Monday, 11 July 2016

DVD Roundup: "Would that it were so simple" edition

While definitely not up to the heady heights for No Country for Old Men and Fargo, and starkly different in tone from their last, more sombre outing of Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers Hail, Caesar! is a loving homage to the 1950's golden age of Hollywood studio cinema. With an ensemble cast that includes George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson, Hail, Caesar! may lack a satisfying main story, but is truly indulgent in the many mini stories, as well as its snarky jokes. Truly, however, this is one for the fans of vintage cinema, as the film lovingly parodies some of the most popular genre's of the time. Listen to our podcast review in the player below.

I don't really know what to say about this film, as I haven't watched any of the series. Its meant to be like The Hunger Games, isn't it? Just a bit different. Allegiant is the third film in the series, and while it made just under $180 million at the box office, it's proved to be the least successful of the lot, making over $100 million less than Divergent and Insurgent, as well as being panned by critics. Maybe Ascendent can try and redeem the series next year.

Did you know that Kung Fu Panda 3 made over $518 million worldwide? However, it is still the lowest grossing film in its series. The Kung Fu Panda franchise is an excellent example of the lucrative markets that are China and Russia, and its advertising in China was particularly prominent, with the film having a promotional single sung by popular Chinese performer Luhan, as well as being released at Chinese New Year. As it may be, the future of Hollywood may be in these overseas territories.

There really is nothing scarier than dolls. My mother had an old china doll that she insisted on keeping on a chair at the end of her bed, and its giant, staring eyes always watched you as you sleeped. The Boy plays off this fear, but instead makes it kind of lame, with The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan playing a nanny to a doll called Brahms, who needs to be treated like a real boy or he'll no nasty things. Maybe a horror film for those who don't do horror films.

Created by Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa is an existential stop-motion animation that gives us a subtle, thoughtful romance. While we haven't seen it, I think it's always worth watching a film that can be described at being "upsettingly brilliant".

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