Destination: ‘Island’

Monday, August 2 2010
Destination: ‘Island’

Perusing through the Friday to Sunday weekend’s papers for our weekly round-up of newspaper coverage, it was the same titles came cropping up again and again, chief among them Paramount’s Shutter Island and E1’s I Love You Phillip Morris.

All the weekend’s broadsheets followed up on the government’s plans to abolish the Film Council, from snide remarks in the diary pages, on to a good piece in Saturday’s Times looking at the pros and cons of the argument and, in the case of The Sunday Telegraph, producer Iain Smith OBE protesting the plans and saying that whatever the coalition plans to replace it with had better be good or culture secretary Jeremy Hunt will have “the death of an industry on his hands”.

In the Daily Mirror, The Bounty Hunter, which has got far more coverage than arguably its corresponding ratings and marks would suggest, was the lead review, although better marks – four out of five on each occasion – were dished out to I Love You Phillip Morris (E1) and Lionsgate’s Shrink, with From Paris With Love making up the rest of the coverage.

The Sun had Clash of The Titans (Warner) Remember Me (E1) and The Bounty Hunter (E1), alongside a competition to win a TV and Blu-ray player timed to coincide with the release of Shelter (packshot and all).

A competition in the Daily Star gave away copies of Clash Of The Titans (a good run this week following on from plenty of reviews the previous weekend), as well as reviews for From Paris With Love (Warner), Shutter Island (Paramount) and The Spy Next Door (Momentum).

The problem with major arts festivals such as Edinburgh is that they eat into coverage in the broadsheets’ arts section, and DVD is often the first thing to go. So The Times’ Friday Edinburgh coverage dominated at other sectors’ expense. The Independent featured a major Edinburgh overview, but still found time to review Shutter Island as its lead review, alongside the already released Clash Of The Titans, I Love You Phillip Morris, Momentum’s The Spy Next Door and, as its leftfield title, Morris: A Life With Bells On (Safecracker Pictures).

The Guardian’s Friday Film And Music DVD coverage now consists solely of a plug for Mark Kermode’s Sunday DVD review column, but it did have an interesting feature on the Comic-Con phenomenon here (Sample quote from Michael Sheen: “What I’ve experienced working on Twilight, Underworld or Alice in Wonderland, is that when you’re publicising those films, if there’s another one of those kind of films up ahead, everyone loses interest in the one you’re publicising – they just want you to tell them about the next one.”)

On Saturday and te ever-reliable Times Playlist used the imminent release of From Paris With Love to talk about bald action stars (no, honestly), while its lead review (hugely positive too) was for I Love You Phillip Morris. It also gave similarly positive coverage to Shutter Island, as well as mentioning Shelter, the 50th anniversary edition of Psycho, Dario Argento’s Inferno (Arrow), and Optimum’s The Ox-Bow Incident.

The Financial Times had Optimum’s Hierro, another well reviewed title from the previous weekend – certainly in the quality press – and Acorn’s The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (“Marvellous”).

The Telegraph’s Review section on Saturday covered I Love You Phillip Morris as its DVD Of The Week, with other reviews given to Momentum’s The Crazies and a four star review for Third Window’s Fish Story.

Feature of the weekend came in The Guardian’s Guide, talking about DTV sequels such as the second and third Lost Boys films, over here. Yes, there are certain points it misses, but it’s a good piece nonetheless.

In the same supplement, Eureka’s La Planete Sauvage received the most coverage, there were other reviews for the familiar titles Shutter Island, Remember Me, Shelter and I Love You Phillip Morris.

Sunday’s red-tops had the usual biggies covered – The People had Shelter, I Love You Phillip Morris and The Spy Next Door (all with giveaway competitions, so take note there); the Sunday Mirror had Shutter Island and Remember Me, while the News Of The World had From Paris With Love, Shutter Island, I Love You Phillip Morris and Shelter.

The broadsheets were full of talk about ITV and its forthcoming results, looking at the way forward and speculating on its increased programming budget (good potential for DVD here), and The Sunday Times’ business pages had an interesting piece on musicians such as Sheryl Crow hawking their goods on QVC (has anyone thought of this for DVD?).

Shutter Island picked up another DVD Of The Week recommendation in The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven arts supplement, alongside Second Sight’s Heimat, Artificial Eye’s Alain Resnais Collection and Icon’s Shelter.  There was also a fascinating feature on Polish film posters, mirroring a round in an old RRP magazine quiz a few years back, but that’s another story all together. And with Sylvester Stallone garnering coverage here and in the Observer around The Expendables, both of which looked at his (and in the case of The Observer, his co-stars’) career, there could be a further boost for Lionsgate and Optimum’s Expendables-based promotional activity.

Also in the Sunday Telegraph, good to see DVD spreading beyond the traditional review coverage, with Acorn’s The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (again), featuring in its Stella magazine for women, in the Stella Loves… pages, nestling between Kurt Geiger shoes and Thomas Sabo watches.

We’ll end up at the Observer, with Mark Kermode kicking of with Shutter Island, which he kind of liked, before running on to I Love You Phillip Morris (in which he picks on E1’s marketing, it appears), From Paris With Love, which adds to its strong coverage but not to its average rating from reviewers, and ends up with Chloe. Veteran critic Philip French’s classic DVD was Eureka’s The War Lord.

And also, finally, in its magazine, any collector in our business should read Stewart Lee’s piece on his ever-expanding personal stash of what we at The Raygun refer to as “stuff”. Ahead of his forthcoming comedy DVD release, he ruminates on storing, shelving or junking his collection here. That’s it, we’re off to measure our DVD and VHS collection in feet rather than numbers…