Expending Energy

Tuesday, December 14 2010
Expending Energy

Loads more coverage again this week, with the year end lists starting to arrive too, although we;ll be giving these their own coverage elsewhere on our site as and when they’re published (we’ll also be compiling our own too).

The three obvious winners this week were The Expendables (Lionsgate), Salt (SPHE) and Fox’s Knight And Day. A few from last week were mopping up coverage (Inception and The A-Team for example) and plaudits must go to the likes of White Material (Artificial Eye) and Restrepo (Dogwoof), both picking up loads of coverage.

Fitness titles have started appearing too, witness the likes of a page on Strictly Fit (2 entertain) in the Metro and, on last week’s Daily Mirror, a double page feature on Coronation Street’s Debbie Rush publicising her Bulge Buster Workout (Universal). On the downside, The Guardian continues to have it in for DVD and everyone has it in for HMV, which received harsh coverage from most of the nationals.

We’ll start with last Tuesday’s Metro, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took the lion’s share of the coverage. Further reviews covered White Material (Artificial Eye), Restrepo (Dogwoof) and Ricky Gervais Live Science (Universal). Its Cult Vulture pick was La Cienaga (ICA Films). Towards the end of the week and we had to plough through the frankly ridiculous coverage about HMV’s six monthly trading figures, which seemed to be predicting the end of the retail, and, in our eyes, might have well as being predicting the end of the world, for all the strange assumptions they were making. In a bad week for the entertainment retailer, The Guardian devoted a hefty feature about offshore fulfilment, or low value consignment relief (LVCR) – the practice of sending out DVDs from the Channel Islands without paying VAT – which, from where we were standing, looked not quite as important or sinister as the paper would have you believe. Another poor show from The Guardian, which had recently run a sensationalist feature on the future of home entertainment, asking, in a splash headline, if DVDs were going to be “shelved”, somewhat exaggerating the information to suit the angle. And a few days later in its media section it was again predicting doom and gloom for the industry.

Back to the reviews now, and Friday’s Daily Star devoted much of its coverage to Salt (SPHE), with a giveaway and a full 10 out of 10 mark. Others covered were Knight And Day (Fox), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Disney) and The Expendables (Lionsgate).

There was some good coverage for Al Murray’s Barrel Of Fun (Anchor Bay) in The Sun, with a half page interview with the Pub Landlord (Avalon, which looks after the management and more for assorted comedians and the likes, including Murray, has done well this season in terms of getting coverage for its stars, not only in the space it gets, but its way of getting them into different areas of newspapers and magazines but also in getting mentions for different elements of their work from DVDs to live dates and books. As for its actual reviews, there was one obvious choice (eOne’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), one more obscure one (Soda’s Eclipsing David) and one from the world of television (2 entertain’s The Michael Parkinson Collection.

There was a whopping two pages’ worth of reviews in the Daily Mirror, with the prime focus on DVD Of The Week The Expendables. It also featured an interview with Dolph Lundgren for the film. New release reviews were given to Knight And Day, Salt, Deep Red (Arrow) and The Last Airbender.

The Daily Express had three of the week’s biggies – Salt, Knight And Day and The Expendables in its DVD section, Inception and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice were in the Mail.

Just two featured in the Independent, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Shrek. Its sister i newspaper featured three titles, Inception, The Twilight Saga: Escape and Restrepo (Dogwoof)

The Evening Standard led off on Inception, moving down to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, White Material (Artificial Eye), which had a good weekend against some bigger releases, in terms of box office, Restrepo, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks/Paramount).

On to Saturday and there was plenty more supplement and magazine coverage for DVD releases. Somewhat surprisingly, given its female editorial slant and the blokey nature of the film, The Sun’s Fabulous magazine’s Must List column plumped for The Expendables as its Top DVD.

A giveaway competition at the back of Saturday’s We Love Telly supplement in the Daily Mirror featured The World According To Russell Brand (Universal).

The trouble with getting any coverage towards the end of the year is many journalists will that with less releases and December 31 approaching, then instead of standard reviews, they’ll round up the best of the year. We’ll be publishing some of these in the coming weeks, but it was evident from the Daily Telegraph’s Saturday Review section, which was devoted to the Top 10s Of 2010 (more on those on the website later.

