Hunky Dory (15/110mins/Entertainment One)
Minnie Driver takes on a Welsh accent and a group of horny schoolchildren in this endearing tale of drama teacher’s attempts to stage a rock n roll production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in a Swansea school in the 1970s. A musical with dramatic heft to boot, it’s heart-warming, engaging and great fun. You can check out our review of the film here.
Blank City (TBC/95mins/E2 Films)
This documentary – featuring legendary new Yorkers such as Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and filmmakers and actors such as Steve Buscemi and Jim Jarmusch – tells the story of the daring filmmakers that burst out of the city in the late 70s and early 80s, a time when the city itself was “a wasteland of cheap rents and cheap drugs”.
Project X (18/87mins/Warner Bros)
Three teenagers decide to throw a house party only for it to go, predictably out of control in this ‘found footage’ style comedy from the producer of The Hangover Todd Philips.
This Means War (12A/97mins/Fox)
Chris Pine (Kirk in the rebooted Star Trek movies) and Tom Hardy (Warrior; Bat-nemesis Bane in the forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises) are best friends and CIA agents who find out that they are both dating the same woman. Rather than confronting her and letting her decide who she prefers, they opt to battle each other for her affections in this action-rom-com from Charlie’s Angels helmer McG.
Jennifer Aniston continues her rom-com forever career choices with this comedy from producer Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin; Knocked Up). Directed by David “Role Models’ Wain, Aniston and Paul Rudd are a big city couple who wind up on a hippie commune in Georgia, where all kinds of funny shennigans ensue.
Keep reading for our lowdown on the best DVDs coming your way on Monday…
DVDs out March 5…
Immortals (15/Universal Pictures UK)
If you were left a little underwhelmed by Clash of the Titans – most were, it was fairly pants – then you should take a look at this similarly themed but more bruising and battle-scarred take on man and Gods. From director Tarsem Singh, the visual stylist behind Jennifer Lopez psycho-killer-thriller The Cell, Immortals takes a story of a man who must face up to his godly destiny and help defeat the titans who are going to escape from their aeons-inforced emprisonment, and shoots it through with Renaissance design. It sounds odd but it works, and gives the film an indulgent visual style it is hard not to be seduced by, and which stands it miles apart from the daft and dull 3D Clash of the Titans.
Mickey Rourke is on hand as a vicious Hyperion, a moral who swears revenge on the Gods who allowed his family to be killed by releasing the unstoppable Titans. It has its moment of camp, but is energetic and eye-catching enough to entertain, and gives you a good look at what Superman to-be Henry Cavill is capable of ahead of his unveiling in next year’s Man of Steel.
Contagion (12/Warner Home Video)
The spread of a vicious virus that kills, and the spread of fear about the speead of said virus, Steven Soderbergh’s apocalyptic thriller has tense and taught subject matter and is atmospheric and claustrophobic in its handling of it. Witih an all star Hollywood cast – Kate Winslet, Gwyneth paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Matt Damon – you never know who’s going to make it and who is going to perish, which gives an air of unpredictability, and although a couple of plot strands could do with being excised (Marion Cottillard’s kidnapped doctor chiefly), it is sharp, incisive and thoughtful entertainment.
The Idea of March (15/Entertainment One)
Clooney’s presidential candidate here is a liberal, supports taxes on the rich, a women’s right to choose and might just be an atheist too, so The Ides of March is pretty much an out and out fantasy then. Despite its wish-fullfilment thinking, Clooney’s serious drama, in which he stars as said politician and Ryan Gosling as a naïve and idealistic press secretary, looks as the clash between politics and its presentation, ,the conmpromises required to get to the top, the rotting of the ideals that must be sacrified to get there. While it didn’t do the business theatrically some might have expected, and was overlooked come Oscar time (not least due to Clooney’s role in The Desceendants) it is worthy of a look. It’s unashamedly high minded but engaging none the less, and Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman are excellent as ever.
The Rum Diary (15/ Entertainment In Video)
Johnny Depp, in a film adaptation of Hunter S Thompson’s acclaimed and drug riddled The Rum Diary, about a booze-sozzled journalist in Puerto Rico, and with Withnail and I helmer Bruce Robinson at the helm, this should have been a home run. That’s it merely good is a disappointment, when it could have been superb. It suffers from an episodic structure, and never quite makes the most of its quality on show (female lead Amber Heard is abandoned half way through, so too former Two-Face Aaron Eckhart). That said, it’s more coherent than Terry Gilliam and Depp’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and far more enjoyable as a result.
John Carter of Mars (12/Metrodome)
To coincide with Disney’s big budget big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ comic book-styled caper adaptation John Carter (due for release March 9) those cheeky folk at Asyllum re-release this 2009 straight-to-DVD movie to cash in, originally titled Princes of Mars after the original’s name, but retitled here for obvious reasons.
Rather than a $250million price tag and the most advanced 3Dspecial effects ever put on the silver screen, here we get a soldier shot down in the Middle east who is sent on a top secret government mission to the red planet where he battles aliens and fucks Traci Lords’ Martian princess. Depending on your viewpoint, this might be seen as a good thing.
Anonymous (12/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
What if William Shakespeare didn’t actually write all that classic literature that has been attributed to him, and that it was actually penned by someone else? This literary controversy is the story here, which is told through all manner of conspiracies and personal and political intrigue, but the real puzzle is how Roland Emmerich, the man who likes blowing things up (he directed Independence Day, Godzilla and the recent 2012), managed to take the helm of this period drama. It’s suitably unsubtle, unsprisingly, but not as adventurous as you might have expected, nor as controversial or satisfying as you might have liked either.