Ben Affleck plays Marvel's blind superhero, with Jennifer Garner as his love interest (the ninja assassin Elektra), Colin Farrell as hitman Bullseye and a suitably imposing Michael Clarke Duncan as the crime lord Kingpin. The fight sequences are impressively executed, and it's a solid stab at the source material; sadly, some substandard CGI lets it down.
Way before Emmylou Harris or even Patsy Cline, women were singing country songs to make your heart crack. Among these 25 examples from pre-WW2, only the Carter Family and Patsy Montana will be familiar to most. But just as thrilling are the Coon Creek Girls, a kind of 1930s version of the Be Good Tanyas, and Gertrude Gossett, who sounds like an early Gillian Welch. Every track is a discovery, and you wonder how the Louisiana Lou, The Girls Of The Golden West and Moonshine Kate ever lapsed into obscurity. Sleevenotes are courtesy of The Handsome Family's Rennie Sparks.
The Pastels always seem to find their wheelbarrow positively overflowing with acclaim, though some of us have struggled for over a decade to remember what they actually sound like. Here they wibble along, inoffensively enough, through a 25-minute accompaniment to the recent Brit road movie directed by David Mackenzie. It climaxes, if that's not too bold a word (it is), with a Jarvis Cocker collaboration, "I Picked A Flower", a parody of a pop hit which demonstrates that Cocker used up all his parody power a while ago.
Veteran producer Irwin Winkler's 1990 directorial debut, recreating the paranoid climate that enveloped early-'50s Hollywood during the anti-communist witch-hunts. Robert De Niro is the fictitious RKO director watching lives, morals and ethics come apart under the strain. A clear-eyed and heartfelt history lesson, with a Martin Scorsese cameo that's a barely disguised portrait of blacklist exile Joseph Losey.