4-disc edition features three separate versions of the film: the full, Uncut Version (2 hours 36 minutes); the UK Theatrical Version (1 hour 42 minutes) and the Alternative Version (2 hours 33 minutes). The latter replaces most of the more sexually explicit sequences with alternate scenes and alternate camera angles. The fourth disc of Extras features a variety of materials (documentaries, interviews, press notes, etc.) that provide a comprehensive background on the history and the making of the film. 

    Cassandra’s Dream (Optimum): Set in contemporary London, Woody Allen’s tale of two brothers (Ewan MacGregor and Colin Farrell) caught up in a murder is sadly one of his poorest films. Ever.

    Dangerous Parking (Anchor Bay): Peter Howitt’s adaptation of Stuart Browne’s novel stars Howitt alongside Saffron Burrows, Sean Pertwee, Racahel Stirling, Alice Evans, Tom Conti and Dervia Kirwan.

    Daylight Robbery (Liberation Entertainment): A British crime movie that follows a group of England football fans robbing a London bank, whilst using the Germany 2006 World Cup as their cover. Written and directed by Paris Leonti, the film stars Geoff Bell, Paul Nicholls, Vas Blackwood, Justin Salinger and Shaun Williamson.

    Doctor Who: The Trial of a Time Lord (2 Entertain): Colin Baker era Dorctor Who.

    Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (Momentum): This B-movie comedy horror is Jon Knautz’s directorial debut and stars Trevor Matthews, Robert Englund, Rachel Skarsten, Daniel Kash and James A Woods. 

    Loaded (Icon): An action thriller starring Jesse Metcalfe, Vinnie Jones and Monica Keena that follows one man’s descent into a world of drugs and violence as his new acquaintance turns out to be exacting a long-harboured revenge.

    Made of Honour (Sony): A romantic comedy with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan as platonic friends since college who have never entertained the prospect of romance – until she plans to get married to another guy. 

    Nomad (The Warrior) (Optimum): Set in 18th Century Kazakhstan, this is the story of a boy who is destined to one day unite the three warring tribes of the country who have survived and fought for centuries – against invaders, against their formidable enemies and amongst themselves. Directed by Sergei Bodrov, the director of Mongol (also out this week), the film stars Kuno Becker, Jay Hernandez and Jason Scott Lee.

    Oasis of Fear (Shameless): Also known as ‘Dirty Pictures’, Oasis of Fear is a sexploitation thriller from Umberto Lenzi (Paranoia, Cannibal Ferox, Nightmare City) in which two young hippies, Dick (Ray Lovelock) and Ingrid (Ornella Muti) get stuck in a mysterious house.

    One Missed Call (2008) (Warner): In this remake of the Japanese horror film “Chakushin Ari” (2003), several people start receiving voice-mails from their future selves — messages which include the date, time, and some of the details of their deaths.

    P2 (Palisades Tartan): Co-written and produced by Alexandre Aja (writer-director of Switchblade Romance, The Hills Have Eyes and the forthcoming Mirrors) and Gregory Levasseur, this horror stars Wes Bentley and Rachel Nichols and is set in a parking lot.

    Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai (Network): This Pokémon movie features Ash and Pikachu on another adventure.

    Robot Chicken – Season 1 (Revolver): Created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, Robot Chicken is an affectionate assault on pop culture. Utilising stop-motion animation Season 1 comprises of 20 fifteen minute episodes of fast-paced sketches.

    Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom (BFI): Pier Paolo Pasolini’s final and most controversial film has been banned, censored and reviled the world over since its first release in 1975. It did not receive UK certification until late 2000, when it was passed uncut. The film is a brutal allegory based on the novel 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade.

    Starship Troopers 1-3 Box Set (Sony): This three-disc set includes the Walt Disney Special Edition release of Starship Troopers along with the Sony releases of Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder.

    Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (Sony): The war against the Bugs continues as a Federation starship crash-lands on the distant alien planet OM-1, stranding beloved leader Sky Marshal Anoke and several others, including comely but tough pilot Lola Beck. Colonel Johnny Rico, reluctant hero of the original Bug Invasion on Planet P, has to lead a team of Troopers on a daring rescue mission.

    Strip Nude for your Killer (Shameless): The death of a fashion model leads to a revenge-driven trail of death that soon has the modelling agency she worked for in a frenzy of panic as the clothes get slashed and the sluts get slayed. Edwige Fenech stars as the woman trying to avoid being the next to shed her clothes for the killer.

