Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Dead giveaways

The number of newspaper DVD giveaways seems to have declined this year. The only papers that seem not to have been affected by this admittedly very minor side-effect of the recession are the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, which gave away A Room With a View and The Ipcress File this weekend, snore. Given that nobody’s going to distribute Bond DVDs with their paper for free, the excuse for a lot of the fare is that it’s “cult” (generally meaning nostalgic), whether it be crap old war movies (the Daily Mail), or J-horror (Godzilla, courtesy of the Guardian).

I’ve often thought that the ideal giveaway star would be Harrison Ford, who appeals to both male and female readers, is judiciously middlebrow, and has covered many genres in his career. Start with something literary, The Mosquito Coast, say, wander through Peter Weir’s excellent Witness (with Kelly McGillis’s brilliant breasts as an added bonus), then move up to saucy Frantic, for the weekend. For a woman star, Meg Ryan is old hat, Meryl Streep dull, so it has to be inoffensive Nicole Kidman; on Saturday Dead Calm (when Phillip Noyce was good), followed by Eyes Wide Shut for Sunday night. Basically, they're films I'd like to have in my collection, but can't be bothered to buy.

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