DVD

DVD review: Little Women

Since Louisa May Alcott’s seminal coming-of-age novel Little Women was published in 1868, there have been countless adaptations of the material. The latest version is written for the screen and directed by Greta Gerwig, who has recently transitioned from indie actress to award-nominated filmmaker. The plot follows the struggles of the March family during the American Civil War as four sisters near the end of childhood; Jo (Saoirse Ronan) is a budding writer, Meg (Emma Watson) has traditional aspirations, Amy (Florence Pugh) longs for a taste of the finer things in life, while Beth (Eliza Scanlen) is a highly talented pianist but is reluctant to share her music. Together and apart, we see the women contend with love, death, and marriage as they fight for independence in a society dominated by men.

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DVD

DVD review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

As the third film of the third trilogy of the adored space-opera saga, the pressure and anticipation for Rise of Skywalker was incredibly high. After pulling the strings in The Force Awakens back in 2015, J.J. Abrams takes hold of the directorial reins once again to finish the story he started. Reeling from the loss of her mentor, Rey (Daisy Ridley) continues her Jedi training under General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) while Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) sends her dark signals through the Force bond they share. When a mysterious threat is received from Emperor Palpatine, the Resistance must come together for another battle with The First Order.

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DVD

DVD review: Le Mans '66

 Matt Damon and Christian Bale have been household names in Hollywood for years, and biographical sports drama Le Mans ’66 by director James Mangold sees them come together on the big screen for the very first time. Marketed across the pond as Ford v Ferrari, the plot centres around the feud between the two mammoth manufacturers as they go head-to-head in a 24-hour Grand Prix race.

 After an unsuccessful attempt to buy their Italian competitor’s racing program, Ford recruit automotive engineer Carroll Shelby (Damon) to build their latest vehicle. Shelby asks charismatic driver Ken Miles (Bale) to get behind the wheel of the newly designed car, and the friends must get past personal and corporate hurdles before they’re even at the starting line.

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DVD

DVD review: Sorry We Missed You

Veteran filmmaker Ken Loach has teamed up once again with writer Paul Laverty to fight the good fight for the left-wing, looking at broken Britain through a working-class lens in family drama Sorry We Missed You. A damning exposé of the issues surrounding zero-hour contracts, the plot follows hard-up handyman Ricky (Kris Hitchen) as he lands a franchise driving job with a delivery firm. Struggling to make ends meet alongside his wife Abby (Debbie Honeywood) who is a hardworking home-visit care worker, the couple reach breaking point when their financial problems escalate.

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DVD · LFF19

DVD review: Jojo Rabbit

 New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi has garnered cult status and critical acclaim with his distinctive style of madcap comedy. The controversial premise of his latest feature Jojo Rabbit has caused quite the stir as the Jewish auteur tackles the topic of Nazism. Based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, the WWII story sees German boy Johannes (Roman Griffin Davis) enrol in a Hitler Youth training camp run by Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell) and his team of instructors. Meanwhile, Johannes’s mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is harbouring Jewish girl Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in their house, presenting a moral dilemma for the young protagonist which he ponders with Adolf (Taika Waititi), his dictatorial imaginary friend.

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DVD · LFF19

DVD review: The Lighthouse

Writer and director Robert Eggers caused a stir with his folktale debut The Witch back in 2015, and his sophomore effort is fantasy horror The Lighthouse. The 1890s plot follows experienced seafarer Thomas (Willem Dafoe) as he hires fresh new recruit Winslow (Robert Pattinson) to help him with the upkeep of a lighthouse off the coast of Maine. Working hard by day and drinking hard by night with only each other for company, the harsh conditions and isolation eventually takes its toll on them, and Winslow slowly descends into madness.

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DVD · LFF19

DVD review: The Peanut Butter Falcon

 Having already worked together on multiple short films, the collaborative pairing Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz have stepped up for their first feature film. Comedy drama The Peanut Butter Falcon follows Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a youngster with Down Syndrome who is cared for at a retirement home in North Carolina. Frustrated by the day-to-day mundanities of life, he escapes to follow his dream of being a wrestler and meets roguish fisherman Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) who is running away from troubles of his own.

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DVD

DVD review: It Chapter Two

 After bringing Stephen King’s acclaimed novel to the big screen in 2017, director Andy Muschietti returns to finish what he started. Taking place 27 years after the first instalment, evil Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) is terrorising the town of Derry again. Staying true to the oath they made as kids, Bill (James McAvoy), Beverly (Jessica Chastain), Richie (Bill Hader), and the rest of the Losers’ club reunite to bring down the clown once and for all.

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DVD review: Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

 Since breaking onto the scene in the early 90s, the auteuristic work of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has been celebrated by audiences and critics alike. With his illustrious yet controversial career soon coming to an end, his penultimate piece is comedy drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Set in 1969 Los Angeles, the plot follows fading actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his trusty stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) on their quest for superstardom. When rising actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her husband move in next door to Rick, a dark chain of events are set in motion.

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