    Tales of the Riverbank (Metrodome): An animated update of the BBC children’s series which tells the story of three friends – Hammy Hamster (Ardal O’Hanlon), Roderick Rat (Steve Coogan) and GP the Guinea Pig (Jim Broadbent) – who, having been swept down-river in a violent storm, embark on an epic journey in search of their lost homes. The narrator of the story is Owl (Stephen Fry).

    The Animals Film (BFI): A controversial and confrontational film about how and why modern societies exploit animals for food, fur, sport, entertainment and science. In the UK it was broadcast on Channel 4 during its first week on air in November 1982 and caused uproar and thereafter was shown in cinemas and on TV around the world. It is narrated by Julie Christie, with music by David Byrne/Talking Heads and a score composed and performed by Robert Wyatt. This is the uncut and digitally re-mastered version, featuring a new conclusion.

    The Designated Victim (Shameless): A remake of Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train from director Maurizio Lucidi about a character named Stefano (Thomas Milian) who meets a wealthy Count (Pierre Clemente), which then leads to a plan where both will do each other a murderous favour.

    The Fantastic Four – Complete Season 1 (1994 series) (Liberation): This 2 disc set, features all 13 episodes of Season One of the heralded 1990’s animated series. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Season One contains a faithful re-telling of their original comic book stories.

    The Incredible Hulk – Season 5 (Universal Playback): Season 5 of the 70s show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. There are no extras.

    The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series (Universal Playback): Seasons 1-5 of the 70s show.

    The Red Hand Gang: The Complete Series (Fabulous Films): First broadcast on BBC 1 in September 1977 and then repeated during the summers of 1980 and 1982, The Red Hand Gang still remains something of a cult show. Like The Famous Five, The Red Hand Gang were a group of five inner-city pre-teens who unwittingly found themselves foiling heists, robberies and kidnaps. They were so called because they left their trademark red hand print to mark where they had been. This series was thought to be lost until Fabulous Films unearthed it this year. All 12 full length episodes have now been fully restored for this release.

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    BLU-RAY

    The following titles are also out now on Blu-ray disc:

    Army of Darkness (Optimum)
    Batman (Warner)
    Batman & Robin (Warner)
    Batman Forever (Warner)
    Batman Returns (Warner)
    Blow (EIV)
    Evil Dead II (Optimum)
    How the West was Won (Warner)
    Made of Honour (Sony)
    Mongol (Universal)
    My Best Friend’s Wedding (Sony)
    Night of the Living Dead (Optimum)
    One Missed Call (Warner)
    Rise of the Footsoldier (Optimum)
    Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom (BFI)
    Starship Troopers 1-3 Box Set (Sony)
    P2 (Palisades Tartan)
    Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (Sony)
    The Shawshank Redemption (ITV DVD)

    If you have any questions about this week’s DVD releases or any upcoming titles then just email me or leave a comment below.

    > Buy Zodiac – 2 Disc Director’s Cut or Mongol on DVD at Amazon UK
    > Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
    Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
    Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 26th September)

    Categories
    DVD & Blu-ray dvd releases

    UK DVD Releases: Monday 8th September 2008

    DVD PICKS

    21 (Sony): Based on the best selling book Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich, this is tells the story of the MIT Blackjack Team who won millions in Las Vegas counting cards. Jim Sturgess plays a talented student who is persuaded to join a group of maths students (who include Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo and Liza Lapira) headed up by a professor (Kevin Spacey) who orchestrates lucrative weekend trips to Vegas casinos. Directed by Robert Luketic, it has changed some aspects of the book but is still a breezily entertaining caper with some nice performances from Spacey and Laurence Fishburne in a supporting role. It is Sturgess though, who stands out in the lead role and he could well go on to have a successful Hollywood career. [Also available on Blu-ray]

    * Listen to our interviews from back in April with Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey about 21 *

    Caramel (Momentum): This debut film by Lebanese writer/director and actress Nadine Labaki explores the lives of five women working together in a Beirut beauty parlour is a charming and eye-opening treat. Refreshingly free of many of the cliches that dog films set in the Middle East, it manages to make some salient points about women in that region of the world. But it is also a spirited portrayal of different characters finding solidarity with one another. What’s perhaps most impressive is the series of fine performances that Labaki has drawn from her non-professional cast who imbue the film with a rare energy and spirit.

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    ALSO OUT

    Arctic Tale (Paramount): A documentary about a polar bear cub and a walrus pup narrated by Queen Latifah.

