Monday, 15 December 2008

New UK DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 15th, 22nd and 26th December 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary UK DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 15th, 22nd and 26th December 2008: The schedules for these weeks have been amalgamated due to the small amount of releases and teh chage to release days through the Christmas period.

Pier Paolo Pasolini Vol.2Pier Paolo Pasolini Vol.2. Released on the excellent Artificial Eye label (where else) comes a superb collection of four films by the acclaimed Dardenne Brothers. Includes the films: The Child, The Son, Rosetta and The Promise.

Man on Wire. A documentary charting the day of August 7th 1974, when young Frenchman named Philippe Petit illegally rigged a wire between the New York's twin towers and started to cross the wire in a tight rope walk / dance that would last over an hour. An absolutely fascinating and gripping documentary.


The Love Guru. Everyone is waiting for Mike Myers to make a bad film - keep waiting. This is another truly funny Myers movies stuffed with some great gags, and again proves he is one of the very few universal talents making comedy these days.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: The Counterfeiters, Just Another Love Story, Counterfeit Butterfly, Hell Night, The Strangers, Kentucky Fried Movie, Away from Her, Ghost Writer and Battle of Wits. For full details of these releases go to our December 2008 new DVD releases store.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the UK are:


Man On A WireMan On Wire. A documentary charting the day of August 7th 1974, when young Frenchman named Philippe Petit illegally rigged a wire between the New York's twin towers and started to cross the wire in a tight rope walk / dance that would last over an hour. An absolutely fascinating and gripping documentary.

The Love Guru. Everyone is waiting for Mike Myers to make a bad film - keep waiting. This is another truly funny Myers movies stuffed with some great gags, and again proves he is one of the very few universal talents making comedy these days.

King Lear. A superb adaptation by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Sir Ian McKellen, Frances Barber, Sylvester McCoy and William Gaunt.

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include: Battle of Wits, Dumb And Dumber, Exiled, The Mask, The Strangers, Into the Wild and The Duchess. For full details of these and other Blu-ray releases this month go to our December 2008 new Blu-ray releases store.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK are:

Doctor Who: BattlefieldDoctor Who: Battlefield. One of the few McCoy stories worth hunting down. This story revisits Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and the faithful yellow car Bessie. Doctor and Ace get themselves caught up in an Arthurian adventure.

Not Going Out collection. Take two of the countries finest gag merchants Tim Vine and Lee Mack, give them zero budget and get them to attempt to make a sitcom that could be sold to America. This is what you get. Luckily it's rather brillian.

The Ascent of Money. Great timing. A six part series on the history of finance, economy and money. It leaves one huge question unanswered - why can't I earn any money?

The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include: Hubble - 15 Years Of Discovery, Trial and Retribution: The Fourth Collection, Soldier of God, Taggart - The 2008 Collection, Wallander and Lipstick Jungle Series 1. For full details of these TV releases go to our December 2008 new TV releases store.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for December 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix December 2008 UK releases site, even further details can be found at our alt-flix Decmber 2008 releases store
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Saturday, 6 December 2008

New USA DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 9th December 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary USA DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the USA, our pick of the DVD releases on 9th December 2008:


Man On A Wire Man On Wire. A documentary charting the day of August 7th 1974, when young Frenchman named Philippe Petit illegally rigged a wire between the New York's twin towers and started to cross the wire in a tight rope walk / dance that would last over an hour. An absolutely fascinating and gripping documentary.

The Quare Fellow.
Patrick McGoohan stars in this uncompromising 1962 film based on the story by legendary Irish writer Brendan Behan, about a prison where a man is shortly due to be hanged. Also included is a superb extra of 'Bendan Beehan's Dublin' a superb document of the great city through the eyes of Beehan and it's other famous residents.

Europa. AKA Zentropa. A little piece of genius from Lars Von Trier. A Criterion release for his 1991 tale of a runaway train journey of confusion. Packed with extras like commentaries documentaries and interviews (just like you'd expect from Criterion).

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the USA include: Flow; Horton Hears a Who!; The Dark Knight; A Hole In A Fence; Open Window; Change My Life; Just My Luck; Ahlaam; Takva: A Man's Fear of God and Bad Boys. For full details of these releases go to our December 2008 new DVD releases store.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the USA are:


The Dark KnightFrom Dusk Til Dawn. Robert Rodriguez's collaboration with Tarantino was always going to be wild. One of the finest alt-vampire films ever. Looks fantastic, sounds powerful and plenty of gory horror laughs.

Jet Li's Fearless. Inspired by the story of a real-life hero in a story of a martial arts champion. One of the most stunning looking martial arts movies ever made.

The Dark Knight. Was any film ever going to be worth the absolutely ridiculous amount of hype that heralded this release - no. This is a pretty damn good film. Excellent special effects and a great cast, but falling short on the story, maybe we are tiring of Batman?

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include: Horton Hears a Who!; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and I Am Legend Ultimate Collector's Edition. For full details of these and other Blu-ray releases this month go to our December 2008 new Blu-ray releases store.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA are:


Lost - Season 4Lost: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray]. We've been waiting for this for so long - Lost season 4 on Blu-ray. This is our favourite season by some way. It's also available on DVD too.


Deadwood: The Complete Series. One of our favourites of all time. The complete 3 season series containing 19 discs with over 36 hours of Deadwood.

The Wire: The Complete Series. All 60 hour long episodes from one of the most (rightly) acclaimed US TV series of recent years. Available in a box set of on 23 discs.


Rawhide - Seasons 1 - 3. Every episode in seasons 1 - 3 collected. Perhaps the 2nd best western themed series of all time . Clint Eastwood was so charismatic even then, and he patently learned so much during this series that he applied beautifully to his amazing cinematic roles.

The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include:Swingtown - The First Season; Happy Days - Seasons 1-4; Rawhide - Season Three, Vol. 2 and Happy Days - Season 4. For full details of these releases go to our December 2008 new TV releases store.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for December 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix December 2008 USA releases site, further details can be also be found at our December 2008 releases store.

New UK DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 8th December 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary UK DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 8th December 2008:

Hellboy IIThe Dardenne Brothers Collection. Released on the excellent Artificial Eye label (where else) comes a superb collection of four films by the acclaimed Dardenne Brothers. Includes the films: The Child, The Son, Rosetta and The Promise.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Thankfully Star Wars gets back on track with this excellent story that nestles in between episodes 2 and 3. The only criticism is Lucas' choice of animation style that makes it look like a computer game rather than a piece of art. Great shame.


Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. One of the most eagerly awaited sequels for years, as ever the genius of Guillermo del Toro doesn't disappoint for one single minute. As with all of his films, this looks absolutely stunning (also available on Blu-ray)..

