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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

The Odessa File (1974) starring Jon Voight (Indicator)

Ronald Neame's serviceable but rather talk-heavy adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's novel is worth watching mainly for the story, Voight’s performance and some tense moments of action. You'll never look at German subway trains the same way again.

Jon Voight in The Odessa File

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Apprentice to Murder (1988) Blu Ray (Arrow)

An adolescent Chad Lowe becomes enraptured by Donald Sutherland's Pow-wow faith healer in this interesting, if flawed, hard-to-pigeonhole period horror drama. Mia Sara also stars as Lowe's smart, seductive girlfriend.

Donald Sutherland in Apprentice to Murder

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Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) Blu Ray and DVD (Eureka!)

While based on an inaccurate source novel by Thomas E. Gaddis, this account of the lifelong prisoner and ornithologist Robert Stroud is an inspired piece of filmmaking from director John Frankenheimer, featuring one of Burt Lancaster's best performances and lots of scene-stealing birds.

Birdman of Alcatraz

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Street Mobster (1972) starring Bunta Sugawara Blu Ray (Arrow)

Kinji Fukasaku's distinctively deglamourised Jitsuroku eiga Yakuza flick makes heavy use of shaky cinéma vérité camerawork and Dutch angles. It has a certain raw energy about it but fails to generate much sympathy for its central protagonist.

A Yakuza tattoo in display in Street Mobster (1972)

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Allure (2017) starring Evan Rachel Wood DVD (Eureka!)

This controversial look at the complex issues surrounding an abusive/controlling relationship between a grown woman and an adolescent girl will upset many viewers. However, it is well-acted, frank and non-exploitative - if somewhat rough around the edges.

Julia Sarah Stone in Allure (2017)

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The China Syndrome (1979) Blu Ray (Indicator)

James Bridges' account of a nuclear plant incident has some truly chilling real-life precedents. This 1970s mixture of ambitious reporter movie, paranoia thriller and disaster movie is highlighted by excellent performances courtesy of Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas.

Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome

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Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Paul Schrader's multi-stranded examination of one of Japan's most memorable and controversial cultural figures is a beautiful and hugely ambitious piece of cinema. This 4K restoration is stunning and features a wealth of extras which add up to an almost perfect package.

Ken Ogata in Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

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Dark River (2017) Blu Ray & DVD (Arrow Academy)

Clio Barnard's loose adaptation of Rose Tremain's novel Trespass, transplanted to the Yorkshire Dales, features a gorily authentic depiction of the struggles of tenancy farming and some real depths hinted at in Ruth Wilson and Mark Stanley's performances. In the end, however, it's little more than artistically-mounted gloom porn.

Ruth Wilson in front of a waterfall in Dark River (2017)

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The Defiant Ones (1958) dir: Stanley Kramer Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis play a pair of escaped prisoners chained together in this grittily realistic but entertaining look at racism. The two leads perform most of their own stunts, creating a sense of immersion in the film's natural dangers.

Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (1958)

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No Way Out (1950) starring Sidney Poitier Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film noir message movie helped to pave the way for African-American leading men in Hollywood cinema. Aside from Poitier's subtly engaging performance, we get Richard Widmark's supremely loathsome racist villain and Linda Darnell as a hard-bitten wild card.

Sidney Poitier and Richard Widmark in No Way Out (1950)

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

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CINEMA

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RETRO

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