If you’re trying to think of things to buy for friends and family this Christmas, then a good movie is always a safe way to go – as long as you know what you’re going for. Here’s a handy list of the new December-released DVDs which will suit each of your loved ones
FOR THE WIFE: Trainwreck
One of the funniest films of the year from one of the most talented comedians – let alone women – in showbiz. Amy Schumer is a force and her work lets her be her blunt self without seeming facile or, well, like it was all written by a bloke wondering what it might be like to be a woman. Judd Apatow is involved, but in his best capacity – supervisory. The laughs about a perennially single woman who finally meets the perfect man are plentiful, but there’s lot of heart too, thanks to Amy’s relationship with her sister (Brie Larson).
FOR YOUR FATHER: Grizzly Man
Werner Herzog makes bizarre and penetrating documentaries, exploring some of the most unique people on this planet. This one, about a bloke who spent his life hanging out with bears, is one of his best. Insightful, moving and unexpected, it’s got the nature stuff your old man will love, but the grit of a Western.
FOR YOUR BROTHER-IN-LAW: Vacation
Puerile and nostalgic, this sequel/reboot to the Chevy Chase-starrer from the 1980s was kind of unnecessary and not helped by the fact that lots of the best jokes were ruined in the trailer (what’s going on with that?!). Still, for men of a certain age, National Lampoon’s Vacation was a seminal movie, so hopefully your bro-in-law will appreciate the throwback.
FOR YOUR TEENAGE NIECES AND NEPHEWS: The Bad Education Movie
Jack Whitehall gives his all in this big-screen adaptation of the successful BBC3 sitcom, which is aimed squarely at the ‘yoof’. There’s some more heavyweight subplots here (about a kind of separatist army), but ultimately it’s all about Alfie and his stupidity. And there’s plenty of that.
FOR YOUR TWEEN DAUGHTER: Paper Towns
Has every young girl on Earth read a John Green novel by now? This is adapted from another book in the Fault In Our Stars author’s canon and features the acting delights of Cara Delevingne, playing an aloof and mysterious babe who disappears. For anyone over the target audience, it’s all a bit twee, but twelve-year-olds, with all their angst, should love it.
FOR ANY YOUNG SON OR DAUGHTER: Inside Out
Pixar are back to their best with this tale set inside a young girl’s head, which is worth getting mostly because it’ll mean you get to watch something of value over and over again. Witty, emotional, you’ll be crying and marvelling at the artistry while your pre-schooler giggles at the colours and the action.
AND…FOR YOURSELF: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
This doesn’t try to do anything particularly special, it’s just plain, straight-forward, well-constructed action. In fact, it’s difficult to remember quite what the plot of it is. Ultimately though, that doesn’t really matter – it’s about the breath-taking stunts, the nerve-wracking set pieces and Tom Cruise proving he’s still got it.