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.