DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 5th March 2012

Including The Ides of March, Contagion and Anonymous


The Ides of March (Entertainment One): Adapted from Beau Williams’ stage play Farragut North, the basic story is a cocktail loosely inspired by the skulduggery of recent US presidential primaries. It focuses on a young, ambitious strategist (Ryan Gosling) who is assisting his campaign boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in getting an inspirational Democratic candidate (George Clooney) elected. With the Republican field bare, the primary takes on extra significance, especially when a rival campaign manager (Paul Giamatti), a journalist (Marisa Tomei) and an intern (Evan Rachel Wood) start to pose ethical and moral dilemmas. With a script credited to Williams, Clooney and Grant Heslov, it seems to be a deliberate attempt to apply the weary but wise tone of classic 1970s cinema to recent times. Clooney’s approach as director draws on the best work of Alan Pakula and Sidney Lumet, with moral ambiguity, composed framing and a considered use of long takes all adding to the atmosphere. [Read our full review here] [Buy on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK]

Contagion (Warner Home Video): Director Steven Soderbergh’s latest is an all-star disaster movie that follows a global killer virus – think Traffic, only with disease. When Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns from a Hong Kong business trip to suburban Minneapolis, her husband (Matt Damon) is alarmed when she falls ill. When the virus spreads, the response team at the Center for Disease Control (Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle) and the World Health Organization (Marion Cotillard) have to stop it spreading, whilst a Bay Area blogger Jude Law keeps ahead of the news media. Managing to avoid most horror/sci-fi clichés, Soderbergh channels to spirit of 1970s films like Earthquake, whilst updating it for out similarly bleak age. The script by Scott Z Burns is alarmingly plausible, drawing on the recent SAARS scare, whilst Soderbergh handles the global locations with such an assured touch, most people probably won’t notice. [Buy on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK]

Anonymous (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): The very idea of Roland Emmerich making a movie about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays is enough to spark laughter, but the end result is a handsomely staged period piece. The premise revolves around Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans) and the conceit that he not only wrote the plays of Shakespeare, but did so as part of an elaborate political conspiracy involving Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave), playwright Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) and Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (Sebastian Reid). The blizzard of stories that accompanied its cinema release centred around the authorship question and Sony Pictures staged a deeply misguided marketing campaign, baiting those upset with the premise. Not that it worked as early audiences seemed to have more problems with the ambitious jigsaw puzzle script, which cleverly mirrors the themes of Shakespeare’s plays. [Read our full review here] [Buy on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK]


American Evil (Metrodome Distribution) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Columbus Circle (Universal Pictures) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Deviation (Revolver Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Dinosaur Jr: Live at 9:30 Club – In the Hands of the Fans (Wienerworld) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Dracula Prince of Darkness (StudioCanal) [Blu-ray / with DVD – Double Play]
Game of Thrones: Series 1 (Warner Home Video/HBO) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Immortals (Universal Pictures) [Blu-ray / Normal]
LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace (20th Century Fox Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Nurse Jackie: Season 3 (Lionsgate UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Sket (Revolver Entertainment) [Blu-ray / Normal]
The Rum Diary (EV) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Tomboy (Peccadillo Pictures) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Urban Explorers (Anchor Bay Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray / Normal]

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