DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Martin Drury

Read Martin Drury's film review of Stander

The picture and sound quality is excellent and the title menu and various sub menus will have you back in the Seventies before you can blink. The digital decor is appealing to those who lament the passing of time. The commentary is informative and, to some degree, educational. Indeed, there will be a certain ache in all viewers demanding that the director, or puppet master extraordinaire, explains what she was thinking. Those looking for answers will be disappointed. This commentary is not so much an insightful tour, as a eulogy for a job well done, at least in the eyes of the filmmakers.

The Anatomy Of A Scene featurette is enthralling, as any viewer would cherish the chance to challenge the filmmakers on how to put together a coherent scene on celluloid. This is an opportunity to hear the reasoning, weigh up the evidence and decide whether you could have done a better job. If you want to examine a scene and work out how it was put together, you can pause the film and only allow that scene to play while you make notes.

The Deleted Beach Scene appears to have been included purely to make the viewer gasp and whisper, "My Goodness, there was more?" It's amazing to realise that they actually cut pieces from the film before they constructed the finished product. True, the deleted scene does add to the movie and makes the plot that much easier to comprehend, a fact that makes one struggle to understand precisely why the scene was cut in the first place.

Welcome ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls, even members of the House of Lords, to the film trailer show, provided at no extra cost by so many DVD releases in the surroundings of their relatively secure special features section. Trailers? If it's a trailer for a DVD I have already bought then why would I be interested? If it's trailers for something I have yet to buy, please stop selling me things. I've already paid my money under duress; I don't need the shopping channel sales patter digitally enhanced.

DVD releases manufactured in the United States have the decency to play their trailers before the movie main menu screen appears. That approach might not give us any option but to watch them but at least it does not imply that such five-second wonders are a novel optional extra. You could have filled the special features with a sweet shop of treats. Instead, you decided to give us a brief look at films we've already bought. or wouldn't dream of buying.

Stander is certainly an intriguing, somewhat intoxicating release onto DVD that fails, ultimately, to offer value for money.

Reviewed on: 05 Sep 2005
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Stander packshot
Story of a South African police officer who became a bank robber.
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Product Code: MP398D

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.77 Anamorphic

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: commentary by director Bronwen Hughes; Anatomy Of A Scene featurette; deleted beach scene; trailers.

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