DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 24th November 2008


WALL-E (Disney): The new film from Pixar starts far into the future with the last robot on earth, a trash collector called WALL-E, being visited by another robot called EVE. When they come across plant life it triggers a response from the rest of mankind, who for centuries have existed on a giant mothership faraway.

Directed by Andrew Stanton (who also made Finding Nemo in 2003), this magical tale contains some of the most stunning visuals yet seen in animated films. Added to that is a surprisingly moving love story between two very different robots and a narrative filled with interesting themes such as: the environment, our relationship with technology and even obesity.

The extras on this impressive two-disc set are:

Disc 1

  • ‘Presto’: Theatrical short that was seen in cinemas (5.30)
  • BURN-E: An exclusive short about a minor character in the film.
  • ‘Up’ Teaser for the new Pixar film
  • Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds From The Sound Up featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Stanton
  • Deleted scenes
  • Easter Eggs

Disc 2

  • Deleted scenes
  • The Imperfect Lens making of featurette
  • Captain’s Log featurette
  • Notes on a Score featurette
  • Life of a Shot featurette
  • Robo-Everything featurette
  • WALL-E & EVE featurette
  • Buy-n-Large Industrial Shorts (x5)
  • WALL-E trailers
  • Poster gallery
  • The Pixar Story documentary*
All in all it is a highly impressive DVD package and one of the essential films of the year. 
L’Argent (Eureka): A UK DVD release of Marcel L’Herbier’s classic film as part of their Masters of Cinema Series. Adapted from Émile Zola‘s novel of the same name, Marcel L’Herbier’s L’Argent [Money] is a notable film of late-silent era cinema. Filmed in part on location at the Paris stock exchange, it explores a world of intrigue, greed, decadence, and ultimately corruption and scandal when business dealings and amorous deceit combine. (Particularly relevant for the current financial climate!).

Never before released on home video in the UK, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the UK edition of a restoration that won the prestigious Best Silent Film DVD award at the 2008 Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, Bologna, Italy.

A raft of special features on the two-disc edition include:

  • A pristine transfer from a fine grain print struck from the original negative, featuring the director’s cut fought for by L’Herbier over many years, the film speed as projected in the late 1920s, and the entirety of each frame fully displayed
  • New and improved English subtitles
  • Newly improvised musical accompaniment by French composer and pianist Jean-François Zygel, who also provides a video introduction to the film and a documentary about accompanying silent cinema
  • About L’Argent (Autour de L’Argent) (1928) – Jean Dréville’s 40 minute “making of” documentary
  • Archival footage of star Brigitte Helm (fresh from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis) arriving in Paris for the shooting of L’Herbier’s film
  • Archival screen tests of the L’Argent actors
  • Marcel L’Herbier: Poet of the Silent Art (Marcel L’Herbier: Poete de L’Art Silencieux) (2007) – a 54 minute documentary profiling the director
  • A demonstration of L’Herbier’s innovative sound techniques, which used 78rpm records during key scenes of L’Argent
  • A lavish 80-page perfectly-bound booklet with archival publicity stills, a long essay by noted professor of French film Richard Abel (French Cinema: The First Wave, 1915-1929; French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology, 1907-1939; The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896-1914), newly translated interviews with L’Herbier, and newly translated extracts from the director’s biography.

The film might seem a distant arthouse oddity but given the paucity of decent DVD releases this week, it is well worth buying.



ER Season 13 (Warner)
Lead Balloon – Series 2 (2 Entertain)
Mamma Mia! (Universal)
Merlin – Volume 1 (2 Entertain)
Mister Maker – Let’s Make It! (2 Entertain)
Oasis of Fear (Shameless)
Ray Winstone’s Football Blinders and Blunders (4DVD)
Roary the Racing Car: Stars ‘n’ Cars (2 Entertain)
Seed (Metrodome)
Survivors – Series 1 to 3 (2 Entertain)
The Armstrong and Miller Show (2 Entertain)
The Discovery of Heaven (Eureka)
The X-Files: I Want To Believe (Fox)
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – 10th Anniversary (Universal)
World War II – Behind Closed Doors (BBC)


> Buy WALL-E and L’Argent 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 21st November)

DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 17th November 2008


Kung Fu Panda (Paramount): One of the best animated films of the year saw Jack Black voice a panda named Po, along with Jackie ChanDustin HoffmanAngelina JolieLucy LiuSeth Rogen and Ian McShane in supporting roles. Set in ancient China, the story involves around a bumbling panda who gets selected to join a group of kung fu warriors who must defend their village. Directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne it was one of the best efforts from DreamWorks in recent years with some witty ideas and well executed set-pieces (a prison escape being one of the highlights).

The 2-disc edition is the one to go for as it has a solid selection of extras which break down as follows: 

Disc 1 (Single-Disc Edition):

  • Audio Commentary
  • Meet the Cast
  • Tech of Kung Fu Panda: Pushing the Boundaries
  • Conservation International – Help Save Wild Pandas
  • DWA Jukebox
  • Trailers
  • Set-Top Game: Dragon Warrior Training Academy

Disc 2 (on the “Kung Fu Master Edition”) As above, plus a second disc with the following additional extras:

  • Be a Kung Fu Master
  • Animals of Kung Fu Panda
  • What Kung Fu Style Are You?
  • Do You Kung Fu?
  • “Kung Fu Fighting” Music Video
  • Learn the Panda Dance
  • Learn to Draw
  • Sound Design
  • Land of the Panda
  • Mr. Ping’s Noodle House
  • How To Use Chopsticks
  • Inside the Chinese Zodiac
  • Po’s Power Play
  • Interactive DVD Rom activities: Dumpling Shuffle
  • HP Printable Projects
  • KFP Sound Machine
  • KFP and MAD 2 Activision Game Level
  • Kung Fu Panda Around the World
  • Po Around the World

Stephen Fry in America (West Park Pictures): This six-part BBC series saw Stephen Fry explore America – a country in which he was almost born. Each episode sees him travel around various states in a modified London taxi, as he attempts to explore the history and attitudes of the United States. Beginning in New England and Washington his travels take him through the Deep SouthMississippi, the Canadian border regions and Montana, the South West before concluding in Hawaii and the Pacific.

The DVD contains some unseen footage not shown on the BBC broadcast including: Dice Game in Eastport Maine; Whale talk in Nantucket; On the Mayflower in Plymouth Rock and Oyster fishing in Louisiana.



Benidorm Series 2 (2 Entertain)
Bones – Season 3 (Fox)
Brendon Burns Live – So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now! (Universal)
Chuggington (2 Entertain)
City of Men (Buena Vista)
Creature Comforts USA – Series 3 (2 Entertain)
Doctor Who – Season 4 (2 Entertain)
Free Zone (Bluebell Films)
Golden Balls: The DVD Game (4DVD)
I Served The King of England (Arrow)
Manchester United DVD Annual 2008 (2 Entertain)
Michael McIntyre – Live & Laughing (Universal)
Richard Hammond’s Top Gear Stunt Challenge (2 Entertain)
Sean Lock Live DVD (Universal)
Shaun the Sheep Wash Day (2 Entertain)
Star Stories – Series 2 (4DVD)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Disney)
The Mighty Boosh Series 1 to 3 (2 Entertain)
The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (30th Anniversary Edition) (Second Sight)
The Sopranos: The Complete Series (HBO)
This Christmas (Sony)
Thriller in Manila (4DVD)
Tigrero (Bluebell Films)


> Buy Kung Fu Panda and Stephen Fry in America 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 14th November)

DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 10th November 2008


Savage Grace (Revolver Entertainment): Directed by Tom Kalin, this is the true story of the life and death of Barbara Daly Baekeland (Julianne Moore), the socialite who married above her class to Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane), the heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. It explores the tensions in their marriage and Barabara’s unusually close relationship to their only son Tony (Eddie Redmayne), who is a failure in his father’s eyes. Based on the book by Natalie Robins and Steven M. L. Aronson, the film impressively peels back the layers of a sordid true life episode amongst American high society. Moore is excellent in the title role and although the film won’t be to everyone’s tastes, there is much here to admire. This edition is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen but the only extra is a 16-minute making of featurette. [Cert 15]

Black God White Devil (Mr Bongo Films): A very interesting 1964 Brazilian film directed and written by Glauber Rocha, which tells the story of a peasant farmer (Geraldo Del Rey) who kills his tyrannical boss before going on the run with his wife.  A kind of Brazilian spaghetti western, it helped start the Cinema Novo movement, which addressed the socio-political problems of 1960s Brazil.

