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.
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The golden age of TV comedy is here
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
From Marvel to Star Wars: The rise of cinema’s shared universes
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'