Our pick of the new DVDs in April include the latest season of ‘Game Of Thrones’; new TV with ‘Mom’, ‘The Honourable Woman’ & ‘Penny Dreadful’; Oscar winning dramas ‘Boyhood’ & ‘Whiplash’; heart-warming English comedy ‘Pride’; and critically acclaimed Foreign films ‘The Lunchbox’ & ‘In Bloom’.
Game of thrones. The complete fourth season.
“As Season 4 begins, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact in the wake of the Red Wedding slaughter that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses. But can they survive their own egos as well as new and ongoing threats? Meanwhile, an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army; the Lannister-loathing ‘Red Viper of Dorne,’ Oberyn Martell, arrives at King’s Landing for Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell; Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons and unsullied force aim to liberate the largest Slavery City in the east…with long-range plans to take back the Iron Throne; and a depleted Night’s Watch faces the advance of Mance Rayder’s wildling army, who are in turn running from the undead White Walkers.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)
“Trying to add some spice to her marriage, Ila prepares a special lunchbox for her husband at work. Unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another worker, Saajan. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a note in the next day’s lunchbox. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the communication soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their lives.” (Syndetics summary)
“Groundbreaking, award-winning drama directed by Richard Linklater and starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. Filmed over a period of 12 years with the same cast members, the film begins as Olivia (Arquette) moves to Houston, Texas, with her son Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and daughter Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) after the disintegration of her marriage to the children’s father (Hawke). From then on we follow Mason as he progresses from a child to a young man while dealing with his parents’ divorce and the numerous other difficulties of growing up. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, with Arquette taking home the trophy for Best Supporting Actress, and also won three Golden Globes and three BAFTAs.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)
“Andrew is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)
The honourable woman.
“…As a young girl, Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the armed wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Now in her late thirties, Nessa is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. Ennobled for her campaigning work, the newly made Baroness must fight forces that are conspiring against her as she awards a highly lucrative contract to a Palestinian businessman. When he is subsequently killed, Nessa and her brother come under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service. Set against the gripping backdrop of government paranoia and espionage, The Honourable Woman tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life.” (adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)
The best of me.
“The story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after twenty years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today.” (Syndetics summary)
Penny dreadful. The complete first season.
“An erotically charged, profoundly unsettling new saga that completely reinvents literature’s most iconic and terrifying characters. Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein, and timeless figures from Dracula join a core of original characters in a dark and brutal quest to save a soul, even as they grapple with their own monstrous temptations.” (Syndetics summary)
Finding Vivian Maier.
“Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)
The hunger games. Mockingjay, Part 1.
“The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
Kill the messenger.
“Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)
Mom. The complete first season.
“Anna Faris and Emmy® winner Allison Janney star in a new comedy from Chuck Lorre. Anna Faris plays Christy, a single mom whose newly found sobriety has given her the ability to see her life clearly… and she does not like the view. Now she must try to untangle years of reckless decisions in order to make a better life for her and her kids. But she discovers that just because you want to be a better person doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Everywhere she looks there are challenges: She is trying to stop drinking in wine country, have a healthy romance with her unavailable boss, raise her young son to be a good man despite his father’s influence, convince her troubled teenage daughter to make better choices than she did, and, perhaps the most difficult task – forgive her estranged mother, Bonnie, played by Allison Janney, for not giving her any of the tools she needed to handle life in the first place…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
“Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
“Like a bomb triggered to go off, In Bloom builds in the viewer’s gut, a drama coiled to attack. Something is happening in the filmmaking world of Georgia, which hasn’t previously qualified as even a backwater, and this movie is some kind of ultimate statement by writer-director partners Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross (she’s Georgian, he’s German). Its triumph exactly a year ago at the Berlin Film Festival was a bolt out of the blue, with a finely chiseled narrative of tween pals Eka (Lika Babluani) and Natia (Mariam Bokeria) trying to keep the wolves of the 1992 Georgian civil war away from their previously peaceful Tblisi doorsteps. But the movie shows how impossible this is, and that wolves will have their way. The childhood innocence in the eyes of Babluani and Bokeria melts away as they’re forced to make terrible choices, the bubble of girlhood punctured by huge social forces. The movie never, ever makes a wrong move, and many sequences are as good as anything in recent cinema…” (Adapted from Amazon.com review)
“Frances McDormand stars as the eponymous character in this miniseries adapted from Elizabeth Strout’s novel. Set in the fictional town of Crosby, Maine, the story takes place over 25 years and follows Olive Kitteridge, a depressed high school maths teacher, who has good intentions despite her harsh exterior. She is supported by her husband Henry (Richard Jenkins), a kindhearted pharmacist, while their son Christopher (Devin Druid/John Gallagher, Jr.) grows resentful towards his mother. The series captures different periods of Olive’s life and her interactions with the other townspeople. The cast includes Zoe Kazan, Bill Murray, Rosemarie DeWitt and Martha Wainwright…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)