    B.T.K. (Lionsgate): A film based on the real life of Dennis L. Rader, the notorious serial killer who brutally bound, tortured and killed his victims.

    Botched (Optimum): A zany horror film set in Russia about a professional thief (Stephen Dorff) who finds himself dealing with serial killers, insane hostages and double-crossing psycho Russian hard men.

    Brave Story (Optimum): Koichi Chigira directs this Gonzo animation studios production about an 11-year-old who is told he can change his destiny by entering a magic gateway into another world.

    Caught (Second Sight); A re-release for director Max Ophuls‘ 1949 drama about a young secretary (Barbara Bel Geddes) married to millionaire (Robert Ryan) who falls in love with her employer (James Mason).

    CSI: Miami – Season 5 Part 2 (Momentum): The second part of the 5th season of the Miami version of the popular forensics drama.

    Grindhouse Trailer Classics 2 (Nucleus Films): Another compilation of trailers from cult and exploitation (or ‘grindhouse’) movies including promos for The Black Gestapo, The Depraved, Bloody Pit Of Horror, The Pink Angels, Foxy Brown.

    In the Night Garden: Hello Tombliboos! (BBC): The BBC’s preschool TV show about excitable, tumbly, knocabout pepper-pot toys gets released by BBC Worldwide.

    Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (aka Doppleganger) (Universal): This 1969 sci-fi movie written by Gerry Anderson is set one hundred years into the future when scientists discover an exact duplicate of Earth orbiting on the other side of the sun.

    La Ronde (Second Sight): Director Max Ophuls’ adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s play is set in Vienna in the early 1900s and is a series of tales woven together by the Raconteur (Anton Walbrook) as each segment introduces a new character, who then moves on to an affair with another.

    Man of the East (Optimum): A western with Terence Hill as a naive young man trying to make a name for himself with the help of his father’s three old friends: Monkey (Dominic Barto), Holy Joe (Harry Carey Jr.) and Bull (Gregory Walcott).

    Monk Season 6 (Universal Playback): Tony Shalhoub returns as the phobia-laden detective Adrian Monk for the 6th season which includes guest stars such as Alfred Molina, Sarah Silverman and Snoop Dogg.

    Navajo Joe (Optimum): Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western with Burt Reynolds as an avenging Native American called on to help a town fight back against outlaws.

    Nothing But A Man (Metrodome): This 1964 drama, directed by Michael Roemer, is a love story about a man (Ivan Dixon) who is forced to confront prejudice and self-denial when he falls in love with an educated preacher’s daughter (Abbey Lincoln).

    Protégé (Liberation Entertainment): A Hong Kong crime thriller about an ailing druglord (Andy Lau) who is unaware that his protégé (Daniel Wu) is actually an undercover cop.

    The Eye (Lionsgate): A US remake of the Pang Brothers film of the same name, this stars Jessica Alba as a woman who after undergoing surgery to restore her sight begins to see inexplicable and frightening images that haunt her.

    The Hills Run Red (Optimum): A spaghetti western about two confederate army buddies carrying a shedload of money to help the cause at the end of the civil war when they are set upon by Yankees.

    The 2 Sides of the Bed (TLA): A romantic farce, which is a follow up to The Other Side of the Bed.

    Tortured (Sony): A thriller about an undercover FBI agent who has to track down a mysterious crime lord’s money. Stars Cole Hauser, James Cromwell and Laurence Fishburne.

    What Happens in Vegas (Fox): Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz star as two mismatched strangers who – after a wild night in Vegas – find themselves married. But a huge gambling win complicates the anullment and a judge (Dennis Miller) sentences them to six months “hard marriage.”

    Spooks – Code 9 (Contender): The new BBC Three drama from the producers behind Spooks and Life on Mars comes to DVD the day after the last episode airs.

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    > Buy 21 and Caramel on DVD at Amazon UK
    > Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
    > Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
    > Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 5th September)

    Categories
    DVD & Blu-ray dvd releases

    UK DVD Releases: Monday 1st September 2008

    DVD PICKS

    Doomsday (Universal): Although this post-apocalyptic action-thriller shamelessly rips off Mad Max 2 and Escape From New York, it remains something of a guilty pleasure. When a futuristic Britain comes under threat from a deadly virus, Rhona Mitra heads up a team of soldiers who have to venture into the forbidden wastelands of Scotland in order to find a cure. Director Neil Marshall brings an undeniable flair to the action sequences and although this isn’t nearly as accomplished as his last film (The Descent) it is watchable enough if you don’t take the hammy acting and clunky dialogue too seriously. [Also available on Blu-ray]

