DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD Releases: Monday 6th July 2009

DVD Picks 06-07-09


Doubt (Disney): In 2005, John Patrick Shanley wrote the hit play Doubt: A Parable, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Now Shanley has directed a film version called Doubt which stars Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius, the stern principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx during the 1960s, who comes into conflict with a reforming priest named Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

A strong supporting cast includes Amy Adams and Viola Davis and although at times it is a little too stagey, the strength of the original play shines through and gives the impressive cast a chance to flex their considerable acting muscles. Although some audiences will be left frustrated by the climax, it is worth remembering that it contains the very crux of the play and is also what gives it a rich and lasting power.

The extras on the DVD and Blu-ray are as follows:

  • From Stage to Screen: A discussion with John Patrick Shanley about the history of Doubt, including his inspirations for the story, the acclaim the play’s Broadway run received, the Pulitzer Prize and the process of adapting it for the screen. Joining the conversation are Meryl Streep and Sister Margaret McEntee (a consultant on the film and Shanley’s former teacher).
  • Scoring Doubt: Renowned composer Howard Shore discusses his inspiration for the music in the film and his collaboration with both John Patrick Shanley and producer Scott Rudin.
  • The Sisters of Charity: Meryl Streep and John Patrick Shanley discuss the interviews that Shanley did before shooting with real nuns to discuss their lives and make sure they would be accurately portrayed in the film.
  • Feature Commentary with John Patrick Shanley
  • The Cast of Doubt: A conversation with actors Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis.

The Red Shoes (ITV DVD): Moira Shearer stars as talented young dancer Victoria Page who finds herself torn between Julian Craster (Marius Goring) and Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook).

Directed by Powell and Pressburger, featuring cinematography by the late Jack Cardiff, this is the new digital film restoration that was premiered at this year’s Cannes Classics Film Festival.

It was restored in partnership with UCLA Film & Television Archive in association with The BFI, The Film Foundation, Janus Films and ITV Global Entertainment Ltd. Restoration funding was provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation, and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation.

Features on both editions include:

  • Re-mastered film feature
  • A Profile of The Red Shoes
  • The Ballet of The Red Shoes
  • Cannes 09: Martin Scorsese introduction
  • Cannes 09: Thelma Schoonmaker
  • Behind the scenes gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Biographies and photo gallery of cast and crew

Three Monkeys (New Wave Films): Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (who made Uzak (Distant) in 2002 and Climates in 2006) this dark family drama is about a politician (Ercan Kesal) who accidentally kills someone whilst out driving and manages to convince his lowly driver (Yavuz Bingol) to take the wrap.

The plot then thickens whilst the driver is in jail, with his wife (Hatice Aslan) and son (Ahmet Rifat Sungar) getting drawn into the web of deceit.

It screened in competition at Cannes in 2008 to considerable acclaim and Ceylan won Best Director although the limited run at UK cinemas meant DVD will be the place discerning filmgoers will catch it.

Extras include the trailer and an interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan.



Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody (Manga)
Blind Loves (ICA Films)
Doctor Who: The War Games (2 Entertain)
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (Drakes Avenue Pictures)
Horse People With Alexandra Tolstoy (2Entertain)
If War Should Come: The GPO Film Unit Collection Volume Three (BFI)
Lola Montes (Second Sight)
Marley & Me (Fox)
Meatball Machine (4Digital Asia)
Panda! Go Panda! (Manga)
Prison Break Season 4 (Fox)
S. Darko (Lionsgate)
Stargate Atlantis Season 5 Volume 5 (Fox)
The Genius of Photography (2Entertain)
The Grocer’s Son (ICA Films)
The Innocent Sleep (Bluebell Films)
The International (Sony)
The Scarlet Tunic (Bluebell Films)
The Sky at Night – Apollo 11 – A Night to Remember (Acorn Media)
Viva (Nouveaux Pictures)
Watching the Detectives (Momentum Pictures)

> Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
> Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 3rd July)


UK Cinema Releases: February 2009

UK Cinema Releases - February 2009


  • Bolt (3D) (PG) Walt Disney / Vue West End & Nationwide
  • The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (12A) Warner Bros. / Nationwide
  • Doubt (15) / Walt Disney
  • The Good, The Bad and The Weird (15) Icon / Cineworld Shaftesbury Ave., & Key Cities
  • He’s Just Not That Into You (TBC) Entertainment / Nationwide
  • Punisher War Zone (18) / Sony Pictures
  • The Secret Of Moonacre (U) / Warner Bros.
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona (12A) Optimum Releasing / West End venues (Regions from 13 Feb)
  • Who Killed Nancy? (TBC) Soda Pictures / London venues & Key Cities


