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Check out this week’s top DVD picks from The Hole In The Ground to The Aftermath with Keira Knightley


FIRST-TIME writer-director Lee Cronin unearths some deeply disturbing moments in Irish chiller The Hole In The Ground.

Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke are two points of The Aftermath’s post-war love-triangle. And Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder set their sights on a Destination Wedding.

DVD Of The Week: The Hole In The Ground

(15) 90mins, out now

The Whole In The Ground offers disturbing moments and striking images

FINELY crafted Irish chiller that builds from ominous beginnings to conjure a truly oppressive sense of dread.

There are shades of The Babadook and Hereditary though this is leaner and arguably better than the latter, which got such rapturous reviews last year.

Seana Kerslake anchors proceedings with a quietly expressive performance as the single mum questioning her sanity, while Game Of Thrones’ James Cosmo adds veteran support.

Debutant writer-director Lee Cronin fashions some profoundly disturbing moments and some striking images too, including the pit of the title, which serves as a metaphor for grief, guilt, trauma and anything else you might wish to toss into it.

If the final third is slightly less effective than what comes before, that minor quibble can be forgiven in light of the brilliantly ambiguous ending.



The Aftermath

(15) 104mins, out now

Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgard star in polished but perfunctory World War Two love drama The Aftermath

KEIRA Knightley and Jason Clarke aren’t given nearly enough to do in this oddly passionless tale set in a devastated Hamburg after the end of World War Two. Alexander Skarsgard is the mysterious German who comes between Clarke’s buttoned-up British colonel and his grief-stricken wife.

Skarsgard makes even less impression, looking dashing enough as he stands around modelling period knitwear.

The production is polished, with a haunting evocation of the bombed-out German city. But the drama feels perfunctory and the central love triangle never generates much heat amid the wintry setting.


The Kid Who Would Be King

(PG) 115mins, out now

The Kid Who Would Be King brings the legend of Camelot into modern times

SCRAPPY geekfest from Nineties comedy hero Joe Cornish that drags the legend of Camelot into modern times, though only partly successfully.

His take, with four mismatched schoolkids recast as the Knights of the Round Table, is surprisingly earnest and aimed at a younger audience than Cornish’s directorial debut Attack The Block.

This conjures a similar spirit and lollops along at a decent pace, but it lacks the edge and dark laughs of Attack The Block. That also had John Boyega going for it, while none of the young cast here feel nearly so assured.

Ultimately, a touch underwhelming though infinitely better than Guy Ritchie’s Arthurian shambles of 2017.



(12) 92mins, out now

Mads Mikkelsen is magnetic in survival flick Arctic

FOR all the hardships he presumably endured in the making of this chilly survival mini-epic, Mads Mikkelsen didn’t have to learn many lines. A striking feature of Arctic is the silence. We are four minutes in before the first musical cue, ten before Mikkelsen speaks and that’s him muttering laconically into an unresponsive radio.

Though an encounter with a polar bear briefly threatens to drag us into Revenant territory, this is a patient and painstaking affair focused on the minutiae of Mikkelsen’s uphill battle to survive. (Don’t expect CGI yetis to jump out, bawling, from every crevasse.)

Mikkelsen is a magnetic screen presence but your enjoyment of this will depend on your enthusiasm for lengthy shots of him trudging about in the snow, flexing frostbitten digits and staring impenetrably into the featureless middle-distance.


Destination Wedding

(15) 87mins, out now

Romcom Destination Wedding with Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves falls short on all counts

SHRILL romcom failure that uncomfortably juxtaposes in-your-face whimsy with aggressively disagreeable performances from its big-name leads.

Keanu Reeves brings a morose misanthropy to his Frank, as if a recently bereaved John Wick had turned up without his private arsenal. Winona Ryder’s twitchy Lindsay, meanwhile, is a reminder of the days when the actress used to be described as “troubled”.

The protagonists needn’t be likeable for a romcom to work, but it helps if they talk like functioning humans, or at least say something entertaining once in a while. Barring a couple of good lines, which stand out all the more for their rarity, this falls short on all counts.



(PG) 79mins, out now

Blue is not an easy watch as it paints a picture of an ecosystem on the brink

BELATED DVD release for this important Aussie documentary looking at the loss of biodiversity in our oceans due to human industry, negligence and overfishing.

It is not an easy watch but it shouldn’t be. In a series of vignettes, director Karina Holden paints a powerful picture of an ecosystem on the brink through unflinching footage of turtles snagged in nets and birds choking on plastic.

Much of this has been reported elsewhere but Holden’s sobering look at unchecked consumption is a powerful reminder of our duty to leave future generations with a cleaner planet.



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