Retail dvd (universal pictures video, widescreen)

Cheech & Chong Collection

At their mid-'70s peak, the stoner Laurel & Hardy personified friendly drug culture - and, accordingly, now seem dated. There are flashes of inspired humour, but only the most devoted pothead would want to wade through this box set, which contains Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (with Pee Wee Herman), Nice Dreams, Things Are Tough All Over, Get Out Of My Room and Cheech's solo Born In East LA.

Killing Zoe

After falling out with Tarantino over the credits for Pulp Fiction, Roger Avary made this violent Paris-set heist movie in a bid to establish his creative autonomy. It was hammered by critics, who dubbed it "Reservoir Frogs" and dismissed Avary as derivative. Zoe's better than its reputation suggests, though, and has the added pleasure of Jean-Hugues Anglade going spectacularly bonkers as a smack-shooting gang leader.

Spartacus: Special Edition

Exhaustive two-disc release of this superlative restored cut of producer/star Kirk Douglas and wunderkind director Stanley Kubrick's epic tale of the legendary slave-turned-rebel-leader. All together now: "I'M SPARTACUS!"

Paycheck

Based on a Philip K Dick short story and directed by John Woo, Paycheck plays like a made-for-TV Minority Report. It boasts a screenplay from, ahem, Dean Georgaris (Tomb Raider 2—nuff said), it stars Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman at their charmless worst, and it's Woo's dullest action-direction in years. No John, slo-mo doesn't make it better!

Mallrats

When discussing Kevin Smith's oeuvre, most dismiss this '95 nugget as the dip between Clerks and Dogma. A mistake: as two slackers, Jason Lee and Jeremy London, hang around the mall doing nothing, plenty happens—comic-book iconography, smut, inventive swearing, Shannen Doherty pretty much playing her loveable hell-bitch self, and Ben Affleck marginalised. A buzzy, cynical, romp.

National Lampoon’s Animal House

In recent years John Landis' frat-boy farce has had much to answer for, its legacy spawning a glut of imitations with twice the gross-out factor but half the humour. The original, now 25 years old but still rampantly immature, has real comic gusto, and allowed the late, great John Belushi to belch out a memorably madcap performance. Set in 1962, it asks us to root for the scruffy, skiving outsiders (the term "slackers" still hadn't been coined) on a campus ruled by the monied, suave elite.

Rooster Cogburn

Fairly dismal sequel to True Grit, with John Wayne reprising his Oscar-winning turn as the titular one-eyed US Marshal, teamed here with prissy spinster Katharine Hepburn who's out to avenge her father's murder. The stars are no more than passable, the movie wholly unremarkable.

Cary Grant: The Collection

NOBODY DID SUAVE like Cary Grant; few would be stupid enough to try. When a whole way of being is personified that definitively, even a George Clooney looks like a stammering schoolboy in comparison. Grant's worst films are worth watching for his expressions of charm and much-tried patience, but here are some of his best, digitally remastered. In Howard Hawks' Bringing Up Baby, Katharine Hepburn causes his "zoology professor"to lose precious dinosaur bones and a pet leopard.

Sierra Nirvana

High plains drifter is Clint Eastwood, the nascent director, at his most elemental. He's post-Leone and pre-Josey Wales here, working from a script by Ernest Shaft Tidyman, playing a "squinty-eyed son of a bitch"who saves a small town in the Old West from a sadistic group of escaped convicts. It's a harsh, frequently brutal amorality play. The credits have barely rolled before we're treated to callous multiple murders and a 'consenting rape'scene.

Ulzana’s Raid

Directed by the hugely uncompromising Robert Aldrich, this ferocious post-Wild Bunch western stars Burt Lancaster as a world-weary army scout at odds with callow cavalry officer Bruce Davison on a mission to hunt down the errant Apache chief Ulzana, who with a small band of warriors has broken out of the reservation and are now looting, killing and raping their way across the bleak southwestern territories. Much tampered with by the studio on its original 1972 release and the subject of heated debate about its depiction of the Apaches, the film is in fact both complex and intelligent in its
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