Armchair Cinephile 

PICK OF THE WEEK:
The Last Emperor
(Criterion)

Bernardo Bertolucci’s slice of Chinese history arrives in two cuts here, and for once it’s the shorter one the director prefers. The other, 218 minutes to the theatrical version’s 165, was fleshed out with deleted scenes to suit the running-time needs of a TV broadcaster’s schedule.

The Darjeeling Limited
(Fox)

Cinephiles wanting the maximum eye-popping color from Wes Anderson’s Indian travelogue may well hold out for a Blu-ray edition of this title, which should surely be along any week now. In the interim, might I recommend the movie’s delightful soundtrack?

Helen Mirren at the BBC
(BBC)

Nine performances in eight years — a sizeable chunk of the early career of the woman who would go on to play both of England’s Elizabeths.

Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale
(HBO)

Ouch. This American series by the creators of The Office was never kind to its star/co-creator Ricky Gervais. But here it’s downright brutal, putting his character through a fame/ignominy wringer that forces him to own up to every ugly aspect of his compromised career.

State of Play (BBC): As I’d watch just about anything starring Bill Nighy in it, this one’s an easy sell. An English miniseries revolving around politics, scandal, and the journos caught up in covering it, it features James McAvoy (Atonement) and Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men) in supporting roles. Yeah, of course it’s being whittled down, à la Traffic, into an American film.


More by John DeFore

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