A weekly round-up of the latest DVD releases.
By Damon Smith
New to rent on DVD/Blu-ray
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (Cert U, 84 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Animation/Family/Comedy/Action, also available to buy DVD £19.99/The Mammoth Pack DVD Box Set £29.99/Blu-ray £24.99/3D Blu-ray £29.99/The Mammoth Pack Blu-ray Box Set £49.99)
Featuring the voices of: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes, Nick Frost, Josh Gad, Simon Pegg, Chris Wedge.
Scrat the sabre-toothed squirrel's pursuit of his beloved acorns accidentally sets off a tectonic chain reaction. Manny the woolly mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the sabre-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) and Sid's 80-year-old grandmother (Wanda Sykes) are swept out to sea on an ice floe. They come under attack from sea-faring pirates led by prehistoric ape Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage). Romance unexpectedly blossoms between Diego and one of Gutt's salty sea-beasts - sabre-toothed tigress Shira (Jennifer Lopez) - and she must decide where her loyalties lie. Meanwhile, Manny's soulmate Ellie (Queen Latifah) and teenage daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) shepherd the land animals towards a bridge that provides the only escape route from their rapidly collapsing island. Directed with vim by Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is a colourful computer-animated romp with a generous glaze of mawkish sentiment to hammer home the importance of the family unit in times of emotional upheaval. There are moments when screenwriters Michael Berg and Jason Fuchs seem to run short of ideas and are happy to tread water before the next rollicking set piece packed with high-velocity splats. Thankfully, the running time is trim so lulls are brief and flickers of boredom are invariably quenched by another riotous interlude with accident-prone Scrat as he makes his way to a fabled sunken island full of untold riches. The 3D version of the film is available exclusively on Blu-ray. A five-disc box set comprising the original Ice Age, the three sequels and the TV special Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas is also available.
The Expendables 2 (Cert 15, 98 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Action/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Yu Nan, Chuck Norris.
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his team - Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) and expert marksman Bill The Kid (Liam Hemsworth) - accept a new assignment from Mr Church (Bruce Willis). What begins as a routine mission in "hostile territory" descends into bloodshed when rival mercenary Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) murders a member of the Expendables. Grief turns to rage and the team recruits Maggie (Yu Nan) and old-timer Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to boost its chances against Vilain and his thugs, who are in the process of selling five tonnes of abandoned plutonium to the highest bidder. With heavy hearts and even heavier artillery, Barney and co venture behind enemy lines, determined to honour the memory of their fallen comrade. The boys are back in town for The Expendables 2, which shoehorns most of the muscle-bound icons of the action movie genre into one ludicrous, testosterone-fuelled adventure. Simon West's explosive sequel makes little sense and offers no apologies for the flimsy plot, bombarding the screen with a succession of rip-snorting action set pieces which include Schwarzenegger and Willis zigzagging through a gun battle inside a cramped Smart car and an overblown hand-to-hand fight between Stallone and Van Damme. Martial arts legend Chuck Norris turns up intermittently for inexplicable reasons - the only person missing from the roll call is Steven Seagal, but The Expendables 3 is in the pipeline...
Keith Lemon: The Film (The Juicy Edition) (Cert 18, 81 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Comedy/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)
Starring: Leigh Francis, Laura Aikman, Kevin Bishop, Kelly Brook, Verne Troyer, Harish Patel, Nina Wadia, David Hasselhoff, Paddy McGuinness.
