DVD and Blue-ray film reviews: From Detectorists to Northern Soul

Detectorists is a beautifully crafted comedy about British eccentrics

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The Independent Culture

Detectorists (15) Mackenzie Crook DVD/Blu-ray (180mins)

Andy (Mackenzie Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones), two (true) metal detectorists, unearth Tizer ring-pulls (circa 1983), biscuit wrappers and Jim’ll Fix It badges in the Essex countryside in this deceptively gentle sitcom, written and directed by Crook. The soft-hearted duo fend off rivals detectorists, make a mess of their relationships and discuss their favourite quiz shows. A beautifully crafted comedy about British eccentrics.

****

X-Men: Days of Future Past (12) Bryan Singer DVD/Blu-ray (131mins)

“Humanity has always feared those that are different,” rants Magneto. Same message as all the other X-Men films, then. This time around, Hugh Jackman’s clawed mutant has been tasked, by a bored-looking Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), to time-travel back to 1973 to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating anti-mutant military scientist Dr Trask (Peter Dinklage). Is anyone tired of these costly dollops of po-faced sci-fi yet?

**

The Fault in Our Stars (12) Josh Boone DVD/Blu-ray (126mins)

“We’re not sentimental people,” Michael (Sam Trammell) informs his daughter, Hazel (Shailene Woodley), who has terminal cancer. However, this is an unashamedly sentimental adaptation of John Green’s bestseller. Hazel falls for hunky Gus (Ansel Elgort) at a cancer support for youngsters and the teenage duo plan a trip to Amsterdam to visit Hazel’s favourite author (Willem Dafoe).

***

Northern Soul (15) Elaine Constantine DVD/Blu-ray (99mins)

“Dad’s dead, mum’s left, come on,” explains Matt (Josh Whitehouse) while ushering fellow teenager John (Elliot James Langridge) into his dishevelled house. It’s Wigan in 1974 and it’s pretty grim save for the promise of dancing to northern soul. The two new pals go on a musical odyssey together in Elaine Constantine’s vigorous British film, which recalls Quadrophenia and Saturday Night Fever.

***

Oculus (15) Mike Flanagan DVD/Blu-ray (103mins)

Creepy mirrors are a staple horror device – and while this chiller isn’t particularly original it is, most crucially, scary. Kaylie (Karen Gillan) is convinced that an antique mirror was the reason for the death of her parents 11 years ago and she wants her brother, freshly released from a psychiatric hospital, to be convinced of its demonic power too.

***

Jersey Boys (15) Clint Eastwood DVD/Blu-ray (134mins)

An efficient adaptation of the musical, which charts the rise of Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young, reprising his stage role) and the Four Seasons. Christopher Walken enjoys himself as a mobster and Vincent Piazza (Lucky Luciano in Boardwalk Empire) convinces as bolshy guitarist Tommy DeVito in the sort of biopic suited to a damp Sunday afternoon.

***

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