The great Luis Buñuel described the film as: 

The most beautiful thing I have seen in more than a decade, filled with savage poetry.

An important re-issue of an overlooked film. 

The Mist (2 Disc Edition) (Momentum): Writer-director Frank Darabont‘s adaptation of Stephen King’s 1980 novella of the same name is perhaps one of the darkest horror films released in recent memory. But instead of the cheap sadism and gore that has unfortunately dominated the genre recently, we have a thoughtful examination of what happens to society under extreme pressure. Set in King’s usual location of Maine, it explores what happens to a local artist (Thomas Jane) who becomes trapped in his local supermarket after a mysterious mist descends upon the town. A siege mentality then takes hold of the people inside, with fear and paranoia erupting amongst them on what they should do. Although not a flawless film, there is much to chew on with a haunting sense of despair running through the film and some convincing performances from Jane, Marcia Gay HardenToby Jones and Andre Braugher.

The 2 disc edition is the one to go for as it features an alternate cut of the film in black and white (which is how Darabont actually intended to shoot it) as well as the following extras:

Disc 1

  • Feature Commentary by Writer/Director Frank Darabont
  • A conversation with Stephen King
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
  • Drew Struzan: An Appreciation of an Artist
  • Behind the scenes Webisodes
  • Trailer Gallery

Disc 2

  • B&W Feature
  • Director Introduction
  • When Darkness Came – Making of the Mist
  • Taming the Beast: The Making of scene 35
  • Monsters Among Us: The Creature FX of  The Mist
  • The Horror of It All: The Visual FX of The Mist

Although a horror, it functions as a highly effective parable of post-9/11 America and features some jump-out-of-the-seat moments and a memorable climax. [Cert 15]   



Baraka: Remastered – 2 Disc Special Edition (Second Sight)
Donkey Punch (Optimum)
Elf Bowling – The Movie: The Great North Pole Elf Strike (Lionsgate)
Family Guy – Series 7 (Fox)
Fighters / Real Money (2 disc set) (Second Run)
Frankie Boyle Live (4DVD)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2 Disc Edition) (Paramount)
National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (Fremantle)
Neighbours – The Iconic Episodes (Shock/Fremantle)
Prisoner Cell Block H Vol.1 (Shock/Fremantle)
Russell Brand’s Ponderland – Series 1 (Universal)
Souls at Sea (Eureka)
Space Camp (Fremantle)
Speed Racer (Warner)
The Black Shield Of Falworth (Eureka)
The Flamingo Kid (Fremantle)
The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete First Series (BBC)
Tinker Bell (Disney)
Ugly Betty – Season 2 (Disney)
Viva La Diva – Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins (Warner Music)
War Requiem: 20th Anniversary Edition (Second Sight)
Who’s Harry Crumb? (Sony)


> Buy Savage Grace and Black God White Devil and The Mist 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 7th November)

DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 3rd November 2008


The Princess Bride (Lionsgate): One of the smartest and truly magical films of the 1980s gets re-released in a 2-disc set from Lionsgate. If you are unfamiliar with the film (which is possible as it didn’t set the box office alight in 1987) it is the story of a grandfather (Peter Falk) telling his grandson (Fred Savage) a fairy tale, which we then see unfold. It involves a fair maiden in the fictional land of Florin named Buttercup (Robin Wright) who lives waiting for her true love Westley (Cary Elwes) to return from abroad. After a few years he is believed to be dead, she reluctantly agrees to marry the oily Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). She is then kidnapped by a trio of rogues – Vizzini (Wallace Shawn); Fezzik (André the Giant) and Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and as they sail away toward the Cliffs of Insanity, they notice the pursuit of a mysterious in black which kick starts the adventure.

Directed by Rob Reiner and adapted by William Goldman from his own 1973 novel, it features a raft of wonderful comic performances (especially Patinkin) and is a near-perfect blend of fantasy, adventure, and romance.

