DVD Review: Out of the Clouds


 Lives of passengers and crew intertwine at London Airport when fog causes delays.

Offering a snapshot of an era when air travel was for many an unaffordable luxury and airports were glamorous places, Out of the Clouds is a portmanteau drama from Ealing Studios that follows the lives of people who visit and work in London (now Heathrow) Airport over a period of 24 hours.

A sedate adaptation of a novel by John Fores, the film interweaves several stories. Pilot Gus Randall (Anthony Steel) has a gambling addiction and gets involved with a smuggling ring. Duty officer Nick Milbourne (Robert Beatty) is waiting for the opportunity to become a pilot. Captain Brent (James Robertson Justice) suspects his plane has mechanical problems. Hostess Penny Henson (Eunice Gayson – Dr No, From Russia with Love) is the centre of a love triangle involving Nick and Gus.

Best known for co-directing the classic British horror film Dead of Night, Basil Dearden helmed this hymn to post-war aviation culture. Notable for its recreation of an airport terminal on one of Ealing’s largest sound stages, to a 1950s cinema-going public the setting was the film’s real star.

Fans of 1950s and ’60s British films will enjoy spotting familiar faces in roles very different from those for which they became best known. Carry On legend Sid James’ cameo nearly steals the entire film.

Restored for its sixtieth anniversary this charming period piece evokes a forevermore vanished age when passengers received personal attention and airports didn’t employ security scanners.

A lesser-known Ealing film that should be regarded with the same esteem as Passport to Pimlico and The Tifield Thunderbolt.

Out of the Clouds is available to order from Amazon.


Blu-ray Review: The Voices


A purr-fect black comedy

Ryan Reynolds plays a schizophrenic who takes orders from his cat and dog in a dark psychological comedic horror film from director Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).

Satrapi’s off-kilter take on the serial killer genre plays against expectations and delivers a uniquely twisted view of midwest America that ventures into the realms of Lynchian weirdness via a Brothers Grimm fairytale. Paying homage to her influences, the director blends Hitchcock motifs with Amelie style visuals alongside nods to Joel and Ethan Cohen.

Soon to be seen playing the lead in Marvel’s X-Men spin-off Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds delivers a career-defining performance as a factory worker who believes his pets are talking to him. A socially inept employee in an industrial town. Too eager to please his colleagues Jerry works on the floor assembling bathroom fixtures and is effusive when offered the opportunity to help organise the company’s annual barbecue.


An acute schizophrenic Jerry sees a court-appointed psychiatrist on a regular basis and is required to take medication. Living alone he neglects to follow his care plan and has relapsed. At the end of each shift, he returns to a low-rent apartment above a bowling alley and chats about the day’s events with his pets.

Without his daily medication, Jerry starts to hear voices and is convinced that his cat Mr. Whiskers and dog Bosco are talking to him. A morality play occurs each night in the front room as the two animals represent the fractured sides of his conscience. Scottish accented feline and a dim-witted canine appear to be influencing Jerry’s behaviour.

Attending a planning meeting for his workplace’s annual barbecue he meets Fiona (Gemma Arterton – Quantum of Solace) and is instantly smitten. Blissfully unaware that she is not interested Jerry invites her for a meal at his favourite Chinese restaurant.

A carefully planned evening turns sour when Fiona decides to join colleagues from the accounts department at a local karaoke bar. Jerry is left alone staring at congealing Oriental cuisine while Elvis and Bruce Lee impersonators perform for disinterested diners.

The night takes a darker turn when Jerry spots a rain-soaked Fiona. Offering her a lift they decide to visit an out of town burger bar. A collision with a wild animal sets in motion a chain of events that tears down Jerry’s tenuous grip on reality.


Filmed in Berlin, Director Marjane Satrapi’s first English language feature is a genre-defying movie destined for immediate cult status.  Absurd and provocative it delicately balances artifice with flashes of chilling realism. Occasionally taboo-breaking, the film acknowledges preconceptions and then pulls the rug out from beneath the viewer’s feet.

The Voices is an ingenious tragi-comedy. Disturbing and hilarious, it’s uniqueness is rammed home in a musical sequence featuring Jesus driving a fork-lift truck.

An impressive collection of extras has been assembled for this disc including interviews, featurettes, and a prank that has to be seen to be believed.

The Voices is available to order from Amazon.