Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters tells the true story of a Nazi plot to flood the US and UK with forged currency, using concentration camp prisoners to do the dirty deeds. Christopher Campbell thought it was "not quite a great film," while Kim Voynar wrote: "At its core, this is a film about courage and morality." Critical consensus overall was 94% positive, according to Rotten Tomatoes. The DVD includes an audio commentary by the director, deleted scenes, a "making of," interviews, and more. The film is also available on Blu-ray.
Set some two decades after the events in The Counterfeiters, the much lighter, sentimental My Brother is an Only Child "follows two brothers through years of Italian history," wrote James Rocchi. Though comparisons to the more ambitious and effective period family drama The Best of Youth might be inevitable, James said My Brother is still "a handsomely made, brightly charming pleasure in its own right." The DVD appears to be a bare-bones edition without any extras.
First broadcast on network television in November 1982, The Executioner's Song left a very strong impression on me. Career criminal Gary Gilmore (Tommy Lee Jones in a powerful performance) tries to go straight, taking up with young Nicole Baker (Rosanna Arquette in a startling, sexy, star-making role) before returning to crime and eventually killing two people in brutal fashion. Sentenced to die, Gilmore insisted on paying the ultimate penalty as speedily as possible.
Various versions have been floating around over the year, including a version for release in Europe that supposedly included nudity and raw obscenities. The DVD from Paramount/CBS claims to be the "Director's Cut" but contains missing / added / restructured footage, according to Paul Mavis at DVD Talk. He said that this version does not appear to be the fabled "European version" and was not terribly impressed, calling it "an interesting failure," so buyer beware.