Topped off by an arthouse classic, this week's home entertainment offerings include a pair of contrasting teenpics, a couple of Euro comedies, and a considered bid to uncover the truth about an incident that rocked 1960s America. 

Previously filmed by Phil Jutzi in 1931, Alfred Döblin's 1929 novel about the inexorable decay and decline of Weimar Germany was revisited in 930 minutes by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1980. Shown in 14 episodes, Berlin Alexanderplatz scandalised a nation that still felt psychologically closer to defeat and division than it did to revolt and reunification. Contrasting starkly with Edgar Reitz's Heimat (1984) in its approach to storytelling and recent German history, Fassbinder's masterpiece often has more in tonal common with the experimental cinema of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg than the more conventional iconoclasm of his comrades in Das Neue Kino. But, even though it sometimes makes demands on the viewer's knowledge and patience, there's no doubting that this is a gripping drama that makes the 37 year-old Fassbinder's death in 1982 all the more dismaying. 

Released from jail four years after killing his lover, Ida (Barbara Valentin), Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht), attempts to find a niche in 1920s Berlin. In addition to reporting to the police, Franz has to hold down a steady job and quickly comes to rely on the assistance of a prisoners' aid charity. Having befriended bar-owner Max (Claus Holm) and started a romance with a Polish woman named Lina (Elisabeth Trissenaar), Franz agrees to sell the Nazi Party newspaper. Yet, while Lina and his old friend, Meck (Franz Buchrieser) show him the error of his ways, Franz falls in with Otto (Hark Bohm), an old prison acquaintance who attempts to defraud a widow Franz had met while selling shoelaces door to door.

Striving to go straight, Franz still finds himself slipping into the orbit of Pums (Ivan Desny), a lowlife whose sidekick Reinhold (Gottfried John) persuades Franz to help him get rid of Fränze (Helen Vita) and Trude (Irm Hermann) so he can start dating Cilly (Annemarie Düringer). However, Franz has reconnected with Eva (Hanna Schygulla), for whom he used to pimp, and who takes care of him after he loses an arm in a car crash after being sucked into a robbery by Reinhold. 

Eva and her partner Herbert (Roger Fritz) become concerned when Franz pals up with a Communist agitator named Willy (Fritz Schediwy) and hope that his new lover, Mieze (Barbara Sukowa), can keep him out of politics. However, Franz is appalled when Eva offers to carry a child for Mieze and beats her up when she reveals that she has been seeing another man outside her duties as a prostitute. But Reinhold is also interested in Mieze and lures her into the woods, where he strangles her. Meck betrays him to the police after another robbery backfires and the mentally crushed Franz is relieved that Mieze has been murdered before she could abandon him. 

Closing with `My Dream of the Dream of Franz Biberkopf by Alfred Döblin, An Epilogue', a curious reveries in which Franz encounters the characters in the story in the company of two angels, this is a mammoth undertaking that may well come into its own in our box-set era.  The narrative meanders and lurches according to the mundanity and unpredictability of life. But, engrossing though it often is, Fassbinder's concerns seem to lie with the national character and the ease with which the masses can be gulled and drilled. Indeed, he almost seems to conclude that such was the debased nature of the populace that National Socialism was its inevitable destiny.

The performances are universally strong, with Günter Lamprecht holding the sprawling piece together, as the everyman lacking the moral compass and sense of self to resist temptation and the societal forces bobbing him along like a human cork. Hanna Schygulla and Barbara Sukowa also stand out, but much depends on the calculating villainy of Gottfried John, as he allows the audience to feel a smattering of pity for Franz, even when he scarcely deserves it. This may be flawed (it has long infuriated Döblin purists). But the excellence of Xavier Schwarzenberger's photography, Juliane Lorenz's editing, Barbara Baum's costumes and Peer Raben's score reinforce the magisterial nature of an enterprise that has stood the test of time better than some of Fassbinder's more vaunted outings. 

In 2009, Émile Gaudreault broke box-office records for French-Canadian film with De père en flic/Father and Guns. Indeed, it was such a hit that he produced a sequel in 2017. In between times, Gaudreault remade the original in France as Père Fils Thérapie!/Father-Son Bootcamp (2016) and it is this version that is currently available (along with I Can Quit Whenever I Want - see below) in the VOD format from Walk This Way, which can be accessed via such platforms as Sky, iTunes, Google Play, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon Prime.

