It’s Monday, so that means UK DVD and Blu-Ray release day, and after a whopping weekend full of James Bond wonder, we welcome something other than super-spies to our small screens. This column is a brand new feature on THN, and you’ll see it appear on the site every Monday going forward. If you are one of our many readers from the United States and Canada, then you will also get your own release column, but that will hit these hallowed pages on a Tuesday, so look out for that from tomorrow.
Here are the releases hitting UK DVD and Blu-Ray retailers from today, Monday 29th October 2012.
A ROYAL AFFAIR (DVD) – dir. Nicolaj Arcel
A ROYAL AFFAIR got some pretty good reviews when it was released earlier in the year, with huge plaudits for the film’s star Mads Mikkelsen. The film also garnered a rather impressive 5 star DVD review last week from our own Sam Carey, who described it as a ‘ magnificent, wondrous, and entertaining. It will make you question many things: religion, mental health, seniority, and will leave you with a feeling of breathlessness as a result of the pulsating final 25 minutes.’
Based on the true story of Caroline Mathilda, the English princess who married King Christian VII of Denmark in the early 1770s, A Royal Affair is a bold, sumptuous tale of illicit love and political passion on a sweeping, epic scale.
Keen to be a dutiful wife and Queen, Caroline’s hopes are soon dashed when she discovers the King’s true madness. Turning away from the King she finds herself in the arms of the King’s physician – a radical libertarian – with whom she embarks upon a passionate affair that would bring the kingdom to the brink of revolution.
Winner of two Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival 2012, A Royal Affair is a stunningly powerful portrait of love, lust and betrayal, told here for the very first time.
THE BORGIAS – SEASON 2 (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Neil Jordan
I’ve not got a huge amount of knowledge about this successful TV series, but I do know that it stars the lovely Jeremy Irons and is directed by the superb Neil Jordan, who both can’t put a foot wrong in our books. Our own Luke reviewed the title for the site describing it as an ‘excellent direction and writing, often at the hands of the ever reliable Neil Jordan, the film has a cinematic quality that even in today’s world of quality TV programming, it is still a grand achievement.’
The Borgias return for more seduction, schemes, and outright villainy in all 10 riveting episodes from the second season.
Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons is back as Rodrigo Borgia, the power-hungry patriarch of the Borgia clan, who has schemed his way to the top of Roman society as Pope Alexander VI. But with absolute power comes even more powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to see him toppled.
While the Pope schemes to destroy his foes, his mistress Giulia Farnese (Lotte Verbeek) realises her position in the bedroom is precarious at best; daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) seduces new suitors while caring for her illicit baby; and brothers Cesare (François Arnaud) and Juan (David Oakes) take sibling rivalry to a whole new level of deviancy.
Be there for every stunning moment of the critically acclaimed crime drama with a royal pedigree.
RED TAILS (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Anthony Hemmingway
From the creator of STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES indeed. Yes, George Lucas presents this wank-fest which didn’t fare too well at the cinema back in the summer, but here it is on DVD and Blu-ray, so has it found its audience? Well, that we won’t know for a little while but looking at Sam’s review, it doesn’t look good, although I think he kinda liked it. “Some of the acting is truly abysmal – horrifyingly so in fact, but the story just about manages to sustain interest; after all we root for the group and even when it gets a little too saccharine you’ll still find enough warmth to muster a wry smile come the inevitable conclusion.”
Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard lead a powerful ensemble cast in this high-flying epic inspired by the real-life adventures of the first African-American combat unit to serve in World War II.
Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskagee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky… even as they battle discrimination on the ground. Featuring jaw-dropping aerial action and thrilling special effects, Red Tails is a breathtaking tribute to the unsung heroes who rose above extraordinary challenges and ultimately soared into history.
STATUS QUO – HELLO QUO! – dir. Alan G. Carter
We haven’t reviewed this one as yet, but we guess you’ll all be rocking all over the world to the soundtrack of this beast. It’s hard to believe that the Quo have been around for as long as the Rolling Stones – 50 years, and the film charts those magnificent 50 years. The discs also come with about 3 hours of bonus bits and pieces, so its an absolute must for fans, and one to put on the list for the old man come Christmas.
HELLO QUO! tells the candid, no-holds barred story of Status Quo s astonishing 50 year career as a touring and recording rock band. With 120 million worldwide album sales already under their collective belts, two OBE awards, a million neon lit ‘Sold Out’ signs, a record 103 appearances on Top of the Pops – you d think that one of HRH Prince Charles favourite band had nothing more to prove… but never have their lives and career been laid out in such an unabashed and forthright manner. Collecting hours of previously unseen footage and classic live material with full exclusive access to all band members this is the definitive story of a band that has done and seen it all. As well as full access to the band, Hello Quo! Also features input from a host of the biggest names in rock including: Brian May of Queen, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, Buzzcocks, Slade, Paul Weller, Sir Cliff Richard and Midge Ure. The documentary also exclusively features the moment when the original line up of the band met again for the first time in over 30 years. A truly poignant reunion, after years of legal wrangling, saw the band clear the air but also plug in and play together once again… This Access All Areas Collector s Edition includes 3 hours of astonishing never seen before Quo footage!
SMASH – SEASON 1 (DVD) – dir. Various
From executive producer Steven Spielberg comes another TV newcomer in the form of SMASH, a show that revolves around the making of a Broadway musical. That’s all I know about it, but I’m hearing good things. Uma Thurman is in it for a bit.
Brought by executive producer Steven Spielberg, Smash revolves around the creation of a new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. As the production takes shape, everyone involved in it must balance his or her often chaotic personal life with the all-consuming demands of a life in the theatre.
THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Nicholas Stoller
It might be a tad overlong, but I actually quite enjoyed this romantic comedy starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, and I’m sure it will find a nice little audience on DVD and Blu-Ray. More serious than you expect from the makers of FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL.
Judd Apatow-produced romantic comedy starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segel. Anglo-American couple Violet (Blunt) and Tom (Segel) fall in love and soon after decide to get married. But the wedding is repeatedly delayed by the various intricate and perplexing circumstances in which they find themselves, to the point where both parties – and their families – start to wonder if they are doing the right thing after all.
THE HUNTER (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Daniel Nettheim
Willem Dafoe returns to the screen in this positively reviewed on THN and The Hollywood Booze, THE HUNTER.
A ruthless mercenary with a secret agenda comes to Australia to search for the last remaining Tasmanian Tiger. As his dramatic hunt for the elusive Tiger goes on and he discovers the mysteries hidden within the wild landscape, long-forgotten emotions resurface. Can a human who has led an immoral life find connection and redemption too?
Based on the acclaimed novel by Julia Leigh, The Hunter is a powerful psychological drama that tells the story of Martin (Willem Dafoe), a mercenary sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a dramatic hunt for the last Tasmanian Tiger. Directed by Daniel Nettheim, The Hunter stars Academy Award® nominee Willem Dafoe (Antichrist, Spider-man, The English Patient, Platoon), Frances O Connor (Artificial Intelligence: AI, Mansfield Park) and Sam Neill (The Dish, Jurassic Park, The Piano).
STORAGE 24 (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Johannes Roberts
Noel Clarke and Laura Haddock star in this British horror. Buy at HMV.com
7 DAYS IN HAVANA (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Various
Not a big-screen, Latino version of the Craig David song, but indeed a clever, multiple director piece which is worth seeking out. Buy at HMV.com.
YOUR SISTER’S SISTER (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Lynne Shelton
Our second Emily Blunt starrer of the week after THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT, but this is a clever comedy from Lynne Shelton that also stars the very talented Mark Duplass. Buy at HMV.com.
THE KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – dir. Marius Holst