DVD & Blu-ray reviews: Dallas Buyers Club, Jamaica Inn, Out of the Furnace, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, That Awkward Moment

 

Dallas Buyers Club (15) Jean-Marc Vallee, DVD/Blu-ray (116mins)

“Sorry lady, but I’d prefer to die with my boots on,” is the first semi-endearing thing Oscar-winning Matthew McConaughey’s bigoted, homophobic electrician utters in this powerful portrait of defiance. McConaughey, whose transformation into an actor of quite considerable substance is now complete, plays Ron Woodroof, a rodeo fanatic diagnosed as HIV positive in 1986. He’s given 30 days to live, but perseveres far longer than that, thanks to alternative therapies. The most affecting thing here is the one-time bigot’s relationship with gay transvestite Rayon (Jared Leto) and his defence of him in a local supermarket is whoop-inducing.

****

Jamaica Inn (12) Philippa Lowthorpe, DVD/Blu-ray (180mins)

There’s enough mumbling going on here that subtitles are required, but otherwise this is a fairly decent stab at Daphne Du Maurier’s rum tale of Cornish shipwreckers in 1820. Jessica Brown Findlay plays the headstrong Mary, who rejects the gentle affections of her childhood sweetheart and takes off for a life with her unsavoury aunt (Joanne Whalley) and her violent uncle (Sean Harris, as intense as always) at Jamaica Inn. This mud-splattered adaptation strives hard for authenticity – the slaying of people forced to throw themselves overboard is pretty distressing – and the chemistry between Findlay and Matthew McNulty’s horse thief is strong.

****

Out of the Furnace (15) Scott Cooper, DVD/Blu-ray (117mins)

Intensity levels are cranked up to boiling point for Scott Cooper’s bleak and brutal look at the underprivileged in small-town America. Christian Bale’s decent Russell works in a dead-end job at the imperiled local mill, while his brother, Rodney (Casey Affleck), has served four tours fighting in Iraq. A damaged, clearly suicidal Rodney decides to compete in a bare-knuckle contest, organised by Woody Harrelson’s deranged hoodlum. It can’t end well. Bale is excellent in this star-studded (it also stars Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe and Zoe Saldana) modern-day Western.

***

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (12) Kenneth Branagh, DVD/Blu-ray (105mins)

For an hour this is a perfectly acceptable Jack Ryan adventure, with Chris Pine doing solid work as the former marine investigating financial irregularities for the CIA. The young turk unearths some particularly shady business in Moscow and this where the best of the action occurs. However, the plot and chases wear thin in the last third and this is no Bourne – too bland, with too little peril. Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh are somewhat underused, too.

**

That Awkward Moment (15) Tom Gormican, DVD/Blu-ray (94mins)

One of those crass US dating comedies that make you fear for humanity. Three New York bachelors (led by smug Zac Efron) endeavour to stay single. That’s it. The talented Imogen Poots blots her copybook by gracing this dross.

*

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
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.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living