This time around in the Movies In Focus Blu-Ray & DVD Round-Up: The Handmaiden surprises, American Gods shocks. Their Finest impresses, Origin Wars entertains and London Heist exists.
Lauded Korean director Chan-wook Park offers up a sumptuous period thriller with The Handmaiden. The film sees a young woman (Kim Tae-ri) sprung from apparent poverty to take up the position of Handmaiden in the sprawling mansion of a rich book collector. Her role is to look after his niece (Kim Min-hee), a young women on a mental knife-edge. However, there’s much more to the story than that and the intricate tale ebbs and flows in a Hitchcockian fashion. This has a lot to offer.
American Gods is dense and textured world that creates a fascinating narrative over across its season. The show plays with television conventions and often each episode contains odd little vignettes which play into the larger part of the narrative. Ian McShane is the person who really engages, but the whole cast offers up something to the the thing as a whole. This is a surprisingly refreshing piece of television.
Their Finest is an exceptional British film set during the WWII Blitz. This charming and heartfelt film sees Gemma Arterton hired as a writer to bring a female perspective to a crowd-thumbing propaganda film about Dunkirk, which is in production as the Germans are bombing the hell out of London. Arterton and co-star Sam Claflin charm and the unbeatable Bill Nighy delivers yet another sumptuous performance. Meanhile Movies In Focus favourites Richard E.Grant and Jeremy Irons pop for for cute little cameos. This comes highly recommend.
A solid making-of adds good value.
Origin Wars (aka The Osiris Child: Science-Fiction Volume 1 – jeezus, what a title) is a fun ‘80s sc-fi throwback. Sure, the budget might not be at level of the modern-day Star Wars or Star Trek flicks but director Shane Abbess delivers an exciting and good-looking science fiction movie that will entertain audiences of a certain age. Young Expendable Kellan Lutz headlines but the whole cast offer a lot of added value.A surprising little gem.
This comes with a great interview with Shane Abbess – seems like the kind of guy that I’d like to have a pint with!
London Heist sees a lot of angry men running around calling everyone ‘facking cants’. You know the score, East End drama with blood and the occasional strip club. Game of Thrones star James Cosmo and professional screen villian Steven Berfkoff are better than this – but surprisingly star Craig Fairbrass is right at home. For British gangster movie lovers only. This ain’t no Lock Stock!