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: Angus, Thongs And Full-frontal Snogging; The Fox And The Child; The Dark Knight; Times and Winds; Ashik Kerib; The Girl Who Leapt Through Time; The Banishment and Wild Child. For full details of these releases go to our December 2008 new DVD releases store.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the UK are:


Star Wars: Clone WarsStar Wars: The Clone Wars. Star Wars gets back on track with this excellent story that nestles in between episodes 2 and 3. The only criticism is Lucas' choice of animation style that makes it look like a computer game rather than a piece of art. Great shame.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. One of the most eagerly awaited sequels for years, as ever the genius of Guillermo del Toro doesn't disappoint for one single minute.As with all of his films, this looks absolutely stunning (especially in the Blu-ray format - and laden with its excellent bonus features)..

Equilibrium. Kurt Wimmer's excellent dark sci-fi tale, that includes a superb cast (Christian Bale, Emily Watson, Angus McFayden). Where this one wins over its rivals is the strength of the plot running through the film.

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include: The Dark Knight; Dodgeball and American Gangster. For full details of these and other Blu-ray releases this month go to our December 2008 new Blu-ray releases store.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK are:

National Geographic: Stonehenge decodedNational Geographic Stonehenge Decoded. Fascinating documentary on the famous monument. This 2 hour programme documents the recent excavations within the circle and also in surrounding areas, that have brought archeologists a long way in working out what the henge was originally used for.

The Wire: Complete HBO Season 1-5. All 60 hour long episodes from one of the most (rightly) acclaimed US TV series of recent years. Available in a box set of on 24 discs.

Wallander. A different type of detective story for Sunday nights. Based on the internationally best-selling books by Henning Mankell and starring the normally unwatchable Kenneth Brannagh.

The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include: Happy Days: Four Season Pack; Stargate - Continuum The Ark Of Truth; Gunsmoke: The Third Season Vol 1 and Rawhide: Season Three Vol 2. For full details of these TV releases go to our December 2008 new TV releases store.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for December 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix December 2008 UK releases site, even further details can be found at our alt-flix Decmber 2008 releases store
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Monday, 1 December 2008

Christmas movies guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy

In the run up to Christmas, how many times do you hear the phrase "It doesn't feel like Christmas yet", probably quite a few times. We hear at alt-flix.co.uk have the solution - a run down of 24 movies (one for each day of Advent) guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy.


Christmassy movies advent calendar
When we first ran the feature on our website in December 2006, it featured on the front page of IMDB.com and also was chosen as the site of the day by Yahoo. Thanks to that we had an absolutely massive response from people offering their recommendations as to their favourite movies that make them feel Christmassy.

So, in the run up to Christmas 2007 we ran a poll to find out which movies visitors to our website would chose for the list. Again we had a massive response to this, and with all the votes cast we were able to put together a full countdown of the top 24 Christmassy movies.

So what we have done is put together an new and improved guide to the top 24 movies guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy, and we have done it in the form of an advent calendar (actually we've put together two one for USA and another for the UK, as the votes cast showed such a wide disparency between the films each country thought were Christmassy).
So if you want to have a look at the run down which has reviews (some humurous) of each of the movies, and see if you agree or disagree, or perhaps tell us which movies you think should be on the list, then please go to:
Alt-flix 24 movies guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy USA Edition or UK Edition.

We have also put together an online store in association with Amazon.com sells all the Christmassy movies listed and many more besides, if you want to take a look visit either Alt-flix Christmassy movie store (USA) or Alt-flix Christmassy movie store (UK).

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and happy viewing.

New UK DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 1st December 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary UK DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 1st December 2008:

The Memory Keeper's DaughterThe Memory Keeper's Daughter. A great cast (especially Emily Watson) does a sterling job in this deeply involved tale of human dilemmas and misdemeanors. The film is a superb adaptation from the hugely successful novel of the same name by Kim Edwards.

Lotte Reiniger: Fairy Tale Films. Thankfully released by The BFI, are legendary director Lotte Reiniger's wonderful fairy tales in her signature style black and white silhouette animation. This collection contains films from 1922 (Cinderella) up to 1961 The Frog Prince. Truly charming.


Hancock. A big budget Will Smith superhero flick is not everyone's idea of a film to seek out (certainly not ours usually). But this one is a truly entertaining film with great CGI, a decent cast (including Charlize Theron) and plenty of laughs.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: Elegy, Camp Rock and Space Chimps . Very few DVD releases this week as the industry push Blu-ray for all its worth in the run up to Christmas. Speaking of which.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the UK are:


Austin Powers CollectionAustin Powers Collection. Sam This is groovy (baby). Whilst being light on extras, we are very partial to the work of Mike Myers, and these 3 films contained within are truly very funny and also stand up to repeated viewing. Yeah baby.

French Connection 1 & 2. Gene Hackman stars in these legendary films as Popeye Doyle, surely one of cinema's strongest characters. The original won an Oscar, the second was somewhat overlooked but is probably even better.

Joan of Arc - The Messenger. Milla Jovovich stars in the title role in Luc Beeson's superb take on the legend. A film that is as entertaining as it is brutal, and it certainly ranks comfortably alongside Beeson's very best work.

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include: Hancock, Planet Of The Apes Collection, Bad Santa, The Thing, Knocked Up, The Mummy 1 2 & 3 Box Set, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Wanted, Dirty Dancing (Ultimate Girl's Night In Collector's Edition), The Scorpion King and Space Chimps.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK are:

The Lost PrinceAuf Wiedersehen Pet - 25 Years Ultimate Box Set. All 4 series of the superb Clement and Frenais' classic comedy drama. Following the intrepid hero's from Britain to Germany, back to Britain, to Spain (via The Falklands) to Middlesborough, Nevada, Cuba and Africa and Laos.

The Lost Prince (Blu-ray). Stephen Poliakoff's highly regarded drama about the little boy shamefully abandoned by his parents Queen Mary and George V. They knew no better.

24 - Redemption. Feature length special to herald in the new season. The specially extended release includes scenes that were not Included included in the television broadcast plus a whole host of superb extra features.

The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include: Steve Coogan - The Complete Collection, Einstein and Eddington, Night Mail & Lines For All Seasons, The Armstrong and Miller Show - Series 1, Jake And The Fatman: Season One Vol 2 and The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for December 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix December 2008 UK releases site, even further details can be found at our alt-flix Decmber 2008 releases store
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New USA DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 2nd December 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary USA DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the USA, our pick of the DVD releases on 2nd December 2008:


The Trap The Trap. Director Srdan Golubovic's 2000 film set in post conflict Belgrade. A film that surrounds a young family whose son is i'll and needs life saving treatment abroad. The father is offered the money to get his son treated, but the money comes at a high price.

