Green With Envy
With their place already firmly sealed in popular culture and with assorted critics already fawning over its theatrical release, The Muppets was guaranteed to get coverage on its home entertainment release. And, as our weekly round-up of press and PR coverage for home entertainment releases shows, it certainly achieved that.
Disney has breathed new life into the dormant franchise anmdit certainly got plenty of column inches in terms of reviews over the past few days.
It was joined by a clutch of other releases, taking in the likes of Man On A Ledge, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close as well as bipic J Edgar and, in horror terms, good to see Return Of The Living Dead making a fair few appearances.
The week in reviews starts, as ever, on a Thursday and the Metro’s excellent spread of Home Cinema coverage. Leading the way was one of last week’s better reviewed titles, Coriolanus (Lionsgate) which was, it said, a “bold but subtle first effort”. Also reviewed, and continuing a decent run of coverage was Juan Of The Dead (Metrodome), alongside W.E. (Studiocanal), which was “awfully fascinating and fascinatingly awful”, G2’s Red Dog (“a delight”), Goon (eOne) and A Monster In Paris (eOne). The latter film’s director Bibo Bergeron was quizzed for the Metro’s regular Five Questions slot, while the Five Films regular feature had Red Dog helmer Kris Stenders choosing his quintet of his personal favourites (2001: A Space Odyssey, Jaws, Paris, Texas, Mon Oncle and Ghosts Of The Civil Undead. The Lost Treasure column was given over to Studiocanal’s 75th anniversary release of You Only Live Once (“still challenging and unsettling”).
Friday’s first port of call is the Evening Standard, with the DVD reviews column tucked away inside the paper’s wider film coverage. Heading the pack was The Muppets (“lots of fun”), followed by J Edgar, Man On A Ledge, Surviving Life (New Wave), Warner’s Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (“both tastefuly and tacky”) and Battle Of The Pacific (Arrow).
On to the red-top tabloids and their Friday entertainment coverage, starting with The Sun and its Something For The Weekend section. It kicked off with Coriolanus (Lionsgate), which is, it noted, “a gritty play for a gritty era”, concluding that Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut is “worth uncovering”. Also reviewed were the wildly disparate brace of titles from eOne, Goon (“plenty of jolly hockey sticks”) and A Monster In Paris (“this kooky flea circus is worth a visit”).
Leading the way in the Daily Star was DTV actioner The Courier (eOne), with a competition offering copies of the film as well as a 32 inch TV set alongside a review. Further reviews took in J Edgar, given a maximum 10 out of 10 (a “compellingly told… Magnificent biopic”); The Muppets, which also scored full marks (“the year’s most enjoyable and funny movie”) and eOne’s Man On A Ledge.
The Muppets was the DVD Of The Week in the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket (“a film that’s much better than we had any right to expect – one to make instant fans of children and to please the old-timers”) and Return Of The Living Dead (Second Sight) also got a positive notice, but everything else as poorly received: J Edgar (“This is one for historians… and insomniacs”), Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (Warner), Artificial Eye’s The Woman In The Fifth (“a generally terrible slice of supernatural hokum”) and Man On A Ledge (“80 per cent of the running time is concerned with the build-up to the big twist – and this one’s terrible”). Later in the same supplement there was a full half page competition for HBO’s Entourage, offering a weekend away in London as well as the full set of series one to eight of the programme.
Moving up to the mid-market tabloids and the Daily Mail had one or two titles that have already been released, namely EV’s The Artist (“easily the best film of 2011 and so charming it’s worth seeing again and again”) and Chronicle (“an unexpected treat”). The Daily Express was on hand to talk about J Edgar, The Muppets and Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (“uneven but handsomely crafted”).
The Guardian’s regular Your Next Box Set featured Roswell (Fox), the teen alien drama that enjoyed a three season run around the turn of the centre.
