Monday, 30 August 2010

DVD & Blu-ray Round Up: Four Lions

Another good bunch of British releases this week is topped off by Chris Morris' Four Lions, a black comedy about four would-be Jihadist terrorists. It's clearly a controversial subject for a film, particularly a comedy, but Chris Morris is no stranger to edgy comedy. Previous sketches on The Day Today and Brass Eye have touched on war, drug use, animal rights and famously, paedophilia, so terrorism was the logical next step.

Morris walks the line very cleverly, creating a funny film, with a serious point about the absurdity of Muslim extremism, which carries the viewer through to its ending, which is genuinely poignant. When Omar and his pals, the gullible Waj (played by Fonejacker Kayvan Novak), Faisal and Barry (a recent, and zealous convert to Islam), set out to bring judgement down upon the decadent West, they soon find out that planning and executing their atrocity isn't as easy as it looks on TV. Whether it's the farce of recording their Jihad video, or considering the possibility of exploding birds as weapons.

Also out this week is Gervais & Merchant's Cemetery Junction, a fairly gentle, nostalgic comedy set in 1970s Britain in the small town of the film's title. It's a low key coming-of-age story, centring around Freddie (Christian Cooke) as a potentially lucrative career in insurance sales opens up for him, but does he want more from his life? Of course he does.

Apart from that the widely-acclaimed BBC drama Sherlock gets a release on DVD and Blu-ray. And the BBC have finally got the message and put the entire series on one release, yep all three episodes. Sherlock brings the world's only consulting detective into the modern day, assisted by Afghan veteran Dr Watson; the writers draw freely from the original short stories for most of the plots, cleverly incorporating 21st century tech like Sherlock's smartphone to good effect. The series only really gets going in the last half of episode three though, when Moriarty makes his appearance, and it will definitely leave you wanting more.

Moving across the Atlantic, there's a couple of half-decent comedy efforts, the slightly weird Hot Tub Time Machine, and one for the kids in Brendan Fraser's Furry Vengeance, and a couple of musical releases in the form of Jane's Addiction - Live Voodoo on Blu-ray, and the Doors/Jim Morrison biopic When You're Strange.

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