My Father My Lord.
Writer and Director David Volach's powerful exploration of everyday life in the ultra-orthodox Israeli community that he himself was brought up in.

Rape of Europa - Collector's Edition. Joan Allen's superb documentary about the Nazi's pillaging of European art during World War 2, and how these pieces are now starting to be returned to the families of the rightful owners.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the USA include: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wanted, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Step Brothers, The Longshots, Wisegal and Days of Being Wild.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the USA are:


The Shawshank RedemptionThe Shawshank Redemption. This is the ultimate edition of this superb movie. The picture and sound detail are stunning on Blu-ray format. There are also a huge amount of fantastic extras in the release that is truly worthy of this fantastic movie. All this plus an excellent 38 page booklet.

Austin Powers Collection: Shagadelic Edition Loaded With Extra Mojo. This is groovy (baby). Whilst being light on original extras, we are very partial to the work of Mike Myers, and these 3 films contained within are truly very funny and also stand up to repeated viewing. Yeah baby.

Iraq in Fragments. Director James Longley's much acclaimed documentary (nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar at the 2007 Academy Awards), about the real Iraq and its people in the wake of the American occupation.

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include: The Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The X-Files Movie 2-Pack (I Want to Believe / Fight the Future), The Day the Earth Stood Still (Special Edition), Sin City, Children of Men, Days Of Being Wild, The Contract, Step Brothers, Home Alone, Day of the Dead and Immortal.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA are:


I ClaudiusI Claudius & Epic That Never Was. Landmark 1970's BBC TV series starring Derek Jacobi, Sian Phillips and John Hurt, following the murderous intrigue witnessed by the future emperor Claudius. Also includes an excellent documentary detailing the abandoned 1937 film version. From the remaining footage it looks an absolute masterpiece.

Saturday Night Live - The Complete Fourth Season. (From 1978/1979). Probably the best season of SNL, that would be the last starring Ackroyd and Belushi. This season includes the superb episode hosted by Carrie Fisher and the fantastic pythonesque episode hosted by Eric Idle.

Frost / Nixon - The Original Watergate Interviews. Released to coincide with the recent stage play / TV film adaptation comes the original interviews. What really comes through is that you cant trust politicians even for a second - not ever.


The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include:Perry Mason - The Third Season - Vol. 2, Law & Order: Sixth Year, Cannon - Season One - Vol. 2 and Metalocalypse - Season 2.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for November 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix December 2008 USA releases site, further details can be also be found at our December 2008 releases store.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

New USA DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 25th November 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary USA DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the USA, our pick of the DVD releases on 25th November 2008:


David Lynch - The Lime Green Set David Lynch - The Lime Green Set. (Release put back from 18th Nov). Extraordinary box set includes: Eraserhead (remastered) + soundtrack; The Short Films Of David Lynch; The Elephant Man (+ exclusive extras disc); Wild At Heart (plus a disc deleted / extended scenes); Industrial Symphony no. 1 (exclusive); Blue Velvet (with new Lynch approved 5.1 sound mix) Dumbland (an exclusive mystery disc from Lynch archives) plus a 40 page collectors picture book. Wow.

Chungking Express.
Wong Kar-Wai's highly influential 1994 kicked off a resurgence of interest in both Hong Kong and Asian cinema, that saw the region produce some of the most freshest movies being produced anywhere. This landmark piece is given a features packed Criterion release worthy of its reputation.


Bottle Rocket. Wes Anderson's debut feature is far less well know than his future features. But this tremendous film signposted the full array of his armory even this early on. This superb Criterion edition includes the original short he made of Bottle Rocket, plus a myriad of superb extra features.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the USA include: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave, A Perfect Day, Just Sex and Nothing Else, Life the Way It Is, Jolts of the Heart, Silence of The Sea and Half Broken Things.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the USA are:


BecketBecket. The hard drinking duo of Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton give some of their finest cinematic performances in this 1964 historical epic. Superbly shot, the remastering onto Blu-ray gives this film another lease of life.
Chungking Express. Wong Kar-Wai's highly influential 1994 kicked off a resurgence of interest in both Hong Kong and Asian cinema, that saw the region produce some of the most freshest movies being produced anywhere. This landmark piece is given a features packed Criterion release worthy of its reputation.

Walk the Line. Bio-pic of the excellent Johnny Cash story, that skillfully avoided all the cliched pitfalls of bio-pics of musical stars. Excellent Blu-ray release. This version is an extended cut of the movie and is bulging with a plethora of extra features.

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include: The Kingdom, Superman - Doomsday, Hancock, Jarhead, Black Narcissus, and La Haine.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA are:


24 RedemptionKath and Kim - Hornbag Collection. Australia are producing some fantastic comedy series, with this and Summer Heights High being two of the foremost examples. This series is just shouting "Look at me".


24: Redemption. Feature length special to herald in the new season. The specially extended release includes scenes that were not Included included in the television broadcast plus a whole host of superb extra features.

Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. - Complete Series, Seasons 1-5. The complete series on 25 discs of the classic show that was itself a spin-off from The Andy Griffith Show.

The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include: The Mod Squad - The Second Season Vol. 1, Mark of Cain and Beverly Hills 90210 - Seasons 1-6.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for November 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix November 2008 USA releases site.

New UK DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 24th November 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary UK DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 24th November 2008:

The Discovery Of HeavenThe Discovery of Heaven. Director Jeroen Krabbe's amazing 2001 adaptation of Harry Mulisch's epic theological / philosophical novel. A truly superb story. Stars Stephen Fry and Greg Wise.

Strange Culture. Drama/ drama documentary, from director Lynn Hershman Leeson which explores the nightmare that artist Steve Kurtz had to endure after an invasive FBI investigation that names him as a bioterrorist.


Tigrero. Filmmaker Sam Fuller (accompanied by Jim Jarmusch and director Mika Kaurismaki) revisits the Amazon where, in 1954, he shot footage in the rain forest for a John Wayne film that was never made.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: Captain Eager and the Mark of Voth, L'Argent, Summer Hours, Purple Sunset, Oasis Of Fear, Mamma Mia!, Wall-E and Partition.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the UK are:


BecketStraw Dogs. Sam Peckinpah's controversial masterpiece western transplanted from the Wild West to the Wild West Country of Cornwall. This film, for so long banned in the UK, makes for extremely uncomfortable viewing. Check out our full Straw Dogs review.


Becket. The hard drinking duo of Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton give some of their finest cinematic performances in this 1964 historical epic. Superbly shot, the remastering onto Blu-ray gives this film another lease of life.

Cabaret. A cult camp classic from the 1970s. A superb musical film set in the decadence of pre-war Berlin, and telling the tale of an American actress Sally Bowes (Liza Minelli) who falls in love with her bi-sexual friend (Michael York).

