DVD & Blu-Ray reviews: Line of Duty, Frozen, The Family, The Machine
Saturday 29 March 2014
Line of Duty: Series 2 (15) Various directors DVD/Blu-ray (360mins)
The small details are immaculately handled, from the temperamental police tape recorder to the thorough database searches. However, it’s a towering performance from Keeley Hawes and a crisp script that make BBC2’s police drama such a compulsive watch. Hawes plays razor-sharp DI Denton, who is suspected of being involved in an ambush leading to the death of three of her colleagues. Whether she did it or not is the crux of what is possibly the best cop show since Red Riding and, further back, Cracker. Be warned, though: it has a grim conclusion.
Frozen (U) Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee DVD/Blu-ray (108mins)
This Disney animation has caused quite a fuss with US evangelists. All nonsense, of course. If this exquisitely animated picture is guilty of anything, it’s too many grating songs and a first half that flags. It takes a long time to get going, but the introduction of Olaf, a droll snowman, invigorates this adventure inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. The plot centres on the perky Princess Anna and her estranged relationship with her older sister, Elsa, who can’t control her icy magical powers and runs away to the hills with Anna in pursuit. There’s a vast improvement in the second half.
The Family (15) Luc Besson DVD/Blu-ray (111mins)
Tonally, this crime caper is all over the place. Luc Besson’s film doesn’t know if it wants to be a thriller, a mobster flick, a teen movie or a comedy. It ends up being a weirdly compelling muddle. Robert De Niro, in sleepwalk mode, plays a Mafia informer on the run in rural France with his family, which include Michelle Pfeiffer’s pyromaniac, his violent daughter (Dianna Agron) and his scamming son (John D’Leo). Tommy Lee Jones co-stars, looking like he would rather be anywhere else. It seems like a long time since De Niro cared which film he was in – and the scene where he watches himself in Goodfellas is both surreal and painful.
The Machine (15) Caradog W James DVD/Blu-ray (86mins)
Blade Runner and Frankenstein are very clear influences on Caradog James’s creepy, low-budget sci-fi about a neuroscientist (Toby Stephens, a tricky actor to sympathise with) creating lethal androids for the MoD engaged in a bleak Cold War. One of his creations (Caity Lotz), however, turns out to much more human than the rest. Lots of good ideas, but the script needed to be sharper and the action less clunky.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
May the Fourth Be With You: The internet celebrates Star Wars Day with new Twitter symbols and memes
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils