DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 22nd June 2009

UK DVD Picks 22-06-09


Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Optimum): A return to form for Woody Allen, after two major misfires (Scoop and Cassandra’s Dream).

The story involves two American women, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) who spend a summer in Barcelona, where they meet an artist (Javier Bardem) who is attracted to both of them while still enamored of his ex-wife (Penelope Cruz).

Although Hall and Johansson are fine in the two lead roles, it is Bardem and Cruz who give the film an extra flavour with both showing a wonderful light touch for comedy.

Cruz deservedly scooped an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress earlier this year and the film got some of the best reviews Allen has had in some time. The extras are a little thin on the ground (the trailer) but the film is a breezy delight.

Look out for a cameo by the Spanish actor Joan Pera, who often voices Allen in Spanish dubs of his movies.

Hardware (Optimum): This 1990 cult sci-fi has often been hard to track down on DVD due to various rights problems and now Optimum have finally re-issued a special edition on DVD and Blu-ray.

Directed by Richard Stanley, the story involves the head of a killing cyborg found in the desert, which ends up repairing itself and wreaking havoc in the apartment of a sculptress.

It stars Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch and William Hootkins.

The extras include:

  • Audio commentary with Richard Stanley & Paul Trijbits
  • Deleted, Extended & Behind the Scenes
  • Sea of Perdition
  • The Early Days Richard Stanley Super 8 Movies
  • The Voice of The Moon
  • Original Hardware Promo

* Listen to my interview with Richard Stanley here *

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Sony): A charming romantic-comedy, minus the usual cliches of the genre, with Michael Cera and Kat Dennings two teenagers who fall in love during one sleepless night in New York while searching for their favourite band’s unannounced show.

The extras on the DVD are:

  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English, Catalan and Spanish DD5.1 Surround
  • English Audio Description Track
  • Subtitles: English, English HOH, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
  • Director and Cast Commentary
  • Director and Writers Commentary
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • A Nick & Norah Puppet Show by Kat Dennings
  • Ari Graynor’s Video Diary: A Look Behind-the-Scenes
  • Storyboard Animations with optional commentary
  • Storyboard Animation Piece
  • Faux Interview with Kat Dennings and Eddie Kaye Thomas
  • Peter Sollett’s Photo Album
  • Music Video: “Middle Management” by Bishop Allen

The extras on the Blu-ray Disc (coded for all regions A, B and C) include:

  • 1080P 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English and Italian 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • English Audio Description Track 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English HOH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Cinechat
  • Trivia Track
  • Telestrator Commentary with Director and Cast
  • Nick & Norah’s interactive playlist – create and share a playlist of your favourite Nick & Norah songs
  • Director and Writers Commentary
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • A Nick & Norah Puppet Show by Kat Dennings
  • Ari Graynor’s Video Diary: A Look Behind-the-Scenes
  • Storyboard Animations with optional commentary
  • Storyboard Animation Piece
  • Faux Interview with Kat Dennings and Eddie Kaye Thomas
  • Peter Sollett’s Photo Album
  • Music Video: “Middle Management” by Bishop Allen



A Hill in Korea (Optimum)
A Waste of Shame (Demand DVD)
Anchoress (BFI)
Before Stonewall (Peccadillo Pictures)
Belle Toujours (ICA)
Bulldog Drummond At Bay (Optimum)
Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen (2 Entertain)
Electra Glide in Blue (Optimum)
Franklyn (E1 Entertainment)
Keep Your Seats Please (Optimum)
Nine Men (Optimum)
Notorious (Fox)
Occupation (2 Entertain)
Painted Boats (Optimum)
Punisher: War Zone (Sony)
Queer as Folk Season 4 (Warner)
Return of Bulldog Drummond (Optimum)
Robin Hood Series 3 (2 Entertain)
Stargate Atlantis Season 5 Volume 4 (Fox)
The Pink Panther 2 (Fox)
The Unborn (Universal)
This Filthy Earth (BFI)
Tokyo Sonata (Eureka/Masters of Cinema)

> 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 19th June)


UK Cinema Releases: Friday 30th January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 30-01-09


Revolutionary Road (Paramount): Adapted from the acclaimed 1961 novel by Richard Yates, this stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a young married couple who yearn to break free of their stifling lives in surburban Connecticut. Directed by Sam Mendes from a script by Justin Haythe, it was widely expected to garner critical acclaim and Oscar nominations. 

