Four Lions On The Page

Tuesday, August 31 2010
Four Lions On The Page

We’ll start our round-up a little earlier than normal – like, say, last Tuesday , as we begin with the Metro’s weekly Staying In page, which led off with Metrodome’s Down Terrace, giving it a glowing, four star review alongside other reviews that included Oddsac, the Animal Collective longform music DVD (Plexi) that has picked up some impressive coverage, as well as Centurion (Pathe), Dreams Of Babel (BelAir) and Going Postal (Fox).

On to our usual starting point – Friday – and over in the Daily Mirror, there was its usual supportive coverage taking up a full page, with the lead review going to the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant outing, Cemetery Junction. Other titles covered were Four Lions (Optimum), Hot Tub Time Machine (Fox) and Network’s Lymelife. The bottom part was given over to its monthly music DVD selection, covering Stevie Wonder (Biography), The Bee Gees One Night Only (Eagle Rock), Jane’s Addiction Live Voodoo (Eagle Vision), Ella Fitzgerald Best Of The BBC Vaults (BBC) and David Bowie Rare And Unseen (Wienerworld). As an aside, it was interesting to note too, instead of their standard generic page ad opposite the Mirror’s DVD coverage, Blockbuster highlighted its Blu-ray pre-orders for Kick-Ass.

The Daily Star gave over the bulk of its coverage to a competition and review for Hot Tub Time Machine, the former giving away a Sony home cinema system as well as copies of the film. It further found the space to review The Magnificent Seven (MGM) and the 25th anniversary edition of Black Cauldron (Disney). Incidentally its cinema and DVD review spread also featured an ad for Anchor Bay’s Gangster’s Paradise Jerusalema, with a strong creative too.

Last week the Greek tale Dogtooth picked up some surprising coverage in the News Of The World (subtitled films from the Mediterranean countries may not necessarily chime with the tabloid’s readers, we reckon), but it got some more impressive coverage in Friday’s The Sun, getting a four star review nestled in between Cherrybomb (Universal Indi Vision) and Antonio Carluccio’s Italian Feast (2 entertain).

We picked up a copy of Friday’s Evening Standard while we were out and about in London’s West End, meaning we got to see its DVD and Blu-ray reviews which took in Lebanon (Metrodome), Momentum’s Dear John, Lymelife and Repo Men (Universal).

And on to the other Friday DVD supporter, The Independent. Its quintet plucked for review were Four Lions, Centurion, which had already performed strongly the previous weekend, Sherlock (surely the best reviewed TV title for some time) Cemetery Junction and Repo Men (Universal).

Saturday’s Daily Telegraph Review section featured The Wigan Casino (independently released by director Tony Palmer), the documentary looking at the legendary Northern Soul venue made in 1977, which is described as possibly “the best British music film ever made”. In addition it covered Sherlock (2 entertain), Momentum’s The Passion Within, Whip It (Lionsgate) and The Burmese Harp (Eureka).

There was plenty of DVD-friendly coverage in Saturday’s Times Playlist supplement, including a near two page interview with Stephen Merchant for Cemetery Junction, which was also featured in the standard DVD reviews, along Hot Tub Time Machine, The Doors movie When You’re Strange (indi VISION), Sherlock and Furry Vengeance. It also had an interview with Four Lions co-writer Jesse Armstrong and, not entirely 100 per cent DVD-related but interesting all the same, a feature on the top 10 “dimmest dimwits” in film, tying in with the release of Dinner For Schmucks.

Meanwhile, an interesting piece on the genre that is torture porn in Saturday’s Guardian Guide, predicting its imminent downfall (timely too, given, among other things, the weekend’s frightfest event and the recent BBFC problems encountered by one or two titles.

Its standard DVD coverage looked at Four Lions in its lead review, followed by Cemetery Junction, City Of Life And Death (High Fliers), Hot Tub Time Machine, Daughters Of Darkness (Optimum), When You’re Strange, and Sherlock.

On to Sunday, and nestling between its pages of cricketing news following its sting aimed at catching Pakistan’s cricketers red-handed, the News Of The World found space to cover Hot Tub Time Machine, Cemetery Junction and as arguably what could be described as its “wild card” (the NOTW always seems to plump for one leftfield title),  Gangster’s Paradise Jerusalema.

Over in rival red-top, the Sunday Mirror featured Cemetery Junction and Pandora And The Flying Dutchman (Park Circus). Meanwhile the Sunday Express’ “out tomorrow” plug for Kick-Ass (Universal) seemed to appear about seven days too early, given its September 6 slot (journalists, eh?).

The Observer’s always healthy DVD coverage was further bolstered by a Q&A with Harmony Korine ahead of the September release of Trash Humpers (Warp Films) and a The Film That Changed My Life piece with Stephen Merchant, promoting Cemetery Junction. That same film also kicked off Mark Kermode’s regular DVD reviews, who also covered Four Lions and Hot Tub Time Machine. Again, kudos must go to Kermode for watching not only the films but also commentary tracks and accompanying documentaries, he really does go the extra mile to support home entertainment.

Artificial Eye had a good weekend courtesy of the Sunday Telegraph, with three quarters of its coverage being given over to its titles, taking in Lovely Rita, Hotel and the Satyajit Ray Collection Volume 3. The only non-Artificial Eye given any column inches was The Joneses (E1).

And, given that it was a Bank Holiday weekend, we can finish our weekend where we started, with the Metro, which we picked up early this morning.

Four Lions finished off a great weekend’s worth of coverage by picking up the Staying In section’s lead review, and five stars no less too. Cemetery Junction and Hot Tube Time Machine both got further coverage (the former in particular proving to be nearly as popular as Four Lions, aided by Merchant in particular’s support – there was a further half page interview with him elsewhere in the paper), joined by Metrodome’s Lebanon and its Cult Vulture section, billed as Oddball Choices For Sofa Loafers took in Pornography: A Thriller (Peccadillo Pictures).