Mission: Impossible, Trainwreck, The Man from UNCLE, Mistress America: 7 December’s new DVDs

Tom wonders who needs enemies, Amy plays the field, Henry and Armie open Channel D, and Greta does life lessons

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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (12)
★★★★

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The fifth outing for Tom Cruise and the spy franchise and they’ve got the terrific stunts and merry quips honed to perfection as Tom and co attempt to thwart The Syndicate, a dodgy organization that’s out for world domination. It all works superbly well thanks in the main to not taking itself too seriously, and that includes the Cruiser who pitches things just right.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


TRAINWRECK (15)
★★★★

Relationship problems in the modern world are a subject well covered by film-makers, but put it in the hands of director Judd Apatow and writer/star Amy Schumer and it’s lifted well above the norm. Here Schumer stars as, erm, Amy, a modern gal who is going to live life on her terms and that includes her attitude to sex. It crackles with neat one-liners and proves that Ms S is a woman to watch.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


THE MAN FROM UNCLE (12)
★★

In the same week as Mission: Impossible, here’s another movie inspired by a popular TV series of the 1960s. After years of talk about Quentin Tarantino doing it, the unlikely partnership of CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin finally made it to the big screen courtesy of director Guy Ritchie. Sadly, though, there’s not enough here to thrill first-timers, and children of the Sixties will find new incarnations Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer a poor substitute for Robert Vaughn and David McCallum.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray and download


MISTRESS AMERICA (15)
★★★★★

Writer and star Greta Gerwig captured many a heart and many a critical admirer with her scatty turn in 2012’s Frances Ha, made with director and real-life partner Noah Baumbach. And the pair have done it again with this story of a scatty (yeah, again, but she does it brilliantly) socialite showing a student who is soon to be a family member around New York. The dialogue is to die for, and it’s a perfect balance between hilarious and poignant. Incidentally, no planned dvd release for this one we’re told; download only.

Formats: Download only


PIXELS (12)
★★

The retro week continues. While other directors plunder TV series for movies, director Chris Columbus turns to 1980s arcade games such as Pac-Man for inspiration. Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad are the geeks who spring into action when aliens use popular games to attack Earth. The effects are up to standard, but it all gets a bit hysterical. Anyone old enough to get the references will have more fun retrieving the original games from the loft and dusting them off.

Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and download


ALSO RELEASED THIS WEEK

ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING ★★ A bit of a mess of a sci-fi comedy in which Simon Pegg is given the gift of being able to do exactly what he wants by a group of aliens – played by the Monty Python team.

THE GIFT ★★★ After relocating to Hollywood, a married couple (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) run into an old schoolfriend of his (Joel Edgerton), who turns out to be a bit of a stalker.

RED ARMY ★★★★ Fascinating documentary that looks at the Cold War from the perspective of the all-conquering Russian ice-hockey team.

FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD ★★★★ The story behind the comic launched in 1977, which caused a sensation for its violent and subversive content.

KINJI FUKASAKU’S BATTLES WITHOUT HONOUR AND HUMANITY ★★★★ Deluxe box set of the Battle Royale director’s 1970s crime series.

AFERIM! ★★★ A policeman is hired by a Wallachian lord to find the gypsy slave who had an affair with his wife.


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