Does anybody rent DVDs these days? With the closure of 20 of Xtravision's 152 stores across Ireland earlier this May and the company going into receivership I guess the facts speak for themselves. Viewing has changed; we stream films and TV series, subscribe to Netflix for all its faults and have Sky or other cable networks. So I guess the answer to my first question is "No". Despite this my local DVD rental store is always busy with browsing public who leave with a couple of discs and for the bank holiday weekend we rented '3 for the price of 2' of which we have viewed two.
End of Watch starring Jake Gyllenhall and Michael Pena as two South Central California cops is a very real and sometimes disturbing journey as the two cops with an extremely close 'brother in arms' relationship patrol the neighbourhood holding their own camcorder to document their watch. The success of their busts is their ultimate downfall as they mess with a big Mexican cartel involved in drugs and human trafficking. Sometimes hard to watch it is violent, rough and disturbing as the gangs pitch themselves against their enforcers but it is the relationship between Gyllenhall and Pena as Brian and Mike, the cop car banter and the more personal exchanges that carries the story. A very rewarding rental.
Jackpot, based on the Jo Nesbo story was an unexpected joy. Violent, rough, disturbing and .....funny, it was one of the funniest black humour movies I have seen for a while. The arrest of Oscar Svenson played by Kyrre Hellum in a strip joint/sex shop after a violent shoot out allows the detective in charge, Solor to question him and get to the bottom of the event. Oscar works with ex-offenders and is roped into getting into a football betting pool as the fourth person. The unexpected win leads to a chain of events carefully explained by the innocent Svenson. The four main characters, Svenson, Thor Eggen, Billy and Dan Treschow work perfectly together as the combination of psych vs innocent vs stupid vs the loyal con. All of this is balanced out by the cool questioning by Solor whom we never quite know whether he is being serious or sarcastic. The outcome is most satisfying.
Two dvd rentals recommended should you wish to support an ailing industry!