DVD & Blu-ray reviews: Cutie and the Boxer, Prisoners, Last Passenger, Sbout Time, Girl Most Likely
Saturday 01 February 2014
Cutie and the Boxer (E) Zachary Heinzerling, DVD (82mins)
An enchanting portrait of living – and putting up – with an artist, in this case with the Japanese expressionist Ushio Shinohara, an impudent 80-year-old who pummels canvasses with paint-splattered boxing gloves. The star, though, is Noriko, Ushio’s stoical wife (of 40 years) and “assistant”, who has been lumped with the practicalities of paying the bills in New York. That is, until she steals the limelight. The couple’s combative relationship is full of wit (“Don’t get mugged on the way home”) and deep affection.
Prisoners (15) Denis Villeneuve, DVD/Blu-ray (153mins)
Denis Villeneuve’s overlong thriller is often a tough watch but it’s redeemed by deft direction and Jake Gyllenhaal’s sheer likeability. Here, he stars as a particularly dogged detective searching for two girls who were abducted in broad daylight. The father (Hugh Jackman) of one of the girls has convinced himself that Paul Dano’s loner, who has the mental age of a 10-year-old, is responsible, so to that end he chains him to a wall and tortures him until he confesses. Tense, gripping and surprisingly brutal for a mainstream US film.
Last Passenger (15) Omid Nooshin, DVD/Blu-ray (96mins)
Dougray Scott plays an exhausted doctor travelling home to Kent with his excitable young son after taking him to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The first half-an-hour of this admirably still movie is good at capturing the misery of late-night travel, before matters take a sinister turn: the train isn’t stopping to let anyone off and there appears to be a lunatic at the controls. A decent British thriller, which is about as rare as a red-crested tree rat, with a touch of Hitchcock about it.
About Time (12) Richard Curtis, DVD/Blu-ray (118mins)
Richard Curtis, who disastrously navigated The Boat That Rocked, unwisely helms this creepy, cynical romantic comedy about a young man (Domhnall Gleeson impersonating Hugh Grant) who discovers he can time travel, like his father (Bill Nighy), and uses his skill to woo a publishing assistant (Rachel McAdams, presumably cast because she was in The Time Traveller’s Wife and Midnight in Paris. She knows her time travel). About Time has nothing funny or original to say about relationships, and the time-travel element is lazy.
Girl Most Likely (12) Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. DVD/Blu-ray (103mins)
Girl Most Likely received a mauling on its cinema release, but there’s something endearing about its untidiness and in Kristen Wiig it has a dexterous comic talent. The Bridesmaids star plays a failed playwright who, after being ditched by her vile boyfriend, is forced to leave New York and return to Atlantic City to live with her potty mum (Annette Bening) and her shifty boyfriend (Matt Dillon). Once home, of course, she becomes less shallow. It’s a hackneyed comedy but the cast are likeable and there’s the occasional inspired moment.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'