Innuendo The ﬁlm Shows its 1987 origins
Lawrence once proposed. and they
esoecially Cruel or vindictive. it's more that
just to see what it w0uld be like. Benny (Arno
And the stOry of Tatuin's ruthless expl0itation of
DRAMA ! BEHNY’S VIDEO
i (15) 105mm don't get much w0rse they will stop at nothing Frischi is a product of the scoop of a lifetime at every turn. There are Hanan DVD “318‘” than in Benny '5 Video. to protect their movie- the mediated age. and provides a searing some good
can't see Clear lines between fact and fiction. But are his
Not that the parents in Michael Funny Games Haneke's film are
mad 14-year-0ld son's future — even after he's murdered a yOung girl
commentary on the mOral decline of America and antiCipates
perfOrmances from some notable AuSSie Character aCtOrS.
“How beastly the b0urge0isie is,” DH
TV BOX SET ROUND-UP
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Set on a New York comedy sketch show. the whipsmart 30 Rock (Universal) eeee deservedly won Golden Globes for Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Former Saturday Night Live scribe Fey plays Liz Lemon. the chief writer struggling to save her baby from the best intentions of corporate-minded boss Jack (a career highlight from Baldwin) and mentally unstable star Tracy (Tracy Morgan). The writing is brilliant and the situations lunatic. yet recognisable enough to remain satirical. Liz and Jack's mutually respectful loggerheads afford it real warmth. while studio dogsbody Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) is truly one of God's special creatures. prompting Baldwin to observe: 'In five years. he'll either be our boss or we'll all be dead by his hand}
You can't choose your family. But as the calculated yet entertaining Brothers and Sisters (Walt Disney) eee demonstrates. you can cast squabbling Californian siblings from familiar small screen faces and make every scene a minor Greek tragedy. When he died. William Walker left a corrupt business. political divisions and endless secrets to plague his offspring. most notably Calista Flockhart as a Republican PR spinner who fights tooth and claw with her liberal mother (Sally Field). and Rachel Grifﬁths as the working mom heading up the family firm. A Republican brother. gay lawyer brother. recovering junkie brother. Daddy's lovechild. corrupt Uncle Saul and their various partners and kids provide more than enough conﬂict for a compelling drama with all the subtlety of soap opera.
On to an even more dysfunctional family. If you like the idea of a naked man having a condom bitten from his brass eye by a rattlesnake. then you'll adore Jackass 2.5 Uncut (Paramount) eee . which the certifiable Steve-O summarises as ‘trying to make anal penetration sexy again!‘ As the outtakes from the second Jackass movies. Johnny Knoxville and his fellow asses' failed stunts are frequently more imaginative than their successes and some of it is horrifically funny. or at least jaw-droppingly sick. Water pistols are loaded with urine. beards are made from pubic hair and dangerous animals are unforgivably baited. Extras include a mini-doc on the making of the Jackass computer game and outtakes of the outtakes. which is really scraping the barrel. Then rolling it down a hill with a gleeful midget inside.
Finally. Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe (Delta) 0000 . is far too many shades of ace. Years before Freddie Mercury cried ‘Flash! A-ahhh!’ and Brian Blessed was squeezed into a ﬂying leather codpiece. this 19303 serial was wowing successive generations of American kids right into the 703. With episodes like ‘Action Flashing’ and “Flash on Ice'. it's an unintentionally camp delight. with Larry 'Buster’ Crabbe as the dashing. lantern-jawed hero. Charles Middleton as a genuinely repellent Ming and Carol Hughes and later Jean Rogers as the hilariously imperilled Dale Arden. Badly synched and haphazardly edited. with continuity an afterthought. plots yoinked wholesale from Buck Rogers and establishing shots from documentaries. it 's nevertheless tremendous fun and madly ambitious in the scope of Flash '3 adventures. with Ming '3 fascist tendencies reflecting the chief concern of the age. (Jay Richardson)
62 THE LIST 13-27 Mar 2008
parents much better? Particularly given that they blur the line
between right and wrong. concealing the crime so that Benny can have the future he deserves as a middle class Citizen, no matter if he's committed a crime that has denied someone else any future at all. Haneke as
always treads his own
fine line between moral rectitude and ethical subtlety in an interesting precursor to Code Unknown and Hidden. Minimal extras.
FILM NOIR ACE IN THE HOLE
(U) 1 11min (PDX DVD retail)
At long last. the late. great Billy Wilder's very finest — and all too rarely seen - film is available on DVD (if only on region one). Released in 1951. the year after Wilder's acerbic indictment of the movie business. Sunset
Bou/evard. Ace in the Ho/e is an even more
bitterly cynical condemnation of post- war America. Where William Holden's struggling. emasculated Hollywood screenwriter had some redeeming qualities. Kirk Douglas' self-loathing huckster newspaper reponer Chuck Tatum has none.
the media leCUS we Suffer today. Perhaps unSurpriSingly, it was a flop the first couple of times it was released. This newly digitally restored two-disc edition comes With a swathe of extras. including a Wilder documentary. interViews With Wilder. Douglas and co-screenwriter Walter Newman. 8 video epilogue by Spike Lee and an essay by Guy Maddin. (Miles Fielder)
LES PATTERSON SAVES THE WORLD
(Arrow DVD retail)
Strewth! When an unfortunate inCident involVing fart-burning at the UN sees Sir Les Patterson ignite Mustafa Toul. dictator of an oil rich middle eastern state, our hero is sent there to make amends. From there he becomes involved in a plot by a Colonel Oaddafi lookalike to infect the world's dunny seats with a virus that'd make you as crook as Rookwood. Luckily, Dame Edna. seCret operative for the CIA. is on hand to save the day.
Barry Humphries himself co-scripted George Miller's film, preSumably with the intention of launching his noted comic grotesques. Dame Edna and Les onto the silver screen. Sadly though, much of the material here. seemingly a right- wing riposte to the bleak geopolitics of Whoops Apocalypse (released in the same year) falls flat through an excessive reliance on scatology and
Pamela Stephenson and Humphries himself, but not enough to light up anything brighter than the gastric acodent that initiates the action. Little in the
way of extras.
MURDER MYSTERY SLEUTH
(15) 132min (Paramount DVD retail)
If you were a ‘bluddy idiot'. as Maurice Micklewhite might say. you could purchase both versions of Sleuth, which are being released on the same day. and then compare the two: this 1972 original scripted by Anthony Shaffer from his own Broadway play. directed by Hollywood veteran Joseph L Mankiewicz and starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. and last year's remake revised by Harold Pinter. directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Game and Jude Law. You would be a 'bluddy idiot'. though. because the original is widely recognised as a masterpiece that sends up the conventions of an English country house murder mystery and makes sly comment on the class system, male ego and sexuality, whereas the remake is a shoddily made ego trip for all concerned (bar perhaps Caine). The original cat and mouse game of death between Olivier’s cuckolded crime writer
and Caine’s womanising hairdresser is enthralling. and rightly
deserved its Oscar nominations for both leading actors and director. No extras. (Miles Fielder)