Catching Up

Thursday, May 21 2015
Catching Up

Oscar contenders, both real (Foxcatcher) and snubbed (A Most Violent Year) were grappling for top slot in terms of winning the most coverage as our regular round up of coverage for film releases shows.

The two were i a straight up bout for dominance of the DVD and Blu-ray columns, with only Into The Woods muscling in on their territory in the review pages of national newspapers,

In theatrical terms, it may have been outdone marginally at the box office by Pitch Perfect 2, but the bluster of Mad Max Fury Road saw it making a lot more noise and taking up a lot more space than the softer music of Elizabeth Banks’ film.
We’ll start our round up on Friday, with The Sun’s DVDs column gave five stars and the DVD Of The Week moniker to Foxcatcher (eOne), concluding “this painstaking psychological study didn’t scoop any of its Oscar nods but it’s one you need to pin down”. There were further four star reviews for Icon’s A Most Violent Year (“if you think you’re in for another Taken, you’re going to be disappointed… it’s a great counterpoint to the gangster classics – and not a Liam Neeson in sight”) and W1A (“it justifies the licence fee”) and a further notice for Into The Woods (Disney). Film-wise, Mad Max: Road To Fury got the requisite five stars (“you’d be mad to miss it”) with accompanying interview coverage with Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and co, with four stars apiece for The Tribe and Pitch Perfect 2, followed by Return To Sender (three stars) and A Royal Night Out (two stars).

The Daily Mirror’s DVD Of The Week was Into The Woods, albeit with a three-star ratting, the same mark doled out to Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead (Studiocanal), while both A Most Violent Year (four stars) and “quietly devastating drama” Foxcatcher (five stars) both scored better. Cinema releases saw Mad Max Fury Road getting its worst review of the weekend (“a bit tedious”), alongside five stars for The Tribe and other strong reviews for We Are Many, Lambert And Stamp and Pitch Perfect 2.

The Daily Star had a competition and review for Into The Woods (“never less than entertaining”), with further reviews for Universal’s Ex Machina (“a superb psychological thriller”), Orange Is The New Black S2 (Lionsgate) and The Sleeping Room (Second Sight). Its film reviews covered Mad Max Fury Road (five stars), Pitch Perfect 2 and A Royal Night Out (both three stars).

Mad Max was the chief review in the Daily Express, with four stars, the same as Clouds Of Sils Maria, with further reviews for Pitch Perfect 2 (two stars), Lambert And Stamp

The Daily Mail’s DVD Of The Week was Foxcatcher, while its theatrical reviews covered Mad Max Fury Road (“in many ways a kind of live-action cartoon, which, despite all the sound and fury, shock and awe, is best treated a huge spectacular joke”, four stars), Pitch Perfect 2 (four stars) and The Clouds Of Sils Maria (three stars).

The Independent and its sister I newspaper gave four stars to Mad Max Fury Road (“with such incessant and vivid action, there is very little time given us to worry about the creakiness in the plotting”, four stars), with the same mark for A Royal Night Out, A Fuller Life and

The “big film” in The Times was Mad Max Fury Road (four stars) with, further on, Pitch Perfect and Lambert And Stamp both scoring four, with Only Angels Have Wings, Clouds Of Sils Maria and A Fuller Life (three stars) and A Royal Night Out and The Man Who Saved The World bringing up the rear with two stars apiece. The Tribe, continuing its strong weekend, scored maximum marks with glowing words ringing in its ears: ”a remarkable achievement”. Its Classic Film Of The Week was Paper Moon (Eureka Masters Of Cinema).

The Guardian’s Your Next Box Set feature took in Silicon Valley (HBO). Its lead theatrical review was for The Tribe (“one of this year’s strangest and most disturbing films”, four stars), with further four-star write-ups for Mad Max Fury Road, Only Angels Have Wings, A Fuller Life and Clouds Of Sils Maria, with Pitch Perfect, Lambert And Stamp (both three stars) and A Royal Night Out (two stars) also making their presence felt. Features-wise it interviewed Anna Kendrick, Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron for two of the week’s big releases, Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max Fury Road, while Steven Seagal was interviewed to support The Mercenary: Absolution (High Fliers).

The Daily Telegraph covered Clouds Of Sils Maria (‘this is the kind of ravishingly smart, liltingly beautiful film you assume isn’t being made any more”, four stars) and the same marks for both Pitch Perfect 2 and The Tribe. There were more Cannes reviews as part of its regular coverage, with an interview with Oona Chaplin promoting The Longest Ride.

The Sun’s TV Magazine gave a full five stars to Foxcatcher as its DVD Of The Week (“compelling drama”, it noted), with the “hilarious” W1A (BBC Worldwide) its TV Series Of The Week. The same programme appeared as the TV choice in the Daily Mail’s Weekend, the Daily Express’ magazine went for Into The Woods. The Daily Mirror’s We Love TV had a competition offering prizes of Safe House (Acorn).

The Guardian’s Guide regular Home Entertainment column looked at the director’s cut of Nymphomaniac (Artificial Eye) with mentions for The Theory Of Everything (Universal), Playing It Cool and The Train (Arrow). Its columnist John Patterson looked at Moomins On The Riviera. Its Family section had not one but two DVD-related interviews, with both Jane Hawking and Shirley Williams being interviewed and plugging related releases, namely The Theory Of Everything and Testament Of Youth (Lionsgate).

The Independent’s Radar magazine kicked off with four stars for A Most Violent Year and finished with the same mark for W1A (“fiendishly sharp satire”), those two bookending Paper Moon (“hugely evocative gem”, five stars), Foxcatcher and Into The Woods (both three stars). There was a further interview with Hailee Steinfeld for Pitch Perfect 2.
No reviews in the Review section of The Times, but its Six Of The Best feature had Francois Ozon choosing his favourite cross-dressing films to tie in with the release of The New Girlfriend, there were also the requisite Critics’ Choice new films round-up, repeating its Friday coverage for the likes of Mad Max Fury Road, A Royal Night Out, Clouds Of Sils Maria, Pitch Perfect 2, The Tribe and Lambert And Stamp. Similarly, little in the Daily Telegraph’s Review section, with space taken up by Hay Festival features, its four film recommendations within its listings were A Royal Night Out, Clouds Of Sils Maria, Mad Max Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2.
The Sunday People featured W1A on its As for its film coverage, Mad Max Fury Road got a full five stars (“barkingly brilliant… you’ll be mad to miss it”), A Royal Night Out (three stars), Clouds Of Sils Maria (two stars) and Lambert And Stamp (three stars). Its ever-eclectic DVD reviews covered Foxcatcher, A Most Violent Year, Mercenary: Absolution, Into The Woods and Valentine’s Kiss (Acorn).

The Daily Star Sunday reviewed Into The Woods, A Most Violent Year and Foxcatcher, with an accompanying interview with Mark Schultz, the real-life character whose story the film was based on. It took up the centre spread – rare to see that kind of space devoted to a DVD and Blu-ray release (fully credited too). Its theatrical reviews gave top rating to Mad Max Fury Road, with further notices for Return To Sender (three stars) and The Moomins On The Riviera (two stars).

No Foxcatcher in the Sunday Mirror’s DVD column, it led instead with Into The Woods, moving through Mean Streets, its box set choice of W1A and Netflix’s Grace And Frankie as its “cable original choice. Film choices were Mad Max Fury Road (“fantasy action cinema at its brilliant best”, five stars), Pitch Perfect 2 (“terrific tuneful fun”, four stars), A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (four stars) and, with three stars apiece on its sidebar, The Moomins On The Riviera, Dino Time and Spring.

The Sunday Express featured Mad Max Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2 (both three stars) and Clouds Of Sils Maria (two stars), its magazine covered Foxcatcher on DVD.


The Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine featured Charlie Chaplin: The Mutual Comedies (BFI), Orange Is The New Black and Into The Woods on its Staying In page, as well as TV choices for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and 1864. Its souls DVD page gave five stars to Foxcatcher (“it makes for tough viewing, but with subdued yet knockout performances from all its leads, it’s necessary viewing too”) and also covered A Most Violent Year. Its Film Of The Week was Mad Max: Fury Road (“this is essentially Mad Max 4 offering more of the same, except bigger, louder and, er, a lot crashier than ever before”), there were also reviews for Pitch Perfect 2 (three stars), Clouds Of Sils Maria (two stars), Lambert And Stamp (three stars), We Are Many (three stars), A Fuller Life (three stars) and The Man Who Saved The World (three stars).

The Independent On Sunday repeated its Saturday coverage in part, with Foxcatcher, A Most Violent Year and Into The Woods all featured, with a further competition for the latter. Its film coverage took in a look at what the papers had to say about Mad Max.

The weekend edition of the Financial Times had Foxcatcher (four stars), A Most Violent Year (“a psychologically complex thinking person’s thriller”, four stars) and Orange Is The New Black (“Netflix’s most original Original”, four stars). Its lead film review was Clouds Of Sils Maria (four stars), the same mark afforded to The Tribe, Lambert And Stamp, A Fuller Life (“fascinating for film nuts”) and Girlhood, with Mad Max Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2 (both two stars) and A Royal Night Out (two stars) also earning column inches.

The Observer had a major round up of Cannes thus far, , it ran the full gamut of reviews through Mad Max Fury Road, Clouds Of Sils Maria, Pitch Perfect 2, The Tribe, A Royal Night Out, The Man Who Saved The World, Lambert And Stamp and A Fuller Life. Its DVDs & Downloads column kicked off with Foxcatcher, A Most Violent Year, Into The Woods, Altman (Soda) ad, on Netflix, Grace And Frankie.

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