Salmon Feeds The Hunger
It was a weekend where The Hunger Games dominated the proceedings, from in-store and online activity through to – as our weekly round-up of press coverage for home entertainment releases shows – reviews too.
For the blockbuster release beat out the opposition in terms of column inches in newspapers and magazines. And in a strong weekend for Lionsgate, its other bug release, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, drew almost as much coverage.
It was a strong weekend for TV reviews too, with Accused and Boardwalk Empire blowing the trumpet for quality TV on DVD releases from both sides of the Atlantic. And in terms of reissues, Disney’s 101 Dalmatians and Jaws received coverage too (although not round here, as we didn’t receive press updates for either).
One of those TV titles, Accused, starts off our weekend, taking the lead slot in the Metro on Thursday, being described as “powerfully raw drama”. Also performing well was Disney’s Cinderella (“properly deserves Disney’s most overused word: ‘magical’”) with further coverage An Audience With Joan Rivers (Network), and negative reviews for Blade Of Kings (Metrodome), The Lucky One (Warner) and Detention (SPHE).
In its regular columns, Luke Goss chose his Five Films, plugging the release of Interview With A Hitman – his selections, incidentally, were Star Wars, Unforgiven, Gladiator, The Italian Job and The Color Purple. The Five Questions were asked of Michael Rapaport, actor turned director whose first feature, the documentary about A Tribe Called Quest, Beats Rhymes And Life, is out from Soda Pictures and was mentioned after the interview.
On to Friday, and the Evening Standard featured Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (“a pure and very effective romcom”), The Hunger Games, (Lionsgate) making the first of many appearances over the weekend, although not one of its most popular (“bewilderingly popular”), eOne’s Albert Nobbs (“probably rather racy if you’re over 100 years old”), Beats Rhymes And Life and Cloclo (Studiocanal). Under a separate box set header, there was a timely appearance, ahead of the new series airing on TV, for Dallas: The Complete Collection (Warner).
DVD Of The Week in The Sun went to eOne’s The Walking Dead (“A vicious set-up for the third season suggests The Walking Dead is picking up its heels”), with another good review for Accused: Series One, with a four star notice, below it, although there were no kind words for Warner’s The Lucky One (“If you manage to steer clear of this one, count yourself lucky”).
The Daily Star had a giveaway for The Hunger Games, offering a TV as well as copies of the DVD to the lucky winners, with a review alongside the competition (“Even if you haven’t read the books,” it said, “you can’t fail to be thrilled and chilled”). It was a big week for maximum marks in the Star, with not just The Hunger Games scoring 10 out of 10, that same score was also doled out to Universal’s Blu-ray bow for Jaws (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the DVD player…”) and another Blu-ray bow, for Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (“Magnificent animation adds to the timeless entertainment”). Also reviewed was Boardwalk Empire and HBO’s “equally compelling second season”).
The Daily Mirror’s The Ticket supplement was far kinder than normal too, with one five out of five stars review for Jaws (“as thrilling and frightening as ever, and now looks just incredible”) and a four star review for its DVD Of The Week, The Hunger Games (“a sci-fi thriller that’s surprisingly good, gory fun… Provided, that is, you’ve never seen a film called Battle Royale”). Other titles covered films-wise included Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, African Cats (Disney) and Albert Nobbs (“a yawn”). In a TV DVD section at the bottom of the page there were more positive reviews, five stars for Accused (“It’s no secret that Jimmy McGovern has written some amazing TV, but he has seriously outdone himself here”) and four stars for The Walking Dead (“An atmospheric, genuinely tense chiller”) Network’s complete first series of The Sweeney (a “cracking four-disc set”) and “surreal comedy” Wilfred: The Complete Season 1 (Fox). Also reviewed was Filthy< Rich And Catflap: 25th Anniversary Edition (Acorn).
More for The Hunger Games in the mid-market tabloids, with a review in the Daily Mail and the Daily Express (“One of the year’s best blockbusters with a heart and a soul”). The film was the only review to appear in the former, but the Express also reviewed Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and 101 Dalmatians.
The Your Next Box Set feature in The Guardian was given over to Brideshead Revisited (ITV Studios Home Entertainment).
Saturday now, and the two newspapers and magazines that regularly featgure plugs for DVD releases were all present and correct: The Daily Mirror’s We Love TV supplement featured Accused, while the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine featured HBO’s second season of Boardwalk Empire.
