METROPOLIS (PG) 150min (Eureka/Masters of Cinema) ●●●●●

The reconstruction, restoration and re-release of classic films is now becoming a regular occurrence (happily enough), but the reissue of Fritz Lang’s visionary 1927 science fiction film is something altogether more special. This new version includes 25 minutes of footage (a full sixth of the new cut’s entire length) previously thought lost to the world and not seen by any audience other than the first German ones 83 years ago. Truly, this is the holy grail of film finds. The new as-the-director-intended cut doesn’t significantly alter the

meaning or the impact of the film that has long been widely recognised as a modernist masterpiece (even before the previous major though incomplete reconstruction in 2001), but the full restoration of Lang’s vision enhances the overall viewing experience no end. And the film’s vision of a dystopian future, with its towering futuristic cityscapes and grim subterranean factories filled with the working masses (not to mention the iconic female robot), are a reminder that this is the grandfather of sci-fi films, the influence of which can be seen in contemporary genre classics from Star Wars to Blade Runner.

The dual format DVD and Blu-ray release comes with a wealth of

extras including a new symphony orchestra recording of the original score, full-length audio commentary by film historians, a booklet of archival interviews with Lang, a 1927 review by filmmaker Luis Buñuel, restoration notes, and a new documentary about the film and its troubled history. The latter, culminating with the revelatory discovery of the missing 25 minutes of film in a forgotten archive in Buenos Aires, is utterly engrossing. (Miles Fielder)

ROMANCE/EROTIC ROOM IN ROME (HABITACION EN ROMA) (18) 103min (Optimum) ●●●●● Two women, one gay, Alba (Elena Anaya), the other heterosexual, Natasha (Natasha Yarovenko), have an overnight fling in a

Rome hotel room, talk about their pasts and prepare for their futures. Director Julio Medem continues his fascination with sexuality after Lovers of the Arctic Circle and Sex and Lucia. But this seems his emptiest film yet, the one closest to conforming to conventional dialogue exchanges and shot choices. That isn’t to say the style isn’t elaborate evident in the opening shot of the two girls walking towards the hotel room viewed from the position of the balcony but it is often predictable, with

56 THE LIST 18 Nov–2 Dec 2010

Medem offering clunky exposition apparent in the conversation the two women have over which of two twins Natasha happens to be: an actress or tennis player. As a piece of polished eroticism the film works, but master Basque filmmaker Medem is usually more adventurous than this. Available in Blu-ray and DVD. Minimal extras. (Tony McKibbin) COMEDY LIMMY’S SHOW! (15) 180min (2entertain) ●●●●●

A bushy-eyebrowed executive plots his excuses before the local constabulary show up at his office. A paranoid ex-junkie takes offence at the most innocent of comments. Welcome to the often warped world of Limmy’s Show!, the series which at long last brought some sense of credibility to the BBC Scotland comedy roster. Having established

himself as a creator of jaunty characters in his World of Glasgow podcasts, Brian ‘Limmy’ Limond was given the chance to fulfil a lifelong ambition of being on the box and as well as hoisting the likes of Jacqueline McCafferty, Falconhoof and Dee Dee into our psyches, we also get a bunch of things which irk Limmy, Larry David- style: low-slung jeans, the ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ roadsign and the Americanisation of our pedestrian precincts, sorry, shopping centres. The abundant extras include the splendid pilot episode, many of the online sketches which helped get him this far and his own heavily-detailed and amusing on-screen commentary. (Brian Donaldson)

COMEDY WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? (U) 89min (Eureka/Masters of Cinema) ●●●●●

contender for the fastest comedy ever made. Tashlin, the Hollywood animator- turned-filmmaker, even gets in a gag before the film’s opening credits with his leading man Tony Randall performing a one-man band rendition of the 20th Century Fox fanfare. Thereafter, the jokes come fast and dumb as we follow weedy Randall (no Don Draper he) on his trip to fame and fortune aided by Jayne Mansfield’s blonde bombshell, who is (sorry) gagging to be taken seriously as an actress. It’s loosely based on George Axelrod’s stage play satirising the desire for and consequences of success (quite shamelessly targeting Marilyn Monroe), and in Tashlin’s hands it becomes a demented live action cartoon in which every prop, performer and (Cinemascope) panorama is reduced (or upped) to a visual joke. Think Mad Mad Mad Mad Men. A plethora of extras include intro by Joe Dante, Jayne Mansfield promotional short, essay booklet written by Edinburgh film writer David Cairns. (Miles Fielder) HORROR ARMY OF THE DEAD (18) 89min (Kaleidoscope) ●●●●●

Of all the legions of scary monsters and super creeps, walking skeletons have to be the most rubbish. Ray Harryhausen managed to make them pretty threatening in Jason and the Argonauts and the bony ghouls from Pirates of the Caribbean do their job but the rattling conquistadors in Army of the Dead are not as terrifying as the moribund script and

death-defyingly awful acting. All the character

clichés are wheeled out in this torpid affair (a nutty professor, a brave beefcake and a loose woman who is just waiting be put to the sword), in which a long-dormant El Dorado curse is awoken by archaeological greed. This is boring, repetitive and weirdly shot like a Russ Meyer movie albeit with buxom broads replaced by skeletal sceptres. (Brian Donaldson)

DRAMA LOVELY RITA (15) 80min (Artificial Eye) ●●●●●

Obviously less polished than her later work (Hotel, Lourdes), Jessica Hausner’s 2001 account of a teenager’s stultifying small town family life in Austria is easily reflected in the flat images and overly even and often bright lighting. The early dinner exchange between Rita (Barbara Osika) and her parents preceded by her father in the basement shooting at a target tells us quickly about the level of dysfunction at work. Even a birthday celebration for dad comes across as strange when they turn the lights back on after bringing the cake with lit candles into the sitting room. Hausner’s achievement is to look at soulless environments, wonderfully and paradoxically realised in Lourdes, but in burgeoning evidence here. Some might find it a bit melodramatic near the end, but there is an inner logic to Rita’s behaviour, almost inevitable given the deadness of the human interactions. Minimal extras. (Tony McKibbin)

A stoned loner notices peculiar inconsistencies on TV adverts at 4am. Frank Tashlin’s wacky 1957 advertising world romp has got to be a