YOU know all those Oscar-nominated films you never quite got round to seeing at the cinema? Well several of them are out on DVD this week - so read on to find out whether they're a good investment for your collection.
There's also acapella singing, ice-skating, key-fingered demons, carnival exploitation and soft porn set to sinister spa music, none of which sadly made the Oscars list this year. It's all here in a bumper, jam-packed edition of your Sun DVD reviews.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (15) Out May 21
Oscar-winning films can traditionally lean towards being worthy but dull, eclipsed by their showier blockbuster counterparts.
Not this one.
Frances McDormand plays a no-frills ballbreaker fighting for justice over the rape and murder of her daughter.
She's wonderful, as is Woody Harrelson as the police chief caught in the crosshairs by the grieving mother's billboard campaign to name and shame him for failing to break the case.
Sounds laugh-a-minute, right?
Strangely, it is. This is a movie that's as funny as it is moving and surprising.
The only quibble is Sam Rockwell's performance as a mummy's-boy racist cop. Just as in Iron Man 2, Rockwell feels like he's in a different movie than his co-stars, playing it for laughs rather than staying believable and trusting the material to deliver the humour.
By the end though, you'll even warm to him. A must-watch.
The Post (12A) Out May 21
TOM Hanks. Check. Meryl Streep. Check. Steven Spielberg. Check. I don't need to watch this film to review it. It's obviously brilliant.
Apparently I do need to watch the film before I review it. It's one of the DVD Editor's "rules".
The year is 1971 and America is mired in the Vietnam war.
The Washington Post, led by fearless editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), is being left in the dirt by the agenda-setting scoops of arch-rival The New York Times.
But then a whistleblower gives the paper a classified military report that reveals cover-ups spanning three decades.
Bradlee pushes The Post's publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) to defy the government and print the story. But the stakes are higher for her: the future of the paper, and press freedom, rests on her decision, as a power-crazed President stands ready to crush them.
Fantastic performances all round, and Breaking Bad fans will be delighted to see Bob Odenkirk answering mysterious calls from public payphones. Not a million miles away from his sleazy lawyer character Saul Goodman.
The era is brought vividly to life, and the recreation of vintage print-setters and printing presses had this old hack drooling.
All in all, it's an exciting tale that brings to life a piece of history.
Turns out it's brilliant. Told you so.
The Commuter (15) Out May 21
When Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) an ageing insurance salesman and ex-cop, gets let go from his job with only five years until retirement, he doesn't know how to tell his wife and child. On his final commute home to face the music, he is approached by a woman with an offer too good to be true.
From start to finish, The Commuter keeps you guessing. True edge-of-your-seat stuff, with some great action scenes and Neeson on great form, this is one commute you won't want to miss.
All The Money In The World (15) Out now
A 16-year-old boy (Charlie Plummer) is kidnapped in Rome and his family are presented with a $17m ransom.
Well, actually, it’s a demand aimed specifically at his grandad, who just happens to be the "richest man in the history of the world" - John Paul Getty.
Unfortunately for little John Paul Getty III, we also discover that his "loveable" grandpa is also as tight as a sparrow’s eye socket.
Ridley Scott’s true-life crime drama is a retelling of the harrowing real-life 1973 kidnapping. A tale as notorious as this movie itself, which will inevitably be remembered as the one Kevin Spacey >WASN’T in.
Scott made the decision to reshoot some 22 scenes in an impossible nine days to distance his movie from any box-office poison associated with the now disgraced Spacey.
An incredible feat given the integral role John Paul Getty plays as the cold caricature of capitalism - a fine performance by veteran Christopher Plummer (no relation to Charlie), who was parachuted in to replace Spacey.
Michelle Williams is excellent as the boy’s desperate mother who alongside Getty’s dealmaker (Mark Wahlberg) form an unlikely alliance tasked with fraught, two-fronted, ransom negotiations.
