A Share Of The Spoils

Tuesday, September 25 2012
A Share Of The Spoils

With a clutch of equally strong but wildly diverse titles out on Monday September 24, the honours were split bwtween a quartet of titles when it came to garnering the most coverage, as our weekly round-up of press activity for DVD and Blu-rays shows.

All the four titles that got the most reviews had in common was the word “the” at the start of their names: The Raid, The Angel’s Share,  The Cabin In The Woods and The Dictator. All four did as well as each other, with arguably The Raid and The Cabin In The Woods shading it. And as is ever the case, the week in reviews begins on a Thursday with the double page spreads of coverage in the Metro newspaper, appearing under the Home Cinema banner,  and, again, as you’d expect, its lead review was the previous week’s biggie, in this case Marvel Avengers Assemble (Disney). It got a four star review, with a brief caveat, saying: “A few bits of dodgy dialogue aside, this all-action extravaganza is a superhero spectacular.” Also covered were the “steadily amusing” Jeff Who Lives At Home (Paramount), Anton Corbijn: Inside Out (Momentum), Silent House (Studiocanal), Café De Flore (Momentum) and the “way more watchable than grim” Breathing (Verve). Also covered in its regular feature slots were Avengers Assemble, via an interview with Robert Downey Jr in the Five Questions column, All In Good Time (Studiocanal), through an interview with Nigel Cole, selecting his Five Films (Local Hero, Midnight Ryun, Play It Again Sam, About Schmidt and A Hard Day’a Night). Its Lost Treasure (Forgotten Classics Dug Up) was Le Quai Des Brumes (Studiocanal).

Friday and thew other major metropolitan free newspaper, the Evening Standard. This week the paper featured a clutch of titles, veering from the “brilliantly choreographed, all-action masterpiece” The Raid (Momentum) and something mega- and meta-smart, The Cabin In The Woods (Lionsgate) and ribald comedy The Dictator (Paramount) and “redemptive comedy” The Angel’s Share (eOne), by way of documentary El Bulli: Cooking In Progress (Artificial Eye).

On to the tabloids, starting with The Sun, and there was plenty here, with a competition joining its regular reviews. DVD Of The Week was Avengers Assemble, alongside Silent House (“apart from a few whimpewrs, this one will leave you sitting in comfortable silence”) and How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Lionsgate). And the competition? This was devoted to the Bond 50 Blu-ray Collection (Fox), with a wealth of 007 goodies as prizes, including the box set signed by a former Bond himself, Roger Moore.

The Ticket supplement in the Daily Mirror plumped for The Dictator as its choice pf DVD Of The Week as it “crashes onto DVD, the upshot being a rising mushroom cloud of appalled laughs”. The rest  of the revews were more complimentary than usual for the paper’s DVD coverage, taking in The Angel’s Share and “one of the horror films of the year, The Cabin In The Woods and  The Raid (“for fanboys only`”), How I Spent My Summer Vacation and All In Good Time. Elsewhere in the same supplement there was a half page competition for Glee, offering camborders and home cinema systems as prizes, as well as advertising for Desperate Housewives and Avengers  Assemble, the former tagged with play.com, the latter with Asda.

Moving on to the Daily Star and the newspaper had its usual mix of competition and reviews. The former was taken up by The Dictator, offering up signed copies of the film, alongside a 10 out of 10 review for the title (“Bad taste never tasted this good, as great gross gags follow lurid low laughs”). The other reviews were for Paramount’s To Catch A Thief (“Alfred Hitchcock at his polished best”), Fox’s My Friednd Flicka (“an authentic Hollywood great”) and another  10 out of 10 mark for The Raid (“the finest thriller in years”).

The Daily Express reviewed Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema take on Cleopatra (“the opulent sets, lavish spectacle and lascivious nonsense still make for an entertaining film”), the “violent, disreputable pulp fiction thriller” How I Spent My Summer Vacation and faring best  of all, the “hilarious, heartwarming combination of 21st century fairytale and 40s-style Ealing comedy” The Angel’s Share.

The Guardian’s regular Your Next Box Set feature in its Film & Music section was given over to The Undersea World Of Jacques Cousteau (History Channel/Go Entertain), explaining that “Cousteau made the oceans rock n roll…”).

Saturday and a quick glance for a couple of regular mentions for TV-related product in some of the national newspapers’ telly supplements included a review for the eighth and final season of Desperate Housewives (Disney) in the Daily Mail’s Weekend, with Russell Howard’s Good News (4DVD) in the Daily Mirror’s We Love TV.

