Rising High

Wednesday, October 1 2014
Rising High

Another weekend and another wealth of titles hitting the market, although, as our regular round up of DVD coverage in the national press shows, there was not an actual runaway leader in terms of column inches.

It was, in effect, similar to last week, with lots of titles, many from the independent sector, all making headway. So everything from 300: Rise Of An Empire, to the wildly different Lilting all getting coverage. Given the quality of the reviews, you’d probably have to note that Lilting was the weekend’s winner, although the press’ love affair with Japanese anime giant Studio Ghibli – now drawing to an end with the closure of the company – continued for one last fling and coverage of The Wind Rises.

The Sun, our now regular starting point as it covers titles already on the shelves, often focusing on the previous weekend’s biggies, instead plumped for a digital release this week, looking at Disney’s Malifecent (“frequently magnificent”) before moving on to the physical world and Studiocanal’s Hannibal Season 2 (“a dish best served rare”), eOne’s Pompeii (“lovably disastrous”) and Tokarev (Anchor Bay) as its choices.

The Evening Standard featured the current raft of big releases and independent titles, moving from Warner’s digital release of Edge Of Tomorrow (“extremely smart Groundhog Day sci-fi action flick like Arnie used to make”), through to Lionsgate’s Postman Pat: The Movie (cheerful… with a little bit of something for everyone”), by way of New Wave’s Norte, The End Of History (“a masterpiece of long-take drama”), Artificial Eye’s Lilting, Studiocanal’s The Wind Rises (“a cool exercise in subtle subversion”) and Axiom’s Goltzius And The Pelican Company.

No 300: Rise Of An Empire in the Standard, but it was there in the Daily Star, with the lead review and a further competition in there, the former noting that it was “another thrilling tall tale of sizzling antique warfare”. Also reviewed, with five stars, was Fox’s Blu-ray release of the original version of Carrie (“forget the recent remake… this is far and away the best film based on a novel by Stephen King”), Postman Pat The Movie (“a raucous, attractively animated and seriously silly comedy that should appeal to kids and entertain adults”) and the triple pack of About Time, Love Actually and Notting Hill from Universal (“a trio of truly classy and perfectly cast classic romcoms”).

300: Rise Of An Empire was also DVD Of The Week in the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket. “All the subtlety of a sledgehammer,” it stated baldly, before giving similarly short shrift to Postman Pat: The Movie and Blended (Warner), reserving its best mark for Lilting (“poignant, haunting and humane”).

The Daily Express took in Jimmy’s Hall (“a sentimental, soft-centred history lesson”), The Angriest Man In Brooklyn (Signature) and, with its best mark, Lilting (“modest, touching tale of love with an outstanding performance from Ben Whishaw”).

Good to see mention of a DVD release back in the Daily Mail, as Curzon’s Fading Gigolo kicked off The Vulture section (“the Mail critics’ pick of the week’s must-see events”), with a glowing notice, concluding that it was “delightfully funny… a treat”.

The Guardian’s regular Your Next Box Set column covered Edge Of Darkness (BBC Worldwide).

Saturday and there were, as usual, a few mentions of home entertainment releases in the pages of the tabloids’ television supplements and magazines. The Daily Mirror’s We Love TV had a competition for Chasing Shadows (ITV Studios Home Entertainment), while the same title was also there in the Daily Mail’s Weekend. DVD Of The Week in The Sun’s TV Magazine was 300: Rise Of An Empire, its TV choice The Following Season 2 (Warner)

Moving on to the broadsheet arts supplements and nothing got above three marks in The Independent’s Radar, with a true attaining that mark (Jimmy’s Hall, Lilting and Postman Pat: The Movie) and two (Blended – “like a puerile Brady Bunch with casual racism thrown in” – and Fading Gigolo) not even managing that.

The Times’ Review section covered Jimmy’s Hall, giving it is best review of the weekend (“socialism with flat caps and dancing”), Fading Gigolo and The Wind Rises.

The increasingly bizarre “home entertainment” reviews in The Guardian looked at something to do with video games, with further mentions for Night Of The Comet (Arrow Video), Tokarev (Anchor Bay), Goldfinger (Fox) and Of Horses And Men (Axiom).

Moving on a further day and the Daily Star Sunday reviewed Postman Pat: The Movie, Jimmy’s Hall, 300: Rise Of An Empire and its best-rated film, Kaleidoscope’s Road (eye-popping footage, great interviews and touching human drama”).

The Sunday People had many of the weekend’s favourites: Fading Gigolo, Lilting, 300: Rise Of An Empire, Blended and Postman Pat: The Movie, with, on its TV pages, a competition offering prizes of Fargo (Fox).

The Sunday Mirror’s Staying In Page covered Hannibal Season 2.

The Staying In page in the Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine had mentions for Frank (Curzon) and Bad Education (BBC Worldwide). Its DVD reviews page gave four stars apiece to Lilting (“it packs a powerful punch”), Love Me Till Monday (Verve) and Richard III (Network), as well as further notices for Fading Gigolo and A Farewell To Arms (BFI).

An advert loomed large where the Independent On Sunday’s DVD coverage was, although there was still a competition to win Jimmy’s Hall. With nothing (again) in the Sunday Telegraph’s Seven, it was left to the Observer, with its regular Philip French’s Classic DVD column (this week, Arrow Video’s Brute Force) and Guy Lodge’s Home Cinema column to fly the flag for review coverage in the quality press. Lodge’s column covered The Wind Rises, 300: Rise Of An Empire, Fading Gigolo, Lilting, Jimmy’s Hall, Blended and Brooklyn Nine Nine (Universal), with, as its Netflix choice, Touchy Feely.

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