Despite a difficult production this film delivers a captivating insight into a man’s twisted relationships with objects, money and people. Plummer apparently played the role much "softer" than Spacey. But "soft" is a strange way to describe the man who refused to offer up, as ransom, a penny more than was tax-deductible.
Insidious: The Last Key (15) Out May 21
A young girl's visions of ghosts in her house tear her New Mexico family apart.
Decades later, she is working as a ghosthunter when she gets a call for help - from her old home.
How will she confront her tragic past - and are her visions real, or is it all in her mind?
Good special effects and a clever plot lift this above your usual horror fare, and if you find the ending confusing, don't worry there's an alternate one in the extras.
Pitch Perfect 3 (12) Out now
The third instalment in the Pitch Perfect franchise falls flat in delivering a fresh and funny finale.
By far the weakest in the trilogy, it tries to copy what they’ve done well before, following similar plot points and patterns, with the characters pushing further into their existing "funny" stereotypes.
A wooden celebrity cameo, this time in the form of DJ Khaled, does little to save it from a disappointingly predictable ending.
Pitch Perfect’s soundtrack has always been its strong point, but far too much emphasis is put on the obscure and ill-fitting plot this time around. However, it does sum up the trilogy nicely - any fan of the first two could just about enjoy this.
The Ice King (12) Out now
Back in the 1970s, Olympic champion figure skater John Curry lived by the mantra of “wanting to skate like no other had skated before”.
In this new documentary, fascinating and extensively researched archive footage illustrates how Curry redefined the sport from its brutal and overtly technical status quo, through aesthetically focused balletic routines.
Directed by James Erskine, the film is impeccably paced, shaped to the elegance and guile of Curry’s style and charisma on the ice.
Viewers get an unparalleled personal connection through his written letters throughout his life.
These were wonderfully poignant showing both the freedom and euphoria of his artful self-expression, whilst also highlighting the mental ‘demons’ he faced as the first openly gay Olympian.
Though it would have been interesting to delve more into Curry’s relationship with his father – who resisted Curry’s artful interests - his life is illuminated here by people who knew him best, from his coach, Christa Fassi to his ex-lover Heinz Wirz.
The film in two words? Hauntingly beautiful.
A fitting legacy and emotional tribute to The Ice King.
Death Smiles On A Murderer (TBC) Out May 21
If you’re a fan of confusing story lines, unresolved subplots, and 1970s moustaches, you’ll love this Blu-Ray rerelease of the 1973 original.
Despite the distinctive Seventies vibe, the film is actually set in 1900s Austria. After an accident allegedly wipes her memory, Greta (Ewa Aulin) winds up staying with an adulterous couple in a huge country estate with never-ending tunnels.
When both her hosts fall in love with her, things take a bizarre turn.
This film features lots of gore, re-animated corpses, soft porn, lacklustre chase sequences, incest, and never-ending montages, all with slightly sinister spa music playing in the background.
The plot has potential and the cinematography has its moments, but the film ultimately leaves you thinking: “What the hell did I just watch?!”
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Black Venus (15) Out May 21
The true story of Saartjes Baartman, a South African woman in the early 1800s who leaves her homeland after being promised fame and fortune but is instead used as a carnival "freak".
She is shown off as a "savage beast-woman" in London before entertaining Parisian aristocrats.
Whilst the film attempts to tell an emotional story, far too much time is spent in repetitive scenes of Baartman’s exploitation, with an emphasis on incredibly uncomfortable scenes where you are shown a black woman forced into acting and being treated like an animal.
These are important scenes, and help tell the overall story, yet the sheer number of them eventually see you getting numbed to the effects, and eventually bored by the similarities.
First released in France in 2010 but now on Blu-Ray, this is not a film to watch for entertainment but one which will be seen in the same vein as 12 Years A Slave: A harsh spotlight on a dark period of history.
Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/6314615/dvd-releases-three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri-the-post/