Small-time businessman Keith Lemon (Leigh Francis) dreams of fame and fortune but he doesn't have a nose for industry. With the help of a fixer called Archimedes (Verne Troyer), Keith snags a guest spot on David Hasselhoff's chat show, where he launches the Lemon Phone with a glowing citrus fruit on the handset that becomes a global sensation. With millions pouring into the bank, Keith could settle his arrears with Evil Steve (Francis again), who scythes off flaps of skin from cash-strapped debtors. Instead, the dreamer forgets about his girlfriend Rosie (Laura Aikman) and best mate Douglas (Kevin Bishop) and sets about wooing Kelly Brook to his palatial abode. Laden with ruder, cruder scenes that were never shown at the cinema, Keith Lemon: The Film lacks a single redeeming feature. The wooden cast can barely conceal their embarrassment while the perfunctory, ramshackle plot wallows knee-deep in puerility. Eighty-one minutes of this festering cinematic canker seems like an eternity and anything but "bang tidy". Francis and director Paul Angunawela, who co-wrote the inane script, open the sluice gates on the interminable vulgarity with a dream sequence, in which Keith expresses his desire for Kelly Brook in stomach-churning close-up. The English actress is almost convincing playing herself, spearheading a bewilderingly list of cameos, including Peter Andre, Gary Barlow, Jason Donovan, Jedward, Chris Moyles, Phillip Schofield and Denise Van Outen. The celebrity quota outstrips the number of laughs, the biggest of which comes when Keith's mate Gary (Paddy McGuinness) turns to the camera and grins, "I'll see you in the sequel." Say it isn't so.
Life Just Is (Cert 15, 102 mins, Independent Distribution, Drama/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99 - see below)
Yossi (Cert 15, 80 mins, Peccadillo Pictures, Drama/Romance, also available to buy DVD £15.99 - see below)
New to buy on DVD/Blu-ray
Life Just Is (Cert 15, 102 mins, Independent Distribution, DVD £19.99, Drama/Romance)
Alex Barrett writes and directs this ensemble drama about a group of twenty-something graduates finding their places in the hustle and bustle of London. Jay (Jayne Wisener) is emotionally scarred by a relationship that ended badly. She has kindled the flames of romance with an older man, Bobby (Paul Nicholls), but is reluctant to commit for fear of being hurt again. Meanwhile, her friends Tom (Nathaniel Martello-White) and Claire (Fiona Ryan) are blissfully unaware of the deep feelings they nurture for each other, and God-fearing Pete (Jack Gordon) is questioning his devotion to the Lord in a world that seemingly has neither morals nor conviction.
Harry & Paul - Series Four (Cert 15, 168 mins, BBC DVD, DVD £14.99/The Complete Collection DVD Box Set £27.99, Comedy)
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse poke fun at Oscar-winning film The King's Speech, slow-burning thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and even Question Time in their Bafta award-winning character-based sketch show. This series, loathsome traffic warden Parking Pataweyo returns to the fray to rub shoulders with new creations including minor members of the Royal family.
Yossi (Cert 15, 80 mins, Peccadillo Pictures, DVD £15.99, Drama/Romance)
In the follow-up to his award-winning 2003 film Yossi & Jagger, which charted the tragic love story of two IDF officers serving in Lebanon, director Eytan Fox returns to one of the central characters to see if time has healed old wounds. Talented cardiologist Dr Yossi Hoffman (Ohad Knoller) is haunted by the death of his lover and he remains in the closet, keeping his feelings well hidden from his colleagues, including a nurse who is secretly in love with him. Humdrum routine is shattered by the arrival of a mysterious woman who provides Yossi with an opportunity to exorcise the demons of the past. He travels back to the city of Eliat and meets openly gay Israeli IDF officer Tom (Oz Zehavi), who could offer Yossi a future free from insecurity and lies.
The Hunters (Jagarna) (Cert 18, 113 mins, Arrow Films, DVD £12.99, Thriller)
In this taut Swedish thriller directed by Kjell Sundvall, Erik (Rolf Lassgard) learns about the death of his abusive father and returns to his hometown to be reunited with his brother. In grief, the siblings rebuild bridges and exorcise the ghosts of the past. As Erik heals old wounds, he investigates a case of deer poaching and learns that his beloved brother may be involved with a gang of hunters.
