New on-demand or to buy on DVD/Blu-ray: Sound of Metal, Minari, Line of Duty, Panic and more...
FILM OF THE WEEK
SOUND OF METAL (Cert 15, 120 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Drama/Romance, available now on Amazon Prime Video, available from May 31 on BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from May 31 on Blu-ray £24.99)
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Tom Kemp, Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric.
HEAVILY tattooed drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) and singer-guitarist girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) are touring America in an old Airstream trailer as the punk-metal band Blackgammon when Ruben experiences ringing in his ears and then muffled quietness.
A doctor (Tom Kemp) conducts urgent tests, which reveal Ruben is registering less than 30 per cent of spoken words.
Health insurance doesn't cover expensive cochlear implants and Ruben teeters on the brink of a downward spiral into drug abuse after four years of hard-fought sobriety.
He begrudgingly enrols in a residential programme for deaf recovering addicts run by Vietnam War veteran Joe (Paul Raci), who expects Ruben to learn American Sign Language and acknowledge that being deaf is not a handicap.
Bookended by a crashing drum cymbal and peeling church bells, Sound Of Metal is a hard-hitting drama galvanised by an uncompromising lead performance from London-born actor Ahmed. He chisels away at his character's bullish bravado to give us a palpable sense of the snarling rage, suffocating fear and frustration of a recovering addict, who resists letting go of his drumsticks and everything they symbolise.
An immersive, Oscar-winning sound design conveys Ruben's inner turmoil on an anguished odyssey from denial to acceptance in the warming embrace of the deaf community.
Intentional muffling and abrupt changes in pitch and volume within a scene, enriched with a minimalist score, embolden a deeply visceral cinematic experience that reminds us of the things we might take for granted or simply filter out.
MINARI (Cert 12A, 116 mins, Altitude Film Distribution, Drama/Romance, available now on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from May 31 on DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £17.99)
Starring: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Noel Cho, Alan S Kim, Youn Yuh-jung, Will Patton.
WRITER-director Lee Isaac Chung plunders memories of his childhood in the shadow of the Ozark Mountains in an autobiographical love letter to family ties and intergenerational conflict.
Korean immigrant Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun) transplants his wife Monica (Yeri Han) and their two children Anne (Noel Cho) and David (Kim) from 1980s California to Arkansas.
Monica is unimpressed: their new home is an hour from the nearest hospital, where David is undergoing treatment for a heart condition.
The despondent wife invites her cantankerous mother (Youn Yuh-jung) to travel from South Korea to the family plot.Th e elderly matriarch arrives bearing chilli powder and anchovies.
Meanwhile, David enlists God-fearing neighbour and Korean War veteran Paul (Will Patton) to help him grow fruit and vegetables to sell in nearby Dallas.
Minari charms and delights without flashiness, relying on naturalistic performances from a powerhouse ensemble cast and the untouched beauty of the Bible Belt to cast a heady spell.
Chung balances sweetness and spice like expertly made kimchi to a recipe of heartfelt emotion in a simple yet effective script flecked with earthy humour including a scene of an impish boy serving a fragrant brew one relative won't forget.
Eight-year-old Kim's performance as the mischievous tyke is a source of endless delight.
Supporting Actress Oscar winner Yuh-jung is a lip-smacking triumph as the potty-mouthed grandmother with scant regard for social niceties, who shatters the peace with the cool disregard of a wrecking ball.
In the rubble, Minari unearths moments of life-affirming joy and despair from a gifted filmmaker's heart.
BOX SETS / SERIES
LINE OF DUTY: Series Six (Cert 15, 420 mins, available now on Amazon Prime Video/BBC iPlayer/iTunes and other download and streaming services, available from May 31 on DVD £24.99/Blu-ray £29.99/Complete Series One To Six DVD Box Set £59.99, Thriller)
THE latest run of Jed Mercurio's addictive cops and robbers saga became one of the BBC's biggest hits of the past few years.
Building on almost a decade's worth of edge-of-the-seat drama involving organised crime groups, allegedly crooked coppers and lengthy interrogation scenes, Line Of Duty reached a resolution of sorts with the series six finale as fans finally discovered who crime lord 'H' was.
It was a controversial ending but stellar performances from Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and series six guest star Kelly Macdonald helped make it unmissable.
Now, those late to the party get a chance to witness the sixth investigation on DVD and Blu-ray or binge-watch the entire run to date with a 12-disc DVD box set.
Newcomers might want to cancel all appointments for that feature-length series three finale alone.
PANIC (10 episodes, streaming from May 28 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, Thriller/Romance)
LAUREN Oliver converts her 2014 young adult novel for the small screen with a Hunger Games-style thriller about a group of high school seniors forced to compete in a series of challenges.
There's a big pot of money at the end of the tasks so there's no shortage of willing players.
Of course games like Walk The Plank are a lot more deadly than they sound and viewers who suffer with claustrophobia might not enjoy participants buried alive in a coffin.
The cast includes Olivia Welch from Modern Family and Agent Carter, Mike Faist, Ray Nicholson and Camron Jones.
Among the assorted directors are Viet Nguyen, who helmed many episodes of cult saga iZombie, and Jamie Travis, who helped craft Scream: The TV Series.
THE KOMINSKY METHOD – SERIES 3 (8 episodes, streaming from May 28 exclusively on Netflix, Comedy/Drama/Romance)
WITH the dream team of Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin and veteran sitcom producer Chuck Lorre, there was little wonder this bittersweet comedy became a hit.
Sadly, following the acclaimed first two series, it seems this will be the final hurrah of The Kominsky Method.
The show centres on acting coach Sandy Kominsky (Douglas) and his friend and agent Norman Newlander (Arkin) as they navigate the rollercoaster ride of growing older.
Sadly, Norman won't be in the third series and Sandy is left to pick up the pieces.
"As hard as it was to lose my friend, it's been even harder to manage his affairs," he sighs.
Norman's estate creates tension for the long-suffering acting guru.
The supporting cast includes Kathleen Turner, Sarah Baker, Paul Reiser and Haley Joel Osment.