5 items from 2016
February’s home entertainment releases are kicking off in a big way, as horror and sci-fi fans have an extraordinary number of brand spanking new titles to choose from this Tuesday. From indie horror to cult classics to cult classics in the making, February 2nd’s Blu-ray and DVD releases truly do offer up something for everyone.
Scream Factory is offering up two modern genre films this week, Hellions and Zombie Fight Club and Cinedigm is keeping busy too on Tuesday with their releases of Extraordinary Tales and The World of Kanako. Vin Diesel’s latest, The Last Witch Hunter, arrives on both Blu and DVD and if you call yourself a Henry Rollins fan, you will definitely want to pick up He Never Died this week as well.
- Heather Wixson
★★☆☆☆ The latest feature from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Brian Helgeland, whose career has been peppered with a starkly varied series of films, from L.A. Confidential to postmodern period comedy A Knight's Tale, Legend presents him with a fascinating canvas upon which to paint a portrait of two of post-war London's most historically notorious figures - Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The true story of the euphoric rise and gradually destructive fall of the Kray Twins, the film - which proved to be an long-lasting smash at the UK box-office, making it one of the highest-grossing 18 certificate films ever - has all the ingredients to be a classic of the genre, yet a repetitive screenplay and pantomime levels of characterisations ultimately prove to be its wearying downfall.
- CineVue UK
It’s a familiar rule of thumb in the Oscar-watching game that the best actors aren’t always recognised for their best work. Tom Hardy’s as good an example as any this year: he cracked his first nod for his beardily villainous performance in The Revenant, though it’s some of his wobblier work. I’d rather have seen him honoured for Legend (Studiocanal, 18): his twin turn as Reggie and Ronnie Kray is no less brash a feat of scenery-chewing, but it’s a considerably more special one. Drawing on both his reckless movie-star magnetism and his character-actor peculiarities, often in the same frame, it’s a dazzling thespian stunt and a full-bodied (well, double-bodied) characterisation – and the lifeblood of Brian Helgeland’s less inventive chunk of East End gangland lore. »
- Guy Lodge
A pair of ruthless upstarts, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, both played by Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant) have the time of their lives, ruling over London in the middle of the Swinging ’60s in Legend, available on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on March 1, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
In an amazing double-barreled performance, Hardy is mesmerizing as the gangster twins, dominating the East End of London for years, until a police investigation, Ronnie’s self-destructive tendencies, and the disintegration of Reggie’s marriage threaten to destroy the empire they built. An edgy and action-packed true story, Legend on Blu-ray™ and DVD also comes with filmmaker commentary and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this instant classic.
- Michelle McCue
★☆☆☆☆ 2015 saw something of a Krays craze. Amid the brouhaha surrounding the Tom Hardy double act that was Brian Helgeland's Legend, a plucky contender sought to muscle in on the red carpet turf of its glitzy, all conquering adversary. Everyone loves an underdog story but sadly there would be no fairytale victory for the lightweight B-movie challenger. Evidently working from a shoestring budget compared with his fellow American director, Zackary Adler brought The Rise of the Krays to the big screen - and DVD bargain bin shortly thereafter. Admirable in its attempt to present the murkier side of London in the 1960s, the film was problematic on a number of levels, not least the complete contrast in appearance of leading men Simon Cotton and Kevin Leslie. It charted the not-so-identical twins' transition from small time, aggressive ne'er-do-wells to London underworld kingpins through bloody violence, fruity language and plenty of Brylcream. »
- CineVue UK
5 items from 2016
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