Band of Brothers
Warner Bros, 700 mins,
MA15+, drama (DVD/VHS)
Stephen E. Ambrose's non-fiction account of the US Army's
Easy Company during World War II is brought to life in startling detail.
Stars Damian Lewis, Donnie Wahlberg, Scott Grimes and Neal McDonough.
DVD extras The 80-minute documentary We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy
Company, a 30-minute production featurette, actor Ron Livingston's video
production diary, a featurette on the series' premiere at Normandy, biographies,
notes, episode trailers, a photo gallery and weblinks. Audio is Dolby Digital
5.1, with an optional French soundtrack. The film is 1.78:1 widescreen.
Verdict Simply breathtaking.
Neighbours: Defining Moments
Sony, 365 mins, G, drama (DVD)
A compilation of 15 "classic" episodes from the long-running serial,
including the weddings of Des and Daphne, Scott and Charlene and others; births;
and the deaths of Daphne, Todd, Jim, Helen and Madge.
DVD extras A photo gallery only. The episodes are 4:3 or 16:9 widescreen,
depending on when they were made, and the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. The
disc is coded for all regions.
Verdict Charming, but not nearly enough early material.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Buena Vista, 73 mins, G
(DVD, already on VHS)
One of director Tim Burton's
most extraordinary films. Made in 1993, it is set in Halloween Town and
features Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King. It is visually breathtaking,
evoking the stop-motion animation classics of Rankin Bass.
DVD extras Audio commentary (by Burton and director of photography Pete
Kozachik), a production featurette, deleted scenes, featurettes (on Halloween
Town, Christmas Town and the real world as they appear in the film), posters and
trailers, plus two early Burton films - Vincent (his directorial debut) and
Frankenweenie (the "uncut" version). Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and the print is
1.66:1 widescreen, 16:9 enhanced. There is an optional German soundtrack.
Verdict Unlike anything you've ever seen.
Karaoke Abba: A Video Biography
Original footage makes this one a must-have DVD.
Phantom of the Opera
Not the musical, but the much better
A sea of pectorals, shame about
Lost In Space (1998)
Roadshow, 130 mins, PG, science fiction (DVD/VHS)
The cinematic remake of the classic '60s TV series balances the need to
deliver a modern-day science fiction blockbuster with its duty to pay homage to
the original. The Robinson family, led by Professor John Robinson (William
Hurt), is sent into outer space as part of a colonisation program, but they
become "lost in space" when their mission is sabotaged by undercover agent
Zachary Smith (Gary Oldman). Oldman's Smith is far less flamboyant than Jonathan
Harris's memorable original, but his menacing demeanour has echoes of the way
Harris played him in the TV show's early black-and-white episodes. The DVD
release includes audio commentaries, deleted scenes, production featurettes and