Cops Jacques (Richard Berry) and Marc (Waly Dia) detest each other. As they are also father and son, however, their problems are deep rooted. But, when one of their colleagues is kidnapped by a Marseilles gang leader Claude Bracci (Féodor Atkine), the Laroches are ordered to go undercover as estate agents and attend a psychotherapy course in order to make contact with Bracci's lawyer, Charles Peronnet (Jacques Gamblin), who is trying to build bridges with his own estranged and uncontrollably violent son, Fabrice (Baptiste Lorbel). Despite the best efforts of course leader, Gilberte Ménard (Julie Ferrier), her charges respond to the challenges by becoming increasingly macho and boorish. But, what neither the Laroches nor the Pronnets realise is that Bracci has smuggled a couple of oppos into the camp to keep an eye on the conscience-stricken lawyer.

Mercifully making little of the fact that Dia had an African mother, this is not the sublest of films and will remind some of Philippe Harel's Les Randonneurs (1997) and Éric Judor's Problemos (2017). Julie Ferrier works hard for her laughs, as the cheerful, but insecure therapist with little idea of how misguided activities like mud-wrestling, breastfeeding and doll identification actually are. But Gaudreault and co-writers Guy Laurent and Philippe de Chauveron toss in cheap gags about faeces and sushi being synonymous with homosexuality that lower a tone that already requires much limboing on behalf of respected actors like Richard Berry and Jacques Gamblin, who looks like he wishes he was anywhere other than the Gorges de Verdon, despite the stunning scenery. 

The debuting Sydney Sibilia makes a solid first impression with I Can Quit Whenever I Want, a scathing satire on the current state of both Italian academe and the national economy. Akin to an underworld mash-up of Breaking Bad and The Big Bang Theory, the action centres on neurobiologist Edoardo Leo, who is fired from a university research post as part of budgetary cutbacks just as boss Sergio Solli is booking a cruise. Accepting an invitation from a student to go clubbing, Leo notes the brisk trade in illegal drugs and starts wondering how much money could be made from marketing a psychotropic substance whose ingredients are all above the law. 

Roping computational chemist-cum-dishwasher Stefano Fresi into his scheme, Leo soon has a product to sell and has no difficulty in persuading interpretative semiotician Valerio Aprea and Latin epigrapher Lorenzo Lavia to quit their graveyard shift at the local petrol station to become his production and distribution team. Archaeologist Paolo Calabresi similarly agrees to become the gang's courier, while economic strategist Libero De Rienzo agrees to become Leo's accountant. 

But, just as anthropologist Pietro Sermonti comes aboard, druglord Neri Marcorè decides to fight back against the newcomers on his patch, while Leo has to prevent social worker girlfriend Valeria Solarino from discovering that he is behind the merchandise that is buzzing her addict clients. Such convolutions keep this rooted firmly in sitcom territory. But Sibilia and co-writers Valerio Attanasio and Andrea Garello provide the willing actors with plenty of witty banter, while Vladan Radovic's impish camerawork, Alessandro Vannucci's ostentatious use of garish colours and Gianni Vezzosi's brisk editing give proceedings an eye-popping visual boost. 

On 18 July 1969, while the rest of the world was fixating on the Apollo 11 Moon landing, Senator Edward Kennedy drove his Oldsmobile off a bridge at Chappaquiddick and fled the scene of the crime, leaving his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, to drown in a pond. As he had been drinking, Kennedy delayed reporting the incident and the family machine clicked into gear to ensure that he would not pay the full price for his recklessness and cowardice. The full facts will never be known, but debutant screenwriters Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan piece together a plausible account in John Curran's The Senator.

From the Martha's Vineyard conversations between Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke), Kopechne (Kate Mara) and her friend Rachel Schiff (Olivia Thirlby), it's clear that the Massachusetts senator is gearing up for a tilt at the presidency in 1972. But, from the moment he veers off the bridge, his only goal is survival. Virtually paralysed after a stroke, Kennedy's disappointed 80 year-old father, Joe (Bruce Dern), entrusts loyal cohorts Robert McNamara (Clancy Brown) and Ted Sorensen (Taylor Nichols) with getting his youngest son off the hook, while cousin Joe Gargan (Ed Helms) and state attorney general Paul Markham (Jim Gaffigan) coach the stunned, but collusive Kennedy in his version of events. 

