New Spy DVDs Out This Week: OSS 117: Lost In Rio Found In Region 1 At Last!
Today, Americans are finally able to buy the fantastic spy parody sequel OSS 117: Lost in Rio on DVD! This hilarious follow-up to OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies (which I picked as the best theatrical spy release of 2008) is as loving and meticulous an homage to and send-up of Sixties Bond films, the Eurospy genre and of course the original OSS 117 movies (which played it straight) as you could hope for. Read my review of the film here, and read my introduction to the character here if you're unfamiliar with OSS 117's current or past incarnations. Suffice it to say, this film is a must-have for spy fans. Director Michel Hazanavicius not only sets the film in 1967, but also shoots it as if it were made then, with rear projection and stock footage and appropriate lighting and film stock. It looks great. Sadly Music Box Films are not releasing this on Blu-ray, even though there was a Region 2 BD release in France, but happily they have included a subtitled version of the 24-minute Making-Of documentary from the French release! This includes interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.
The movie is still going strong in theaters, though, continuing its summer-long platform release. It opens in Cleveland, OH on September 3 and screens in the Milwaukee Film Festival in Wisconsin the week of September 23.
Also debuting today on Region 1 DVD and Blu-ray from Sony is the Michael Caine revenge vehicle Harry Brown. Harry Brown isn't a spy movie, but any movie in which Michael Caine kicks so much ass at any age should definitedly be on the radar of a lot of spy fans. That said, please bear in mind that you are not going into a fun, Taken-style old guy revenge movie. Harry Brown is a gritty and, frankly, depressing character study that bursts into realistic and disturbing mayhem in its second half. It is very good and Caine deserves an Oscar nod, but it isn't fun. You can read my full review here.
There are also a few notable releases on the other side of the pond today. UK spy fans finally get a good version of The Protectors: The Complete Series, courtesy (as usual) of Network. This colorful half-hour ITC series from Gerry Anderson features former Man From U.N.C.L.E. Robert Vaughn as international private detective Harry Rule. The plots are fluff, but the action is legitimately international, with lots of location filming, and the music is awesome. The Protectors is a lot of fun. Also out in the UK is Mark Gatiss' and Steven Moffat's updating of Sherlock Holmes to the present day, Sherlock. I haven't seen this yet, but I'm dying to. (Regular readers will be aware of how much I like Gatiss, who penned the terrific Lucifer Box novels.) The Region 2 DVD and Blu-ray include commentaries from Gatiss, Moffat and the cast as well as the unaired hour-long pilot episode. Sherlock is due out on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States with the same special features this November, following a telivision run on PBS.