DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 1st December 2008


Hancock (Sony): Although this Will Smith summer blockbuster attracted a mixed critical response it remains an entertaining and interesting riff on the superhero genre. The biggest movie star in the world plays a depressed, drunken superman who is reviled by Los Angeles because he causes mass destruction when fighting crime. After saving the life of a PR man (Justin Bateman) he is persuaded to change his ways and become a proper hero but complications ensue when his past catches up with him. Directed by Peter Berg (Very Bad Things, The Kingdom) from a script by Vince Gilligan & Vincent Ngo, the action is efficiently handled and the humor (especially between bateman and Smith) nicely played.

Thr two-disc edition is the one to get as it Includes both the theatrical and extended versions of the film with the following features:

  • 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English and Czech DD5.1 Surround
  • English Audio Description
  • Subtitles (Main Feature): English, English HOH, Czech, Dutch, Hindi and Slovak
  • Subtitles (Extra Features): English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese
  • Superhumans: The Making of Hancock behind-the-scenes documentary
  • Seeing the Future – takes eight scenes from the actual film footage or B-roll footage and shows side by side comparisons of the conception during the pre-visualization creation
  • Building a Better Hero special effects featurette
  • Bumps and Bruises – breakdown of action sequences in the film
  • Mere Mortals: Behind the Scenes with ‘Dirty Pete.’ – Interview with director Peter Berg
  • Home Life – – Shows via time lapse photography the building of the homes and buildings used in the film
  • Suiting Up – featurette on the film’s costume design
  • Digital copy of the theatrical cut for consumers to play on their PC or PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) System  

The French Connection – Bluray (Fox): Although I’m still in a state of Blu-ray limbo (a subject of a future post) this is one title I’d be really keen on getting. A landmark film of the early 1970s, it is the story of two New York City policemen trying to intercept a heroin shipment coming in from France. Directed by William Friedkin, it stars Gene Hackman (as detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle), Fernando Rey (as French heroin smuggler Alain Charnier) and Roy Scheider (as Jimmy’s partner Buddy “Cloudy” Russo). It also features Eddie Egan and Sonny “Cloudy” Grosso, the real-life police detectives on whom Hackman’s and Scheider’s characters were based.

The Blu-ray disc has exclusive new high-def content including an introduction by William Friedkin, an ‘Anatomy of a Chase’ featurette, Friedkin and Grosso remembering the real French Connection, and a featurette about the music of Don Ellis.

It also features the following:

Disc 1:

  • William Friedkin Introduction to The French Connection
  • Audio Commentary by William Friedkin
  • Audio Commentary by Gene Hackman and Roy Schieder
  • Trivia Track
  • Isolated Score Track
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • French Connection II BD Trailer

Disc 2:

  • 9 Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by William Friedkin (12 mins 50 secs)
  • Anatomy of a Chase (20 mins 36 secs)
  • Hackman on Doyle (12 mins 14 secs)
  • Friedman and Grosso remember the real French Connection (19 mins 34 secs)
  • Scene of the Crime (6 mins 19 mins)
  • Colour Timing The French Connection (13 mins 21 secs)
  • Cop Jazz: The Music of Don Ellis (10 mins 11 secs)
  • Rouge Cop: The Noir Connection (13 mins 56 secs)
  • BBC Documentary: The Poughkeepsie Shuffle (53 mins)
  • Making the Connection: The Untold Stories of The French Connection (60 mins)

There is also a double disc edition that contains The French Connection 2.



24: Redemption (Fox)
Aled’s Christmas Carols (2 Entertain)
Einstein and Eddington (2 Entertain)
Just the Ticket: The British Transport Films Collection Volume Nine (BFI)
Lotte Reiniger – The Fairy Tale Films (BFI)
Meet Dave (Fox)
Phil Daniels’ Football Match Day Madness (Fremantle)
Space Chimps (EIV)
Strictly Come Dancing The Workout With Kelly & Flavia (2 Entertain)
The British Transport Films Collection (BFI)
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (Sony)
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Universal)
Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage (Lionsgate)


> Buy Hancock and The French Connection 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 28th November)

Box Office Cinema News

Hancock rules the US box office

Despite mixed reviews (some of them predicting a Last Action Hero style flop) Hancock ruled the box office this weekend.

It looks almost certain to pass the $100 million mark before the weekend is out.

Reuters report:

> Check out our review
> Hancock at the IMDb
> Latest figures from Box Office Mojo
> Listen to Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron & Akiva Goldsman and Peter Berg discuss Hancock

Cinema Podcast Reviews

The Cinema Review: Hancock

Today we review Hancock, the new film starring Will Smith as an unconventional superhero.

Listen to the review here:


Download and subscribe to the review podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Hancock is out at cinemas today

> Download this review as an MP3 file
> Hancock at the IMDb
> Listen to our interviews with Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron & Akiva Goldsman and Peter Berg
> Check out local showtimes via Google Movies

Cinema Interviews Podcast

Interview: Akiva Goldsman and Peter Berg on Hancock

Hancock is the new summer blockbuster starring Will Smith as a drunken, depressed superhero seen as a nuisance by the public.

I recently spoke to screenwriter and producer Akiva Goldsman and director Peter Berg about their work on the film.

Listen to the interview here:


You can download this interview as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here

Hancock is out in cinemas today

> Download this interview as an MP3 file
> Akiva Goldsman and Peter Berg at the IMDb
> Listen to our recent interviews with Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron about the film
> Official site for Hancock
> YouTube channel for Hancock and the viral site Hancock Was Here

[Photo credit: © Solarpix / PR Photos / Frank Masi SMPSP © 2008 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and GH Three LLC All Rights Reserved]

Cinema Interviews TV

Interview: Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron on Hancock

Hancock is the new film starring Will Smith as a depressed, drunken superhero loathed by a public that finds him a dangerous nuisance.

Jason Bateman plays a Ray Embrey, a PR man who decides to help Hancock rehabilitate his image after he is saved by him whilst Charlize Theron plays Ray’s sceptical wife, Mary.

I recently spoke to Jason and Charlize about their roles in the film and Arrested Development – the TV show they starred in from 2003-2006.

Listen to the interviews here:


You can download this interview as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here

Hancock is out at cinemas on July 2nd

> Download the interviews as an MP3 file
> Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron at the IMDb
> Official site for Hancock
> Find out more about Arrested Development at Wikipedia

[Photo credit: Frank Masi SMPSP. ©2008 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and GH Three LLC All Rights Reserved.]

Amusing News

Will Smith on Letterman

Will Smith was on The Late Show with David Letterman recently to promote Hancock and the film star and talkshow host got unusually close!

> Will Smith at the IMDb
> Find out more about The Late Show with Dave Letterman at Wikipedia