Belfast Telegraph

DVD Releases: Tim Burton is back to his macabre best

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

By Damon Smith

Following the death of his grandfather Abe, grief-stricken teenager Jacob Portman (Asa Butterfield) makes a pilgrimage with his father Franklin (Chris O’Dowd) to Cairnholm island off the coast of Wales — population 93 — where Abe claimed he spent his formative years in a home for gifted children.

Amongst the rubble of the derelict home, Jacob encounters an enchanted girl called Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell), who leads the teenager through a magical time loop set to September 3, 1943, which is controlled by Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine (Eva Green), the school headmistress.

It transpires that Miss Peregrine and her young charges are being hunted by gnarly, undead creatures called Hollows.

Adapted from the debut novel by Ransom Riggs, this is an entertaining and briskly paced adventure with some lip-smacking macabre touches that once again demonstrate filmmaker Tim Burton’s affinity for eccentrics and oddballs.

Three stars

Deepwater Horizon

Engineer Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) kisses his beautiful wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) goodbye before he boards a helicopter to the BP-owned and operated drilling platform Deepwater Horizon, located 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Other passengers include installation manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell) and third mate Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez). Once they land, Jimmy becomes concerned BP officials, including site leader Donald Vidrine (John Malkovich), have not carried out sufficient checks to ensure the drill is operating safely.

Soon after, a massive blowout tears through the rig and the crew race to lower lifeboats into the water before flames engulf the entire structure.

This is an action-packed thriller, which recreates harrowing real-life disaster with testosterone-fuelled swagger. There is sombreness too, most notably with a heartfelt tribute over the closing credits to the 11 workers who lost their lives that fateful day in April 2010.

Four stars

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