New DVDs for October include an adaptation of Pete Dexter’s novel ‘The Paperboy’; environmental photographer James Balog’s documentary on the Arctic melt; Baz Luhrmann’s over-the-top envisioning of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel ‘The Great Gatsby’; the TV debut of Kerry Greenwood’s 1920’s heroine Phryne Fisher; and the new Robert Redford thriller…
“Directed by Oscar nominee, Lee Daniels (Precious), The Paperboy follows two brothers: Ward (Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike), a reporter for the esteemed daily newspaper, The Miami Times, and Jack (Zac Efron, The Lucky One), a recent college dropout. When Ward shows up with his writing partner, Yardley (David Oyelowo, Lincoln), to investigate a story, Ward asks Jack to accompany them as their driver. Ward is in town because a local woman named Charlotte (Nicole Kidman, Stoker) has convinced them that Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack, Grosse Point Blank), an unsavory alligator hunter from the backwoods, was wrongly convicted at a trial that took place near their hometown. As the investigation unravels, it becomes clear that these brothers are on a journey that is filled with betrayal. The only thing that remains constant is that there is this strange, beautiful woman who falls in love with killers and her passion could be everyone’s downfall.” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)
“In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk. Chasing Ice is the story of one man s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the worlds changing glaciers… It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.” (Description from Amazon.com)
The great Gatsby.
“Baz Luhrmann writes, directs and produces this adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. Set in the 1920s, the story follows aspiring writer Nick Carraway (Maguire) as he moves to New York and becomes intrigued by his neighbour Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio)’s lavish lifestyle and mysterious past. As Nick finds himself caught up in the world of the wealthy, he witnesses romantic entanglement and betrayal. Gatsby’s true nature is slowly exposed and his involvement with old flame Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) ultimately leads to tragedy. The soundtrack was overseen by Jay-Z and features music from, amongst others, Beyoncé, André 3000, Will.i.am, Lana Del Rey and Florence and the Machine, as well as Jay-Z himself.” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)
Miss Fisher’s mystery mysteries. The complete series 1.
“Get ready to immerse yourself in the opulent, exciting world of Australias leading lady detective Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) in ‘Miss Fisher’s Mystery Mysteries’. Phryne (pronounced Fry-nee) is a glamorous and thoroughly modern woman of the 1920s. Our lady sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of Melbourne, fighting injustice with her pearl handled pistol and her dagger sharp wit. Leaving a trail of admirers in her wake, our heroine makes sure she enjoys every moment of her lucky life. But behind the faade of elegance and charm are the scars of the past which drive Phryne to find justice for those who cant help themselves and to pursue the truth of her own dark history. Also stars Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings and Miriam Margolyes. Based on the novels of Australian author Kerry Greenwood.” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)
The odd life of Timothy Green.
“To purge their grief at failing to conceive, Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim (Joel Edgerton, Animal Kingdom) write down all the attributes they wish for in a child, put them in a box, and bury them in the garden. That night, a boy smeared with dirt, with leaves sprouting from his legs, appears in their house and says his name is Timothy. Thus begins a fable that’s sort of about uniqueness and conformity, as Timothy’s magical nature proceeds to hearten the lives of everyone he encounters–including a young girl with her own secret, the stern woman who owns their town’s pencil factory (Dianne Wiest), and Jim’s gruff, emotionally distant dad (David Morse, The Green Mile). What the movie is really about is Cindy and Jim learning to be better parents by working through their own childhood issues (Cindy always felt overshadowed by her sister; Jim felt abandoned by his father)…The actors are charming, the movie’s visual gloss is very pretty, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green somehow maintains just enough awareness of life’s difficulties to keep from being unbearably cloying.” (Adapted from Amazon.com review)
The loneliest planet.
“Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal, Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Motorcycle Diaries) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg, Campfire, Yossi & Jagger) are young, in love and engaged to be married. The summer before their wedding, while backpacking in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, they hire a local guide to lead them on a camping trek. Venturing into the stunning wilderness, the trio’s peaceful adventure takes a dark turn as a subtle rift opens between Alex and Nica, quickly widening until it threatens to undo everything the couple believed about each other and themselves. Along with their ever-present guide, the young travelers find themselves journeying not only into a landscape that’s both overwhelmingly open and frighteningly closed, but also into the farthest depths of their own understanding. A unique examination of the parameters of love, THE LONELIEST PLANET is a tale of betrayal, identity, failure, and the ambiguities of forgiveness.” (From Amazon.com description)
Hyde Park on Hudson.
“In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Academy Award nominee Bill Murray) and his wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams) host the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson, in upstate New York – the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR’s domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one. Seen through the eyes of Daisy (Academy Award nominee Laura Linney), Franklin’s neighbor and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy–and through her, for us all–a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship.” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)
“Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin star in this thriller in which a woman races against time to prevent a serial killer from taking another victim. Emergency services telephone operator Jordan Turner (Berry) answers a call from teenager Leah Templeton (Evie Thompson), who is trying to evade the clutches of a murdererous man (Michael Eklund). When their conversation is disconnected, Jordan calls Leah back but the ring of the phone alerts the killer to the girl’s whereabouts and he subsequently takes her life. Six months later, Jordan is still struggling to come to terms with what happened but soon finds herself facing a similar situation, with the killer this time after another teenage girl, Casey Welson (Breslin). Can Jordan save Casey from meeting the same fate as the previous caller?” (Description from Amazon.co.uk)
The company you keep.
“Robert Redford brings his weathered but still shimmering charisma to The Company You Keep. Redford (who also directed) plays Nick Sloan, a ’60s radical gone underground after being accused of murder. When his identity is revealed by cynical muckraking reporter Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf), Sloan vanishes again. But this time, something makes Shepard think that Sloan isn’t seeking a new identity… he’s seeking to prove his innocence. The Company You Keep is ridiculously star studded–the supporting cast includes older superstars like Julie Christie and Nick Nolte; established character actors like Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Root, and Brendan Gleeson; and rising younger actors like Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick, and Brit Marling. Mostly these are brief appearances, almost cameos, though Susan Sarandon makes her one scene, as another former radical who’s turning herself in, shine…The movie aspires to be a thinking person’s thriller, but there’s no suspense; no one will actually think that Redford might be guilty, or that LaBeouf won’t turn out to have a heart after all.’ (Adapted from Amazon.com review)