The features on this re-release include:

  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio
  • Newly Re-Mastered Transfer
  • Audio Commentary with Director Rob Reiner
  • Audio Commentary by Author/Screenwriter William Goldman
  • 1987 Original Featurette
  • 1987 Making of Featurette
  • ‘As  You Wish: The story of The Princess Bride’
  • Cary Elwes ‘On-Set’ Video
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailers and TV spots

If you don’t already own it or haven’t seen it then this is an essential purchase. A family film that is uncommonly smart, funny and genuinely entertaining.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Second Sight): One of the most iconic horror films gets re-released in a 3-disc ‘Seriously Ultimate Edition’. A landmark independent horror film, it was that was written, directed, and produced in 1974 by Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel. The story involves a group of friends who embark on a road trip to rural Texas only to get attacked by a family of cannibals, including a chainsaw-wielding nutcase named Leatherface. The film was massively influential and even in the current climate of overtly sadistic horror films like Saw and Hostel, still has a raw energy to it that hasn’t quite been matched since. Part of the charm (if that is the right word) is the low budget look and feel which adds to the creepy atmosphere and give the film a unique feel. 

This 3 disc edition breaks down like this:

Disc 1: Main Feature

  • Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English 1.0 Original Mono, 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles (Main Feature)
  • Commentary with director Tobe Hooper , cinematographer Daniel Pearl and ‘Leatherface’ himself Gunnar Hansen
  • Commentary with actors Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Allen Danziger and art director Robert A. Burns

Disc 2: Extra Features

  • ’Off the Hook’ – an interview with Teri McMinn (17mins)
  • Interview with Production Manager Ron Bozman (16:25mins)
  • ’The Shocking Truth’ documentary (72:48mins)
  • A tour of the TSCM house with Gunnar Hansen (8:02mins)
  • ’Shocking Truth’ outtakes (7:33mins)

Disc 3: Extra Features

  • ’Flesh Wounds’ documentary (71:38mins)
  • Interview with director Tobe Hooper (13:46mins)
  • Interview with writer Kim Henkel (8:25mins)
  • Additional footage, outtakes and deleted scenes (27:44mins)
  • Trailers, TV and radio spots (6:02mins)
  • Posters, lobby cards and stills gallery
  • Dr. W.E. Barnes Presents ‘Making Grandpa’ (Stills)
If you don’t already own this then this is the edition to go for as the extensive features give the film a valuable context and overall it is very good value at just £11.98

Arsenal’s Greatest Ever Goals (ITV DVD)
Black God White Devil (Mr. Bongo Films)
Bleach – Series 1 Part 2 (Manga)
Blood and Oil (Scanbox)
Brotherhood of Blood (Metrodome)
Charley Boorman – By Any Means (Universal)
Chocolate (Cine Asia)
Dead Set (4DVD)
Derren Brown – The Specials (4DVD)
Desperate Housewives: Season 4 (Disney)
Extras – The Special (Universal)
Family Fortunes – Interactive DVD Game (Fremantle)
Futurama – Bender’s Game (Fox)
Girls Night In (5 Disc Box Set – 50 First Dates/Friends With Money/Marie Antoinette/Sense & Sensibility/Sleepless in Seattle) (Sony)
Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law – Season 1 (Revolver)
I’m Not Rappaport (Nouveaux Pictures)
Insanitarium (Sony)
Jimmy Carr In Concert (Live) (4DVD)
Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D (EIV)
Lazytown – The Snow Monster And Other Stories (BBC)
Linewatch (Sony)
Mad Detective (Eureka/Masters of Cinema)
Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Series 1-4 (Complete) (Sony)
Monty Python’s Personal Bests Collection (Sony)
Most Haunted – Series 10 (Universal)
One Way (Metrodome)
Robin Hood – Series 2 (Entertain)
Shine A Light (Fox)
Son of Man (Spier Films)
The Colour Of Magic (Fox)
The Designated Victim (Shameless)
The Happening (Fox)
The Ring Finger (Second Sight)
The Scorpion King 2 – Rise Of A Warrior (Universal)
Lazytown – The Snow Monster And Other Stories (BBC)
War Made Easy (Scanbox)


> Buy The Princess Bride and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 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 31st October)