Shopping on Blu-ray and DVD

Sunday, 02 August 2015 23:00 Written by 

Shopping - out now on Blu-ray and DVD“Shopping” was Paul W S Anderson's first feature, and whilst it feels more or less rooted in the real world, the film is stylised enough to feel like the director was dipping his toe into science fiction before going all-out in the likes of "Event Horizon", "Resident Evil" and "AVP: Alien vs Predator". The excellent cast includes Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Sean Pertwee, Jonathan Pryce, Sean Bean, Jason Isaacs, Daniel Newman and Eamonn Walker.

Law ("Sherlock Holmes", "A I - Artificial Intelligence") plays Billy, a car thief and ram-raider just released from prison. After hooking back up with girlfriend Jo (Frost - "Bram Stoker's Dracula", "Love, Honour and Obey") they resume their criminal activities, stealing a BMW and meeting up with the old gang. Unfortunately for Billy, during his absence rival thief Tommy (Pertwee) has taken over much of his turf. Now he is back, an escalating, lawless battle breaks out.

“Shopping” is quite an atmospheric movie but unfortunately its slender plot and style-over-substance approach make its 100-plus-minute running time a bit of a trial. It looks flashing, with lovely sweeping camera movements, nicely contrasting urban decay and glossy motors, but you can only take so many shots of car parks and shadowy streets before they start to become wearing.

On a more positive note, the acting is decent, and Law in his first film makes for a very believable, nihilistic youth with no vision of the future beyond his next score. He is a dreamer who thinks small. Frost plays his soul mate with a cheeky, chaos-loving edge, but it is Pertwee (Gotham, "Dog Soldiers") who steals the most scenes with his slightly camp, swaggering mannerisms and bursts of alarming, baseball bat-swinging aggression.

The movie’s heavily laid-on soundtrack featuring the likes of Stereo MC's, Orbital, EMF and Salt-n-Pepa contributes to the feeling that it is closer to a much-extended music video, rather than a fully fledged film. That said, the action sequences are competently directed, with speedy car chases and tense cops versus robbers showdowns. When these vehicles crash, they do so with devastating realism.

Ultimately, the gloomy, depressing nature of the characters' existences, with their dead-end lives that are lived fleetingly with a few moments of burning, thrilling intensity, leaves you feeling dissatisfied and wishing for the inclusion of least one character who had aimed for something better.

Special features include:

  • Cast and crew interviews
  • B-roll footage
  • Trailer

The interview featurette is really a seven-minute promo for the film with more time given over to film clips than interview sound-bites. The Blu-ray version reviewed is definitely a step up from the DVD. The image may lack a little in the detail department in comparison with the very best HD releases, but it is clean and the edges are sharp.

“Shopping” (1994) is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Fabulous Films. The main feature has a running time of 106 minutes approx, carries an '18' certificate and retails for £9.99 on DVD and £14.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

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