Hornet Has A Sting
Despite the wealth of coverage and plethora of supplements The Royal Wedding didn’t succeed in pushing home entertainment off national newspapers’ pages over the weekend, as our weekly review of the reviews across the press shows.
If anything, there was more coverage than normal, and much of it included The Green Hornet, which, in its comic-book origins and French director, managed to straddle both the tabloid and broadsheet worlds and get coverage in both types of newspapers.
We’ll start our snapshot of the last weekend’s press coverage with a look at the Metro, although it appeared not on a Tuesday, due to the Easter holidays we must presume, and instead on a Wednesday. Titles featured were The Tourist (Optimum), which took the lead, Abel (Network, getting a fully deserved four stars out of five), while Burlesque (SPHE) and Meet The Parents: Little Fockers (Paramount) fared less well, getting only two stars each. The Metro’s Cult Vulture selection was Third Window’s Confessions, which is on its way to totting up a decent amount of reviews (more to come this week too, after its impressive bow over the previous weekend).
Sticking with free metropolitan giveaways as we move on to the end of the week’s newspapers, and the Evening Standard didn’t appear on Friday, due to the Royal Wedding, but it still found space for DVD reviews on Thursday, taking in The Tourist, Enter The Void (eOne) and Louise-Michel (Axiom).
On to Friday, and despite the hoo-haa about that day’s nuptials, broadly speaking, most newspapers that cover DVD and Blu-ray releases still found room to cover them. So there was still The Ticket supplement in the Daily Mirror, with a full page headed up by The Green Hornet (SPHE), and further reviews for Client 9 (Dogwoof), I Come With The Rain (Trinity), whichch also benefited from an interview with its US star Josh Hartnett, and Chatroom (Revolver). The bottom part of the page was devoted to Music DVDs, timely given the impending release of Upside Down: The Creation Records Story (also Revolver), and further coverage for Rory Gallagher Irish Tour 74 (Eagle Vision), Brian Eno 1971-1977 The Man Who Fell To Earth (Sexy Intellectual), Roger Waters The Wall Live In Berlin (Universal Music) and N-Dubz Before They Were Dubz (Exile Media)(, which is, as we noted in this week’s Raygun newsletter, directed by sometime Raygun correspondent Jessie Mellor. Later in The Ticket, there was a full half-page competition for Lionsgate’s The Open Road, offering a prize of a trip to San Francisco.
The Open Road also featured in The Daily Star’s review pages, taking pole position with its competition offering the film and Justin Timberlake’s scent from The Perfume Shop to tie in with it (Timberlake stars alongside Jeff Bridges in this tale of a sporting father and son on a road trip). The Daily Star also reviewed a brace of Miramax titles (Clerks and A Hard Day’s Night), out as part of the catalogue initiative through Lionsgate and Optimum) and Arthur And The Great Adventure (Entertainment).
The Sun eschewed its traditional coverage and instead plumped for a Royal Wedding special, taking in William And Kate The Movie (Revolver), Prince William And Kate The Royal Romance (Wienerworld) and British Royal Weddings Of The 20th Century (SFE).
The middle England tabloids, Dailies Mail and Express both had reviews, the former plumping for Burlesque as its DVD of the week (strange given its consistent sniping over star Christina Aguilera’s dance routine on The X Factor last year), while the latter covered The Green Hornet, the excellent Balibo (High Fliers) and What War May Bring (Revolver).
Moving upmarket to the quality press, and the Independent gave excoriating notices to both The Green Hornet and Burlesque (just one star each), but was kinder about Abel.
Nothing specific appeared in The Guardian’s Film & Music supplement, although a feature on The Monkees’ seminal psychedelic film foray, Head, may help shift a few units of the old Warner Vision release, it’s just a shame that the page piece on Ken Russell’s The Devils had no DVD or Blu-ray release to back it up… The newspaper’s G2 supplement featured The Young Ones (2 entertain) as Your Next Box Set for the regular feature.
