Recent DVD titles reviewd
Tristan & Isolde (12)
Romantic drama starring James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O'Hara and Mark Strong. Director: Kevin Reynolds.
What's the story... After the fall of the Roman Empire, the warlords of England are brutally kept in line by the forces of Irish King Donnchadh (O'Hara). One of these leaders, Lord Marke (Sewell) seeks to unite the English tribes to form one strong nation to rule itself. His greatest knight is Tristan (Franco), whom Marke raised since he was orphaned in an attack by Donnchadh's forces. During battle, Tristan is injured, buried at sea and washed ashore in Ireland where he falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to life - Donnchadh's daughter, Isolde (Myles), who must marry Lord Marke to unite the two countries.
If you like period and costume dramas, this is a real treat. More than two hours of stunning cinematography and an excellent story of love, war and betrayal.
When A Stranger Calls (15)
Horror starring Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan and Katie Cassidy. Director: Simon West.
What's the story... To Jill Johnson (Belle), it was the perfect babysitting job - the parents were away, the fridge was stocked and the children were tucked into bed. But then the phone rings and an ominous voice asks, 'Have you checked the children?' Locked in with the lights out and the curtains drawn, a panicky Jill phones the police, who trace the calls, only to inform her that they're coming from inside the house.
If all this sounds familiar it's because this is a remake of the 1979 classic - and a pretty inferior one it is too. Anyone who hasn't seen the original may be entertained (slightly) by this Scream lookalike, but when you know the ending (stupidly, the trailer gives it away), it's hardly worth watching.
Comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Justin Long. Director: Rob McKittrick.
What's the story... A waiter for four years since high school, Dean (Long) has never questioned his job at ShenaniganZ, but when he learns that Chett (Reynolds), a high school classmate, now has a lucrative career in electrical engineering, he's thrown into turmoil about his dead-end life.
Childishly crude attempts at humour, non-stop genitalia references, poor acting... this ridiculous film an example of the American Pie-style genre at its worst. Apparently it was inspired by the director's experiences of working in an American greasy spoon and it's his first attempt at film making. You know that old saying - don't give up the day job!