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.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV - TV review: No wonder Cilla's chuffed with this story of her life – even the Beatles take a back seat
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke