Cast-Iron Coverage

Tuesday, September 18 2012
Cast-Iron Coverage

“Let’s drop the clumsy UK title,” said one of our favourite DVD reviewers, The Guardian Guide’s Phelim O’Neill, this week while referring to what is now known in the UK as Marvel Avengers Assemble, but over in the States is merely  The Avengers. He was one of the few reviewers who did mention the thorny issue of what’s in a name while referring to the latest from the Marvel (the first via Disney), but, as our weekly round up of coverage for DVD and Blu-ray releases shows, plenty of other reviewers did mention the film no matter what its title, the blockbuster was easily the most reviewed film of the week. Its hefty box office coverage helped, but the quality of this latest comic book film certainly helped elevate its coverage in national press and magazines over the weekend.

Faring well for a black and white title against such FX-friendly modern outings was Second Sight’s Les Enfants Du Paradis, which scored near unanimous five star reviews.

Our week in reviews kicks off on Thursday, with the Metro newspaper and its exemplary DVD coverage, under the Home Cinema banner. As it so often does, the paper’s lead title was one of the previous week’s best reviewed titles, Homeland (Fox), which got a glowing reciew and described ass “the most compelling new drama on TV”, with Claire Danes’ Carrie further called the “best female character on TV bar none”. Also winning praise were The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (SPHE), the “extraordinary cinematic journey” of Nostalgia For The Light (New Wave), Artificial Eye’s Goodbye First Love (“quiet moving and enchantingly shot”) and Momentum’s Safe (“if you’re wondering what  kind of rental bet this is, look no further than the title”). Faring less well was American Pie: Reunion from Universal (“just reminds us they haven’t been up to much lately”). In its regular slots, Five Films were chosen by director Alice Rohrwacher, promoting  her Corpo Celeste (Artificial Eye), while the Five Questions were asked of Vanessa Paradis,  plugging the release of Café De Flore (Momentum). The Lost Treasure for this week (Forgotten Classics Dug Up) was Network’s The Sweeney – The Complete First Series (“reminds you how good the original was”).

Moving on to Friday and we’ll start on another metropolitan freebie, London’s Evening Standard. It kicked off with Disney (and Marvel’s) Avengers Assemble (“a Marvel greatest hits package”), Cafe De Flore, Corpo Celeste (the “dreamy debut by Alice Rohrwacher”), Jeff Who Lives At Home from Paramount (“wee but nice”), the Blu-ray 3D bow launch of Titanic (Fox) and Studiocanal’s Silent House (“bog-standard haunted house with a bravura high concept”).

Moving on to the tabloids and the Daily Star featured Americanj Pie: Reunion in a major competition, offering box sets containing all four films in the franchise, as well as giving the Universal release one of its better reviews of recent weeks (“as lewdly and crudely hilarious as ever”). Also reviewed were a trio of titles all getting the maximum 10 out of 10, namely Avengers Assemble (“Hollywood’s most thrilling superhero movie”), SPHE’s 50th Anniversary Edition Lawrence Of Arabia (“still compelling after half a century in this finely restored director’s cut”) and Titanic.

The Sun plumped for Fox’s Homeland as its DVD Of The Week (“packs enough punch to Hold any viewer hostage”) before moving on to American Pie: Reunion (“you’ve heard all the tales before, everyone’s looking a little bit tired but you’ll enjoy catching up with old friend”) and The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (“Avast… sorry a vast amount of fun”).

The Daily Mirror’s The Ticket entertainment supplement led the way with Avengers Assemble picking up the DVD Of The Week slot, earning kudos for its final 40 minutes in particular being “truly something to behold”. Alongside the review there was a Q&A with one of its stars, Mark Ruffalo, aka Hulk. Scoring well alongside it were Lawrence Of Arabia (“rightly regarded as one of the best and most influential films ever made… a true masterpiece”) and Final Cut’s House Of The Long Shadows (“great fun”). Silent House (“if you’re looking for logic – or indeed chills – you’d be better to look elsewhere”) and Jeff Who Lives At Home (“you’ll need to be either in a forgiving mood, or very high, to like it”).

In the mid-market tabloids Avengers Assemble, with its “jaw-dropping special effects and a welcome sense of humour”, led the way in the Daily Express, alongside a somewhat belated review for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Over in the Daily Mail, there was a review for The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (“took five years to make but it was well worth it”).

