Spy, Best of Enemies, Brand: a Second Coming, Ronaldo: 9 November’s new DVDs

Mission improbable, political bruisers, and a footballer with a lot of money

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SPY (15)
★★★★

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You don’t usually associate Melissa McCarthy with the subtle, underplayed performance (we’re happy to say) and that’s certainly the case again here. She stars as a desk worker at the CIA who for some reason finds herself sent into action to nail a criminal mastermind (Rose Byrne) and blunders gloriously from one crazy situation to the next in a variety of bizarre disguises. It’s knockabout bonkers fun from director Paul Feig, who directed MM in the equally understated Bridesmaids and The Heat. Feig has also drafted in our own queen of the pratfall Miranda Hart as Melissa’s sidekick

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


BEST OF ENEMIES  (15)
★★★★

Even if you don’t have any prior knowledge of American TV or American politics, this documentary is still highly watchable. It’s a record of what unfolded when the ABC network pitched writers and political commentators Gore Vidal and William Buckley into a series of debates during the 1968 presidential race. Their views couldn’t have been more opposite and neither were they shy about expressing them. Whoever you end up agreeing or disagreeing with, this is a refreshing – if often bruising – alternative to the spin and well-measured answers we are served up today.

Formats: DVD and download


BRAND: A SECOND COMING (15)
★★★★

Whether or not you agree with Russell Brand’s politics and his view of the world or whether you wish he’d just stick to stand-up, director Ondi Timoner has crafted a fascinating documentary about the man and his unique view of things. Brand is never less than articulate and never less than totally honest about the size of his own ego.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


RONALDO (PG)
★★

There have been good documentaries about footballers. In 2006 Douglas Gordon’s compelling film about French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane took the genre to a new level and made it a piece of art. Sadly this film about former Manchester United and currently Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t in the same league (sorry). Despite the potential to profile one of the greatest footballers in the world, it’s little more than a shallow vanity piece in which the Portuguese player does little more than show off the material trappings of success. For real fans only.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK

FRESH DRESSED ★★★★ Documentary that explores the connection between fashion and hip-hop music.

SONG OF THE SEA ★★★★ A young girl who can transform from a seal into a person sets out to save fairy creatures trapped in the modern world.

PALIO ★★★★ A horse race like no other provides the focus for this thrilling documentary. 

LESSONS IN LOVE ★ Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek star in this romantic comedy about a Cambridge professor  who decides to re-evaluate his life of excess.

THE GOONIES ★★★ The popular adventure yarn gets a special Blu-ray release for its 30th anniversary.


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