Tuesday, 6 July 2010

DVD & Blu-ray Round Up - Ashes to Ashes Series 3

The fantastic Ashes to Ashes Series 3 is my pick of the DVD and Blu-ray releases this week. The BBC drama builds to an epic conclusion as Alex Drake (the fragrant Keeley Hawes), prompted by the arrival of sinister Jim Keats from Scotland Yard, finally unravels the mystery of DCI Gene Hunt. It's a shame how Gene Hunt became so much the centre of the show in the last two series, as Alex's quest to return to her real life (and daughter, remember her?), was sidelined to afford Philip Glenister's snarling alpha male character more screen time, but it's worthy end to the journey none the less. For box-set fetishists there's also a Complete Collection with all three Ashes to Ashes series, but no sign yet of an Ashes-Life on Mars tie-in.

Doctor Who Series 5 Volume 2 might have been vying with Ashes to Ashes for my top pick of the week, but the way the BBC insist on releasing 3 episodes at a time (for the price of a full series) has put me off. Suffice to say, Series 5 was another thoroughly enjoyable ride through the weird and wonderful Doctor Who universe. Matt Smith's innocent, boyish Doctor was a breath of fresh air (less stagey than Tennant, just as eccentric), while Karen Gillan as Amy Pond was probably the single best thing to happen to the franchise since...well, ever. If you can't wait until Christmas for the special, then you might just have to give in and shell out for the DVDs.

On the film front there is Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief, which (I don't know if it's been mentioned before) bears more than a passing resemblance to Harry Potter. Just me? No, thought not. Or there's Hachi - A Dog's Tale, a tale about a dog called Hachi, starring Richard Gere (not as the dog). And finally, eighties classic Predator gets a Blu-ray release ahead of the forthcoming sequel Predators.

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