NAKED CITY – THE COMPLETE SEASONS ONE AND TWO, Various directors/Acorn Digital If, like me, you have long wanted to catch up with this iconic series, we are now given the chance — although I have to admit that its digital-only format is restricting. Nevertheless, here is one of the most famous and influential of American crime shows. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Dianne Ladd, Dennis Hopper and many more — and released exclusively on Digital — Naked City – The Complete Seasons One and Two, is now available download-to-own on iTunes and Amazon courtesy of Acorn Media International. “There are eight million stories in the naked city…” this will be 71 of them. Yes, with Season One running a whopping 39 half-hour episodes from 1958 to 1959, and Season Two following hard on its heels with a further 32 hour-long episodes from 1960 to 1961, these great collections offer an exciting and unmissable look back in time to a place where the streets were hot and your blood ran cold. Inspired by Jules Dassin’s 1948 movie The Naked City, these semi-documentary TV dramas, filmed both in the studio and on the gritty streets of New York, ran on the ABC network to great acclaim, enticing a host of unparalleled guest stars in these seasons including Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Dianne Ladd, Dennis Hopper, Jack Klugman, Vic Morrow, Rocky Graziano, Eli Wallach, Peter Falk, Al Lewis, Leslie Nielsen, Claude Rains, Telly Savalas, Walter Matthau, James Caan, Bruce Dern, Robert Duvall, Ed Asner, Sylvia Miles, Roddy McDowall and many more.
DEAD OR ALIVE TRILOGY, Takashi Miike, director/Arrow Films- DVD and Blu-ray If you’ve ever seen a film directed by Takashi Miike before, you’ll know exactly what to expect. It goes without saying the squeamish need not apply. But those with a taste for visceral, kinetic cinema and safely get on board. Beginning with an explosive, six-minute montage of sex, drugs and violence, and ending with a phallus-headed battle robot taking flight, Takashi Miike’s unforgettable Dead or Alive Trilogy features many of the director’s most outrageous moments set alongside some of his most dramatically moving scenes. Made between 1999 and 2002, the Dead or Alive films cemented Miike’s reputation overseas as one of the most provocative enfants terrible of Japanese cinema, yet also one of its most talented and innovative filmmakers. In Dead or Alive, tough gangster Ryuichi (Riki Takeuchi) and his ethnically Chinese gang make a play to take over the drug trade in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district by massacring the competition. But he meets his match in detective Jojima (Show Aikawa), who will do everything to stop them. Dead or Alive 2: Birds casts Aikawa and Takeuchi together again, but as new characters, a pair of rival yakuza assassins who turn out to be childhood friends; after a botched hit, they flee together to the island where they grew up, and decide to devote their deadly skills to a more humanitarian cause. And in Dead or Alive: Final, Takeuchi and Aikawa are catapulted into a future Yokohama ruled by multilingual gangs and cyborg soldiers, where they once again butt heads in the action-packed and cyberpunk-tinged finale to the trilogy.
WE STILL STEAL THE OLD WAY, Sacha Bennett, director/Platform It’s hard to remember at this juncture how well Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was received as the subsequent flood of Mockney movies pretty well put paid to this jokey strand of East End gangster films. Your tolerance for that idiom will dictate whether to pick up We Still Steal the Old Way, which is diverting enough, but clearly falls into the Mockney idiom — even having the impeccably upper-middle-class actor Ian Ogilvy play East End, much as the similarly middle-class director of Lock, Stock, Guy Ritchie, tried to present himself as a Cockney ‘Diamond Geezer.’ The Archer gang return in this follow-up to We Still Kill The Old Way, as Ian Ogilvy and an all-star cast of old school criminals attempt to pull off an audacious robbery… in order to get themselves thrown into prison. The old school Archer gang are back, led by the charismatic Richie Archer, who hatches a plan to pull off an audacious robbery. Halfway through the heist, the gang get caught, and they’re sent down. So far, so good – now they’re in prison they can put into motion their plot to spring fellow inmate George, who desperately needs to get out before his wife dies. Trouble arises when Richie’s arch enemy Vic Farrow gets himself transferred into the prison, wanting to settle some old scores.
FOLLOW THE MONEY SEASON 2, Various directors/Nordic Noir & Beyond Even its most dedicated admirers could not claim that Follow the Money is in the upper echelons of Nordic noir thrillers, but it is certainly made with efficiency and intelligence. The complete second season of the Danish financial crime thriller premiered on British television on BBC Four. In the second season, a seemingly insignificant investigation into a small carpentry business that went bankrupt under mysterious circumstances catches Mads’ (Thomas Bo Larsen) attention, and soon he gets wind of a huge case involving a major bank. Claudia (Natalie Madueño), who has paid dearly for her involvement in Energreen, is now given an opportunity to atone for all the wrong choices she made, whilst Nicky’s (Esben Smed Jensen) unique skills earn him an exciting job, albeit at a high price. Follow the Money is sturdy — if strictly non-innovative — fare.
C. S. I. CYBER, Various directors/DVD/Entertainment One The CSI sequence is now so prolific that there must be an episode playing somewhere in the world at any moment of the day. This set undoubtedly has an interest in that it is the final season of the crime thriller, starring Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette, James Van Der Beek and Ted Danson and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. This show is based on the real-life work of pioneering cyber-psychologist Mary Aiken, and brings criminal forensics into the 21st Century and beyond… CSI: Cyber follows the work of Avery Ryan (Arquette), as she and the team welcome D.B. Russell (Danson), a Las Vegas veteran Crime Scene Investigator recruited by Ryan to direct the FBI’s Next Generation Cyber Forensics Division. Still grieving the loss of his best friend, and following a recent divorce, Russell decides to take on new challenges by studying how crimes play out in the real world, combining old school forensics with new school tech. The second and final season of CSI: Cyber is a five disc box-set with many extras.