DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 31st May 2010



The Book of Eli (EV): Set in a post-apocalyptic America, this action-drama is about an enigmatic traveller named Eli (Denzel Washington) on a mysterious journey towards the west coast involving a valuable book. Along the way he comes across marauding bandits, a town ruled by the villainous Carnegie (Gary Oldman), and a young woman who he befriends (Mila Kunis).

Although The Hughes Brothers haven’t made a film since From Hell (2001), they manage to craft an entertaining and well-paced film with a satisfying twist. Although it owes a lot to other films in this genre (notably Mad Max 2) there are some nice ideas sprinkled in amongst the well-staged action sequences. Shot on the high-definition Red One camera, the visual look of the film is striking due to the heavy use of filters and the Blu-ray transfer is satisfyingly smooth. [Blu-ray / DVD]

The extras include the following featurettes:

  • A Lost Tale: Billy
  • Behind The Story
  • Deleted / Alternate Scenes
  • The Book of Eli Soundtrack
  • BD Exclusive: Picture-in-Picture Feature : Behind the Scenes and Interviews

The Damned United (Sony Pictures Home Ent.): This biopic of legendary English football manager Brian Clough was adapted from David Peace’s bestselling novel about his turbulent spell in charge of Leeds United during the 1970s. Starring Michael Sheen as Clough, Timothy Spall as Peter Taylor, Colm Meaney as Don Revie and Jim Broadbent as Sam Longson, it was adapted by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and directed Tom Hooper (Longford, John Adams).

Although the light-hearted tone tends to gloss over the riveting, dark tone of Peace’s book, the film is powered by several fine performances, with Sheen and Spall on top form. The production design impressively evokes the atmosphere of the 1970s, and the Blu-ray transfer is excellent with an impressively detailed image. [Blu-ray / DVD]

The extras for the Blu-ray include:

  • 1080P 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • English Audio Description Track
  • English, English HOH and Hindi subtitles
  • Commentary with Director Tom Hooper, Michael Sheen and Producer Andy Harries
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
  • Cloughisms with Optional Director’s Commentary
  • Perfect Pitch: The Making Of The Damned United
  • Remembering Brian
  • The Changing Game: Football in the Seventies
  • Creating Clough: Michael Sheen Takes on ‘Old Big ‘Ead’

* Listen to our interview with director Tom Hooper *


Alice in Wonderland (Disney) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Armored (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Astro Boy (E1 Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Bodyguards and Assassins (E1 Entertainment UK) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Daybreakers (Lionsgate UK) [Blu-ray / DVD]
La Boheme: Royal Opera House (Opus Arte) [DVD]
One Night in Turin (Kaleidoscope Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Romantic City: Venice [Blu-ray]
Salome: Royal Opera House [Blu-ray]
The Sky Crawlers (Manga Entertainment) [Blu-ray / DVD]
Winter in Wartime (Kaleidoscope Home Ent.) [Blu-ray / DVD]

> The Best DVD and Blu-ray releases of 2009
> UK cinema releases for Friday 28th May including Sex and the City 2 and The Losers


UK Cinema Releases: Friday 15th January 2010



Up In The Air (Paramount): A comedy-drama about a corporate downsizer (George Clooney) who spends his life flying around the US firing people in a smooth and efficient manner. Free of human relationships, he has become attached to frequent flyer miles, a commitment-free relationship with a fellow air mile addict (Vera Farmiga) and the buzz of living out of a suitcase. But when his boss (Jason Bateman) partners him with a new recruit (Anna Kendrick) who advocates firing people via video-link, things begin to change.

Directed by Jason Reitman, it is a smart, funny and thoughtful adaptation of Walter Kim’s 2001 novel that explores the current recession, relationships and travel. Intelligently written and slickly directed, it features a marvellous central performance from Clooney, who peppers his role with just the right amounts of charm, wit and emotion. Farmiga and Kendrick also provide excellent support and it will be a strong contender at this year’s Oscars. Paramount can expect solid business after positive word of mouth. [Nationwide / 15]

* Read my full review here and listen to my interview with Anna Kenrick *

The Book of Eli (Entertainment): A post-apocalyptic drama in which a lone man (Denzel Washington) fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. Directed by The Hughes Brothers, this is their first film since From Hell (2001) and looks like The Road meets Man on Fire.

The buzz on this one isn’t great and a decent opening might be followed by a swift tail off in interest. [Nationwide / 15]

44 Inch Chest (Momentum Pictures): A British drama about a jealous husband (Ray Winstone) who plots the kidnapping of his wife’s lover with the intention of restoring his wounded ego.

An impressive UK cast, plus a script by the writers of Sexy Beast (although not, significantly, the director Jonathan Glazer) could see this do moderate business although – like a lot of British films – it has the whiff of something made for TV. [Nationwide / 15]

All About Steve (20th Century Fox): A romantic comedy about an eccentric crossword puzzler (Sandra Bullock) who, convinced that a CNN cameraman (Bradley Cooper) is her true love, trails him as he travels all over the country.

After some of the worst reviews in living memory for a mainstream release, Fox appear to be giving this one a quiet death by dumping it in early January. [Nationwide / 12A]



Still Walking (New Wave Films): A Japanese drama about a retired doctor (Yoshio Harada) who lives by the seaside with his elderly wife hosting a visit for his two grownup, married children. Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Crude (Dogwoof): A documentary directed by Joe Berlinger following the progress of a $27 billion case against the Chevron Corporation, a case also known as the “Amazon Chernobyl”.

> Check out all the UK cinema releases for January 2010
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