Since The Duke has been offering weekly DVD release details for the American folks over at Blogcritics, I felt I’d do the same for you good people what so adore The Duke’s taste in cinema, but who can’t watch the Region 1.
This, then, is The Duke’s Picks For September 2004 – UK Version
Incidentally, if you click on the titles or the covers, you can order these through Amazon.co.uk, and then The Duke might get a hand-job or something by way of thanks
In case you didn’t know, Godard is something of a genius, is what. Sadly, no-one gives a toss about anything not called A Bout De Souffé, which is why this 3-flick set is something of a blessing. Even if everything else on it were shit (which it isn’t), the fact that this contains Alphaville means it’s essential as eyelids. Alphaville, a brilliant Sci-Fi type affair, has been out of print in the United UK since as far back as most anyone can be bothered thinking. Also in the set are Une Femme Est Une Femme and Le Petit Soldat.
If the Godard got you in the notion for some highbrow malarkey, then the next stop is obviously this set here, offering three slices of cinema from Jean Renoir, including Officially One Of The Best Flicks Ever, La Grande Illusion. You need to own this, is what The Duke would suggest. It’s also got La Bete Humaine and Le Crime De Monsieur Lange.
If you only buy one of these boxes, though, The Duke would suggest going for this here. Bunuel was a genius, is the truth of the matter, and if you haven’t saw Un Chein Andalou, his collaboration with Salvador Dali, then it’s about time the situation was rectified. Unfortunately, it’s not included here, but dry your eyes mate, like in the song by, I believe, The Prodigy, since it’s got Belle Du Jour, The Diary Of A Chambermaid and The Milky Way to keep you occupied.
The folks behind Spaced went ahead and made one of the best British flicks in a decade. Granted, it’s not that difficult since most filmic output from The United UK has been diabolical, but even if everything were as good as, say, Withnail And I, this would still be among the top 3%, I’m guessing. It’s a comedy horror that manages to be both very funny and rather horrific, and is endlessly quotable. “You’ve got red on you”. It’s kind of the British Braindead, although if these folks go on to have anything to do with Hobbits, colour The Duke surprised as all fuck.
Finally, these wondrous slabs of teen angst and excessive facial hair are united. The first one had Michael J Fox playing basketball, and the second had some other motherfucker doing a spot of the boxing. Both are sure to induce orgasmic euphoria in anyone daring to view. They also made an animated series, not included here, sadly.
Some folks detest the work of Brian De Palma, but how many times have these folks sat down and watched Carrie? About twice, I’m guessing, obviously not enough to realise it’s a masterpiece. “Don’t touch those dirty pillows you fucking whore!!” This bout of gangster malarkey does little for me, to be honest, but there are plenty who can’t get enough of the film about Kevin Costner runs around doing a spot of the investigating, and then Robert De Niro is all fat for a while. Extras involve a whole bunch of the featurettes and documentaries and what have you.
I’ve yet to see this flick by Alejandro González Iñárritu, but his previous work, Amores Perros, was all the convincing The Duke needs to check this shit out. Depressing as all hell, by all accounts, but when it’s Naomi Watts doing the moaning, who the hell cares? Not that The Duke is being sexist, since the director is a man. He’s got a penis and everything.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is yet to appear on Region 2, so if it’s memory-loss romantic hi-jinks you’re after, best to make do with this here Adam Sandler / Drew Barrymore effort. It’s the first time these two have shared the screen since The Wedding Singer, and who would argue the greatness of the film about Sandler sings some songs and then in one of them he says a fuck-word?
Be honest, you love the fuck out of Species. Yeah, sure, you’ll yack on about how Ran is your favourite film of all ever, but The Duke knows all there is to know about you, and that includes the fact that up until 1999, Species was your most rented film of all ever. Then I believe you became quite fond of There's Something About Mary. Save yourself the extortionate rental fees and buy yourself a damn copy, would you ever? You can do it here and no one will even know. Plus, it’s a special edition, on account of it says so on the cover, and also it’s got a shitload of featurettes and no less than two commentaries.
If you couldn’t afford to shell out for the deluxe box-set released a while back, then why not pick up this stand-alone release of the first flick? It’s easily the best of the three, too, despite the fact that folks wanna yack about the second one was better. Did the second one have Marlon Brando, star of Superman The Movie? No, it didn’t, so shut the hell up, is what. The sequels arrive in October.
The Duke has no love whatsoever for the work of Joel Schumacher, so let it be taken as a sign of immense worth on the film’s behalf that The Lost Boys is very close to my heart. Somewhere around the liver, if you must know. The pinnacle of the Corey Haim / Corey Feldman pairing, this has more cool bits than Kurt Russell at the end of The Thing. What’s the damn extras, you say? First, get some motherfucking manners, and second, the extras include a commentary, a retrospective documentary, and a bunch of featurettes. Oh, and some deleted shit, too. “It’s just noodles, Michael. You fucking hippy.”
