blu-ray DVD & Blu-ray

Blu-ray: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Werner Herzog’s brilliantly surreal remake (or is it?) of Abel Ferrara’s 1992 film is relocated to New Orleans where a corrupt, drug addled cop (Nicolas Cage) finds himself involved with a drug dealer (Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner) who is suspected of murdering a family of African immigrants.

On top of this he struggles to keep his life in check, which includes his prostitute girlfriend (Eva Mendes); his hot-headed partner (Val Kilmer); a local bookie (Brad Dourif) and all manner of surreal visions.

This sounds like it could be the premise of a conventional crime movie and there are elements of William Finkelstein’s script that bear the hallmarks of the traditional cop procedural. But filtered through the lens of Herzog, we have something different altogether.

As the story progresses Cage’s character takes gargantuan amounts of drugs (coke, heroin, crack), shakes down clubbers and then screws their girlfriends in front of them, runs up huge debts, threatens old age pensioners and does all this wearing an oversize suit with a funny looking revolver.

But this only scratches the surface, as Herzog adds some wildly surreal touches involving iguanas and alligators shot in extreme hand held close-up, whacky interludes involving dogs, horny traffic cops and hilariously over the top dialogue delivered by Cage in a couple of different accents (my favourite lines being “‘Shoot him again! His soul is still dancing!” and “to the break of DAWNNNN!!!!”).

Strange, out of control and defiantly off its head, it seems destined for cult status: appealing to cinephiles and late night stoner audiences.

When I first saw it last year I was unsure if it was a crazy joke or surreal genius. Having seen it again I’m sure it is the latter.

Not only does Herzog filter the material through his own unique mind, but Cage arguably gives his greatest performance in years, which is wild and out of control in all the best ways.

The Blu-ray transfer is crisp and sharp – in many ways a better experience than the print I originally saw it on – and in HD one can really appreciate the visual mood created by Herzog and his regular DOP Peter Zeitlinger.

The extras include interviews with the cast and key crew as well as a substantial 30 minute making of featurette which goes behind certain sequences, interviewing the key talent.

Most of it consists of Herzog setting up shots, discussing his creative process and we also get some interesting contributions from the cast and crew.

In years people will wonder how one of Europe’s greatest arthouse directors ended up making a film with Nicolas Cage in New Orleans, but they will be grateful for what is a unusually memorable collaboration.

> Buy Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans on Blu-ray and DVD
> Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans at IMDb

DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 27th September 2010


Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Lionsgate UK): Werner Herzog’s brilliantly surreal remake (or is it?) of Abel Ferrara’s 1992 film is relocated to New Orleans where a corrupt, drug addled cop (Nicolas Cage) finds himself involved with a drug dealer (Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner) who is suspected of murdering a family of African immigrants.

On top of this he struggles to keep his life in check, which includes his prostitute girlfriend (Eva Mendes); his hot-headed partner (Val Kilmer); a local bookie (Brad Dourif) and all manner of surreal visions. *Read the full review here * [Blu-ray / DVD]

The Killer Inside Me (Icon Home Entertainment): Adapated from Jim Thompson’s 1952 novel about a deputy sheriff (Casey Affleck) in Texas who is also a secretly depraved sociopath. Directed by Michael Winterbottom and co-starring Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, the film caused considerable controversy earlier this year due to the graphic violence in certain scenes.

Despite that kerfuffle and some sequences which drag, it manages to effectively convey the dark side of Eisenhower’s America. * Read the full review here * [Blu-ray / DVD]


A Nightmare On Elm Street (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / DVD]
American – The Bill Hicks Story (2 Entertain) [Blu-ray / DVD]
City of Life and Death (High Fliers Video Distribution) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Death at a Funeral (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Fringe: Season 2 (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Fringe: Seasons 1 and 2 (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / DVD]
House: Season 6 (Universal/Playback) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Infernal Affairs (Palisades Tartan) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Rush: 2112/Moving Pictures (Eagle Rock Entertainment) [Blu-ray / DVD]
She’s Out of My League (Paramount Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Space Chimps 2 – Zartog Strikes Back (EV) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Stephen Hawking’s Universe (Demand DVD) [Blu-ray / DVD]
StreetDance E1 (Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Tetro (Soda Pictures) [Blu-ray / DVD]
The Deep (2 Entertain) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Wake Up Sid (UTV) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Warren Miller: Dynasty (Demand DVD) [Blu-ray / DVD]

