September 19, 2008

Pals Pick Up With the Plot


(Cert 15, 139 mins, Entertainment In Video, Comedy/Drama/ Romance, also available to buy DVD pounds 22.99/two-disc DVD pounds 24.99/Blu-ray pounds 29.99) Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Lewis, Evan Handler, David Eigenberg, Lynn Cohen, Mario Cantone, Candice Bergen, Willie Garson.


Carrie Bradshaw (Parker) and her gal pals Samantha (Cattrall), Charlotte (Davis) and Miranda (Nixon) return from the TV series in this first feature film.

Carrie and her paramour, Mr Big (Noth), are poised to take the next step in their relationship, while Samantha pines for New York from her new base in Los Angeles with lover Smith Jerrod (Lewis).

Charlotte paints a picture of domestic bliss with her dependable husband Harry (Handler) and adopted daughter Lily, just as Miranda faces the shocking truth about her marriage to Steve (Eigenberg). Love blossoms and withers, and Carrie hires a personal assistant, Louise (Hudson), to tend to her day-to-day affairs while she attempts to sort out the mess. Sex And The City knows its audience and panders to them with more than two hours of fabulous couture, sassy girl talk, toned naked men and familiar New York City locations. Michael Patrick King's film is essentially five episodes of the TV show sandwiched together. The writer-director presumes viewers have an intimate knowledge of the women and their back- stories despite a fast-paced opening credits montage, which helpfully condenses 94 episodes of tears, tiaras and tantrums into five minutes of sound bites and one-liners. Old friends such as event planner Anthony Marentino (Cantone), Vogue Magazine editor Enid Frick (Bergen) and confidant Stanford Blatch (Garson) enjoy supporting roles, but there are no surprises here. The blur of designer labels is ridiculous as ever (Carrie should be covered in friction burns considering how frequently she changes outfits), while Miranda and Steve's subplot relies on one of them acting out of character for dramatic effect.

DVD Extras: Director commentary; two-disc version: Extended cut of the film, director commentary, "A Conversation With Sarah Jessica Parker" featurette, "The Fabulous Fashion Of Sex And The City" featurette, additional scenes with optional director commentary, "Fergie In The Studio" featurette.

Also released

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (Cert U, 74 mins, Disney DVD, DVD pounds 17.99/The Little Mermaid Trilogy DVD set pounds 39.99, Family/Musical/ Comedy/Romance) Disney's singing mermaid returns in this straight-to- DVD animated feature, officially the third film in the series, set long before Ariel falls hopelessly in love with Prince Eric. King Triton has banned music from Atlantica, forcing Ariel to choose between her love for her father and her love of singing. Meddlesome Marina Del Rey attempts to exploit the situation for her own ends. Can the mermaid and her chums Sebastian and Flounder outwit Marina and restore harmony to the underwater kingdom?

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Season 8, Part 1. (Cert 15, 610 mins, Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD pounds 34.99, Thriller/Drama) The Miniature Killer is in custody but the life of CSI Sara Sidle, (Jorja Fox), still hangs in the balance, trapped inside a car in the desert with floodwater rising fast. Gil Grissom, (William Peterson), head of the Las Vegas Crime Lab, races against time to locate Sara. DVD Extras: Without A Trace: Who And What featurette, commentary on the episode You Kill Me, So Long Sara Sidle featurette, William Friedkin: A Different Take featurette, While The Cast's Away, The Rats Will Play featurette.

The Wire - Complete Fifth Season (Cert 15, 585 mins, Warner Home Video, DVD pounds 39.99, Thriller/Drama/Action) In the fifth series of the crime drama, Mayor Tommy Carcetti, (Aidan Gillen), is forced to make dangerous deals to cling onto power and boost his approval rating, torn between lowering crime and abiding by election promises. Sergeant Carver, (Seth Gilliam), is promoted to oversee a hotbed of discontent, and a department facing yet more cutbacks. Meanwhile, The Baltimore Sun's city editor Augustus "Gus" Haynes, (Clark Johnson), unites his staff to dig up dirt for an exclusive linking the drugs trade with a high-ranking politician. Then dark secrets uncovered by Detective Freamon, (Clarke Peters), and his colleagues. The four-disc box set includes all 10 gripping episodes.

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