Review Archive: December 2006

Uniform

A young man struggling to meet bills and attract women finds a new sense of empowerment when he impersonates a police officer in this debut film from new young Chinese director Diao Yinan. Noel Megahey reviews the US release from First Run.
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Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

Kev reviews Shunya Ito's 1972 debut feature, starring cult seventies icon Meiko Kaji as one tough lady. Beware all seedy wardens! Available to own now on DVD, care of Eureka.
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Mongolian Ping Pong

A young boy finds a ping pong ball on the steppes of Inner Mongolia and has no idea what it could be, but he is determined to find out. A beautiful, simple yet profound film from Ning Hao, the director of Crazy Stone.
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Nezu no Ban (A Hardest Night)

A dying old storytelling master makes a very rude request of his students in one of a series of comical episodes and reminiscences of a troupe of Rakugo artists as they sit through a series of funerals in this cheeky comi-drama. Out Now on R2j DVD.
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Stray Dogs

A typically impressive film from the Makhmalbaf Film House, Marziyeh Meshkini’s film follows two homeless children and their attempts to survive in post-Taliban Afghanistan, and pays tribute to Italian neorealism. Out in December from Artificial Eye.
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Maniac Cop

Synapse have re-released William Lustig and Larry Cohen's crazy cop flick and unleashed it on R1 DVD. Sporting Bruce Campbell in his trademark getting beaten up role and a cameo from Sam Raimi, John White hasn't the right to remain silent....
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Sweetie: Criterion Collection

Sweetie is a black comedy which was Jane Campion's first cinema feature. Gary Couzens reviews the Region 1 DVD from Criterion.
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The Clay Bird

Set against the background of the war that led to Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan, Tareque Masud’s film puts the events into the Islamic viewpoint as seen by a young boy. Noel Megahey reviews Milestone’s Region 1 release.
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The Neighbor No. Thirteen

Kev takes a look at the debut feature from Yasuo Inoue: a bleak psychological tale of bullying and revenge, which is now available on R3 DVD.
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The Ingmar Bergman Collection

Thirty films in one boxset, featuring many of the greatest films from one of the most important directors in the history of cinema. Noel Megahey reviews Tartan's coverage of the films of Ingmar Bergman.
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49th Parallel

Another of the Institut Lumière, 2 disc French editions of Powell and Pressburger films, this early wartime propaganda film stars Laurence Olivier, Anton Walbook and Eric Portman as a Nazi U-Boat officer on the run across Canada.
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The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)

Mike Sutton reviews John Huston's magnificent 1941 film version of Dashiell Hammett's novel, released by Warners in a lovely 3-disc set along with two earlier takes on the tale.
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The Vampire Collection

Casa Negra issue another outstanding release, this time featuring two vampire films from 1957-58, in which Count Karol de Lavud rises from the dead not once but twice to feed upon the living...
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Jesus of Nazareth

Perhaps it has been released in time for Christmas but the birth of Christ is, oddly, only the second most important time in the Christian calendar...
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Like, Totally... Dylan Moran Live

"You're supposed to eat cows, they're big lumbering stupid things, they'd be everwhere if you didn't eat them". Dylan Moran's latest stand up TV is 70 minutes in the company of the world's most irascible Irishman. John White has a giggle....
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Fatboy Slim...Why Make Videos?

Almost worth it for the Torrance Community Dance Group alone...
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Hill Street Blues: The Complete Second Season

Life on Hill Street continues as usual with the cops still being careful out there, Frank and Joyce keeping their relationship secret and Belker continuing to comfort his mother about the actions of his father...
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Sólo con tu pareja (Love in the Time of Hysteria)

Sólo con tu pareja is a Mexican comedy from 1991 which marked the feature debut of Alfonso Cuarón, who went on to make Y Tu Mamá También and most recently Children of Men. Gary Couzens reviews the Region 1 DVD from Criterion.
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The Fallen Idol: Criterion Collection

Noel Megahey reviews the Region 1 Criterion Collection release of a dark British-made thriller from Carol Reed and Graham Greene, the creative team behind the classic The Third Man.
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Su-ki-da

Tokyo Sora director Hiroshima Ishikawa returns with his 2nd feature su-ki-da, which examines the unrequited love between a pair of highschoolers and their fateful meeting 17 years later as lonely adults. A poignant romantic drama from a talented filmmaker. Out now on R2j.
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Don't Look Back

Former assistant director of Hong Song-soo, Kim Young-nam’s debut film is made up of three separate but complementary stories about three youths whose lives have taken a dramatic turn that leaves them helpless and looking for direction.
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Dog Bite Dog

Soi Cheang's latest film is a brutal tale of a cop and a hitman. Joy Sales have released it in a nice double disc set and John White has had a look for you courtesy of those nice people at Yesasia...
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Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second Series

Another year on Wisteria Lane and another set of crises for those most desperate of housewives. James O'Neill discovers whether the breakthrough hit of the 2004/05 season can keep the magic going in its second year.
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RAN

Akira Kurosawa's epic reworking of King Lear makes its way onto UK shores again, this time presented by Optimum Releasing. Kev offers a comparison review for those wondering whether or not it can hold a candle against Criterion and Warner.
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The Quay Brothers: The Short Films 1979-2003

The bizarre dark fairytales and nightmare worlds of the Quay Brothers stop motion animation short films are presented in lavish 2-disc set by the BFI. Noel Megahey reviews the Region 2 DVD, released in the UK today.

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