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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death: Two Films by John Woo Blu Ray (Eureka!)

These two early wuxia (period martial arts) adventures from the iconic John Woo offer some fun but don't exactly count amongst the director's best. Hand of Death is also notable for featuring an early appearance by the Three Brothers - Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao.

Last Hurrah for Chivalry

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Bellman & True (1987) starring Bernard Hill Blu Ray (Indicator)

This forgotten heist thriller, produced by HandMade Films, offers plenty to make it worthy of rediscovery. It's exciting and occasionally humorous but doesn't lose sight of its human dimension in the relationship between a tainted father and a son who adores him despite his faults.

Bellman & True (1987)

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Black Moon Rising (1986) starring Tommy Lee Jones Blu Ray (Arrow)

This sci-fi action-thriller is notable for being one of John Carpenter's writer-only credits. It's not bad but it's hard to escape the feeling that he should have directed it too. It also stars Linda Hamilton, Robert Vaughn, Richard Jaeckel and Bubba Smith.

Robert Vaughn in Black Moon Rising

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Wheels on Meals (1984) dir: Sammo Hung Blu Ray (Eureka!)

The so-called Three Brothers - Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Baio - team up for this kung fu action-comedy set in Barcelona. While it's not their best outing, it's still plenty of fun. Both the car chase and climactic castle fight are fabulous setpieces.

Jackie Chan and Benny Urquidez in Wheels on Meals

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Class of 1999 (1990) Blu Ray (Vestron Video/Lionsgate)

Mark L. Lester's magpie-like blend of elements from other hit sci-fi films amounts to a competently enjoyable piece of straight-to-video era trash. It stars Malcolm McDowell (spot the A Clockwork Orange reference), Stacy Keach and Pam Grier.

A robot in Class of 1999

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Sister Street Fighter Collection (1974-1976) Blu Ray (Arrow)

Etsuko Shiomi kicks ass across four Japanese martial arts films, the last of which is a sequel-in-name-only to the first three. The first one is the freshest and most outright entertaining entry but it's still a fun collection overall.

Sonny Chiba pops up in Sister Street Fighter

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Tokyo Drifter (1966) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Seijun Suzuki's style-over-substance cult classic Yakuza flick comes the closest that any film ever has to what a manga comic book would be like had it been turned into live action rather than animation. Starring Tetsuya Watari and Chieko Matsubara.

Tokyo Drifter (1966)

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Breakout (1975) starring Charles Bronson Blu Ray (Indicator)

This average rescue escapade, based on the true story of Joel David Kaplan getting busted out of a Mexico City prison by pilot Vic Stadler, benefits from some enjoyable performances and an exciting last 25 minutes. Also starring Robert Duvall, Jill Ireland, John Huston, Randy Quaid and Sheree North.

Charles Bronson in Breakout

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Once Upon a Time in China Trilogy Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This boxed set contains four episodes of Tsui Hark's 1990s cycle of adaptations of the life and times of legendary Chinese physician, martial artist and folk hero Wong Fei-hung. Jet Li plays the central character and shows his stuff in a range of spectacular action sequences.

Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China

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Escape from New York (1981) Blu Ray (Studiocanal)

John Carpenter's cult classic sci-fi adventure receives a beautiful 4K restoration and plenty of extra features. The great cast includes Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Donald Pleasance and Adrienne Barbeau.

Kurt Russell in Escape from New York

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent DVD / Blu Ray companies in the UK.

CINEMA

ARTICLES

Monia Chokri in Emma Peeters

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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