  • Friday The 13th (18) / Paramount
  • Fuck (TBC) ICA Films / ICA Cinema (Key Cities from March)
  • Hotel For Dogs (U) / Paramount
  • Moscow, Belgium (15) Unanimous Pictures / London venues (tbc) & Key Cities
  • Notorious (15) 20th Century Fox
  • Pink Panther 2 (PG) / Sony Pictures
  • Three Monkeys (15) / New Wave Films


  • 20th Century Boys (15) 4Digital Asia / ICA Cinema & Key Cities
  • Anvil! The Story Of Anvil (12A) The Works / Curzon Soho & Key Cities
  • Cadillac Records (TBC) / Sony Pictures
  • Che: Part Two (15) / Optimum Releasing
  • Confessions Of A Shopaholic (TBC) / Walt Disney
  • Franklyn (15) Contender Films / E1 Films
  • Gran Torino (15) / Warner Bros.
  • Push (12A) / Icon


  • Brothers (TBC) / Lionsgate UK
  • The Class (15) / Artificial Eye
  • Dance Flick (TBC) / Paramount
  • Fermat’s Room (TBC) / Revolver Entertainment
  • Gun Crazy (PG) (R/I) bfi Distribution / BFI Southbank & Key Cities
  • Hamlet 2 (15) / Momentum Pictures
  • The International (15) / Sony Pictures
  • New In Town (12A) / Entertainment
  • The Unborn (15) Universal


Keep a look out every Friday for a breakdown of the weekly releases with more detail on each film.

If you have any questions about this month’s cinema releases or any upcoming titles then just email me or leave a comment below.

Get local showtimes via Google Movies (just enter your local postcode)
Find out about films showing near you at MyFilms

Cannes Festivals

Cannes 2008 Reactions: Three Monkeys

One of the in competition films getting a lot of buzz over the last couple of days has been Three Monkeys (Uc Maymun) which had a gala screening tonight.

Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (who made Uzak (Distant) in 2002 and Climates in 2006) it is a family drama about a politician (Ercan Kesal) who accidentally kills someone whilst out driving and manages to convince his lowly driver (Yavuz Bingol) to take the wrap.

The plot then thickens whilst the driver is in jail, with his wife (Hatice Aslan) and son (Ahmet Rifat Sungar) getting drawn into the web of deceit.

So far, the film has got several critics buzzing.

Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere thinks it is the first major film of the festival:

I was hooked from the get-go — gripped, fascinated. I was in a fairly excited state because I knew — I absolutely knew — I was seeing the first major film of the festival.

Three Monkeys is about focus and clarity in every sense of those terms, but it was mainly, for me, about stunning performances — minimalist acting that never pushes and begins and ends in the eyes who are quietly hurting every step of the way.

Geoff Andrew of Time Out urges people to see it:

This fifth feature is arguably the most ambitious film yet from the maker of ‘Uzak’ and ‘Climates’.

It has the dry humour, assured pacing, astute psychological insights and sharp sense of moral and dramatic irony that has been conspicuous in all his [Nuri Bilge Ceylan] work…

…if you thought Ceylan’s photographer’s eye produced stunning images in ‘Climates’, ‘Three Monkeys’ pushes the envelope still further. It’s been bought for the UK, so when it turns up, see it – and marvel!

Justin Chang of Variety is admiring, but has reservations about it’s commercial prospects:

Seeing, hearing and speaking no evil comes all too easily to the tortured trio in ‘Three Monkeys’, a powerfully bleak family drama that leaves its characters’ offenses largely offscreen but lingers with agonizing, drawn-out deliberation on the consequences.

But gripping as the film often is, its unrelenting doom and gloom offers fewer lasting rewards, making it unlikely to draw sizable arthouse crowds beyond the Turkish helmer’s fanbase.

Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune is bowled over by the film:

…’Three Monkeys’ offers the kind of artistry rare in contemporary cinema. Little details linger in the mind, such as a knife on a cutting board, tipping slightly in the breeze.

Ceylan gets wonderful suspense out of everyday things, such as a telltale cell phone ring-tone that wails to the tune of a vengeful Turkish pop ballad.

Most indelibly, the film’s brief but brilliant depictions of the dead son grip the audience like nothing else so far in this year’s Cannes festival.

Jonathan Romney of Screen Daily has one caveat in an otherwise admiring review:

The only cavil is that the pacing gets a little slack in the final stretches, and – while it’s the nature of a Ceylan film to be slow-burning – the smallest amount of trimming could well turn an exceptional film into a near-perfect one.

Charles Ealy of The Austin Movie Blog is engrossed:

Remarkably enough, I was engrossed by “The Three Monkeys” from the very beginning. It’s the best Ceylan film ever, not that such a comment will mean much to most people.

Ceylan’s cinematography is wonderful, once again.

Pyramide International, the sales company for the film, has already sold it to several territories including France, Italy, England and Ireland, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Greece, India and Russia and the Baltic States.

Here is the trailer:

> Official site for Three Monkeys
> Find out more about Nuri Bilge Ceylan at Wikipedia