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By Allen Gardner
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Warner Bros.) An eleven year-old boy (newcomer Thomas Horn, in an incredible debut) discovers a mysterious key amongst the possessions of his late father (Tom Hanks) who perished in 9/11. Determined to find the lock it matches, the boy embarks on a Picaresque odyssey across New York City. Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Eric Roth have fashioned a film both grand and intimate, beautifully-adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, thought by most who read it to be unfilmable. Fine support from Jeffrey Wright, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Viola Davis and the great Max von Sydow. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.
Battle Royale: The Complete Collection (Anchor Bay) Adapted from Koushun Takami’s polarizing novel (compared by champions and detractors alike as a 21st century version of A Clockwork Orange) and set in a futuristic Japan,
4-Disk Box Set
By Raymond Benson
Any fan of British cinema must celebrate Criterion’s deluxe packaging of David Lean’s first four films as a director. These collaborations with writer, performer, and “personality” Noël Coward are exemplary examples of the fine work made by the Two Cities Unit production house, which was formed during the Second World War. In each case, the films are presented in beautiful new high-definition digital transfers from the 2008 BFI National Archive’s restorations. And, as this is a review for Cinema Retro, the readers of which include many 007 fans, it must be pointed out that there is indeed a connection between the films (three of them, anyway) and Bond. Actress Celia Johnson was Ian Fleming’s sister-in-law (her husband was Ian’s older brother, Peter Fleming), and her daughters Kate Grimond and Lucy Fleming are currently on the Board of
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