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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 08:27 GMT
DVD review: The Italian Job
By William Gallagher
BBC News Online

It is heresy to say it but the original Italian Job only has a great theme, Mini chase, cliffhanger and that bit about blowing the van doors off.
The Italian Job
The 2003 film does not try to copy the original

Sounds enough, doesn't it? But in all other ways the original has dated quite terribly and it is good that this new version generally ignores it.

Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Edward Norton star in a crime-caper-heist-revenge kind of plot. With cars.

It is fun and the extras on this DVD are extensive, including deleted scenes.

Unexpectedly, for an action film, one extra is devoted to the writing of the story.

But then the rest lovingly detail the cars, the stunts and how the actors learnt to drive as audaciously as they do in the movie.

Black Books: The Second Series

Joyously miserable, this is the sitcom about three people who vary from mildly irritating to extremely repulsive and yet whom you will come to love. A bit.

Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig star in an anarchic piece that is broadly about a bookshop - and they also provide an anarchic commentary.

"It's like The Muppets doing Chekhov," explains Dylan Moran at one point.

The new series on Channel 4 had a brief moment with puppet versions of the characters. This DVD has a whole puppet episode - a five-minute short called Black Dolls.

There is also a trailer for the new series but it is really the episodes and silly commentary that you should buy this for.

Once Upon A Time in Mexico

Your mileage may vary. If you are like the many viewers who have championed this film, you'll love the incredible visuals and action scenes.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp puts on a fine performance

But you might also find it all a bit empty. This is the second sort-of sequel to El Mariachi and Desperado and fans of those cannot miss this one.

Antonio Banderas stars again as the guitar-playing gunman but this time is joined by a very good Johnny Depp. When isn't he good?

The DVD has a particularly strong set of extras. Director Robert Rodriquez commentates on the film and its deleted scenes.

He then demonstrates how to make a meal featured in the film. He also shows us around his house, which is part-home, part-studio.

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