Jul 28, 2010

New Spy DVDs Out This Week

The streak continues.  Once again, the most notable new spy DVD of the week comes from the United Kingdom... and from the ever-reliable Network.  Their newest release of interest is Codename: Kyril, a late Eighties British miniseries starring a stellar spy cast including Joss Ackland, Peter Vaughn, Denholm Elliott, Richard E. Grant, Hugh Fraser and spy legend Edward Woodward.  Codename: Kyril has been available in a truncated two-hour movie version on VHS, but this Region 2 PAL DVD release marks the first time it's ever been available in its nearly four-hour entirety.  The plot is a tad muddled, but this globetrotting tale of rival moles in British and Russian intelligence boasats just the right mixture of Ludlum and Le Carré that makes for perfect Eighties miniseries viewing. Right now it's available only as a Network exclusive from the company's website for £12.99.

Meanwhile, in America, we get Operation: Endgame from Anchor Bay Entertainment.  This violent spy/assassin comedy (which seems to have shades of Duane Swierczynski's novel Severance Package) may be going direct to DVD (and Blu-ray, of course), but it stars quite a roster of name actors including both spy vets like Ving Rhames and Maggie Q and talented comedians like Jeffrey Tambor, Rob Corddry and the great Zach Galifianakis (who's finally getting his due thanks to The Hangover)... as spies.  Killing each other.  Bloodily.  If that notion alone doesn't have you intrigued, the plot finds rival teams of covert operatives set against each other with improvised weapons inside their (underground) office complex after their boss dies.  Extras include an alternate beginning, alternate ending and 11-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. The DVD will run you $15.49 on Amazon, the BD $24.99.

Finally, Hannie Caulder deserves a mention.  It's not a spy movie, but any movie pairing Raquel Welch and Robert Culp certainly bears a mention on a site like this... especially when it's one that's been missing in action on DVD for so long!  (In America, anyway.)  Relative newcomer Olive Films has stepped up to the plate where Paramount has so long come up short and finally put this curiously compelling 1971 Western revenge movie on Region 1 DVD.  (It's just a pity they didn't use any of the famously sexy poster artwork featuring Raquel in nothing but a poncho and a holster for the cover!) Christopher Lee, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam, Strother Martin and Stephen Boyd co-star.

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