The Beeb are hoping for a kind of Our Friends In The North success with this 1963-79-spanning Soho crime drama. Its author, Jake Arnott, has written sleevenotes for this 44-song double album, which moves from buoyant '60s hits from James Brown and Dusty to '70s landmarks by T. Rex and The Jam. R Dean Taylor's "There's A Ghost In My House" is exhilarating, Rod Stewart's "Reason To Believe" is moving, and Bowie's "London Boys" is seedily weird.
It's not an exhilarating concert. Even "The Boys Are Back In Town", "Jailbreak", "Waiting For An Alibi" and "Don't Believe A Word" lack lustre, as do Phil Lynott's eyes and the dynamics of the band. The audience is polite, excepting the odd permed headbanger. Uninspiring.
This 1978 throwback to the all-star men-on-a-mission genre of the late '60s delivers a cracking carbine-load of ripe boys' own adventure, mainly thanks to the quartet of scenery-munching hambones (Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, Hardy Krüger) cast as the eponymous squad of cigar-chomping Africa-bound mercenaries.
Classic 'revisionist' western from '71, Peter Fonda's directorial debut is bookended by two acts of fumbling, clumsy yet brutally violent gunplay, but is otherwise concerned with the delicately evolving relationships between two wandering cowboys (Fonda and Warren Oates) and Fonda's once abandoned wife (Verna Bloom). The photography from Vilmos Zsigmond (McCabe & Mrs Miller) is worth the price of the DVD in itself.
Already a boys' own classic, Kevin MacDonald's award-winning doc about two foolhardy Brit mountaineers scaling the 21,000ft Andean peak of Peru's Siula Grande is almost hideously gripping. Brilliantly paced, Touching The Void re-enacts the climb—and the descent, more to the point—with actors Brendan Mackey and Nicholas Aaron. But much of the drama lies in the memories of climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, the interviews with whom are candid and vulnerable.
Eight Quebecois intellectuals, four boys and four girls, discuss sex, history, the state of the world, sex, each other and sex as they prepare for a weekend together in the country. Gabby, but engrossing in a My Dinner With André sort of way, this 1986 movie marks the first appearance of the old friends who are reunited in Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions.
Shekhar Kapur directed this third version of AEW Mason's regimental romance about the Sudanese war. Unfortunately, his ambitions to turn it into a critique of British imperialism are drowned under James Horner's glutinous score and colourless performances from the vapid Heath Ledger and chums. Notable exception—Djimon Hounsou, as the noble nomad who saves our brave English boys from a fiery desert hell. There's also one great battle scene.