DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 15th August 2011


Source Code (Optimum Home Entertainment): Sci-fi thriller about a US soldier US soldier (Jake Gyllenhaal) who must defuse a bomb on a Chicago bound train, only this proves more difficult than expected. Directed by Duncan Jones, it co-stars Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright, and nicely channels Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone to create a satisfying piece of entertainment. [Buy it on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon UK] [Read our review here]

Countdown to Zero (Dogwoof): Lucy Walker’s campaigning documentary is an absorbing warning about the dangers still posed by nuclear weapons, even though its optimism blurs the wider issues. That said it features an impressive line-up of interviewees (Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf, Jimmy Carter and Joseph Cirincione) and paints a sobering portrait of a persistent, existential menace. [Buy it on DVD from Amazon UK] [Read our review here]


AC/DC: Let There Be Rock (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Curse of the Golden Flower (Universal Pictures) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Earth and Space (Go Entertain) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Legendary Warriors Collection (Warner Home Video) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Spy Kids (Miramax) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Spy Kids 2 – The Island of Lost Dreams (Miramax) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Spy Kids 3 – Game Over (Miramax) [Blu-ray / Normal]
Spy Kids Trilogy (Miramax) [Blu-ray / Box Set]
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (Optimum Home Entertainment) [Blu-ray with DVD – Double Play]

UK Cinema Releases for Friday 12th August 2011 including Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Best DVD & Blu-ray releases of 2010


UK Cinema Releases: Friday 1st April 2011


Source Code (Momentum): A sci-fi thriller about on a soldier (Jake Gyllenhall) who finds himself part of a mission to find out why a commuter train exploded. Directed by Duncan Jones, it co-stars Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright. [Nationwide / 12A] [Trailer] [Reviews] [Read our full review here]

Hop (Universal): Live-action mixes with animation in this family film about a driver (James Marsden) who accidentally hits the Easter Bunny (Russell Brand) and then has to save the holiday where people celebrate the death of Jesus by eating chocolate eggs. Directed by Tim Hill and co-starring Gary Cole and Hugh Laurie. Nationwide / U] [Trailer] [Reviews]

Sucker Punch (Warner Bros.): A young girl (Emily Browning) is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather and retreats to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, as she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility. Directed by Zack Snyder, it also stars Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and Carla Gugino. [Nationwide / 12A] [Trailer] [Reviews] [Read our full review here]

Killing Bono (Paramount): Based on the memoirs of music journalist Neil McCormick, two brothers in Dublin attempt to become global rock stars but can only look on as old school friends U2 become the biggest band in the world. Directed by Nick Hamm and starring Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan. [Nationwide / 15] [Trailer] [Reviews]


Oranges and Sunshine (Icon): The story of a social worker from Nottingham (Emily Watson) who uncovered one of the forced migration of children from the United Kingdom to Australia and Canada. Directed by Jim Loach and co-starring Hugo Weaving and David Wenham. [Selected cinemas] [Trailer] [Reviews]

Essential Killing (Artificial Eye): Political thriller film by the Polish writer and director Jerzy Skolimowski, about a man captured in the desert by American forces, who finds himself transported to a nameless European country. Stars Vincent Gallo and Emmanuelle Seigner. [Selected cinemas / 15] [Trailer] [Reviews]

Blooded (Revolver): British indie horror done in the style of documentary. Directed by Edward Boase and starring Oliver Boot and Tracy Ifaechor. [Selected cinemas / 15]

Young Hearts Run Free (Bede Films Ltd): Romantic drama set against the backdrop of the 1974 miners’ strike. Directed by Andy Mark Simpson, it stars Andy Black and Jennifer Bryden. [12A]

Game (Eros International): A Hindi action film directed by Abhinay Deo and starring Abhishek Bachchan and Kangna Ranaut. [Selected cinemas]

Hatchet II (Arrow Films): Sequel to the 2006 horror, which sees Adam Green return to direct and Kane Hodder and Tony Todd reprise their roles from the first film. [18]

> Get local cinema showtimes at Google Movies or FindAnyFilm
Cinema Reviews Thoughts

Source Code

The second film from director Duncan Jones is a satisfying sci-fi thriller which manages to pack invention and emotion into a neat 95 minutes.

Laying out the plot of Source Code is tricky as much of the pleasure of the film lies in how it gradually reveals its hand.

The basic set up is this: US soldier Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up to find himself on a Chicago bound train, sitting opposite a woman (Michelle Monaghan) who appears to know him.

After a short time, the train explodes and he realises he is part of a futuristic military program which allows him to continually experience the last 8 minutes of a commuter’s life in order to discover who planted the bomb.

Supervised via video link by a military scientist (Jeffrey Wright) and a fellow soldier (Vera Farmiga), Colter finds out more about the suspected bomber on each ‘pass’ and why he was selected for this mission.

To the film’s credit, it manages to add a few more layers and twists without ever getting lost in complications, despite the nagging feeling that there are gaping logic holes with regard to the ‘science’ in the film.

What exactly is the source code? How can people communicate in the way they do in the film?

But we are basically in an extended, upscale episode of The Twilight Zone where none of that really matters when you are actually watching the film (although a post-screening discussion might be a different matter).

It moves quickly and efficiently as Gyllenhaal’s character gradually uncovers the truth and Ben Ripley’s script combines elements from films such as Groundhog Day (1993) and Déjà Vu (2006) as it explores the tensions and mysteries of a fantastical situation in a particular location.

This is familiar territory for Duncan Jones, as his debut feature Moon (2009) explored similar areas (although in a different context) and he handles the bigger budget and action sequences with an impressive ease.

Generally, the exterior locations of the train are blended well with the interior set of the train, although there are moments when the CGI and green screen aren’t fully convincing (a dramatic jump from a train is jarring).

But DOP Don Burgess and Jones manage to explore the location of the train well, getting across the claustrophobia and drama packed inside the carriages before visually opening out the film as it gets nearer the climax.

The performances suit the material well: Gyllenhaal is a solid lead, playing a more likeable version of his soldier in Jarhead (2005); Monaghan is a charming foil, whilst Farmiga and Wright bring a convincing level of military authority to their roles.

Chris Bacon’s score also adds a nice touch of urgency, effectively channelling Bernard Herrmann, and there is more than a dash of Hitchcock to the film as it centres around a MacGuffin (in this case a bomb) and the plot is a lean affair in which one sequence propels into another.

Although a mid-budget movie, reportedly made for around $35m, it could do better than expected as various elements combine in satisfying ways.

The action and suspense gives it across the board appeal; the central character is an honourable soldier who may strike a chord with flyover states; the twisty narrative will be a talking point among movie fans; and the surprising emotional chemistry could snare the date movie crowd.

Even if it doesn’t make a huge impact theatrically there seems an assured shelf life for Source Code as a sci-fi thriller with brains and ideas, even if some of them don’t seem to fully add up when the film is over.

> Official site
> Source Code at the IMDb
> Reviews of Source Code at Metacritic


Olly Moss Poster Art for Duncan Jones

Designer Olly Moss has done two new posters for the films of Duncan Jones: Moon (2009) and the upcoming Source Code (2011).

[Click here for a larger version]

The latter premieres at SXSW in Austin, Texas this week and opens in the UK on Friday 1st April.

[Via Sound on Sight]

> Olly Moss
> Duncan Jones at the IMDb
> SXSW 2011 Film Lineup