On a par with Roger Donaldson's Thirteen Days (2000) and Pablo Larraín's Jackie (2016), this admirably restrained picture explores the Kennedy myth and its lingering impact on American politics, while also providing sobering asides on the nature of power and the ease with which fabrication can become fact. Australian Jason Clarke is superb as the family buffoon who overcame this scandal to become the Lion of the Senate, while Bruce Dern is chillingly authentic as the paterfamilias who had spent two-thirds of a century bending the rules to suit himself. The production values are solid, but this is all about the intelligence of the writing and the corrupted nature of the American elite. 

Readers of a certain age will remember that Burt Reynolds was one of the biggest film stars in Hollywood, in spite of a talent for picking the most unpromising of projects. Writer-director Adam Rifkin plays on that faded celebrity in The Last Movie Star, in which Reynolds not only plays a variation of himself, but also gets to interact with his younger self in some of his best pictures. Yet, while the premise has potential and Reynolds proves more than self-deprecatingly willing, this winds up being a formulaic age-gap comedy that says more about the vacuity of modern life than it does about the changing face of American cinema and shifting concepts of fame.

Persuaded by his buddy Sonny (Chevy Chase) to attend a retrospective of his films in Nashville, Vic Edwards (Burt Reynolds) discovers that the festival he's attending is a fanboy effort held in a bar owned by organiser 
Doug McDougal (Clark Duke). Moreover, the five-star accomodation he was promised turns out to be a crummy motel and he is less than enamoured of his minder, Lil (Ariel Winter), who is Doug's opinionated sister. However, when Lil agrees to drive Vic to his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee to tie up some loose ends from his past, the ill-matched couple begin to discover they are not so dissimilar after all. 

Despite the peppy exchanges between Reynolds and Winter, their relationship depends too heavily on tired gags about fogeyism and trash culture. But the sequences in which Reynolds meets up with some genuine fans and his first wife (Kathleen Nolan) are rather poignant, while the snippets from old interviews with the likes of David Frost offer some sly insights into the way media attitudes to the famous have changed in the intervening four decades. It's also amusing to see clips from Reynolds classics like John Boorman's Deliverance (1972) and Hal Needham's Smokey and the Bandit (1977). But Rifkin lacks the finesse to give the meta sleights of hand the significance Reynolds's game performance deserves. 

Having made a modest impression with his debut feature, Nate and Margaret (2012), Nathan Adloff draws on his own experiences for Miles, a genial if increasingly convoluted rite of passage that raises more knowing smiles than hard-hitting issues. Despite lacking stylistic personality, this works well enough on the small screen and should be commended for its eponymous hero's relaxed attitude to his homosexuality.

As the Millennium approaches, Miles Walton (Tim Boardman) has high hopes of being able to leave Pondley High in the Illinois boondocks for film school in Chicago. However, when his disapproving and philandering father (Stephen Root) dies having frittered away the family finances, Miles realises that he is going to have to land himself a scholarship. Ignoring the advice of his school counsellor (Yeardley Smith), Miles decides that his best way of getting into Loyola is by proving his worth as a volleyball player. But Pondley only has a girls' team and, while coach Leslie Wayne (Missi Pyle) is happy to have Miles on the court, rival schools cry foul.

Full of deft details about dial-up modems and whirring movie projectors at the local fleapit, this is the kind of movie that usually sinks without trace after a brief tour of the main LGBT festivals. But Adloff and co-scenarist Justin D.M. Palmer tell their tale with a good deal of wit and empathy, even if the topic of gender segregation in sport isn't their primary concern. They also push their luck by having Miles's English teacher mother, Pam (Molly Shannon), date the school board superintendent (Paul Reiser) who will determine her son's fate. But Shannon and Pyle are splendid, while Boardman conveys a refreshing normality, whether he's spiking a winner or taking his first tentative steps into a gay chatroom. 

Imagine Ferris Bueller's Deadly Day Off being made in the style of the Children's Film Foundation and you'd get the gist of D.James Newton's time-ticking thriller, 2:Hrs. Blending dark fantasy and broad comedy, the action isn't always nuanced. But so few British film-makers cater for younger audiences that Newton and writer Roland Moore should be applauded for following the example of northern European counterparts who refuse to allow their tweenagers to subsit on a diet of Hollywood imports.

