Follow Us on Twitter

Interstellar - DVD Review

Interstellar

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

CHRISTOPHER Nolan’s Interstellar is a mind-blowing film in so many ways – conceptually bold, emotionally and scientifically intricate, and visually stunning. Yet it’s also capable of blowing your mind in bad ways, including the fear that, after almost three hours, it doesn’t make much sense or that it sacrifices its early bravery for something more safe and Hollywood.

Conceived in part homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar also borrows from other well-worn science fiction genre staples, yet still somehow manages to feel fresh, exciting and innovative on its own merits. Some of its concepts are dazzling, while Nolan also drops in some visual moments to excite the senses.

It also manages to be as intimate as it is epic, neatly balancing its grander, more risky elements with those that can resonate with anyone.

Set sometime in the future, the film finds Earth in a state of disrepair and entering its final years, with food in particularly short supply. Enter, ex-pilot and widower Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a dedicated single father and corn famer, who is asked by a NASA scientist (Michael Caine) to lead a mission through a wormhole in the solar system to search for new planets that could sustain human life and save our species.

Against the wishes of his adolescent daughter, Murphy (Mackenzie Foy), Cooper heads off into space, promising her that he will return. But once Cooper and his team (including Anne Hathaway and David Gyasi) enter the different dimensions of alternative universes, complete with different rules concerning the passing of time, all bets are off.

Murphy, meanwhile, begins to plot her own course towards an unlikely reunion with her father, and one that could be just as pivotal in saving mankind.

In truth, the less you know about Interstellar going in, the more you are likely to be absorbed by it. But no matter what you may ultimately think about the outcome, there’s plenty to admire along the way.

The human story at the centre of the film is particularly engrossing, not least because of the tremendously endearing everyman qualities that McConaughey invests his Cooper. This year’s Oscar winner is on towering form once again, anchoring the film with a performance that effortlessly showcases the mixture of emotions his character must endure, from loss and regret to fear and adventure. It’s a quietly heroic role, delivered without the need for show-stopping, and one that allows Interstellar to pack a hefty emotional punch.

There’s good work, too, from both Foy and Jessica Chastain as Murphy (in various ages), as well as by regular Nolan stalwart Caine. Gyasi, meanwhile, also impresses as another of the space crew – the guy who explains a lot of the film’s science in layman’s terms, but someone who also offers some of the more honest emotions.

Nolan, meanwhile, deserves credit for continuing to show that blockbusters can offer something different from the norm. As he did with Inception and even with the Dark Knight franchise, he allows films to operate on the biggest scale but never loses sight of the small things, or cinema’s ability to test the intelligence of its audiences.

Hence, you do have to pay attention and might not understand everything but Interstellar excites more because of this. You cannot take everything for granted for long periods, just as you know you will be seeing something special. Set pieces to savour here include a sequence involving giant waves and huge glacial landscapes that take the breath away. If you can catch them in IMAX, all the better.

If there are flaws, then Nolan has earned the right to be forgiven for them. So while Interstellar does flirt with feelings of pretentiousness (particularly when discussing the idea of the power of love) and includes a slightly hokey third act which may well polarise audiences, it still demands to be seen and deserves a lot of credit.

Nolan, meanwhile, merely enhances his reputation as the most exciting blockbuster director of his generation… someone not afraid to explore the possibilities of what mainstream cinema can offer, while setting new benchmarks for those following in his wake.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 169mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: March 30, 2015

Horrible Bosses 2 - DVD Review

Horrible Bosses 2

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out o 5

LAUGHING gas and its effect once inhaled features prominently among the jokes of Horrible Bosses 2 but there are times when the creative forces behind this sequel might be hoping that someone let’s off a canister in the cinema given the stuttering nature of their follow-up.

Inferior in almost every department to the 2011 original, Horrible Bosses 2 often feels like a flimsy excuse for a sequel.

In its favour, it still has three leading men in Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day that possess an easygoing charisma and a strong chemistry, while there are several big laughs to help it along.

