News Column

DVD and blu ray releases

November 2, 2013

YellowBrix

this is the end (15) 3/5 if the end of the world really was nigh, would anyone spare a thought for the fate of overpaid Hollywood stars? Of course not. Not even the most ardent devotees of the Daily Mail's infamous online sidebar of shame.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, co-writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express, indulge themselves with the notion of slebs in peril in this raucous comedy, in which the current crop of cinema's bright young things play exaggerated versions of themselves.

So, a shambling Rogen is accosted by a passer-by, who says: You play the same guy in every movie. When are you going to do some real acting? And at a heaving house party, Michael Cera, of Juno fame, is exposed as a drug-snorting, sexist oaf.

There are some funny moments in the ramshackle script - including the appearance of a sinkhole that swallows up most of the cast - but too many ideas lack clear direction and the tone lurches awkwardly from comedy to computer-generated mayhem.

The film opens with Rogen excitedly welcoming actor pal Jay Baruchel to Los Angeles. Jay is less than thrilled at the prospect of attending a house party thrown by James Franco.

With the booze flowing and Cera harassing anything in a skirt, the Apocalypse descends. The cast appear to be having a blast, but this is one party it won't kill you to miss.

chasing mavericks (pg) 3/5 like the daredevil teenage surfer whose incredibly true story is dramatised in this adrenaline- pumping biopic, Chasing Mavericks almost wiped out, but managed to ride its luck. Director Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential) fell ill midway through production and Michael Apted stepped in to complete the film.

It's an uplifting, if formulaic, movie that benefits greatly from breathtaking sequences on the water.

Screenwriter Kario Salem restructures the facts into a snappier timeframe, and his affection for surfer Jay Moriarity, who conquered the mythical Mavericks break in California at the tender age of 15, rings loud and clear.

Remarkably, lead actors Gerard Butler and Jonny Weston performed most of their own stunts, which adds to the spectacle, although judicious editing clearly slows for stunt doubles to take to the monster waves in key sequences.

admission (12) 2/5 the admissions office is the gateway to university. Or the raised drawbridge, if you don't make the grade. Like, for instance, this romantic comedy about a key member of staff at one of America's most prestigious universities, who bears this responsibility of making or shattering young dreams.

Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is one of the most dedicated members of staff in the admissions office at Princeton University. Colleagues Ben (Michael Genadry) and Brandt (Christopher Evan Welch) seek her advice on applicants and when Clarence (Wallace Shawn) announces his retirement as dean of admissions, workaholic Portia is his natural successor.

Clarence confirms Portia and rival Corinne (Gloria Reuben) are the frontrunners and he will make a final decision once the admissions process has been completed.

Portia throws herself into her work while dealing with the emotional fallout from losing her stuffy professor boyfriend, Mark (Michael Sheen), to a blonde member of faculty.

With her head in a whirl, she embarks on her annual tour of high schools in her district and visits a bohemian place of learning run by former college classmate John Pressman (Paul Rudd). He believes his most gifted student, Jeremiah, deserves a place at Princeton. More troubling, John also reveals a personal connection between Portia and the boy that compromises her objectivity.

Considering the calibre of on-screen talent, Admission should be a hoot.

Unfortunately, Karen Croner's script, based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, flunks the test. ? .M:

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


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