Interstellar (12) Christopher Nolan DVD/Blu-ray (168mins)
Solaris, Kubrick, The Tempest, M Night Shyamalan and even Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” come to mind while watching Christopher Nolan’s deliriously ambitious, frequently absurd space odyssey. Matthew McConaughey is Cooper, a pilot tasked with reaching the wormhole that ould be crucial to saving the human race, who are running out of grub and air; but he has to leave behind his daughter and son. Out in space, the astronauts (including Anne Hathaway) discuss relativity; on Earth, Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck play Cooper’s grown-up children. A love story between a father and daughter is what emerges: taken as such, this spectacular sci-fi works and moves.
The Homesman (15) Tommy Lee Jones DVD/Blu-ray (123mins)
“I ain’t perfect but you are too bossy and too goddamn plain,” claims an ungallant chap to frontierswoman Mary, played by Hilary Swank. In the perilous, cold conditions of Nebraska, 1854, Mary’s intelligence and pragmatism make her the ideal choice to transport by wagon three disturbed women some distance from her windswept town. She picks up grizzled George (Tommy Lee Jones) on the way, and the pair bond in this unusual, beautifully shot Western, with outstanding performances from Swank and Jones.
Penguins of Madagascar (U) Simon J Smith, Eric Darnell DVD/Blu-ray (92mins)
“Go on, Gunther, give them a shove,” demands a nature documentarian (voiced by Werner Herzog) to his cameraman, who shoves the sassy penguins off a cliff and on to a breathless adventure. A bitter octopus (John Malkovich) seeks revenge on Earth’s penguins for being more popular than him in this giddy Madagascar spin-off, which also has Benedict Cumberbatch voicing a secret agent wolf. Some terrific visual gags, not least of which is the imprisonment and subsequent freeing of a sheep: “Release the sheep”...
Darling: 50th Anniversary Edition (15) John Schlesinger DVD/Blu-ray (128mins)
“She’s going to go a long way,” maintains a mother watching Diana perform in a nativity play. Twenty years later, Diana is an ambitious model and social climber with two boyfriends on the go (Dirk Bogarde, who looks bored stiff, and Laurence Harvey) in John Schlesinger’s badly dated 1965 satire. Julie Christie won an Oscar for her rather ordinary turn as unsympathetic Diana, but she was better in the more subversive Billy Liar two years before.
Horrible Bosses 2 (15) Sean Anders DVD/Blu-ray (108mins)
The three worker bees (Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day – all unfunny) from the first film encounter some more sociopathic bosses (Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz) in the sequel. Nothing works in this tired, vulgar comedy. Like it says, it’s horrible – and doubly so for not making proper use of Jennifer Aniston’s comic talents.