Monday, 7 May 2018

DVD ROUNDUP: "I can't just run off and join the circus" edition

My niece and nephew love this film. Me, it's a hard earned meh. I get the appeal, The Greatest Showman is a flashy spectacle, reminiscent somewhat of Moulin Rouge but with original songs, and it has the great upside of including a pretty attractive cast. However, for me, the message of inclusion, while certainly worthwhile, felt weak compared to the amount of effort put into the songs. Plus, it's about P.T. Barnum, or at least based on him, who was an interesting man making money in a morally conflicting way, a classic kind of trickster, which this film never really attempts to question. Still, the kids like it.

This week's second "based on a true story", albeit perhaps a bit more truthful than The Greatest Showman, Molly's Game looks into the life of Olympic skier Molly Bloom, who ran a high-stakes poker game for ten years before being arrested. This type of stuff doesn't really interest me, gambling doesn't really excite me, but seeing Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba at least means we'll get a good dose of charismatic acting.

Singularity is basically Terminator smashed with some generic YA post-apocalyptic drama, and then, just to add insult to injury, some fucking giant-ass robots hell bent on killing you. If you think that sounds entertaining, you're wrong. If anything, Singularity looks mostly over-ambitious. The cgi doesn't look nice, and it seems so broad in its influences to make a good bingo-style drinking game. Still, stars John Cusack, if you're into him.

Re-release of the week is BBC Scotland's The Mad Death, first shown in 1983. This three-part series examines what could happen to the UK if an outbreak of rabies spread over from animals to humans. Considering the British like to think of themselves as a "nation of animal lovers", I imagine it's going to quite hard to hard to euthanise your child's rabbit. Noted for its chilling imagery and bleakness, this is definitely going to be the series to kick-start your summer.

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