The Weitz brother's adaptation of Nick Hornby's bestseller can't help falling into the sugary-sweet Notting Hill trap. Hugh Grant's genuinely impressive as responsibility-free Will, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with weird 12-year-old Marcus and his troubled hippie mum. It's crucial that the brat isn't annoying: but boy, he is. Hornby's jokes and Badly Drawn Boy's songs add some edge.
Ang Lee's soulful swordfest is out on visually refined Superbit release with wispy hair shots and flashing blades all shimmer-free. Yet Lee's masterfully melancholic movie—with Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh as the unrequited martial arts lovers, Matrix choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping providing the aerial ballet, and high-kicking upstart Zhang Ziyi providing the feminist subtext—could work wonders in any format.
Early Ingmar Bergman investigation of the problems of young love in which a romantic summer idyll turns to pregnancy, marriage, boredom and infidelity. The director's first film with Harriet Anderson, whose defiant animal vitality was the focus of the tale, it still packs an emotional punch.
David Lynch's TV series, which first aired in the UK in the early '90s, broke the mould on so many levels, arguably paving the way for everything from Northern Exposure and Wild Palms to The Sopranos and Six Feet Under. Ostensibly a whodunnit, this deeply unconventional show explores secrets and strangeness in a rural community. And boy, do we get strangeness, from Kyle MacLachlan's relentlessly chipper FBI agent to the Log Lady and the One-Armed Man. Genius
Poor boy chases rich girl in John Hughes' 1987 teen romance. Essentially, the story's gender roles are reversed from his previous hit, Pretty In Pink, but without the fresh conviction. Still, the period charm and feelgood manner makes for mindlessly enjoyable viewing, while enough solid performances keep things ticking over.
Time-travellers Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd shunt between the 1950s, the future and the old Wild West in a customised DeLorean sports car, trailing paradoxes in their wake as they attempt not to interfere with history. Zemeckis and Gale's lovingly crafted trilogy remains enormously enjoyable, and curiously now makes one feel nostalgic for the '80s.
Much-imitated life-swapping comedy from '83, back when John Landis was a hot name. Street chancer Eddie Murphy and stockbroker Dan Aykroyd switch places after a nature-versus-nurture debate, with Jamie Lee Curtis as Aykroyd's love interest. Doesn't aim to be anything other than broadly funny, and so largely succeeds, though it hasn't aged too cleverly.
The two albums of Woody Guthrie songs recorded by Billy Bragg and Wilco and released as Mermaid Avenue (Volumes One and Two) are already alt. country classics. Kim Hopkins' documentary film follows Bragg around America in search of Woody. Archive footage of the great man is interwoven with Bragg performing some 20 songs, alongside guests including Natalie Merchant. Films about making albums seldom do the music justice. Man In The Sand breaks the pattern.
DVD EXTRAS: Bonus audio tracks, discography.