Watching The Detective

Monday, June 16 2014
Watching The Detective

It’s dominated entertainment pages, spilled over in to the news sections and been a favourite of cultural commentators for the past six months or so and, on its home entertainment bow; True Detective once again ruled the waves.

For the HBO series stood out from a predominantly bloke-friendly pre-Father’s Day crop of releases to become the most reviewed film of the weekend according to our weekly round-up of press coverage for home entertainment releases.

It beat off competition from the likes of The Monuments Men and Robocop to win its place among the national newspapers from Friday through to Sunday, while, on the independent front, The Past earned its fair share of coverage too

The Evening Standard kicked off with the “fascinating subversive drama” that is The Past (Artificial Eye), before it went on to Universal’s Lone Survivor (“the centrepiece is the best depiction of the blood and brutality of close combat in years”), “intense Lithuanian sci-fi” Vanishing Waves (Autonomy), Lionsgate’s Out Of The Furnace (“slow building, mesmerising, old school drama”), Studiocanal’s Robocop (“pretty but pointless”) and Universal’s Lost Vegas.

The Daily Star featured the “cracking yarn” Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount) as its lead review, with a competition offering up copies of the film as prizes too. Also covered were Last Vegas, Robocop (“sizzling reboot with stunning special effects”) as well as a Blu-ray of SPHE’s Stuart Little 2 (“one of the few sequels that’s even better than the original”).

DVD Of The Week in the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket supplement was Fox’s The Monuments Men (“within artillery range of awfulness”), alongside Robocop and Last Vegas, although the best mark went to Lone Survivor (“a thoroughly entertaining thriller and not since the 2010 documentary Restrepo has the war on terror’s follies been so keenly and pointedly observed”).

The Sun covered one of the previous week’s big releases, eOne Dallas Buyers Club (“a worthy study”), alongside Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount) and Out Of The Furnace (Lionsgate).

The Daily Express featured True Detective (“if you missed one of the TV events of the year, now is the chance to see what all the fuss is about”), Monuments Men and Last Vegas.

The Guardian’s Your Next Box Set feature was given over to Generation War (Arrow), which said it was both a “historical cop-out” and “utterly compelling drama”.

A raft of appearances in the Saturday TV magazines, as ever: The Daily Mirror’s We Love TV featured a competition giving away prizes of True Detective Season 1, the same title also featured in the Daily Mail’s Weekend, as well as being given the Box Set Of The Week plaudit in The Sun’s TV magazine (“striking drama” it was called) while the DVD Of The Week was Lone Survivor (“a true story that has brains as well as guns”). Over in the Daily Express’ Saturday magazine there was a competition offering up True Blood (HBO) and a home entertainment system.

Lead title in The Times’ Review section was True Detective (“it burns slowly, but hypnotically”), followed by the “solemn, shimmering drama” The Past and Last Vegas.

The Independent’s Radar kicked off with five stars for True Detective (“a gripping, elegantly HBO cop series”), moving through The Past (“a deftly handled examination of modern chaos with excellent performances”), Studiocanal’s Cuban Fury (“desperately average”), the “satirical masterpiece” If… (Eureka’s Masters Of Cinema) and Robocop (“a bleak future vision”).

The Guardian’s Home Entertainment series looked at the Disney Villain series, concluding that “the full collection on Blu-ray will set back Disney completists a little over $200, ensuring these animated classics stay fresh for a whole new generation of (extremely wealthy two to seven year olds”. Also mentioned were recent releases Dallas Buyers Club (eOne), Re-animator (Second Sight) and The Armstrong Lie (SPHE).

The weekend edition of The Financial Times featured The Past (“heartbreaking with a luminous human quality amid the darkness”), True Detective (“enigmatic and gripping”) and, in a second five-star review for HBO, the second season of Veep.

Sunday and The Monuments Men fared better than it had on the Saturday, kicking off things with a review in the Sunday Mirror.

The Sunday People featured a quintet of titles ranging from Lone Survivor through to Cuban Fury, The Monuments Men, Robocop and Last Vegas. Its TV page had a competition offering a giveaway of the 13th season of Family Guy (Fox).

The Daily Star Sunday featured a five-star review for True Detective (“dark, brooding and brilliant, this is the best cop show for years”) and four for Lone Survivor (“the most authentic war film since Black Hawk Down”) and “whimsical” The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox), as well as “muddled comedy” The Monuments Men.

True Detective featured in the Sunday Express’ S magazine.

It was there again in the Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine, not once but twice, first in the Staying In page, alongside Battle Company Korengal (Kaleidoscope), while it received one of its worst reviews – a mere three stars – in the DVD reviews page, where it appeared next to Ray Donovan (Paramount).

The Independent On Sunday featured The Armstrong Lie, True Detective and Robocop with a competition for Arrested Development (Fox).

And we’ll end with The Observer, which kicked off with reviewer Guy Lodge noting: “Father’s Day beckons, and DVD shelves are laden with even more stubbly, gung-ho new releases than usual; if your dad lies films with multiple speaking parts for women, you’d best do some digging.” He covered True Detective, Lone Survivor, The Monuments Men, Robocop, The Past and, from Netflix, Free Fall.

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