Over in The Guardian’s Guide, the main space was for The Trip (2 entertain), with further mentions for The Expendables, Feist Look What The Light Did Now (Polydor), a trio from Arrow (A Bay Of Blood, Deep Red and Battle Royale), Salt and Knight And Day.

The Times’ Playlist had loads of DVD coverage, taking in cover star Harry Hill, in a two page feature which plugged his DVD (and other elements, he is, after all, an Avalon act). Its reviews seemed light, initially, with Knight And Day taking the biggest review ahead of Salt and The Expendables as well as Bay Of Blood and The Last Airbender. But on turning the page there was a page on the Best Films/DVDs on 2010, better still it had their availability on DVD and Blu-ray after their mentions. We’ll be sticking more of the details of this up on our website shortly, as we look to round up the year’s best film and DVD coverage.

On to Sunday now, and in The News Of The World’s Fabulous magazine, a regular feature asking celebrities for their dream dinner party, The Last Supper, featured Pub Landlord Al Murray and plugged his Anchor Bay stand-up release Barrel Of Fun Live. In the same magazine, incidentally, we saw an ad for Knight & Day, with Fox aiming for the women’s market.  The main paper had its usual review coverage (Salt, The Expendables, Knight And Day and an extremely snide review of The Last Airbender), but it was in its news pages the best coverage could be found, with a double page spread rounding up the best gags from comedy releases out this year. The biggest picture and headline gag was given to Bill Bailey and his Dandelion Mind ((Universal), other acts included were (deep breath) John Bishop Elvis Has Left The Building (2 entertain), Michael McIntyre:  The Stand-up Collection (Universal), Lee Mack: Going Out (Anchor Bay), Russell Howard: Russell Howard’s Good News (4DVD),

Rhod Gilbert And The Cat That Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst (4DVD), Frankie Boyle: I If Could Reach Out Through Your TV And Strangle You, I Would (4DVD), Jimmy Carr: Making People Laugh (4DVD), Kevin Bridges: The Story So Far (Universal), Ricky Gervais Live Science (Universal), Dara  O’Briain: This Is The Show (Universal), Billy Connolly Live In London 2010 (Universal), Sean Lock: Lockipedia Live (Universal).

The People had its usual competition coverage for the weekend’s biggies, the Expendables, Knight And Day, Salt and, on its TV pages, 2 entertain’s Victoria Wood release.

The Independent On Sunday had Knight, Salt and, instead of The Expendables, White Material.

There was a wealth of coverage all over the Mail On Sunday, taking in TV-based reviews (An Idiot Abroad, from 2 entertain, and Kaleidoscope’s Apocalypse), and, in its Live magazine DVDs were mentioned in its This Week’s Entertainment Releases column (Salt, The Twilight Saga on Blu-ray and 2 entertain’s Ancient Worlds. A gift guide in the same supplement had the likes of HBO’s The Sopranos, True Blood and The Wire, 24 from Fox and Warner’s impressive Clint Eastwood box.

Perhaps our favourite bit of PR of the past week was in the Sunday Mirror’s Celebs magazine, with a page devoted to mocked up photos of celebrities with mohawks, organised by Fox and agency Premier to mark the release of The A-Team. That same title also featured in a competition at the back of the magazine, and elsewhere in its pages we also noticed a mention of Mad Men (Lionsgate) in a gift guide. As for the reviews, two of the week’s biggies, The Expendables and Salt.

The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine had Salt as its DVD Of The Week, and two of the previous week’s biggies, Shrek Forever After and Inception alongside it.

No reviews in The Sunday Times, but there was an interview with Dara O’Briain for his This Is The Show (Universal).

In the Observer Magazine, there was an excellent interview in its regular This Much I Know column with Elmore Leonard, the author talking to support SPHE’s excellent Leonard-inspired TV series Justified. However, in the minus column, there was no room this week for Mark Kermode’s DVD round-up, nor was there mention of DVD in its critics list of the best of the year. Let’s not hope the paper is shelving it permanently, to borrow the phrase used by its sister paper The Guardian.

Seeing as this is going live on a Tuesday, we’ll end where we started and this week’s Metro, which had Inception as its lead, backed up by the week’s best reviewed trio of Salt, The Expendables and Knight And Day, and, in its Cult Vulture sidebar, Disney’s Fantasia (although it’s not exactly an Oddball title, as the subtext would have you believe…