A War – DVD and Blu-Ray Review

There are plenty of movies out there that take a look at the casualties of war. Probably not the physically ailed populous that get bombed by every country that ever lived. Ever. But the Western culture chooses to immortalise the struggle of those doing the firing. From American Sniper to Eye in the Sky, there have been a barrage of movies that tackle the inner workings of soldiers on the front line, their mentality blown to pieces like those they choose to shoot at….

OK. I’m being heavily disrespectful and cynical because I do have deep respect for soldiers who are forced into war by government’s nefarious schemes and ploys in the same way I have respect for those caught in the crossfire. What is alarming is the choice to focus on one and not the other, it seems very one sided.

So when A War came out, the recent Danish contender for the Academy Award, there was skeptism that this movie would do justice to – not only the pain and strife of our leading soldier – but to the world and the people around him, suffering at his hand.


But in the hands of Tobias Lindholm, who also directed A Hijacking and The Hunt, A War manages to portray the intricacies and difficulties of warfare without over-simplifying or sugar-coating the emotion.

Anyway, Danish movie A War looks to be a poignant and thrilling drama about the Afghan war. Starring Pilou Asbæk, it revolve around Claus who is on tour within an Afghan war whilst his wife Maria is holding day to day life together. However, when they find themselves in a troubling situation, he makes a decision that could impact the lives of his men and his family back at home.

Lindholm has never been a director to shy away from excavating truth in all its gritty emotion. The film director can masterfully command the screen with enthralling effect. The first half of the film feels clichéd and reminiscent more of war films that have come beforehand. Despite the hand-held camera shaking nail-biting tension through your skin, you can never shake The Hurt Locker heroic likeness so immortalised in Katherine Bigalow’s film that no other can escape allusions.


Yet Lindholm is clear to never stray from the narrative and themes of the film – the consequence of action and how bravery is only celebrated if there is no loss of life. The conflict here evolves A War from the usual war garb and into an intellectual struggle between who is actually right and wrong when it comes to battle. Lindholm explores a deeper side than just the initial pain of war and the unfolding of the war crime and trial juxtaposes the grittiness fantastically well. In fact, it deepens the tension as the palpable courtroom sweats like the heat of the desert.

Rising actor Pilou Asbæk is a revelation, at least to English speaking audiences, and a commander Claus Michael Pederson, you see the visceral conflict etched in his fibre, his being, and every second he is on the big screen you are absorbed into this soldier’s journey: As someone who is punished for trying to survive but also as someone who must pay for his actions. Asbæk is a marvel and does well to establish a connection with the audience. Tuva Novotny is splendid as his suffering wife, trying to keep the situation away from her family both physically and mentally too. It’s an terrific cast effort that brings Lindholm’s work to stunning realisation.

One of the best war movies you’ll ever witness, A War is a superb, deep, and full of emotional turmoil. Most remarkably, however, is Lindholm’s astute awareness of the real casualties of war…


A War is out on DVD and Blu-Ray now! 

Inferno – Brand New Trailer!

Growing up, Dan Brown’s book about The Da Vinci Code (which should’ve been Da Vinci Code…for street cred, innit,) was deemed one of the best you could read. The novella about biblical clues and religious thrills was spoken about in much furore as the first film echoed some kind of chilling escapade. As you age, that all fades away into other exciting (and better) stories but The Da Vinci Code looks to have

And naturally, when the book was released, Hollywood jumped on it and now we have Inferno, the film, featuring Tom Hanks yet again as Robert Langdon, trying to find clues left by the infamous Dante. When Langdon wakes up in a hospital

Directed by Ron Howard, who always does amazing things with Hanks, and Felicity Jones is literally the best actress at the moment. So we have high hopes that this’ll be a great thriller. That being said, Dan Brown has his detractors so we’ll have to wait and see!

What do you think?


Inferno is out 14th October

Ice Age: Collision Course – Brand New Trailer!

There is a list of children’s movies that definitely need sequels. It’s not a very long list because the ones that have the capacity for moving the story on have their own sequels already. The ones that are standalone tend to feel like their narrative has ended, to save

One this list doth Ice Age not stand.

Ice Age has already had two sequels. Another is not needed.

Ice Age: Collision Course has a plot like so; there is something about a meteor and our favourite animals who are miraculously surviving everything that fucking killed them off in the first place

Ice Age: Collision Course looks completely awful, terrible, and has already caused several adults to hit their foreheads against a wooden post. Ahhh, the sound of exasperated parents and cinema goers!


Ice Age: Collision Course is out 29th July 

Eddie Redmayne to voice Aardman’s Early Man

Aardman are the definitive animation studios in England.

