It doesn't matter whether you're a fan. This study of Mitchell is a model of musical biography in DVD form. Over two hours we get her life story in perfectly matched words, music and images. The interviews with Mitchell are candid, the recollections from the likes of James Taylor, David Crosby and Graham Nash are fascinating, and the musical excerpts, which cover her entire career, are luminous.
Depressing study in madness, memory and murder from David Cronenberg, with Ralph Fiennes, recently released from a mental institution, setting up home in a halfway hostel in London's East End close to where he grew up, and the scene of a massive childhood trauma. Despite some typically creepy Cronenberg moments and universally impressive performances, the plot's predictable, and the relentless bleakness wears after a while.
John Malkovich slums it as the evil mastermind plotting to turn Britain into a giant prison camp, while Rowan Atkinson, as the titular rubbish spy, presses all the wrong buttons. Puerile, deeply unfunny and, as an advert for our country, downright treasonable. A crime, if memory serves, still punishable by death.
Recorded during a series of gigs in Japan with his band The Oddballs two weeks before he died of a heroin overdose in April 1991, Who's Been Talking offers a voyeuristic insight into the twilight world of Thunders. Gaunt and deathly pale, the wonder is how he played at all, for he'd been immediately hospitalised on arrival in the country. He summons a chaotic-narcotic energy during a set of more than 20 songs. But there's a ghoulish irony to hearing him sing "Sad Vacation", his Sid Vicious tribute.
In Alexander Payne's wickedly mordant satire, newly-retired Warren Schmidt is forced to acknowledge the sheer empty horror of a wasted life that has left him with a ghastly marriage to someone he no longer recognises as the woman he fell in love with, a neurotic daughter who's about to marry an hilariously useless water bed salesman and a past he can't remember because in all the years now behind him he did little of merit and nothing of note.
Dysfunctional families are currently all the rage, but About Schmidt has a dark individuality and coruscating comic edge that makes it uniquely compe