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.
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.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD)
The special effects aren’t special and the “teenage” leads are 28 (Andrew Garfield) and 24 (Emma Stone) but there’s zip and heart in this deliberately low-key reboot of the webslinging, moneyspinning franchise.
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Peccadillo, cert 12, DVD)
Shot like a 1950s B movie, this New York comedy features a spaceship that appears to be made from a burger box and a couple of standout scenes/brilliant one-liners that elevate it above mere camp spoofery.
In Your Hands (Artificial Eye, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD)
It’s Kristin Scott Thomas, again playing a fragile, brittle woman, this time she’s a doctor in France kidnapped by some weirdo. Playing footsie with notions of “what women want”, a thriller with performances that paper over the cracks.
Total Recall (Sony, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD)
Etch-a-sketch remake of the 1990 sci-fi biggie in which Colin Farrell discovers he used to be a double agent called Arnold Schwarzenegger (or something). Enjoyable enough as a “compare and contrast” exercise until the helicopters and insistent orchestra drown out the plot.
Brave (Disney, cert PG, Blu-ray/DVD)
Pixar goes Scotland with a story about a princess who accidentally turns her mother into a bear. If that sounds oddball, don’t get too excited – there’s 20 minutes of cute Caledonian throat-clearing before the story jerks into life, and even then it’s Pixar’s rendering of light effects that really impresses.
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© Steve Morrissey 2012