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this week's dvds.

BLENDED (12) ..... LAUREN REYNOLDS (Drew Barrymore) is a single mother with two sons, 13-year-old Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and nine-year-old Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein), who have been let down badly by her unreliable ex-husband (Joel McHale).

Single father Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler) lost his wife to cancer and is now primary caregiver to three daughters, 15-year-old Hilary (Bella Thorne), 12-year-old Espn (Emma Fuhrmann) and four-yearold Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind).

Fate conspires to throw Lauren and Jim together on a disastrous blind date. The parents vow never to see each other again and take their respective broods on a South African safari adventure.

As luck would have it, they are forced to share the same family-sized suite. Battle lines are drawn between the dysfunctional Reynolds and Friedman clans, but animosity mellows into unexpected attraction between Lauren and Jim.

Blended is a romantic comedy of mismatched single parents that fails to recapture the magic of Sandler and Barrymore's first pairing in The Wedding Singer.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (15) ..... COURAGEOUS Greek general Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) fires the arrow that slays Persian King Darius (Igal Naor) in front of his son, Prince Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).

Darius' adopted daughter Artemisia (Eva E Green) pledges to avenge the king. She masterfully manipulates Xerxes in his hour of grief, transforming the weak-willed mortal into a strutting God-King, and then leads the Persians into battle on the high seas, while Xerxes overcomes King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) at Thermopylae.

All that stands between Artemisia's vast armada is a few hundred boats under the command of Themistocles, flanked by close friend Aeskylos (Hans Matheson), brave warrior Scyllias (Callan Mulvey) and his son Calisto (Jack O'Connell).

Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, 300: Rise Of An Empire is a turgid sequel (of sorts) to the 2007 swords and sandals epic, which unfolds before, during and after the fierce Battle of Thermopylae chronicled in the first film. The sea battles are choreographed with aplomb. Unfortunately, Stapleton fails to fill Gerard Butler's huge sandals.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 26, 2014
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