Right Up Your Street
The big releases are coming thick and fast and with a slew arriving n Monday November 17, the weekend’s home entertainment review columns in national newspapers were always going to be a battleground between the blockbusters, as our round up of press coverage for releases shows.
Chief among these were Transformers: Age Of Extinction – all noise and bluster – going head to head with the comedy of 22 Jump Street, while yet another sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2, was also involved in the fray. Of the trio, 22 Jump Street arguably fared the best, certainly when it came to the quality of the reviews.
Plenty of other supporting titles made numerous appearances, taking in the likes of Earth To Echo and The Purge: Anarchy, two wildly differing tales of suburban life. On the TV front, it was homegrown drama all the way, with Downton Abbey showing its class and dominating the proceedings.
The Sun, our now regular first port of call, featured X-Men: Days Of Future Past as its DVD Of The Week, concluding of the Fox title: “Don’t worry about the plot holes and the time-warped narrative. Enjoy some pure X-rated fun.” It any on to cover Warner’s The Jersey Boys (“these boys’ tunes deserved a better production”), Grand Central and Begin Again (eOne).
The Evening Standard kicked off with SPHE’s 22 Jump Street (“a comedy so uber-infra-meta-referential it threatens to implode”), moving n to Human Capital (Arrow), eOne’s Earth To Echo (“this charming film shows how robust ET is: it can be rewritten idea for idea and still thrives”), the “dark, guilty pleasure sequel” The Purge: Anarchy (Universal). How To Train Your Dragon 2 (Fox) and Eagle Rock’s Monty Python Live (Mostly) (“more than Yuletide spam”).
Transformers: Age Of Extinction (Paramount) was given the DVD Of The Week slot in the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket supplement, although both How To Train Your Dragon 2 (“the first was one of DreamWorks’ very best, right up there with Shrek and the follow-up is even better… funny, big-hearted and as you’d expect, a visual fees, this is a family film in every sense”) and 22 Jump Street (“its sense of glorious goofiness proves to be infectious”) both fared better in terms of marks.
Needless to say, Transformers: Age Of Extinction performed exceedingly well with the Daily star’s Alan Frank, who devoted competition space to the title as well as offering up a four star notice (“savour the sizzling thrills and Oscar-worthy magic”). There were further reviews for How To Train Your Dragon 2 (“super sequel”), Studocanal’s House Of Magic (“a mad merry mixture of thrills, laughter and lunacy”) and Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection (Warner).
How To Train Your Dragon cropped up again in the Daily Express, which gave it a glowing four-star review (“thrilling, heartwarming sequel… darker, richer and more complex than the original”), with a further four apiece for Soda’s Finding Vivian Maier (“terrific documentary… a fascinating film”)and Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection (“Christmas is coming and the box sets are getting fatter”).
The Guardian’s regular Your Next Box Set feature looked at the rather excellent Nighty Night (BBC Worldwide), noting that Julia Davis’ darker than dark comedy was “more sickcom than sitcom”.
On to Saturday’s crop, with mentions dotted around the tabloids’ TV supplements – Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle 3 (BBC Worldwide) was the beneficiary of a competition in the Daily Mirror’s We Love TV, while The Sun’s TV Magazine had 22 Jump Street and Downton Abbey Series 5 (Universal). The Daily Mail’s Weekend had Lewis Series 8 (ITV Studios Home Entertainment) and the Daily Express’ Saturday magian featured an interview with Brendan Coyle in its Last Word slot, rooting the release of Downton Abbey.
On to the quality press and their accompanying arts supplements, with The Times taking in a quartet of titles, 22 Jump Street, Studiocanal’s The Killing Fields (“the film’s sense of anger burns as fiercely as ever”), How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Earth To Echo.
The Independent’s Radar magazine featured Begin Again, How To Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street (“this might have jumped the shark… No 23 Jump Street please”), Transformers: Age Of Extinction (at least it has a sense of humour”) and, scoring maximum marks, The Killing Fields (“has lost none of its poignancy or power”)
The Guardian’s Guide covered Soda’s excellent Finding Vivian Maier as its lead title, with brief mentions for Jersey Boys, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Grand Central and True Blood Series 7.
The Sunday edition of the Daily Star covered How To Train Your Dragon 2 (“beautifully animated, witty and action-packed”), Transformers Age Of Extinction, House Of Magic, Earth To Echo and The Purge: Anarchy (“fans of B-movie sci-fi like The Warriors and Escape From New York should gulp down this riotous sequel”).
The Sunday People had a competition and review for Transformers: Age Of Extinction, with Earth To Echo, How To Train You Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street all appearing alongside it. Its TV page had Downton Abbey Series 5 on its TV page.
The Staying In page of the Sunday Mirror featured Begin Again.
The similarly named Staying In page in the Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine covered 22 Jump Street as well as Sarah Millican’s Home Bird Live (4DVD). Its solus DVD review page covered Tammy (Warner), Salome/Wilde Salome (CineStage) and Belle (Fox). Its You magazine featured an interview with Mackenzie Crook for Acorn’s The Detectorists.
The Sunday Express’ colour supplement, S magazine, featured Downton Abbey Series 5 as a recommendation on its Get This page.
The Independent On Sunday reviewed X-Men days Of Future Past, alongside How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Begin Again, with a further competition for Downton Abbey. Its Take Two slot (Movies Not To Be Missed) looked at Le Diner De Cons.
The Observer gave 22 Jump Street arguably its best review of the weekend (“not just the year’s most purely hilarious mainstream comedy, but among the most acrobatically self-reflexive sequels in mainstream Hollywood history”), was equally scathing about Transformers: Age Of Extinction, concluding “still, no Transformers film has been quite as objectionably stupid as The Purge: Anarchy”, trashing that film too. Also covered was How To Train Your Dragon 2, before it concluded with a look at new to Amazon Prime Instant Video series Freaks And Geeks. “Now 15 years old,” it noted, “this drolly anti-cool high-school drama commands additional interest as a time capsule, having launched estimable careers behind the camera (Paul Feig, Judd Apatow) and before it (James Franco, Seth Rogen).”
The Financial Times covered The Golden Dream (Peccadillo), Downton Abbey Series 5 and X-Men: Days Future Past.Tags: PR, reviews
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