The Interview (1998/Region Free/Zero)/Squizzy
Taylor (1982/Region Free/Zero)/Theorem
4/Four/Umbrella DVD Imports)
C/C/C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+/B-/C+ Films: B/B-/B
PLEASE NOTE: These DVDs can only be operated on
machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle PAL format software, Theorem is restricted to Region Four/4
PAL format machines. All can be ordered
from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at
the end of the review.
DVDs from Umbrella Entertainment in Australia include a gangster film
fans of the genre may be interested and two gems we previously reviewed before
you might also want to catch.
Monahan’s The Interview (1998) is an
underrated thriller with Hugo Weaving of The
Matrix and V For Vendetta among
others that to this day has still not
been discovered, picked up or rediscovered by new audiences as it should have
been by now. Years after reviewing the
U.S. DVD release, Umbrella has issued the film on DVD as well. For more on the film, try this link:
news is that while that U.S.
New Yorker edition is out of print, this has all the same extras noted in the
previous review. Unfortunately, it does
not look or sound as good as that earlier pressing, with its anamorphically
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image being much poorer and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound weaker.
New to us
is Kevin Dobson’s Australian Gangster film Squizzy
Taylor (1982) that has recently been restored and is issued here on this
decent DVD. David Atkins (who also
choreographed a few scenes) is Leslie “Squizzy” Taylor, a smaller man who
became a serious crime figure in early 20th Century Australia,
dodging death, usually dodging prison and shaking things up. Jackie Weaver (Animal Kingdom) is his moll, Alan Cassell (Puberty Blues, Breaker
Morant, Harlequin, Adam Adamant Lives!) plays a cop and
Steve Bisley rounds out the leads while the film has a strong all around cast.
after the two Godfather films, the
makers choose to do the film in the older 1930s style of Hollywood Gangster
cinema and that may make for some nice moments, but it happens at the expense
of story as one of the extras verifies.
We get some great production design to go with the acting and this has a
good pace, but it has this at the expense of narrative and palpability.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is from a restored source, but has some
weakness issues with color and detail, though the print is clean and consistent
with some nice depth shots. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Mono also shows its age, but sounds pretty good overall. Extras include a trailer and the impressive 1969
monochrome documentary The Rise &
Fall of Squizzy Taylor.
we have Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Theorem
(aka Teorema/1968), which we
previously reviewed in its U.S. Koch DVD release, which you can read all about
at this link:
picture and sound are the same as that edition, but extras are different and we
get only one here: Via Pasolini. This combines various vintage, archival clips
of the late director (he was murdered before Salo arrived, but more on that when we cover that film) with
pointless new video footage (oddly shot and oddly letterboxed) spliced in
between, making this 45 minutes piece much longer than it needed to be.
above, you can order these PAL DVD imports exclusively from Umbrella at: