DVD round-up: Your Highness, Sucker Punch, Kaboom, United, Who Do You Think You Are?

The week's TV and film releases reviewed

Film

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DVD of the week
Your Highness (Cert: 15)

2 stars
In a nutshell: Rude medieval romp with Portman, Franco and McBride

Director David Gordon Green applies the same rowdy style of his Pineapple Express to this mock medieval romp. Natalie Portman stars as a feisty princess who helps pot-smoking slacker prince Danny McBride and his heroic brother (James Franco) after the latter’s ditzy fiancée (Zooey Deschanel) is whisked off by a wizard. The rough-hewn if daft adventure follows a predictable course, with plenty of puerile set pieces along the way, while the largely improvised dialogue is amusing (albeit heavy on the expletives). With a terrific supporting cast that includes Charles Dance and Toby Jones, this is well made but decidedly lowbrow entertainment. Karen Krizanovich

Formats: DVD and Blu-ray
Extras: The Blu-ray features theatrical and extended cuts, with just the extended version appearing on the DVD. Both formats include a gag reel, production featurettes and an audio commentary, with the Blu-ray also packing in some additional alternative/deleted scenes

Sucker Punch (Cert: 12)
2 stars
In a nutshell: Troubled Emily Browning retreats into an action-packed fantasy world

This elaborate but often bewildering fantasy from director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) stars Emily Browning as a young woman committed to a creepy asylum by her abusive stepfather. She blocks out the horrors by imagining the institution as a sleazy bordello. Deeper in her troubled mind she acts out battles against dragons, robot Nazis and sword-wielding giant samurai, in search of the prizes that will secure her escape. The over-the-top action sequences occasionally thrill, although the sight of scantily clad women in balletically choreographed fisticuffs has the air of a bombastic heavy metal rock video. Terry Staunton

Formats: DVD and Triple play (Blu-ray, DVD and digital download)
Extras: Four animated shorts, while the Blu-ray boasts an additional extended cut of the film and a “Maximum Movie Mode” hosted by the director

Kaboom (Cert: 15)
3 stars
In a nutshell: A slacker uncovers a conspiracy in a small Californian town

Mysterious Skin director Gregg Araki returns to the delicious absurdity of his 1990s “Teen Apocalypse” trilogy with this erotically charged slice of hipster film-making. Conceived as a treat for his hardcore fans, it’s a flimsy but fun sci-fi comedy in which bisexual college student Smith (Thomas Dekker) and his equally hedonistic pals (including a fabulously free-spirited Juno Temple) are drawn into a convoluted end-of-days conspiracy after his ominous dreams start bleeding into reality. Araki’s trademark vibrant visuals and a cool, indie soundtrack intensify the overall trippy experience. Sloan Freer

Formats: DVD
Extras: Director’s commentary, deleted scenes and out-takes

Other highlights:

Meek’s Cutoff – Austere art house western with Michelle Williams
Whisky Galore – Reissue of the much-loved Ealing comedy

TV

United (Cert: 12)
3 stars
In a nutshell: Glory, glory Man United

A searing drama that tells the tragic tale of the Busby Babes – the young stars of Matt Busby’s all-conquering Manchester United side, eight of whom were killed in the Munich air crash of 1958. David Tennant is on impressive form in the role of coach Jimmy Murphy, the man who set about rebuilding the team in its wake. David Brown

Format: DVD
Extras: Commentary from David Tennant, director James Strong and writer Chris Chibnall

WWE – The Very Best of WCW Nitro (Cert: E)
4 stars
In a nutshell: Body slam! Back-breaker! Drop-kick!

Back in the late ’90s World Championship Wrestling managed to eclipse Vince McMahon’s WWF (now WWE) by signing up all their rivals’ talent and producing a compellingly edgy and – crucially – more adult TV show than their cartoonish competition. Flushed with power, the company kept trying and failing to repeat its surprise successes for years until eventually being bought by the revived WWE in 2001. This DVD brings together over eight hours of the best skits, stars and matches from that brief glorious era, showcasing stars like “Hollywood” Hogan, Goldberg, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at their peak. Tom Cole

Format: DVD
Extras: A “WCW history lesson” presented by wrestler Diamond Dallas Page

Who Do You Think You Are? Series Seven (Cert: E)
3 stars
In a nutshell: Trees of life

Another group of celebrities learn more about their family trees, with this series’ intake comprising Bruce Forsyth, Rupert Everett, Dervla Kirwan, Monty Don, Rupert Penry-Jones, Alexander Armstrong, Jason Donovan, Hugh Quarshie and Alan Cumming. As always, the stars’ journeys take them to far-flung corners of the globe and see them dealing with the emotional strain of getting to know their ancestors better. If you like the show’s format or you’re a fan of the personalities involved, this is bound to keep you happy. Tom Cole

Format: DVD
Extras: Celebrity biographies, weblinks

Other highlights:

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Rick Stein’s Spain – The chef combines a relaxing travelogue with delicious cookery
Two and a Half Men: Season 8 – Charlie Sheen’s last series of the US sitcom