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Out on DVD this month

did I enjoy it so much?

EAGLE Eddie the Eagle the ski-jumper, who became the unlikely star of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics by not killing himself, and Eddie the Eagle the film, the feel-good fictionalisation of his journey, are similar beasts; both are a bit rubbish, both fall way short of the mark, and both are a lot of fun to watch.


Part Cool Runnings and part Billy Elliot, Eddie the Eagle shamelessly deploys every inspirational underdog story cliché you can think of: supportive mum but disapproving dad who just wants his son to follow in his footsteps? Check. Washed-up alcoholic former sports star who finds redemption by coaching a determined no-hoper? Check. Training montage? You betcha! It does everything I hate about these kind of films, so why

Well, for one thing, all the performances are a hoot. Taron Egerton, who shone in Kingsman, is equally adept here, playing Eddie with a perfect blend of innocence and grit; Huge Hackman is as watchable as ever as the grizzled mentor; and the supporting cast, including Keith Allen as the exasperated dad, Tim McInnerny as the pantomime baddie, and the ever-brilliant Jim Broadbent as the BBC commentator, all do their jobs with perfectly controlled goofiness. Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun here, and it’s contagious.

It’s a shame in a way. I had some great “goes downhill fast” stuff. But the fact of the matter is that, while predictable and formulaic, Eddie the Eagle isn’t a complete turkey.

Jay Freeman

August FILM RELEASES 12 August Pete’s DragonAnother shiny CGI-heavy remake of a popular children’s movie. Tis one is about an orphaned (aren’t they always) child called Pete, and his unlikely best friend Elliot (a dragon this time, not a giant). Starring an unknown child, two more established actors, and a man in a motion capture suit.

12 August the Shallows Blake Lively stars in this heart-in-throat thriller about a surfer who inadvertently enters into the feeding ground of a great white shark. Finding herself stranded on some rocks 200 yards from the beach, all she’s got to do is get to the shore. I say 'all' - there's a big-ass shark in the way. Were you even paying attention?

19 August David Brent: Life on the RoadRicky Gervais’ most famous comic creation returns this month, in this feature length mockumentary. We find our loveable office- jockey, as the title would suggest, ‘on the road’ trying to make it as a successful rock star. Will he make it? Will it be funny? Will he do the dance? Of course he’ll do the fucking dance!

26 AugustPopstar: Never Stop StoppingI like Lonely Island, I laughed at Hot Rod, and I abso-fucking-lutely loved Brooklyn Nine-Nine. What do these things all have in common? Andy Samberg, who this month stars as a former boyband member who will do anything to retain his celebrity status – except getting the band back together. Also stars the rest of the Lonely Island, and features Joan Cusack, Sarah Silverman, etc, etc. Smiley


01 August Hardcore HenryFirst-person shooter Hardcore Henry takes the fetishisation of violence to unprecedented levels. Some of you will see that as a good thing, but I was sick of it after 10 minutes. Like watching someone else play a video game.

08 August Where to Invade NextMichael Moore’s exploration of the more evolved aspects of European societies is certainly eye-opening and often funny, but it lacks the fire and bile of his earlier works like Bowling for Columbine and Sicko. Still, a worthy watch.

22 August Miles AheadTDon Cheadle directs himself honking and parping his way through this biopic of jazz trumpet legend Miles Davis. What it lacks in accuracy (the film has come under fire for improvising a little too loosely around the themes of Davis’s life) it makes up for in style. Nice.

29 August Kiss Rocks Vegas If you’ve never seen an elderly fat Jewish gentleman dressed as the God of Tunder being hoist into the air while fireworks emanate from the soles of his platform boots, then this is the concert film for you. Essential for Kiss fans (among whom I kinda class myself), otherwise, not so much. Jay Freeman

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