Taking No Prisoners

Friday, February 7 2014
Taking No Prisoners

Prisoners had an outstanding box office performance, which surprised some, and the film’s success looks set to continue to its home entertainment release, certainly if the reviews for its DVD and Blu-ray bow are anything to go by.

The film was not only the most reviewed, as our weekly round up of coverage for home entertainment releases shows, but also its best reviewed too, garnering strong praise wherever it went, which certainly bodes well for its sales.

Elsewhere, Rush picked up some further reviews after its first week on release, while Wings flew the flag for classic restorations. Oh, and About Time got plenty of coverage, but most of it was merely an excuse to beat the Working Title romcom machine.

We’ll start with our traditional first port of call, the Metro newspaper, which led with the previous weekend’s best performer, Rush (Studiocanal), saying that it was “the best non-documentary movie ever made about Formula 1”. It went on to cover Warner’s The Call (“predictable premise”) and The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones (eOne). Elsewhere, there was an interview with Vikings star Clive Standen in the My Top Five Films selection, with him choosing his favourites (Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind, Aliens, Good Will Hunting, Michael Clayton and American History X).

The Evening Standard featured Prisoners (eOne), setting the standard for its reviews over the weekend, saying “sensational acting and a cliché confounding plot… made this film fly by”. It went on to cover an eclectic choice, taking in Kiss Of The Damned (Eureka), Thanks For Sharing (Koch Media), Wadjda (Soda), Romeo & Juliet (EV) and the “brilliantly restored” Wings (Eureka Masters Of Cinema). It also covered the Nordicana event, interviewing The Bridge stars and plugging Arrow’s release of the second series of the Nordic Noir programme.

The Sun went back to Rush, giving it the DVD Of The Week spot and a glowing review, which concluded: “As a champagne-spraying celebration of excess speed and rivalry, this is an absolute adrenalin rush.” In keeping with many of the previous weekend’s reviews, it was nearly as reverent in its praise for EV’s Sunshine On Leith (“it’s cheery, cheesy… it’d take a hard heart not to enjoy this blast of sunshine”). Also reviewed were Banshee Chapter (101) and Warner’s The Call (“all too easy to hang up on”).

Meanwhile, just last week we were praising the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket for changing tack and praising a whole bunch of films. Well, it was a return to form this time around, with reviews for SPHE’s Austenland (“unfunny and implausible… miserable”), eOne’s Justin And The Knights Of Valour (“only the very young will tolerate the terribly plodding storyline”) and Universal’s About Time (“the sci-fi premise is merely a peg on which to hang the usual ingredients of bumbling but likable Brits, postcard scenery and a transatlantic romance”). The only good words were for eOne’s Prisoners (“tough, thought-provoking”).

The Daily Express went big on Prisoners too, saying: “A spellbinding, cleverly constructed drama filled with moments that make your flesh creep and your heart pound.” There was one of the best notices thus far for
About Time, and a further glowing notice for the Studiocanal Poirot Blu-ray box set.

The Guardian’s regular Your Next Box Set feature covered, somewhat belatedly, seeing as it turned up on Netflix some time ago, House Of Cards (SPHE).

Saturday now and the usual mentions for home entertainment product in the Saturday television magazines. The Daily Mail’s Weekend featured “gripping drama” Lucan, the Daily Express’ S had The Bridge (Arrow), the Sun’s TV Magazine had Prisoners (“brilliantly crafted, superbly acted and totally nail-biting”) as its DVD Of The Week, Line Of Duty its Box Set Of The Week and the Daily Mirror’s We Love TV had a competition featuring Bates Motel Season One (Universal).

On to the quality press, with The Guardian’s Guide devoting the bulk of its coverage to Rush, with further mentions for The Selfish Giant, Sunshine On Leith, The Call, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones. Its Catch Up And Download column elsewhere looked at Sky’s First Episodes initiative.

The Independent’s Radar went for the less obvious and started with Dogwoof’s Cutie And The Boxer (“an enchanting portrait”) before moving on to other familiar faces, such as Prisoners (“tense, gripping and surprisingly brutal”). There was a particularly brutal review of About Time (“creepy, cynical romantic comedy… has nothing funny or original to say about relationships”), also covered were Last Passenger (Kaleidoscope) and Girl Most Likely (Lionsgate).

The Times had another Bridge and Nordicana-related piece, while the cover story of its Review section was given over to Viking-mania, including a main image that was identical to the sleeve of Fox’s release, which was given a plug inside. As for its actual reviews, there was coverage for Prisoners, Wadjda and About Time.

Sunday and the People had Prisoners, including a competition, Runner Runner (Fox), Justin And The Knights Of Valour and Girl Most Likely, with, on its TV page, a competition offering prizes of The Bridge.

The Sunday Mirror had Vikings On its Staying In page, the similarly named feature in the Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine had Bates Motel. Elsewhere in Event, its DVD reviews took in Prisoners, Last Passenger and Penthouse North (Image Entertainment).

The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven covered Wings (“a real winner”), The Selfish Giant and Foxfire (Artificial Eye).

The Independent On Sunday had a review for About Time (“insulting and lazy”), Cutie And The Boxer (“enchanting”) and Prisoners. There was a further competition offering Prisoners as a prize.

We’ll end with The Observer, which covered Prisoners, Runner Runner, Austenland, About Time, Romeo & Juliet, Wadjda, and, via Netflix, In The House and Something In The Air.

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