‘Bad’ Meaning Good…

Monday, September 27 2010
‘Bad’ Meaning Good…

It was a weekend when Lionsgate’s Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans ruled the roost in terms of column inches, alongside eOne’s StreetDance 3D and Icon’s The Killer Inside Me, while it also saw the covermount DVD making something of a comeback too.

The phenomenon was commonplace some five years or so ago, retailers were up in arms at every new giveaway offer from a newspaper, which appeared with alarming regularity. HMV at one point issued a stern letter to all distributors and suppliers warning them of the damage it believed they were doing to the industry. But the it slowly died away and, in recent months, most giveaways have been based on readers collecting vouchers and sending away for their free films or programmes, rather than as inserts.

The weekend, however, saw both the Daily Telegraph and its Sunday sister giving away a brace of free John Wayne films, while The Observer had a free bespoke BFI disc inserted within its pages. (There’ll be more on this in this week’s newsletter.)

As for our round-up, we’ll start a day earlier with an excellent feature in The Times on Shooting Robert King, Trinity’s documentary about the eponymous war photographer. It’s just a shame we can’t link to it, as it’s great stuff, but the Times’ paywall prevents it unless you cough up the dough. And who likes a website you have to pay to get into? Not us, that’s for sure…

Friday’s reading concentrated less on the reviews and more on the article that was the talk of the industry, in which The Guardian’s Film & Music supplement, which compiled and ran its first ever list of what it described as a list of the most influential people in UK cinemas, the ones who were most likely to affect what appeared on our cinema screens.

We won’t get caught up in the rights and wrongs of it all, you can have a look at the list here, but it was fascinating reading all the same. And once you waded through the Hollywood A-listers and other talent, there were some interesting mentions for UK distributors and executives – Optimum’s affable Danny Perkings was nestling between Sofia Coppola and Claudia Winkelman at number 62 (we could think of worse places to be) and further down the list names such as Artificial Eye’s Phillip Knatchbull and Vertigo’s Rupert Preston cropped up too. See more here.

On to the reviews proper, and Friday’s Independent proved one theory that we have postulated on before in this very column. One of its film spreads had a brace of DVD-related adverts, one for FOPP sale titles, another for Our Friends In The North from HMV, which appeared to cut down the space it devoted to its home entertainment reviews – more advertising means the space has to be taken from somewhere, and even if those ads are for DVD product, home entertainment coverage is always the first thing to go. So instead of the usual five reviews, there were just two titles covered, Optimum’s pair of loosely similar titles (well, they’ve been mentioned alongside each other elsewhere, and one has Michael Sheen replaying his role of Tony Blair, while the other features a fictional British prime minister loosely based on the New Labour leader), The Special Relationship and The Ghost.

The Daily Express covered a mixed bunch, taking in Universal’s latest Barbie release, A Fashion Fairytale, She’s Out Of My League (Paramount) and Los Olivados (InD/3DD).

In the Daily Mirror, there was a fair amount of DVD advertising, including High Fliers’ Arn: Knight Templar, tagged with Tesco’s logo, and a full page for Disney’s Cougar Town, tagged with HMV (its colours were so vibrant that it immediately caught our eye – it didn’t look like your traditional DVD ad, that’s for sure). As for reviews, StreetDance 3D took the main spot, with further reviews for She’s Out Of My League, The Killer Inside Me (Icon), The Ghost, Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans, and, in a music DVD special, The Beatles The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows (UMC), Oasis Biography (Bio), The Airborne Toxic Event (Island), Eric Clapton The 1960s Review (Sexy Intellectual) and Rory Gallagher Ghost Blues (Eagle Vision).

The Daily Star featured Bad Lieutenant (it didn’t have the space to put the whole Port Of Call – New Orleans bit in, as for us, we’re just bored of repeatedly typing it – hang on, we just got suckered into it again) with a review and competition, Death At A Funeral (SPHE), StreetDance 3D and The Killer Inside Me.

The Ghost completed what was, over the past week, a near clean sweep of reviews by getting coverage in The Sun, the paper also covered Fremantle’s impressive remastered DVD and Blu-ray release of The World At War and CSI: NY – The Complete Sixth Season (Momentum).

Saturday saw The Guardian’s guide flagging up its giveaway next weekend of Airplane on DVD, with reviews for Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans (we’ve worked out how to paste it in now, saving us the effort of typing it), as well as a diverse selection of titles, taking in Larry Sanders Season 1 (Medium Rare/Fremantle), Shooting Robert King (Trinity), Tetro (Soda), FlashForward (Disney), Good Hair (Icon) and Videocracy (Dogwoof).

Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans also got the DVD Of The Week slot in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph, with Mother (Optimum) being reviewed next to a wild card choice of The Great Contemporary Art Bubble, a mail order title looking at the art world.

The Financial Times covered The Ghost (again) and Acorn Media’s Dennis Potter tale, Lipstick On Your Collar, with a few interesting stories within its other pages, looking at The Social Network, the forthcoming feature about facebook and how, marketing the release, Sony had partnered with myspace rather than the other social networking site that was the subject of David Fincher’s film (our favourite fact was that facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had removed the name of Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and also the scribe on The Social Network, from his list of favourite writers on his profile), as well as a major feature on Wall Street, the film and its forthcoming sequel, with comments on how important the original film was. It made no mention of Fox’s Blu-ray and DVD reissue of the original, although a cover story in  The Times’ Playlist did tag The Collectors Edition. Both Wall Street and The Social Network are picking up plenty of pre-release feature coverage, although not quite as extensive as Paramount’s Made In Dagenham. As for its DVD reviews, there was a piece on how The Larry Sanders Show changed TV comedy, and reviews for Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans and The Killer Inside Me, with mentions for Our Friends On The North (Simply Media), The World At War and Tetro.

On to Sunday and there The Sunday Mirror took in Bad Lieutenant and Fox’s The Tooth Fairy, while The News Of The World featured Robin Hood, Bad Lieutenant, StreetDance 3D and She’s Out Of My League.

The People again covered Bad Lieutenant, alongside Death At A Funeral and Wall Street. The Sunday Express devoted a full two pages to a major feature on Back To The future ahead of Universal’s DVD and Blu-ray release of a new anniversary edition of the film, while it also reviewed Special Relationship.

The Observer, as well as the BFI-related coverage, had the ever-reliable Mark Kermode looked at Bad Lieutenant and another Werner Herzog title, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Scanbox), before looking at Momentum’s The Horde and Metrodome’s Cherry Tree Lane and noting that, after brief theatrical releases for both, they arrived on DVD showing that the format is “now perceived to be the primary marketplace for horror. He finished with The Killer Inside Me and Artificial Eye’s Ivul.

Over to The Sunday Telegraph and interesting to note in its theatrical reviews that a five star review in The Guardian for Enter The Void was matched here at the other end of the scale with a mere one star. As for DVDs, the paper appears to be trimming the number of titles it reviews, for the second week running it had a DVD Of The Week and no other reviews; this time the space was devoted to The Killer Inside Me.

Right that’s it for coverage, we’re off to peruse that top 100 again, while watching some free DVDs.

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