On to the broadsheet press and the Daily Telegraph’s Review, in keeping with many of the weekend’s publications, featured Homeland, previewing the second series, although few mentioned the DVD, released a couple of weeks ago. In terms of reviews, it plumped for “one of television’s hidden gems” Community: Season 2 (SPHE), Cleopatra (“its delights are many) and Freddie Mercury The Great Pretender, from Eagle Rock (“a rewarding and moving experience”) and, in brief, Cabin In The Woods (“a seismically satisfying plot twist”), The Dictator (“dazzlingly disgusting”) and The Angel’s  Share (“British comedy at is warmest and most pleasurable”), while its regular Tim Robey Recommends slot, aimed at introducing readers to titles that maybe weren’t on their radar, was taken up by A Town Called Panic (Studiocanal).

The Independent’s Radar magazine reviewed The Cabin In The Woods, The Raid (“makes most US action films feel  li8ke a lollop around Hundred Acre Wood”), Dark Horse (Axiom),The Light (New Wave Films), The Dictator and How I Spent My Summer Vacation, while there was a half page interview with James Murphy about the LCD Soundystem film, Shut Up And Play The Hits (Pulse Films).

The Times’ similarly named review section took in The Lodger (Network), The Raid and First Night.

Over in The Guardian, its main review was given over to The Raid (“So many big-budget movies badly fumble the action and edit it into incomprehensibility. The Raid, by contrast, gets down and dirty and focuses on doing it all correctly – it’s one long good bit.”), with, in brief, Community Season 2, Lady Snowblood (Arrow Video), My Way (Universal) and the “audacious, entertaining Joss Whedon-scripted horror deconstruction” The Cabin In The Woods. Its Planner section flagged up Boardwalk Empire on blinkbox.

Sunday and in the People there was mention of Desperate Housewives and the latest series of Glee (Fox)  in its TV pages, while Avengers Assemble featured in its TV coverage.

The Sunday Mirror reviewed  The Cabin In The Woods (“an insanely enjoyable, genre-twisting horror/fantasy romp… Funny and highly entertaining”) and Covert Affairs Season 2 (Universal).

The Daily Star Sunday went from Indonesia (the “hufely entertain ing and surprising action thriller” The Raid), Wadiya (the “dirty bomb loaded with laughs” that is The Dictator), a remote American holiday retreat (“tongue in cheek slasher” The Cabin In The Woods) and the Highlands (The Angel’s Share).

The Sun’s Fabulous magazine had a prize giveaway for Bones on its crossword page. Meanwhile, there was more for Bond – the Fox Blu-ray release has picked u[p a lot of interest in feature pages – in both the Sunday editions of The Sun and Sunday Express.

The Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine featured, in its This Week’s Entertainment Releases, the complete Resident Evil on Blu-ray , The Raid and How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

The weekend edition of the Financial Times reviewed The Angel’s Share, Dark Horse and How I Spent My Summer Vacation, with Second Sight’s Les Enfants Du Paradis (“beautifully restored, essential viewing”) scoring maximum marks.

The samew film also earned a five star review in the Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine, as did Mr Bongo Films’ Don Quixote, with God Bless America (Studiocanal) sandwiched between them.

The Independent On Sunday reviewed The Dictator and The Cabin In The Woods.

The Observer and the ever dependable Mark Kermode lead on The Raid, (“[director] Gareth Huw Evans ups the ante with deliriously vibrant scenes of destruction, leaving the viewer wincing, gawping and gasping for breath”), moving on to The Cabin In The Woods, “uplifting caper” The Angel’s Share, Free Men (Artificial Eye) and The Dictator. Philip French’s Classic DVD was Les Enfants Du Paradis.

The Radio Times featured The Dictator, The Raid and The Cabin In The Woods, while Time Out, in its last week as a paid for magazine plumped for Lady Snowblood, The Landlord (Studiocanal), the “breathlessly entertaining” The Cabin In the Woods , The Dictator, The Angel’s Share, Don Quixote (a “serious, witty, heartfelt and incredibly moving translation”), The Lodger and Das Testament Des Dr Mabuse (Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema).

In ShortList, Bond 50 led the way, followed  by The Cabin In The Woods on its PlayList page, while its competition page featured more Bond as wll as Malcolm In The Middle (Fremantle).

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