Monday, 19 July 2010

DVD & Blu-ray Round Up - Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang

Emma Thompson's second outing as the magical Nanny McPhee is our pick of the DVDs and Blu-rays this week. The Mary Poppins of our age returns for another instalment of comedy and mad-cap action, bringing in to line another unruly bunch of children in Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang. This time around McPhee appears to help out young mother Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who is looking after her two children, plus their two spoiled cousins, and struggling to run the family farm while her husband is away at war.

The usual high-jinks ensue, Nanny McPhee teaches the children valuable life lessons, while spoiling the dastardly plot of their evil uncle Phil (Rhys Ifans). The farm-based humour is innocent and family-friendly, centering largely around mud, "poo" and flying pigs. It's also helped along by some wonderful cameos by British stars like Bill Bailey and Katy Brand, and a brilliant performance from Maggie Smith as the doddering Mrs Docherty.

Also released this week is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, based on Stieg Larsson's trilogy of novels, this is a pacy, enjoyable thriller. It's a particularly well-shot movie, and the performances of Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist as Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist are compelling. The next two parts of the trilogy have already been made, so if you missed this in the cinema, you'll need to check it out now before part two, The Girl Who Played With Fire, is released next month.

The Ricky Gervais Show also gets a DVD release this week, and while it's something of an oddity (Gervais' podcasts with Steven Merchant and Karl Pilkington have been reworked into cartoons by HBO and repackaged in half hour chunks) it is unavoidably funny. Gervais may get the headline billing here, but the real star of the show is Karl Pilkington, the little round headed buffoon. Gervais and Merchant take a back seat and allow Karl the time to air his crazy theories and skewed world view, leading to some extremely quotable material.

The incredible, groundbreaking cult classic Donnie Darko gets a release on Blu-ray this week, with both the original theatrical version and the Director's Cut version included in this two disk edition. Meanwhile, over in Box-Set Corner we welcome the release of The Karate Kid 1-4 Box Set, featuring The Karate Kid, Karate Kid II & III and The Next Karate Kid.

And finally, if Daniel-san crane kicking his way through the bad guys isn't enough violence for you, you testosterone junkie, then cop a load of Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men 2 on DVD this week. It'll sort you right out!

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