DVD Review - December 17

DVD Review - December 17

DVD Review - December 17

First published in DVD Reviews

A weekly round-up of the latest DVD releases.

By Damon Smith.

New to rent on DVD/Blu-Ray.

The Inbetweeners Movie (Cert 15, 93 mins, Entertainment In Video, Comedy/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray & DVD Combi-pack £27.99).

Starring: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas, Anthony Head, Greg Davies, Laura Haddock, Lydia Rose Bewley, Jessica Knappett, Tamla Kari.

Posh boy Will McKenzie (Simon Bird) and his friends Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas), Jay Cartwright (James Buckley) and Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison) are now 18 years old and can escape the clutches of their school headmaster Mr Gilbert (Greg Davies) forever. Determined to enjoy one last hurrah before university, they head off on a holiday to picturesque Crete, where Jay continues to spin ludicrous yarns about his sexual exploits which are clearly fabrications. The hormonally charged young men meet Alison (Laura Haddock), Jane (Lydia Rose Bewley), Lisa (Jessica Knappett) and Lucy (Tamla Kari), sparking romance and desire under the Mediterranean sun. The Inbetweeners Movie was one of the biggest films of the year at the UK box office and looks set to replicate that success on DVD and Blu-ray. Writers Damon Beesley and Iain Morris are in potty-mouthed form, orchestrating crude scenes that will have you laughing out loud and cringing in equal measure, but they aren't afraid to occasionally put a stopper in the sauciness for a moment of poignancy. Some scenes fall flat such as the moment Simon sells his clothes and early dialogue is little clunky, introducing new audiences to the boys as they wave goodbye to Rudge Park Comprehensive, the scene of so much humiliation in the TV series. An 18 certificate writers' cut of the film including outrageous sequences, which fell foul of the censors, is included on the Blu-ray and will doubtless be finding its way into the stockings of hormone-fuelled teenage boys this Christmas. Filth sells.

Rating: **** Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Cert 12, 130 mins, Warner Home Video, Fantasy/Action/Drama/Romance, also available to buy DVD £24.99/Blu-ray & DVD Combi-pack £28.99/3D Blu-ray & DVD Combi-pack £32.99/Complete Collection Blu-ray Box Set £89.99) Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, David Thewlis.

Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) steals the powerful Elder Wand from Dumbledore's grave, which he intends to use to slay Harry. Dastardly acolytes Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) and Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) press forward with their diabolical plans, while Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) fills the vacant post of headmaster at Hogwarts, which is encircled by Dementors. Elsewhere, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) continue their mission to track down the final Horcruxes, which contain fragments of Voldemort's blackened soul. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 bids a fond farewell to characters we have come to love, and who have literally grown up before our eyes. David Yates's hugely entertaining film builds relentlessly to the final battle at Hogwarts, which is brilliantly realised with a seamless conflation of live action and dazzling digital trickery. There are echoes of The Battle of Helm's Deep in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers as the forces of darkness breach the school's walls with horrific intent. Radcliffe has improved greatly as an actor over the series but he still doesn't possess the emotional range or vulnerability to provide a strong connection to Harry's grief. Watson and Grint shine in their few scenes including that long-awaited kiss, and both sob convincingly as their teenage wizards come to terms with the enormity of their loss. The coda, taken directly from JK Rowling's book, is an unintentionally hilarious misstep courtesy of unconvincing ageing make-up. A 19-disc limited edition box set comprising eight films plus a 48-page collectible photo album is also available.

Rating: **** Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Cert 12, 100 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Evolution Collection DVD Box Set £44.99/Blu-ray & DVD Combi-pack £27.99) Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, David Oyelowo, Tom Felton, Brian Cox, Andy Serkis.

Scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) is determined to find a cure for Alzheimer's, the disease which has slowly consumed his father, Charles (John Lithgow). Will feels certain he is close to a breakthrough and tests his latest serum on chimpanzees. A high-profile showcase with shareholders goes spectacularly wrong and Will's profit-driven boss, Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo), demands the project is shut down. Will smuggles a baby chimp called Caesar out of the lab and raises the infant with his father. As the years pass and Caesar blossoms, Will falls in love with veterinarian Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto), who is stunned by Will's ability to communicate with the chimpanzee, unaware of the animal's history. However, Will cannot keep Caesar as a pet forever and his meddling with nature has spectacular repercussions. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is a splendid new chapter in the saga, based loosely on the novel by Pierre Boulle. Drawing elements from different films in the original series, Rupert Wyatt's film takes advantage of the latest technological wizardry to deliver a thrilling action adventure that doesn't skimp on heartbreaking emotion. Set pieces are breathtaking, including a climactic scene of apes on the rampage in San Francisco that unfolds at dizzying speed, seamlessly melding digital and live action elements. However, beneath all of the pyrotechnics, there beats a human heart, not least in the character of Caesar, brought majestically to life by actor Andy Serkis and the same motion capture technology used for Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings. A seven-disc box set comprising all five original films, the 2001 remake and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is also available.

Rating: ****

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