DVD reviews

Taken and How To Lose Friends & Alienate People are out on DVD, but which is the best one to try and why.


Dir Pierre Morel US (15+)

Ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) warns his daughter (Maggie Grace) to be careful in Europe, and boy, is he not kidding – she can’t even catch a cab from the airport without blundering into trouble. Pretty soon her Baueresque dad will be on her trail, torturing Albanian sex traffickers when not dodging the Paris police. Minute for minute, it’s difficult to imagine a dumber film, but what Taken lacks in plausibility, originality, political correctness and basic regard for human life it makes up for with a breakneck pace – going straight from the eyes and ears to the adrenal glands.
Ben Kenigsberg
Dhs85 at Virgin Megastore

How To Lose Friends & Alienate People

Dir Robert B.Weide UK, US (15+)

British journalist Toby Young’s crash and burn at Vanity Fair is the stuff of media legend, in large part because Young shrewdly promoted the legend himself. His story gets the soft-soap treatment in this tepid comedy, which wants to send up celebrity journalism with the same glee that The Devil Wears Prada used to go after fashion mags. But How To Lose is light on satire and heavy on exactly the kind of Hollywood gloss that Young mocked as a journalist, even as he lived off it.

Hired at Sharps magazine by lion-maned Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges, doing an amusing riff on Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter), British gutter journo Sidney (Simon Pegg) finds that the fix is in with American celebrity journalism, as powerful publicists and magazine editors cut deals that would make senators and oil companies blush. While chasing an interview with the latest It girl (Megan Fox), Simon flirts combatively with a colleague (Kirsten Dunst, looking uneasy doing comedy). Robert B. Weide delivers some mild laughs, but How To Lose is toothless, substituting broad humour and a romance for the needed cynicism. It’s as if the film was afraid of, you know, losing friends and alienating people.
Hank Sartin
Dhs85 at Virgin Megastore

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