Interstellar, dir. Christopher Nolan.
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is unmissable. A gripping vision of a dystopian future and the consequent race against time to find safety for humanity provides almost 3 hours of awe-inspiring visuals, interlocked with a heavy sci-fi story-line – in short, it’s a block busting thriller that will leave you reeling in its wake.
With Earth unable to further sustain human life due to crop failures and an extreme change in the environment, ex-NASA pilot and loving father Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is relied upon to solve the problem. Teamed up with the mission-driven Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway) and a smart talking robot amongst other crew; the group must travel through a worm hole to survey planets that could be possible new homes for the human race.
Nolan asks the question of whether love really can conquer all – pitting Cooper against ever seeing his family again, and the moral duties of the mission. He has created a masterpiece of emotional twinges, literally out-of-this-world scenery and twists and tension that will take your breath away. With 5 Oscar nominations and a whole host of other awards under its belt; Interstellar truly is the epitome of the sci-fi epic; with a Blu-Ray release at the end of March, there’s no excuse to miss out.
Interstellar (2014), directed by Christopher Nolan, is distributed on Blu-ray in the UK by Warner Bros., Certificate 15.
Paddington, dir. Paul King
Paddington (voiced by Ben Whisaw) is a bear, an immensely accident prone one, as the Browns, the family who take him in after he has travelled from Darkest Peru to London in search of a home, are going to find out. Amidst insurance worries for Henry Brown (Hugh Bonneville), is a taxidermist threat (Nicole Kidman) and grumpy neighbours (Peter Capaldi). Surprisingly, Paddington will warm your heart and make you laugh, without it ever descending into a pit of syrupy drama. Paddington has a lot to say about modern-day London and acceptance of the unknown. Part of why it works so well are Whishaw’s gorgeous voice-performance as the bear and the fact that no-one ever appears surprised that he can talk is one of the film’s many delights. The other reasons are everything else: from Mr. Brown’s little character quirks, to a subversive and witty prologue. You need neither a family nor to be under-10 to adore this film; you just need to accept the idea that a talking bear can have anything meaningful to say, and would rather hug you than rip your head off.
Paddington (2014), directed by Paul King, is distributed on Blu-ray by Studiocanal, Certificate PG.
’71, dir. Yann Demange
Taking place in Troubles Northern Ireland in the titular year and set primarily over the course of 24 hours, ’71 is a tension filled thriller with great depth. In the heat of a riot, Private Gary Hook (Jack O’Connell) is separated from his platoon and over the night must make his way back to the barracks with a target painted on his back. O’Connell’s untested Hook is tough but quiet, often at the end of his rope, and played with great subtlety. In fact every single actor in Yann Demange’s directorial debut is excellent, as is every other element of both the cinematography and narration; from the use of handheld camera in a chase, to the left-turns of the plot, ’71 is never less than great. Perhaps the most satisfying thing about it is that it’s a war film with the tenacity to focus on the thrills, yet never lets the audience forget the endless greys of the conflict. It’s effortlessly implied, but rarely overt. The sheer adrenaline of the film keeps the audience fascinated whilst reflecting on the ideas at the core of the feature.
’71 (2014), directed by Yann Demange, is distributed on Blu-ray by Studiocanal, Certificate 15.