News Column

DVDs

June 14, 2013

YellowBrix

Hitchcock (12) FILM-MAKER Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his screenwriter wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren) risk everything to self-finance a nice, clean, nasty little piece of work called Psycho. Studios bosses balk at distributing the film and the universally feared Motion Picture Production Code voices its concerns about the infamous shower scene. Adapted for the screen by John J McLaughlin from the book Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho by Stephen Rebello, Sacha Gervasi's biopic is a handsomely crafted portrait of tortured genius. Mirren oozes determination and steely resolve, while Hopkins perfectly captures the awkwardness and insecurities of a visionary.

.... Damon Smith Arne Dahl: The Complete First Season (15) IN the wake of the successful Danish thriller The Killing come screen versions of Swedish crime novelist Jan Arnald's A-group stories about a mismatched team of elite misfit detectives solving crimes across borders. Presented as five two-part three-hour films, the series requires a hefty chunk of your time. The characters are interesting and the plots satisfyingly complicated. But there's a touch of unwelcome whimsy, it's all a bit old-fashioned - mobile phones and CD burning work seem to be slightly baffling to the makers in the first film, The Blinded Man - and there's far too much of the cops' soapy personal lives. But the set-up pulls you in, with each film more powerful than the last.

... Sean Hewitt Warm Bodies (12) A TERRIBLE epidemic has reduced most of the population to shuffling corpses incapable of speech or feeling. Survivors are crammed inside a high-walled metropolis patrolled by General Grigio (John Malkovich) and his troops. The general's feisty teenager daughter, Julie (Teresa Palmer), ventures into the dead zone with her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco) and best friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton), where they come under attack from zombie buddies R (Nicholas Hoult) and M (Rob Corddry). Warm Bodies is a surprisingly sweet post-apocalyptic romantic comedy, a refreshing twist on Romeo And Juliet with brain-munching and an army of ravenous skeletons, and anchored by an endearing performance from Hoult.

.... Damon Smith Doctor Who: Series 7 Part 2 (PG) THE decline of the classic sci-fi series - in terms of both the number and quality of episodes - continues with this miserly run of eight parts. Outgoing Doctor Matt Smith (a great actor held back by slapdash scripts) is paired with blank new companion Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) and there's fun in flailing showrunner Steven Moffat's series opener The Bells Of St John and Mark Gatiss's terrific gothic Victorian tale The Crimson Horror (complete with a scene-stealing Diana Rigg). The rest range from insipid to horrible, with feeble alien singalong The Rings Of Akhaten and Neil Gaiman's appalling Cybermen story, Nightmare In Silver, among the series' all-time lowlights. Change can't come too soon.

.. Sean Hewitt Top ten DVDs to buy Chart supplied by Amazon.co.uk 1 (4) Wreck-It-Ralph 2 (1) Les Miserables 3 (7) Breaking Bad - Season 5 4 (3) Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred 5 (10) Dexter - Season 7 6 (2) Django Unchained 7 (9) Game of Thrones - Season 1 8 (-) True Blood - Season 5 9 (6) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 10 (-) Lincoln

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