Saturday now, and we’ll start with the weekend edition of The Financial Times it was its usual highbrow selection of titles, with Archipelago (Artificial Eye), Ballast (Axiom), Confessions (Third Window) and Chico And Rita (Icon) there were a brace of reviews in the Daily Telegraph’s Review section, with The Green Hornet taking the lion’s share of the column inches, aided by Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (Warner).
In The Times Playlist supplement there was some interesting feature-based coverage alongside the reviews – a full page on Revolver’s forthcoming Upside Down, plugging both its current theatrical release and the forthcoming DVD bow too, as well as a feature on The Twilight Zone, tying in with Fremantle’s release of the first season of the TV sci-fi classic, selecting the best episodes from the programme.As for reviews, there was The Green Hornet, The Big C and Stressed Eric The Complete Collection (2 entertain).
Another 2 entertain title, albeit at the opposite end of the scale, Civilisation, Kenneth Clark’s epic saga tracing the history of Western civilisation (hence the title), was the lead review in The Guardian’s Guide, with “also out” mentions going to Arthur And The Great Adventure, The Green Hornet, I Come With The Rain, Dinoshark (Anchor Bay) and The Station Agent (Miramax). We also noted, as an aside, the mention of Michael McIntyre’s earnings from his bestselling live DVDs in a piece on the stand-up comic in the Infomania section at the back of that same supplement, citing estimated totals of £2.5 million (quite how this figure was arrived at we’re not entirely sure, but we were interested, nonetheless).
The Big C featured in a competition giving away copies of the DVD in the Daily Mirror’s We Love Telly listings magazine, while The Open Road had a similar competition, including a £500 shopping voucher and portable DVD player as main prizes, in The Sun’s Buzz TV supplement, with Archer Season One (Fox) and The Green Hornet appearing as Top DVDs in its Must List of essential entertainment releases.
As we head towards Sunday’s newspapers, those same two titles, Archer Season One and The Green Hornet both featured in the Sunday Mirror.
The Green Hornet also headed up the News Of The World’s DVDs Of The Week section in its film pages, it also benefited from a giveaway competition and there wee further reviews for Animals United (Entertainment), On Tour (Artificial Eye) and Confessions (Third Window).
The Daily Star On Sunday featured The Green Hornet and Stressed Eric, while its TV review page (penned by Garry Bushell, remember him?) had Archer Season One. Over in The People, there was more from The Green Hornet and What War May Bring. Like The Star there was more on its TV pages too, this time for The Big C.
We’d previously noted that The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine had not had much room for DVD coverage in recent weeks and it’s obviously playing catch up, as its DVD of the week was Somewhere (Universal), released a few weeks ago. It also had a few others that had appeared elsewhere in weeks gone by, Two In The Wave (New Wave)m Zhang Yimou’s Blood Simple and Abel (Network).
The Independent On Sunday covered The Green Hornet and Client 9 (Dogwoof).
The Observer’s Review section featured a page on the 10 best British indie record labels, inspired by Revolver’s Upside Down, but despite featuring the Creation pic, it didn’t specifically tag its release details. As for reviews, Mark Kermode covered The Green Hornet, Chico And Rita, Confessions and In Our Name (Artificial Eye), while Philip French’s Classic DVD was Early Kurosawa (BFI).
We’ll end with Time Out magazine, the London listings guide that, as we’ve said before, offers two pages’ worth of coverage for home entertainment releases and is one of the best supporters of DVD and Blu-ray around. Its last issue featured The Tiger Of Eschnapur/The Indian Tomb (Eureka), The Lighthouse (Second Run Films), Joanna/Lunch Hour (BFI Flipside), Enter The Void, Burlesque, With Gilbert & George (Soda) and, in a rave five-star review (“it’s hard to The Sopranos or The Wire – excellent as they were – exercising so much power over the imagination 50 years down the line”), The Twilight Zone. It also interviewed Phil Daniels in its excellent Last Night A DVD Saved My Life spot, to publicise Rock And Chips – The Frog And The Pussycat (Lionsgate) and mentioned another half dozen or more titles due out, such as Second Sight’s Daniel Deronda.Tags: PR
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