This month’s DVDs include the sequel to the hugely popular comedy ‘The best exotic Marigold Hotel’, and Will Smith con-man thriller ‘Focus’; an adaptation of J.K Rowling’s first novel for adults, the strange but true story of artists Margaret and Walter Keane and the story of ‘The Lost Boys’ from the Sudanese Civil War. Documentaries see the acclaimed zeitgeist story of Edward Snowden ‘CitzenFour’, and TV shows include Afghanistan war drama ‘Our Girl’, and the 2nd season of acclaimed historical crime show ‘Peaky Blinders’.
The second best exotic Marigold Hotel.
“Check in again for more love and laughter as new arrival Richard Gere joins an all-star ensemble cast – including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel -returning for this heartwarming sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! Now that his first venture has been proven successful, ever-confident Sonny (Patel) is busy juggling plans for a second resort…as well as his own wedding. But his efforts are constantly hampered by hilarious complications, and in order to pull it all together, he’ll need a little help and encouragement from his resident friends.” (Amazon Reviews, amazon.co.uk)
“2014’s Academy Award winning documentary CITIZENFOUR is a real life international thriller that unfolds by the minute. With unprecedented access, this gripping behind-the-scenes chronicle follows award winning director Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country) and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s remarkable encounters with whistle-blower Edward Snowden in a hotel room in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents that provide evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). The documentary not only shows the dangers of governmental surveillance, but makes audiences feel them. After seeing the film, viewers will never think the same way about their phone, e-mail, credit cards, web browser or digital footprint again.” (Editorial review from Amazon.com)
“Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning toilets and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along – her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.” (Synopsis, Amazon.co.uk)
“From the Academy Award® winning team that brought you Ed Woods, Big Eyes focuses on the artistic coupling of Margaret (Amy Adams) and Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). Walter Keane became a worldwide celebrity and talk show fixture in the 1950s after he pioneered the mass production of prints of big-eyed kids, and used his marketing savvy to sell them cheaply in hardware stores and gas stations across the country. Unfortunately, he claimed to be the artist. That role was played by Margaret, his shy wife. She generated the paintings from their basement and Walter’s contribution was adding his signature to the bottom. The ruse broke up their marriage and led to a divorce and a dramatic courtroom battle to prove authorship of the paintings.” (Editorial Review from Amazon.com)
“‘Chappie’ is a robot, and the first true artificial intelligence, able to learn and develop as a human does. Some want to study him, and others want to destroy him. Kidnapped from the scientist who created him, Chappie becomes part of a street gang’s dysfunctional surrogate family, who decide that he is too innocent and needs to be toughened up. Meanwhile, there are people hunting for him who believe that artificial intelligence is too unpredictable to be allowed to exist. The latest film from Neill Blomkamp, director of ‘District 9’ and ‘Elysium’, ‘Chappie’ stars Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver.” (Review from Amazon.co.uk)
“Will Smith and Margot Robbie star in this romantic crime comedy. Experienced conman Nicky Spurgeon (Smith) has an affair with the beautiful Jess Barrett (Robbie), an intern he is teaching how to pull off small tricks. After going their separate ways, they meet again three years later and find themselves on opposite sides of the same big con, with Jess now a skilled confidence trickster herself. As they each try to successfully carry out the risky scheme, Nicky’s plans go awry due to the involvement of his former flame. How will they both fare? The film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney and BD Wong.” (Rewiew from Amazon.co.uk)
The casual vacancy.
“Thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is a dark and moving drama with elements of both comedy and tragedy. When Parish Councilman Barry Fairbrother unexpectedly dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. An English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, Pagford is not what it first seems. What lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war–rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest battle the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Find out in this big series about a small town.” (Review from Amazon.co.uk)
The good lie.
“They were known simply as “The Lost Boys”. Orphaned during the Sudanese Civil War, a group of young refugees are given the opportunity to leave their camp and resettle in America. Encountering the modern world for the first time, they develop an unlikely friendship with an employment counsellor (Reese Witherspoon), but they struggle to adjust to their new life and their feelings of guilt about those they left behind.” (Amazon Review Amazon.co.uk)
Our girl. Series one.
“Following the hit one-off drama which set up the story of one young woman who finds meaning in life by joining the army, Lacey Turner (EastEnders) returns in the role of Molly Dawes in the new five-part series: Our Girl. Hot off the helicopter, Molly finds herself dropped into battle in unpredictable and explosive Afghanistan. Trying to make friends with the hardened soldiers around her and reaching out to the locals some of whom are suspicious, some open and some not to be trusted – but which are which? – Molly faces challenges unlike any she has known before. Life and death situations that are literally life or death for her and her companions. Unexpected and extraordinary, Our Girl takes TV drama into a new world where anything can happen, through the life of one girl, to whom everything will.” (Amazon reviews: Amazon.co.uk)
Peaky Blinders. Season two.
“Birmingham crime boss Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy, Inception) heads into perilous territory in the second series of Steven Knight’s acclaimed gangster epic. As the 1920s begin to roar, business is booming for the Peaky Blinders gang. Shelby starts to expand his legal and illegal operations. He has his sights set firmly on wider horizons, and the race tracks of the South are calling out for new management. Shelby’s meteoric rise brings him into contact with both the upper echelons of society and astonishing new adversaries from London’s criminal enterprises. All will test him to the core. Featuring a spectacular cast that includes Helen McCrory (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) and Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Peaky Blinders – Series 2 is an enthralling tale of ambition, corruption, violence, desire, and above all an extraordinary family living through extraordinary times.” (Amazon Reviews Amazon.co.uk)
Kingsman. The secret service.
“Based upon the acclaimed comic book, the movie tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.” (Syndetics summary)
“Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank), lives a solitary existence in a God-fearing mid-western town. She is designated by members of her church to take back East three women who have lost their minds. On the way from Nebraska to Iowa, where those women will at last find refuge, Mary Bee saves the life of Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), a claim-jumper and outlaw. He agrees to help in her mission through snowstorms and perilous encounters with settlers, Indians and the harshness of the Frontier territory.” (Amazon reviews: Amazon.co.uk)
“Mr Hoppy (Dustin Hoffman) lives a quiet retiree’s life, tending to his balcony garden, pottering to the shops and back and secretly being passionately, hopelessly in love with his downstairs neighbour, Mrs Silver (Judi Dench). From their first meeting in a cramped lift he is utterly captivated by her sparkle and warmth, but he regularly fails to tell her this during their neighbourly chats over the balcony. When he finds she is distraught that her beloved tortoise, Alfie, doesn’t appear to be growing, Mr Hoppy spots a chance to make his true love happy, and maybe even get closer to her in the process. When Mr Pringle (Richard Cordery), another neighbour, sets his more lascivious sights on Mrs Silver, Mr Hoppy’s world crumbles. Stoically, he continues with his cunning plan to make Alfie miraculously grow and finally wins his way into Mrs Silver’s heart…” (Adapted from Amazon reviews, amazon.co.uk)