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include:Chungking Express, Impossible Mission Trilogy, Casino, American Gangster, Mamma Mia!, Jarhead and Wall-E.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK are:

SurvivorsSurvivors - Series 1-3. Reissued as the remake of series 1 starts on BBC, we get the series 1 - 3 of the original mid 1970s series released in a 12 disc boxset. This series, a tale of the few survivors of an apocalyptic virus, is one of the best sci-fi series of all time. If you like the remake, then I'd advise you to check out the original, low on special affects, but a fantastically well made drama.

Little Britain U.S.A. Probably even better than their UK version, the new characters on display and the more aggressive attitude of the writing, is only slightly hampered by many of the original characters being past their sell by date.

The X Files: I Want To Believe. A welcome return for the well loved series. The feature film contains one of the best X Files stories so far. Unfortunately contains an out of place Billy Connolly but don't let it put you off. The truth is out there so is a multitude of formats.

The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include: Get Smart - Complete HBO Series, Sharpe's Challenge / Sharpe's Peril, Lead Balloon: Series 2, Trailer Park Boys - Series 1-6, Compulsion and Merlin Vol.1.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for November 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix November 2008 UK releases site
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Monday, 17 November 2008

New USA DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 18th November 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary USA DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the USA, our pick of the DVD releases on 18th November 2008:


David Lynch - The Lime Green Set David Lynch - The Lime Green Set. Extraordinary box set includes: Eraserhead (remastered) + soundtrack; The Short Films Of David Lynch; The Elephant Man (+ exclusive extras disc); Wild At Heart (plus a disc deleted / extended scenes); Industrial Symphony no. 1 (exclusive); Blue Velvet (with new Lynch approved 5.1 sound mix) Dumbland (an exclusive mystery disc from Lynch archives) plus a 40 page collectors picture book. Wow.

The Happiness of the Katakuris. Hmmm. How to describe this 2001 film from cult director Takashi Miike. How about Surreal / Black comedy / zombie horror? or a re imagining through unknown dimensions of The Sound Of Music under the influence of a particularly scary acid trip? Whatever, this is s a seriously enjoyable film.

Derek Jarman Collection (Sebastiane / The Tempest / War Requiem / Derek). The 3 films collected here (and the documentary Derek - utilising Jarman's home movies & material), are a fitting tribute to the wonderful British film director Derek Jarman; undoubtedly one of the most imaginative, adventurous and uncompromising directors in cinema history.

The best of the rest of
DVDs released this week in the UK include: Mister Lonely; Up the Yangtze; Goya; A Wonderful Night in Split; Of Love and Eggs; Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson; Fanfan La Tulipe; Wendy and Lucy; and The Wedding Director.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the USA are:


Third Man. One can perhaps make an argument about that necessity of releasing Black and White films on the HD formats, but taking the cinematography on this film justifies its position alone. Also the improved soundtrack, containing the wonderful and instantly recognisable Harry Lime Theme is an absolute joy.

Paris, je t'aime. 20 shorts from an array of directors such as The Coen brothers, Gus Van Sant and Wes Craven. Some of the shorts work much better than others, but as a complete work they actually hang together incredibly well.

The Last Emperor. Bernardo Bertolucci's epic from 1987 is one of modern cinemas most visually stunning pieces. Tailor made for the digitally restored Blu-ray generation.

The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include: The Man Who Fell to Earth; Heathers; Bottle Rocket; Revolver; Marvel Blu-ray 3-Pack - Fantastic Four; Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer and the directors cut of Daredevil; Priceless; 8 Mile, Wall-E (Two-Disc) and The Stendhal Syndrome.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA are:


The Complete Monty Pythons Flying Circus - Collectors Edition Megaset. Every episode and loads of very good extras are included in this 21 disc collection. Includes all the classics: Dead Parrot; Ministry Of Silly Walks; Lumberjack Song and The Spanish Inquisition sketch. "Dinsdale, Dinsdale."


Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 4. Tom Baker may have been the best Doctor ever, but David Tennant is a close second. Sure the new shows can sometimes be low thought and high on chase sequences, but there is a real craft that has gone into the sub-plots that run through the series.

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series, Seasons 1-5. All 5 season of probably one of the best made and most consistently funny comedies ever made for television. They don't just not make 'em like this anymore - and they don't even try now.


The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include:Bones - Series 1-3; The Chomsky Sessions: Noam Chomsky On The World; The Universe: The Complete Season 1 (Blu-ray); The Tudors - Season 2; Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest; Star Trek: The Original 3 Series (Remastered); Charmed Complete Collection and The A&E Adventure Collection DVD Set.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for November 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix November 2008 USA releases site.

New UK DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 17th November 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary UK DVD and Blu-ray releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 17th November 2008:

Freezone. Simply wonderful film from 2005 that was nominated for the Palm d 'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Featuring a superb performance from Natalie Portman in a tale set in the 'free zone' of the Iraq-Saudi-Jordan borders..

Cinema 16: World Short Films. A superb collection of shorts by some of cinemas current great crop of innovative directors including: Guillermo del Toro, Jane Campion and Park Chan-Wook.

The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (30th Anniversary Edition). Yet another release for Eric Idle's hilarious post Monty Python pre-fab classic Beatles spoof. The songs of Neil Innes and Eric Idle contained in the film are both superb parodies, and superb in their own right (Ouch! and Double Back Alley are particularly splendid).

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: Gunnin' For That #1 Spot; Mondo Cane; Tigrero; Sordid Lives, The Fan and Take.

The pick of the Blu-ray releases this week in the UK are:


Third Man. One can perhaps make an argument about that necessity of releasing Black and White films on the HD formats, but taking the cinematography on this film justifies its position alone. Also the improved soundtrack, containing the wonderful and instantly recognisable Harry Lime Theme is an absolute joy.

The Matrix / Matrix Reloaded / Matrix Revolutions. All the usual nonsense of all the very cutting edge and innovative Matrix films collected in one bundle - and looking nothing short of amazing with the clarity of the Blu-ray format.

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco. Alt-country band Wilco, feature in this story of how they attempt break out of their pigeon hole into experimental artistes. It also shows them as a band in meltdown with their bitterness pushing them ever closer into Spinal Tap territory. Hugely entertaining.


The recommended best of the rest Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include: Kung Fu Panda; Chronicles Of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe / Prince Caspian; Hulk; The Man Who Fell to Earth; The Last Emperor and Revolver.

The pick of the TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK are:
The Sopranos - Complete HBO Series - Deluxe Edition. All 6 series of this landmark drama series contained on 30 discs. Also contains 3 and a half hours on all new extras features including commentaries, deleted and lost scenes.

Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 4. Tom Baker may have been the best Doctor ever, but David Tennant is a close second. Sure the new shows can sometimes be low thought and high on chase sequences, but there is a real craft that has gone into the sub-plots that run through the series.

Stephen Fry: In America. The wonderful (and fragrantly fluffy) Mr Fry, drives his cab through every state in the US in this fascinating series. Here he digs up all you ever wanted to know (and more) about the worlds most powerful country.

The recommended best of the rest TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include:Bones - Series 1-3; Benidorm - Series 1-2; The Mighty Boosh - Series 1-3; Mr Bean Vol.1-5; Outnumbered Series 1 and Star Stories Series 1 & 2.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for November 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix November 2008 UK releases site

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Monday, 10 November 2008

Coen brothers season (plus) showing at the BFI Southbank

Already commenced and running through until the end of December, the BFI Southbank will be showing a season of classic Coen brothers movies, but with an interesting twist, they will be showing beside the Coen movie a Hollywood classics that share some parallels or allegiance within the Coens work.


Blood Simple is paired with The Postman Always Rings Twice, movies which resonate strongly with each other in many respects, whilst the brothers recent oscars rich movie No Country for Old Men is paired with Charley Varrick. You can also compare the Coen's version of The Ladykillers with the original Ealing Studios version starring Alec Guiness, no doubt offering the viewer the chance to see where the Coens got it so wrong (for a change).


Other Coens film showing during the season include their latest superb offering Burn After Reading (2008); their oscar laden return to form No Country For Old Men (2007); our own favourites The Big Lebowski (1998), Fargo (1996) and Miller's Crossing (1990) along with every other film they have made to this point.



Visit the BFI's Oh brothers - The Coens in Context season website for more information / screening times for this fabulous season of classic Coen brothers films.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

New DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 10th / 11th November 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary DVD releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

UK releases
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 10th November 2008 :

Baraka

Baraka. A beautiful almost balletic social travelogue, which casts its lens far and wide all across the world. Beautifully shot, and a film that everyone deserves to see. This edition has been beautifully remastered and expanded into a 2 Disc edition. If you have a Blu-ray player I would highly recommend the release in that format as due to its pioneering use of new technology its one of the visually most stunning uses of the Blu-ray format.

War Requiem. Based on the life of WW1 poet Wilfred Owen's life, this is a wonderful mixture of Benjamin Britten's music, Owen's poetry and Derek Jarman's amazing unworldly visuals. Gorgeously remastered from new a High Definition transfer and packed with some very special extras.

Murk
(AKA Morke). Jannik Johansen directs this superbly dark and unusual thriller that delves deep in to the psyche and human behaviour.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include:It's a Wonderful Life; Scrooge (Collectors Edition); Fighters / Real Money; Border Post and Donkey Punch.

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include: The Ipcress File; Harry Potter Year 1-5 Box Set; The Mist; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Black Christmas; Donkey Punch and Band Of Brothers.

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include:Band Of Brothers (Blu-ray); Family Guy - Series 7; Red Dwarf: Anniversary collection; Gavin And Stacey - Series 1 & 2; Torchwood - Series 1 & 2; Take a Girl Like You; Supernatural - Complete Third Season [Blu-ray]; Family Guy - Series 1-7 - Complete; Marco Polo, QB VII and Russell Brand - Ponderland.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for November 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix November 2008 UK releases site
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USA releases
In the USA, the pick of the DVD releases on 11th November 2008 are:

Mister Foe

Mister Foe. AKA Hallam Foe. Jamie Bell (the Billy Elliot boy) takes the title role in this dark and twisted tale of obsession and voyeurism. This is an truly imaginative and innovative (and somewhat disturbing) but hugely enjoyable tale and marks out Jamie Bell as a real future star more than capable of making it into the big league.

Madame Bovary. A re-release of this epic 1991 adaptation of this notorious literary classic, sees director Claude Chabrol team up again with his favourite leading lady Isabelle Huppert, and yet again to such magnificent effect. Huppert's superb performance may in time come to be seen as her crowning acting achievement.

The General (The Ultimate 2-Disc Edition). That this film made in 1926 still regularly appears in the top end in lists of the greatest films of all time, is testament to the creative genius of Buster Keaton. Ironically his star began to rapidly wane as soon as the film was released. This superb 2 disc edition is absolutely chock full of extras and is an absolute delight.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the USA include: Kidulthood; Love Songs; Roberto Rossellini: Director's Series; Opium: Diary of a Madwoman; Change My Life; Blood and Bones; and Pasion.

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include: Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Harry Potter Years 1-5; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; JFK, Black Christmas; and The Story Of O.

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include: Band of Brothers [Blu-ray]; The Sopranos - The Complete Series; M*a*s*h (all seasons now available); Off the Baa / Three Amazing Adventures; I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series; Supernatural - The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray]; Studio One Anthology; The Streets of San Francisco: Season Two, Vol. 2; Lone Ranger: 75th Anniversary - Seasons 1 and 2; M Squad - The Complete Series; Little House on the Prairie: The Complete Television Series; Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season; Firefly: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]; George Gently Series 1; and The Commander Set 1.

Other recommended new DVD releases can be found on our site at alt-flix.co.uk November 2008 USA DVD releases.

Monday, 3 November 2008

New DVD and Blu-ray releases round up 3rd / 4th November 2008

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary DVD releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

UK releases
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 3rd November 2008 :

This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life. Lindsay Anderson's gritty debut. Network DVD's roster of great movies releases grows with a digitally restored version of This Sporting Life on DVD. We here at alt-flix are huge fans of Lindsay Anderson's work, and Network have kindly let us see an advanced copy of the DVD, and we can confirm that the restored print looks absolutely stunning. This version of the film comes from the HD print of the film which gives the restored film its flawless quality, and also, for the first time on DVD, the film is presented in its original cinematic ratio. Read the full This Sporting Life review here.

Postmen In The Mountains. From 1999, this poignant and stunningly beautiful drama from China, directed by Huo Jianqi, tells the tale of an aging postman who unable to continue his job due to frailty. He hands the job over to his son, who had and resented his father for pushing his family aside in favour of his job, but comes to realise things are never as clear cut as they seem. .

The Battle Of The Somme. Released to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the end of World War 1. This digitally restored version of the landmark documentary film record from 1916 of The Battle Of The Somme, is released on a superb extras laden DVD package. which includes the soundtracks (a commentary, together with a contemporary orchestral score and also a recreation of the songs that were used to accompany the film in the cinemas in its 1916 release. Also includes unused footage, Interviews with those involved in the DVD project and a commemorative booklet. Read the full The Battle Of The Somme review here.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: Silent Running; Walkabout; The Happening; The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 3 Disc Seriously Ultimate; What?; Mad Detective; Bruce Weber 5 Disc Boxset; Before The Rain; A Prairie Home Companion; and Pollock.

