A great Brit at last

O LUCKY MAN! Di­rected by Lind­say An­der­son. Star­ring Mal­colm McDow­ell, Ralph Richard­son, Rachel Roberts, Arthur Lowe, He­len Mir­ren, Mona Wash­bourne, Graeme Crow­den, Alan Price THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA Di­rected by Mike Newell.

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15 cert Now avail­able on DVD for the first time, this un­der­rated, ad­ven­tur­ous 1973 movie was the third of just five cin­ema fea­tures di­rected by An­der­son, a sin­gu­lar tal­ent and for­mer film critic who worked more fre­quently in theatre and television. He died in 1994.

For­mer as a pi­caresque para­ble and a caus­tic polemic on English so­ci­etal malaises, O Lucky Man! re­united An­der­son with the screen­writer (David Sher­win) and many of the cast from If... (1968), prin­ci­pally the pro­tag­o­nist played by McDow­ell and again named Mick Travis. Mick is now a trav­el­ling cof­fee sales­man who gets caught up in an event­ful se­ries of in­creas­ingly sur­real ex­pe­ri­ences over the course of a sprawl­ing three hours.

McDow­ell has never been more en­gag­ing, and An­der­son imag­i­na­tively fea­tures Alan Price (for­merly of New­cas­tle rock group The An­i­mals) as an on-screen Greek cho­rus con­tribut­ing an ex­u­ber­ant song score to com­ment on the con­se­quences. DVD ex­tras in­clude com­men­tary by McDow­ell, Price and Sher­win, and a fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary, O Lucky Mal­colm, about the star.

PG cert De­cent adap­ta­tion of the chil­dren’s novel deal­ing with the bat­tle be­tween a young fam­ily and var­i­ous ne­far­i­ous mag­i­cal beast­ies. There is noth­ing much wrong with the ef­fects, the di­a­logue or the per­for­mances – Bol­ger, in par­tic­u­lar, is very spir­ited – but it does feel a bit rushed. The DVD is thin­ner on ex­tras than is usu­ally the case for such re­leases.

15 cert A griev­ing widow (Berry) and a volatile junkie (Del Toro) are drawn to­gether in grief when her hus­band, his best friend, is killed. The film lacks the emo­tional charge of Bier’s best work in her na­tive Den­mark, but Del Toro im­merses him­self in his role with char­ac­ter­is­tic pas­sion.

18 cert Ten­sions crackle when a writer (Kid­man) goes home for the wed­ding of her es­tranged sis­ter (Leigh) in this dark, mean-spir­ited com­edy pop­u­lated by such un­sym­pa­thetic, self- ab­sorbed char­ac­ters that it’s hard to care what hap­pens to them.

15 cert Newell’s largely use­less adap­ta­tion of Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­quez’ muchloved novel stars Bar­dem as a tele­graph op­er­a­tor pin­ing for decades over Mez­zo­giorno’s sleek beauty. The old-per­son make-up is hope­less, the fe­male lead gar­bles her di­a­logue, and the story never gets above a crawl. Magic re­al­ism just doesn’t work in the cin­ema. PG cert This per­func­tory quasi-se­quel to 2006’s Step Up in­tro­duces us to a hip-hop or­phan who spends her nights launch­ing guer­rilla dance ex­trav­a­gan­zas on the sub­way. Evi­gan has just enough charm to keep view­ers awake dur­ing the inane chat­ter be­tween the fine dance se­quences. A smash on re­lease, the film is also is­sued with the first film in a well-ap­pointed box set.

Di­rected by Mark Wa­ters. Star­ring Fred­die High­more, Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Nolte, David Strathairn, Sarah Bol­ger

Di­rected by Su­sanne Bier. Star­ring Halle Berry, Beni­cio Del Toro, David Du­chovny

Di­rected by Noah Baum­bach. Star­ring Ni­cole Kid­man, Jen­nifer Ja­son Leigh, Jack Black, John Tur­turro, Ciaran Hinds

Di­rected by Jon M Chu. Star­ring Bri­ana Evi­gan, Robert Hoff­man, Will Kemp, Cassie Ven­tura, Adam G. Se­vani

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