DVD Review Round Up - August 2012

With '21 Jump Street', 'Bel Ami', 'Marley'...
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Read Clash's review round up of DVDs released in August 2012 including '21 Jump Street', 'Bel Ami', 'Marley', 'The Raven', 'Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones Live', the Ultimate Rekall Edition of the original 'Total Recall' and a look at Nitin Sawhney's new score for the Hitchcock film 'The Lodger'.

21 JUMP STREET
OUT NOW (15)
SONY
8/10



Like Johnny Depp in the Eighties US TV series before, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s dozy undercover cop duo are sent back to high school to bust a chemical drug ring. Disarmingly self-aware and self-deprecating, it’s a genuinely funny, sharp and warm action comedy. A wry pastiche of the changed nature of high school experiences, with comical drug references, Ice Cube as their ball-breaking chief, and an impressive cameo; this knowing and subversive buddy-movie is actually surprisingly hilarious.

Words by KATE BLOWER

BEL AMI
OUT NOW (15)
STUDIO CANAL
6/10



Robert Pattinson steps out of the emo shadows and brings his serious acting chops to 1890s Paris. Pattinson’s rather dim ex-soldier Georges returns from war with a vague notion of getting cash. Hooking up with society ladies Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci, he gets rich and has lots of sex but seems curiously befuddled by it all. Closely resembling the superior Dangerous Liaisons, Bel Ami, although enjoyable in patches, has got the looks but not the wit.

Words by ROBERT W. MONK

MARLEY
AUGUST 20TH (15)
UNIVERSAL
9/10



By sketching Bob Marley’s cult of personality with his political convictions, the joy of his music with the tragedy of his fate, and a wondrous array of lovably off the wall characters, director Kevin Macdonald has delivered the definitive documentary of reggae’s foremost figure. This study, officially sanctioned by Island Records and the Marley estate, is certainly worth the wait, especially as it’s impossible to see how previous helmers Martin Scorsese or Jonathan Demme could’ve surpassed it.

Words by BEN HOPKINS

THE RAVEN
OUT NOW (15)
UNIVERSAL
4/10



This is the most spurious of stories recounting the imagined last days of the great Edgar Allen Poe, turning them into an incoherent, implausible Seven style, serial killer fiasco. The American author’s real life was much more interesting, macabre and melancholic than such intellectually insulting melodrama suggests. This cinematic imagining is of the most lurid and cartoonish sort, despite decent production design and John Cusack delivering an honest performance. In short it’s a criminally wasted opportunity and a damned pity at that.

Words by ANNA WILSON

MUDDY WATER & THE ROLLING STONES
CHECKERBOARD LOUNGE LIVE CHICAGO 1981
OUT NOW (E)
EAGLE VISION
8/10



In November 1981, Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard Lounge hosted Muddy Waters for an intimate set. After a handful of songs, including a runaway train-paced ‘Flip Flop And Fly’, Mick Jagger jumps on stage during ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and is soon followed by Stones colleagues Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart. What follows is a brief but remarkable collaboration between the godfather of the blues and one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most iconic bands which peaks with a celebratory ‘Mannish Boy’.

Words by BEN HOPKINS
PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL HALSBAND / LANDOV

TOTAL RECALL: ULTIMATE REKALL EDITION
OUT NOW (18)
STUDIO CANAL
8/10



“Why go to Mars as a tourist, when you can go as a secret agent?” pitches Rekall Inc., successfully seducing Arnold Schwarzenegger into implanted-memory, double-reality chaos in Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi action classic. Violent yet decidedly camp (the Dutch director’s signature style), his ambiguous futuristic epic pulsates with energy, humour and innovative SPX in a pre-CGI age. Still, the Martian freakery wildly entertains twenty-two years on. Colin Farrell’s gonna need luck to match it with this month’s remake…

Words by KATE BLOWER

KNOW THE SCORE: THE LODGER



Acclaimed experimentalist and genre-hopping composer Nitin Sawhney has enhanced Hitchcock’s first thriller The Lodger with a savage yet ebullient score; the silent beauty, heavily indebted to German expressionist cinema, has been newly digitally restored. The London Symphony Orchestra are on luscious form, creating passages of carefree clarinet led jazz and bold percussive interludes, scissoring  strings and tense brief silences. It’s incredibly accomplished work which stands alone without any visual accompaniment and cleverly references various Hermann scores whilst sounding crisply contemporary.

Words by ANNA WILSON

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