New to stream, rent or buy on DVD/Blu-ray: The Climb, Pixie, Cosmic Sin, Myth: A Frozen Tale and more...
FILM OF THE WEEK
THE CLIMB (Cert 15, 97 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Comedy/Drama/Romance, available from March 1 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services)
Starring: Michael Angelo Corvino, Kyle Marvin, Judith Godreche, Gayle Rankin.
DURING a cycling run, Mike (Michael Angelo Corvino) confesses to best friend Kyle (Kyle Marvin) that he has slept with Kyle's French girlfriend and fiancee, Ava (Judith Godreche).
"You're a real-life Judas!" seethes Kyle as he puffs and wheezes in the saddle. "On the plus side, that makes you Jesus," retorts Mike, trying to make light of his betrayal.
The two men fall out in spectacular style and drift apart.
While Kyle recovers with his parents (Talia Balsam, George Wendt) and rekindles love with high school sweetheart Marissa (Gayle Rankin), Mike has no emotional support.
He descends into a deep depression, turns to the bottle to dull the pain and piles on weight. Kyle's caring extended family stage an intervention and invite Mike to join them for Christmas.
Bookmarked into seven wry and touching chapters, The Climb is a quirky ode to male friendship under duress, infused with the dry wit and warmth of writers and stars Corvino and Marvin. They possess an easy-going charm drawn from their real-life friendship, hitting various bromantic beats to perfection as bumps in the road throw one of them out of the saddle.
Corvino's direction is impressive, orchestrating elaborate unbroken shots including a fraught opening sequence filmed on the ascent of a hill and a Christmas party, shot looking into a light-bedecked house as eggnog-soaked revellers move from room to room.
Characters' pain is lightly salved by offbeat humour, punctuated by moments of genuine sincerity that seldom unfold as expected.
PIXIE (Cert 15, 93 mins, Paramount Home Entertainment, Comedy/Thriller/Romance, available from March 1 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from March 1 on DVD £19.99)
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Ben Hardy, Daryl McCormack, Colm Meaney, Alec Baldwin, Dylan Moran, Rory Fleck Byrne, Fra Fee.
ONCE upon a time in the west of Ireland, Pixie (Olivia Cooke) plans to avenge her mother's death by masterminding a heist with smitten boyfriend Colin (Rory Fleck Byrne) and his pal Fergus (Fra Fee).
Bullets fly and copious blood is shed, ruining Pixie's plan to escape Sligo, where her gangster stepfather Dermot O'Brien (Colm Meaney) is embroiled in a bitter turf war with Father Hector McGrath (Alec Baldwin) and his gun-toting posse of corrupt clergy.
The stolen narcotics, with a street value of just under one million euro, tumble into the possession of nice guys Frank (Ben Hardy) and Harland (Daryl McCormack). They accompany Pixie to Dingle, where they hope to sell the MDMA to Raymond Donnelly (Dylan Moran).
Frank and Harland ignore dire warnings about Pixie – "She won't just break you, she'll take a Kalashnikov to your heart" – and fall under their travelling companion's spell.
Pixie is a blood-soaked road trip along the ruggedly picturesque west coast of Ireland, punctuated by splashes of violence and a memorable sex scene that proves the title character won't be tamed by any man.
Hardy and McCormack are endearing foils to Cooke's comic whirlwind. Her diction is occasionally smothered by her Irish accent, but there's an irresistible effervescence to her scheming minx, who is determined to seize life by the short and curlies.
"These sort of adventures are always more enjoyable with a positive attitude," she trills after one particularly grisly interlude. It's a veiled instruction to us to gleefully embrace the escalating madness of director Barnaby Thompson's escapade.
COSMIC SIN (Cert 15, 88 mins, Altitude Film Distribution, available from March 1 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from March 15 on DVD £15.99, Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller)
HUMANITY'S survival rests in the hands of Bruce Willis in an action-packed futuristic thriller directed by Edward Drake and co-written by Corey Large.
In the 26th century, outer planets of the solar system are being colonised to extend mankind's reach.
Soldiers at a remote outpost make first contact and come under attack from a hostile alien fleet.
The threat of interstellar war becomes frighteningly real.
Retired Military General James Ford (Willis) is hastily ushered back into active service alongside General Eron Ryle (Frank Grillo) to take the fight to the advancing extra-terrestrial enemy.
They are flanked by a squad of elite soldiers, who realise the perilously high stakes: stop the imminent attack or the human race will become extinct.
MYTH: A FROZEN TALE (Cert U, 9 mins, streaming from February 26 exclusively on Disney+, Animation/Fantasy/Adventure)
EVAN Rachel Wood, who provides the voice of Queen Iduna in Frozen II, narrates an animated short set in an enchanted forest outside of Arendelle.
Director Jeff Gipson and production designer Brittney Lee employ a distinctive visual style for a magical adventure, framed as a family evening of bedtime stories, which brings together stallion water spirit Nokk, playful wind spirit Gale, mercurial salamander fire spirit Bruni and the hulking Earth Giants that form rocky riverbanks.
Events in this mythical world are choreographed to original music composed by Joseph Trapanese.
SERIES / BOX SETS
YOUR HONOR (10 episodes, streaming from March 2 exclusively on NOW TV, Drama/Romance)
JUSTICE is short-sighted if not completely blind in a 10-part remake of the Israeli TV series Kvodo, which begins screening this week on Sky Atlantic and streams exclusively on NOW TV.
Adam Desiato (Hunter Doohan) collides with a pedestrian while reaching for his asthma inhaler behind the wheel of a car.
He speeds away from the scene.
Adam relays the incident to his father, respected New Orleans judge Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston), who realises the victim of the hit and run was Rocco Baxter (Benjamin Hassan Wadsworth), son of sadistic crime lord Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his wife Gina (Hope Davis).
Fearful of the consequences if Adam goes to the police and confesses his crime, Michael hurriedly concocts an alibi to keep his beloved boy out of prison.
However, his web of lies ensnares various friends and associates including politician best mate Charlie (Isiah Whitlock Jr) and one-time legal protegee Lee Delamere (Carmen Ejogo).
THE BAY – SEASON TWO (Cert 15, 324 mins, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, available now on Amazon Video/iTunes/ITV Hub and other download and streaming services, available from March 1 on DVD £22.99, Thriller/Drama/Romance)
REDEMPTION comes at a price in the second series of Daragh Carville's gripping crime drama filmed on location in Morecambe Bay, which arrives on DVD this week following its broadcast on ITV.
After the events of the first series, which focused on the disappearance of twins in West Lancashire, Family Liaison Officer Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) is sidelined to atone for grave errors in judgment.
The murder of prominent lawyer Stephen Marshbrook (Stephen Tompkinson), witnessed by his young son Oliver (Leo Ashton), ushers Lisa back into the fold alongside DS Med Kharim (Taheen Modak) and the team.
The meticulous hunt for clues has tragic repercussions as Lisa vows to prove her trustworthiness to colleagues and her family.
The two-disc DVD set includes all six episodes.