Retail dvd (mgm home entertainment, widescreen)

Brannigan

This late John Wayne movie has The Duke as a Chicago cop trailing his man to London, while a hitman seeks to fulfill a contract on Wayne's life. It's middling, fish-out-of-water fare, the kind of bawdy, roustabout stuff Wayne did far too often, but by way of compensation you get Richard Attenborough as Wayne's finicky Scotland Yard sidekick.

Lone Wolf Mcquade

To say this ultraviolent 1983 flick is Chuck Norris'best movie might smack of faint praise, but what's good is mostly down to David Carradine as his strutting, butt-kicking, cigar-sucking nemesis. It's a modern-day western, heavy on the spaghetti, with Norris'Texas ranger taking on Carradine's gun-runner and his army of disposable borderland Mexicans. Did Walter Hill watch this before making Extreme Prejudice?

City Of Ghosts

Directing, co-writing and starring, Matt Dillon does a pretty solid job. Set in a modern-day Cambodia full of outcasts and fugitives, the plot slowly curdles from globe-trotting crime thriller into primal psycho-weirdness. Dillon never shakes off the second-hand influences, notably David Lynch and Apocalypse Now, but a rich cosmopolitan texture is added by an eccentric cast including Gerard Depardieu, Stellan Skarsgård and James Caan.

West Side Story

The 1961 multiple Oscar-winner may have stagey settings, Natalie Wood's singing dubbed, and a well-meant but muffed 'message', yet it crackles with wit and panache. The Jets fight The Sharks while pirouetting, Romeo and Juliet (Tony and Maria) coo amid the washing lines, and every Bernstein song's a humdinger with sizzling Sondheim lyrical gags. Cosily cool.

Kid Galahad

As boxing movies go, it's not exactly Raging Bull. As Elvis movies go, it's not exactly King Creole either (though Michael Casablanca Curtiz directed both). Even so, Presley's 10th movie is no turkey, aided by some half-decent tunes and solid support from a youngish Charles Bronson.

The Pink Panther Collection

Six slightly funny films emerged from the Inspector Clouseau franchise through the '60s and '70s: they're not as hilarious as you recall. Peter Sellers is always looking for the humorous nugget, but pratfalls and silly accents do not make comedy gold. The Return Of... and ...Strikes Again are the high spots of the sextet. Nothing outshines Mancini's sexy theme tune.

Thunderbolt And Lightfoot

Four years before The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino made his debut as writer and director with this macho love story, starring Clint Eastwood as a typically crusty old bank robber and Oscar-nominated Jeff Bridges as his wide-eyed and adoring young sidekick. Excellent support from George Kennedy and Geoffrey Lewis as a couple of hoods after Clint's ass (as it were).

Trapeze

Burt Lancaster, gruff and manly, and Tony Curtis, delicately fey, star in Carol Reed's howlingly homoerotic tale of two leotard-clad acrobats in '50s Paris, vying for each other's respect, for the affections of Gina Lollobrigida, and for mastery of the triple somersault. "Teach me the triple!" says wide-eyed Curtis to Lancaster. "Are you crazy?!" splurts Lancaster, outraged.

Alice’s Restaurant

Arthur Penn's follow-up to Bonnie And Clyde, based on Arlo Guthrie's blues hit about his arrest for littering and how it led to him being rejected for service in Vietnam. Penn's movie follows Guthrie as he wanders the US from draft board to college to commune, providing a time capsule of the dreams and rituals of late-'60s drop-out America; and one that, with its lingeringly downbeat ending, now looks prescient.

Six Degrees Of Separation

Director Fred Schepisi attacks John Guare's stageplay, frenetically switching locations and narrators as often as possible in an attempt to movie-ise this intelligent, satirical, wordy account of sociopathic homosexual confidence trickster Will Smith (acting, for real!) and his divisive impact upon a group of pompous, wealthy, middle-aged Upper East Side culturati.
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