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DVD reviews The Hurt Locker*Adventureland*An Education

by Toni Garden. Published Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:14, last updated: 20/07/10

Here's Purple Revolver's hot picks and pitfalls to avoid from the latest DVD releases, including the big gun Oscar winners and nominees.

Join the debate and let us know what you think of our reviews and the films in the comments below. Do you think Kathryn Bigelow should have stormed the Oscars and left James Camaron and Quentin Tarantino in the shade?


The Hurt Locker

War is a drug. Being hailed as 'Platoon for our generation' and scooping six Oscars, including the first female director to win Best Picture Kathryn Bigelow has created a stunningly beautiful and unflinching war epic.

With performances which humanise the harsh reality of conflict - Jeremy Renner shines alongside cameo roles from Guy Pierce and Ralph Fiennes. The two hours for which the 'Hurt Locker' is opened is not for the faint hearted.

The DVD extras are must see for film fans, both director and screen writer, Katherine Bigelow and Mark Boal provide an unwavering audio commentary.

Bigelow gets technical about her cameras and speaks of her experience shooting on location while Boal shares his experience of having his time as a journalist entrenched with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team in Iraq being developed into the script we see on screen today. There is also a 12 minute behind the scenes film and an image gallery with optional audio Q&A.


Adventureland

Nothing brings people together like a crappy summer job. Puking kids, pot cookies and too many plays of that eighties classic Rock me Amadeus.

A coming-of-age story that is full of his own personal experiences as a “Carny”, Gregg Mottola (Superbad, Arrested Development) has brought depth and likeability to his characters.

Although Kristen Stewart's continuous hair scrunching is distracting, leading with Jessie Eisenberg the pair do manage to become lovable and thanks to a script that breaths fresh air to an otherwise overdone ‘summer of love’ plotline you can relate to their story.

So what more is there to see from the DVD? The extras offered are ones not to be missed for fans. With deleted and extended scenes, including the genius duo that is Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, the gags run on behind the scenes and will tickle your fancy on a Saturday night in.

Adventureland is not as much an acquired comedy taste as Superbad, but it has heart, humour and a brilliantly selected nostalgic soundtrack.


The Fantastic Mr Fox

Perhaps the best Wes Anderson flick to date, the enaging story of the beloved chicken thief with the director’s distinctive style creating a feast for the senses.

Anderson has raised the bar in animation and from the behind the scenes footage seen on the DVD it would appear that it’s not just the animators that raised their game for Mr Fantastic.

Footage of the actors recording on location ‘digging in the dirt’ sounds reveals how they got their hands dirty (literally) for this film.

Aptly in keeping with Dahl and the trend of kids’ films for adults, comedy is set to please all ages. With great one liners, mainly from the youngest of the Fantastic clan, Ash (played with a surly edge by Jason Schwartzman) and swearing being replaced with a mere ‘Cuss’ this is one you can safely watch with the kids.


The White Ribbon

A patient and sinister tale of a small town unravelling the mystery of a series of bizarre accidents. Using the superb skills of cinematographer Christian Berger (The Piano) director Michael Haneke has created a tainted monochrome masterpiece with every facial nuance being singled out, filling the screen with suspense and keeping tension tight.


Bright Star

The tragic love story of poet John Keats and Fanny Brawn, told through the visual poetry of Jane Campion. Ben Wishaw and Abbie Cornish lead with sensuality and intimacy that is hard to fault. With cinematography that captures the Romantic’s English countryside and language said with such gravitas, it’s hard not to be blinded by A Bright Star.


An Education

Bright, ambitious 16-year-old Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is lured from the classroom by 30’s playboy David (Peter Sarsgaard) and being seduced by the glamour of London night club’s and freedom outside her dull family life Jenny questions all she has been taught. Lone Scherfig has created a fresh and charming social commentary and in doing so has found one of the best British breakouts of the year in Carey Mulligan.


DVD’s to avoid


The Ugly Truth

Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl show no on screen chemistry and just seem to be in this film to get paid.

With the ‘Rom’ of Romcom having been axed perhaps the ‘Com’ will come through to save the day? No such luck, the jokes are obvious and badly executed with double entendres that would make Kenneth Williams spin in his grave.


Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins Ball

Vinnie Jones plays a brain surgeon assassin. Enough said.


Couples Retreat

Fast talking banter by the bucketload but it's only the sound of divorce papers being drawn up for Vince Vaughn and his drab Romcom.



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"Its good for women that Bigelow won Best Picture, but don't think it deserved to sweep the board. Fire in the hole!" Johnno, Wirral around 10 years ago