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DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 26th September 2011

DVD & BLU-RAY PICKS

Ben Hur (Warner Home Video): William Wyler’s 1959 historical epic was one of the largest productions in Hollywood history. The tale of a Jewish prince (Charlton Heston) in Judea around the time of Jesus, it won 11 Oscars and is filled with numerous set pieces, including the famous chariot race, and an iconic Miklós Rózsa score. This Blu-ray has been eagerly awaited by cinephiles as it has been remastered at 6K resolution from a 65mm negative and is presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.76:1, complete with remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Extras include: an extensive documentaries tracing the history of the story, as well as Heston’s career, an audio commentary from film historian T Gene Hatcher and Heston and numerous other production featurettes. One of the essential purchases of the year. [Buy it on Blu-ray from Amazon UK]

My Voyage to Italy (Mr Bongo Films): Martin Scorsese’s 1999 documentary is a revealing exploration of post-war Italian cinema which blends a healthy collection of clips with the director talking about his families immigrant experience. Not only is the director a warm and accessible guide, but he makes shrewd observations about such classics as Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D, Voyage to Italy and La Dolce Vita whilst also pointing out lesser known titles like Senso and Europa 51. An essential purchase for any fan of cinema. [Buy it on DVD from Amazon UK]

Manhunter (StudioCanal): The first film to portray Hannibal Lecter on screen was this stylish 1986 thriller directed by Michael Mann, based on the Robert Harris novel Red Dragon. When a haunted cop (William Petersen) is asked to track down a serial killer (Tom Noonan), he needs the help of an imprisoned psychiatrist (Brian Cox) but the hunt soon brings up demons from his past. Shot around the time of the Miami Vice TV show, this established the distinctive visual look of Mann’s films for the next 15 years and holds up very well today. [Buy it on Blu-ray from Amazon UK]

Airplane! (Paramount Home Video): This ingenious 1980 spoof of disaster movies of the 1970s still holds up as one of the finest comedies ever made. When food poisoning affects a flight crew, a retired war pilot (Robert Hays) has to step in and help save the day despite a ‘drinking problem’. Directed by the David and Jerry Zucker and written with Jim Abrahams, the jokes appear at a rapid rate and the cast features Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges and Robert Stack. The AFI voted it amongst their top 10 comedies in 2000 and the honour is richly deserved. [Buy it on Blu-ray from Amazon UK]

ALSO OUT

Beverly Hills Cop (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Blitz (Lionsgate UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Cannibal Holocaust: Ruggero Deodato’s New Edit (Shameless) [Blu-ray / Limited Edition]
Cat O’ Nine Tails (Arrow Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Clear and Present Danger (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Cold Mountain (Optimum Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Fringe: Season 3 (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Harakiri (Eureka) [Blu-ray / with DVD – Double Play]
Hawaii Five-0: Season 1 (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
House: Season 7 (Universal/Playback) [Blu-ray / Box Set]
Kill the Irishman (Anchor Bay Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Le Mans: 2011 (Duke) [Blu-ray / with DVD – Double Play]
Nirvana: Live at Paramount (Universal Music) [Blu-ray / Remastered]
Patriot Games (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Shall We Dance? (Optimum Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Hunt for Red October (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Killing: Season 1 (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Naked Gun (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Thor (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal / Digital Copy]
Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Turnout (Revolver Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]

> UK Cinema Releases for Friday 23rd September 2011
> The Best DVD & Blu-ray releases of 2010