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include: Zulu; Kill Bill Vol.1; Kill Bill Vol.2; Mad Detective; The Perfect Storm; Predator; Predator 2; Fantastic Four; Fantastic Four - The Rise Of The Silver Surfer; Chocolate; The Wild Bunch; Babel; Monster's Ball; Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Mad Detective.

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include: David Attenborough's Life On Land - A DVD Encyclopedia; Robin Hood - Series 2; Extras - The Collection; Dead Set; ER: The Complete Thirteenth Season; In Sickness And In Health - The Christmas Specials; Desperate Housewives: Seasons 1-4; Monty Python's Flying Circus - Series 1-4; Beautiful People; Derren Brown - The Specials; Armchair Thriller Vol.1-10 - Complete; The American Future: A History; Futurama - Series 1-4 - Complete and The Howdy Doody Show.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for November 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix November 2008 UK releases site .


USA releases
In the USA, the pick of the DVD releases on 4th November 2008 are:

When Did You Last See Your Father?

When Did You Last See Your Father?. Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth star in this magnificent drama as father and son who have allowed their relationship to drift, but with the fathers impending death lots of things get brought into sharp focus.


Flashbacks of a Fool
.This film should have been massive. Starring Daniel Craig as a faded film star spiraling out of control who returns to England to confront his past. Great cast includes Keeley Hawes, Emilia Fox and Olivia Williams.

Budd Boetticher Box Set. Often disregarded as a most disposable (but arguably most popular) genre, the westerns as directed by Budd Boetticher tell some great stories. Collected here are some of his best including: Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone, Ride Lonesome and, Comanche Station.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the USA include: Milarepa; Fraulein; Little Fugitive; What We Do Is Secret; Star Wars Prequel Trilogy / Star Wars Trilogy; The Gregory Peck Film Collection and Valentin.

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include: Caligula; Futurama: Benders Game; A Christmas Story (Ultimate Collector's Edition); Planet of the Apes 40th Anniversary Collection; Planet of the Apes (40th Anniversary Edition); Kung Fu Panda; Monster's Ball; Get Smart and Trans-Siberian.

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include: Primeval: The Complete Series 1 and 2;
JAG (Judge Advocate General) - Seasons 1-7; Get Smart - The Complete Series; Foyle's War: Sets 1-5; Spin City: The Complete Season 1; Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series Collection; Outer Limits Original Series Complete Box Set and The Howdy Doody Show- 40 Episode Collection.

Other recommended new DVD releases can be found on our site at alt-flix.co.uk November 2008 USA DVD releases.

Monday, 27 October 2008

New DVD releases round up 27th / 28th October

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary DVD releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

UK releases
In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 27th October 2008 :

Never Apologize

Never Apologize. Malcolm McDowell's warm tribute to alt-flix faveLindsay Anderson. The film is a recording of Malcolm McDowell's one man theatre show about legendary British film director Lindsay Anderson. The show is cut with clips of Lindsay Anderson's films If... and O'Lucky Man! (both starring McDowell), and excerpts from Anderson's 'recently posthumously published memoirs.
We heartily recommend the film for fellow fans of Anderson and McDowell, film buffs and anyone who wants to have a damn good laugh at McDowell's hugely funny stories.

One Who Set Forth - Wim Wenders' Early Years. This superb and revealing documentary profiles the work and early career of renowned German director Wim Wenders, one of the few truly unique talents working in cinema today. The documentary is as fascinating as Wender's own films.

Wim Wenders Documentary Collection. A collection of documentary films from acclaimed German filmmaker Wim Wenders includes: Nick's Film, Lightning Over Water, Room 666, Tokyo-Ga, Notebook on Cities And Clothes and A Trick Of The Light.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: My Winnipeg; Puffball; Land of plenty; The Edge of love; Little Dorrit; Couscous; Flood; Junior Bonner; George A. Romero's Dead Trilogy - Night Of The Living Dead/Dawn Of The Dead/Day Of The Dead.

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include:Hidden; Life on Mars 1 & 2; The Godafther trilogy; The lost prince; Oasis Lord Don't Slow Me Down; Iron Man; Deception; Pathology; Essential Holiday Collection; Hell Ride [US Import].

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include: A Touch Of Frost series 14; House season 4; Oz complete; 4400 complete; Wood And Walters Series 1; Tess Of The D'Urbervilles; The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency; Frasier Complete Collection; Charmed Complete Collection; Mutual Friends; - Prisoner Cell Block H Vol.1; At Home With The Braithwaites Series 1-4; Sunshine.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for October 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix October 2008 UK releases site .


USA releases
In the USA, the pick of the DVD releases on 28th October 2008 are:

10 Years of Rialto Pictures

10 Years of Rialto Pictures. 10 discs celebrating 10 years of Rialto's fine work in restoring and releasing some lost classics. Includes Billy Liar, Army Of Shadows, The Third Man, Rififi and many other masterpieces.


Baraka
. A beautiful almost balletic social travelogue, which casts its lens far and wide all across the world. Beautifully shot, a film that everyone deserves to see.

I Love Beijing. Ning Ying's 2001 end game of his Beijing trilogy. In I Love Beijing the city and its lead character become almost interchangeable in this skilful and highly enjoyable piece.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the USA include: Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection; The Beyond; Andrzej Zulawski's La Femme Publique; Seven Virgins; Woman on The Beach; Yesterday Girl; Divine; Sway; I Love Beijing; Eight Miles High.

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include: Hell Ride; Baraka; Journey to the Center of Earth (Limited-Edition 2-D & 3-D with Glasses); The Polar Express Presented in 3-D; Elf; Beat the Devil; Essential Holiday Collection; Cannibal Taboo; The Final Countdown; Them And Me, With The Sky In A Garden.

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include: The L-Word: The Complete Fifth Season; The L-Word: Five Season Pack; The Flintstones: The Complete Series; The 4400: The Complete Series; Dark Shadows: The Beginning, Vol. 6; The Complete Inspector Lynley Mysteries; Fanny Hill; Millennium: Seasons 1-3; Agatha Christie: Mystery Lover's Collection.

Other recommended new DVD releases can be found on our site at alt-flix.co.uk October 2008 USA DVD releases.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

New DVD releases round up 20th / 21st October.

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary DVD releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 20th October 2008 :

Smalltime - Shane Meadows

Smalltime. Shane Meadows' debut feature (56 mins). This DVD has been promised for a long time but previously unavailable due to wrangling over the rights to its release, and was only briefly released on VHS. The film itself shows plenty of Meadows' loose directing style and even looser acting alongside some a similarly relaxed cast. This is a genuinely odd little film which has odd elements akin to a student project, alongside some shocks with Meadows customary bite.

