(18) 150min

(Tartan Asia Extreme DVD retail) 0000

fr .5: 6 a! t: 6 m




Prolific and controversial maverick director Miike Takashi's new Yakuza bloodbath thriller is an epic made up of stylish masterstrokes. A compelling character study that encompasses several families of Tokyo's mafia as their capos vie for power. Agitator sweeps through themes of t0uching compassion, genuine comedy and vicious brutality.

While assassinations are swift and severe. the pace of the film is protracted every encounter meaSured. every word considered. every nervous tic examined. In this way Takashi builds the tension to unbearable peaks. each shock of violence feeding rather than releasing the growing sense of cataclysmic claustrophobia. Extras are minimal but after this who cares?

(MA Edmundson)



(XL Recordings DVD retail) 0...

D'imoi‘i (Bough has a healthy self— <Ieprr;-cating humour about his art.


something made clear on this excellent and innovative collection. The do/en videos here are all inventive. well constructed and perfectly judged. each done on an obviously tiny budget with panache and flair. Choice moments are plentiful Cough abducted by fans. busking in the street. as a human taxi and in a vendetta with a duck but the highlight is surely a wonderfully poignant appearance by Joan Collins in the promo for 'Spitting in the Wind'. The handful of live peitormaiice extras don't quite match that. but this is worth it for the videos alone.

(Doug Jolinstonel


(12) 103min (Pathel COO

What is really going on in a painting? That's what Tracy Chevalier asked herself when she saw Veriiieer's bewitchiiig painting Girl With the Pearl Earring. She was so taken that she wrote a fictional story arOund the portrait and now debut feature director Peter Webher pastes up his big screen forgery. As beautiful to look at as any Dutch master. this races along at soap opera pace. Just managing to stay this Side of the obwous. cliched or heavy handed. Colin Firth broods as the tortured painter and Scarlet Johansson glows as the torn. silent maid. The extras here proVide further insights including an excellent “anatomy of a scene' short and a ‘making of' featurette.

(Mark Robertson)



The List asked Nathaniel Horiiblower. the editor of pro-smoking underground magazine. Walrus Ash. to test out PAUI MCKENNA's new OUII SMOKING


I’ve smoked since I was 17 years old. After an adolescence of fecund morbidity and aimless chagrin I found my first true friend. Whether sucking on a Russian Sobranie, the now deceased British N06 or a Thai Khong Thip cigarette I instinctively knew my destiny was to run alongside this filthy weed a gift from mad Indians and even madder Elizabethan


Quitting has never occurred to me. I love the reek that so many despise, I happen to believe that a good cigarette - like a fine wine, a Cuban cigar or an expensive joss stick, can deliver us all from the mundanities of this crass and

idiotic world.

Reality, however, has a way of creeping into and raping life’s few genuine joys, and I’ve been promising my non-imbibing partner that I would get hypnotherapy to rid me of this black shadow-spreading addiction. She wanted children and she feared for the health of a child whose father had trouble negotiating a

plastic balloon.

1, 2, 3. Look in to my eyes . . .

And so it was that I found myself in possession of Paul McKenna’s Quit Smoking Now DVD. A bargain bucket Derren Brown, who left primetime 905 television for a private client roster that included royals and inch high celebs, McKenna makes a fortune out of this kind of nonsense but I wondered if he could help me.

The DVD is made up of three sections: first up is ‘Instruction and Techniques’ in which McKenna earnestly struts up and down a Barrett house lounge while reinforcing how he is going to help the viewer quit. Never the warmest of screen personalities, he does come across as a mentalist shop floor unionist going through the motions on some decrepit 80s corporate video. Laughable does not even begin to cover it. The second part is, however, the most affecting. ‘Mind Programming Technique’ features loads of soft core images of rippling streams while McKenna speaks very very slowly. As much as I fought it I did fall slightly under his spell, as he wittered on endlessly to my subconscious. The third part is some nonsense about reducing cravings by tapping the back of

one’s hand.

I emerged from this whole experience in a foul mood. I stayed off the snouts for eight hours until alcohol and routine helpfully re-entered my life. But I just couldn’t shake the anger McKenna seemed to have placed inside my diseased cortex. That night I had a blazing row with the wife, she walked out, she took the dog and the tortoise and left me alone with a ragged copy of It’s Not Persona/l: A Guide to Anger Management by Alice J Katz. I Paul McKenna Quit Smoking Now DVD is avai/ab/e from giif'xisioii.coiii


(Ventura Int DVD Retaili O...


V\.(hate\.'er you pinko hippies say in public. it is a unwersally acknowledged fact that there are few things in life funnier than watching animals get hurt task the Spanishfl. In these {)0 second animated shorts originally deVised for the internet. there is more blood letting than in your average abattoir. From cute woodland creatures

like Giggles and Petunia ia chipmunk and a skunk through to the homicidal Vietnam vet teddy Flippy all the characters' (tOII‘ISSOS are superbly inventive and glorioust ciiieiitatic in their delivery. With a collection of extras that includes letting you decide the manner of your chosen charactm's' iii‘pendihg (i()()ll‘. this truly is the nest fun you can have ‘.'./Iiil()lll your neighbours calling the RSI-“CA. (Gordon Hdretti

Ht \r'lStONlSi ‘.".’I Sll ltN LITTLE BIG MAN (15) 147min :Paraii‘ount Ilome

t ntertainnieht DVD retaili OOOO

Twenty yeais hetoie Costiiei's Iltit‘.'.i\l53il Dances l'/it."i Wt m >:;. Arthur Bonnie and (Iii rte Penn's ll'étttl‘COIYllC anti Western had aiieady poiti‘ayed the Nati\.'e Americans ‘.'.’llil both



fierce syii‘pathy and humour. l)l'()‘.'I(IIIl§} Dustin l-lol’fii‘an ‘.'.'ltil one of his most engaging roles to date. Adopted by the (.Ii‘e\.eni‘.e tiihe after his faii‘il'. is ii‘assacied.

sun. .‘.alist .Jack Crabb

(I {Oilll‘itlll begins a lafetin‘e of s‘.'.'itchsng skies beaveen ttitll‘.(}f3 and whites A turning fi‘oii‘ being a bi‘axe. gunfighter. shopkeeper oi snake oil huckstei as ciiciiiitstances dictate. l’ait felig like obseryer. pait VIII). Odysseus. he is pulled toi.'.'ards the Battle of I ittle Big Item in

scenes veering sharply i')et\.'.ieen broad comedy and senseless slaughter in this oddly affecting adaptation of Thomas Berger's bizarre noyei. Minimal extras.

iJay Richardsoni


iWarner Home Video DVD VHS rental retail. 0..

No. this isn't as good as This Is Spinal Tap. It is: 't even as good as Best it Show but this Christopher Guest helmed spoof documentary imockumentan. li\()1l Willi about a reunion of (30s folk bands. is still pack 2d with great moments. Fred W. lai‘d's brief turn as catch- phrase dip shit Mike Lafontaine is a moment of genius. as is Jennifer Coolidge's cameo as a PR agent a welcome