Pirate DVD Gets Good Press

Friday, February 14 2014
Pirate DVD Gets Good Press

Two wildly diverse films were going neck and neck this week to become the most reviewed title in the national press, as our regular round up of coverage for home entertainment releases highlights.

In one corner, Tom Hanks, aka Captain Phillips, continuing its good reviews from theatrical; in the other James McAvoy, in arguably his finest role, as the bent copper in Filth.

Both were vying for coverage, with, perhaps, the bigger budget release shading it. Also performing well were middle-aged romances aplenty, in both Le Week-end and Enough Said, while on the TV front Death Comes To Pemberley picked up some column inches.

First point of call is, as ever, the Metro newspaper. And, true to form, its first review was the best-reviewed film of the previous weekend, namely Prisoners. It was followed by Runner Runner (Fox) and 42 (Warner). Under a separate Box-Set Blitz headline its best review of the week was for Line Of Duty (Acorn), it said: “Until we can hook up again with The Bridge’s Saga Noren and co, here’s another tight, single-story cop drama to keep us going.” Elsewhere, it featured a half-page interview with Xan Cassavetes, pushing Eureka’s release of Kiss Of The Damned, while its regular My Top Five Films talked to director Martin Persiel about his five, flagging up the Luxin release of This Ain’t California (his choices were Apocalypse Now, Fitzcarraldo, Apocalypse Now, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Rush).

The Evening Standard led with the “glorious slab of raucous grotesque” that is Filth (Lionsgate), moving on to SPHE’s Captain Phillips (“a nailbiter with a big Hollywood finish”), Seduced And Abandoned (Soda), How I Live Now (eOne), LeWeek-End (Curzon) and Enough Said (Fox).

The Sun’s Something For The Weekend gave over space to a competition for Filth, offering copies of the film and, as top prize, a TV and Blu-ray player, but still had room for a trio of titles, from About Time to Runner by way of its DVD Of The Week, Prisoners (“holds you captive”).

With a batch of three star reviews, it was a relatively positive week in the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket supplement. DVD Of The Week was Captain Phillips, with similar marks for Turbo and Filth. The highest mark went to “light and bright romantic comedy” Enough Said (“warm, witty and wise… a constantly amusing big-hearted ray of sunshine”).

Better marks in the Daily Star, where Captain Phillips, also the beneficiary of a competition, got 10 out of 10 (“stark suspense grips from the start and never lets you relax”), there were further spots for Fox’s Wargames on Blu-ray, Filth (“a gripping black comedy”) and Rocky The Complete Saga (MGM/Fox).

Captain Phillips also featured in the Daily Mail.

The Your Next Box Set feature in The Guardian was given over to Rescue Me, the Dennis Leary starring show of which it noted: “This unflinching, darkly funny tale of fires and firefighters is one of the most underrated shows of recent years.”

Saturday and the usual mentions dotted around the Saturday TV supplements in the tabloid press: Death Comes To Pemberley (BBC Worldwide) in Daily Mail’s Weekend, Dracula Season 1 (Universal) and Captain Phillips and Death Comes To Pemberley in The Sun’s TV magazine.

Still no reviews in the Daily Telegraph’s Review, although there was a major piece on House Of Cards ahead of Netflix airing the second series, while The Independent’s Radar had that contradiction that often sees DVD reviews columns disappearing: a full page ad for Prisoners from eOne cutting its coverage, including the home entertainment section. Oh the irony…

The Times Review section previewed House Of Cards, there were also reviews for Captain Phillips (“so stress inducing your nerves will be left in shreds”), Le Week-end (“a hoot”), Enough Said (“wry midlife rom-com… feels even more bittersweet”) and How I Live Now.

The Guardian’s Charlie Lyne (yet to mention even having watched an extra feature this year, since he started his column, incidentally), looked to Netflix to talk about Mitt, noting its release strategy by saying: “Now, after a groundbreaking deal that will have cinemas (and anyone else whose livelihood relies on getting between films and their audiences) smashing their wireless routers in anger, Mitt is available to stream around the world exclusively on Netflix.” Also mentioned in dispatches were Prisoners, About Time and Wadjda.
The weekend edition of the Financial Times covered Le Week-end, Captain Phillips (“nailbiting”), Gloria (Network) and Prince Avalanche.

Sunday and Captain Phillips (“gripping, powerful and beautifully shot”) was there in the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People, where it also benefited from a competition. Also in the latter were Filth, Not Another Happy Ending (Kaleidoscope), Le Week-end, and, on its TV page, Atlantis (BBC Worldwide).

The Daily Star Sunday gave a full five stars to Captain Phillips (“it’s brilliantly acted and unbearably tense”), as well as maximum marks to Filth (“makes the Bad Lieutenant look like Dixon Of Dock Green”), while Turbo (Fox) fared less well.

The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine had reviews for Metrodome’s The Nun, Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s (Curzon) and The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (Studiocanal).

Over in The Independent On Sunday the DVD Of The Week was Filth, although conversely it gave it one of its worse reviews. The film also benefited from a competition and there were further reviews for Captain Phillips Justin And The Knights Of Valour (eOne). Its regular Watch List column looked at films about visiting Paris, tying in with the release of Le Week-end.

We’ll end with The Observer, where Philip French’s Umbrellas Of Cherbourg was the classic DVD, while Guy Lodge reviewed Captain Phillips (“It’s a formidable fist of a film, yet not even the best Somali pirate thriller of 2013 – happily, its remarkable Danish twin A Hijacking is available on Blinkbox, so compare for yourself”), moving on to Enough Said, Gloria, Le Week-end, Filth, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (Universal), Prince Avalanche and Mitt on Netflix.

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