Retail dvd (columbia tristar home entertainment, widescreen)

The Fisher King

Terry Gilliam's epic 1991 fable has both admirers and detractors: it now seems ambitious, unique and charming. The superb Jeff Bridges is a burned-out DJ who's at first irritated then revitalised by oddball visionary tramp Robin Williams and his hallucinatory Arthurian quests. The latter's hyper-babbling (like the director's flourishes) holds because Bridges is so magnificently solid and believable.

The Swimmer

Based on a John Cheever story, this 1968 movie stars Burt Lancaster as a seemingly prosperous and urbane middle-aged man who decides to swim back to his suburban house via all the pools in the neighbourhood. But his journey turns out to be an exposé of his personal downfall. An enigmatic meditation on the American Dream, marred only by a couple of hazy, slo-mo scenes that radiate '60s naffness.

Cat Ballou

Beloved spoof western which follows Jane Fonda's eponymous heroine, a schoolmarm-turned-outlaw, as she hires Lee Marvin's washed-up drunken gunslinger to stand against the lethal, tinnosed varmint (Marvin again) who killed her father. Never quite as funny as it thinks, but Marvin is sharp as a razor.

Manhattan Murder Mystery

We tend to damn Woody Allen's lighter comedies as 'just' comedies: if anyone else had come up with this 1993 nugget, we'd acclaim it as a pearl. Allen and Diane Keaton-telepathic together again—are paranoid that the woman next door's been bumped off; Alan Alda and Anjelica Houston stir the confusion. A wholesome whodunnit, but, chiefly, a hoot.


Terry Gilliam's solo directorial debut. Inspired by Lewis Carroll's poem, like Python's Holy Grail it deals with medieval muck and monsters—in this case a fearsome dragon to be slain by hapless hero Dennis (Michael Palin). Lots of good ideas and a very odd cast of British comedy talent, but mired in darkness, only the occasional laugh.

The Last Supper

Initially promising black comedy, acidly penned by Dan (Dead Man's Curve) Rosen, which follows a group of student types as their campaign for political correctness moves from right-on moaning to casually poisoning anyone whose views don't dovetail with their own. Even an early Cameron Diaz performance can't stop it losing momentum late on. DVD EXTRAS: None. (CR)


Part of Columbia's new and improved Superbit series, this immaculate version of Robert Rodriguez's chopsocky western arrives with no extras, no bonus features and a hefty price tag. Instead, with all available disc space used to provide the clearest pixel-free transfer to date, you get an average hyper-violent pop-Leone revenge movie with great depth of field and a sharp crystalline surface.

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