Category: DVD/Bluray


Brave (2012)

Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell

Starring Kelly McDonald, Billy Connelly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane


Princess Merida, railing against the traditions imposed upon her by her family and clan, runs away. Upon meeting a witch, Merida has one wish granted, with consequences she could not have foreseen but only she can resolve.

Disney by way of Pixar. Brave is a fairy tale more associated with the house of mouse, but told with the fresh approach of Pixar. Brave is a well-told, powerful story that focuses on family relationships rather than love, as Disney classics tend to do. Merida and Elinor (Merida’s mother) are the strongest characters, women who are not defined by the male characters, as traditional Disney princesses seem to and this approach makes for a new angle on an old story. The voice cast is excellent – as you would expect from Pixar – and it looks sumptuous, all vivid colours and vistas.


I love Pixar and Brave didn’t disappoint. If you like classic Disney, you’ll like this modern take on a fairy tale. If you like strong female characters, a funny and engaging story or just want to see a good film then Brave is for you. You might not love it like I do, but Brave is too good to not like at all.

The FriedGold rating – 9/10 – fortune favours Brave

If you like this then you might like:

The Princess and the Frog – Disney’s return to classic animation, with another strong female princess, is definitely worth a watch

The Five-Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Rhys Ifans, Alison Brie


A year after meeting, Tom proposes to Violet. As they plan their wedding their lives place obstacles in their way, pushing them further apart while they watch their goofy friends make a success of their unplanned marriage.

The Five-Year Engagement has elements of romance and moments of comedy but however it may be packaged, it is not your standard rom-com. It is a well-realised drama focusing on the sacrifices that are made by couples. Segel plays Tom brilliantly, restraining his comedic talents and together with Blunt portray a couple that you know are in love and you just want them to be happy. While the story itself isn’t revolutionary, the approach is. The slow decay of the central relationship evokes a degree of pathos you don’t get in anything starring Jennifer Lopez, as you find yourself caring. It becomes uncomfortable in places where Tom and Violet make choices you wish they wouldn’t make but that you know they must. A film about the journey; a journey we will all make at some point in our lives.


The Five-Year Engagement offers a more heartfelt reflection on love than most films about relationships and I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say this is a good date night film – it tugs on the heart strings but there are few large laughs – but it is definitely worth watching with Segel and Blunt both excellent.

The FriedGold rating – 8/10 – a whole lotta love

If you like this then you might like:

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – equally engaging but alternative look at the nature of relationships


Unknown (2011)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger



Whilst in Germany for a work conference with his wife Martin Harris is involved in a car crash and ends up in a coma. When he wakes he has trouble remembering certain aspects of his life. The parts he does remember lead him back to his wife but things aren’t exactly as he remembers them.

Billed as a film that Taken fans would enjoy this Drama/Thriller is nothing like Taken. It reminded me in places of The Bourne Identity (2002), a man not really knowing who he is and it was based in a foreign city making him more lost than normal. The film is very slow with the only real action being a couple of car chases. Liam Neeson is nothing like his Taken character and is a bit of a limp character. I wasn’t too sure how the film would play out and in the end I didn’t really care for any of the characters.



Slow, boring and not even the presence of January Jones and Diane Kruger could pick this film up. Don’t bother.

TheFriedGold rating – 2/10 – The tag line of ‘Take your Life back’ couldn’t be more appropriate



Film Fact

According to his passport, Martin Harris was born on June 7th. This is also the birthday of Liam Neeson.

Friends with Benefits

Friends with Benefits (2011)

Directed by Will Gluck

Starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis

Two people who have just come out of relationships meet and immediately strike up a great friendship. The friendship becomes a friend with benefits relationship but are there feelings bubbling underneath.

I have seen Timberlake in a few other films and never really believed him as an actor. However in this he actually came across as a decent actor,
perhaps the rom-com is the way forward for him instead of the action star – see In Time. The film features a lot of sex scenes between Timberlake and Kunis but you never see any nudity, apart from the odd bum. The film did have some funny moments although the main comedy aspect in Woody Harrelson was barely seen. There was a slight lull in the film where it became a bit boring and the tone of the film slightly changed however this picked up again towards the end. After watching this film Mila Kunis has gone straight to the top of my favourite ladies at the moment. She was incredible hot in this film, probably to do with the always being in her underwear, and has overtaken Emma Stone as hottie of the year who also makes a cameo in this film.


I preferred this to the film out at the same time by the name of No Strings Attached. This is a rom-com with a story that plays out just like in the movies. You are probably thinking that is what all rom-coms are. Except they play on that idea by introducing a film within the film showing a classic rom-com. The film itself is very predictable but this isn’t there to win awards. For the men you will happily watch this for Mila Kunis. Girls, you will happily watch this for Justin Timberlake. If you want something fun to watch then see this.

TheFriedGold rating – 6/10 – Kunis and Timberlake are bringing sexy back





Film Fact

When Mila Kunis is picking up Justin Timberlake from the airport at the beginning of the film, she uses an old sign that says O. Penderghast on the back. This stands for Olive Penderghast whom Emma Stone played in Director Will Gluck’s previous movie Easy A.

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street (2012)

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube



A couple of underachieving cops are sent undercover at a high school to find out about and stop a new drug craze that has already killed one student.

This is one of those films that use to be a TV show, that starred Johnny Depp, and has been converted into a film for the present day audience like The A-Team and Starsky and Hutch. The film shows how culture has changed over the generations and not only is there even more diversity in high school, thanks Glee, but also how the geeks are now cool within social groups and the jocks are finding it harder to be liked.

Channing Tatum is one of those actors that I have never really enjoyed watching and think he looks a little bit funny. However having him with Jonah Hill actually makes him bearable to watch and even like. The film has some pretty funny moments and keeps you entertained throughout especially with the car chases and explosions. The film itself isn’t supposed to be taken too seriously as at times they play on the fact that it used to be a TV show and that’s what makes the film good fun to watch. The scenes where it explains what the drugs do to you are brilliant and add this extra dimension to a straight forward film.



Jonah Hill is one of those actors that add humour and fun to any film, see Moneyball. His partnership with Tatum comes off really natural and the action scenes and humour are there throughout the film.  The fact that the film takes the piss out of itself makes this very enjoyable and I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to sit down and watch a good comedy.

TheFriedGold rating – 7/10 – Time to revisit high school



Film Fact

In one scene the bad guys are actually watching the TV series 21 Jump Street on TV.