Scene from Murnau's Faust

Home Entertainment

Christian Grey shares a tender moment with Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey

22 June 2015-06-22

  Out This Week   Fifty Shades of Grey (Universal, cert 18) This decade’s Da Vinci Code – the book read by people who don’t often read books – is a basic Mills & Boon/Harlequin story (masterful man, virginal girl) with an added belt, if that’s the word, of S&M. In this film adaptation Jamie Dornan glowers but brings no real life to the role of buff CEO Christian Grey whom Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele meets as he’s buying cable ties in the shop she works in. Dakota looks like her dad, Don Johnson, and has the pluck of her mother, Melanie Griffith, which is handy because she is required to take off … Read more
expendables2 hd2

10 December 2012-12-10

All distribution, certification info applies to UK only The Expendables 2 (Lionsgate, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Jason Statham helps action OAPs Sly, Arnie, Dolph, Bruce, Jean-Claude and even, god love him, Chuck Norris into their combat gear in a second tranche of lobotomised ass-kicking so ridiculous the franchise might run for ever. The Expendables 2 – at Amazon Ping Pong (Britdoc, cert PG, DVD) Play veteran table tennis and stay limber, sharp and connected to the world – the message of this riveting documentary that works because it focuses on the game and its very elderly players (one a feisty 100), rather than self-empowerment blah. Ping Pong – at Amazon Life Just Is (Independent, … Read more
Chloe Pirrie in Shell

8 July 2013-07-08

  Out in the UK This Week   Shell (Verve, cert 15, Blu-ray-DVD) This is a hell of a feature debut for director Scott Graham, whose eye for poetic desolation is the key feature of his drama about a lonely girl working at a struggling petrol station in the Scottish Highlands. Graham’s camera dotes on Chloe Pirrie, who has one of those faces that can flash from knowingly beautiful one second to fairly ordinary the next, depending on how much wattage its owner is generating. Shell is a simple, succinct drama with the tension of a thriller – is our heroine going to do something stupid with one of the rare regulars whose … Read more
ted 1

26 November 2012-11-26

All distribution, certification info applies to UK only Ted (Universal, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Descending occasionally into Family Guy droning, Seth MacFarlane’s comedy about a guy (Mark Wahlberg) and his walking, talking, living teddy bear otherwise riffs rude and hilarious on popular culture – hookers and hookahs to Diff’rent Strokes and Ming the Merciless. Ted – at Amazon Magic Mike (Lionsgate, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Channing Tatum takes his clothes off. Recommendation enough, maybe, but Steven Soderbergh’s Boogie Nights-lite drama about male strippers also faintly deals with the objectification of the male body. And Matthew McConaughey takes his clothes off too. Magic Mike – at Amazon The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD) The special … Read more
Rosamund PIke and Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

2 February 2015-02-02

    Out in the UK This Week   Gone Girl (Fox, cert 18) Authors are often not the best adapters of their own work for the screen, because they’re too close to the original – Norah Ephron’s Heartburn (a novel and film about her disintegrating marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein) being the classic example. But Gillian Flynn does an impressive job turning her smash novel into a big screen property, keeping most of the plot curlicues, and maintaining for as long as possible the “did he/didn’t he” structure. Ben Affleck plays the husband painted by every shred of evidence turned up by the police as the murderer of his disappeared high-maintenance wife (Rosamund Pike). … Read more
Jamie Foxx is Django, in Django Unchained

20 May 2013-05-20

Out in the UK this week     Django Unchained (Sony, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) If you could cross Gone with the Wind, Shaft, and A Fistful of Dollars, you might end up with something like Quentin Tarantino’s lavish entertainment starring Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx as unlikely amigos out to rescue a female slave (Kerry Washington) from plantation owner Leonardo DiCaprio. Starting verbose and staying there – is there a single person in this film who won’t stop talking? – this playful, bloody and tense drama is at its funniest when it leaves Foxx and Waltz to interact. And it’s full of surprises. A fact which extends all the way down to casting decisions … Read more
Saoirse Ronan in Byzantium

23 September 2013-09-23

Out in the UK This Week   Byzantium (StudioCanal/cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Ah, the burden of being a vampire. It’s been done to death in the movies recently but Neil Jordan is at the helm here and knows how to spice things up. Here he adds a touch of the same mix he used on The Company of Wolves nearly 30 years ago. In other words there’s added social critique, class and gender being the targets of both Jordan and writer Moira Buffini. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton are the two vampires searching for a new home, the former a Let the Right One In waif, the latter a lusty Hammer horror vamp – both … Read more
Fabrice Luchini between blow-up dollies of Stalin and Mao in In the House

22 July 2013-07-22

Out in the UK This Week       In The House (Momentum, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) François Ozon’s thriller/farce is as clever as you’d expect from a man who gave us the relationship-in-reverse drama 5X2. Here he’s again examining the nature of storytelling with a film about a teacher who becomes infatuated with his star pupil’s stories, each of which ends with a “to be continued”. And in the continuation the story – and the teenager writing them – becomes more and more involved in the older man’s life. There’s post-structuralism in there, if you’re feeling smart. But the whole thing works just as well as a dark farce played to the hilt … Read more
Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives

2 December 2013-12-02

Out in the UK This Week   Only God Forgives (Lionsgate, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) After Bronson, Valhalla Rising and Drive (not to mention the Pusher trilogy) director Nicolas Winding Refn’s cool yet feverish look at violence and masculinity continues with a story set out in the badlands of Bangkok, where moody Ryan Gosling plays Julian, the brother expected to avenge the death of his intensely violent older brother Billy (Tom Burke). But the slightly more sensitive Julian balks, which brings into play his mother (Kristin Scott Thomas), a tough old bitch as elemental as any out of Greek tragedy. It also brings into play a retired cop (Vithaya Pansingram), an automaton of remorseless … Read more
Emily Blunt in Sicario

1 February 2016-02-01

  Out This Week     Sicario (Lionsgate, cert 15) With Incendies the disruption had its roots in the politics in the Middle East, with Prisoners in American paranoia and with Enemy it was something more internal still, a disrupted psyche. In Denis Villeneuve’s latest intelligent, genre-extending thriller his unsentimental gaze settles on the US government and how its agents actually go about their business (according to this film, at any rate). Working on the Mexico border, where drug cartels are mostly in charge, laconic badasses Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are joined by seconded cop and audience avatar Emily Blunt, who looks on with jaw at various distances from the floor … Read more
Matthew McConaughey as astronaut Cooper in Interstellar

30 March 2015-03-30

  Out in the UK This Week   Interstellar (Warner, cert 12) I wasn’t a fan of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films – too long, too much yak, humourless, over-insistent and with a poor grip on action – so I wasn’t exactly warming up a welcome for this much hyped slide sideways into space fantasy. How wrong was I? This is the best “hard sci-fi film” for decades, so grand in scale that it dwarfs Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway. McConaughey is the star, playing the retired Nasa astronaut heading back into space after years kicking his heels on a world heading towards annihilation. There he finds that, out on the edge … Read more
Donald Pleasence does the scary in Wake in Fright

31 March 2014-03-31

Out in the UK this week   Klown (Arrow, cert 18, DVD) Spun off from a taboo-baiting Danish TV series of the same name, this comedy sends a couple of mismatched buddies on a road trip, bromance style, with a 12 year old boy in tow. What this dim bulb and his raging egomaniac friend get up to can best be described as shenanigans, with the jokes usually having a sexual focus – I think this has the most audacious and literal sight gag I’ve ever seen. Klown is full of the sort of stuff that you can imagine the writers room on a Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller movie coming up with and then deciding … Read more

Popular Posts