Since losing his father, Tim Edge (Harry Jarvis) has devoted himself to his graffiti and been less than delightful to his mother Ellie (Kirsty Dillon) and sister Shona (Fabienne Piolini-Castle). During a school visit to the Natural History Museum, he persuades best friends Victoria (Ella-Rae Smith) and Alf (Alhaji Fofana) to bunk off, only to wander into a press conference being given by boffin Lena Eidelhorn (Siobhan Redmond), who had invented a machine called the Vitalitron that can predict the time that any living creature will die. Sneaking in to learn that he has two hours left to him, Tim determines to tick off the items on his hastily compiled bucket list, including snogging class pin-up Georgia (Leila Yvetta). But both Eidelhorn and her sinister backer, Groad (Keith Allen), are determined to ensure the prediction comes true and dispatch tabloid journalists Tooley (Seann Walsh) and Graves (Marek Larwood) to follow wherever Tim leads. 

The problem with making a protagonist rebelliously resistible is that viewers don't always feel compelled to root for them when they find themselves on the receiving end. Newton and Moore risk painting themselves into a corner by making Jarvis such a brat, even though he's clearly acting out through grief. But, by giving him an alien in a matchbox and then making nothing of it, they claw back some sympathy, which Jarvis proceeds to grab in handfuls, as he conquers his fear of heights and supports his sister at a poetry slam. A little of Walsh and Larwood hamming it up as gormless gumbies goes a long way, while more might have been made of Redmond's zanily malevolent scientist. But, with its low-budget ebullience and thoughtful asides on mortality, this should keep holidaying kids amused while they seek shelter from the broiling sun. 

Echoes of Jennifer Kent's The Babadook (2014) and Babak Anvari's Under the Shadow (2016) can be heard throughout Brandon Christensen's Still/Born. But, while this story of a woman suffering from post-partum depression might not earn many brownie points for innovation, it builds plausible suspense and avoids descending into hokum and histrionics in the final reel. 

Although distraught after losing one of her newborn twin boys, Mary (Christie Burke) refuses to allow husband Jack (Jessie Moss) to remove the second cot from the nursery. However, when he leaves on a business trip shortly after moving the family to a new home, Mary starts hearing things on the baby monitor and informs psychiatrist, Dr Nielsen (Michael Ironside), that she is convinced that a demonic form is attempting to steal her baby. A woman who has been through a similar experience confirms Mary's fears and the more mother Sheila (Sheila McCarthy) tells her to pull herself together and the more vehemently Jack assures her that he doesn't have the hots for flirtatious neighbour Rachel (Rebecca Olson), the more she becomes convinced of the need to take drastic action to protect her child.

A fine display of doughty maternalism holds this formulaic horror together, as Christie Burke finds herself fighting a lone battle in the face of the thoughtless indifference of her mother and husband, the sinister prognosis of her shrink and the ravings of an online stranger. Moreover, despite co-scripting with the experienced Colin Minihan, Christensen proves better at staging eerie set-pieces than he does at linking them into a cogent narrative or at taking a serious look at post-natal grief. Nevertheless, he keeps the audience guessing whether Burke is being menaced by her over-heated imagination or a genuine ghoul. 

A critic who recently passed their Heinz Varieties birthday and has never played a computer game in their lives is not particularly well positioned to judge Graham Skipper's Sequence Break. Doubtless, there will be fanboys (and girls) clamouring to stream this Cronenbergian confection on to their state-of-the-art devices, without fully appreciating the irony of their actions. But, before taking the plunge, they should check out superior offerings along similar lines, such as David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983) and eXistenZ (1999) and Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989).

Having found negotiating daily life an ordeal, Osgood (Chase Williamson) has retreated into a world of video games. However, his idyll seems about to be shattered when Jerry (Lyle Kanouse) decides to close down the arcade where Oz earns a crust repairing old games. As luck would have it, on the very day he receives the bad news, Oz meets Tess (Fabianne Therese), a geeky girl who recognises a kindred spirit. But her arrival coincides with that of a dishevelled stranger (John Dinan), who leaves the circuit board for a game called White Eye in an envelope on the workshop floor. No sooner has he plugged it into his unit shell, however, than Oz realises he's going to need to use a different kind of joystick to get the most of what the game has to offer. 

Credit must be given to Skipper for attempting such a bold enterprise on such a modest budget. Production designer DeAnne Millais, cinematographer Brian Sowell and game animation creator Neal Jonas work wonders to make the visuals as immersive as they are. Similarly, Williamson throws himself into making us believe the sensations he is experiencing through his biomechanical mutations. But the pace is sometimes sluggish and the dialogue often preposterous, while too much of the background information that the viewer needs to overcome their scepticism about the narrative is delivered in jumbled haste in the final stretch. Kudos for giving it a go and for Van Hughes's quirkily unsettling score. But even low-threshold genre nuts will consider this a misfire.