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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Def-Con 4 (1985) dir: Paul Donovan Blu Ray (Arrow)

This low-budget apocalyptic Canadian sci-fi adventure starts out ok but then plummets down to Earth (in more ways than one) and becomes a dull Mad Max clone. It stars Lenore Zann, Maury Chaykin, Kate Lynch and Tim Choate.

Kate Lynch in Def-Con 4

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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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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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Khartoum (1966) starring Charlton Heston Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

This lavish historical epic emphasises Ultra Panavision 70 mm landscape shots over any truly deep exploration into its colonial themes. While Heston is outstanding as Major General Charles Gordon and Richard Johnson gives solid support, Laurence Olivier is miscast as an Arab in brown-face makeup.

Charlton Heston in Khartoum

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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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Jackie Chan's Project A & Project A Part II Blu Ray (Eureka!)

The Hong Kong superstar is at his absolute finest in this pair of period action adventures. The first film is more consistent and features welcome appearances by his fellow dragons Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, whereas the second is more ambitious and spectacular.

Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan in Project A

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Jackie Chan's Police Story & Police Story 2 Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This duet of 1980s Hong Kong action-comedy classics shows today’s cosseted, CGI-enhanced modern action stars how it’s done. Expect plenty of death-defying stunts, some outtakes featuring the actual resulting injuries and quite a bit of Buster Keaton-style comedy too.

Brigitte Lin and Jackie Chan in Police Story

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Flesh + Blood (1985) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Director Paul Verhoeven took his first tentative step into American cinema with this gruelling, multilayered historical adventure - featuring a love triangle between Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Burlinson. Both flesh and blood do indeed feature heavily here.

Rutger Hauer in Flesh + Blood

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Hammer Volume 3: Blood and Terror Blu Ray Collection (Indicator)

This third collection of films from the iconic British studio suffers from dated racial treatments. The Stranglers of Bombay and The Terror of the Tongs are rather dull exotic potboilers. However, The Camp on Blood Island offers some tension, whereas Yesterday’s Enemy is a genuine anti-war classic.

Terror of the Tongs (1961)

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The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) Blu Ray (Arrow)

Vincent Ward's journey of faith between 14th-century Cumbria and 20th-century Auckland plays like a fish-out-of-water fantasy directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. While the detached feel may leave some feeling cold, it's a rewarding experience for those who join the dots.

The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

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CINEMA

ARTICLES

Monia Chokri in Emma Peeters

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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