The DVD and Blu-ray releases for September 2010
The Best DVD and Blu-ray releases of 2009


UK Cinema Releases: Friday 21st May 2010



Prince Of Persia (Walt Disney): The latest big budget extravaganza from Jerry Bruckheimer is an adaptation of the 2003 computer game and the story follows an urchin (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the 6th century Persian Empire who is adopted by the king as his heir. He then teams up with a Princess (Gemma Arterton) to stop a villainous nobleman (Ben Kingsley) from stealing a dagger which allows the user to alter time.

Disney don’t actually make that many live action films anymore but Jerry Bruckheimer made billions for the studio with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise so they have entrusted him and director Mike Newell to bring this action-adventure to the screen. Like a lot of big summer films it has opened in Europe early to avoid the World Cup and despite poor reviews will hope to appeal to less-than-discerning family audiences. [Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide 12A]

Streetdance (Vertigo Films): A British film hoping to cash in on the trend for 3D films is about street dancers and ballet dance students who are forced to perform together in preparation of a street dance championship.

Shot in 3D, the cast includes the dance acts Diversity and Flawless (who came to fame on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent) and the soundtrack features N-Dubz, Tinie Tempah, Lightbulb Thieves, Chipmunk, and Cheryl Cole. A co-production by Vertigo Films, BBC Films and the UK Film Council, it is getting an unusually wide release for a British film and the backers will hope the 3D factor will boost audiences and profits. British film companies will no doubt be keeping an eye on this as a test of how live action 3D films can fare at UK cinemas. [C’World Shaftesbury Ave., Odeon Tottenham Ct. Rd., Vue West End & N’wide / PG]

Cop Out (Warner Bros.): Kevin Smith’s latest comedy is about two mismatched New York cops (Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan) on the trail of a stolen baseball card, who find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster.

A critical and commercial disappointment in the US, this was not a film that Smith wrote and working at a major studio seemed like an uncomfortable experience. The ongoing grumbles on Twitter about the critical reaction was perhaps a sign that this film would not rank among his best. [Nationwide / 15]


Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Lionsgate UK): When the remake of Abel Ferrara’s gritty 1994 cop drama was announced with Werner Herzog directing Nicolas Cage in the title role, it sounded like madness. Reset to New Orleans, it is indeed a mad concoction, but also an inspired black comedy with a memorable performance from Cage.

Set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it follows the increasingly bizarre life of a corrupt, drug addled cop who steals from clubbers, cuts deals with gangsters and has visions of iguanas. Herzog throws in a lot of his usual obsessions (especially animals) and sails very close to utter nonsense, but this is actually surreal, inspired lunacy that will become a late night cult favourite for years to come. [Curzon Soho, Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / 18]

Heartless (Lionsgate UK): A drama about a young man (Jim Sturgess) born with a large heart-shaped birthmark on his face, who discovers that there are demons on the streets of East London. Directed by Philip Ridley, it co-stars Timothy Spall and Noel Clarke [Apollo Piccadilly Circus, Genesis & Key Cities / 18]

Paradise (ICA Cinema): Director Michael Almereyda makes a ‘home movie’ that he describes as “a description of the world we inherit, fumble around in, and grow into.” [ICA Cinema]

Kites (Reliance Big Entertainment): A Bollywood film directed by Anurag Basu starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori. [C’Worlds Feltham, Haymarket, Shaftesbury Ave., Ilford, Wandsworth, Wood Green & N’wide]

Pimp (Revolver): A british film starring Danny Dyer. Haven’t we had enough of these? [Key Cities / 18]

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Amusing Viral Video

Nicolas Cage on crack

This viral video for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is actually quite a good taster of the film’s gleeful insanity.

I love the fact that it directs you to a site called

Read my full thoughts on the film here.

N.B. If Cage’s lawyers are reading this, the title of the post clearly refers to his character in the film being on crack. Happy? Good.