    * Listen to our interview with Neil Marshall about The Descent *

    Jerry Maguire (Sony): You might have forgotten that this 1996 film was one of the first to be released on the DVD format way back in the Spring of 1998. It has taken a little longer for it to reach Blu-ray, but if you have made the jump to Sony’s HD format then you might well want this charming comedy-drama to be part of your new collection. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, it is the charming tale of a sports agent named Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) who goes it alone with his assistant Dorothy (Renée Zellweger). He soon falls for her and also has to deal with a pushy footballer client played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. (who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). Along with Almost Famous and Say Anything, it remains one of Crowe’s best films.

    Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? (Optimum): Morgan Spurlock came to fame with Super Size Me, the hit 2004 documentary about fast food and has followed it up with this exploration of where the world’s most wanted terrorist is. Although not as groundbreaking or successful as his previous film, there are some interesting sections including illuminating visits to Egypt, Saudi Arbaia, Israel and Afghanistan. Perhaps where the film suffers a little is in it’s premise – surely a more interesting question (and film) would be: ‘Why hasn’t the US found Osama Bin Laden?’.

    * Listen to our interview with Morgan Spurlock about Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? *

    ALSO OUT

    Alive (Optimum): Based on the comic books by Tsutomu Takahashi, this is a live-action sci-fi horror directed by Ryuhei Kitamura.

    Cashback (Universal): An ‘offbeat comedy’ directed by Sean Ellis about the unconventional life of an art student (Sean Biggerstaff) after he is jilted by his long term girlfriend (Michelle Ryan).

    Erin Brockovich (Sony): A Blu-ray release for this Julia Roberts vehicle which dramatizes the story of Erin Brockovich‘s first fight against the American West Coast energy giant Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Not only did it scoop Roberts an Oscar for Best Actress, but it also cemented the return of Steven Soderbergh to the directing A-list after a few years in the indie wilderness.

    Fool’s Gold (Warner Bros):An ‘adventure comedy’ starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson as a just-divorced couple who bicker and banter whilst searching for treasure.[Also available on Blu-ray]

    Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control (Warner Bros): A tie in DVD-only release with Masi Oka and Nate Torrence as Bruce and Lloyd, Maxwell Smart’s techie friends from the recent Get Smart movie remake.

    Illegal Tender (Universal): An action thriller about a Latino mother and son in ‘a quest for honour and revenge’, written and directed by Franc Reyes.

    In Memory of my Father (Scanbox): Written by, directed by and starring Christopher Jaymes this examines  a narcissistic Hollywood family struggling to deal with the fallout caused by the death of its patriarch.

    Lilith (TLA): An ‘erotic horror’ that follows Sister Katherine (Tina Krause) and her group of curvaceous female students on a college field trip exploring pagan customs.

    Psych – Season 1 (Universal Playback): The complete first season of the US comedy series following the misadventures of fake psychic Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his cynical friend Gus (Dule Hill).

    The Muppet Show – Season 3 (Disney): Jim Henson‘s famous puppets return with the voices of Frank Oz and this series introduces audiences to Miss Piggy and also stars Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, Animal and a host of other characters.

    The Oxford Murders (Contender): Based on the Argentine author Guillermo Martinez’s 2003 novel, this crime drama is directed by Alex de la Iglesia and stars John Hurt and Elijah Wood as a professor of logic, and a graduate student who investigate a series of bizarre, mathematically-based murders in Oxford.

    The Puffy Chair (Scanbox): Directed by Jay Duplass this comedy is about three young adults who find some of life’s answers and several more questions during a cross-country road trip to deliver the film’s eponymous piece of furniture.

    Tweenies: Messy Time Magic (BBC): The Tweenies are back on DVD with their mix of music and mayhem in this new release from BBC Worldwide.

    Two-Minute Warning (Nouveaux): This 1976 thriller about an a sniper killing people at a football stadium finally gets released on DVD in the UK. Directed by Larry Peerce and starring Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Martin Balsam, Beau Bridges, Jack Klugman, Gena Rowlands and David Janssen.

    Vexille (Momentum): Directed by Fumihiko Sori and utilising the talents of the creative team behind the groundbreaking CG anime Appleseed, Vexille is a CG animated sci-fi feature that deals with the theme of genetic enhancement and modification.

