Enter September's Find-DVD review competition for your chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher
12 September 2012
We are now well into the second week of accepting entries for September's Find-DVD review competition.
As usual, the reviewer who sends in the best DVD review this month will win our amazing prize – a £100 Amazon voucher. Just think what you could do with that! You could spend it all on DVDs or you could use it to buy anything else you want from Amazon.
The competition is open to everyone. All you have to do for your chance to win is submit your review of a film, TV series, children's programme, music video, fitness workout DVD – or ANY other DVD from any genre for any age group - in fact any DVD that can be found on Find-DVDs website. It may be a DVD you loved to watch or it may be about one you absolutely hated and want to warn others not to buy. It's your competition entry – it's up to you!
The competition is really easy to enter and the rules are very straightforward (bad language and plagiarism in particular though are not allowed). Once you have submitted your entry it will be read very carefully by our review judge and will be considered alongside all the other reviews we receive during September. The best review will be selected at the end of the month and the winner will be notified then the prize will be sent out.
All your reviews are really useful to other visitors to find-DVDs site especially if they are considering purchasing a DVD they know very little about. Any information that can be shared can really help someone to choose a good DVD, one that they will enjoy watching. Your review can also prevent someone from buying a DVD that potentially may end up being a very expensive mistake. So if you have any strong views on the storyline, the directing, the special effects, the characters, the actors or anything else – please do include them.
August's competition was won by David Bedwell for his excellent review of The Hunger Games - an extremely popular film from 2012 starring Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz. David's winning review can be read in full below.
In addition to David Bedwell's winning review we would just like to mention a few more entries that were strong contenders for last month's prize. They were
Julian Howard's review of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel pulls it off in such an original and unlikely way that even the hardest cynic will be moved"
Kashif Ahmed's review of The Grey - "an entertaining, well written, acted and directed film with great cinematography and strong existentialist-survivalist themes. See it."
We would like to say "thank you" to everyone who took part in last month's competition – please do keep sending in your reviews – they are really appreciated. To anyone who is considering sending in an entry this month– GOOD LUCK!
David Bedwell's winning review of The Hunger Games
There are many book adaptations out there that you simply cannot compare. Yes, they may have a predominantly teen fanbase, but believe me when I say The Hunger Games is a much more adult themed series with more violent and heartbreaking scenes that put anything in the Twilight saga to shame. As a 29 year old male, I can truthfully say that The Hunger Games has something for everyone - something Twilight could only dream of.
This home release comes less than six months after its cinema run, allowing fans to catch up before the sequel Catching Fire is released at the end of 2013. Led by Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: First Class, Winter's Bone) as Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games presents a post-apocalyptic vision of the nation of Panem, home to twelve districts formerly known as North America. The title refers to an annual event featuring a boy and girl participant from each district who fight to the death. This exists as a punishment due to a previous uprising against those in charge - referred to as the Capitol, a wealthy area at the centre of all districts.
Katniss volunteers to be a 'tribute' after her sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is selected for District 12 as a participant, alongside Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the male selection. There can only be one winner, and so even if both tributes from a district make it to the end, they must then fight to the death themselves. What unfolds is a story full of heartbreak, tragedy, revenge, violence and love. A message of uprising and cowardice, alongside the fight to survive at any cost. Many questions are raised but none more important than what would you do to survive in the world?
Without wanting to give too much away, there are twists and turns along the journey to victory, and not everything or everyone is as you would expect. Katniss makes a far more believable and easier to support character than someone like Bella in Twilight, and the situation is more complex than the fantasy of wolves and vampires. Real messages of a Big Brother nation and oppression exist in The Hunger Games, and there's a depth to the story that can teach viewers a thing or two about family and how to live their lives.
Lawrence gives Katniss a warmth and sympathy that means you desperately want her to win without compromising her character - a loving and caring sister and daughter. Others are quick to throw away their morals for a quick kill or to become idolised by those watching the Games on television.
Lawrence is surrounded by a stellar cast including Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, a previous Hunger Games victor; Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow; and a number of young stars such as Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne and Amandla Stenberg as Rue. Quite possibly the best role goes to Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, the charismatic scene stealer and TV personality. Tucci is in his element here and sparkles every time he is on screen. With so many Districts, not all tributes get much screen time, but the main ones are all fleshed out well and deliver some drama and emotion beyond similar 'young adult' stories.
Director Gary Ross does a fantastic job of making The Hunger Games feel fresh and modern, delivering feelings of war, romance, tragedy and hope all in one movie. The colours and vibrancy alongside the desolation and desperation are perfectly balanced, and the over 2 hours running time flies by without any wasted time. Every sound of an arrow firing or leaves crunching is heard perfectly on this Blu-ray release, as if you're almost right there in the woods with the Games participants. The picture is crisp and captures the mood perfectly in every location. Not only are the characters perfectly presented on screen with their dialogue and costumes, but the differences between the Capitol, the Districts and the Games arena are contrasted effectively.
The Hunger Games is a movie worth watching with as little knowledge as possible, that way you'll be as shocked and surprised as anyone should be. The plot twists and deaths work very well, as you're emotionally invested in many of the participants and yet you know only one can win. So with any special features - make sure you watch them AFTER the main feature! "The World is Watching" especially is a multi-part feature which goes into great depth about the book-to-film process, and provides a fascinating insight into the struggles of adapting source material and keeping the existing fan base happy, while trying to appeal to a whole new area of potential fans. Gary Ross is very hands-on in a number of other features, and you respect the man for being aware of how to handle such a project.
There is more than enough on this Blu-ray release for even the most avid of Hunger Games fans right through to the casual interest. If you have the facilities to play the HD release then certainly pick this up as The Hunger Games is one of the best looking and sounding releases of 2012. "May the odds be ever in your favour?"
A selection of DVDs reviewed in August's competition
The Hunger Games [Blu-ray][Region Free]
The Golden Girls - The Complete First Season ...
The Grey [Blu-ray]
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (DVD + Digital ...
Friends - Season 1-10 Complete Collection ...
One Tree Hill - Season 9 (DVD + Digital ...
Batman Begins/The Dark Knight Limited Edition ...
First of the Summer Wine - Series Two