Saturday now and we traditionally look at a few telly supplements that take in DVD releases, and the Daily Mail’s Weekend supplement was all over Wallander (Arrow). The Daily Mirror’s We Love TV supplement had a competition offering prizes of copies of Silk (BBC Worldwide).
The Daily Telegraph’s Review section seems to have temporarily given up on DVD coverage, we’ll be monitoring this in the coming weeks and hope it doesn’t become a regular occurrence.
Meanwhile, the similarly named Saturday Review in The Times had a quartet of titles: The Woman In The Fifth, The Muppets (“back to their knowingly silly best”), a five-star review for Universal’s David Lynch Box Set (“in some cases even creepier in the HD format”) and J Edgar.
The excellent Radar magazine in the Independent continued its impressive bow, and covered Like Crazy (Paramount), already out for a few weeks and described as “profoundly touching”, Goon (eOne), The Muppets, Curb Your Enthusiasm Series 1-8 (HBO), which got a full five stars and the kind of remark that Larry David would make (“pretty, pretty good”) and another five star review for “hugely enjoyable con-man caper” The Sting, released as part of Universal’s 100th anniversary celebration. Alongside this was a feature on Bunuel’s The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie, newly restored and due a theatrical release in June ahead of its July Blu-ray release.
Plenty of DVD advertising in The Guardian’s Guide, with full page slots for both Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as a half page of reviews, Surviving Life, “the latest curio” from Jan Svankmajer, winning the bulk of the coverage, and the concluding note that despite being something of “an acquired taste… it confirms that Jan Svankmajer is as exceptional and unique a storyteller as he is a technician and artist”. Mentioned in the also out column alongside this were The Muppets (“proper family entertainment”), the BFI’s “wonderful compilation” Roll Out The Barrel: The British Pub On Film and Mystery Science Theatre 3000 The Movie (Medium Rare) and the “unmissable” The Sting.
Sunday and The Muppets were there again, turning up in The People, appearing on its regular We’re Loving page, joined on its TV pages by Treasure Island (Fox).
They were also in the Sunday Mirror (“a charming feel-good family film… Sweet, witty and fun,| it said) alongside The Sting (“as fun and exciting as ever”). Anchor Bay’s latest addition to the 10 Minute Solution range, Quick Tummy Toners, appeared as part of a competition on the contents page of the Mirror’s Celebs On Sunday magazine.
The familiar faces were there again in the Daily Star Sunday, The Sting scoring full marks for its “sparkling Blu-ray release”, The Muppets performing almost as well (“a furry delight”). Also there were Safe House (Fox), J Edgar and Fastest (Universal).
The Mail On Sunday featured Wallander on the In Demand page in its Live magazine (still no reviews in its, er, Review section), while Extremely Cloud And Incredibly Close, The Muppets, J Edgar, Lewis Series 3 (ITV Studios Home Entertainment) and Man On A Ledge all appeared in its This Week’s Entertainment Releases page.
J Edgar and Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close appeared in the Independent On Sunday.
It was interesting ot see Top Gear The Challenges (BBC Worldwide) and associated merchandise appearing in a guide to Father’s Day gifts in the The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine, while its mixed bunch of reviews took in War Horse, Martha Marcy May Marlene (Universal) and The Woman In The Fifth.
The Observer’s Mark Kermode praised The Muppets, giving it his usual ending for a film he loved (“Encore”), noting that it’s “must see family entertainment… as much fun to watch from halfway up the stairs as halfway down the aisle”. He had far less praise for Man On A Ledge (“high gloss whiffle”), “the worst reviewed best film contender in living memory” Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close and the “somewhat disappointing” J Edgar, although he was kinder to Babycall (Soda Pictures). Philip French’s Classic DVD (or rather, DVDs) slot was taken by the brace of Island Of Lost Souls and Ruggles Of Red Gap.
Somewhat predictably, the Radio Times featured The Muppets, as well as a belated showing for The Artist, as well as Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close as well as Wallander.Tags: PR, review
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