    If you have any questions about this week’s DVD releases or any upcoming titles then just email me

    (To buy any of the DVDs above just click on the title and you will be redirected to Amazon UK)

    > Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
    > Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
    > Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 29th August)

    Categories
    DVD & Blu-ray dvd releases

    DVD Releases: Monday 18th August 2008

    DVD PICKS

    Persepolis (Optimum): Writer and director Marjane Satrapi (along with co-director Vincent Paronnaud) adapted her own graphic novel about growing up during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Using a striking animated style, it explores her journey living in a theocratic society until she emigrates at the age of 21. A moving and insightful film, filled with healthy doses of humour, it deservedly won the Jury Prize at Cannes last year and was nominated for Best Animated Film at the Oscars.

    Lars and the Real Girl (MGM/Fox): Although the premise of this film might sound odd – a Midwestern loner called Lars buys a sex doll only to treat it as a real person – this actually feels more like an updated Frank Capra movie, with Ryan Gosling playing the introverted title character. There aren’t many laugh out loud moments but there is an amiable charm to the film, which is helped by some fine performances from Gosling, Paul Schneider, Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson. Directed by Craig Gillespie from Nancy Oliver‘s script, which was nominated for an Oscar.

    OTHER RELEASES

    A Town Called Eureka – Season 2 (Universal Playback): Second season of the fantasy series involving a sheriff (Colin Ferguson) in the small town of Eureka, a place where scientific experiments cause innovation or chaos.

    Breathing Room (DNC Entertainment): A psychological thriller involving a woman (Alisa Marshall) who finds herself thrown into a desolate room with thirteen strangers before discovering she is the last contestant in a deadly game.

    Chuck – Season 1 (Warner): First season of the NBC show about a computer geek who receives the world’s greatest spy secrets after opening an e-mail from an old college friend who is now a rogue CIA agent.

    Diamond Dogs (Sony): Dolph Lundgren – currently stuck in straight-to-DVD hell – stars in this action film about an ex-Special Forces officer hired to lead a band of treasure hunters in order to find a priceless Buddhist artifact.

    Get Smart – Season 1 (HBO): Released to coincide with the cinema release of the movie remake starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, the original Get Smart was a 1960s comedy series revolving around the bumbling Washington spy Maxwell Smart (Don Adams). Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry it also starred Barbara Feldon as Agent 99, who often saves the day.

    Gossip Girl – Season 1 (Warner): From the creators of The O.C., comes this show is based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar, follwing the lives of privileged teenagers in Manhattan. The first season starts when students learn from the ‘Gossip Girl’ blog that Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), a formerly notorious party girl, is back in New York.

    La Antena (Dogwoof Pictures): The second feature film from Argentinean director Esteban Sapir is a silent black-and-white tale about a world dominated by trashy TV, where even the ability to talk has been snatched from people.

    Leatherheads (Universal): George Clooney directs and stars in this 1930s-style screwball comedy about an American Football team struggling to stay afloat in the early days of the sport. Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski co-star.

    Meet the Spartans (Fox): Another hastily made spoof from the creative talents that gave us Date Movie and Epic Movie.

    Sports Movie (aka The Comebacks) (Fox): A sports movie spoof about an out-of-luck coach (David Koechner) trying to lead his team of fumbling footballers to victory before his long-suffering wife (Melora Hardin) leaves him.

    Stargate: Continuum (Fox): Yet another Stargate spin off in which members of SG-1 find themselves returning to a world where history has been dramatically altered.

    Stop-Loss (Paramount): After several years in development hell, director Kimberley Pierce (who made Boys Don’t Cry in 1999) returned with this tale of a decorated Iraq war hero (Ryan Phillippe) who returns to Texas, only to find a clause in his army contract will force him back to duty in the Middle East.

    The Neverending Story (Warner): A re-release for Wolfgang Petersen’s 1984 fantasy adventure based on the German novel of the same name by Michael Ende

    The Sword in the Stone – 45th Anniversary Special Edition (Disney): The animated Disney film based on the novel of the same name gets a re-release .

    Unearthed (Icon): The story of an unknown creature stalking an archaeological dig in the middle of a desolate New Mexico town and the inhabitants who must fight it out.

    Virgin Territory (Momentum): A straight-to-DVD release for this very loose adaptation of Giovanni Boccaccio‘s The Decameron with Hayden Christensen, Mischa Barton and Tim Roth.

    If you have any questions about this week’s DVD releases or any upcoming titles then just email me

    (To buy any of the DVDs above just click on the title and you will be redirected to our Amazon affiliate)

    > Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
    Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
    > Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 15th August)