Review by Ben Gummery
101 Films have released this classic film from Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Sheldon Lettich (Writer -Rambo III) on Blu-Ray in the UK for the first time as part of their ‘Cult Classics’ collection .
Upon receiving news that his brother in Los Angeles is seriously injured, Lyon Gaultier (Van Damme) deserts the French Foreign Legion from a remote outpost in North Africa. Fleeing from two of the Legion’s security force who have orders to bring him back at any cost, Lyon reluctantly turns to the illegal, bare-knuckles underground fighting circuit to raise the money he needs to help his brother’s family.
This story of the conflicted fighter who is expected to throw a fight is nothing new in Cinema; these stories have been told many times. The foreign legion element is the only thing that is new here; but not that new. Released in 1990, this film seems like a hang-over from the 80s. And as if we needed it pointing out, the largely distracting music cues that burst in at various times make this abundantly clear. Is this really necessary? The cinematography really dates this film as-well, shot like a wannabe Rocky.
Arrow Films is releasing a new limited edition Blu-Ray set of the British cult comedy classic Withnail & I (1987) from Writer/Director Bruce Robinson and starring Richard E. Grant , Paul McGann & Richard Griffiths. This exclusive limited edition set will come packaged as a hardback book and includes new writing on the films, reprints of key press articles, deleted scenes and more over 200 pages and features original production stills.
Written by Lewis Mainwaring
After seeing this film on opening night way back in May, I had this on pre-order straight away. Available exclusively on Amazon.co.uk this limited edition Blu-ray comes packaged as a hardback book and features the exclusive promotional tie-in covers from Empire Magazine.
As appreciated by film geeks everywhere; there is much more to a good DVD or Blu-Ray release than simply the film itself. The appeal comes equally from the packing, presentation, special features & promotional items that are included with the set. These range from well designed standard jewel cases all the way to through to full-blown promotional sets. Here I examine a few such sets from my own collection and elsewhere.
This set is packaged in a stylish ‘barrel’ case in homage to the shows final season. The discs for each series are stored in plastics rings sealed with magnets (another reference to the show). Also included is a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, booklet and challenge coin. The top of the barrel contains a ‘secret’ compartment with a bonus features disc. Over 55 hours of special features are included as well as a brand new two-hour documentary.