Review Archive: January 2005

Chinese Odyssey 2002

Kev reviews Jeff Lau's tremendous 2002 New Year comedy that sadly has been given a very disrespectful DVD release, courtesy of Tartan.

The Punisher (2004)

Criminals beware! Frank Castle is in town! Marvel presents the second adaptation of The Punisher, a low-grade revenge flick. Comic book fan D.J. Nock finds out if it's really as bad as it sounds.

Young Mr Lincoln

In the same year he made the classic 'Stagecoach' with John Wayne, legendary director John Ford made 'Young Mr Lincoln', a fictional portrayal of the early life of America's favourite President. Nat Tunbridge reviews a still-impressive film on an underpowered DVD.

She-Devil

Gary Couzens's has reviewed the Region 2 release of She-Devil, a misfiring black comedy that dealt a death blow to the film careers of Roseanne Barr and director Susan Seidelman. The DVD is a bare-bones back catalogue MGM disc. Buy the DVD of the 1986 BBC TV serial instead.

21 Jump Street - Season One

Kev looks back at the series that started Johnny Depp's illustrious career. Let's all jump! Down on Jump Street.

Sledge Hammer!: Season One

Anthony Nield has reviewed the Region 2 release of Sledge Hammer! : Series One. Identical to the R1 release, this Dirty Harry send up about "a policeman whose hobbies are police work" still stands up today and, more importantly for the fans, comes with an array of extras.

Anchorman Unrated Gift Set

Courtesy of Loaded 247, Mike Sutton has reviewed the R1 Unrated Gift Set of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, a silly but likeable comedy with some inspired moments. The Gift Set also features a bonus disc containing a disappointing 'New' adventure made up of outtakes and alternate scenes from the original film.

Two for the Seesaw

Anthony Nield has reviewed the Region 2 release of Two for the Seesaw. A minor entry in the filmographies of Robert Mitchum and Shirley Maclaine from the early sixties, this interests solely as the film Robert Wise made between West Side Story and The Haunting. That said, MGM's release looks absolutely superb.

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story

With the R2 version due out on January 31st, Matt Day has taken a look at the R1 release of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story - the latest Ben Stiller comedy. The disc throws up a few surprises, and is certainly worth considering over the R2 release.

Heathers: Special Edition

After a three year wait, Anchor Bay finally gives Heathers the special edition treatment it so richly deserves. This highly controversial satire on peer pressure and teen suicide provided up and coming starlet Winona Ryder with her breakthrough role, and the film remains as fresh and engaging as it did upon its original release.

Charlie Chaplin: The Essanay Films Volumes 1 & 2

Anthony Nield has reviewed the Region 2 releases of Charlie Chaplin's Essanay films. This may not come with extensive extras, but these two volumes represent the first time they have been collected onto disc in one place and mark an improvement over previously available editions.

King of the Hill Season Three

Yup. Season 3 of the funniest darnit show about a salesman of propane and propane accessories has come to DVD I'll tell you what. James joins Hank, Dale, Boomhauer and Bill for a cold one in the yard and finds out the latest happenings in Arlen, Texas.

The Rite

"Outside the fragile circle of human warmth, cruelty reigns".. Yes, it's another gut-bustingly funny, feelgood comedy from Ingmar Bergman. "The Rite" is a fascinating film, brilliantly acted and essential for fans of his work but not likely to appeal to casual viewers. Tartan's DVD looks very good but lacks any significant extras.

Warriors Two

Released earlier this week Warriors Two is considered by many as one of Sammo Hung's finest films, depicting the Wing Chun style on screen through fight choreography that has rarely been bettered. The HKL DVD release comes with mixed blessings in the AV department and a new approach to the bonus material content. Dave Foster reviews...

The Caretaker

Anthony Nield has reviewed the Region 2 release of The Caretaker. Adapted from Harold Pinter's 1960 stage classic, this may not represent the finest screen version of the playwright's work, but is an exquisite piece of filmmaking nonetheless. What's more, the BFI's DVD release sees the film accompanied by a wealth of worthy extras.

Autopsy

Michael Mackenzie has reviewed the US release of Autopsy, a technically well-made but overwrought 1974 entry into the giallo genre by Armando Crispino, starring Mimsy Farmer. Anchor Bay's R0 DVD is reasonably good, but bare-bones.

16 Years of Alcohol

A brave attempt at making something fresh and original in the genre of British gang violence or a pretentious poetical failure? Noel Megahey reviews Richard Jobson's semi-autobiographical filmmaking debut.

Three Coins in the Fountain

Less a Golden Oldie, more a Technicolour yawn, 'Three Coins in the Fountain' is one of the least impressive additions to the excellent Fox Classics series, and is reviewed here by Nat Tunbridge.

How To Steal a Million

A delightful piece of 60s froth, 'How To Steal a Million' has Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, Peter O'Toole in an E-Type and Eli Wallach in a lather. Nat Tunbridge yearns for an impossible past.

The Last of the Knucklemen

On Australia Day, Gary Couzens concludes his look at Roadshow's Region 4 70s Australian Cinema Classics: Hexagon Tribute Collection box set by reviewing The Last of the Knucklemen, a taut and violent drama set amongst a gang of mine labourers. One of Tim Burstall's best films is presented on a DVD up to the standards of the rest of the set.

Picnic at Hanging Rock: Umbrella Two-Disc Edition

On Australia Day, Gary Couzens has reviewed the Australian Region 0 release of Picnic at Hanging Rock, a great Australian film given a two-disc release from Umbrella Entertainment. This is by far the definitive release in terms of extras, but the transfer is non-anamorphic. He also compares this release with the American Region 0 from Criterion and the British Region 2 from Pathe.

Cellular

Michael Mackenzie has reviewed the upcoming R2 UK release of Cellular, a substance-free and highly ludicrous but surprisingly enjoyable offering from the director of Final Destination 2, released on an above average DVD by EIV.

The Navigators

Anthony Nield has reviewed the Region 2 release of The Navigators, another excellent feature from director Ken Loach, here backed up with a fine script by the late Rob Dawber. The disc itself, courtesy of the BFI, is similarly impressive, possessing as it does a fine array of extras.

High Rolling

Gary Couzens has reviewed the Region 4 release of High Rolling, a minor and charmless road movie notable only as Judy Davis's debut. It's available as part of the eight-film 70s Australian Cinema Classics: Hexagon Tribute Collection box set from Roadshow.

The Story of Sin

Anthony Nield has reviewed Nouveaux's Region 2 release of The Story of Sin. Perhaps cult director Walerian Borowczyk most accessible - maybe even most mainstratm - work, this proves to be perhaps the best starting place for beginners. The disc itself fares well to with a reasonable presentation and some worthy extras.

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