DVD reviews: Frozen vs Dom Hemingway

Got the grandkids this weekend? We’ve reviewed two movies, one for you to watch (sleep through) with them and one for you to enjoy! Just don’t get them mixed up or you will have some explaining to do!

One for the Grown-ups

Dom Hemingway cover

Dom Hemingway

Written & Directed by Richard Shepherd

Starring Jude Law, Richard E Grant

First and foremost if you are offended by foul language, explicit sexual scenes and extreme violence this is really not the film for you.

If, however, none of the above would deter you then Dom Hemingway is a very interesting watch on DVD.

The Director, Richard Shepherd, is clearly a fan of modern Brit gangster movies because his influences are glaringly obvious. There are nods to Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Revolver, Jonathon Glazer’s Sexy Beast and Nic Winding Ref’s Bronson. If I’m being honest apart from Revolver I think all the others are superior.

The slim plot is very simple. Dom (Jude Law) has spent 12 years inside for an armed robbery. During this time his beloved wife has died of cancer and he has missed seeing his daughter grow up. His sentence would have been substantially reduced had he “grassed” the mastermind behind the job. On the day of his release he meets his partner in crime Dickie (Richard E Grant). After a three day binge of booze, drugs and hookers paid for by the charismatic Russian master mind Anatoly (Damien Bechir), they decamp to France to meet with him.

Dom Hemingway and Dicky

In return for his loyalty Dom is rewarded with £750,000. To avoid any plot spoilers I will simply impart that the money is quickly stolen from him in bizarre circumstances and the rest of the movie centres round Dom’s efforts to build bridges with his daughter, getting his life back on track and of course recovering his dosh.

My main problem with the movie is the script. Dom’s dialogue is a mixture of insane articulacy and intense profanity delivered in a manner that no Cockney criminal would ever be heard spouting. It is like one long soliloquy. In fact if Shakespeare had written a gangster flick this would be it. I couldn’t help thinking that the entire character was based on Ben Kinsley’s Don Logan in Sexy Beast.

Jude Law as Dom Hemingway sat on safe

Notwithstanding, there is a lot to recommend. Jude Law delivers a bravura performance unlike anything else he has done before. He is purposely made to look unattractive, gaining 30 pounds for the role and wearing the weirdest set of mutton chops I’ve seen outside a Dickensian play. Yet he manages to make a highly unbelievable character appear interesting and at times even sympathetic and vulnerable.

The supporting performances are equally strong and, as expected, Richard E Grant manages to almost steal the show.

Dom Hemingway still - Richard E Grant and Jude Law

Direction is snappy, the colour palette is vibrant and the sound track is actually relevant and adds to the dynamic. There are also a stack of memorable and quotable lines. My favourite being Dickie’s … “ I’ve found my hand Dom, it was under one of the bodies!”

In essence it’s one of those movies that I’m pleased I never saw in the cinema because I think I would have been disappointed but if the subject matter appeals and you can handle it’s innate raunchiness it’s a good home watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



If you liked this you’ll like these:-

Sexy Beast, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Bronson, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, Harry Brown, Mesrine, The Krays.


One for the Grandkids

Frozen cover


Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

Starring: the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idena Menzel, Jonathon Groff and Josh Gad

Frozen is now the most successful Disney film ever and with 3.2 million DVD and Blu-Ray sales on the first day of release it really is impossible to give it a bad review…..that many happy customers can’t all be wrong.

And in all fairness, they’re not.

Here’s the thing though, as a man in his late middle age watching this alone in my inner sanctum, I couldn’t help feeling I’ve seen it all before.

It’s got the lot princesses, handsome evil prince, handsome hero, a talking snowman , cute animals, trolls and a (not so) scary monster.

Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen it tells the story of how, due to the early demise of her parents, Princess Elsa becomes queen of a fairytale Norwegian monarchy. Unfortunately, she also has the power to turn everything to ice.


On the day of her coronation her little sister Anna asks for her consent to marry Prince Hans, who she has only just met, Elsa refuses point blank, goes ballistic and immediately creates constant winter for the previously ever sunny Arendelle. With her subjects thinking she is a monster she immediately exiles herself and, in a particularly show stopping sequence featuring the Oscar winning song “Let it Go”, magics up an ice palace.

Little sister Anna goes on a quest to bring her back and make the winter go away. Hardly a plot spoiler to tell you that after much danger and skulduggery she succeeds and everyone lives “happily ever after”.

Olaf Frozen

It is, of course, beautifully animated and drawn. The voice actors do a sterling job of bringing the characters to life. However, I did think it was exceedingly odd that only one character in the entire movie affects a Norwegian accent. If everybody else sounds like the cast of Glee, why bother?

In a longstanding Disney tradition this really is one for the girls. In fact I know several female adults including my 21 year old daughter and a 36 year old friend who loved it to bits. If your son or grandson is over 10 I think he would find it a tad “girly”.

Frozen on reindeer

The point is, it does exactly what you expect it to do. It entertains in a harmless, joyful way with just enough thrills and spills to add momentum with pretty and, in most cases instantly forgettable, songs to add to the “moment”.

If you have young kids or grandkids Frozen is a great investment. Like all Disney animation that has gone before it will no doubt be watched dozens and dozens of time allowing you to follow all sorts of other grown-up pursuits in peace and quiet.

Rating 4 out of 5 stars



If you liked this you’ll like these :-

Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Up, Alladin, Toy Story, Wreck it Ralph, Despicable Me, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Finding Nemo