But there are also long lulls where nothing much happens or, worse, desperate attempts to mine comedy from sexual degradation that just feels desperate and unnecessary.

Given the presence of four screenwriters (Sean Anders, John Morris, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley), there’s also an alarming amount of material that feels improvised with typically hit-and-miss results. It makes you wonder what the writers were doing.

The plot, ironically, isn’t too big a part of the problem. It finds Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) hitting upon an idea for an all-in-one shower that will make them their own bosses only to find themselves screwed over by a ruthless corporate big-wig (Christoph Waltz) and his obnoxious son (Chris Pine).

Acting desperately to avoid imminent bankruptcy the three devise a plan to kidnap the boss’s son and hold him to ransom, only to find themselves once more out of their depth as criminals and battling outside interests from the various key players.

Thrown into this mix, too, are Jennifer Aniston’s nymphomaniac dentist (now in ‘rehab’), Kevin Spacey’s murderous boss (still serving time but looking to get ahead) and Jamie Foxx’s Motherf**ker Jones, dispensing more useless advice and even some hands-on help.

Given the quality of its cast, Horrible Bosses 2 does manage to elevate some of the more dubious material but the game performers can only take things so far. Rather, the fault lies with the ropey script, which all too often goes for the crass, and Anders’ direction, which drags things out to unnecessary lengths (the almost two hour running time is overly generous).

Overall, therefore, Horrible Bosses 2 is far too hit-and-miss to be considered a success despite boasting a handful of laugh out loud moments. It’s certainly not terrible but it does sometimes struggle to justify its existence, making talk of a potential third movie feel premature and overly optimistic to say the least.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 110mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: March 30, 2015

Penguins of Madagascar - Preview

Penguins of Madagascar

Preview by Jack Foley

They’re cute…they’re cuddly…they’re back! From the creators of Madagascar comes the hilarious new movie that proves global espionage is for the birds!

In DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar, your favourite super-spies – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private – join forces with the elite North Wind team to save the world.

It’s a side-splitting, globe-trotting adventure the whole family will love! Introduce the Penguin family to your family when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar on Blu-ray™ , DVD and Digital HDon March 30, 2015.

Directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith, Penguins of Madagascar features the voice talent of John Malkovich (Red 2), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Ken Jeong (The Hangover), joining Tom McGrath, Chris Miller and Christopher Knights, who are their roles as the Penguins from the beloved Madagascar franchise.

The Blu-ray™, DVD and digital versions feature hours of bonus materials that uncover the covert operations of the Penguins of Madagascar including several exclusive featurettes, a deleted scene, a music video by Pitbull, a dance tutorial by tWitch, and more.

Fairytale: A True Story - Preview

Fairytale: A True Story

Preview by Jack Foley

The infamous story of the Cottingley fairies and the media circus it inspired is brought vividly to life in charming fantasy drama Fairytale: A True Story, coming to DVD for the first time from March 23, 2015, courtesy of Icon Film Distribution.

Loosely based on real events, Fairytale: A True Story recounts the sensation caused across England in 1917, after young cousins Elsie (Florence Hoath – Goodbye Mr Chips, Lost in Austen) and Frances (Elizabeth Earl – Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Mansfield Park) take photographs of fairies they claim to have discovered in a nearby meadow.

Capturing the imagination of the public, the girls are quickly catapulted to celebrity, garnering support from famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Peter O’Toole – Ratatouille, Stardust), and sceptical interest from magician Harry Houdini (Harvey Keitel – Moonrise Kingdom, National Treasure).

As the story of the fairies gathers momentum, the photos appear in national newspapers across the country, and the girls face a barrage of scrutiny, with their supporters refusing to concede against the hordes of cynics, determined to debunk their claims.

Directed by Charles Sturridge (Lassie, TV’s Da Vinci’s Demons)and featuring a star-studded British cast that also includes Anna Chancellor (St Trinian’s, TV’s The Hour) and Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1), Fairytale: A True Story is the perfect family film- heart-warming, inspiring, and guaranteed to make you believe in magic…

Win Fairytale: A True Story on DVD

To celebrate the release of Fairytale: A True Story on DVD on Monday, March 23, 2015, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 copy on DVD. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who directs Fairytale: A True Story?

Simply send the answer to Fairytale: A True Story competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Win an amazing INTERSTELLAR goody bag - own it on limited edition 2-disc Blu-ray™ digibook, Blu-ray and DVD on March 30

Interstellar

Preview by Jack Foley

FROM Christopher Nolan, the director of The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, Interstellar is yours to own on Limited Edition 2-disc Blu-ray™ digibook, Blu-ray and DVD on March 30. To celebrate the release we’re giving you the chance to win an Interstellar goody bag!

With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history: traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.

Interstellar features an all-star cast led by Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and MacKenzie Foy.

The two-disc Blu-ray with UltraViolet™ contains three hours of in-depth, behind-the-scenes bonus content detailing the epic shoot, the scientific realities explored in the film, a look at creating the stunning visuals, plus an extended cut of The Science of Interstellar broadcast special and much more.

Pre-order Interstellar on Limited Edition 2-disc Blu-ray digibook, Blu-ray and DVD or watch on Digital HD now

To be in with a chance of winning the out of this world Interstellar goody bag simply answer this question…

Q. What is the name of the Interstellar actor known for his Oscar winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club?

A) Matthew McConaughey
B) Michael Caine
C) Wes Bentley

Simply send the answer to Interstellar goody bag competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

For further information on Interstellar join us here or follow us @InterstellarUK

Pre-order Interstellar on Limited Edition 2-disc Blu-ray digibook, Blu-ray and DVD here

© 2015 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved.

Terms and conditions

1) The closing date for the competition is Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2) No alternative prize is available

Win The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 on DVD

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Preview by Jack Foley

To celebrate The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 releasing on DVD, Blu-ray and as a limited edition Blu-ray Steelbook from March 16, 2015, LIONSGATE is giving three lucky winners the chance to take home a merchandise pack, as well as a copy of the film on DVD!

The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever.

Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will also be available across digital platforms 24 hours earlier on Sunday, March 15.

A special ‘triple pack’ (available on both formats) will also be released, containing all three films in the series so far – The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

Read our review

To celebrate the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 on Blu-ray and DVD on March 16, 2015, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 merchandise packs, as well as a copy of the film on DVD. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who directs The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (Clue, the answer is in our review)?

A) Gary Ross
B) Francis Lawrence
C) Bill Condon

Simply send the answer to Hunger Games Mockingjay 1 competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Exists - Preview

Exists

Preview by Jack Foley

To celebrate the release of Exists – on DVD on April 6, 2015 – we have a DVD copy to giveaway courtesy of Entertainment One.

The creator of The Blair Witch Project, Eduardo Sánchez, returns to found-footage horror, the sub-genre he defined back in ’99 and proves he can still terrify audiences with his masterful ability and technique to create high levels of suspense.

This time around, Sánchez turns the lens on America’s favourite monster – Bigfoot, and as Exists’ gang of doomed road-trippers is about to discover, this Sasquatch is the most terrifying incarnation ever seen on screen.

Exists is available to order on Amazon today

Win Exists on DVD

To celebrate the release of Exists on DVD on Monday, April 6, 2015, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 copy on DVD. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who directs Exists?

Simply send the answer to Exists competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

The Device - Preview & trailer

The Device

Preview by Jack Foley

DEEP in the eerie forest lies a mysterious entity waiting to defy nature in a beguiling new psychological sci-fi thriller.

Exposing its sinister purpose, the deadly alien invasion on humanity is born in The Device, coming to DVD from Image Entertainment on March 23, 2015.

Inspired by classic abduction cases writer and director/producer John Portanova (The Invoking) skillfully plays on the intrigue of the unknown.

Starring Angela DiMarco (Trauma), David S. Hogan (Shadowed) and Kate Alden (The Right Place), The DeviceDVD features an audio commentary by the screenwriter of Fire in the Sky and Intruders, two of the most popular alien abduction films ever.

When two sisters find a harmless looking object in the woods, they cannot know to what extent it will change their world – and ours – forever.

The small, sphere – mysterious, seductive, enticing – conveys a message, a deep, profound biological message, that will reshape our world, recasting relationships with the universe beyond our wildest dreams and worst nightmares.

Win The Device on DVD

To celebrate the release of The Device on DVD on Monday, March 23, 2015, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies on DVD. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who directs The Device?

Simply send the answer to The Device competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Watch the trailer

Royal Rumble 2015 - Preview

Royal Rumble 2015

Preview by Jack Foley

ROYAL Rumble 2015 is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from Monday, April 6, 2015, and courtesy of FremantleMedia International, and we have a DVD competition copy to give away.

Brock Lesnar puts his WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line against John Cena and Seth Rollins in a triple-threat match.

So far ‘The Beast Incarnate’ has destroyed every obstacle in his path – but can overcome two of WWE’s top Superstars at once?

And as the road to WrestleMania begins, 30 Superstars enter the Royal Rumble match for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the grandest stage of them all. Which Superstar will survive and earn the right to headline WrestleMania?

Visit the website

Win Royal Rumble 2015 on DVD

To celebrate the release of Royal Rumble 2015 on DVD on Monday, April 6, 2015, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 copy on DVD. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who puts his WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line in Royal Rumble 2015?

Simply send the answer to Royal Rumble 2015 competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email

Paddington - DVD Review

Paddington

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE success of Paddington both critically and commercially is enough to make the home entertainment of the film a bear necessity for anyone who has yet to see it (not to mention the many fans who have).

But while certainly fun, family-friendly and consistently entertaining, it’s not quite the classic that some have suggested.

The inclusion of Nicole Kidman’s villain, for instance, lends things an unnecessarily sinister vibe, while some of the messages behind the film are layered on as thick as the Marmalade that marks Paddington’s favourite food.

The plot is simple. After his uncle dies in a jungle tragedy in darkest Peru, Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is packed off to London to find a new home, possibly with the English explorer who discovered the bear family’s existence.

Winding up at Paddington Station, he is taken in by the Brown family, whose mother (Sally Hawkins) takes pity on him much to the frustration of her sceptical husband (Hugh Bonneville). As they try and find a more suitable home, however, an unscrupulous taxidermist (Kidman) hunts down Paddington in the hope of stuffing him and adding to her collection.

On the big plus side, Paddington quite often delights by virtue of its winning combination of feel-good values and quirky, often downright eccentric tone. It’s clear there is a great deal of reverence for Michael Bond’s creation and this provides the film with an infectious quality. Quite simply, you’ll love the bear.

Whishaw, for his part, provides some perfectly realised vocals while the effects are quite endearing and quickly evaporate any early fears about Paddington’s likeability that first-look photos delivered.

Bonneville, too, delivers a good patriarch and shares some lovely chemistry with Paddington, while Hawkins makes a suitably kooky but caring mum. Even the family kids are good – natural more than stagey.

Paul King’s direction also succeeds in lending the film a distinct identity, combining heartfelt small moments with bigger slapstick episodes and an obvious love letter to London.

It’s on this latter note, however, that the writers sometimes stumble, with the socially aware subtext of embracing London’s multi-cultural nature (and its immigrants, among whom Paddington is an illegal one!), rammed home a little too hard. We get it early on but the repetitive nature of the message opens it up to criticism given the complexity of such a hot topic.

Similarly problematic is Kidman’s OTT villain, who just feels plain unnecessary. Paddington is undoubtedly at its best when existing within the fractured family dynamic realm that has previously served the likes of Mary Poppins so well and that is where it should have stayed.

Nevertheless, and in spite of such criticisms, it says much about the film’s strengths that Paddington remains recommended for many other reasons. It does charm.

Certificate: PG
Running time: 100mins
UK Blu-ray and DVD Release: March 23, 2015