DVD & Blu-ray reviews: The Wolf of Wall Street, Veronica Mars, 47 Ronin, Made in America, Wish You Were Here
Friday 16 May 2014
The Wolf of Wall Street (18) Martin Scorsese DVD/Blu-ray (179mins)
“There’s no nobility in poverty,” is Jordan Belfont’s rallying cry to his sales team in Martin Scorsese’s latest hyperactive portrait of greed in the USA. Leonardo DiCaprio (above) is sensational as the crooked stockbroker making bundles of dosh in the Eighties and early Nineties, while consuming huge amounts of drugs, visiting prostitutes and assaulting air staff. This biopic makes very little moral judgement about this debauched individual. DiCaprio is so likeable it’s tricky not to root for this scumbag. Tonally it’s much like Goodfellas without the violence, and Jonah Hill delivers a memorable performance as Belfont’s deranged vice president.
Veronica Mars (12) Ben Kutchins DVD/Blu-ray (107mins)
The making of this slight crime drama is a feelgood one: lovers of the cancelled Veronica Mars crowdfund their cherished TV show back into existence. However, those not au fait with the series may struggle with what is essentially an extended TV episode. Kristen Bell is good as former PI Veronica whose plans for a lucrative new career are curtailed by news that her old love Logan (Jason Dohring) has been accused of murder in her hometown, the corrupt Neptune.
47 Ronin (12) Carl Rinsch DVD/Blu-ray (119mins)
Keanu Reeves steadfastly refuses to change his bemused expression throughout this overblown ($175m) flop. The enigmatic star plays Kai, an orphan who is adopted by a leader and his gloomy team of samurai. Kai is treated shoddily until the samurai require his unique skills to combat Tadanobu Asano’s dastardly lord and his witch accomplice (played by Rinko Kikuchi, who is the best thing about this mind-rot).
Made in America (15) Ron Howard DVD/Blu-ray (90mins)
“We get bang-bang music here with a lot of shouting,” explains Lillian Flower, an elderly resident living next to Philadelphia’s Made in America, a festival organised by Jay-Z. Lillian’s the best thing about Ron Howard’s music documentary, the aim of which appears to demonstrate how wonderful Jay-Z is. The hip-hop giant comes across well, maintaining that he dreams of both a female president and a gay president. Howard interviews most acts – Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Rita Ora and Janelle Monae – but the drollest is Run DMC’s Joseph Simmons. A happy day-z payout for Ron, perhaps?
Wish You Were Here (15) Kieran Darcy-Smith DVD/Blu-ray (89mins)
Joel Edgerton compels in this fraught thriller in which an Australian couple’s break from their children in Cambodia goes horribly wrong. Edgerton’s Dave sleeps with his wife’s sister, Steph (Teresa Palmer), during an ecstasy-fuelled rave and Jeremy (Steph’s new boyfriend, played by Banshee’s Antony Starr) goes missing. Was he murdered at the party? The acting is naturalistic and the filming slick. It’s just a shame the characters aren’t more sympathetic.
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Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
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Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes