Pathé’s Pict A Winner

Monday, August 16 2010
Pathé’s Pict A Winner

When we at the Raygun watched Pathe’s Centurion, we were somewhat shocked at the gory vision of ancient Britain it proferred, what with the beheadings, choppings, hackings and whatnot, but the film’s over the top content helped it achieve some of the weekend’s best coverage, alongside Fremantle’s Elvis, the made for TV biopic from John Carpenter getting some decent column inches on its first DVD release.

Here’s our regular round-up of the weekend’s DVD and Blu-ray coverage…

Warner dominated Friday’s coverage in The Sun, with a competition giving away an impressive package of a 32″ television, PS3, portable DVD player and a copy of the film covered in the competition, From Paris With Love. In terms of reviews, there were two other titles from the studio featured – The Blind Side and Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years (we mentioned this the other week, but who would blame a reviewer for offering to cover this, in exchange for this gorgeous box). Alongside the Warner product was further coverage for Universal’s Psycho 59th anniversary Blu-ray.

Over in the Daily Star, Whip It (Lionsgate) was rated the Top Tip; other titles covered were Fremantle’s Elvis: The Movie and more Eastwood, this time the five-film Director’s Collection was given top marks as the Star’s Best Buy.

In The Daily Mirror, there was a full page, as ever, devoted to home entertainment (opposite, incidentally, a full page ad for Blockbuster’s two for £20 Blu-ray promotion). Lead review was Centurion (Pathe), alongside The Joneses (E1), Psycho, again, and Remember Me (also E1). In a TV DVD special there was coverage for Gossip Girl: The Complete Third Season (Warner), alongside The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season (Warner), Justice League: Crisis Of Two Earths (Earner), NCIS: Los Angeles The First Season (Paramount) and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy (Anchor Bay).

On to the broadsheets and further publicity from a Guardian that is seemingly obsessed with Asylum pictures, covering Metrodome’s Mega Piranha in an interview with its star, former 80s starlet Tiffany. (It also had a good feature about the old X certificate and the first X-rated film that a bunch of film people had seen – read it here).

The Independent covered The Joneses, Whip It, Perrier’s Bounty (Optimum), Cherrybomb (Universal) and The Stranger (Anchor Bay), as well as featuring a Q&A with David Baddiel, writer of Revolver’s The Infidel.

On to Saturday and The Telegraph had Fremantle’s Elvis as its major feature in its film section, something of a coup for the release, dominating the coverage even above its film reviews. The paper also reviewed Centurion and Icon’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife.

The Times’ Playlist had a mini-feature on Centurion, with Whip It getting the lead review, and The Joneses at its side. There were further mentions for Don’t Look Down (Axiom), Agora (Paramount) and that mammoth Clint Eastwood box.It also boasts a further coup for Fremantle, in a full page piece by John Carpenter talking about his memories of Elvis.

Elvis, too, was the lead review for The Guardian’s Guide supplement, with mentions for Centurion, Extract (Paramount), It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, Perrier’s Bounty, The Joneses and Whip It.

On to Sunday, and News Of The World had Whip It as its main DVD of the week, along with a competition giveaway, and further mentions for The Joneses, Centurion and Perrier’s Bounty.

In the Sunday Mirror, there were reviews for Whip It and Tales Of The Gold Monkey (Fabulous/Fremantle).

The People covered Centurion, Repo Men , Elvis and, on its TV pages, Gossip Girl. And, in a further piece of good PR for Centurion, one of its reporters spent a day as a Roman soldier later on in the newspaper, tying in with Pathe’s release and giving it a good plug too.

The film also picked up coverage in Sunday Express, while its director Neil Marshall chose The Film That Changed My Life in the Observer complete with a plug for the DVD (he plumped for Raiders Of The Lost Ark, incidentally). Over the page and Mark Kermode reviewed A Boy Called Dad (Kaleidoscope), Perrier’s Bounty, Ondine (Paramount), It’s A Wonderful Afterlife and The Joneses.

In The Sunday Telegraph, Agora was DVD Of The Week, with review space given over to La Danse (Soda), It’s A WOnderful Afterlife and Rawhide (Optimum).

Weirdest mention of the weekend came in The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine’s dig at 4Digital Media for getting an 18 certificate for its “graphic gore film”. Quite why he accused them of being “perversely proud” was beyond us.

We’ll end with one of the best articles we read over the weekend, as Armando Ianucci made a spirited defence of the UK Film Council on The Observer, in response to minister Jeremy Hunt’s pronouncement in that same paper last weekend. Unfortunately for Hunt, the matter is not going away, and continues to rumble on, with some embarrassment as Ianucci, following on from Clint Eastwood (last weekend) and Spielberg’s DreamWorks (this week), rounded on him. It is also the best contribution we’ve read on the move to abolish it, passionate, yet reasoned and also witty and incisive.Read it here.

Mind you, on the other hand, and on the other side, there was this in the Mail On Sunday, which saw darker forces working against the Film Council unleashed on its executives…