Walking Into Coverage
The Walking Dead have returned, roaming around America and, as our weekend round-up of coverage for home entertainment releases in the national press and magazines shows, into newspapers too.
For the second series of the zombie show was one of the best-reviewed titles of the week, scoring a strong amount of coverage. It was matched in terms of column inches, by The Lucky One, proving that Zac Efron can still command interest. Also scoring, at different end of the spectrum, we Cinderella and Outpost II.
We’ll start with the Metro on a Thursday and its regular spread of DVD coverage. As ever its lead title was one of the previous week’s best reviewed titles, Marley (Universal), which, it noted, was “an absorbing portrait of a much-loved but sometimes misrepresented legend”. None of the rest of the films covered were received nearly as well as the reggae star’s biopic. Elles and Faust (both Artificial Eye) were given so-so reviews, with Lockout (EV), “the kind of movie Guy Pearce said he’d never do”, Universal’s Outside Bet (“it’s one for grandpa to gently doze off to on a drizzly Sunday afternoon – but only once it’s re-run on Freeview”) and Monster Brawl, from Momentum, which will appeal to fans of horror and WWE wrestling, but, it noted, “the rest of us will be left wondering what the point of it all is”. Elsewhere, in its regular slots, there was more love for the BFI’s Ghost Stories releases, featured in the Lost Treasure Slot, while Irvine Welsh, promoting Kaleidoscope’s release of Ecstasy, chose his five favourite films for the Five Films spot (Fitzcarraldo, Double Indemnity, Eraserhead, Bad Lieutenant and Once Upon A Time In America, in case you’re interested). The coverage was completed by Five Questions asked of documentary film-maker extraordinaire Kevin Macdonald, the man behind Marley.
Friday now and sticking with the metropolitan free newspapers, as we picked up a copy of the Evening Standard for the first time in a few weeks. It kicked off with Detention (SPHE), which it called an “unexpected gem”, Universal’s Battleship (“as good as an advert for the US military”), “fascinating crossover doc” Going Vertical: The Shortboard Revolution (Blue Dolphin), Dinotasia (Revolver) and The Lucky One (Warner). Under a separate Box Set Of The Week heading, there was coverage for Go Entertain’s Bradley Wiggins And The British Invasion.
The Sun’s Something For The Weekend entertainment section chose Marley as its DVD Of The Week (“positive vibrations”), also covering Elles (“fearless and provocative fare”) and, on the end of a torpedo of a review, Battleship (“a tedious grunt of a movie that deserves a watery grave”).
The Daily Star had a full page devoted to its Small Screen reviews, with The Lucky One leading the way, with a competition (offering a pack of goodies, including book, charm bracelet, journal and a copy of the film) and review. Also reviewed were Coraline on Blu-ray (Universal), Starship Troopers: Invasion (SPHE) and, with a 10 out of 10 rating, Disney’s Cinderella (“superb storytelling, charming characters and delightful songs all add up to a Disney delight that never shows its age)
The DVD Of The Week in the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket supplement was also The Lucky One, alongside an interview with its star Zac Efron, although it didn’t perform nearly as well as Cinderella (“an endlessly enchanting animation, the like of which they don’t make anymore”). All its other reviews were poor – Showbox’s Truth Or Dare (“set to occupy a high place in my worst films of the year”), The Asylum Tapes (“Even 10 years ago it would have felt stale”) and The Dinosaur Project (“snores galore”).
The Daily Mail covered Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (Lionsgate), concluding of the bestselling adaptation that “the novel was more politically satirical, but I wouldn’t fault this for entertainment level”.
The Daily Express reviewed the Eureka Masters Of Cinema release of RoGoPaG, the “lovely, old-fashioned Disney version” of Cinderella and The Lucky One.
The Guardian’s Your Next Box Set feature took in Medium (Fox), which, it said, “is one deceased show that’s worth investigating”.
Saturday now, and the Daily Mail’s Weekend TV supplement featured The Good Wife Season 3 (Paramount) as its DVD Box Set release on its Your TV Week pages, while the Daily Mirror’s We Love TV supplement featured a competition offering prizes of eOne’s The Walking Dead Season 2.