Update: Smalltime has been withdrawn form the release schedules agin. More news as we get it.

Killer Of Sheep. Charles Burnett's film that chronicles the life of a slaughterhouse worker. BFI have thankfully given this landmark film a release for a new generation to witness. Also released this week is his later film My Brother's Wedding, another film we'd highly recommend.

The Short Films Of David Lynch. Without doubt one of the greatest talents in modern cinema. These short films ranging from 1967 to 1995 really underline both the diversity and downright strangeness taking place in his art.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the UK include: Band Of Thieves; Orphee; Season Of The Witch; Eraserhead; Leaving Las Vegas; Complete History Of My Sexual Failures; What?; The Joseph Losey Collection; The Horses Mouth; My Brother Wedding and Sisters.

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the UK include: Lost Series 4; Pride and Predjudice; Casino Royale (Deluxe Edition); James Bond Blu-Ray Collection Vol.1; Reservoir Dogs; The Red Desert; 28 Days Later; 28 Weeks Later; The Omen Trilogy; Alien Vs Predator; Aliens Vs Predator - The Requiem; The Hills Have Eyes; and The Hills Have Eyes 2.

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the UK include: The Dangerous Brothers; The Unit Series 3; My Name Is Earl Series 3; Dirty Sexy Money Season 1; Dear Ladies (Hinge & Bracket) Complete Series 2; London's Burning Series 9; That Mitchell And Webb Look Series 2; Follyfoot Series 3; The Passion; Rumpole Of The Bailey Series 1-7 Complete and V The Complete Series.

A full list with further details and an exclusive store for October 2008 releases can be found at the alt-flix October 2008 releases site .

In the USA, the pick of the DVD releases on 21st October 2008 are:

Flight of the Red Balloon

Flight of the Red Balloon Inspired by Albert Lamorisse's classic beautiful 1956 Oscar Winning extended short The Red Balloon about a boy and his balloon. Director Hou Hsiao Hsien expands the main elements of the original to include the child's mother, Suzanne (Juliette Binoche) and Song (a Tawainese student) who is hired to help care for the boy.


Six in Paris
. In 1965 six new wave directors were asked to submit short films about Paris for a new project, this magnificent collection was the result. Includes films by Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Goddard, Claude Chabrol, Jean Douchet, Jean Rouch and Jean-Daniel Pollet.

Eclipse Series 13-Kenji Mizoguchi's Fallen Women . Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi's (Sansho the Bailiff) four film collection themed around the plight of women in the male dominated Japanese society. Includes Osaka Elegy, Sisters of the Gion, Women of the Night and Street of Shame. Each of them are amazing films and way ahead of the times.

The best of the rest of DVDs released this week in the USA include: The Incredible Hulk (Three-Disc Special Edition); Mondays in the Sun; Casino Royale (40th Anniversary Edition); The Strangers; Missing; The Lazarus Project; The Last Man on Earth - In COLOR; Up in the World and Casino Royale (Three-Disc Collector's Edition).

The recommended Blu-ray releases this week in the USA include:Incredible Hulk; Sweeney Todd; Halloween; Casino Royale (Collector's Edition, 2 discs); Kiss of the Spider Woman; Red Desert; The Breed; James Bond Blu-ray Collection Six-Pack and The Strangers.

The recommended TV releases (all formats) this week in the USA include:Family Guy, Vol. 6; The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Complete Series; Family Guy - The Complete Collection; Sold Out: A Threevening with Kevin Smith; Route 66 - The Complete Second Season; Knight Rider: The Complete Series; The Other Boleyn Girl (2003 BBC TV Version) and
The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series.

Other recommended new DVD releases can be found on our site at alt-flix.co.uk DVD releases.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

New DVD releases round up 13th / 14th October.

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary DVD releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 13th October 2008 are (all kitchen sinky):

A Taste Of Honey

A Taste Of Honey A welcome re-release (the out of print dvd having been rocketing in value in recent years). A Taste of Honey is set in the damp dreary surroundings of a tough northern England town. Jo is working class teenager who lives with her mother who is a keen drinker and man eater. When Jo's mum gets married Jo is forced to leave home. Jo agrees to find a room together with Geoffrey, a gay colleague from work. Subsequently Jo falls pregnant after a one-night stand with a Black sailor. Geoffrey takes over the preparations for the baby's birth, and things seem to be going well - too well as Jo's mother turns up to make trouble.
Written by the fantastic Shelagh Delaney, this is way ahead of its time. It certainly broached on many a subject that was not familiar to cinema audiences at the time, and it stands the test of time remarkably well even today. Its unremitting dreariness and hard times feeling is particularly engaging, as is the superb performance of the adorable Dora Bryan. This is perhaps the finest of the kitchen sink dramas.

Poor Cow. A re-release of Ken Loach's cinematic debut. Poor Cow is set in London and centres around Joy, a young working class mother who is married to a brutal criminal - Tom. When Tom is put in prison for a violent robbery Joy is left to cope with bringing up her child alone and in squalid circumstances.
You can draw many parallels with Poor Cow, and Loach's TV play of a year earlier "Cathy Come Home", both surround the difficulties of those eking out an existence at the lower end of the social structure, and he pulls no punches in that both do not just offer no easy answers, they actually offer no answers at all (which bravely mirrors the depressing reality of the situation). A superb film.

A Kind Of Loving. Our trio of kitchen sink drams conclude with this offering adapted by Billy Liar writers Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall. A Kind Of Loving details the lives of a young couple who due to pregnancy are forced to marry. All too soon they find life is hard when no one seems to be on your side. A superb story and brilliant performances from Alan Bates and a frightening Thora Hird makes this a must see for any fans of gritty 60s drama.

In the USA, the pick of the DVD releases on 14th October 2008 are:

Short Cuts
Short Cuts. A feature packed Criterion release of director Robert Altman's 1993 mutli strand story of LA living. The film is packed with stars ala Altman's The Player, but in this film the stars are completely incidental as the story winds through its twisting tales.

Still Life Jia Zhang Ke's fabulously affecting tale of the change in a town's life (Fengjie) when due to the construction of the 3 Gorges hydro project on the Yangtze River, the town is earmarked for flooding. A stunning film in every sense that so skilfully weaves fact and fiction together to such effect.

XXy. A bold, but sensitively played out tale of a hermaphrodite teenager and a new found friend trying to make sense of their relationship, sexualities and their local community. This Argentinean drama has deservedly chalked up numerous awards and nominations, and found itself a wider audience who have praised its unflinching and honest approach to the story.