Despite the ongoing progress with computers and all that simplistic technology, the guys behind Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep still trail-blaze with stop-motion animation. That’s painstakingly crafted characters from slabs of clay made into this terrific and jovial animation pieces. How incredible is that!

After the success of the aforementioned baa-rilliant movie, Aardman have announced their new feature and it’s got a brand new lead as well! The Academy Award winning British talent Eddie Redmayne will voice Dug in a tale about the caveman’s journey to unite his tribe in the mighty Bronze age.

The movie also marks director Nick Park’s first outing since Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of The Were-Rabbit. Nick Park comments: “Not only is Eddie a joy to work with, his versatility and boundless energy have really helped to bring my new character to life.  He embodies the cheeky charm, fun and plucky wit of Dug and I’m sure he’ll get along brilliantly with Dug’s sidekick Hognob.”

Basically, we need to see this film in all its clay glory!

What do you think of the casting?


Early Man will be out 2018

Our Kind of Traitor – Brand New Featurette!

We simply cannot get enough of John le Carre. The British writer with the French name has been capturing our attentions since he conceived Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and ever since, we’ve been wanting to adapt his novels for the big screen and the small. From A Most Wanted Man to The Night Manager, we’ve stuffed ourselves with the brilliance of le Carre and now we want more.

Luckily, we are getting more with Our Brand of Traitor, which is out this Friday!

The creator of A Most Wanted Man and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has a new adaptation of his book Our Kind of Traitor. Directed by Susanna White and written by Hossein Amini (guys, he wrote Drive,) Our Kind of Traitor revolves around an ordinary British couple who befriend a flamboyant Russian on holiday but unfortunately discover that he’s a criminal. Welp. When he asks for help, the pair are thrown into the dangerous world of espionage!

The film looks like your bog-standard spy romp with a talented cast in the centre of it. From Ewan McGregor to Damian Lewis, Naomi Harris to Stellan Skarsgaard, Our Brand of Traitor looks to be interesting enough.

What do you think?


Our Kind of Traitor is out Friday 13th 

BAFTA TV Awards – Winners!

Mark Rylance is having the year of his life, isn’t he? Not only did the Shakespearean actor win an Academy Award for his understated yet utterly gripping performance in Bridge of Spies, he was nominated for an Olivier and has now scooped up a BAFTA for his excellent work in Wolf Hall. Though he nabbed the BAFTA from the better Ben Whishaw in London Spy, Rylance is basically untouchable and that must be how he and the rest of the BAFTA TV Awards.

The night was a celebration of everything on the small screen and the awards came thick and fast for a bustling talent of England, in all it’s glory. Whether it was brandishing Peter Kay speechless for scooping up two of those golden masked awards or the rallying calls for the BBC to be left out the hands of the government, BAFTA gave a whole heap of British talent some coveted awards. Highlights include Michaela Coel nabbing the prize for Chewing Gum and Channel Creswell for This Is England 90 (definitely the best performer of the year for her role.) Tom Courtney also won for his performance in the brilliant Unforgotten too and Suranne Jones picked up another award for Dr Foster.


All in all, a fantastic year for television. Sure enough, we’re going to enter another year of excellence and television has never been better than it is now.

On a note, did you know that soaps get nominated for BAFTA awards? Me neither. Eastenders won this year.

Here’s your full list of winners! Did your favourite win?

Drama series

Wolf Hall
 (
BBC2)

Entertainment programme 

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1)

Female performance in a comedy programme

Michaela Coel – Chewing Gum (Channel 4)

International

Transparent (Amazon Prime)

Male performance in a comedy programme

Peter Kay – Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC iPlayer)

Single drama

Don’t Take My Baby (BBC3)

Radio Times audience award (voted for by members of the public)

 Poldark

Supporting actor

Tom Courtenay – Unforgotten (ITV)

Reality and constructed factual

 First Dates (Channel 4)

Supporting actress

Chanel Cresswell – This is England ‘90 (Channel 4)

Comedy and comedy entertainment programme

Have I Got News for You (BBC1)

Specialist factual

Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners (BBC2)
Soap and continuing drama

EastEnders (BBC1)

Features

The Great British Bake Off (BBC1)

Scripted comedy

Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC iPlayer)

Entertainment performance

Leigh Francis – Celebrity Juice (ITV2)

Leading actress

Suranne Jones – Doctor Foster (BBC1)

Leading actor

Mark Rylance – Wolf Hall (BBC2)

Single documentary

 My Son the Jihadi (Channel 4)

Current affairs

 Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola (BBC2)

Mini-series

This is England ‘90 (Channel 4)

Factual series

The Murder Detectives (Channel 4)

News coverage

Channel 4 News: Paris Massacre (Channel 4)

Live Event

Big Blue Live (BBC1)

Sport

The Ashes (Sky Sports)