New DVDs for June include biographies of cryptanalyst Alan Turing, British painter J.M.W. Turner & Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini. Also featured are Bill Murray’s hit comedy ‘St. Vincent’ & acclaimed Foreign films ‘Two Days, One Night’ & ‘Winter Sleep’, and for TV junkies we have the latest season of espionage thriller ‘Homeland’.
The imitation game.
“During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of “gross indecency”, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.” (Container)
“1932. Jimmy Gralton is back home in the Irish countryside after ten years of forced exile in the USA. His widowed mother Alice is happy, Jimmy’s friends are happy, all the young people who enjoy dancing and singing are happy. Which is not the case of Father Sheridan, the local priest, nor of the village squire, nor of Dennis O’Keefe, the chief of the fascists. The reason is simple: Jimmy is a socialist activist. So when the “intruder” reopens the village hall, thus enabling the villagers to gather to sing, dance, paint, study or box, they take a dim view of the whole thing. People who think and unite are difficult to manipulate, aren’t they? From that moment on they will use every means possible to get rid of Jimmy and his “dangerous” hall.” (Syndetics summary)
“Explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies.” (Syndetics summary)
“Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII—only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.” (Amazon.co.uk)
“Action comedy directed by and starring Seth Rogen. When talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) celebrate their 1000th episode of ‘Skylark Tonight’ Aaron voices his concerns over the seemingly trivial content of their programme. When they are informed that the President of North Korea Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) is a fan of the show they prepare themselves for the interview of their lives. Before they can board the plane however, CIA Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) knocks on their door requesting their assistance in a current operation that aims to assassinate Kim Jong-un. When they get to North Korea will Dave and Aaron be able to simply ask their questions or will the thrill of being set an assignment by the CIA be too much to resist?” (Amazon.co.uk)
Exodus : Gods and kings.
“From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) comes the epic adventure EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.” (Amazon.co.uk)
“Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy star in this comedy drama written and directed by Theodore Melfi. Murray plays Vincent, a misanthropic and curmudgeonly old man who becomes responsible for his neighbour Maggie (McCarthy)’s son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Maggie, who has enough on her mind with starting her new job at the hospital while going through divorce proceedings from Oliver’s father, employs Vincent to take care of Oliver after school. Unbeknown to Maggie, Vincent is a heavy drinker and smoker and likes to hang around bars and racetracks in his spare time. But is there more to Vincent than meets the eye?” (Amazon.co.uk)
Two days, one night / a film by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne.
“Academy Award®-winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) is Sandra, a married woman with two children who plans to return to her factory job after a breakdown. However she’s told that she is to be made redundant, while her co-workers will receive a bonus. In order to help her, Sandra’s best friend at work has convinced their boss to hold a vote – do the workers want to save Sandra’s job, or keep their bonus? It is Friday and the vote will be held on Monday – Sandra has the weekend to persuade her workmates to keep her employed, or to sacrifice their bonus they need to make ends meet. Written and directed by two-time Palme d’Or-winning filmmakers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and with a commanding performance by Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night is an emotionally resonant drama.” (Syndetics summary)
You’re not you.
“When an accomplished pianist is diagnosed with the devastating and incurable disease ALS, she hires a directionless young woman who becomes her full-time caregiver. Complete opposites, the strangers form a life changing bond inspiring each other to live life to fullest, while being brought together by the most challenging of circumstances.” (Syndetics summary)
The water diviner.
“Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner, is an epic adventure set four years after the devastating battle of Gallipoli during World War I. Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey in 1919 to discover the fate of his three sons, reported missing in action. Initially blocked by military bureaucracy, his determination unwavering, he is helped first by the beautiful Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) who owns the hotel he takes in Istanbul, and then by a Turkish Officer who had fought against Connor’s sons. Holding on to hope, Connor and Major Hasan must travel across the war-torn landscape to find the truth, and for Joshua to find his own peace.” (Amazon.co.uk)
“Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes, the new film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia) is an immersive and provocative drama. Set in the picturesque and striking landscape of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Winter Sleep focuses on a small village, half-empty, in the wintry off-season. The film follows a local celebrity, Aydin, an actor who runs a small hotel with his wife, writes a column for the local newspaper, and is toying with the idea of producing a book on Turkish theatre. With a steady, penetrating gaze reminiscent of that which Ingmar Bergman brought to his chamber pieces, Ceylan cuts through the smug self-image of a man who considers himself of elevated stature, but is ultimately brought face-to-face with who and what he truly is. Awarded the International Critics Prize in Cannes in addition to the Palme d’Or, Winter Sleep is a compelling and hypnotic study of human frailty.” (Syndetics summary)
Homeland. The complete fourth season.
“Homeland tells the story of Carrie a bi-polar CIA officer who plays by her own rules. As last season drew to a close, Carrie, pregnant with the late Brody’s baby, got promoted to a new post overseas, while Saul contemplated his future outside of the CIA. Season Four finds Carrie assigned to one of the most volatile and dangerous CIA stations in the world, where she is back on the front lines in the war on terror.” (Syndetics summary)