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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Immaculate Conception (1992) Blu Ray (Indicator)

Writer/producer/director Jamil Dehlavi's study of religious faith in Pakistan has its shortcomings as a drama but is redeemed somewhat by its unique atmosphere. It stars James Wilby, Melissa Leo, Shabana Azmi and Ronny Jhutti.

James Wilby and Melissa Leo in Immaculate Conception

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The Virgin Soldiers (1969) starring Lynn Redgrave Blu Ray (Indicator)

Hywel Bennett plays a young British soldier on National Service in Singapore in 1951. While the threat of being killed in action hangs over him, he would clearly rather spend his time getting laid with Ms. Redgrave. A surprisingly effective mixture of ribald comedy and anti-war parable.

The Virgin Soldiers (1969)

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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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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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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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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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The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967) Blu Ray (Indicator)

Roger Corman's documentary-like view of the violence of Al Capone-era 1920s Chicago is an entertaining slice of bloody gangsterism.

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967)

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Magnificent Doll (1946) starring Ginger Rogers Blu Ray (Arrow)

A tumultuous period in US history is reduced to a trivial romantic melodrama in Frank Borzage's account of former First Lady Dolly Madison. Nonetheless, Rogers tries her best as do co-stars David Niven as Aaron Burr and Burgess Meredith as James Madison.

Ginger Rogers and David Niven in Magnificent Doll

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Strangled (2016) dir: Árpád Sopsits Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

This account of the pursuit of a real-life serial killer in Hungary during the Communist era is phenomenally nasty and downbeat. It works better as a study of the period than it does as a thriller.

Strangled (2016)

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The Vikings (1958) Blu Ray (Eureka!) starring Kirk Douglas

An old-fashioned but highly enjoyable Norseman epic directed by Richard Fleischer, also starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

Kirk Douglas in The Vikings


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More DVDs and Blu Rays

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Monia Chokri in Emma Peeters

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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