The Independent’s i newspaper previewed three titles that would feature in its Radar magazine the next day, Les Enfants Du Paradis, Jeff Who Lives At Home and Avengers Assemble.

The Guardian’s Film & Music featured a major interview with James Cameron pushing Titanic in 3D, although, somewhat surprisingly, it didn’t plug the release in italics at the end of the feature, as is often the case. Instead it mentioned the airline who flew the journalist to Ireland, although the Blu-ray release was mentioned in the main body of the text. The same section’s regular Your Next Box Set feature featured Mr Show With Bob And David, although as it noted: “Since it only aired until 1998, the box set is now unlikely to ever get a UK release, but you can easily track it down at all the usual outlets for region 1 DVDs. Its 30 episodes are certainly worth the hunt.”

Saturday now, and the Daily Mail’s Weekend supplement featured Glee Season 3 (Fox) as its box set choice of the week, and another telly supplement, the Daily Mirror’s We Love TV featured the same release as a competition prize on its puzzle page.

Moving through to the quality press and assorted arts supplements, the Daily Telegraph’s Review magazine continued with its excellent coverage following its recent revamp. The most column inches – and a full five stars – went to Les EnfantsDu Paradis (Second Sight), adding that “it’s a treat, then, to have it crisply restored and released on DVD”. Also covered were the “jazzy and alluring” Innocent Sorcerers (Second Run) and Gates (BBC Worldwide). Its brief reviews took in Avengers Assemble (“hugely enjoyable, if not high art”), Jeff Who Lives At Home and Silent House. Its Tim Robey Recommends… column looked at Pathe’s Deep Water (“one of my favourite documentaries of the last decade”).

Over in The Guardian’s Guide, the lead review was given over to Avengers Assemble (“You’ll buy it and you’ll like it”), before covering, in brief the “classic French cinema” of Les Enfants Du Paradis, The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople (Start Productions), The Day Time Ended (88 Films) and House Of The Long Shadows. Its Planner section covered, among other choices from BBC’s iPlayer and the likes, True Blood on blinkbox.

In The Times’ Reviedw section there was another five star review for the “witty masterpiece” Les Enfants Du Paradis (“newly restored with a rich documentary”), as well as Harvey (Universal) and Avengers Assemble.

The Independent’s Radar magazine featured one of the weekend’s best reviews for Jeff Who Lives At Home (“This low-key comedy… is droll and quite touching”), Avengers Assemble, the latest release from the BFI’s Ghost Stories From The BBC (“Their influence on The League Of Gentlemen seems obvious”), Acorn’s Filthy Rich And Catflap, another from the BFI, British Transport Films: Collection London On The Move (“soothing”) and another five star review for Les Enfants Du Paradis (“ravishing”).

Sunday and a quick look at the tabloids, as the Pdeople featured Homeland Season 1 on its television pages.

The Sunday Mirror had The Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection (Warner), which it somewhat unsurprisingly described as “one for Potter  fanatics”, as well as Anvengers Assemble (“one of the must-have films of the year. It is an action-packed delight”).

Two in the Daily Star Sunday, namely Avengers Assemble (“the summer’s most complete Hollywood blockbuster”) and American Pie: Reunion (“surprisingly finny big screen reunion”). That same pairing also featured in a wildly different newspaper, namely the Independent On Sunday.

The Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine featured two DVD and Blu-ray titles in its This Week’s Entertainment Releases topm10, taking in the “hi-def superhero larks” of Avengers Assemble and Andre Rieu – Under The Stars (Decca).

The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine took in Corpo Celeste, Network’s The Lodger (“Splendid stuff”) and, from a few weeks back, RoGoPaG (Eureka).

The Observer’s Mark Kermode took in the “awkwardly titled” Avengers Assemble (“the overall impression is of a film made for love as well as money”), Silent House, Breathing (Verve) and El Bulli (Artificial Eye). Philip French’s Classic DVD was That Obscure Object Of Desire (Studiocanal).

Over in the Radio Times, there were reviews for Homeland, Avengers Assemble and Silent House, while Time Out had a brace of titles both getting a full five stars, namely Cassavetes’ “masterpiece” A Woman Under  The Influence (BFI) and Les Enfants Du Paradis (“a luminous remaster”), as well as, in brief, Avengers Assemble and Cannnibal Women In The Avocado Jungle Of Death (88 Films).

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