Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVDs
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Universal). Money and sex and even more sex and even more money, the two are indivisible. Martin Scorcese’s very over-the-top, very in-your-face, very long 3-hour satire is very loud and very ugly. The vulgar sexism is relentless, the farce is broad, the debauchery is explicit and the infantile energy is drug-fuelled and expletive-driven. It’s easy to see why this film, nominated for five Oscars, didn’t win any. Leonardo DiCaprio, as the crooked stockbroker, a master manipulator, pugnacious and arrogant, is very watchable.
GRUDGE MATCH (Warner Brothers Home Entertainment) If you were to make a list of the best boxing movies ever, such a list would have to include The Champ with Charlie Chaplin, The Set-Up with Robert Ryan, The Great White Hope with James Earl Jones, Million Dollar Baby with Hilary Swank, and, of course, Rocky with Sylvester Stallone and Raging Bull with Robert DeNiro. So how does the idea having Stallone and DeNiro, as two legendary champs, born enemies, now old, broke and out of work, coming out of retirement, grab you? But, will they embarrass themselves in this sentimental comedy nonsense? The answer is yes, they will.
JAMAICA INN (BBC). When Daphne du Maurier’s Cornish smuggling story was aired on TV there were massive complaints of inaudibility. On DVD, except for one actress, there is no real problem with the sound; the actual problem is the deadening production. The story-line only grips in the final episode, in the shocking sequence when the smugglers murder the shipwrecked sailors as they swim ashore. Jessica Brown Findlay is the heroine. There’s a dark, brooding performance by Sean Harris as the mentally disturbed inn-owner. The real villain is ridiculously obvious.