DVD & Blue-Ray reviews: The Worricker Trilogy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Kill Your Darlings, The Summit, Seven Samurai

 

The Worricker Trilogy (15) David Hare DVD/Blu-ray (290mins)

David Hare’s spy trilogy is bursting with talent – Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Winona Ryder – but it’s Bill Nighy who carries these admirably restrained, murky tales on his elegant shoulders. He plays veteran MI5 agent Johnny Worricker, who is in possession of a very sensitive file that could destroy the Prime Minister. The middle tale, set on the Turks and Caicos islands, is the most enjoyable, as Johnny outwits some American crooks with the help of Ryder’s damaged press officer.

****

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (PG) Ben Stiller DVD/Blu-ray (114mins)

The heroic underdog, in this case the fantasist (Ben Stiller), needs to be pitted against a suitable rotter. Adam Scott’s unctuous, bearded MD, who is just about to fire Walt from his picture research position at Life magazine, is a thoroughly convincing jerk. Unfortunately, he gets far too little screen time in this bland take on James Thurber’s 1939 story, as Mitty is asked to track down a photographer (Sean Penn) and goes on an adventure (to Iceland, Greenland, Afghanistan) to find him. It’s as plodding and unfunny as it sounds.

**

Kill Your Darlings (15) John Krokidas DVD/Blu-ray (104mins)

“It is our duty to break the law,” claims the anarchic Lucien Carr, a huge influence on the Beat Generation who, in 1944, murdered his older lover (played by the excellent Michael C Hall). A young Allen Ginsberg (impressively played by Daniel Radcliffe) is infatuated with Carr (Dane DeHaan) in this immaculately staged examination of these deeply annoying revolutionary poets, including William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Keroauc (Jack Huston). When will US cinema stop pandering to this over-rated set of narcissists?

***

The Summit (E) Nick Ryan DVD/Blu-ray (95mins)

“It is my belief that everyone has a love of climbing,” maintains climber Ger McDonnell. Well, I’m not so keen, Ger, and climbing K2 seems a particularly perilous business. Nick Ryan’s film recounts an ill-fated expedition to K2 (the “mountain for real mountaineers” where one in four climbers perish) in 2008, which accounted for the lives of 11 climbers, most losing their lives on the descent. Ryan adroitly mixes first-hand footage with re-creations and interviews with the survivors in this unnerving and gripping documentary.

***

Seven Samurai (A) Akira Kurosawa DVD/Blu-ray (207mins)

“We were born to suffer, it’s our fate,” maintains a farmer in Akira Kurosawa’s harsher film than the stirring remake, The Magnificent Seven. Bandits, capable of any monstrosity, are demanding all of a village’s food supply, so the community’s blind sage suggests that they seek out some samurai (including world-weary Takashi Shimura) to save their skins. This is masterful and influential film-making and storytelling.

*****

Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project