Moving up to the quality press, The Independent’s Radar section featured a fuve star revi8ew for Boardwalk Empire Season 2 (“takes a while to get cooking, but the final three episodes are cooking”), with, in descending order in terms of their approval, further reviews for The Hunger Games, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, Albert Nobbs and The Lucky One (“Dull, schmaltzy and vaguely insulting”).
The Lionsgate pair of The Hunger Games (“unusually intelligent and vicious for a film aimed at teens”) and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen were featured again in the review section of The Times, alongside another five star rating for Jaws.
While The Times has cut back on its coverage in recent weeks, it was good to see the Daily Telegraph’s similarly titled Review section upping its content, with three main reviews – for Boardwalk Empire (“With its richly drawn characters and breathtaking cinematography, season two… makes for intoxicating television”), The Walking Dead and Inspector Montalbano (Acorn), – the trio of TV titles were joined by briefer mentions for Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, The Hunger Games and Albert Nobbs. In addition, critic Tim Robey has launched a new column, which, as he explains: “For readers looking to cast the net of discoveries a little wider, this new weekly column is specifically dedicated to old releases. It’s designed to nudge great films to the top of Amazon wishlists, LOVEFiLM queues, iTunes shopping baskets.” His first selection (one of the few criteria is that it must be readily available) was Oasis (Third Window Films).
The ever-supportive Guardian Guide featured Jaws, giving it arguably one of its best, and most incisive reviews of the weekend – we’ve noted before, regular DVD writer Phelim O’Neill is one of the more incisive contributors to this sector. “Do you really need another copy of Jaws?” he asked, before outlining why it is so different from today’s crop of summer hits, and concluding: “It’s like seeing it again for the first time. Scenes that were murky on previous formats are crisp and clear here. So, yes, you really do need another copy of Jaws.” He had further mentions for Boardwalk Empire, The Hunger Games, [REC] Genesis and Filthy, Rich And Catflap (Acorn). Elsewhere in the same publication, a review for Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (Momentum) turned up in its comedy section.
Sunday now and, whizzing through the tabloids, the Sunday Mirror had the Lionsgate one-two of “exciting sci-fi film” The Hunger Games and “engaging feelgood film” Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.
The People had Boardwalk Empire on its TV pages, while over in the Daily Star Sunday, there were five and four stars aplenty, for the likes of Boardwalk Empire (“action-packed and twisty second season”), Jaws (“stunning HD transfer for this eye-popping Blu-ray debut”), The Hunger Games (“Who needs Twilight?”), Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (“delivers some big laughs”) and even Albert Nobbs, as well as Disney’s African Cats.
The Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine had reviews for Jaws, The Hunger Games and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen. Over in the Sunday Express, its relentless promotion for sister company Channel 5’s transmission of the new take on Dallas saw it featuring Warner’s Complete Collection DVD box.
The Independent On Sunday featured The Hunger Games and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.
The Lionsgate duo were both in the weekend edition of the Financial Times, with a further five star notice for Boardwalk Empire (“more multi-layered than a mille-feuille, this superlative second act climaxes with more revelations than the Bible…”).
Ever-reliable for taking the road less travelled, the Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine featured The Mudlark (Fox) and Revolver’s The Flowers Of War, alongside one of the more obvious choices (Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.
In The Observer, Mark Kermode led off with a review of Cloclo, before moving on to Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and Albert Nobbs, saving his most pointed barbs for Piranha DD (“On DVD, the two-dimensional film loses the one reason for its miserable existence – a rubbish titular pun – leaving foolhardy punters with nothing more than some lame gore, softcore T&A and stunningly unfunny cameos”. Also in The Observer, a piece about Breaking Bad on Netflix and Philip French choosing his classic DVD, Revolution.
Magazines-wise, we’ll close with Time Out, which chose “the truly great and rewarding rediscovery” of The Trial (Studiocanal), The Hunger Games, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, That Obscure Object Of Desire (Studiocanal), Piranha DD (EV), Silent Souls (Artificial Eye), The Artist Is Present (Dogwoof), Jaws and 01 Dalmatians.
Over in the Radio Times, there were mentions for The Hunger Games, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and Lockout, while Sarah Millican’s column flagged her forthcoming sophomore DVD outing and there was a further mention for Breaking Bad’s availability via Netflix.Tags: PR, reviews
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