Dude Bowls Papers Over

Tuesday, August 23 2011
Dude Bowls Papers Over

Everything from children’s fare (Winnie The Pooh) through to slasher flicks (Scream 4 chief among them) made up titles appearing in this week’s newspapers and magazines, as our weekly round-up of press coverage for Blu-ray and DVD releases highlights. There were no runaway winners as the most reviewed title of the week, the aforementioned two both performed well, as did Red Riding Hood (Warner), Little White Lies (Lionsgate) and more from Optimum (see below). Best reviewed, in terms of the title that garnered the highest ratings, was certainly The Big Lebowski, which performed strongly for a Blu-ray release.

Optimum has enjoyed a strong run of success in terms of coverage attained for its releases in recent weeks, and this continued into the first paper in our weekly round-up, the city-based freebie Metro. The lead review last Tuesday, its regular day for DVD reviews, was The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, followed close behind by Source Code, another Optimum title. Others covered were Warner’s Sucker Punch and the somewhat more traditional Carmen: The Restored Edition (Second Sight). The Metro’s Cult Vulture sidebar (Oddball Choices For Sofa Loafers) was Artificial Eye’s Kaboom.

A few days later, and we’ll start the Friday reviews with the Evening Standard, the London commuter free newspaper, which again featured a familiar brace of Optimum titles, Source Code and The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec, as well as a couple of new takes on traditional tales, in Red Riding Hood (Warner) and Beastly (Lionsgate), the latter a take on Beauty And The Beast that was, it noted, “clearly conceived by marketing honchos”.

The tabloids were as busy as ever, with the Daily Star leading the way, kicking off with a review and competition offering prizes of copies of Scream 4 (EV). The red-top also found room among its umpteen pages of Celebrity Big Brother coverage to have further reviews for Winnie The Pooh (Disney), the Blu-ray release of The Big Lebowski (Universal) and the another franchise horror from EV, the Final Destination Quadrilogy.

The Daily Mirror’s The Ticket supplement plumped for Red Riding Hood as its DVD Of The Week. Its other titles, most of which fared better in terms of marks out of five, were Mammuth (Axiom), Baghead (Soda), Winnie The Pooh and Scream 4. Winning a full five stars was The Big Lebowski (“the Coen brothers have directed some fine films in the past 20 years”).

Over in The Sun and its Something For The Weekend section, its ever-Catholic tastes took in Angry Boys (2 entertain), Louis Theroux – The Odd, The Bad And The Godly (also 2 entertain) and, completing a trio of reviews for the company, its My Family – The Complete 11 Series rounded off the coverage.

The Daily Express featured Winnie The Pooh, Red Riding Hood and, as a more wild card choice, Before The Revolution (BFI).

The Independent featured two of the aforementioned trio, Winnie The Pooh and Red Riding Hood, as well as Little White Lies (Lionsgate).

The Your Next Box Set in another of the quality newspapers, The Guardian, this time took in Fremantle’s The Twilight Zone. Nothing particular in The Guardian’s Film & Music supplement, which, as we often mention, is a shame, as the rest of its coverage is so good and closely aligned with home entertainment; it’s got some great features (Friday’s had words on, among other things, horror movie music, youth culture in films (ahead of Momentum’s forthcoming Weekender) and horror movie music, but just lacks some decent DVD reviews.

The same can’t be said of its Saturday Guide supplement, one of the week’s best entertainment magazines that come free with newspapers. It boasts strong feature coverage (this week a piece penned by Kevin Sampson about the forthcoming release of the film adaptation of his novel Powder, plugging both theatrical and DVD, and a further piece talking about how 1982 was one of the best years ever for film, plugging scores of catalogue releases) and, better still reviews. This week’s batch was led by Strigoi – The Undead (Eureka), with further coverage for La Jetee and Sans Soleil (Optimum), Winnie The Pooh (Disney), The Big Lebowski (Universal) and Scream 4.

The Daily Telegraph’s Review section took in the double bill of La Ketee and Sans Soleil, as well as Little White Lies.

The Times’ Saturday review section took in The Big Lebowski, more from Chris Marker and Optimum’s other title along side La Jetee, Level Five, as well as The Haunted Castle (Masters Of Cinema).

There’s always a few mentions of home entertainment releases in the tabloids’ Saturday supplements, especially the TV ones (this weekend included The Hour from 2 entertain featured in the Daily Mail’s Weekend, as well as a competition for Minder: The Dennis Waterman Years from Fremantle appearing in the Daily Mirror’s We Love Telly), although it appears as if the recent changes at News International, that saw The News Of The World shuttered and its Fabulous magazine transferring to Saturday’s edition of The Sun have caused one magazine, The Sun’s Buzz, to reformat and lose some of its regular feature coverage, including its DVD reviews. Fabulous still covers home entertainment though (albeit not every week) and this time around offered what is called “the girls’ guide to classic boys’ movies” tying in with the release on Blu-ray of The Big Lebowski.

Sunday then and another piece of disappearing DVD coverage appears to be in The People, with the paper featuring neither cinema nor DVD and Blu-ray coverage at all, save for a couple of mentions for Acorn’s latest Who Do You Think You Are? Release and Lace’s NDubz Love Live Life s part of competitions. It was the same story in the Sunday Express, no reviews per se, but there was a competition for Little White Lies in its S magazine.

The Mail On Sunday’s film and TV DVD coverage in its Review magazine was non-existent this week, thankfully the This Week’s Entertainment Releases chart in its Live magazine managed to mention a few home entertainment titles in amongst the films, CDs and books, namechecking Red Riding Hood, Hanna (Universal) and Winnie The Pooh.

Elsewhere, Red Riding Hood and Winnie The Pooh featured in the Daily Star Sunday, while the Sunday Mirror covered Scream 4 and The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec.

On to the broadsheets, and another publication falling short in terms of coverage was the Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine, which had no reviews. Thank heavens then for such dependables as the Independent on Sunday, which featured

The weekend edition of the Financial Times regularly features four different releases and didn’t fail this week, taking in Little White Lies, Mammuth (Axiom), The Big Lebowski and The Strange World Of Gurney Slade (Network Releasing).

And then, of course, there’s The Observer,  still our favourite national newspaper when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray releases, thanks in no small part to reviewer Mark Kermode’s inherent understanding of the formats, writing about not just the films and releases themselves, but also taking in additional features too. This week Kermode took a look at Red Riding Hood (“disappointingly toothless fare”), praised Toby Kebbell in Revolver’s The Veteran (although he wasn’t a huge fan of the “overcooked conspiracy caper” itself), was hilarious about Paramount’s Tomorrow When The War Began (“Red Dawn restaged as a Foster’s ad starring the assembled cast of Neighbours: The Next Generation. With guns”) and disparaged Scream 4 (“is it not time for the once revolutionary Craven to stop recycling his back catalogue and take a stab at something new”).

Our favourite magazine for covering home entertainment releases is, again as we have noted before, Time Out. This week’s page (more often than not it’s two) had La Jetee as its lead; supporting roles were plated by Meek’s Cutoff (Soda), Please Yourself (Network) and The Garden Of The Finzi Contini (Arrow), its Blu-ray Revivals were the first three Spy Kids films (Miramax) and The Big Lebowski.

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