Who the hell else’s Directors Cut was it gonna be? Not content with flinging a bunch a new stuff into that trilogy he’s always banging on about, here he is adding some CGI touch-ups to his debut feature. Still, you’re gonna buy it regardless. It also has a load of cool shit on, too, like the inclusion of the original student-film what spawned it, for example.
One of my “Must See Shortly” numbers, this anime flick is apparently something of a masterpiece. If all you know of anime is some nonsense about possessed sex-limbs and so on, then prepare to be slightly shocked, since Tokyo Godfathers is in fact about three homeless fellas finding a baby on Christmas Eve. It’s by the fella what did Ninja Scroll, but that doesn’t mean that snakes are gonna start flying out of ladies hoo-hah’s left and right.
This documentary flick concerning the rapper what sang about Hit ‘Em Up and probably some crap about Motherfuck takes the same route as Imagine – John Lennon, in that the story is told by Shakur himself, via archive footage and all that jazz. It’s like he weren’t even dead, which of course is ludicrous, cause if he were still alive he’d still be releasing albums every two weeks.
The latest in the rather pleasant series of Amazing Drama Series What Come From America, The Duke has no problem whatsoever in recommending this. The only worrying thing about it is how much one of them looks like an ever-so-slightly older clone of Jack from Dawsons Creek. Yeah, he was the gay one. Also, the other one looks a bit like the dad from Happiness who turned out to be a paedophile, would you believe?
Well, this is it. Time to see if the rumours are true, if George really has inserted Hayden Christensen into the finale of Return Of The Jedi, if he’s added any more CGI dance routines, if he’s decided that it’s probably best if Darth Vader, and not Obi-Wan, disappears on account of dying. The extras are pretty similar to last years Indiana Jones set, with the feature length documentary and a disc-full of bonus stuff. What’s left to be said about Star Wars? Well, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say “Y’know what? Leia wasn’t actually all that damn attractive, to be honest.” Maybe they will. Fingers crossed.
Finally! How come we gotta wait ten years nowadays before we can fling any damn respect at anything? That kinda shit leads to nothing but suicide, is what. “Oh, I know we didn’t cuddle him much, but we were waiting for his tenth birthday.” Yeah, well he was nine and a half and he’s got half a head because of you, you heartless bastards. It’s been worth the wait, though. This has no less than THREE DISCS, one of them playing host to a two-hour documentary hosted by Mark Kermode. He probably thought they were gonna talk about The Exorcist again.
This truly makes The Duke happy. Not only is the artwork unbelievably cool, but there’s also a yack-track from Stephen Jones and Kim Newman, author of Nightmare Movies. This is one of the most grossly underrated horror flicks of all ever, being a really rather disturbing tale of possession, incest, and shooting the fuck out of all the family. Seriously, I’m smiling like a man possessed. (The joke is that this is a film about a man possessed. He doesn’t smile much, though, just gets evil messages through a walkman, which weren’t even available at the time the film is set. Flash git.)
Now we’re talking, is what, like in the film with Bruce Willis as the voice of the baby. Amityville 3 may be a woefully (but very enjoyably) inept slab of nonsense, but this DVD presents not only the regular version, but the actual proper 3D one too! Also, there’s 3D glasses included, alongside a commentary from Jones and Newman, as on Part II.
This isn’t an awful lot different from the original release, barring the improved sound, but if you’ve yet to purchase a copy of John Woo’s masterpiece, now would be a fine time to do so. It’s got visually-amazing gunplay hanging from its pores, is what.
How unutterably cool is this? This thing comes in an actual puzzle-box like what’s in the film! Don’t spend too long toying with it though, unless you want a load of hooks flying from out of the walls. The extras are brilliant, too. It has a commentary on all three flicks (only the first three films are included), and a few documentaries and so on, but the fourth disc has nothing less than Clive Barkers earlier short films, Salome and The Forbidden. Jesus Wept!
Kevin Smith’s third best flick behind Clerks and Chasing Amy. Like the drunken uncle who used to make you cry, this is funny, impossible to ignore and it touches you when you least expect it. There’s a special edition lined up, but in the meantime this has the commentaries and what have you.
One of Felini’s top 3 films, fit to stand alongside La Strada and 81/2 with neither fear nor feelings of penile ineptitude. This satire of the crazy life of a windswept journalist is very long, for sure, but also very engrossing and very very essential.
For some reason this special edition has an extra called “Scenes In Colour”, which seems awful pointless to The Duke. It also has a commentary from Mattieu Kassovitz, though, so it already earns points against Tartan’s other “Special Editions”, which offer only improved audio and a fancy box. This tale of young hoodlums racing around Paris was shown to parliamentary officials, so accurate was its portrayal of urban unrest. It’s also cool as all hell.
This box set has all the extras from the already-quite-remarkable previous releases, but adds a third disc housing none other than an 80 minute documentary. Since I only own series 2, I’m gonna pick this up, but I’ll curse like fuck about it to the fella behind the till.
Well, same time next month, folks. Regular as the menstrual cycle, is The Duke, unless you’ve gone and got intimate with that no-good malcontent from up the road.