dvd & blu-ray reviews

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boom reviews - Inside Out Inside Out (U)

Kids eh - can't live with them, can't list them on eBay when they do your head in. Shame that. For their latest animated tale, Pixar have decided to tippy-toe into the mind of an 11-year-old girl to reveal not just what she's thinking, but the process of producing these thoughts.

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boom reviews - X-Men: Days of Future Past X-Men: Days of Future Past (12A)

It is the year 2014. This is a vital notice for those who don't know any better in our present, and those in the distant future that may be oblivious to the cinematic goings-on of years gone by. Heed these words and remember them: there was a time, in our history, when films existed without a superhero involved. Strange but true. It may sound like an extreme statement, but it does feel like every other film release these days was born from the pages of a comic. What's worse is that they're now strutting their super-heroic stuff on TV too, with the likes of Arrow and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, with more on the way with the up and coming Gotham, Agent Carter and The Flash joining the fight against evil and that on the small screen. And who would have thought that the X-Men franchise, which began fourteen years ago now, would be a grand-daddy of the genre, with this title marking the seventh release in the ongoing series.

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boom reviews Mad Men season 7 part 1 Mad Men season 7 part 1 (15)

The writing is on the wall for Sterling Cooper & Partners, as the agency prepares to close its doors for the final time with this exceptional US drama series coming to an end. This seventh and final season is awkwardly broken into two parts, with the first seven episodes now available for your boxset-binging pleasure whilst the second half of the season will follow next year. After his monumental meltdown, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) finds himself still in exile from the agency. It's an uncomfortable situation for him; after all, if he's no longer an ad man, what is he exactly? It's an existential crisis he can well do without quite frankly, considering his dark and mysterious past.

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boom reviews - The Killing seasons 1-3 boxset The Killing seasons 1-3 boxset (15)

Whatever happened to Nordic Noir? It seems like only yesterday that this cute term, which was quickly adopted by The Guardian and the like - mainly to show how truly hip and cool they were watching telly from Scandinavia - appeared in every other article in the northern hemisphere. For the most part though, the lights have gone out on this genre, mainly due to BBC 4 not showing it anymore. The essence of Nordic Noir however lives on a little longer however, thanks in part to the US version of the Danish hit Forbryldelsen.

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boom reviews - Godzilla Godzilla (12A)

With the current summer blockbuster slate being super-powered into submission by every known superhero under the sun, there’s little room for anything else. Muscling in on the action this year is the return of Godzilla, and he’s ready to throw his substantial weight about. Or he would do if you saw that much of him. Some folk just don’t know when to let something go. Take Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston); in 1999 he, along with his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) were working in a nuclear facility in Tokyo. Disaster struck in the form of what was deemed to be unusual seismic activity, which totalled the facility and wiped out the majority of its staff. Fifteen years later and Joe is still investigating what exactly happened.

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boom reviews - San Andreas San Andreas (12A):

Back in the seventies there was a veritable avalanche of disaster films, many of which went on to become classics of the genre (Airport, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno).

Since then, the genre appears to have run aground, having mostly been adopted by the Syfy channel, where you can often find a number of outrageously bad made-for-TV titles, including the likes of the tragic Sharknado franchise. Big screen outings however, are harder to come by.

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boom reviews - Begin Again Begin Again (15):

Sometimes, just sometimes, you can sit through a film and be totally blown away by its soundtrack. Begin Again is not that film. It stars Keira Knightley as a songwriter who ends up singing her own material. And yes, it really is as bad as it sounds. New York City can be such an exciting place, especially if you're in love. You can times the magic by eleven when the cute couple are musicians Gretta (Knightley) and Dave (Adam Levine); it doesn't hurt either that Dave is about to hit the big time, as one of his songs was a huge hit featured in a film. Now the pair find themselves living in a swanky loft apartment. But living in New York City can be a real downer if you split up with said partner, which is what happens with Gretta and Dave. Dave finds someone else and moves on, leaving Gretta alone and behind in NYC.

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boom reviews - Chef Chef (15)

Trends. Film and TV are always searching for the latest viewing zeitgeist, and once they've discovered one, boy do they pile it on. For instance, you don't need to have a super power to work out that the current trend in films is for superhero titles. And for TV, the dish of the day is food shows. It's become so bad that where once Saturday morning was the home of enjoyable kid's TV, now you’re more likely to find some northerner puntastically encouraging well known chefs to transform eggs into inedible omelettes in record time, week after week. Sad days indeed. This trend for foodie shows is so big right now that there are even entire channels devoted to the stuff. Actor, director, and dare we say it, all round good egg Jon Favreau has not only tapped into this current trend with his latest film, but he has also added another ongoing flavour of the month too – social media. It has to be said that the final result won't be to everyone's taste.

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boom reviews - Divergent Divergent (12):

Cinema has always gone through cycles in its history. It's no coincidence, for instance, that during the forties and fifties the western was a popular genre. Not only did many of cinema’s biggest actors appear in them – like your John Waynes and James Stewarts – but also the advent of Cinemascope in the fifties was perfect for widescreen vistas. Audiences went to see them and the studios churned out more of them to see. With Hollywood running out of fresh ideas and always looking for something new to make money out of, it has jumped on the Young Adult Fiction bandwagon – a genre that has given us such joyous cinematic experiences such as the Twilight and The Hunger Games franchises. Here then is yet another tie-in cash in.

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boom reviews - Captain America: The Winter Soldier Captain America: The Winter Soldier (12A): With the might of Marvel producing their comic heroes on celluloid at an alarming, seemingly exponential rate, it's no wonder they're throwing directors at projects left, right, and centre. It will only be a matter of time before each and every member of the public will get an opportunity to direct some sequel of a sequel of a sequel or some other. We're already looking forward to helming The Incredible Hulk 58: Hulk has a Hissy Fit. They've already demonstrated - by showing comic fan Edgar Wright the door and passing it on to Peyton Reed (responsible for such 'action' hits as cheerleading comedy Bring it On and rom-com Down with Love) - that they're ultimately not that fussed who directs these titles any more, as long as they tow the Marvel line. And with the Russo brothers (Anthony and Joe) directing this sequel, it only appears to reinforce this theory. [***READ MORE***]