Other recommended new DVD releases can be found on our site at alt-flix.co.uk DVD releases.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

New DVD releases round up 6th / 7th October.

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary DVD releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 6th October 2008 are:

A Secret

A Secret This latest film from French director Claude Miller is also something of a secret, but it is well worth tracking down. It tells the personal story of a teenage boy who learns shocking secrets about his parents' lives during World War II. Being Jews in occupied France, their lives were under constant threat by the Nazi regime and they are forced to make decisions that they have to live with. A great film in it's own right that has certain thematic shades of Cache by Haneke running through it.

The Sandwich Man. Former Goon Michael Bentine took the title role in this great little film from 1966. Bentine stars as a sandwich board advertiser and walks around London observing and being observed (beautifully observed as it goes). The supporting cast of this film reads like a Who's Who of 60s comedy talent featuring the likes of Harry H. Corbett, Bernard Cribbins, Alfie Bass, Peter Jones, John le Mesurier, Warren Mitchell, Jeremy Lloyd, Burt Kwouk Norman Wisdom, Suzy Kendall, Terry Thomas and Dora Bryan.

War Dance. Documentary features have recently come right back to the forefront in Cinema. This film is one of the most genuinely powerful documentaries in recent years. It follows a group of Ugandan schoolchildren in their quest to participate in the annual Kampala Music Festival. Against the back drop of the country's dreadful and horrific recant history, these school children show the hope and determination to write their own history and live out a better life.

In the USA, the pick of the DVD releases on 7th October 2008 are:

Le Deuxieme Souffle
Le Deuxieme Souffle. A feature packed Criterion release of director Jean-Pierre Melville 's 1966 pulp classic. The stories follow an underworld criminal who has escaped from prison and gets involved in "one last robbery". Meanwhile Inspector Blot is pursuing his quarry. One of the finest portrayals of a heist anywhere in cinema.

Boy A That these films slip out virtually unnoticed is both a joy and a tragedy. Boy A is a superb film with a truly original story and an amazing cast of less than a list actors (Andrew Garfield, Peter Mullan, Siobhan Finneran, Alfie Owen et al) who do absolute justice to the terrific story. Hunt this one down, it's an absolute treat.

Le Doulos. Another Jean-Pierre Melville crime related classic. This time starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani and Jean Desailly, the story revolves around a criminal who exists in the complicated hinterland between passing information over to the police and keeping in with the underworld. Again given the features packed Criterion treatment.

Other recommended new DVD releases can be found on our site at alt-flix.co.uk DVD releases.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

New DVD releases round up 29th / 30th September.

Sifting through this weeks crop of contemporary DVD releases, we've come up with some recommendations for you.

In the UK, our pick of the DVD releases on 29th September 2008 are:

Leolo

Leolo tells the story of a young boy (Leolo), who is being brought up in squalid conditions in a shabby tenement in Montreal that he shares with his family - most of whom seem plagued by madness. To escape these conditions, he increasingly retreats into a world of his own imagination where he looks to find some path to happiness, whether it be falling in love with his beautiful neighbour, or by killing his Grandfather whom Leolo blames for the genetic failure of the entire family. When Leolo's two worlds start to merge, the escape he longs for him pushes him into increasingly desperate actions.

Leolo A quite remarkable piece of work that we have made DVD release of the month for September 2008, see elsewhere in the blog for details and the trailer. The Network label is renowned for its classic TV releases (everything from Emmerdale Farm 1st series to Budgie to The Owl Service to Michael Bentines Potty Time through to 3 volumes of Pipkins - all firm favourites with us), and is also building up an impressive roster of films in its catalogue. Only last week it released the classic The Red Balloon, and Leolo is the latest in a long line of films released by Network that, but for them, otherwise might not have been released on DVD. These include many films we have recommended in the past to you such as Billy The Kid And The Green Baize Vampire, The Chain, Bloody Kids, The Fruit Machine and The Buster Keaton Chronicles.

Caligula (Imperial edition). Not a film for the faint hearted. The notorious Caligula holds a unique position in cinematic history. Commissioned by Penthouse publishing magnate Bob Guccione with a very impressive budget and some considerable talent both in front (Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole) and behind the camera (director Tinto Brass writer Gore Vidal), the film was envisaged as being a legitimate attempt at making an epic film of the life of the insane Roman emperor. As filming progressed over a protracted period however, Guccione increasingly the wished to interfere in its making and insited on inserting some pretty much hardcore sequences into Brass' original cut. When Brass left the project Guccione took over the editing of the film with the expected results. The film itself was never truly going to be a masterpiece (check out I Claudius for that), however it is still a pretty good film despite some of the botching done to it. This 4 disc release includes 3 different cuts of the film but equally as important some truly superb extras including great commentaries, and some fascinating documentaries too.

Irina Palm. This one slipped out almost unseen last year. Starring the ever wonderful Marianne Faithfull and ever gorgeous Jenny Agutter. The film follows the exploits a middle-aged widow who, in order to raise money to pay for her grandson`s medical bills, takes a hostess job in a sex club. She soon finds she can turn her hand to almost anything. Sorry for the cheesy write up - the film is much better than our blurb. Marianne Faithfull is superbly convincing in this unnacustomed and slightly unexpected role as a shy widow, and the film hangs together very well as one of the best brit coms of recent times.

In the USA, the pick of the DVD releases on 30th September 2008 are:

Taxi To The Dark Side
Taxi To The Dark Side. The film that quite correctly won the 2007 Oscar for best documentary feature. This film makes for extremely uncomfortable viewing. The film centers around the death of a completely innocent young taxi driver in Afghanistan, who is subjected to horrifying torture / interrogation in prison at the hands of the American forces. His death, from the injuries sustained in his interrogation is not unique, either in Afghanistan Guantanomo etc, and the film goes onto explore how the US administration appeared to ("unofficially") condone the tactics of torture in the name of democracy.

An Autumn Afternoon aka Sanma no aji . This final film by Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu was originally released in 1962, and it tells the story of a widower who has to encourage his daughter to lead her on life rather than look after him in his old age. The film is something of a masterpiece, deceptively paced, acutely observed and meaningfully powerful, Ozu's trademarks are all also apparent here. Yet another classic Criterion release.

The Hairdresser's Husband aka Le Mari de la coiffeuse. The story of Antoine, a little boy who falls in love with the local hairdresser, and in his obsession he gets his hair cut as often as he can. When he grows up, his obsession with hair cutting is undiminished, and one day meets a hairdresser, Mathilde, and for both of them it is love at first sight, but not necessarily all happy endings. Another superb offering from Patrice Leconte and ranks alongside L'Homme du train and Monsieur Hire as some of his finest work to date.

Other recommended new DVD releases can be found on our site at alt-flix.co.uk DVD releases.