The Boat That Rocked (DVD)

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Richard Curtis surely owns the rosiest glasses in the film business. According to him, the UK is a gentle, slightly eccentric place, where good things happen to good people and well-mannered chaps generally get the girl. And, despite the inclusion of brash American Philip Seymour Hoffman and a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack, The Boat That Rocked is cut from the same warm and fuzzy cloth. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its charms, but it would be nice to see Curtis step out of his comfort zone.

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Valkyrie (DVD)

Cruise control…

Tom Cruise usually plays one of two roles; either he is cutting loose, having fun and not giving a damn (such as in Mission Impossible or his scene-stealing cameo in Tropic Thunder) or he is intense, focused and doing a lot of jaw clenching (Minority Report, say, or Lions for Lambs). It’s safe to say that Valkyrie well and truly belongs in the second camp, being as it is a deathly serious dramatisation of German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg’s unsuccessful assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler during the dying days of World War II. Aided and abetted by a variety of sympathisers, including General Olbricht (Bill Nighy), General Fellgiebel (Eddie Izzard) and Ludwig Beck (Terence Stamp), Stauffenberg hatches a plan to assassinate Hitler (David Bamber), so initiating Operation Valkyrie in which the army would be able to seize control of Berlin and broker a peace with the Allies.

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