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DVD reviews

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (18)

Its so-so box office take demonstrated that David Fincher's remake of the Swedish original really was unnecessary. But that doesn't alter the fact that it's as good as – and in some ways better – than Niels Arden Oplev's 2009 film. Oplev cast Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace in the leads, Fincher drops in Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara and adds a memorable soundtrack by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.

Shadows (PG)

A series of five DVD/Blu-ray releases of John Cassavettes films from the BFI starts with the Greek-American's freewheeling, New York-set 1959 debut. Charlie Mingus's sax player Shafi Hadi improvised the soundtrack while actors Lelia Goldoni, Ben Carruthers and Hugh Hurd improvised a Beat Generation story of three black and mixed-race siblings living together in a city still rife with racial prejudice. It's released here with Faces, Cassavettes's Oscar-nominated 1968 film.

The Lakes: Complete Series One & Two (18)

Written by one of British television's true greats, Jimmy McGovern, and starring everyone's favourite time-travelling detective, John Simm, The Lakes screened to great acclaim on BBC One in 1997, and 15 years on it still holds up. Simm plays Danny Kavanagh, a Scouser who heads to the Lake District to escape his devils but soon finds himself up to his neck in even more bother.

Il Boom (PG)

A 50th anniversary re-release for this satirical comedy from Bicycle Thieves director Vittorio Di Sica, in which a salaryman (played by Alberto Sordi) lives far beyond his means in order to satisfy his materialistic wife. The re-release is timely in other ways too: the boom of the title is the post-war economic miracle which first gave Italians a taste of la dolce vita. How different from today. The film also screens at Edinburgh's Filmhouse cinema on Tuesday as part of the Italian Film Festival.

Barry Didcock

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