For another week there were no reviews in the Daily Telegraph’s Review section, while the somewhat truncated review section in The Times’ similarly named supplement included Marley (“you can almost smell the ganja”) and RoGoPaG, “a treat for film buffs”.
The Guardian’s ever-reliable Guide supplement reviewed Detention (SPHE) and we heartily agreed with reviewer Phelim O’Neill’s words: “For anyone over the age of 20 it’s as baffling as the popularity of Skrillex, but it won’t make a heap of sense to its target audience either. However, despite being baffling, there is still something intriguing about it.” He also gave brief reviews for The Walking Dead Season 2 (“plays much better as a box set”), Rumble Fish, Dinotasia and RoGoPag. Its Planner section mentioned Messiah as being available from LOVEFiLM.
The Independent’s Radar magazine featured the Blu-ray bow for “Steven Spielberg’s endlessly re-watchable blockbuster” Jaws (Universal), and some rather brutal reviews for Truth Or Dare (“A cheap, corny British horror, with moments of visual flair”), This Must Be The Place (“There might be a decent comedy to be made about an absurd, middle-aged goth star tracking down a Nazi, but Paolo Sorrentino’s tedious, unfunny film isn’t it”), The Walking Dead Season 2 (“calls the BBC’s excellent apocalyptic drama Survivors, only without the intelligence”) and Lockout (“the sort of sub-Escape from New York sci-fi hogwash that’s ideal for a long-haul flight”).
Sunday now, and the People featured Battleship on its entertainment page, and, on its TV page, The Vampire Diaries (Warner).
The Sunday Mirror reviewed the “slick action adventure” of Lockout and eOne’s The Walking Dead Season 2 (“a thrilling and at times terrifying horror series that continues to grip”).
The Daily Star went from Outpost II to Cinderella via The Walking Dead, saying of the Disney version: “Cinders looks really ready for the ball in this eye-popping new “cleaned up” version of the 1950 Disney classic.
The Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine featured a trio of titles in its This Week’s Entertainment Releases top 10, namely The Good Wife, Starship Troopers: Invasion and The Lucky One.
The weekend edition of Financial Times had a trio of titles, The Island President (Dogwoof), Fallen Angels (Artificial Eye) and RoGoPaG.
The Independent On Sunday reviewed This Must Be The Place (“deeply bonkers… has its amusing and beautiful moments”) and The Lucky One (“the film slots a series of sun-kissed montages into the gap where its story should be”).
The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine took in three titles from Studiocanal, one from earlier this year (Bel Ami), one older film given a new lease of life (Woman In A Dressing Gown) and another newer French title (Delicacy).
Mark Kermode in The Observer was the first newspaper reviewer to look at what is certain to be one of next week’s biggest titles, The Hunger Games (Lionsgate), concluding “it all adds up to a surprisingly powerful first instalment that subsequent episodes (the books come as a trilogy) are going to struggle to match”. Kermode noted what this very column did last week while talking about Damsels In Distress (SPHE), and in particular the way it managed to divide critics and audiences, “with even the director’s most hardcore fans unsure whether to smile or scream at the endless kookiness that walks the thin line between quirky and irksome”.
He ended with The Lucky One, saying: “It’s no secret that I love Zac Efron, which may explain why I feel so charitable towards what is plainly formulaic guff of the highest order.”
We’ll end with a few of our favourite magazines we had a quick look at.
Time Out, shortly set to go free with a massively boosted circulation, had RoGoPaG as its DVD Of The Week (“great fun”), before moving on to Ghost Stories (“a treasure trove of spine-tinglers”), Rumble Fish, Marley, The Island President and Damsels In Distress.
The Radio Times had a trio of films (although no box set coverage, presumably due to space being limited because of all the Paralympics coverage): Battleship, Outside Bet and The Lucky One.
ShortList, as we noted last week, has plenty of adverts for current releases, this week featuring The Walking Dead Season 2, Outpost II and One In The Chamber (Anchor Bay). Reviews-wise, the free magazine featured Let The Bullets Fly (Metrodome) and The Walking Dead Season 2. Its competition page featured Outpost II and Cold Light Of Day (eOne).Tags: PR, reviews
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