Falcon (Cert 18, 180 mins, ITV Studios Home Entertainment, DVD £19.99, Thriller/Drama)
Based on Robert Wilson's novels The Blind Man Of Seville and The Silent And The Damned, Falcon is a four-part crime drama which follows the eponymous cop as he deals with divorce and the ravages of drug addiction. Chief Inspector Javier Falcon (Marton Csokas) investigates a brutal murder, which reveals dark secrets from his father's past. The deeper he digs, the more shocking revelations come to light and Falcon is compelled to investigate corruption within his own force and the CIA.
Shock Head Soul (Cert 12, 82 mins, Soda Pictures, DVD £17.99, Documentary/Drama/Animation)
Based on a true story, Simon Pummell's documentary incorporates live-action drama and CGI animation with traditional interviews to recount the life of judge Daniel Paul Schreber, who spent nine years in an asylum in 1893 after he claimed he was receiving messages from God. During his time in confinement, Schreber penned the autobiography Memoirs Of My Nervous Illness, which has become a celebrated text in the history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Shock Head Soul aims to get inside Schreber's head and better understand the madness which brought down a respected pillar of his 19th-century community.
McLaren Tooned (Cert U, 60 mins, McLaren Animation, DVD £12.99, Animation)
Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button voice their computer-animated alter egos in 12 episodes of the series which broadcast on Sky Sports F1 to coincide with the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix. Each bite-size instalment goes behind the scenes of the Woking-based racing team as Hamilton and Button work with technical genius Professor M (Alexander Armstrong) to improve their high-spec vehicles and gain a competitive edge over the rivals on the track.
The Greatest Cities In The World With Griff Rhys Jones - Series 1 (Cert E, 150 mins, Digital Classics DVD, DVD £19.99, Special Interest)
Jones visits three major metropolises to celebrate the history, customs and people which have made these cities the hives of activity they are today. In the first programme, he explores Grand Central Station and the Steinway piano factory in New York, before moving on to London, juxtaposing tourist attractions such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament with the ghoulish Necropolis Railway in Westminster Road. The series end in Paris, where Jones joins the capital's graffiti clean-up squad beneath the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower.
Waybuloo - The Collection (Cert U, 760 mins, 2entertain, DVD £29.99, Children/Animation)
A bumper five-disc box set comprising 44 episodes of the popular CBBC animated series, which helps pre-schoolers to develop social and emotional learning. Each instalment follows four characters - De-Li, Lau Lau, Nok-Tok and Yo-Jo Jo - who live together in the magical land of Nara and experience a warm, happy feeling called 'buloo' every time they do a good deed.
Tiesto: In Concert (Director's Cut) (Cert E, 90 mins, Black Hole Recordings, DVD £9.99/Blu-ray £12.99, Special Interest)
Filmed live at the GelreDome in Arnhem and available for the first time in high definition, this concert film witnesses the popular trance DJ entertaining 25,000 adoring fans in spectacular style with his own compositions and high-energy remixes.
DVD and Blu-ray retail top 10
1 (-) Ted
2 (-) The Amazing Spider-Man
3 (-) Brave
4 (-) Magic Mike
5 (1) Arthur Christmas
6 (-) Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
7 (6) Michael McIntyre: Showtime
8 (2) Mrs Brown's Boys Live Tour: Good Mourning Mrs Brown
9 (-) Nativity
10 (-) Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
Chart supplied by www.hmv.com
DVD rental top 10
1 (-) Ted
2 (1) Dr Seuss' The Lorax
3 (2) What To Expect When You're Expecting
4 (3) Snow White And The Huntsman
5 (4) The Five-Year Engagement
6 (5) The Dictator
7 (-) Brave
8 (6) Avengers Assemble
9 (8) Contraband
10 (7) The Lucky One
Chart supplied by www.blockbuster.co.uk
:: Note to editors: In the absence of major rental releases on Monday, December 17, next week's DVD View will comprise our annual Christmas gift guide, including recommendations for the year's best DVDs and Blu-rays across the genres. The following week, we will transmit our annual guide to the best fitness DVDs and Blu-rays to help shed Christmas excess