DVD and Blu-ray reviews: The Selfish Giant, Rush, In A World..., The Call, A Belfast Story

 

The Selfish Giant (15) Clio Barnard DVD/Blu-ray (91mins)

“Oh no, not him,” exclaims a school secretary about Arbor (Conner Chapman), a scrappy, hyperactive Bradford teenager who has been excluded from school. His best pal is Swifty (Shaun Thomas), a soft-hearted giant who is a dab hand with horses. The duo go into the scrap-metal business, but this isn’t one of those cheery, old-fashioned Children’s Foundation Films: this is an angry and bleak experience. Clio Barnard’s painful fable comes across as a blend of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Ken Loach and Dickens. It leaves you bereft.

*****

Rush (15) Ron Howard DVD/Blu-ray (122mins)

“Twenty-five drivers start every season in Formula One, and each year, two of us die,” maintains Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) in this uncomplicated take on the rivalry, during the 1976 season, between the intense Austrian driver and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), Britain’s dashing wheel man. Both men rejected their well-heeled backgrounds to take up motor sport, but that’s about all they had in common. Lauda was methodical, Hunt a hedonist, and Peter Morgan’s script captures these two driven characters adroitly. Rush benefits from some visceral cinematography from Anthony Dod Mantle and a deft performance from Brühl.

****

In A World... (15) Lake Bell DVD/Blu-ray (93mins)

“Let’s give the voiceover industry something to talk about here...” yells Demetri Martin’s goofball in Lake Bell’s sweet-natured comedy. Bell plays struggling voice coach Carol, who is the daughter of a smugly successful voiceover artist (Fred Melamed). Carol snags her big break on a fantasy series, The Amazon Games, only for her father to wade in, along with Ken Marino’s nincompoop. A lovely karaoke sequence, droll dialogue and a lot of heart feature here.

***

The Call (15) Brad Anderson DVD/Blu-ray (94mins)

Halle Berry stars as a usually calm 911 operator for the LAPD who receives a call from a distressed teenage girl and makes a fatal error. Six months later, she receives another call from a panicked teen (Abigail Breslin) who is in the boot of a serial killer’s car. She’s determined not to make the same mistake again. For the first 45 minutes, this is a robust and gripping thriller. However, The Call unravels into ludicrousness towards the ill-thought-out finale.

**

A Belfast Story (15) Nathan Todd DVD/Blu-ray (99mins)

A duo in balaclavas are bumping off former IRA operatives and Colm Meaney’s jaded detective is tasked with unearthing them. The presumption is that they’re loyalists, but Meaney’s glum cop thinks different. The plot is clunky, as is the dialogue, but the no-frills, straightforward storytelling is oddly compelling and Meaney’s performance just about keeps the absurd story afloat.

**

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup