DVD & Video File (Starburst Reviews) DVD File and VideoFile by Ian Atkins
From Starburst's monthly Reviews section
selected from Starburst #275

Selected this month:
Unbreakable and
Angel Season 2 on VHS

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25 June; Rental VHS (also available on DVD); Cert 12; Touchstone Home Video

Unbreakable on VHS - out on rental, or order from BlackStar today!

The Origins of a Super Man

Order from Black Star: Order VHS

Following The Sixth Sense was always going to be a near-impossible task. With Unbreakable, M Night Shyamalan almost pulls it off, doing here for comic-book heroes what he did for the supernatural in his previous film.

Bruce Willis stars as a down-on-his-luck security guard, whose marriage is on the rocks and whose sole chance for a new start is at the other end of a long train journey. But when the train crashes and he is left the sole survivor, his life goes in a very different direction indeed. Is he the indestructible superman that some people believe, or someone who’s just luckier than most?

Samuel L Jackson gets all the breaks as a comics aficionado who might be able to shed some light on why our hero is what he is (and how other people such as himself have suffered in the balance), and together the two men attempt to discover the truth.

It’s very dark stuff with the only downside being Shyamalan’s direction tending to draw attention to itself rather than immersing viewers in the tale. Occasional moments shine out – Willis’s son threatening his father with a gun so he can prove he’s a superhero, for example – but it’s very low key, and anyone expecting speeding-bullets, higher-than-tall buildings shenanigans will be disappointed.

Starburst Rating: 7

Angel Boxed Set 2.1
(Season Two Collection, 3 x VHS)
11 June • Cert 15 • 20th Century Fox Entertainment

Angel 2.1 on VHS - now out from Blackstar

The Dark Knight Returns

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As with the Buffy set this month (also reviewed in this issue), a wonderfully up-to-date collection of episodes hits the shops. Unlike Buffy however, the season isn’t all one tale, which means episodes here are a lot more accessible than in the parent show.

Those evil lawyers at Wolfram and Hart are still in the background moving things along (watch out for Untouched and Reunion for great moments here), there’s an old friend of Angel’s back in town (highlights being Darla and The Trial), and there are changes in the show’s line-up with Gunn taking a larger role in events (First Impressions). Fans of episodes dwelling in the past should check out Are You Now or Have You Ever Been? ,the best of the set and an excellent look at McCarthyist paranoia.

True it has its slow moments: for a while it threatens to get bogged down with the Darla plots, and an early decision to have David Boreanaz’s hero go it alone not only doesn’t work, but alienates fans of the previous year and becomes increasingly frustrating. Ultimately, however, more hits than misses.

Starburst Rating: 8

Reviews © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction