Monday, 11 January 2016

DVD Roundup: spitting image edition

First up we have the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, which looks at the rise and fall of one of raps most controversial groups. With a great cast, including Ice Cube spitting image, O'Shea Jackson Jr. (his son), and a story arch that goes from rage to sadness, the one problem I have is with the overly positive ending. We are treated to all the success that Ice Cube and Dr Dre have accrued over the years, but it almost ignores the current racial crisis that America is going through, especially as the film focuses so much on all the prejudice placed against the group. Either way, whether you have any interest in the history of rap or not, Straight Outta Compton is a worthwhile and enlightening watch. Listen to our podcast review in the player below.

When we saw the trailer for No Escape, I was not sold. Firstly, Owen Wilson in a serious role? And then the whole idea of trying to care about this white family in some nondescript Asian country? We got burned with The Impossible's nonchalant attitude towards the native sufferers of crises', and No Escape looked like more of the same. Still, some people I know have seen it and enjoyed it, so maybe one to keep an open mind with.

I had not even heard of 45 Years until I noticed that it topped The Guardians 50 best films of 2015 list, and it even appeared in Sight & Sounds list at number 7. Starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a couple about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, everything comes to a head when the husband hears news about a long lost girlfriend. While unassuming, this sounds like a very intreaguing film. Definitely one for those who love complex, character driven drama.

Next is two takes on what its like to be a teenager. First is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and I think we can all guess by the title that this is a film that's going to end with some tears being shed. Not to be confused with The Fault in Our Stars, this film promises a few more laughs among the tears.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, based on the mostly autobiographical graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, treads much more risque ground by exploring the sexual adventures of a 15 year old girl, who starts with having sex with her mothers boyfriend. I love Gloeckner's art work, so I'm looking forward to getting round to seeing this one.

Gaspar Noe is best known for films like Irreversible and Enter the Void, but his latest film see's him brings un-choreographed sex into the world of 3D. While quite clearly not for everyone, Love has been hit with some mixed reviews. I'll just leave us with a quote from John Waters, from his own top 10 of 2015: "The first Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival to show hard-core heterosexual rimming—in 3-D, no less. Thank God for Gaspar NoĆ©."

OK, I included this film mainly for the poster, which really looks like its promising us a nasty old B-Movie. About a man who becomes trapped in a septic tank and starts mutating, Septic Man promises a lot in the gore stakes, but not much however in terms of plot. Enjoy!

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