The Big Issue : Edition 474
DVD THE BIG ISSUE 26 DEC 2014 – 8 JAN 2015 39 ANTHONY MORRIS > DVD Editor REBECCA HARKINS-CROSS > Film Editor WE’RE SALUTING THE Simpsons – not because this is the year’s best DVD release (while it’s one of the better later seasons, there are few people who think The Simpsons keeps improving year after year). No, we’re tipping our cap because, much like DVDs themselves, still being around after all this time is an amazing achievement. Every year we’re told that DVDs are on their way out, thanks largely to the near-total demise of old-style video rental stores. And yet they sur vive. The DVD kiosk (rental vending machines where you can book films you’re after online and collect them when you do your groceries) has helped, while your local public library now has an extensive range of DVDs to borrow. Combined with steadily dropping prices that mean most movies barely cost more to buy on DVD than they did to rent, it’s a surprise we still have a handful of rental stores left. Downloading (legally and illegally) and streaming are the next frontier for home entertainment, and no doubt they’re already viable options for many. Yet, for now, the DVD keeps on keeping on: the real question is, will they manage to outlast The Simpsons? THE SIMPSONS: SEASON 17 CLARKE & DAWE: OPERATIONAL MATTERS For the first time since 2011, we have a collection of the weekly comedy inter views conducted by ABC TV’s John Clarke and Bryan Dawe, the best political comedians in the country. Considering the amount of political upheaval the country’s gone through in the past few years, this is an absolute must. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES While Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) was surprisingly good, the fact this sequel manages to keep the quality high is the bigger shock. It’s both a thrilling action film and a thoughtful metaphor for the way communities drift towards violence as the solution to conflict. Plus there are gun- toting apes. A MOST WANTED MAN Technically this isn’t Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final film, but this gritty and achingly sad adaptation of a War on Terror era John le Carré novel is easily the best of his posthumous output – and a great thriller to boot. ARROW: SEASON 2 Big screen superheroes have been grabbing all the attention in 2014. But on television, the DC Comics series – featuring bowhunter Green Arrow – has been winning fans for its slick plotting and solid action sequences. Plus there is the surprising twist of a hero who actually decides to stop killing the bad guys. 2014 STANDOUT Top 10 DVDs of 2014 BROOKLYN NINE-NINE This extremely funny sitcom has been largely overlooked in this country (being on SBS will do that to you), but – with luck – on DVD more people will catch the antics of these tough but prank-happy cops and their by-the-book boss (the always excellent Andre Braugher). WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS New Zealand vampires might not sound like comedy gold, but this hilarious mockumentar y mixes vampire lore with share-house dramas to brilliant effect. ADVENTURE TIME: SEASON 4 This brilliant cartoon has long since moved on from being a string of fun but random adventures, as Finn (the human) and Jake (the dog) grow up, get into relationships and explore more of the past of the mystical land of Ooo. PARTY TRICKS An Australian political rom-com? This turned out to be more soap opera than satire. But Asher Keddie can do no wrong, and she seemed to relish the chance to play someone with a bit more nous than Offspring’s Nina. THE MULE This Australian film (in which Angus Sampson plays a drug mule who decides to hold onto the package that’s secreted up his back passage) got a lot of press for going directly to video-on-demand earlier this year. Now it’s out on DVD, and well worth a look – especially for Hugo Weaving’s 1980s-style tough-as-nails copper. COMING UP IN 2015 Yet another year without a local distributor picking up the rights to the box set of The Complete Larry Sanders Show? Considering it’s the inspiration for everything from Frontline to The Office, it’s a national disgrace this isn’t available locally. Sadly, with US distributors no longer bothering with DVD releases for low-profile titles, gems like Louie and Bob’s Burgers seem doomed to never have an of ficial DVD release in this country. At least our ABC continues to release pretty much ever ything on DVD... except for Shaun Micallef ’s Mad as Hell, of course. And will anyone ever get around to releasing Micallef ’s SBS series, Newstopia? But on the list of shows and movies we will get to see on DVD in 2015, we have: more Game of Thrones; the final ever episodes of ‘golden age’ classics Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men; the fifth series of perennial favourite Downton Abbey; and more top rate TV drama like Masters of Sex, trashy crime hit Banshee and SBS smash The Fall. And, despite the complaints of some local filmmakers who feel a long delay between cinema exposure and DVD destroys any goodwill from the cinema push, movies will continue to hit DVD three or so months after the cinema release. So the chance to fall asleep on the couch in front of the entire nine-hour Hobbit trilogy can’t be all that far of f.