Geoff Cox’s DVDs: Thor - The Dark World, Diana, One Chance

The hammer-hurling thunder god is back in another big, bold epic adventure.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 15th February 2014, 12:00 pm
Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World

The 2011 Thor flick provided great entertainment and THOR: THE DARK WORLD (12: Walt Disney) builds on that.

No sooner has Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returned his trickster sibling Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to face justice in Asgard following the events of Avengers Assemble than dark elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) emerges.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Thor’s mortal love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) discovers a source of power that could mean the end of the universe.

This thrill-packed extravaganza is loaded with Lord Of The Rings-scale battles, bone-crushing smackdowns, vivid locations and laugh-out-loud moments of humour that lift the doom and gloom.

The sparring between the bickering brothers really crackles, with Hiddleston at his malevolent best and Hemsworth showing godlike poise as he puts the hammer down on his numerous foes.

On the downside, Eccleston’s villain has little to do but exude menace.

> Director Oliver Hirschbiegel was Oscar-nominated for his Hitler portrait Downfall, but his biopic DIANA (12: Entertainment One) is pure fluff.

As so much has already been written about Princess Diana, both during her lifetime and after her death, he struggles to add anything new or insightful.

Kid gloves are used to handle the most controversial period of her life – the two years leading up to the fatal car crash in Paris.

Naomi Watts’ portrayal of Diana is all mannerisms and fluttering eyelashes as she woos Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews).

Essentially, this is their love story, with scenes that might have been cribbed from TV series Dynasty.

> Fact-based comedy drama ONE CHANCE (12: Entertainment In Video) follows the rise to fame of amateur singer Paul Potts.

Everyone loves a tale of triumph over adversity and Potts’ journey to success in Britain’s Got Talent is certainly full of adversity.

Throughout his school days as a bullied outsider and mundane adulthood as a mobile phone salesman, Potts (James Corden) longs to make something of his love of opera, finally getting his opportunity in a TV talent show.

You can expect heartstrings to be tugged using every trick in the book as Potts is belittled by his father, humiliated in front of his idol, Pavarotti, and suffers a career-threatening illness before redemption comes in the form of Simon Cowell.

Despite the flagrant abuse of dramatic licence and a cheesy storyline, the script is witty and the end result will charm many viewers.

> James Gandolfini gives one of his final performances in funny and heartbreaking ENOUGH SAID (12: 20th Century Fox), a tale of love, its demise and the lessons learned.

He plays Albert, an overweight charmer who meets divorced masseuse Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) at a party. At the same get-together, Eva begins a parallel friendship with Marianne (Catherine Keener), a poet who endlessly disparages her ex-husband.

Fat bellies, slobby behaviour and lack of adequate bedroom furniture ensure the course of true love is bumpy.