Sunday, 28 April 2013

Small Screen Surprises - The Week In Releases

Small Screen Suprises – The Week in Releases

Week Beginning 22nd April
As we said in our news, we’re relaunching our DVD review section with an upgraded look. Two new features we intend to focus on are – ‘Release of the Week’, which looks at the most popular release on disc from the last week, and ‘One For The Collection’, which looks at a new release that we personally recommend getting. We’ll be making our DVD reviews shorter to accommodate a larger range soon enough – we hope you agree! For now, we hope you enjoy this week's DVD releases - reviewed. 

Release Of The Week:
Jack Reacher (DVD/Blu-ray)
Released: 22nd April
Rating: 6/10
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall
Written by:
Christohper McQuarrie

Lots and lots of extremely slick violence and a thriller set to entertain in the evening.

Tom Cruise does his usual big-movie action hero work here; a prototype in the genre. Cruise, as usual, committed to stunts – he performed the major driving sequence himself. His performance is the stand-out reason this film is worth a watch – it’s not the greatest thriller, but it’s slick and it’s sexy and it works like a charm if you just want to sit back and relax. The film is an adaptation of the novels of Lee Child. Jack Reacher (Cruise) is an expert in hand to hand combat, surveillance, driving… Well, anything related to catching bad guys. He’s an ex-military cop with an axe to grind.
Jack Reacher helps out Helen (Rosamund Pike) who strongly believes that her client’s assumed actions of shooting five innocents dead in cold blood is not all that it seems. As Reacher investigates further, the conspiracy starts to unravel.
Cruise’s biggest challenge with the role? Jack Reacher is 1.96 m with blue eyes and dirty blond hair. Cruise clocks in at around a reported 1.7m with his classic trademark brown hair. He was worried about measuring up the character’s impressive physique – we’ll join the long list of people who say he did the role justice.
Jack Reacher is the ultimate anti-hero – a man without limits, with extraordinary skill and with an unparallel focus.
Disc Extras: All the standard fare – commentary, etc.

One For The Collection:
Reservoir Dogs (Collector’s Edition)
Released: 22nd April
Rating: 7.5/10
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen
Written by: Quentin Tarantino

It’s gory, it’s pulp and it’s classic Tarantino.

The debut feature film of the great Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”, “Jackie Brown”, “Kill Bill: Vol 1” “Kill Bill: Vol 2”, “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”). You know who we’re talking about, don’t you? 
All the hallmarks of Tarantino are present in this film – watching his films back, you’ll see a lot in “Reservoir Dogs”.

The narrative is simple but explosive; it set the standard for several heist movies and a large chunk of the genre to follow. A group of strangers, using names such as Mr Blue, are assembled to pull off the greatest diamond heist. When the heist goes wrong and turns into a bloodbath of an ambush, the hardened criminals then have to find out who leaked the details. The film is most notable for Tarantino, but also for the spectacular performances of some of the actors, namely Keitel and Roth.

All the techniques from Tarantino are present; film noir style, a non-linear narrative, lots of gratuitous violence, underuse of close ups and a fair dose of black humour. And a lot of swearing. Tarantino’s classic use of using contemporary songs with few made-for-the-score selection began here.

It’s not an easy film to stomach, and when it premiered at Sundance, it was compared to an oncoming train – there’s no better analogy for it.

Disc Extras: A whole heap (and technically, the reason that we recommend this so highly and it’s reason for the re-release on DVD). Let’s take a look at the list:

Commentary with Tarantino (provides great insight into his process)
Profiling the Reservoir Dogs – A compiled profile taking you through Mr Brown, Mr Blue and all the strangers.
Tipping Guide – A guide to tipping, like a Dog.
Playing It Fast and Loose – A behind the scenes documentary about the effects that the film has had on contemporary cinema
Reservoir Dogs Style Guide/Dedications/Deleted Scenes/Original Interviews/An Introduction to Film Noir/Tarantino’s Film-Maker lab.
Critic’s Commentaries/Securing the Shot/Pulp Factoid Viewer

The Family Guy Trilogy – Laugh It Up, Fuzzball (Blu-ray/DVD)
Released: 22nd April
Rating: 6/10
Dominic Polcino, Peter Shin

A hilarious treat for everyone involved… Well, for any fans of Star Wars (so a large part of movie going audiences) and/or a fan of Family Guy. Picture quality is great, the laugh-a-minute gags on this infamous cartoon look stunning on Blu-ray players too. The spoofs have been around for awhile now, but it’s all collected in one easy place now. A great comedic bash of a send-up of the Star Wars films – if you haven’t seen it before but like Family Guy, we implore you – buy this set! It’s not just Star Wars that Family Guy send up in this – there’s a fair few pop culture references in there for you to chuckle and spit out your drink too! (Don’t watch if easily offended). They say you can never account for taste and the shock gags and sometimes the oft-ridiculous parodies may grate on some nerves – some even fall flat on their face. 

Disc Extras: A digital copy of the film to take with you as you go. Extras including scenes to watch, how the series is put together. A ‘behind-the-scenes’ documentary. There’s also a bonus episode.

But you didn't hear that from us,

The Mr and the Misses

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