DVDs Of The Month: January

There’s plenty out on DVD this month, ranging from cult rom-coms, to action blockbusters, to a great horror movie, to the first of the Oscar Best Picture Nominees out on DVD, so you’re sure to find something to your taste on this list.

Bridget Jones’ Baby

bridget-jones-baby-posterThis third installment finds Bridget (Renée Zellweger) exactly where the title suggests: pregnant. The twist is she doesn’t know who the father is; is it the once love-of-her-life Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), or new man, entrepreneur Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey)? The ensuing escapade is the perfect mix of hilarity and touching moments, bringing back the classic hallmarks of a great Bridget Jones film, as well as making it fresh and new. The newbies joining old faces in the cast all slot in brilliantly (Emma Thompson, as would be expected, steals most of her scenes), leaving little time for Hugh Grant to be missed. It is exciting to rejoin familiar characters and catch up with them at a much later point in their lives, and it certainly feels like a worthwhile sequel.
It is a film filled with heart as well as countless laugh-out-loud moments, making it a roaring success that is likely as rewatchable as the original, making a DVD a no-brainer for fans. You’ll also catch the jokes that the laughter drowned out in the cinema screen.

Is it worth a Blu-ray? It’s a romcom…so not really, only if you really love high-definition.

Read the full review: ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’ Review


Hell or High Water

hell-or-high-water-posterDavid Mackenzie’s modern, yet classic-feeling Western is one of the true gems of 2016, and now a four-time Oscar nominee. It is the tale of two brothers – Chris Pine’s struggling father and Ben Foster’s angry ex-convict – as they execute a series of heists on the bank trying to foreclose their family farm, but are followed every step of the way by Jeff Bridges’ Texas Ranger, intent on catching them. The ensuing film is a brilliant mix of thriller and drama, slowly building tensions – both in relationships, as well as in the narrative itself – making it incredibly involving. You become embroiled in not only the action, but also the moral dilemmas and questions the characters both pose and face, engaging you with the film in a different way. It also captures time and place beautifully; it paints an authentic-feeling Texas, as well as grounding it in the social and economic attitudes of the time.
This is one of those rare films where pretty much every element is brilliant in its own right, and they all combine perfectly to make an overall brilliant film.

Is it worth a Blu-ray? It would certainly emphasise the gorgeous setting and colour-palette used in the film, but it is not reliant on its visuals, so doesn’t high-definition.

Read the full review: ‘Hell or High Water’ Review

Deepwater Horizon

deepwater-horizon-posterBased on the real-life 2010 explosion of the titular drilling rig, this intensely powerful film elevates itself way above the disaster genre it may be lumped into, with the devastating human element it holds at its heart. The first half focuses on the build up to the explosion, detailing the visit from BP employees who push for changes, which may or may not have lead to the ensuing disaster. It also allows for not only this build up of tension, but also the development of the relationships of the crew and the sense of camaraderie, which serves to make the emotions more effective later on. From the moments the explosion starts, the intensity skyrockets, as you are caught-up in a heart-stopping race for survival. Your connections with the characters, built up in the first half, make every death and injury hit harder as they happen to characters who, however briefly, you have met before. It is not only thrilling in its adventure, but arresting in its emotion, gripping you up until its final moments, and won’t even fully release you after its final frame; it’ll stay on your mind for time to come.

Is it worth a Blu-ray? The explosions and action would certainly be intensified by a Blu-ray viewing, but the emotions are so powerful it isn’t necessary.

Read the full review: ‘Deepwater Horizon’ Review

Don’t Breathe

dont-breathe-posterOne of the most solid entries into the horror vault of recent years, Don’t Breathe takes the classic home-invasion premise and turns it on its head. Here, three robbers break into a house, intent on stealing a fortune hidden there, only to become trapped, locked in with the house’s blind, ex-Army owner and his series of security measures. For an hour and a half we are trapped with them, and a lot of silence follows, as they try to use their attacker’s lack of sight to their advantage. We are put in a position of empathy with the robbers – the ones who initially seem like the ‘bad people’ – forcing a subversion of the genre that makes it different and interesting. You feel as though you are in there with them, feeling everything as they do. It progressively gets darker (and at times, disturbing) in a masterful crafting of atmosphere and tension. It is gripping and enthralling, and certainly pretty scary. It is definitely one to watch for those who love horror, and even dark thrillers.

Is it worth a Blu-ray? Most of this film takes place in very dark lighting so it may make it a little clearer. Then again, it is a film based around atmosphere and feelings, so a Blu-ray isn’t very necessary.

Ben Hur (2016)

ben-hur-posterThis film decided to take on the mammoth task of remaking the film (yes, which was a remake itself) that jointly holds the records for the most Oscars won, and is universally heralded as a classic. As predicted, this wasn’t especially wise. If you have never seen any other Ben Hurs, it might entertain you on the level of a TV movie, but if you know the others, this is absolutely not worth seeing.
If you’ve seen this already you likely won’t want the DVD. If you haven’t seen it but are incredibly curious to, just wait for it to appear on your TV. If you have never seen any Ben Hur, I implore you to go out and buy the 1959 version instead.

Is it worth a Blu-ray? It’s not even worth a DVD really so definitely not a Blu-ray.

Read the full review: ‘Ben-Hur’ (2016) Review


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