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DVD reviews

War Horse (12)

Jeremy Irvine stars in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's first world war children's novel. Overlong and visually spectacular (a typical Spielberg effort, then), it was nominated for six Oscars and five BAFTAs. Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, Emily Watson and Tom Hiddleston also star.

Heavenly Pursuits (15)

From Glasgow-based re-release outfit Park Circus comes this 1986 curio from overlooked Scottish director Charles Gormley. Tom Conti stars as an unbelieving remedial teacher at Glasgow's Blessed Edith Semple School who witnesses what may or may not be a miracle – this as the school priest lobbies the Vatican to confer sainthood on Edith. Helen Mirren and David Hayman also star, and keep an eye out for a young Ewen Bremner playing one of Conti's most difficult pupils.

Falstaff: Chimes At Midnight (PG)

Another curio, this one from Orson Welles via underground music and film label Mr Bongo. Shot in stark black and white in 1965 with a cast including John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau, Fernando Rey and Margaret Rutherford, it squashes Shakespeare's four-strong Henriad cycle of history plays into one breathless 90-minute sprint. Welles plays Falstaff in a film which displays all his usual visual flourishes.

Dark Shadows: The Original TV Series (PG)

The cult 1960s TV show Tim Burton's new film is based on never screened in the UK, so this timely three-disc reissue from Metrodome will fill in the back-story a little. Though not initially pitched as a supernatural series, the introduction of ghosts and the character of remorseful, centuries-old vampire Barnabas Collins made this strange, gothic soap opera a daytime hit for network ABC. Quentin Tarantino and Johnny Depp, who stars in Burton's 2012 update, are both huge fans. If you like Twilight, Buffy or True Blood, you'll love this.

Barry Didcock

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