It hasn’t quite worked out that way because the film, despite having numerous qualities, doesn’t quite add up to more than the sum of its parts. Winslet is excellent as the frustrated housewife yearning for a deeper existence, but DiCaprio feels a little adrift in a more unsympathetic role as her husband. In the supporting cast Michael Shannon and Kathy Bates are interesting but occasionally come across as too one note in how they comment on the central characters, almost as if they are a 1950s-style Greek chorus.

One can’t help avoiding comparisons to Mad Men, a TV series that covers the same period with a richness and originality that a film like this can’t really match. Despite the problems, there is much technical brilliance here to feast on: Roger Deakins continues to dazzle with some marvellous cinematography, whilst regular Mendes colloborator Thomas Newman delivers another affecting score that complements the action superbly (watch out for the dance sequence).

The overall effect of the film is a rather downbeat, a factor which may have reduced its Oscar chances and could limit its box office here in the UK. Although on paper, two big stars in a prestige picture would seem likely to do well, word of mouth might affect its long term theatrical gross when certain audiences (i.e. couples) realise how close to the bone the film cuts in its depiction of an unhappy marriage. [Cert 15 / Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]

Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Sony Pictures): I’m very reluctant to call this film, based upon the novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, a romantic comedy because that genre has been polluted by mindless garbage appealing to female audiences who should know better. However, it would be an accurate depiction of this charming tale of two people (Michael Cera and Kat Dennings) who fall in love over the course of one night in New York.

In some ways you could call it a genuine romantic comedy because it is both romantic and funny, but it is also smarter than the average movie of this type. The two lead characters are nicely drawn and there is a standout supporting performancefrom Ari Graynor as one of Norah’s best friends. I’m surprised it didn’t do better in the US when it opened there back in October, but perhaps Sony couldn’t find the right marketing hook for it. The impressive soundtrack and feelgood vibe might ensure more success for the film as people discover it on DVD.  [Cert 12A / London & Nationwide]



Barry Lyndon (PG): The BFI give a limited re-issue for Stanley Kubrick‘s masterful 1975 adaptation of  William Makepeace Thackeray‘s novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon about the adventures and misadventures of an 18th century gambler and social climber (Ryan O’Neal). The visuals by cinematographer John Alcott (who won an Oscar for his work) were lit with a specially-adapted Zeiss camera lens originally developed for NASA and are still quite stunning to behold. One re-issue definitely worth catching on a cinema screen, especially as Warner Bros can’t be arsed to give it a decent DVD release. [BFI Southbank]

The Broken (The Works): A contemporary horror thriller written and directed by Sean Ellis and starring Lena Headey as woman who wakes up in the hospital following an encounter with a mysterious doppelgangerRichard Jenkins co-stars, but this is unlikely to make any serious waves at the UK box office. [Cert 15 / London & Key Cities]   

JCVD (Revolver Entertainment): An action film directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as himself (!), a down-and-out action star whose family and career are crumbling around him as he’s caught in the middle of a post office heist in his hometown of Brussels, Belgium[A limited release at the Prince Charles Cinema in London]   

Luck By Chance (Adlabs Films): A Bollywood film directed by Zoya Akhtar that stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Farhan Akhtar with Rishi KapoorDimple KapadiaJuhi ChawlaHrithik RoshanIsha Sharvani and Sanjay Kapoor in the supporting cast. Supposedly a satire of the Bollywood film industry, it is about an actor named Vikram Jaisingh (Farhan Akhtar) who arrives in Bombay to make it big as a film star with the help of a TV star friend.  [Cert 12A]

Tokyo Sonata (Eureka Entertainment): A drama directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa about an everyday Japanese family that slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company. [Cert 12A / ICA Cinema & Key Cities] 

UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 26th January)